The gorgeous Billie amplifier packs a wallop for your eyes and ears

billie amplifier, heaven 11, amplifier, analog sound, audio
While surround sound, wireless, and multiroom audio tend to generate the biggest buzz these days, many audio enthusiasts still swear by a relatively simple amp with two channels — preferably analog.

The Billie amplifier — named after Billie Holiday — aims to combine the precision of digital components with the analog magic of tubes into one package, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. We’ve seen plenty of other amplifiers created with that same goal, but the striking minimalist appearance of this amplifier, combined with its high-grade components make it worthy of a closer look.

Related: Astell & Kern unveils gorgeous hi-res player for the cheap(er) seats

The Billie amplifier is well-equipped to drive just about any speakers you throw at it, combining a tube preamp featuring JJ ECC99 tubes with one of Bang & Olufsen’s touted ICEpower Class D amplifiers that delivers a claimed 125 watts per channel. The unit can also function as a headphone amp, making it a good fit for your high-end headphones. Amplifiers can consume a fair amount of electricity and generate heat, so the Billie automatically shuts itself off after 45 minutes of inactivity.

A total of three analog inputs are available, with one dedicated turntable input. Two optical SPDIF inputs are available as well, allowing for digital input from components like a PC, CD player, or high-res audio player. The ESS Sabre DAC supports up to 32-bit/384kHz audio, while wireless audio is available via Bluetooth connectivity.

Plenty of amplifiers aimed at audiophiles make a point of looking like they belong in a ’70s-era recording studio, with wobbling V/U meters and plentiful shiny metal knobs. The glistening tubes atop the Billie will show that it’s working as intended, but otherwise it presents a decidedly sleeker approach than most nostalgia seekers, with a brushed metal body available in black and silver complemented by two simple sculpted wooden knobs: one for volume and the other for switching inputs.

If this pretty package doesn’t exactly sound cheap, it’s because it isn’t. The Billie Amp in silver goes for roughly $650, and if you want it in black it will cost you just under $690. A number of Early Bird specials are currently available, but they’re quickly running out, with the earliest and cheapest deals already gone.

At the time of this publication, Heaven 11 Audio has crossed the halfway mark of its $70,000 goal, with plenty of time left in the campaign. Assuming the amp gets funded, the company expects to begin manufacturing units by November of this year and shipping by December — as long as there are no snags in the final testing, which can and does happen with Kickstarter projects.

See the Billie campaign page on Kickstarter for more information.

A version of this post was first published on our “brother site” Digital Trends.

Outdoors

From the Office to the Trail, Here’s the Best Dual-Purpose Work Gear

Suits are tough to hike in and fast-drying nylon hiking pants don’t usually fly at the office. So what do you wear to be ready for a day of work, adventure, and a dinner out?
Travel

How to Find the Best Black Friday Travel Deals of 2018

We've also included some of the best travel deals we've seen so far in 2018.
Food & Drink

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Wines to Bring to Dinner

No matter which of these Thanksgiving wines you bring to the table, it’ll be a winner, winner turkey dinner.
Living

Get Under the Covers with the Warmest Throw Blankets for Winter

Become the human sushi roll you've always wanted to be with one of these best blankets.
Living

Find Perfect Harmony Between Architecture and Nature at Amangiri Resort

This secluded desert getaway is helping to reshape the idea of what Southwestern style can be.
Living

How to Clean Your House or Apartment in 30 Minutes or Less

This isn’t a deep clean. It’s an, “Oh shit, I really should have done something earlier and now it’s gonna take a miracle to do this” clean.
Living

Baby on the Way? Here’s How to Support Your Pregnant Wife

Pregnancy requires you to get proactive, pal. She’s driving the car, but you are the entire pit crew.
Living

Dive In (Literally) to This Minimalist Lakeside Retreat in the Netherlands

Once the walls open up, you can dive right into the water from the living room.
Living

An Old Garage Is Transformed Into an Artist’s Home and Studio in San Francisco

Yes, that's a red Fiat hanging from the ceiling.
Living

From Milan to Mars, Architect Stefano Boeri is Creating Vertical Forests

A combination of housing shortages and climate change led to the creation of Vertical Forests which blend housing and landscaping into one amazing building.
Living

What’s a Salt Cave and Why Are They So Damned Relaxing?

Experiencing Halotherapy in a salt cave can be pure relaxation or relaxing purification depending on how you look at it.
Food & Drink

Say No to Disposables with All the Best Reusable Lunch Gear for Guys

From straws to cutlery to sandwich bags, there's a reusable option for everything that comes with a traditional takeout lunch.
Living

Heat Up Your Digs with One of Our Picks for the Best Space Heaters

Admit it, you need a little extra warmth this winter.
Living

5 Seriously Stylish Dog Houses to Pamper Your Puppers

There will be no question about who’s a good boy when you get Fido one of these amazing dog houses.