There are few names bandied around in pro audio with more reverence than Rupert Neve who famous for his high quality mixing consoles, mic preamps, and equalizers. Rupert and team guessed that not only pros would love a high quality headphone amp but so might this fast growing segment of headphone enthusiasts. The result was the Neve RNHP headphone amplifier.
The RNHP is a dedicated 24V reference-quality headphone amp with several types of inputs in a VESA mountable steel chassis for pro benefits. Delivered in a metal “clam shell” casing that measures 6.5” W x 4.6” D and 1.9”, the RNHP is designed to provide enough juice to handle even hard to drive cans like Audeze which need a bit more power. In fact, it has near zero impedance. Inputs are lit up on front with an “A” light for XLR input, “B” for RCA input, and “C” for 3.5mm input. The amplifier is fairly affordable for the pro-level build quality at $499.
But the sound quality was the most important and it was very neutral and smooth sounding to my ears. I listened to artist Amber Rubarth and some other tracks on an A&K portable player. The bass was nice and defined. Midrange was lovely. You would expect a flat frequency response and indeed you get that with a 10hz to 120khz +/- 0.2db! Super clear sound and effortless feel from the device.
An added bonus is the volume potentiometer felt solid and accurate. I suspect a lot of professionals and enthusiasts alike will purchase the RNHP.
This is a very nice piece of equipment that gives us enthusiasts an opportunity to understand why Rupert Neve is so well-regarded among people that create the music. But would you expect anything different from a company run by a man that began designing amplifiers at age 13?