Schiit’s New $149 Vali 3 Headphone Amp/Pramp: Improved Performance Same Price

Leave it to Schiit to lower one bar and raise another. Cheers!

The latest incarnation of Schiit’s Vali comes with a number of improvements over the previous version including measurably better performance wrapped in a re-designed chassis that offers better heat dissipation. Better & cooler.

Here’s Schiit:

What’s the big deal about Vali 3, then?
The big deal is the 100V on the plate of the tube. Tubes like voltage. They run better, with higher gain and more linearity, at higher voltages. That’s why it was a big deal when Vali 2 went to 60V from 45V, and it’s a much bigger deal that Vali 3 is now 100V.

That’s a single 6N3P medium gain dual triode mounted right up top so you can easily roll your own.

More from Schiit:

So why do you bother making it, when you have amps that measure so much better?
Have you considered that maybe all great-measuring amps sound the same, and we’re all just looking for the right euphonic distortion?

Well, that’s crazy talk.
We agree. But here’s the thing: not all amps have to push the limits of our test equipment. And this one certainly doesn’t, not with distortion that’s 1,000-10,000x higher than Magni. In other words, yep, it measures like a typical tube amp. It even has typical tube amp type distortion—lots of second harmonic, with third and fourth falling off sharply afterwards. If you want, you can download the APx555 report on this amp, where all that is laid bare. You may also notice that, despite the high distortion, the noise floor of this amp is pretty darn low, so you’re getting that tube distortion without the hummmmmmmmmm that might make listening on sensitive headphones a pain in the rear end. And, given that, if you’re curious about tube sound, you might come to the conclusion this is a fun, inexpensive way to check it out. Or you could just decide you want an amp with great measurements. Both are cool as far as we’re concerned.

The new Vali 3 Headphone Amp/Pramp is available directly from Schiit for $149.

Here’s the complete press release:

Introducing Vali 3: the beautiful, affordable, capable tube hybrid headphone amp

March 15, 2024, Corpus Christi, TX. Today, Schiit Audio announced the immediate availability of its Vali 3 tube hybrid headphone amp and preamp. Vali 3 is a significant advance over the previous generation, with 100V on the tube plate (over 50% higher than before), optimized design with higher linearity and lower feedback, and an attractive new advanced form chassis that provides much improved ventilation for lower operating temperatures.

“We’ve just blown up the entry level tube scene,” said Jason Stoddard, co-founder of Schiit Audio. “I mean, there is no more entry level. Vali 3 uses the same tube rail as much more expensive amplifiers, and it does it without compromise—no switching supplies, no giant chassis, no extreme heat, no big price tag.”

Vali 3 is the latest generation of Schiit’s Vali tube hybrid desktop headphone amp and preamp. With production spanning over a decade, Vali is one of the most popular tube hybrid amps in the world. Vali 3 improves on its predecessors with:

  • 100V on the tube plate, rather than 60V, for increased linearity and gain
  • Topological improvements that lower overall feedback and maintain performance
  • A new optimized layout with better signal flow and ergonomics
  • All-new attractive advanced-form USA-stamped custom chassis
  • Massively improved ventilation and lower operating temperatures

Like all Schiit products, Vali 3 is made in the USA. The vast majority of components, including chassis and PC boards, are made by US companies in the USA. Wall-wart transformers are made in China. All assembly, QA, and testing, including 100% instrumented test and 100% listening test, are done at Schiit’s Corpus Christi, Texas facility.

Despite these improvements, the Vali 3 remains the same price: $149.

Vali 3 is available now at

About Schiit Audio
Founded in 2010 by Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, Schiit has grown into a leader in affordable high-end audio, with a wide range of products spanning DACs, headphone amplifiers, and preamplifiers, from $49 to $2799.

Vali 3 Specifications

Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 400mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 200mW RMS per channel
Note: Maximum power rated at less than 10% THD for tube and tube hybrid amps, as compared to less than 1% for solid state.

Low Gain:

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.02db at 300 ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.6db at 32 ohms
THD: <0.007%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS, 300 ohms
IMD: <0.014%, CCIR, 300 ohms
SNR: >117db, A-weighted, referenced to 2V RMS
Crosstalk: -87dB, 20Hz-20KHz, 300 ohms
Output Impedance: 0.5 ohms

High Gain:

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.04db at 300 ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.6db at 32 ohms
THD: <0.35%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS, 300 ohms
IMD: <0.45%, CCIR, 300 ohms
SNR: >105db, A-weighted, referenced to 2V RMS
Crosstalk: -70dB, 20Hz-20KHz, 300 ohms
Output Impedance: 1.8 ohms

Input Impedance: 50K ohms
Gain: 5 (14dB) or 1 (0dB)
Topology: Coherence™: tube voltage gain with convolved bipolar current mode inverter and discrete bipolar class A driver and Class AB output stage
Protection: delayed start and fast shut-down with muting relay
Power Supply: wall wart with 24VAC and 6VAC outputs, regulated HV and LV rails for tube and bipolar components, 6V AC heater
Power Consumption: 9W
Size: 5 x 3.5 x 2.75”
Weight: 1 lb