Compendium updated January 21st, 2021.
Since its 2019 release, the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy has emerged as a frontrunner of budget headphone amplifiers. We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference.
What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in. Happy hunting!
From Audio Science Review's review of the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy, first published on December 10, 2019:
“The Heresy pulls ahead of its only competitor: the JDS Labs Atom. The Magni 3+ hangs back a couple of grades.
“Note that the Heresy has much better rejection of 60 Hz hum than the Magni 3+ does. A benefit of using IC opamps in Heresy versus discrete circuit in Magni 3+...
“We can see that the Heresy is slightly quieter and at the limit has less distortion, pushing the limit in the measurement system. Neither clips in low gain so if you hear distortion, it is in your headphones...
“The Atom (dashed green) holds the title of lower noise and distortion. But both Magni amps leave it in the dust in power, producing nearly 2.4 watts...
“The conclusion is simple: the opamp design is superior in every regard to the discrete implementation. It has far less distortion, much less hum and lower noise floor in general. The Heresy also comes with a power LED which I like.
“The Magni 3+ is also very competent amplifier and subjectively kept up with Heresy. But my question is why would you buy it? What are you going to do with that "story" of it being discrete? Print it on a sign and put it on your wall? Or sit back and enjoy music knowing that the Heresy provides absolute, provably transparent reproduction whereas the Magni 3+ is very close but may not be there.
“My choice is clear. I am happy to give a very strong recommendation to Schiit Magni Heresy. It has exemplary performance coupled with a solid metal box.”
From Headphones.com's review of the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy, first published on December 4th, 2019:
“Resolution and detail are extremely good here and make it easy to hear very small details in a recording, be it the punch-in/out edit-points in some early Prince work, as well as to discern changes in impact-points with percussion, make out the low background thrum of the AC in open-venue acoustic recordings or hear the muted, but impassioned, breathing of a violin soloist as the emotion in their performance peaks.
“The background, here, is completely black. No noise at all. Whether paired with sensitive, low-impedance, IEMs or more demanding, high-impedance, full-size cans, is in utterly stark contrast when the music starts or the piece picks up again...
“Unlike some other, similar, amplifiers (see the comparisons), Schiit’s Magni Heresy had no trouble driving anything I threw at it, from the most sensitive and fussy/hiss-prone IEMs - which exhibited no noise or hiss at all - all the way up to my most demanding, lower-sensitivity, power-hungry full-size cans. There’s enough clean power on tap here to drive them into, and beyond, dangerous output levels, and music with huge dynamic swings, played at higher levels, demonstrated consistently excellent authority and control.”
From TLR Technology's review of the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy, first published on January 9th, 2020:
“It is in my opinion extremely hard to get an amp that sounds this good cheaper. In fact, I don’t think you can buy any amp new cheaper that’s on par with the Heresy. In terms of sound quality maybe the JDS Labs atom, but it has much less power. The Archel 2 and 2.5 start at $40 more but gain additional features such as selectable source inputs and balanced inputs in the case of the Archel 2.5… But again they output less power.
“The second quote comes directly from the Shiit Audio website. “Not just a starter amp” and I’ll be honest. This is 100% true. I fully believe the Heresy can be the end game headphone amp for many people. The Heresy has more than enough power to drive just about any headphone, it sounds amazing and stays cool to the touch. I’m not sure you could really ask for anything more… Maybe a balanced connector, but here is the kicker. The noise level in the Heresy is already so low you really wouldn’t hear any benefits going balanced.”
From Audiohead's review of the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy, first published on January 12th, 2020:
“The remaining two options were more similar to each other than the Vali, but in the end the Heresy (X at this station) just edged out the Magni 3+ due to a bit more liveliness overall. Two others in the critical listening group that were polled after their turn featured a progression of Heresy, 3+, then Vali 2 but there was some overall back and forth between the two Magnis as to who was “best”.”
From LB Tech Review's review of the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy, first published on January 1st, 2021:
“The choice between Schiit Heresy and Magni 3+ is not about which of them sounds best. They both play excellently, but have a slightly different sound character that makes them appeal to two different buyers. Those who like dynamics, especially in the bass, and listen primarily to rhythmic music, may fall for the tight control and the potent dynamics of Heresy. But if you like a slightly softer, smoother and more open sound image with a little more air and details, you may have to choose Magni 3+.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.