Creek Audio OBH-15 review

Decent phono amplifier, but we’d like a bit more bite Tested at £240.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It’s a decent phono amplifier, but we’d like a bit more bite


  • +

    Crisp, dynamic, smooth mid-range, wonderful detail


  • -

    Doesn’t time as well as the class leaders, harsh top end, lacks punch

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Initial impressions of the OBH-15 are certainly good. Despite its basic looks, it feels well-made and pleasantly weighty. Creek has also included a simple, rear-mounted push button allowing you to switch between moving magnet and moving coil cartridges.

Plugged in, it delivers a crisp sound that, when handling a spoken-word production such as the BBC's Under Milk Wood, adds warmth to the voices of the actors. Give it something more dynamic, such as Martha and the Vandellas' Dancing in the Street, and the Creek reveals a capacity for serving up bags of detail.

Vocals sound good, and you get a nice, open midrange that's smooth and fluid. The top-end, however, is a bit too brilliantly lit, although the bass is nicely supple.

What's most apparent about the OBH-15 is that it doesn't time as well as the class leaders, and it could do with some extra bite. If you prefer a relaxed listen, this is for you. It gives a sweet and detailed performance; we just thought it could do with a bit more verve.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test