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PROS: Great battery life, plenty of volume, useful for studio and stage use.
PRICE: $129 retail
Hearing yourself is a must in live situations. Relying on a sound guy for this need can be stressful, and sometimes a difficult proposition. PreSonus has unveiled their HP2 Personal Headphone Amplifier to give the player more control over their live monitoring situation.
Housed in a neat metal enclosure that’s not much bigger than a wireless belt pack, the controls are simple: Volume & Pan Knobs, Stereo/Mono switch, and a standard headphone input. The rear panel has on/off, 9v power adapter, and mini XLR connector. A belt clip is attached, along with a threaded insert for mounting it on a mic stand, if you so desire.▼ Article continues below ▼
So let’s get to it. Simply plug in a set of headphones or your fave in-ears, and then the monitor feed into the HP2, and setup is done. Really, it’s simple. Battery life is over seven hours, and if someone forgets to pop in a new one before a set (that NEVER happens, right?) it can run off of the power adapter. Size-wise it’s unobtrusive, and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb on a belt or guitar strap. Plus, it’s easy to throw in a guitar case or road bag on tour.
There’s plenty of volume for headphones or in-ear monitors, and most importantly it’s CLEAN volume. The pan control has plenty of sweep, as well as an interesting application: using a stereo signal, it can act more as a blend, getting more of the individual performer’s signal (guitar for example) vs. getting the rest of the band mix. In the studio it’s a great idea for drummer; mount it on a mic stand, and use the pan control to blend in the backing tracks or click track, and they can control their own volume level.
The HP is fairly inexpensive, and if a set of headphones or in-ear monitors is part of your live rig, this is worth the investment for the ability to control what you hear on stage, without much FOH assistance.
Input Channels: 2 (Left, Right)
Output Channels: 1 (Stereo)
Analog Inputs: Mini XLR
Analog Outputs: 1 x 1/8″ TRS Headphone
Controls per Channel: 1 x volume, 1 x pan
Weight : 1 lb.