Schiit Audio

Okay. I know what you're wondering. So do Jason and Lisa Stoddard, whose curiously named headphone amplifier and headphone DAC company celebrates its second anniversary on June 17. In fact, your curiosity is one of the reasons why Lisa is smiling so.

So, to answer the question, the name of the company is not pronounced "sh-eye-t." And it's not misspelled. Which leaves, yes, Schiit. As in holy schiit. Or, to stop beating around the bush, as in, "Schiit, do these little headphone amps and DACs sound awesome."

Here's the story. Jason Stoddard is no dolt. He designed the analog stage for my Theta Gen.8 Series III DAC/preamp, and has, in a short amount of time, achieved major status in the headphone amp world. He and Lisa, both novelists, first got into the headphone amp business when Lisa gave Jason an iPod, and he realized what more was needed to achieve great sound.

As I went up the scale, listening to each model via headphones, it was clear that the Stoddards have products worth dressing up for. Models in headphone amps range from the all solid-state Asgard ($249) to the Mjolnir ($749); DACS are the solid-state Bifrost ($349/$449) and tube Gungnir ($349/$449). The hybrid Lyr headphone amp ($449) sounded fabulous on André Previn's recording of "Jupiter" from Holst's The Planets when heard through HiFiMan HF-400 headphones. And the combo of Mjolnir with Audeze LCD2 headphones was spacious beyond belief. Really, really nice.

Stephen Scharf's picture


Glad you covered these guys 'cause they are movers in this industry. I bought the Bifrost DAC in January, and absolutely loved it. When the Wadia 121 was announced, I ordered that, thinking the Bifrost was a good USB DAC for $450, but the Wadia would surely be better. Boy, was I wrong...over the two months it took for my Wadia to arrive the Bifrost got better and better and better. It got to be so good that I would likely not have ordered the Wadia if I had known how good the Bifrost was going to end up being (the Bifrost needs a good 100 hours of burn-in, and 300+ hours to fully come on song...). Owning the two for a week, I can safely say the $399/$450 Bifrost gives the $1300 Wadia 121 a real run for it's money. 

I sold my Bifrost to an audio buddy who absoluetely loves it, and raves about it every time I see him. I just nod my head knowingly...