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We Schiit You Not: Schiit Audio’s Skoll, Midgard and Hel+ Are Going to Rock Festivus 2023

Schiit Audio’s new balanced Skoll phono preamp, Hel+ gaming headset interface, and Midgard headphone amplifier were the talk of CanJam SoCal 2023.

Schiit Skoll, Midgard and Hel+

CanJam SoCal 2023 is finally in the books and whilst the show didn’t quite have the same electrifying buzz of CanJam NYC 2023 with a plethora of new product introductions — it did feature a Schiit load of new products that are expected before Christmas. Schiit Audio’s new Skoll phono preamp, Midgard headphone amplifier and Hel+ DAC/AMP for gaming are going to be very popular this Festivus season.

Schiit had all 3 components on display for show attendees to experience and Jason Stoddard looked rather happy on Sunday night (probably because he gets to go home) based on the initial response.

We’ve been rather huge proponents of the Schiit Mani 2 Phono Pre-amplifier which is one of the best deals around at $149 USD. It consistently makes our “Best Affordable Phono Pre-Amplifier” list and we still recommend it highly for those looking for a MM/MC phono stage below $150.

Schiit Skoll

Schiit Skoll
Schiit Skoll Rear

For those who loathe the tiny DIP switches on the Mani 2 and products like the Moon by SimAudio LP 110 V2 — the Schiit Skoll Phono Preamp features a much larger chassis, supplied remote control, front panel loading adjustments for both MM/MC cartridges, and balanced inputs/outputs.

My Pro-Ject X2 B Turntable just screamed in delight.

The Skoll is going to retail for around $399 USD (that could change by a few bucks) and appears to be a substantial step-up from the Mani 2 in terms of both connectivity, loading flexibility, and overall sound quality.

The entry-level phono preamp category has some excellent options available from Rega, Cambridge Audio, Andover, Pro-Ject, and Moon by SimAudio so the Skoll will have to be extremely capable to do well. Based on what we saw and heard at the show, there is a lot to really like here.

Schiit Midgard

Schiit Midgard
Schiit Midgard Rear

There wasn’t a lot of information about the new Midgard headphone amplifier, but we did like the cleaner looking front panel (especially in black) and single-ended and balanced inputs/outputs. There is also a 4-pin XLR headphone output on the front panel. The amplifier may offer balanced inputs/outputs, but it is still a single-ended topology.

The Midgard features new technology Schiit is calling “Halo” mixed mode feedback. We’re still waiting for a more detailed explanation of that but we did learn that the Halo topology needs separate ground returns which is only adding to our list of questions.

Sonically, the new headphone amplifier is going to offer a more “measurement” forward presentation which translates to something like a Magni headphone amplifier on steroids for only $220 USD.

Hel+

Schiit Hel+
Schiit Hel+ Rear

One of the biggest complaints of my gamer son who spends almost all of his evenings downstairs in our basement playing Overwatch and Fortnite on his Xbox, is that he needs a better interface between his pair of Audeze Mobius headphones, his console, and the 65-inch OLED HDTV on the wall.

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He’s the consummate anti-audiophile but he is the first to admit that he needs a better amplifier/DAC for his gaming headset. Schiit Audio have you covered son. 

The new Hel+ is an upgrade over the Hel 2 which was introduced in 2021; The Hel 2 added more inputs and outputs for console users, and included a unique A-to-D mic to facilitate call taking on the computer or console while listening to music or gaming.

Aside from mic inputs, a USB interface, the Hel+ offers 1.5 watts of power (32 ohms) and an optical input. The front knob controls mic gain, with the larger knob on the top panel serving as the control for headphone volume levels.

It is a very clean looking hub that will let gamers like my son communicate more clearly with other gamers and also hear every last creeping opponent and incoming burst of gunfire with far greater detail and impact.

We suspect to see this run around $199 USD when it launches in October or early-November.

Internals

Schiit Skoll Circuit Board
Schiit Skoll
Schiit Midgard Circuit Board
Schiit Midgard
Schiit Hel+ Circuit Board
Schiit Hel+

For more information: schiit.com

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