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Schiit Audio Hel Desktop Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC

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Schiit Audio Hel Desktop Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC

  • Uses the latest AKM AK4490 D/A converter found in DACs costing 10x this price

  • Up to 1000mW into 32 ohms, a great match for almost any headphone or earphone

  • 6.35mm headphone jack convenient for use with full size headphones

  • 3.5mm microphone input conveniently located on the front

  • Comes with 3.5mm fixed line output & variable outputs at the back

  • Powered by microUSB port, comes with second microUSB power input for low powered devices or for use as just an amplifier



If you want the ultimate in a transportable gaming DAC/amp, you’re looking at Hel. Yes, Hel. As in the Norse underworld. That’s why it’s black and red. Or something like that. In any case, Hel delivers like 40x the power of a typical computer headphone output, plus it has a podcast-quality stereo-compatible electret mic input. It’s also an amazing DAC/amp for music, and with a separate analog input, preamp output, and gain switch, it’s ready for all your desktop needs.

Power and Quality to Spare

Hel delivers a full 1000mW into 32 ohms—enough to light up any gaming headphone you throw at it, and tons of power for virtually every audiophile headphone, too. With an all-new, DC-coupled, high-current output stage with feedforward, its performance is far beyond any computer or phone. In addition, the microphone input uses a stereo 24-bit AKM ADC with front-panel gain control for highest possible quality.

Total Flexibility for Gaming and Music

Plug Hel into virtually any USB port, connect the supplied USB power supply, connect your headphones and microphone, and you’re set for amazing gaming. But that’s only the start:

Use it as a great music DAC/amp.You don’t need to be a gamer to appreciate the quality of Hel. Use the front-panel gain switch to cover virtually every headphone need, from sensitive IEMs to low-efficiency planars.

Use it as a DAC/preamp. Connect to powered monitors or speaker amps using the variable outputs on the back. Use it as an amp. Connect your phone (or any other analog source) to the convenient rear jack, and switch with a front-panel control.

Use it with phones, tablets, or computers with low-powered USB ports. Hel reports as a 0mA device. We’ve included a second USB port for power input and a 2.1A USB power supply.

Top-Shelf Components

Like DACs costing many times its price, Hel uses the AKM AK4490 D/A converter. Coupled with an Alps RK09 potentiometer, high-quality filter and amp stages from Texas Instruments, a sophisticated bipolar +/-12V supply, and precision thin-film resistors and film capacitors, Hel delivers amazing performance for its price.

Designed and Built in California, 2-Year Warranty, Easy Returns

By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Hel—chassis, boards, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in Nevada. Hel is also covered by a 2-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Hel, you can send it back for a refund, minus 15% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Technical Specifications

Additional Information

Package Contents

Schiit Audio Hel, microUSB Cable

Colour Black
Warranty 2 years (local)
Product Weight (g) 369
Availability Preorder / Backorder (currently unavailable)
Product Type Amplifier (Headphone), DAC (Digital-Analog Converter)
Style/Type Desktop
Features Line-in, Line-out, Microphone
DAC AKM AK4490 with TI OPA1662-based filter stage
Sampling / Bitrate 16/44.1 to 24/192 supported without drivers on Windows 10, Mac, Linux, Android (UAC 2 device)
Frequency Response (Hz) 20Hz-20Khz
Impedance (Ω) 0.25
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) >108db
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) <0.0015%
Output Power 1200
Input Connectivity micro-USB, Microphone in
Output Connectivity 6.35mm Stereo, 3.5mm Balanced / 4-Pole
Microphone In-Line Microphone
Additional Tech Specs

Maximum Power, 16 Ohms: 1200mW RMS

Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1000mW RMS

Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 650mW RMS

Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 200mW RMS

THD: 108db, A-weighted, referenced to 1V RMS

Crosstalk: >-80dB, 20Hz-20KHz

Output Impedance (headphones): 0.25 ohms

Output Impedance (line out): 75 ohms

Input Impedance (rear 1/8" jack): 10k ohms

Gain: 1 (0dB) or 5 (14dB)

USB Receiver: C-Media CM6631A

DAC: AKM AK4490 with TI OPA1662-based filter stage

Sample Rates and Bit Depths: 16/44.1 to 24/192 supported without drivers on Windows 10, Mac, Linux, Android (UAC 2 device)

Output Stage: TI OPA1688 (4 amp stages per channel)

Power Supply: Via USB, with +/- 12V rails via high-current dual-polarity switching regulator, with inductor filtering and local regulation

Power Consumption: 2.5W typical

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