Samson QH4 review: An affordable easy to use 4-channel headphone amp

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Samson QH4

The QH4 is a simple device that has one function, headphone amplification and it performs that function exactly as it should.

We review a lot of audio products here at Techaeris but the Samson QH4 is the first headphone amp we’ve taken a look at. The use cases for a headphone amp vary, from studio recording to educational applications. Read on for our full review of the Samson QH4 4-channel headphone amplifier.

Specifications

The Samson QH4 has the following features and specifications:

  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4″ balanced, stereo 1/8″ unbalanced TRS
  • Outputs: 4 x stereo 1/4″ unbalanced, stereo 1/8″ unbalanced TRS
  • Controls: Master volume, master Mute, master Mono, 4 x Channel volume
  • Noise Floor: -114dBu, 22k BW unweighted
  • Maximum Output: 8.3 dBu, 1% THD+N, loaded 16R
  • Dynamic Range: 22dB, 22k BW
  • Frequency Response: 17Hz–47kHz (-3dB)
  • Power: 15VDC adapter
  • 4-channel stereo headphone distribution amplifier
  • Four independent 1/4″ stereo headphone channels
  • Individual volume control on each headphone channel
  • Two balanced 1/4″ input connectors
  • Stereo 1/8″ Aux input and output
  • Master Mute and Mono-summing switches

What’s in the Box

  • Samson QH4 4-channel headphone amplifier
  • Power supply
  • Owner’s manual

Samson QH4

Design

The inconspicuous design of the Samson QH4 works just fine for me. It’s not flashy or fancy in any way but it simply serves its function of headphone amplification.  The box itself is rather large and bulky but not heavy at all. I found the build quality to be plasticky and cheap feeling and the glossy black material used on the top is a fingerprint and dust magnet. I do think the housing could have been slimmed down to make a slimmer profile but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Along the backside of the QH4, you’ll find the 1/4″ line inputs. These line level inputs are the main signal inputs to the QH4 and plugging into the L/MONO side only, will send the signal to both left and right channels. You also have an AUX in port that allows you to connect any device with an AUX as your source device, the AUX out port allows you to connect two QH4’s together to give you an 8-channel headphone amp. Finally, there is the power port which your power adapter plugs into.

Around the front, you’ll find your 4 1/4″ line outputs for connecting four sets of headphones. You will need a 3.5mm to 1/4″ adapter to use your regular consumer grade headphones with this unit, many headphones come with a 1/4″ adapter so check your headphone box. At the top of the QH4, you have the master volume which controls the volume output to all 4-channels on the QH4. You’ll also find a mute switch, which does what it says it does and then there is also a MONO switch which combines the left and right signal into a single mono signal.

The LED power indicator is also at the top as are the four volume controls for each individual headphone. Samson QH4 branding can be found along the top as well and isn’t bad looking at all. Overall the design isn’t sleek or sexy, it just does its job and that’s OK. We do wish it was a little slimmer, had a better build quality, and didn’t pick up dust and fingerprints so much.

Samson QH4

Ease of Use

This is a plug-and-play device, very simple to use. Plug the source device into the backend, such as a smartphone, laptop, mixer board and plug your headphones in the front. Adjust the output to each headphone to the comfort of each user and you’re all set to go.

Performance

Samson says the QH4 is great for recording, live performance, music education, audio for video, journalism, DJ, home video, house of worship, multimedia, gaming, and podcasting use. All of these applications are great examples and we used the QH4 mainly to give headphone and volume control to our 4 kids. Plugging in a laptop into the QH4 to watch educational videos gave the kids full control over their own volume level on their headphones.

Overall the QH4 is a simple device that has one function, headphone amplification and it performs that function exactly as it should.

Price/Value

The QH4 is priced a bit aggressively at $69.99USD considering the build quality and while I think it would do better at $59.99USD, it still performs exactly how it should and thus has great value.

Samson QH4

Wrap Up

The chunky look and not so great build quality aren’t real deal breakers here, the Samson QH4 performs its core function exactly as it should and most should be happy enough with that. I do think Samson would catch more eyes with this device if it had just a slightly lower $59.99USD price tag. Overall though, if you need a headphone amplifier, this is a decent choice and worth considering.

Samson QH4
4.3 Out of 5
Nailed It
Simple and easy to use, works with up to 4 headphones.
Needs Work
Build quality isn't the best, glossy black collects dust and fingerprints easily, is a bit bulky.
Bottom Line
The QH4 is an affordable headphone amp and a good choice if you're on a budget, don't expect premium build quality, but it gets the job done.
Design3.75
Ease of Use4.75
Performance4.50
Price/Value4.00
*We were sent a sample of the Samson QH4 for the purposes of this review.
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