Disclaimer: the UHA-6S.MKII seen in this review was supplied direct by Leckerton Audio. It goes for 279$ USD. You can find out all about it here: UHA-6S.MKII.
The UHA-6S.MKII isn’t just handsome. It is solid and clearly labelled. It is easy to use and precise. Its packaging is minimal, is accessory set tip-top. On the non-sound front it impresses. And it doesn’t stop there. It hooks up to your iOS device, a large number of Android devices, and to your PC.
In the box
Its Monoprice USB power/interface cable is slick, clearly labelled, and strong. Basically, it’s an Apple USB cable done right. To connect it to your iPhone, you’ll need a lightning-USB adapter. The UHA comes in a tiny packaging box. Plusses from me all around. It is simple, and even in burn-everything societies like Japan, wonderfully recyclable. Its singular feature: a Leckerton logo, draws the eye. Inside are: a strip of 4 rubber foot bumpers, a slightly shed-prone carrying pouch, and the aforementioned USB cable.
Pretty well done.
Apart from the shaggy pouch, everything about the UHA-6S.MKII is quality. Its chassis is evenly and smoothly blacked, or silvered; its marque and all interface indicators printed and set legibly and precisely. Fastening hardware sits in shallow countersunk wells, and all both ports and interface knobs and levers are both functionally precise and beautifully finished. The coaxial port budges slightly when given a firm thumb. Both the power and the charge indicator lamps glow bright enough to be seen in daylight, but not too bright. The UHA-6S.MKII is a brilliant part of a bedside rig.
USB, optical, coax, What else could you wish for. If you’re sick of the leaning on the UHA-6S.MKII DAC’s rendition of your favourite music, you can hook up your smartphone, DAC, or high-end player through its front-mounted 3,5mm stereo input. That input is far enough from the headphone jack for two semi-fat connectors to sit side-by-side. No, you won’t get two ALO classic cotton cable connectors to work side-by-side, but nearly every other option, from A to Z, works brilliantly.
Sound and performance after the jump:
Nice review. On a different note, portable amps were slowly fading away from the memory until the mojo came along. But for me the QP1R is the best sounding portable amp out there, even though it is a DAP. Hope you review the QP1R someday Nathan, even though it comes from a Chinese Manufacturer.
I’m waiting to get in the queue. I used it very briefly at Fujiya headphone festival: I agree on all fronts. Beautifully made, beautiful sounding and easy (the scroll wheel has issues) to use.
I have a Sony NW-ZX100, beautiful sound, but a lackluster amp. Was thinking of getting a amp for use with customs like the fitear 334. I was always thinking of getting the alo rx till I saw this review, any suggestions on a amp I should pick?
Well, if all you want is an amp, and you have the dosh, the Rx is more stable for the FitEar at all volumes. The 6S.MKII is not far behind, and it hisses less. But it has a few questionable parts regarding its performance with as wide range of headphones. That said, the Rx really has only the power for IEMs and really sensitive headphones. My only beef with the Rx is that it hisses a bit.
The review here is a good place to start. Then I’ve written at length about the Rx’s performance at ohm: http://ohm-image.net/data/audio/rmaa-alo-audio-rx-24-bit
Another nice review! I had some experience with UHA-4 a long time ago.
They are phenomenal. BTW, I’ll be posting measurements of its output, both loaded and unloaded soon, fed by a Chord MOJO (my newest review). It holds up very well in metrics such as dynamic range, but falls quickly in noise. In many metrics it is neck and neck with my favourite portable amp, the Vorzüge PURE II, but overall the PURE II is stabler.
I am quite interested in Mojo. However still cant get rid of the idea of getting a cowon p1 or onkyo dp-x1.
Mojo in combination with a smartphone gives far better single-ended performance, and has a more powerful output:
Mojo RMAA: RMAA: http://ohm-image.net/data/audio/rmaa-chord-mojo-24-bit
DP-X1 RMAA: http://ohm-image.net/data/audio/rmaa-onkyo-dp-x1-24-bit
From what I understand, Cowon’s P1 is also very good. As you can see, the DP-X1 performs nearly flawlessly from balanced, but its single ended output isn’t in the same league. The UHA-6S.MKII better the DP-X1’s single ended output in most metrics when fed a good USB or other signal, so for 279$ USD, you get to keep the benefits of your iPod touch or iPhone: gapless playback, good battery life, good hand-holdability, and better interface. But you have to use two boxes.
I actually got rid of headphones that are difficult to drive and keep things simple. I now only have ex800st, tf10, hd25 i-ii for on-the-go purpose. Still a lot of stuff but I suppose I don’t need any expensive amp. Just the right one.
Well, the UHA-6S.MKII punches all those bullet points.
True. I guess I just need to return to the turmoil. Thanks for the info.
Great review, Nathan!
However, I feel the need to point out that on the Leckerton Audio website, the UHA-6S.MKII has been marked “Temporarily sold out” for months and months now. I was very keen to get myself one of these based on the positive reviews but it has not become available to this day. I emailed the company regarding availability, but the only reply I got was that the website would be updated when it becomes avaialble. That was way back August 19 of this year.
I hope so, too. I didn’t quite notice that when I published the review. I got the amp early this year, and it was still available. My review was late. Let’s hope it comes back.
I emailed him earlier and he said it will be in stock in January.
Nice of you do so, Chris. Thanks for the heads up!
You are welcome.
Chris, you’re a gentleman and a scholar.
You are welcome.
I’ve currently got only a X3ii. I think the Leckerton UHA-6s Mkii (which is back in stock) has the same dac as the X3ii. From reading reviews (though no comparisons), the UHA-6S Mkii has a better amp section than the X3ii (which lots of people say is its weak point) while the line out of the X3ii gets a lot of reviews for being a good source (while the UHA6S Mkii does not). That being said… should I stick with my X3ii, get a UHA6S Mkii instead, or get two unitls like the X3ii w/ a portable amp (or buy the Mkii to use as an amp) or get an external Dac and use MKii as the amp? I really don’t need a dap; I can’t remember the last time I listened apart from my laptop, and I’m sensitive to hiss- using exclusively with iems. Thanks a ton!
hi headfonia, i just looked at their ordering site but it stated that uha-6s mkii is out of stock now, any idea when it will be back in stock?