It's a compact and sturdy box whose size belies its dynamic ability – this headphone amp can reach very high volume levels indeed – not that you’d subject your ears to such head-splitting levels.
The strong dynamics are well handled, though, with the treble only starting to shimmer when things get really loud. The midrange is decently detailed, underpinned by a bouncy bass that steers clear of being overbearing. The clear sound means that you’ll be able to locate separate instruments in a cohesive soundstage.
Edwards Audio HA1: Tech specs
A rear toggle switch lets you chose between the line level input and a 3.5mm input for iPod/MP3 player. There’s a 6.3mm headphone out on the front panel, and we tested the HA1 with a variety of headphones ranging from high-end Grado SR325is to the portable AKG K451s.
Compared to price rivals like the delicate Graham Slee Novo, the HA1 isn’t quite the last word in refinement and subtlety. Listening through headphones should feel personal, like the artist is singing just for you. Play Duffy’s Stay With Me Baby, and the HA1 doesn’t quite manage to relay the vocals' emotional intensity.
Edwards Audio HA1: Verdict
The HA1 is a decent performer and is great keeping everything in check at high volumes, but there are class leaders which deliver a more engaging experience.