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Pursuing Headphone Transparency

Who We Are

JDS Labs is recognized as a leading developer of high fidelity headphone amplification and digital-to-analog conversion technology. In short, we help you enjoy the world’s best headphones. At our core, we are music nuts, engineers, DJs, and Makers who share a love for building incredible electronics.

We set ourselves apart from other audio companies through our quantitative approach to electronics development. We believe speakers and headphones are inherently imperfect, while achieving signal chain transparency is a matter of engineering optimization. Thus, we seek audible transparency and stop short of specification overkill. We openly share our knowledge, continue to listen and learn, and are guided by our appreciation for music. Others may mimic our approach, but lack our ethos.


Engineer and
Founder of JDS

John Seaber had no intention of starting a company. Frustrated with mediocre bass response of his headphones and the weak signal from his iPod, he stumbled upon Chu Moy’s pocket headphone amplifier project in 2007. John hacked a bass boost circuit onto a messy prototype one hot summer night, and as his iPod shuffled to a remix of Anna Nalick’s Breathe (2a.m.), he was blown away by the result: JDS Labs was born. John continues to share his excitement and helps others to enjoy the hobby.

John Seaber holds a BSEE from Missouri S&T and remains the lead electronics engineer on all JDS Labs designs, working with a team of talented developers and fellow audio enthusiasts.


A slice of JDS

JDS timeline


John adds bass boost to Chu Moy’s opensource pocket headphone amplifier. Spare builds are listed on eBay as “cMoyBB” to share the magic. JDS Labs is born in a college bedroom.


Keenly aware of the growing dissonance between blogger NwAvGuy and the HiFi community, JDS Labs takes a risk by actively supporting NwAvGuy's Objective2 headphone amplifier and securing its position as the face of the objective movement.


JDS Labs triples in size as Objective2 and ODAC gain market dominance. JDS Labs moves out of a basement and into a 900 sq. ft. office space.


JDS Labs moves into a 2500 sq. ft. facility and sets up a CNC in the dock to keep pace with growing demand and quality expectations.


The team envisions the Element Line, investing $0.5MM into a satellite machine shop and manufacturing assets to see the project through to completion.


Atom Amp is released, sending shockwaves through the market for its leading benchmark performance and incredible value. The first batch sells out in days.


JDS Labs releases the second generation Element II, EL DAC II, and EL Amp II following the success of Atom. Meanwhile, competition is forced to adopt JDS Labs’s objective approach in order to remain relevant.


COVID wreaks havoc on global manufacturing and supply chains, delaying release of Atom DAC by six months. JDS Labs invests deeper into robotic automation during another period of growth. All machining assets are replaced by new 5-axis CNCs and collaborative robots, more than tripling manufacturing productivity.


Following the AKM Semiconductor disaster, JDS Labs acquires an Audio Precision ApX555 audio analyzer and redesigns its digital products in record time. John divests the JDS Labs machine shop to cofounder Nick, forming separate companies in order for each founder to pursue focused growth.

JDS amplifiers and DACs are engineered, machined, and assembled from our facilities in Collinsville, IL, USA.