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The Rogue Audio RH-5: THE preamp for Headphone Enthusiasts:

The Rogue Audio RH-5: THE preamp for Headphone Enthusiasts:
The Rogue Audio RH-5: THE preamp for Headphone Enthusiasts:

Preamplifiers with headphone jacks are pretty common. Unfortunately the headphone output of these preamps is typically an afterthought offering mediocre performance. This is also true of the headphone jacks on CD Players, DACs, tape decks and receivers.

The generally accepted wisdom has been that if you want high performance headphone amplification, you must go with a dedicated headphone amplifier. Enter the new Rogue Audio RH-5 headphone amplifier/preamplifier. The RH-5 offers exceptional performance as a straight up headphone amp for its $2495 asking price. One of the best we’ve heard, and for difficult-to-drive headphones, there is nothing better anywhere near the price.

The RH-5 is also an excellent value as a 2 channel preamplifier. The RH5 offers 4 analog inputs (3x RCA and 1x XLR) with RCA and XLR outputs. A hybrid Tube/MOSFET preamp with remote control, an optional Phono Preamp board (MC/MM for $495), and a true reference level balanced headphone amplifier all in one box- very impressive!

For headphone enthusiasts the RH-5 offers a full complement of outputs: 2x 1/4” Stereo, 1x 4 pin XLR Balanced, and 2x 3 pin XLR balanced. With 3 selectable gain settings and the ability to drive over 3500 mW into a 32 Ohm load the RH-5 drives everything from IEM's to inefficient difficult-to-drive reference headphones. This is a true no-compromise headphone amp which drives the Abyss AB-1266 headphones as well as other amps we have tried that sell for three times the price.

Is the RH-5 a great full featured preamplifier with a reference headphone amplifier? Or is it a reference headphone amplifier with a great full featured preamplifier built in? We have come to the conclusion that it is both. 

For more information check out this excellent review on CNET.

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