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Sony PHA3 Review – A High-End Studio-Grade Headphone Amplifier

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most certainly heard about Sony. One of the biggest high-tech companies on the planet is famous for the ruggedness and durability of all of their products, as well as for a number of innovative features each of those products comes with.

The Japanese giant has been around for more than 70 years, during which Sony has ventured in all sorts of industries. This company has manufactured thousands of different products, so it’s kind of surprising that it took them so long to start making headphone amps.

But, even though Sony started manufacturing headphone amplifiers only a few years ago, they had no problems taking over the market. Sony’s headphone amps are considered the cream of the crop.

Right now, there are different headphone amps in Sony’s collection with different characteristics and different prices. One amplifier that caught our eye is Sony PHA3, a studio amp with top-class performances.

Features of Sony PHA3

  • USB & optical digital input – Sony PHA3 can work with sample rates up to 32-bit/384kHz (PCM), 2.8MHz (DSD64), and 5.6MHz (DSD128) when USB input is used. When it comes to supported rates through optical digital input, Sony PHA3 works with the sample rates of up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM.
  • Compact dimensions – Because it’s pretty compact, the headphone amp is very easy to carry around. For example, you can carry it in your pocket easily.
  • Built-in battery – Sony PHA3 packs a rechargeable internal battery that has enough capacity to provide about five hours of play time.
  • Asynchronous USB 2.0 clock – This feature is responsible for ensuring that DA conversations are done accurately. The result is that PHA creates audio that’s free of any jitters.

Pros & Cons


  • Made by Sony – This amp is made by one of the most reputable brands on the planet. This means that this device is guaranteed to work fine for a long time.
  • Great performances – The performances of Sony PHA3 are so great that it can be used in music studios.


  • Price – If used professionally, PHA3 is bound to pay off. But, for regular users, this headphone amp might be too expensive.

Final Word

Obviously, our Sony PHA3 review needs to be favorable, considering how awesome the specs of this headphone amplifier are. But, this does not mean that you need to buy it at any cost. If you don’t need an amp for professional purposes, maybe you should look elsewhere. But, if you’re a studio owner or a true audiophile, Sony PHA3 is the right amp for you!


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