Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Behringer HA400 Headphone Amplifier

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to talk about an useful tool in recording environment, the cheapest of its kind:
The Behringer HA 400 Headphone amplifier.

What is a headphone amplifier? 
Let's say that you are recording a singer and you don't have a console room separated from the recording room: you are in the same room in which the singer is performing, and you don't want the monitor sound to spill into the microphone: the only solution is to use two pair of headphones, one for the singer (or drummer, or guitar player, of any other microphoned musician) and one for the recording engineer.

This is the most classic use of this tool in a home recording environment, but the uses of this little box are various, for example even when recording a radio show or a podcast, in which there are more people talking and needing to hear the background music, commercials etc, or when recording a whole band.

This unit is basically a box that takes a headphone out from an audio interface (which usually has only one or two outs) and multiplies it in four separate stereo outs, each one with its volume knob, and it is powered by a dc adaptor that grants enough volume to make us able to hear the signal even when playing loud acoustic instruments.

Do I suggest this headphone amplifier over other, more expensive ones?
Yes, because we are not using it for the actual mixing, but only for live-tracking purposes, therefore no perfect reproduction is needed, we just need to hear the signal at a good level, therefore there is no use in investing too much money on this particular piece of gear, and maybe save some for more crucial tools like a pair of monitors.
How does it sound?
As I have said, it is not for mixing purposes: it sounds quite thin, it doesn't reproduce the full sound spectrum perfectly and probably the building quality doesn't give the impression of being particularly solid, but for static home recording purpoes does its dirty job, and as many other Behringer products it is really a good bang for the buck.

Specs taken from the website:

- Ultra-compact headphone amplifier system for studio and stage applications

- 4 independent stereo high-power amplifier sections

- Highest audio quality with virtually all types of headphones even at maximum volume

- Phones Level control per channel

- DC 12 V adapter included

- 3-Year Warranty Program

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