Founded in 2010, Schiit was founded by two experienced audiophiles who work with brands like Sumo and Theta. The pedigree of the company’s leadership includes work on the Angstrom 200 and the Andromeda III, among several other projects.
Although the name is funny to say, the results you’ll get with Schitt products should be taken seriously. This brand designs stuff for the real world, which means you can expect heft, simplicity, and results with each investment.
Every product, including the Schitt SYS, gets developed with the help of the latest APx555 audio analyzer and at least a half-dozen more.
Schiit SYS – Review
SYS in the Schiit Sys switch stands for “Switch Your Stuff.” It’s a simple, dual-input passive preamp. You have no power, electronics, or distortion with it. Just the switch and a potentiometer, putting the volume control right in your hands when using a DAC with a powered monitor, headphone amp, or similar setup.
Unlike other passive preamps, the Schiit SYS doesn’t require users to stay within the brand to get the equipment to work. You can pair it with anything that needs a high-quality preamp. It works with virtually any line-level source.
Everything about the Schiit SYS is made in America. The PCBs are created locally or outsourced to companies in Northern California.
The vast majority of the total production cost, including the boards, chassis, and assembly, goes to U.S.-based companies that keep workers employed at home.
Even with the affordable price point for the Schiit SYS, users receive a two-year warranty that covers parts and labor. That’s double what you’ll get for similar products from other manufacturers.
If you don’t like how the Schiit SYS works, you can send it back for a refund – minus a 15% restocking fee. You have a 15-day return period to use.
You can choose a silver or black finish for the Schiit SYS. In return, you can use the product to switch between a phono preamp and a DAC… or whatever setup you’re using at home.
Specs of the Schiit SYS
The Schiit SYS is a straightforward passive preamp that delivers a consistent experience through these specs.
|Number of Inputs:||2x Stereo RCA|
|Number of Outputs:||1x Stereo RCA|
|Input Impedance:||10k Ohms|
|Output Impedance:||5k Ohms max|
|Size (Dimensions):||5 x 3.5 x 1.25 Inches|
FAQ for the Schiit SYS
If you think that a passive preamp could help your setup, the Schiit SYS is one of the best options available on the market today. With its straightforward design and layout, you can use it between your DAC and a pair of powered monitors.
When you have a CD player incorporated into the system, you can add it as a second input. That lets you have twice the fun with your setup.
Here are some of the most common questions people have when looking at the Schiit SYS for their setup. If you’ve got similar concerns, let’s get you the answers you need.
What options can I use with the Schiit SYS?
The Schiit SYS works with a phono preamp – and just about anything that comes with a line-level output. That means it’s compatible with Windows computers, macOS, iOS devices, DVD players, Blu-ray players, digital radio receivers, tuners, and even cassette decks.
What if I want to use the Schiit SYS with an iPod?
When you have an iPod to use, it comes with a 1/8-inch jack. You can still use the Schiit SYS if you invest in a dual RCA adapter.
Is it possible to use the Schiit SYS with a power amp?
You can use the Schiit SYS to connect two sources to any power amp with RCA inputs. After taking this step, the controls you’ll have allow you to adjust the volume levels.
What if I only want to use it as a switch?
The Schiit SYS can function as a switch instead of as a volume control. Just crank the sound all the way up and use the switch function. If you don’t want to use the switch, just use one of the inputs instead of two when creating your system setup.
Can the product be used to switch one input into two outputs?
You can accomplish that result by having the volume all the way up, but it might be more effective to use an RCA Y-cable or splitter.
Is there a downside to the Schiit SYS?
The primary downside to the Schiit SYS is the fact that it’s a passive preamp. That means it has zero electronics. If you want to drive an extensive cable run, you won’t get any help with that task by equipping this product. When you’re running a 6-foot cable to some desktop speakers, you’ll have a great result. If you need 35 feet, the SYS isn’t the best choice. It maxes out at 15 feet for most installations.
Best Computer Speakers to Use with the Schiit SYS
One of the best usages of the Schiit SYS is to hook it up as a preamp for your computer speakers. Although Bluetooth® and other wireless tech are popular in this category today, there can be delays in audio input and output with that kind of setup.
Although that might not seem problematic in most situations, it can be a significant concern for high-end gaming systems.
Players often time their movements and actions to different sounds. Even if the lag is measured in a fraction of a millisecond, that’s enough to bridge the gap between success and failure.
That’s why you’ll want to consider using the Schitt SYS with one of these computer speaker setups.
1. Audioengine A5 Plus Powered Speakers
This setup for computers offers a custom-powered bookshelf speaker solution. They’re constructed with custom components, including silk dome tweeters and aramid fiber subs.
The amps come wrapped within handcrafted cabinets and built with precision tuning.
You’ll receive RCA and 3.5mm inputs when using the Audioengine A5 Plus Powered Speakers.
They deliver audiophile-quality experiences straight from the box, helping listeners enjoy more nuance without needing to go through an extensive setup process.
These speakers deliver 150W of power to fill virtually any room. They sound more prominent than they are, which is why they continue to be one of my favorite investments.
2. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
I needed something to use with my computer because my Paramount Plus subscription app didn’t transfer over to my updated gaming console.
After looking through the different options available for my system, I settled on this one. Thanks to its THX certification, it hits all the notes for a DTS soundtrack with perfection.
It delivers theater-quality sound, especially when the core components route through the Schiit SYS.
What I love about the Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System is that some of the components come with wall mounting as a feature.
You receive 500W of continuous power, giving you enough energy to shake a room of any size.
It even lets me connect my computer and gaming console to it for switching capabilities. I’ve found a lot of flexibility with this addition to my gaming room.
3. KLH Albany II Bookshelf Speakers
These speakers come with a bass-reflex loudspeaker system. The woven Kevlar mid and bass driver delivers an impressive performance, while the tweeter uses anodized aluminum to create an authentic attack for the treble.
The magnetic grilles use a honeycomb design without any visible fasteners to add more durability while keeping the visual aesthetics flawless.
When playing the KLH Albany II Bookshelf Speakers, you’ll hear the MDF construction in the cabinets.
That’s where the Schiit SYS comes to help, allowing you to control the volume directly instead of routing through multiple commands.
With a frequency response of 35 Hz to 23 kHz, you’ll notice more depth and nuance in all your favorite songs, shows, and movies with this investment.
4. Edifier M601DB Computer Speaker System
You’ll get a wireless subwoofer that works with wired speakers to create an intriguing audio experience with this speaker option.
The versatile connectivity includes AUX, optical, line-in, and coax. It goes almost anywhere to provide a listening experience for nearly anything.
The Digital Signal Processing and the Schiit SYS preamp combination make it a compelling addition that delivers impressive results.
You receive two adjustment options with the Edifier M601DB Computer Speaker System. Users can either adjust the settings using top-panel controls or the remote control that comes with the system. With the preamp, you can centralize things for even more convenience.
These speakers also come with a two-year warranty.
5. Klipsch R-51PM Powered Bluetooth Speaker
These powered monitors also incorporate Bluetooth wireless technology while giving you the option to switch to phono and line analog.
Although no receiver is necessary with this investment, you can still incorporate the preamp to create a fun and easy setup to use for virtually any equipment.
The Klipsch R-51PM Powered Bluetooth Speaker works with TVs, computers, turntables, and even cell phones.
That versatility, matched with the capability of sending out authentic lower frequencies, creates a well-rounded addition to any home theater. You’re even given the option to customize your amplification.
Although the sleek design of the speakers stands out visually, I’m attracted to the spun copper IMG woofers.
They’re impressively light without compromising the system’s rigidity, producing a remarkable response.
My only word of caution is that they’ll benefit from a break-in period to mellow out some of the attack in the upper register.
Should I Get a Passive Preamp for My System?
Passive preamps provide input switching and volume control while doing the least amount of work. You get enough, but not more than enough, which means you won’t need any gain before getting to the amp. The Schiit SYS doesn’t add color to the sound, but it can create more authenticity.
A passive preamp isn’t the right choice in every situation. If you place it between a high impedance source and a low impedance amplifier, you can overwhelm the source’s ability to drive audio signals without experiencing adverse effects. You’ll notice extra flab and less punch in that circumstance.
When you have low source voltage, there might not be enough capacity to drive the signal when adding the extra resistance, however slight, from the Schiit SYS.
I’ve always found that passive preamps sound better than most active ones, even when compared to models that cost several thousand dollars.
Although they benefit from short or low capacitance cables, you don’t need to worry about things if your length is six feet or less. At three feet, you can use almost any line successfully.
The impedance differential is a measurement to consider. I’ve found great results with some setups at 50-to-1, but I’ve had poor outcomes with some equipment at 100:1.
You might need to speak with your manufacturer or check the owner’s manual to see your requirements in this area.
My opinion is that a passive preamp is worth the effort to secure compatible equipment, especially when you’re creating a computer-based system.
You’ll eliminate the active preamp’s complexity and enjoy more flexibility with your volume and switching.