The Schiit Magni 3 is the most affordable dedicated amplifier in the company’s portfolio and sits beneath creatively named products such as the Vali 2, Asgard 2, and Valhalla 2, right up to the Mjolnir 2 at £750. There is plenty of headphone amp and DAC combinations, too, starting from as little as £50 (the Fulla).
Lots of products, then, and also plenty of pedigree.
The founders of Schiit Audio cut their teeth at serious AV companies in the US, including Theta and Sumo, so have plenty of practice when it comes to engineering amplifiers large and now small.
The products are designed and made in the US, with the ‘vast majority’ of parts sourced from close to the company’s California base.
Design and Outline
The Schiit Magni 3 is not an expensive headphone amp. In fact, if you make a price comparison, it definitely fits its entry-level status.
But don’t let that make you think that Schiit has cut back on the quality of the build.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If having stable and rugged equipment is your thing, you are going to love this.
It is not a cheaply put together, to replace it at the earliest opportunity type of product. Just the feel of its metal casing and its superior finish will tell you that.
As a ‘first’ headphone amp, this will last you a lot longer than you might be planning.
You get the feeling from the quality of the build that if it’s somehow knocked over, you can just pick it up and carry on.
Its build is actually quite small and not imposing at all. It measures 5 by 3.5 by 1.25 inches but is heavier than it might look at first at two and a half pounds.
That is the difference between metal and a plastic build.
The aluminum casing is well-made and adds a certain styling to it. The casing only interrupted by the air vents positioned on the top.
On the front, there is just a volume control and a ¼ inch jack socket. On the rear, left and right input and outputs and a Hi/Lo rocker switch.
Okay to the Technical Parts.
It is an all-bipolar, fully complementary, dc-coupled current feedback design. And it has no capacitors built-in anywhere to interrupt or block the signal path.
It has a Linear supply which, to be honest, is quite bulky.
Briefly, this uses a 24VA/14VAC transformer to take the AC voltage and then filters it to produce a clean DC signal.
The downside is this makes the unit that plugs into the mains a bit like a brick.
Often called the ‘wall-wart’, it is not an uncommon sight with some products like phone chargers and some computer peripherals.
But it is rather cumbersome. The Schiit Magni 3 has preamp outputs built-in allowing you to connect it up to powered monitors.
Schiit Magni 3 Accessories & Packaging
One of the ways the company keeps the costs down It is by stripping down the packaging and accessories.
As with almost all their products, this one comes in a very straightforward cardboard box, with nothing but a wall wart and a barebones instruction manual.
On that note, the one thing we don’t love: that wall wart power supply.
Schiit say, quite correctly, that this will drive absolutely any headphone currently available, but what that means is that it has to put out a ton of power.
That means a wall wart almost as big as the amp itself. You can hide it away, of course – the cord is long enough – but it’s still an absolutely bloody enormous piece of equipment.
You’ll need to supply things like your own RCA cable – this isn’t, after all, the iFi Audio micro iCAN SE.
But honestly, that’s not really why you buy a Schiit product.
And we would much rather have slightly barebones packaging and get a better price on a product than have extraneous accessories.