What is the Difference Between the Magni 3+ and Heresy: A Detailed Comparison

In the world of audio equipment, the battle between performance and price has always been a prominent one. When it comes to headphone amplifiers, Schiit Audio is a brand that has consistently impressed with their high-quality offerings at affordable prices. Two of their most popular options, the Magni 3+ and Heresy, often leave consumers questioning the differences between the two. In this detailed comparison article, we will delve into the intricate details to understand the distinctions between these amplifiers, helping you make an informed decision on which one is best suited for your audio needs.

Design And Build: Examining The Physical Differences

The design and build of the Magni 3+ and Heresy are major factors to consider when choosing between these amplifiers. While both models share a similar aesthetic, there are noticeable physical differences between the two.

The Magni 3+ features a sleek aluminum enclosure with a brushed finish, giving it a premium and modern look. It also has a large volume knob on the front panel, making it easy to adjust the sound levels. Additionally, the Magni 3+ has a solid-state design that provides sturdy construction and durability.

On the other hand, the Heresy boasts a more compact and lightweight build. It comes in a distinct red color option, which some users may find visually appealing. The Heresy also has a smaller volume knob, but it still offers a smooth and precise audio control experience.

When it comes to physical differences, the choice between the Magni 3+ and Heresy ultimately depends on personal preference. Whether you prefer the sleek and robust design of the Magni 3+ or the compact and vibrant appearance of the Heresy, both amplifiers deliver on their promise of high-quality audio performance.

Sound Quality: Comparing The Audio Performance Of The Magni 3+ And Heresy

When it comes to audio performance, both the Magni 3+ and Heresy offer exceptional sound quality, but there are a few differences worth noting. The Magni 3+ has a warm and smooth sound signature, allowing for a pleasant listening experience across various genres. It delivers a slightly more laid-back and relaxed presentation, making it ideal for extended listening sessions.

On the other hand, the Heresy provides a more neutral and transparent sound. It offers a precise and analytical sound reproduction, making it suitable for critical listening and professional audio work. The Heresy excels in delivering accurate instrument separation and detail retrieval, allowing every nuance of the music to be heard.

Additionally, the Heresy has a lower output impedance compared to the Magni 3+, which results in better compatibility with a wider range of headphones, especially those with low impedance.

Ultimately, the choice between the Magni 3+ and Heresy will depend on personal preference and the intended use. If you prefer a warmer sound with a slightly laid-back presentation, the Magni 3+ is a great option. However, if you prioritize accuracy, transparency, and plan to use headphones with lower impedance, the Heresy might be the better choice.

Amplification Power: Analyzing The Output And Headroom Levels

The amplification power of an amplifier is a crucial factor in determining its performance and suitability for various audio setups. When comparing the Magni 3+ and Heresy, it is important to examine their output and headroom levels to understand their capabilities better.

The Magni 3+ offers an output power of 2.0 watts per channel into 32 ohms, making it a powerful option for driving demanding headphones. It provides a clean and dynamic sound, ensuring a high-quality audio experience. Additionally, it features impressive headroom levels, allowing the amplifier to handle sudden peaks in audio without distortion.

On the other hand, the Heresy boasts an output power of 1.6 watts per channel into 32 ohms. While slightly lower than the Magni 3+, it still provides ample power to drive a wide range of headphones efficiently. The Heresy also offers excellent headroom levels, ensuring that your audio retains its clarity even during challenging passages.

Both amplifiers provide enough power to drive a vast majority of headphones on the market effectively. However, if you require slightly higher output power, the Magni 3+ may be the preferred option. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific headphone requirements and listening preferences.

Input Options: Understanding The Connectivity Features Of Both Models

The Magni 3+ and Heresy offer a range of input options, allowing users to connect their audio sources conveniently. Both models come with a single-ended 3.5mm input, making it compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and computers. Additionally, they feature RCA inputs, enabling users to connect external DACs or audio interfaces.

However, the Magni 3+ takes a slight advantage in this aspect. It offers an additional set of balanced XLR inputs, which provide a more robust and noise-free connection for professional-level audio equipment. This feature makes the Magni 3+ more versatile for users who demand higher audio fidelity or need to connect balanced audio sources.

On the other hand, the Heresy focuses on simplicity and cost-effectiveness by excluding the balanced XLR inputs, which might not be essential for everyone. By removing this feature, Schiit Audio was able to offer the Heresy at a more affordable price point without compromising on other essential aspects.

In summary, while the Heresy offers standard connectivity options like the Magni 3+, the latter stands out with the inclusion of balanced XLR inputs, catering to users with specific audio requirements. However, both models provide adequate connectivity options for most users’ needs.

Versatility And Compatibility: Discussing The Range Of Headphone Impedance Supported

The Magni 3+ and Heresy share similarities in terms of their versatility and compatibility with headphones, but there are some key differences to note. Both models offer a wide range of impedance support, allowing users to connect a variety of headphones without any issues.

The Magni 3+ is capable of driving headphones with an impedance ranging from 16 ohms to 600 ohms, making it suitable for both low-impedance and high-impedance headphones. This means that whether you have a pair of sensitive in-ear monitors or power-hungry planar magnetic headphones, the Magni 3+ can handle them with ease.

On the other hand, the Heresy is specifically designed to cater to headphones with lower impedance. It shines when paired with headphones in the 16-50 ohm range, providing exceptional performance and accuracy. However, it may struggle to fully drive higher-impedance headphones, potentially leading to a loss in sound quality or overall volume.

Ultimately, if you primarily use headphones within the 16-50 ohm range, the Heresy would be an excellent choice. However, if you have a diverse headphone collection that includes higher-impedance models, the Magni 3+ offers broader compatibility.

Pricing And Value: Evaluating The Cost-to-Performance Ratio Of The Magni 3+ And Heresy

When it comes to purchasing audio equipment, getting the best bang for your buck is always a top priority. In this section, we will delve into the pricing and value comparison between the Magni 3+ and Heresy amplifiers.

The Magni 3+ is priced at $99, while the Heresy comes in at $119. Although the Heresy has a slightly higher price, it offers a significant upgrade in terms of sound quality and amplification power. This makes the Heresy an excellent choice for those who are looking for a more premium audio experience.

In terms of value, both amplifiers offer exceptional performance for their price points. The Magni 3+ delivers a clean and powerful sound that exceeds expectations, making it a great value for entry-level audiophiles. On the other hand, the Heresy’s improved audio accuracy and transparency justify its slightly higher price, offering a superior value proposition for discerning listeners.

Ultimately, the decision between the two amplifiers will depend on your budget and audio preferences. If you’re on a limited budget and prioritize a solid performance, the Magni 3+ will be an excellent choice. However, if you’re willing to invest a bit more for an elevated audio experience, the Heresy’s increased cost is well worth it.

User Experience And Ergonomics: Exploring The User-Friendly Features And Controls Of Each Amplifier

The user experience and ergonomics of an amplifier are crucial factors to consider when choosing the right model. In this section, we will delve into the user-friendly features and controls offered by both the Magni 3+ and Heresy.

Starting with the Magni 3+, it boasts a sleek and streamlined design that enhances its ergonomics. It features a large volume knob on its front panel, allowing users to easily adjust the volume levels. Additionally, it provides a convenient gain switch that enables the selection of low or high gain settings depending on the headphones being used.

On the other hand, the Heresy offers a similar user-friendly experience. It also has a visually appealing design with a compact form factor. The Heresy incorporates a high-quality Alps RK09 volume potentiometer, providing smooth and precise volume control. Furthermore, it includes a gain switch for adjusting the gain settings to match the impedance of your headphones.

Both the Magni 3+ and Heresy come with front-mounted 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone jacks, allowing users to connect their preferred headphones effortlessly. Moreover, both models include a transparent power switch, indicating when the amplifier is turned on.

In conclusion, both the Magni 3+ and Heresy prioritize user experience and ergonomics by offering intuitive controls and thoughtful design elements that enhance convenience and ease of use. Whether you choose the Magni 3+ or Heresy, rest assured that both amplifiers provide a user-friendly and ergonomic interface.


FAQ 1: What are the key differences between the Magni 3+ and Heresy?

The Magni 3+ and Heresy are two popular headphone amplifiers by Schiit Audio. While both models share similar design aesthetics and features, there are a few notable differences. The Magni 3+ offers a warmer and smoother sound signature, making it ideal for listeners who prefer a more laid-back and relaxed presentation. In contrast, the Heresy is known for its neutral and analytical sound, making it perfect for those who prioritize accuracy and detail in their audio experience.

FAQ 2: What is the difference in power output between the Magni 3+ and Heresy?

In terms of power output, the Heresy takes the lead with its higher wattage capability. It offers an output power of 2.1W at 32 ohms, while the Magni 3+ provides 0.45W at the same impedance. This difference in power can translate to louder volumes and better driving capabilities for harder-to-drive headphones when using the Heresy.

FAQ 3: Are there any differences in connectivity options between the two models?

Both the Magni 3+ and Heresy feature identical connectivity options. They offer a single-ended 3.5mm headphone output, as well as RCA inputs and outputs for connecting to audio sources or additional amplifiers. Additionally, both models support a wide range of headphone impedances, ensuring compatibility with various headphones.

FAQ 4: How do the prices of the Magni 3+ and Heresy compare?

When it comes to pricing, the Magni 3+ and Heresy are similarly priced, with only a slight variation. Generally, the Heresy is priced slightly higher than the Magni 3+. However, the price difference is minimal, and the decision between the two models usually boils down to personal sound preferences rather than cost considerations.


In conclusion, the Magni 3+ and Heresy are both exceptional amplifiers that offer high-quality audio performance, but they do have some notable differences. The Magni 3+ provides a warmer and slightly smoother sound signature, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more laid-back listening experience. On the other hand, the Heresy offers a more neutral and analytical sound profile, making it suitable for audiophiles who desire precise detail and accuracy. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences and the intended use, but either option is sure to provide an impressive audio experience.

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