US amp manufacturer Schiit just recently announced the launch of the Modi and the Magni at a ridiculous price of $99 each. The Magni being a discreet AB power amp and the Modi being a USB DAC with 24/96 sampling rates. Both are very small indeed.

Modi specs

Sampling Rates: 16/44.1 to 24/96, including 24/88.2
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db
Output Level, Maximum: 1.5V RMS
THD: Less than 0.004%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1.6V RMS
IMD: Less than 0.006%, CCIF
SNR: More than 100db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: -80dB, 20-20kHz
Output Impedance: 75 ohms
Power Supply: USB powered, 120mA draw
Size: 5 x 3.5 x 1.25”
Weight: 1 lb

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Excert from Schiit’s Site on the Modi

Modi is the most advanced USB DAC under $100 that is made in the USA. With a C-Media CM6631 USB 2.0 asynchronous input receiver and 24-bit AKM4396 DAC coupled to an active filter output stage, Magni is ideal for a computer-centered audio system.

USB Powered, No Drivers
Modi plugs into virtually any computer—Windows or Mac—and requires no drivers to deliver great sound, up to 24/96 sampling rates. It features asynchronous transfer with individual crystal oscillators for the 44.1 and 48k sampling rates, and uses the USB Audio 1.0 standard over USB 2.0, and is powered by the USB port.

24-Bit AKM4396 DAC
Modi uses the 24-bit AKM4396 DAC with switched-capacitor filtering and a high-quality active filter section with excellent line-driving capability. Yeah, we know, engineerese is a disease. What this means is that it uses one of the highest-performance DAC ICs out there, and it will comfortably drive long cables. You can easily hide Modi behind your computer and run long RCAs to your main audio system.

Magni Specs

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 2Hz-200KHz, -3dB
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1.2W
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1.0W
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 260mW
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 130mW
THD: Less than 0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS
IMD: Less than 0.007%, CCIF
SNR: Greater than 100db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: -70dB, 20 Hz-20KHz
Output Impedance: Less than 0.1 ohms
Gain: 5 (14db)
Topology: Fully discrete FET/bipolar, Class AB, DC coupled throughout
Protection: standard failsafe DC power input and muting relay
Power Supply: “wall wart” style 16VAC transformer, regulated +/- 15V rails
Power Consumption: 4W
Size: 5 x 3.5 x 1.25”
Weight: 1 lb

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Excert from Schiit’s Site on the Magni

Magni is the only fully discrete headphone amp under $100 that is made in the USA. Delivering 1.2W of power into 32 ohms, Magni is ready for virtually any headphone—including many hard-to-drive orthodynamic models.

Discrete Design, DC Coupled
If you ain’t into engineering, you can probably skip this section. But it’s important. All other amps in this price range use op-amps for gain. Not Magni. It uses a discrete gain stage design, with low-noise JFET inputs, fast VAS transistors, and massive output power transistors. The result is greater current capability for higher power output. We’ve also used a DC servo to eliminate coupling caps from the signal path.

From IEMs to Orthos
Magni is quiet enough for most IEMs, but provides up to 1.2W into 32 ohms, which is plenty for many orthodynamic headphones. Magni is versatile enough to be a “do all” amplifier—it may be the only amp you ever need.

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Apparently these have been selling like hot cakes already and at that price point I am not surprised. The closest competitor at that price is FiiO or a low end Ibasso unit and even then it doesn’t look anything near as complete as this package. For me at this price point they are a no brainer for a low risk buy and try and initial impressions suggest they can power planers.

More details and purchasing can be found at: www.schiit.com

About The Author

Editor

Founder & Owner of headfonics.com. I first started reviewing in the late 80s (ouch!). Back then it was albums, rock concerts and interviews with a typewriter for the local rag. Now its desktop/portable and digital 2.1 audio on a rather nice laptop. How time flies.

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  • There is an error in your link back to the site. needs two “i”s not two “t”s

    • headfonics

      Oh thanks for the heads up – sorted!

  • thiswillkillthat

    This probably sounds like a very silly question given that they’re totally different products, but how do they compare to your iBasso PB2 and DB2 stack? I own the PB2 and DB2, but I’ve found that I’ve been leaving them at my desk more and more often lately due to their size. I’ve been thinking it might make sense to replace them with the Magni and Modi for desktop use, and use the PB2 by itself as my portable amp.

    • headfonics

      Will let you know when i have them to.review but bear in mind one is mobile and one is not.

      • thiswillkillthat

        They are very different products, I know. As I use them, though, the PB2 and DB2 might as well not be mobile. I almost never move them from my desk, where they’re generally kept plugged in.

        I look forward to reading your insights on them.

        • headfonics

          If I ever buy the modi and magni which is some way off right now sadly.

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