Best headphone amplifier Awards 2011. The Novo is an involving and addictive listen
Good with dynamics, tonally accomplished, great detailing, ease of use
Takes a long time to run-in
We first tested the stylish little Graham Slee Novo back in January 2009 and loved it. Aesthetic simplicity seems to be the theme, with the Novo packing one volume control ?and one headphone input only.
After settling down from a bright sound during its running in, the Novo gives the listener a well-balanced audio with a crisp, clear treble that's quite brightly lit but holds no hint of stridency, a warm midrange that enhances emotion in music, and a springy, active bass that's well-formed and underpins everything nicely.
You are served great levels of detail here and production subtleties are handled excellently, even those mixed deep within the music.
In terms of dynamics, this feisty Novo can handle just about anything you can throw at it. Add a good sense of timing and essentially you've got everything you ?need in a headphone amplifier.
What really stands out for us is that it's such an involving listen – you can't help getting into whatever it's serving up.
More after the break
It's worth bearing in mind that it's £15 less than the Lehmann Rhinelander headphone amp, while doing much of the same right. OK, it's slightly less flexible than some other amplifiers, in terms of its features, but with a sound as good as this, you're not going to mind.