The Schiit Audio IEMagni headphone amplifier and preamp came into production in 2021 and was discontinued a year later. It was priced at $119.
With its diminutive size, excellent build quality, and attractive metal case, the IEMagni is functional and utilitarian in design. The front of the unit has a volume knob and 1/4″ headphone port. On the back are unbalanced RCA inputs and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs that can be used to connect to a speaker amplifier. Power comes from an external wall-wart AC adapter.
In Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s Co-Founder’s words, the “IEMagni is simply the do-all Magni. It has negative gain, a vanishingly low noise floor, and advanced protection for very sensitive IEMs, plus it delivers high gain and high power needed for hard-to-drive headphones.”
The amplifier has a low distortion, color free sound and offers good detail retrieval, layering and dynamics control. Bass is not exceedingly textured but it tight and snappy. The entire midrange (lower to upper) sounds flat, clean and enjoyable. Treble has an airy quality that is more dry than lush.
With 3 gain settings (toggle switch on back), IEMagni is impressively flexible in its ability to drive a range of IEMs and headphones with delicacy, finesse and power. Some of the models I’ve used with it have been Campfire Solstice, Solaris, Andromeda, Ara, Moondrop S8, KXXS, SSP, Audeze Euclid, Mangird Tea, Fearless Tequila, Dunu S6, DK-3001Pro, Audiosense T800, Koss KPH30i, Sennheiser HD-600, Audeze LCD-1, LCD-X, LCD-XC, Hifiman HE400S, Focal Listen Pro and Aurorus Audio Borealis.
In the lowest gain mode, even the hyper sensitive, noise floor-prone Andromeda IEM plays beautifully with IEMagni. There is no hiss and the IEM remains tonally balanced and musical at all volume levels.
Medium gain provides more than enough power for most headphones, including the somewhat power-hungry Sennheiser HD-600.
The high gain position offers a big jump in level and can sound a little aggressive. It’s hard to say how well the IEMagni would drive a headphone like the Hifiman HE6, which is highly inefficient and low impedance–a combination that puts a higher current demands on the amplifier, with more potential for distortion.
After over 2 years of use, the potentiometer on my evaluation unit has retained good left/right channel tracking, even at super low volumes, and there is no dirt or crackling noise.
Though Schiit Audio changes their models often, the IEMagni is a good example of why the Magni line has been so well-received. These small, affordable amplifiers provide years of enjoyment.