Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Modi 2 Uber review – headphone amp and DAC

schiit magni and modi topThe Magni 2 Uber headphone amp and Modi 2 Uber digital converter is where I start my voyage of discovery with the amusingly-named Schiit audio. The name was chosen with a very knowing tongue shoved firmly in the cheek by audiophiles who wanted to bring a sense of fun back to the oft too often beard-stroking world of Hi-Fi. Welcome to the stage Jason Stoddard, formerly of Sumo, and Mike Moffat, formerly of Theta, together they’re bringing the good Schiit.

All of this Schiit is designed and built in the good ol’ US of A and, because it goes from maker direct to retail there are none of those other in-between stages that just goes to add cost to the end product which is then passed on to the buyer. This means that what you are paying for should be pitched against something more expensive in, how the politicians would probably put it, real terms.

As it is, I have my Musical Fidelity V90 rig because it is also tiny and used in my PC setup.

Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Modi 2 Uber design

The Magni 2 Modi 2’s are both clothed in a brushed metal chassis that is gently curved along the top edge.

They both feature white power indicators and a single control at the front. On the Magni 2 this takes form of a volume dial, whereas on the Modi it is a selector button. On the latter unit I was loaned for review this seemed a little loose but, after conferring with other people that were in to this Schiit, this was apparently not par for the course.

magni and modi schiit logoThe Magni 2 Uber has a 0.25-inch (6.3mm) headphone jack upfront, and the amp’s rear-end sports stereo analogue RCA inputs, and output jacks that can be used to drive either desktop speakers or a stereo power amp – in my case I have it running to the V90 Amp to power my speakers.

schiit modi and magni controlsThere’s also a high/low gain switch for running full-size or in-ear headphones. The little amp has enough power to drive both my Oppo PM-1 and PM-3 heaphones. Looking at the specs I am sure that it could power the hungriest of headgear.

The Modi 2 Uber digital to analogue converter handles USB, Toslink optical, and coaxial inputs, so it can be hooked up to computers, TVs, consoles, CD/DVD players and so forth. This little Schiit will play nice with high-res files right up to 192 kHz/24 bit.

Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Modi 2 Uber performance

I have been listening to these little Schiits for a few weeks now and I am impressed.

I really like my little V90s but what I have been getting from the pair of Ubers took me by surprise.

The Oppo PM-1 headphones had a much bigger soundstage and more articulate dynamics than I got from the mini Musical Fidelity units. The Modi 2 Uber had to bow out against my Arcam iRDAC but not without a fight. I just felt that I had to test it as I was really enjoying the PM-1 with my computer rig when, usually, they stay downstairs.

schiit and musical fidelityAs I had brought the Schiit downstairs I hooked them up to my main rig (where the Arcam DAC usually lives with the M6si amp, Oppo disc spinner and Pro-Ject 1 Xpression turntable) and had both black plastic and silver discs played through to headphones.

The Magni 2 Uber definitely left the V90 HPA behind with more defined treble and a better handling of the mids from my records. Bass also seemed fuller. I found the most noticeable differences seemed to be made to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ and Pattie Smith’s ‘Horses’ 40th anniversary silver vinyl out of the LPs I played.

Although these Ubers have proved themselves capable in a living room set-up, I feel that these Schiits are more at home on or under a desk.

schiit modi and magni with oppo pm3So, reattaching them to my PC and pumping them with choice tuneage from TIDAL and my FLAC library, I plugged my PM-3s in once more.

I believe this is the sweet spot. The portable Oppos with these little Schiits just works. The PM-3 headphones open up even more, listening is even more relaxed and everything is nicely balanced.

Florence Welch sounded amazing and even my band’s under produced punk metal outing sounded reasonable.

I ramped up the volume as loud as I could stand and there was no discernible or distressing distortion.

All I will say is make sure you leave adequate airflow as the Magni 2 Uber does run a little warm after a while. Yes, it’s literally hot Schiit.

Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Modi 2 Uber review conclusion

I had heard a lot of good things about Schiit Audio and, after spending a little while with a whole range of Schiit at the National Audio Show I knew I had to get some Schiit together at home.

Was it worth it? Yes, undoubtedly.

modi 2 uber and magni 2 uber rearStarting with this particular DAC and headphone amp was the right way to go as, although not right at the bottom of the Schiit scale, these are still easily affordable.

The Magni 2 Uber costs £130 and the Modi 2 Uber is the same. If you drop the ‘Uber’ you also drop £40 but also some inputs and other handy bits and bobs – check out all the Schiit that’s now available on the European site.

So, £260 in comparison with the Musical Fidelity V90 HPA and V90 DAC which will cost you £169 each, and so total £340.

This is serious Schiit and I can’t wait to get my hands on some more.

Magni 2 Uber spec sheet
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 2Hz-250KHz, -3dB
  • Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2.1W RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1.5W RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1.2W RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 320mW RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 160mW RMS per channel
  • THD: Less than 0.002%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS
  • IMD: Less than 0.003%, CCIF
  • SNR: Greater than 104db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
  • Crosstalk: -70dB, 20 Hz-20KHz
  • Output Impedance: Less than 0.2 ohms
  • Gain: 1.5 (3db) or 6 (14db), selectable via rear switch
  • Preamp Output: Yes, controlled by volume pot and switched via headphone jack
  • Topology: Fully discrete FET/bipolar, constant feedback through audio band,
    complementary VAS drive, Class AB, DC coupled throughout
  • Protection: Standard failsafe DC power input and muting relay
  • Size: 12.7x8.9x3.18cm
  • Weight: 0.45Kg
Modi 2 Uber spec sheet
  • 16/44.1 to 24/192 via USB. 16/44.1 to 24/192 via Toslink and Coax.
  • Input Receiver: USB: C-Media CM6631A
  • SPDIF: AKM 4113
  • D/A Conversion IC: AKM4396
  • Analog Summing, Active Filtering:
  • Based on AD8616 with precision thin-film resistors and film capacitors.
  • Output: RCA (single-ended)
  • Output Impedance: 75 ohms
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB
  • Maximum Output: 1.5V RMS
  • THD: <0.002%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output
  • IMD: <0.003%, CCIR
  • S/N: >104dB, referenced to 1.5VRMS, unweighted
  • Crosstalk: -80dB, 20-20kHz
  • Size: 12.7x8.9x3.18cm
  • Weight: 0.45Kg