Today, Schiit Audio announced the Hel 2, a significant upgrade from Hel, its PC gaming headphone DAC/amp.
Hel 2 offers more power, more connectivity, more compatibility, more modernity, and more quality than the outgoing Hel, at only $10 more. Hel 2 is available now at schiit.com for $199.
“We always saw the original Hel as a PC gaming product,” said Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s co-founder. “We worked with gamers, streamers, and podcasters on the original. But it also found two different audiences: office workers, especially home office workers, who loved the clarity for voice and video conferencing, and just plain old music listeners, who liked having a transportable device they could run off USB.”
The new Hel 2 is designed to build on the strengths of the original and to serve all three audiences even better.
Hel 2 features include:
- More power: Hel 2 is rated at 1200mW into 32 ohms, 20% more than Hel.
- More connectivity: Hel 2 adds an optical input, so you can connect it to any TV with an optical output.
- More compatibility: Hel 2 has built-in UAC2/1 switching, which means it’s now compatible with many gaming consoles like Sony PS4, PS5, and Switch.
- More modernity: Hel 2 uses USB-C connectors, rather than Hel’s USB-micro.
- More quality: Hel 2 offers lower noise and higher distortion than Hel.
“The original Hel was really a PC (or Mac) device,” added Stoddard. “Now, it connects to many consoles, almost all smart TVs, monitors that have an optical output, heck, even CD players. With its integrated preamp output, you can connect to powered monitors or power amps, as well as headphones. It may be the one single box you need for virtually all your audio.”
Hel 2 uses super-high-quality parts throughout, with construction more befitting a high-end device. Boasting an AK4490 DAC and AK5720 ADC, a custom Alps potentiometer, as well as multiple TI OPA1656 in a completely DC-coupled topology with 0.5% thin-film resistors and film capacitors, the Hel 2 has some serious audiophile credentials.
Hel 2 is powered entirely by USB, with an included 2.1A USB power supply. A sophisticated bi-polar rail generator creates Hel 2’s +/-12V rails while switching at 3MHz, far above the audio frequency band.
Using the all-new C-Media CM6635 USB receiver, Hel 2 offers exceptional flexibility, including automatic UAC1/UAC2 switching for compatibility with many popular consoles, as well as PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices.
Like all Schiit products, Hel 2 is designed and built in California or Texas, with the vast majority of the cost going to US companies making parts in the USA. Schiit’s California strategic partners in chassis development, for example, are less than 5 miles away from Schiit, while Schiit’s PCB assembly is done by another strategic partner less than 30 miles away. This close coupling allows for rapid product development and excellent quality.