Schiit Jotunheim - Headphone Amplifier - Official Thread

Hart are what I use as well!

Thanks for making that distinction, which is relevant to me.

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Since ESS doesn’t come up a lot here I wanted to say that the early buzz for “ESS glare” was due to implementation issues which have since been understood.

Unfortunately I don’t know how to conclusively determine which products incorporate the improved/corrected implementation.

@resolve has some info on this in his review of the SU-9, and he also has experience with the higher end Matrix dacs which use the ESS chip.


Listening now for the first time. I have a couple of things to say:

  1. I have joined the ranks of people who like a really big knob.
  2. Dunu zen has a glaringly obvious noise floor and I can’t use IEMatch (have 2.5mm version and no appropriate conversion)
  3. My initial reaction was “it’s getting shouty when it gets loud”. I plan on letting it burn in for the next few days.
  4. It forced me to clean up my desk. It FORCED ME. That’s some disrespectful schiit right there.

It’s up and running. Will listen and compare in a few days.

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My RebelAmp knob is 2x bigger than your knob.

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sigh setting up the return. I can’t be out knobbed.


The balanced out should help with this; Jason Stoddard has said that it’s dead silent with sensitive IEMs like the Campfire Andromeda.

Keep it on all the time, and give it 24 hours to warm up. Plenty of folks have recommended this. It made a difference when I had the Jot 2 on a loaner tour.

Re. the 4490 DAC vs Bifrost 2, @bpcarb is right on the money about overall system synergy and about the convenience of an all-in-one setup (you’ll be nicely sorted for your Aspen ski lodge, your Martha’s Vineyard beach house, and your Park Avenue penthouse).

Back to the synergy; I’ve read someone reliable and experienced somewhere stating that he prefers the 4490 with the Jot 2 and some headphones because it brings out certain appealing qualities in them. I’ll share the link if I can find it.

In any case, if you were to get a separate DAC like the BF2, you’d have a bit more versatility thanks to the diversity of the two different presentations, and you might find that the 4490 better suited to certain moods, music, or headphones. It’s also good to have that versatility down the line if you decide to check out other headphones.


True statement. I don’t hear a thing on it. (hadn’t done that test with it. Just listened).

It will be running 24/7 for the next few days. But, for me to do that, I will have to d/c and move it and start it back up a couple minutes later as I move around the house. And I never turn this kind of thing off (but it won’t be playing 24/7 forever as it will live in one location at some point without a source when I am not there)

It’s not if, it’s when. The if is whether or not I like the jot 2 with 4490 to justify keeping it in the interim or moving on to something else/trying the full setup later.

And, I am listening to a beatles song and not running away crying. That’s rather confusing. I’ll have to put one of the ones on that I know drives me bat crap crazy.

I think both my primary headphones don’t really need this thing. And that contributes to why I have not found source upgrades to be terribly worthwhile.

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Been using Hart cables on my HD 650, 800s and 820 and they are not used for testing they are used for listening. Not bad cables and Maze Cables ain’t to back either.

I only use hart cables (except for iems. I don’t like them on iems, microphonic. But I still have the mmcx connector so I can easily a/b, but use a dunu modular cable when not doing that).

I only have hart cables for headphones. I have the connectors for dan clark, audeze/zmf, standard 3.5 on hand at all times. I use 18" connectors and then extension cables which I have some in 3 foot and 1 foot. The 1 foot was perfect for daps or switch. Then I have the multi-kit to handle going to anything. And I can use it directly on the end of 18" headphone cables with the qudelix clipped to my collar. The most Audiophile way you can listen to music and take calls or webex. :wink:

Big hart fan over here. Just, not on IEMs. The base cable needs to change to make that work well.


The jot is really messing with my head. Like, I am really confused.

Most of the time, I have opinions about products. Strong ones. That are formed by things I can point to and say X Y Z is why I think that. Good or bad (let’s be honest, usually bad).

I have nothing to say about this amp. Nothing. At least, nothing you need to know that isn’t already on the spec sheet or the box. It’s a schiit. It’s got power. It has a big knob. Is that good? Is it bad? I. Don’t. Know.

On the one hand, I have no complaints within the realm of what the product is designed to do. It’s built well. Everything is smooth. It has a giant knob (ok, I know this part is good). The sound is good. It just works.

This feels like a product that just does its job and melts into the background. Is that good? maybe. Maybe that’s what I am looking for in my sources? Maybe I have been looking for the wrong thing? In many ways, the ifi idsd micro signature did the same thing. It took it a bit further because it was good at everything (except being portable). The qudelix is similar.

But do I put this on and think “wow that sounds good!”?. No, not as of yet. Yes, I like having gobs of power. Yes, there is nothing I can point to and say “I don’t like that”.

You know what this feels like? It feels like a gateway amp. But, can I get just that bit more? What if I buy that singxer? or maybe that burson? Violetric? Is there anything out there with a bigger knob? Oh boy, got me some ZMF and it’s time for the forge or pendant…

That’s what this feels like. Whether I keep this or not, it is definitely my default recommendation for people in this price range. There is no question this is a good product.

Will I keep it myself? I. Don’t. Know.

Either way, I don’t think I will post my usual impressions or comparison stuff on this. Just going to keep using it and see if it fits my listening needs. And, that question is probably answered by practicality not sonic quality.

Have a great day!

  • The Hel2 has a bigger knob, on the cheaper side
  • Naim Uniti Headphone, on the more expensive front, may have the largest knob ever.
  • @rustyrat recently did a very good job on a DIY knob.
  • Beware of Burson if you enjoy knobs.

(congrats on the Jot2, it’s a wonderful piece.)


I view the above as favorable. A higher tier would be gear that transports to a certain time and place, or evokes certain emotion.

Agreed, while I don’t continue to own one.


The RAAL HSA-1b knob is illustrious, as does the Pass HPA-1 appear in photos.

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What do you own now? (I am sure I read it in some thread)

If your are going to buy based on knobs: JDS Labs Element II is huge

The Astell & Kern ACRO L1000 is nothing but knob:


I have a LTA MZ2 with LPS as a proxy for a solid state amp given its sound signature, ease of use/ownership, completely black background, and its design that allows for longer tube life.

I also have a Mogwai SE and positioning myself for a DNA amp in the imminent future.

My Schiit amp of choice (after owning/hearing all of them) was the Schiit Vali 2, which I recently sold.

Ah, yes. I forgot about those. I want to ask the L1000’s designer for his/her inspiration.


Maybe some postmodern art like this:



Can’t be too far from that. This cracked me up. Do you have a bottomless license to Getty Images?!


I believe this is what many of us perceive with Schiit products: they do their job.
For someone it is a limit since there’s no “wow factor”.
I look at this as a strong point in their products.
I love simple things that give you the feeling of something solid, with a good user interface and that disappear when I listen to music since they simply do their job.
Enjoy your Jot and the music.


Me too. In fact, I have thrown many products under the bus for not doing this.

In the case of the jot 2, I was expecting some level of wow.

As I listen more, I suspect that the headphones I use primarily do not really take advantage of the jot’s strengths. I suspect that if I had any of my previous planars, I would feel differently.

This thing makes me feel that the drop ether cx would have been extremely good on it.

I need to re-watch some reviews of this amp to re-calibrate and see if I still want to explore or if I am done.

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