Why you might choose it: Aesthetics and self-evident build quality; when you’re spending north of $2k on a headphone amp, you want it to look cool, which the WA22 most certainly does. There’s a certain fineness of execution about this (and frankly, all) Woo product that provides both visual and tactual cues that remind you that you are getting your money’s worth and then some. In the case of the Woo, the amp’s fine look and feel mirrors its underlying sonic qualities.
Playback reviewer Tom Martin said of the WA22,
“A description of the sound of the Woo sounds like an audiophile rave checklist. It is transparent, particularly in that you don’t notice any treble veiling or grit as you do with some lesser headphone amps. Bass is solid, well defined and can be very deep with the right headphones. Tonal balance is very, very good, with no sense of treble roll-off or brightness.
This is one of those difficult-to-review products because it is hard to find deficiencies.”
Finally, let’s remember that the Woo gives you complete freedom to explore and experiment with the joys of using headphones wired for balanced mode operation. It also provides both single-ended and balanced analog inputs—a relative rarity in headphone amplifiers.
Why you might look further: One of the WA22's greatest sonic blessings might, under some circumstances, be a drawback. Specifically, the midrange of the Woo tends to sound, says Tom Martin, "slightly more present and vivid... than with other headphone amps I had on hand (at the time of the review)." Tom adds that, "the effect that I'm talking about doesn't sound like a frequency response bump, but rather like an increase in midrange contrast." If you like the idea of heightened midrange presence and vividness, consider the Woo (or perhaps the Apex), but if you favor a more strictly "textbook neutral" presentation, consider the Cavalli.