Rega Research io Integrated Amp Review

June 6, 2022 § Leave a comment

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/rega-research-io-integrated-amp-built-phono-preamp%E2%80%94-cautionary-tale

Based on my experiences with the Rega io, it definitely makes for a superb headphone amplifier. Headphone listeners will adore the Rega io’s sonic characteristics alongside its small, sleek physical footprint. Those seeking low-level background music may also appreciate the piece’s potential. However, given its relatively low power output one must take great care in choosing loudspeakers. Neither the 85dB efficient KEF LS50 Metas nor the ELAC Uni-Fi 2.0 UB52s were well served by the io. Perhaps driving more efficient speakers the io might not produce the listening fatigue I experienced. Those crafting new systems must carefully pair their new Rega io with suitable and efficient loudspeakers. Those with a preexisting system including higher-output AV receivers likely haven’t thought as deeply about loudspeaker pairing. If you’re ditching your AV receiver for Rega’s io, please ensure your loudspeakers are either efficient or you’ve budgeted for new, more efficient loudspeakers. Pairing inefficient loudspeakers with the Rega io will only send beginner audiophiles back to their AV receivers where a recording’s detail, dynamics, and three-dimensionality often die. What’s certain is that dealers recommending the io to drive the KEF LS50 Metas are doing their customers and Rega Research for that matter a great disservice.

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