Contralto Headphone Amplifier

Ever red about a highly regarded pair of headphones, went to the shop, listened to them and could not really hear what the fuss was about? Then the Contralto, Cyenne Audio’s new headphone amplifier, is exactly what you need!

More and more people prefer to listen to quality headphones instead of loudspeakers. There are very good headphones on the market now but those need the best amplification to shine. The Contralto opens a whole new world of quality and transparency!

Recommended retail price: 1199 USD

This product will stop production soon. This product will be replaced by the 'Natural Phase' platform which is available through our Audio Full Custom Build department.


  • Class-A output stage with MOSFET
  • Rich, transparent and delicate sound
  • Maximum output 12Vrms, 5000 mW
  • Balanced and un-balanced audio inputs
  • Volume control with precision relay stepper
  • Output impedance lower than 0.5 Ohm
  • Precision machined sturdy metal case, no vibrations
  • Fully protected against DC-offset and power noise

Applications & Specifications

If you own a nice pair of headphones or you think about buying them, six reasons why you want to try the Contralto:

  1. The headphone connection on most source equipment, especially portable, is not very good. Adding a dedicated headphone amp gives an immediate and obvious improvement, a new world of quality opens, even with modestly priced headphones.
  2. Very low output impedance, one of the lowest in the market. This avoids coloring your music, revealing the finest detail.
  3. Very powerful; doesn’t run out of steam with highly dynamic music like live recordings and percussion. Drives even high-impedance headphones with ease.
  4. The used technology and components are the very best available today. Relay volume control, class-A MOSFET output, full discrete design. It will be almost impossible to find something better, especially in its price class.
  5. Your expensive headphones are well protected with the triple protection circuit, please of mind.
  6. Robust design with heavy metal casing and aftermarket upgrades to give years of listening pleasure.

Detailed specifications

Volume control:

  • Attenuation from 0 till –50dB in steps of 1 dB using Omron relays under CPU control with advanced anti-plop algorithm.
  • Passive design with precision thin film resistors
  • Options available for other types of volume control, including click free IC volume control module and ultra-precision volume module.


Headphones output

  • Dual Jack and balanced XLR 4 pin
  • Impedance from 32 Ohms till 600 Ohms supported
  • Maximum output power of 5000 mW
  • Maximum output voltage 12Vrms into 100 Ohms, 10Vrms into 32 Ohms.
  • Selectable headphones drive. Low (+0dB), normal (+6dB), high (+15dB)


Input signal

  • Cinch or balanced XLR 3 pin, typical 2Vrms
  • Impedance 10kOhm for cinch, 20kOhm for balanced
  • Input select switcher, both sources can be connected at the same time

Line output

  • Balanced and un-balanced, 100 Ohm output impedance.
  • Line output varies with the volume level
  • Output is buffered, no loss of quality when downstream equipment is turned off

Main amplifier

  • Full discrete circuit, class-A, MOSFET
  • Output impedance 0.5 Ohm
  • Distortion better than 0.01% (20hz - 20Khz, THD+N)
  • Noise and hum, better than -110dB @ 2Vrms output
  • Wima, Rubycon and Nichicon capacitors
  • High precision low-noise thin film resistors
  • Ordering option: open loop output mode


  • Settings memory, memorizes volume, input select, display brightness
  • 4 digit LED display for volume and menu functions
  • IR Remote control option
  • Adjustable brightness for power LED and LED display
  • Environment: relative humidity 10 – 90% non-condensing, temperature limits:  10C– 40C operating, -20C to 80C storage.
  • Net weight: 3.2kg, gross weight: 3.9kg
  • Dimensions: 280 x 60 x 280 mm (excluding protrusions). Same footprint as Cyenne Audio DAC’s.
  • Power supply: maximum 25VA, available in 115 VAC and 230 VAC models
  • Power cord, user’s manual included
  • Designed by European engineers

User Manual