Review – PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp with D/A Convertor and PJB H850 Headphones
The PJB (Phil Jones Bass) BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp is much more than just a headphone amp that can be used for practicing.
It is truly amazing how much it can do, and it is smaller than my iPhone! I must say, this is the first real headphone amp that has really and truly impressed me and it can get as loud or quiet as you want it to be with a combined output of 200mW, which is a lot more output than smart phones that are rated around 20mW.
I really can’t stand the dongles that you plug into your Apple or Android device, but that’s a personal thing with me as I am sure that many others find them useful. I like hardware, and the PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp is Hardware with a capital “H”. PJB didn’t hold back, and while it is a great headphone amp that has an aux in to connect your iPhone or Android device to practice along with videos, audio, a metronome, etc., it can also be used as a preamp and for recording. For example, I have a bass that only uses a passive Piezo pickup, and the output on the bass is low. I connected the bass to the PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp and then connected the PJB to the input on the amp. Not only was I able to adjust the input to my liking, I was also able to adjust the bass and treble controls. It can also be connected to a mixer and provides up to 12dB of gain.
Connecting to my Mac was easy and I was off and recording.
The PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp was detected automatically as a USB Codec. Recording is quick with just a change of sound input and output preferences. While you can adjust the volume to your headphones, this does not affect the level of your bass in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). When first connected the level from the USB connection to the DAW was spot on, and you adjust the input level of your bass in the DAW itself. The USB is 48KHz with 16Bit digital conversion equipped with Burr Brown digital components.
The control panel has a stacked control for master volume and input gain, and a stacked control for bass and treble.
The boost/cut for the bass and treble controls is -18dB to +18dB. There are three LED’s showing the power status. Green is charging, blue is on/off, and red indicates low battery. The headphone output is a 3.5mm mini stereo jack. The back panel has the power on/off switch, micro usb connection, 3.5 mm stereo aux input, and instrument input.
The PJB BIGHEAD doesn’t need batteries as it has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 8 hours on a full charge or it can run on USB power. Another way that I have charged it is to use the provided USB cable and connect it to the power adapter for my iPhone, which also works well if you are traveling and don’t have access to USB connectivity. Cables provided with the PJB BIGHEAD are two 3.5mm male mini stereo cables, one short, and another longer, USB to mini USB connector, and a 3.5mm sterol to 1.4” mono cable for amp and mixer connectivity
The perfect pairing for the PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp is the PJB H850 Headphones, These headphones are made especially with bass players in mind.
With having a frequency response between 20Hz and 20KHZ, the clarity and range is beyond exceptional. Whether using for recording or just listening to tunes, the PJB H850 Headphones can be worn for hours as they are very light and they really do provide great isolation from outside noise.
The PJB H850 Headphones are equipped with 40MM neodymium magnets and closed backs. PJB has spent many years to come up with the right components for headphones in order to make them sound great for bassists. I would have to say that the clarity that the PJB H850 Headphones make them my new favorite and the added plus is that the cable is replaceable.
Check out the PJB BIGHEAD Mobile Headphone Amp and PJB H850 Headphones online at pjbworld.com or at a music retailer near you!