Direct-Drive Amplifier for RAAL-requisite True-Ribbon Headphones

Jotunheim R 1
Jotunheim R 2

Want to ditch the speaker amp and interface box for something smaller and simpler? Do you want a true one-box solution you can carry with you wherever you go? Then you want Jotunheim R—direct-drive ribbon headphone amplifier.

Designed Especially for RAAL-requisite True-Ribbon Headphones

This amp was designed for one kind of headphones only: the RAAL-requisite ribbon headphones. Delivering up to 13A (amps…yes, amps) per channel into RAAL’s extremely low impedance load, and including the baffle compensation needed for the SR1a. It means you can leave your speaker amp behind, forget the RAAL-requisite interface box, and, if you buy it with the optional True MultibitTM DAC, you have a one-box system that’s easily transportable.

Configure To Your Needs

Select Jotunheim R as “just an amp,” or add an internal DAC to tailor the system to your needs.

  • No DAC.If you already have a DAC, or don’t need one, choose Jotunheim R without a DAC module or external DAC, for $799.
  • True Multibit DAC module (internal).Choose the optional Multibit DAC Module to get Schiit’s unique digital filter and multibit DAC architecture, for $200 more.

Flexibility and Convenience

Jotunheim R provides switchable baffle compensation, to ensure compatibility with future ribbon headphone models, as well as switchable passive preamp outputs, and both balanced and single-ended inputs. No power bricks or external power supplies are required; it plugs straight into the wall for maximum convenience.

Unique Nexus™ Discrete Gain Stage with Ultra-High-Current Output

This inherently balanced, differential, current feedback topology accepts both balanced and single-ended input without the need for splitters and summers.

Designed and Built in California

By “designed and built in California” this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Jotunheim—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture.

5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy

Jotunheim R is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Jotunheim R, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Frequency Response:
20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.1db, 2Hz-500KHz, -3dB, baffle compensation off into SR1a load
Maximum Current, SR1a load:
13.2A per channel, both channels driven, at clipping (10% THD)
<0.0005% at 32 ohms, 1V
THD at 0.2A output into SR1a:
THD at 1A output into SR1a:
<0.02% at 0.2A output current, <0.04% at 1A output current into SR1a
>110dB, referenced to 3A output
>-65dB, 20 Hz-20KHz, when loaded with SR1a
Output Impedance:
Less than 0.015 ohms
Input Impedance:
50K ohms
2 (6dB)
Balanced XLR and Single-Ended RCA, selectable via front switch
Balanced Raal headphone (4-pin male XLR), balanced passive preamp, single-ended passive preamp
Optional Inputs:
True Multibit™ DAC
Gain Stage:
Proprietary Schiit Nexus™ fully discrete differential current-feedback topology
Power Supply:
One 48VA transformer with 6 stages of discrete or integrated regulation and over 120,000uF total filter capacitance
Hall Effect current sensor for overcurrent conditions, triggering at 31A, plus integrated thermostat triggering at 95 degrees C
Optional Multibit DAC:
USB Input Receiver:
C-Media CM6631A
D/A Conversion IC:
Analog Devices AD5547
Digital Filter:
Schiit Time- and Frequency-domain Optimized DSP filter
Input Capability:
up to 24/192
Analog Output:
Fully differential, active summing and filtering
Frequency Response:
20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.25dB, 2-100kHz, -3dB
<0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, full scale
<0.006%, CCIR
>109dB, referenced to 2V RMS, unweighted
Power Consumption:
45W maximum
9” x 6” x 2”
7 lbs

What if I want to use it with other headphones?

They won’t even plug into the Jotunheim R. It uses a MALE 4-pin XLR connector. Not female, like every other balanced headphone uses. This is specifically because it’s designed for the RAAL-requisite headphones only.

I have RAAL-requisite headphones. Why do I want this thing?

You might want a Jotunheim R for the following reasons:

  •  Jotunheim R is a direct-drive ribbon headphone amplifier.As in, you connect the headphones to the amp and you’re done. This substantially simplifies the system.
  • Jotunheim R means you don’t need a speaker amp to run the RAAL-requisite headphones.Nor do you need their speaker amp interface box. As stated above, it’s one and done. 
  • Jotunheim R can be configured with an internal DAC,which makes it a one-box transportable system for driving RAAL-requisite headphones.


But it can’t sound as good as a speaker amp, can it?

Actually, some early reviewers say it sounds better—even better than some megabuck speaker amps. 

 How did you develop this magical one-and-only amp?

Well, it’s not magical. In fact, it’s pretty straightforward. Driving a very low-impedance headphone like the RAAL-requisite SR1a is a matter of delivering high output current, which is really all about efficient current transfer with low voltage rails. It helped that we already had a discrete differential amplifier, the Jotunheim, which was topologically similar to what we needed, and also could be a donor for common parts, like the chassis.

So this is a hot-rodded Jotunheim?

Nope. In fact, the only parts shared with Jotunheim are the bottom chassis and the True Multibit DAC card. Wait, and the volume pot as well. Beyond that, it’s totally different, and designed specifically for the ultra-high-current needs of RAAL-requisite headphones.

Is this a RAAL-requisite product?

Nope, it’s a Schiit product. RAAL-requisite was aware of their development, and provided feedback on early developmental models, but it’s designed and produced by us in Valencia, CA.

Is it ready for professional use?

Absolutely. We knew that one important application for this amp would be for portable mixing, so we built in the protection you need for 100% reliability. That’s why it has current sensing and shutdown for overcurrent conditions, as well as thermal sense and shutdown for overtemperature conditions. It’s also covered by a full 5-year warranty.

But is it ready for high-end use too?

Yep! We spent tons of time comparing this to various speaker amps using the RAAL-requisite interface box, and we think we have a better solution than most amps that aren’t made out of unobtanium. Early listeners seem to agree. But let us know what you think.

Can I make an adapter to connect this to other headphones?

If you’re talking 4-pin to 4-pin, sure, maybe. This amp only puts out about 5V RMS, so you’re looking at only 780mW into 32 ohms and like 83mW into 300 ohms. And you have to swap phase. The RAAL-requisite pinout is different than the standard 4-pin headphone pinout. Try to convert it to TRS, and all you’re gonna hear is “click,” when it runs into the protection. 

What happens if RAAL/Requisite make different models of ribbon headphone in the future?

That’s why the step baffle compensation (needed for the SR1a) is switchable. If RAAL-requisite brings out ribbon headphones that are more conventional (circumarual, etc), you can turn the baffle compensation off.

Jotunheim R Direct Drive Amplifier for SR1a
Ian Dunmore,
“Schiit’s new Jotunheim R is an excellent, and extremely high-value, way to drive the RAAL-requisite SR1a. Indeed, when it comes down to it, the pairing of Jotunheim R and SR1a outperforms every conventional headphone/amplifier combination I have heard – irrespective of price. You absolutely get the full-fat SR1a experience here, with no muting or blunting and no excuses nor caveats needed.
This is nothing short of a game-changer in terms of knocking down the barriers-to-entry with the SR1a.
The SR1a is not a laid-back, warm, or euphonic headphone; they won’t cosset your ears, coddle your sensitivities, or croon softly in your shell-like. Pairing them with the Jotunheim R will not make them do this either; what it will do is let you experience the SR1a “as nature intended” and without breaking the bank to do so.
The combination of direct-drive, and a slightly different compensation profile, lets the Jotunheim R match, and typically exceed, the realized technical performance of much more expensive amplifiers (that must use the interface box), in a simpler, smaller and much more convenient package.”