Introducing HIFIMAN Goldenwave Prelude Headphone Amplifier

GOLDENWAVE Prelude is HIFIMAN's newest reference headphone amplifier boasting a fully balanced, discrete Class A MOS-FET High Current circuit

HIFIMAN, the leader in personal HiFi audio, has introduced a new fully balanced Class A desktop headphone amplifier, the GOLDENWAVE Prelude.

Originally launched by the GOLDENWAVE brand, which was acquired by HIFIMAN earlier this year, the Prelude Headphone Amplifier (RRP: $2499), which is GOLDENWAVE’s benchmark headphone amp, boasts several features that make it a go-to choice. Appealing to audiophiles and music lovers looking for realistic sound and a full sonic range.

“Prelude is a perfect example of GOLDENWAVE’s approach to amplifier design,” says Dr. Fang Bian, President and CEO of HIFIMAN Electronics. “The Prelude, in particular, stands out as a performance leader at its price point.”

The Prelude is designed for music and personal audio fans who want a personal listening experience that rivals full-size audiophile in-room systems. The amplifier uses a fully balanced Class A MOSFET design with high current output, providing clean and powerful sound reproduction.

The amplifier circuit is discrete, which means that it uses individual components instead of integrated circuits. This approach can lead to better control over the audio signal and potentially improve sound quality. Includes precise single-ended to balanced conversion circuitry, allowing both RCA and balanced inputs to deliver the benefits of a fully balanced unit, helping to reduce noise and crosstalk, improving overall audio performance.

The Prelude’s preamp circuitry is completely independent, ensuring a strong driving force and a nice audio output timbre. For balanced tone control, the amp uses an ALPS* Quad Balance Pot, known for its high quality and precision, for natural, balanced tone control. (*Designed and manufactured by Alps Electric Co. Ltd.).

Specially customized for the Prelude, the high-power, low-noise toroidal transformer delivers clean, stable power to all levels of the headphone amp, helping to improve sound quality. The amplifier’s housing is made from a single piece of aluminum, helping to isolate harmful resonances that can degrade audio performance, ensuring cleaner sound output.

The Prelude’s frequency response is measured at 20-50 KHz, +-1dB@1KHz. The output power of the headphone amplifier is 10 W at 32 Ω, 6 W at 64 Ω, 2.5 W at 150 Ω, 1 W at 300 Ω, and 560 mW at 600 Ω. It measures 330mm x 56mm x 260mm and weighs 6.5kg.

Adds Dr. Bian: “The Prelude headphone amplifier is a precision and meticulously engineered device typical of the GOLDENWAVE design philosophy that emphasizes audio quality, signal purity, and the overall user experience. Audiophiles looking for a premium headphone amp will be pleased with the quality and possibly surprised by its affordability.”