Today, our Schiit Asgard 3 Review will check this audio amplifier from Asgard. It is the third reinvention of the original Asgard that appeared in 2010 with upgrades in its build and features.
It has plenty of upgrades that will pique the interest of audiophiles. Plus, it is ideal for gaming headsets or expensive studio headphones.
Our Schiit Asgard 3 Review will discuss everything you need about the headphones amplifier. We will look into its specs, features, design, performance, etc. But before that, let us discuss its packaging and the other items Schiit included.
Our Asgard 3 shipped in the classic Schiit-looking package since every product they have is boxed in almost an identical fashion. There is a brown cardboard package with the Schiit-branded tape, the company logo, and the product/model name.
The Asgard 3 is safely packed in the box and between two foam end pieces. Aside from the headphones amplifier, you will find the following inclusions:
A power cord
6.3mm to 3.5mm converter
3.5mm Stereo to Twin RCA cable
Warranty registration card
Schiit Asgard 3 Review – Design and Functionality
The Asgard 3 sports a minimalist yet premium-looking body giving off an elegant aesthetic because of its brushed metal finish. This product is larger than the Magni/Modi, but we still love its design. We have the black version of the product, but you can also opt for the silver one.
It has an immaculately clean appearance for desk setups that aim for modern motifs. We are also pleased that it is not full of needless complexities.
All its controls are situated on the right section of Asgard 3, while its headphone output is set on the extreme right portion. The latter is followed by a low/high gain switch and input selector/RCA to the left. You will see these before its massive volume knob.
Along the rear, you will find the following inputs:
A pair of pre-outs to connect speakers
An off/on switch
A power cable header
One of the most significant enhancements of the Asgard 3 from the previous models is its power connection. It now utilises a cable similar to your PC power supply without a big wall wart.
Lastly, you will find a headphone output and a 6.35mm TRS socket.
The Asgard 3 is categorised as a Class A amplifier, making it less susceptible to humming. Plus, it is usually a high-water mark for amps.
These types of amps work by offering consistent power to all output components. It is regardless of whether these are used or not.
With that, it retains the full audio potential of the amp. However, the downside is that these generate more heat and use more electricity.
Schiit Asgard 3 – A Modular and Upgradeable Amp
The company ensures that Asgard 3 will not become another disposable product. They have implemented a brilliant modular design to guarantee its sustainability and upgradability.
The Asgard 3 offers extensive customisation options catering to your specific audio preferences. When the older module becomes outdated, you can effortlessly replace it with the latest module. It means you will not have to purchase an entirely new headphone amplifier and dispose of the old one.
What elements do the Asgard 3 have that make it better than similar products? Let us find out in the next section of our Schiit Asgard 3 Review.
Key Features of the Schiit Asgard 3
High-powered Amplifier with the Continuity Output Stage
The Asgard 3 features the new Continuity output stage, which delivers 3.5x more power than older Asgard models. It provides 3.5W into 32 ohms and runs 500mW of Class A bias. As a result, it has adequate power for any pair of headphones.
This amplifier has all the power to deliver to the 1/4-inch jack, making balanced headphone cables unnecessary. Its low-noise floor prepares you for monitors with the highest sensitivity levels.
Schiit Asgard 3 – A Comprehensive Control Center on Your Desktop
The predecessors of the Asgard 3 did not have a switch for the input. Also, the one for the gain was at the back, which made controlling the audio inconvenient. In the new model, everything is in front.
The switches let you choose from the rear panel analogue or internal card. Plus, you can toggle from low or high gain.
The Asgard 3 is a versatile product that provides everything you need. Connect the preamp output to your monitors for a comprehensive desktop system. Another option is using it as a front end to your speaker amplifier.
Customisable to Meet Your Needs
Sometimes, you need more than an amplifier. But of course, you want only a few devices on your desk. Fortunately, you can use the Asgard 3 with an internal DAC module from Schiit to form an all-in-one system.
The best thing about this modular design is it can constantly adjust as technology evolves. You do not need to discard Asgard 3 in the future since you only need to swap a card.
Schiit Asgard 3 Manufacturing – Built and Designed in California
Schiit invests in high-quality parts for its products. Most of the total production cost of the Asgard 3 goes to American companies that manufacture in the US. As a result, you can ensure that this headphone amplifier is highly durable and future-proof.
The company manufactures the chassis in the Schiit facility, while California companies produce its PCBs and transformers.
Five-Year Warranty and Hassle-free Return Policy
Schiit covers the Asgard 3 with a five-year limited warranty for parts and labour. It also has a hassle-free 15-day return policy for your convenience.
Next in our Schiit Asgard 3 Review is the list of product specifications. Here, you can see if it delivers everything you need for your audio.
Frequency Response: – 20Hz to 20Khz, -0.1dB – 2Hz to 400KHz, -3dB
Intermodulation Distortion @1V RMS: Less than 0.002%, CCIF in high gain mode
Total Harmonic Distortion @1V RMS: Less than 0.002%, 20Hz-20KHz in high gain mode
Signal-to-Noise Ratio @1V RMS: More than 115db, unweighted and in low gain mode
Maximum power per channel – 16 Ohms: 5W RMS – 32 Ohms: 3.5W RMS – 50 Ohms: 2.5W RMS – 300 Ohms: 600mW RMS – 600 Ohms: 300mW RMS
Crosstalk: Less than -87dB within 20Hz to 20KHz frequency response
Input Impedance: 22,000 Ohms
Output Impedance: Less than 0.2 Ohms in low or high gain mode
High Gain: 6 (15.6dB)
Low Gain: 1 (0dB), via rear switch
Protection: Standard muting relay for fast turn-off and delayed turn-on
Topology: – Entirely discrete, current feedback with Continuity – Stacked power supply rails – Constant-transconductance output stage
Power Supply: Internal 48VA power transformer with four distributed power supply rails
Filter Capacity: More than 20,000uf
Power Consumption: 30W
Size: 23 x 15.2 x 5 cm
Hands-on with the Schiit Asgard 3
Before our Schiit Asgard 3 Review discusses our hands-on experience with the headphones amplifier, we will share its setup process.
Setting up the Schiit Asgard 3
Setting up the Asgard 3 is relatively easy since it is not a tube amplifier. You can proceed to connect the source and headphones if you do not have optional modules.
First, you will need an analogue source. Otherwise, the Asgard 3 will not work well. Use the RCA cables to plug your analogue source into the inputs of the Asgard 3.
Next, connect your headphones to the headphone output of the Asgard 3. As mentioned, it can drive almost all headphone models. When using TRRS-terminated headphones, you will need a TRRS-to-TRS adapter.
If you connect external powered monitors, it will need RCA or RCA-to-XLR cables for the preamp output. Also, using an optional DAC module may require connecting your digital source.
You might require a turntable when using an optional phono card. Of course, use short, high-quality shielded cables to connect this. The turntable ground should connect with a durable short wire to the ground post.
Finally, note that the phono preamp has a fixed 42dB gain, 47k impedance, and a 100pF load capacitance.
Schiit Asgard 3 Audio Quality
We tested the Asgard 3 with several headphones and gaming headsets to learn what changes it makes to its audio. Sharing our experience will also help you determine if this amplifier is what you need for your audio system.
The impact of the Asgard 3 varied across different headphones, but it offered more than just a volume boost. One notable effect was the immediate expansion of the soundstage, particularly noticeable with dynamic over-ear headphones.
Additionally, there was a distinct improvement in instrument separation, allowing for clear differentiation between individual sounds. The experience further depended on the headphone in use. We tried listening to songs and felt intimately close, while others created a sense of spaciousness.
The Asgard 3 excelled in driving headphones and did not necessitate a balanced connection for optimal performance. It also featured a preamp function, adding versatility to its capabilities. Notably, it worked seamlessly with both in-ear monitors (IEMs) and headphones that may have lower sensitivity levels.
The frequency response of all the headphones we used tightened, adding the sparkle of the mids and highs. Plus, the bass had more control and definition. Listening to music and game audio became more enjoyable with increased precision and musicality.
One of the best things about Asgard 3 was that it removed harshness and glare in the treble. Although the audio was warmer, it did not compromise the resolution or detail. It only enhanced the richness of the timbre while focusing less on the treble.
The Asgard 3 impressed us with how versatile it was. It could drive a broad range of headphones and powered those with the lowest sensitivity.
The Asgard 3 for Gaming Headsets
Of course, Asgard 3 was not all about music. Surprisingly, it also performed well with gaming headsets. Our listening experience was comparable to shifting from SD to HD screens.
This amplifier enhanced the detail and added a sense of space, increasing immersion and widening the soundstage. We heard enemies before they could, putting us at an advantage.
Overall, Asgard 3 delivers smooth audio and does not lose clarity since it retains the perfect amount of detail. This amplifier matched our headphones well and provided good enhancements to the audio of each model.
Schiit Asgard 3 Review Summary
The Asgard 3 is a powerful amplifier that can drive any headphones. It can deliver adequate power and does not require balance to experience the best audio quality. Plus, it works with IEMs and low-sensitivity headphones.
Its versatility is highly impressive. When we tested the product for our Schiit Asgard 3 Review, its performance proved and confirmed what the company claimed.
Surprisingly, it delivered more than just high-quality music. What surprised us was the audio quality of our gaming headsets when we connected these to the amplifier.
This premium product has superior features, and for its price, it offers excellent value for money. It extends the benefits of the Class A output and delivers significantly enhanced audio quality. Another good thing about this product is it accepts Lyr 3 and Jotunheim.
Aside from delivering high-quality audio, the Asgard 3 has an excellent design. Its premium-looking build makes it easy to include in any setup since it blends with any aesthetic. You can also choose black or silver variants to suit your preferences.
Overall, the Asgard 3 is an excellent amplifier with many improvements from its predecessors. Schiit made a superior amplifier with enhanced features while retaining the concept of the original Asgard from 2010. If you have a DAC that performs well, add this amplifier to your setup for better and more immersive audio.
The Asgard 3 is a comprehensive solution for your desktop audio needs, and we highly recommend it. Learn more about Asgard 3 by visiting the official product page of Schiit.