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Cayin Audio - HA-1A Integrated Headphone Vacuum Tube Amplifier

Cayin Audio



Product No.:

Headphone Amplifier

The Absolute Sound - 2013 Editors' Choice Awards
The Absolute Sound - 2012 Editors' Choice Awards
The Absolute Sound - 2010 Editors' Choice Awards
The Absolute Sound - 2009 Editors' Choice Awards
The Absolute Sound - 2008 Editors' Choice Awards

"The HA-1A may be the best thing that's ever happened to headphones...champagne sound for beer-budget bucks."

– Sam Tellig, Stereophile, June 2006

"Pardon me, but that grasp you might have heard was me catching my breath and gathering my wits after unpacking the Cayin HA-1A headphone amplifier. Actually, make that 'vacuum tube integrated headphone amplifier.' A jewel box of a beauty, the Cayin is for the dedicated headphone aficionado – the pleasure-seeking hobbyist who prizes Mount Blanc pens, Panerai wristwatches, or cases of Antinori Solaia 1997." – Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, January 2008

The Cayin HA-1A is a fully adjustable high quality audiophile tube Headphone Amplifier.

Click here to see the HA-1A owners manual.

This is one seriously heavy-duty piece of gear. We're not kidding. It weighs 15 ½ pounds!! It's made from ultra-high-quality parts. It looks stunning – especially for a headphone amp. The sound is so typically Cayin – that being natural and musically delicate without excessive warmth or detail. In other words: just right. It's got an impedance selector switch that ranges from 6 to 300 ohms, so that it interfaces perfectly with any pair of headphones.

And, with an efficient pair of bookshelf speakers, the HA-1A can actually serve as a very effective integrated amp. How's that for versatility?

We dare you to find a head amp for under $1,000 that's even in the same league as this! Seriously!

Check out what Sam Tellig from Stereophile had to say:

"…If you've been driving a pair of quality headphones from the headphone jack of a preamp or integrated amp – or even if you already own a standalone headphone amp – the HA-1A may come as a revelation. How good can your present headphones sound? Probably very good indeed. So good that you might stop listening to your loudspeakers…The HA-1A breathes life and light into music in a way that transistors – and many tube amps – simply cannot. It makes musicians sound here, not there…The HA-1A has a way of making headphones sound less like cans (British slang for headphones) that is downright…uncanny. And the HA-1A did bass – rich, full, tuneful, tight bass. I've always thought my Sennheiser HD 600s sounded a little thin and bass-shy. Such is not the case. The HA-1A may be the best thing that's ever happened to headphones…champagne sound for beer-budget bucks." – Sam Tellig, Stereophile, June 2006

"I would have spent $750 if that's all it did was a preamp. Easily! I was blown away. It's got that full, rich tube sound, but it's still very transparent. I love it. It sounds fantastic; that big-boned tube sound. This is an extremely good piece." – Harbert Ringo, Acoustic Sounds customer using the Cayin HA-1A as a preamplifier


Output Tube Mode switchable between triode and ultralinear.

Impedance Selector Switch for perfect interface with any pair of headphones – switchable between 6 and 300 ohms.

Usable as a preamplifier (14dB gain).

Usable as an integrated amplifier – Power output: 1.2W x 2 (RMS, triode) or 2.2W x 2 (RMS, ultralinear).

Uses two EL 84s, a 12AX7 and a 12AU7 tube.

Weight: 15 ½ lbs.

Size: (WDH): 5 1/8" x 13" x 9"


Customer Reviews (3.67 Stars) 3 person(s) rated this product.

Top Shelf Match For Well Regarded Headphones

posted on 03/11/2008
5 Stars
Reviewer: Rick Lee
This headphone amp is a great match for every phone I own. Sennheiser 650, AKG 240df, Sony MDRs, even some noise cancelling units I bought for airline travel work well. There is a LOT of power available to drive even difficult loads like the AKGs to very hefty levels.

I have several other headphone amps including the ones in my Bryston preamp, a Benchmark DAC1 headphone DAC, a similar headphone DAC from Lucid (the 9624)and of course a couple of my source components have "headphone" jacks on their front panels.

None are a fair match for the Cayin. It has more drive, a "fatter" amplifier section, the lovely musical midrange of tubes... in short it is a real "go to" piece when looking to use phones.

I would suggest that you purchase some 100 watt dummy loads to hook up to the speaker output as no tube amp can be run safely without speakers or a dummy load hooked up to it if you unplug the phones. And do you really own some 2 watt speakers?


posted on 08/28/2006
1 Stars
When this item was delivered, it had a DENT on the back bottom corner and there were parts rattling inside. I returned it for a refund. I can't believe it went out like that. It could NOT have happened in shipping since the carton wasn't bruised or damaged, but the unit was.

Astounding Sound At This Price Point

posted on 07/03/2006
5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Main
I've been listening to music on headphones for 40 years: I only wish each of those years could have been spent with this amp. It does not get any better. Period. One caveat: don't stick with the included stock Chinese and Russian tubes. Spend another $250 or so and a get a set of vintage 1950s/60s Mullard, Telefunken, or Mazda "NOS" tubes. You will never listen to loud-speakers again!

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