Who would have thought you’d need special equipment for your headphones? It seems a bit extra, don’t you think?
That’s what you may think before coming across the Little Dot MKIII. Every headphone owner would love to own that thing.
Although tube amplifiers may seem out of this era, they’re making a strong comeback with the quality audio they provide.
In this Little Dot MKIII review, I’ll tell you why it’s worth your purchase.
Although made in China, the Little Dot MKIII has an impressive, solid build. The high-quality parts of the amplifier account for its reliability. These parts include the ALPS-16 volume pot, the WIMA capacitors, two GE5654 driver tubes, and two 6N6PI tubes.
The 6N6PI tubes, in particular, are known for how accurately they send signals.
The amplifier’s body stands at 1.5 inches, which gives it a sleek, modern look. In addition to its compact size. If you’ll use it for a desktop headphone, you’ll face no problems finding a place for it. You can also easily conceal it in a traveling bag.
The amplifier has a variety of receptacles; the front panel has a headphone jack, and the rear has two RCA jacks.
Additionally, the gain switches are on the bottom. Although this placement is convenient for the design, it can cause a bit of a hassle if you have several units plugged in.
The Little Dot MKIII is compatible with a range of valves, such as 6H30Ps. You can also use it as a line stage or as a headphone amplifier.
The most prominent feature on this amplifier is the warm sound it provides. Instead of an aggressive sound that knocks you off your feet, the Little Dot MKIII is more on the subtle side.
Not only that, but it’s also highly detail-oriented. You’ll hear every tune of the sound in your ear with considerable clarity.
Aside from the rich tones, the midrange impresses with the pure produced sound.
The bass, or in other words the bottom end is quite good; your music pace will stay steady throughout your hearing. This is especially useful for rock music enthusiasts.
The treble tones, which are called the top end, are rolled off. They allow for a metallic sound without the electrostatic noise that is usually associated with headphones.
The warmth of the sound along with the clear detail makes for a worthy product. Although the dynamics are a bit soft compared to other tube amplifiers, I’d say this one is an absolute bargain for its price tag.
- Frequency response between 12 Hz and 100 kHz
- Dimensions: 10.6” x 6.9” x 4.8”
- Weight: 6.6 lbs
- Voltage: 10V RMS
- Power usage: 30W
- Two GE5654 NOS driver tubes
- Two 6H6PI NOS power tubes
- Output Impedance: 10K ohm
- Load Impedance: between 32 ohms and 600 ohms
- Aluminum structure
What We Like About Little Dot MKIII
There are several reasons why Little Dot MKIII gained users’ approval. Firstly, its price is moderate compared to similar tube amplifiers.
Moreover, the warm sound it provides is comfortable to hear, especially at loud volumes. While warm sound usually results in deep tones, the MKIII produces soft, mellow tones.
The detail and clarity of this amplifier are unmatched. They can help you pinpoint any flaw in your source.
In addition, you’d think the clear sound means that the downside is in the trebles, but Little Dot didn’t leave anything out. The amplifier handles trebles better than you’d expect.
The unit only needs about burn-in 50 hours before it opens up. Afterward, we recommend that you give it a break every 4-6 hours and leave it for 30 minutes. That’ll ensure the best performance of the MKIII.
What Could’ve Been Better
Unlike similar units, the MKIII doesn’t have a lot of tube rolling options. That’s why it’s ideal for beginners, rather than professional tube users.
Furthermore, if you use a mobile phone near the MKIII, it may catch mobile interference. This may affect the sound’s purity. Plus, it’ll mess with the mobile’s connections.
Upon purchasing, you receive a manual with the unit to help get you started. However, it’s not that helpful.
The manual is full of writing errors. Besides, there are some operational errors that’ll surely affect performance. The gain switches part, in particular, is very poorly written. There’s a high chance you won’t understand what they’re trying to tell you.
On top of that, the unit gets hot after using it for continuous hours. It’s not dangerous, but it may be annoying to some people.
What Users Had to Say About Little Dot MKIII
Out of over 300 Amazon customer ratings, there are 56% 5-star ratings, while only 10% of the raters gave it a 1-star rating. The ratio tells you a lot about the quality of the Little Dot product.
As for functionality, the users had no complaints about the MKIII. It works exactly as advertised. They also like how it has a moderate size, which makes it convenient to carry around and place anywhere.
However, IEM listening users were not content with the MKIII. They mention that noise appears and distortion occurs at low volumes.
All in all, the Little Dot MKIII is perfect for tube users who’re taking it as a hobby. It’ll provide them with the exact requirements they need. On the other hand, professionals and experts can benefit more from a unit with more tube rolling options.
For its moderately low price, the Little Dot MKIII will give you more than what you’re asking for. It’s difficult to get a product at this cost that has only a few flaws.
The only negative aspect in the MKIII that can be a deal-breaker is its limited tube-rolling options. Nevertheless, its standard tubing is more than enough for producing a warm, clear sound.
If you’re a retro enthusiast looking for an efficient tube amplifier, then the MKIII is the one for you.