Blossom is a Japanese manufacturer whose BLO-0299 Artifact Headphone Amplifier is imported to the U.S. by Moon Audio. For obvious reasons, I hope, I will refer to the amp as “the Blossom” in this review.
The Blossom’s claims to fame are the use of integrated circuits instead of discrete parts (I know that this is backward from the normal pitch, but that’s the claim) and the ability to drive difficult and/or balanced loads. Moon can supply the Blossom with a Wellborne regulated power supply in place of the normal wall wart design, and that is the way we tested it.
Other features of note include point-to-point wiring, the use of relays for all signal switching to keep signal paths short, the incorporation of metal film resistors and the use of no electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. In addition to being able to drive headphones with balanced wiring, the Blossom can alternatively drive two pair of single-ended headphones. The amp accepts balanced or single-ended inputs, and has line outputs so it can also drive a power amplifier. Finally, gain is switchable for use with those difficult loads mentioned above.
Consider this headphone amp if: you want an amp with an even tonal balance and purity of sound, but you also want to avoid the edgy or harsh sound that can accompany more aggressively “transparent” designs.