No headphone output on your amplifier? Musical Fidelity’s V-Can II may be just the thing for you. For the reasonable sum of £120 you get a simple yet well-made unit that produces a rather good sound too.
Features are limited to a single stereo input and output, plus a volume control. Unusually, though, there are both 3.5mm and 6.3mm headphone outputs on the front panel.
This Mk II version of Musical Fidelity’s headphone amplifier is a smarter looking affair than the original incarnation, featuring tweaked circuitry to improve performance.
Musical Fidelity V-CAN II: Sound qualityPlay Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and the V-Can II is in its element. It conveys a pleasingly open and expressive sound packed with a high level of detail.
The music’s dynamics are delivered with fluidity, and there’s a pleasing amount of weight and richness to the low frequencies.
Move onto the likes of Johnny Cash’s version of I Won’t Back Down and the Musical Fidelity continues to shine with a nicely nuanced rendering of Cash’s voice and a lovely full-bodied sweetness to the presentation.
It’s only when asked to deliver hard charging, rhythm-driven music such as Blur’s Song 2 that the Musical Fidelity begins to struggle a little. There’s no problem with insight or refinement, it’s more that the amplifier has a little trouble in communicating the energy and rhythmic precision in music such as this.
It’s not an enormous problem, of course: the results are never less than enjoyable, but it trades in a little too much excitement for our tastes.
Musical Fidelity V-CAN II: Verdict
Overall, Musical Fidelity’s V-Can II remains a fine product for the money. Its presentation might not be as totally rounded as we’d like, but is never less than enjoyable to listen to. And for that if nothing else, this likeable headphone amp is well worth a serious listen.