Are you looking to pump up your music? Do you know that an amplifier headphone can help you reach the required volume level?
In layman terms, an amplifier is a device which amplifies the sound thereby making the output louder and enhancing the listening experience. With the growing dependence on Smartphone and tablets increasing, a headphone amp has become more of a necessity because it delivers amazingly realistic audio to the ears.
In reality, a good speaker requires high amplification power to deliver the best output. And, headphones, as we all know, are the miniature version. So, they also need powerful amplifiers to sound the best to the ears.
Read our latest guide about the best headphone amplifiers.
Why do you need a headphone amp?
An excellent headphone amplifier will enhance the performance of the music and take it one level up. Every smartphone features an amp – but it’s a weak one. The music will not be clear, and you can miss the intricate music details. A high quality headphone amplifier digs and gets access to nuanced low-level information which is often hidden during when the recording is done. Due to which the sound quality is improved, and you get to enjoy the minute details of the song.
For those of you who love to hear powerful music, a good quality amp headphone will serve the purpose.
Read our complete guide about the best guitar headphones amplifiers.
Types of amplifier technologies
When it comes to amplifier technology, there are two types primarily solid-state amps and tube amps
Solid-state amplifier –
These amps are one of the most common types of headphone amp available in the market. It uses a mixture of diodes and transistors to amplify the required audio. When compared to tube amps, the solid-state amps are small, reliable and less expensive.
Tube amplifiers –
The tube amp makes use of one or more vacuum tubes to amplify the sound. Since these amplifiers make use of vacuum tubes; if the tubes go bad, it will affect the tone, sound quality and result in irritating distortions. Though you can replace the tubes but not all of them are replaceable. It usually features three types of tubes – preamp, rectifier and power. While tube amps are costly, they deliver fantastic sound quality to the listener.
These amplifiers deliver the best result when paired with high-draw audiophile design and high-impedance. Furthermore, with the growing use of headphones for Smartphone, companies are developing portable amps. Many of the amps available are integrated with DAC technology (digital-to-analog converter) and USB connection. A few amps boast of optical ports and coaxial for greater flexibility.
Type of headphone amplifiers
Usually, these amps have either one or two analog inputs. In such a kind of amplifier, you can plug a music player or the audio output from the phone. Because these require AC power to work, analog amps are widely used only in homes. Furthermore, if the sound device lacks a headphone jack, these amps will come to the rescue.
Headphone amps with USB DAC
These offer a USB audio input for the phone or computer. Some of the models will also feature DAC due to which these are mostly battery operated. You can take them anywhere and enjoy good quality music. Interestingly, these amps possess the power of driving pair of powered speakers effortlessly.
Advantages of a headphone amplifier
After understanding the types of headphone amp, you need to know why an amplifier will increase the listening experience.
Headphone jack missing in the audio component
There are many pieces of systems which do not have a headphone jack making life tough for music listeners. Some very costly and high performing audio systems fall in this category. You can add the right set of earphone amp to enjoy the music without any disturbances.
Enhancing the audio performance
For those who want to know the subtle details of the music, an amplifier is a perfect solution. It will only make the sound clear but will provide all the intricate details which otherwise go unnoticed when hearing on a regular headphone.
Helps in increasing the volume of high impedance earphones
A plethora of headsets require a significant amount of power to deliver the best music. But, the power supplied by the amplifier of a Smartphone is not good enough to drive the headphone. Adding a high-quality amp will bring life back to the expensive headset.
Factors to consider before buying a headphone amp
Before choosing the headphone amp for an enriching musical experience, consider the following factors:
Impedance and sensitivity
The sensitivity of a headphone indicates the amount of power required by the headphone from the amp to drive appropriate sound quality. A high sensitive headphone will offer 100 dB or more of sound for 1mW power or amplification supplied. Therefore, the lower the sensitivity of the headset, the higher power it will require to play clear and loud music.
Impedance, on the other hand, indicates the amount of electrical load which the headphone can take from the amplifier. Maintaining a balance between headphone impedance and amplifier impedance is a daunting task. Furthermore, if the impedance of the amplifier is less than the headset, it will result in electrical damping. This makes the sound more articulate. In general, the higher the impedance, the more are the chances of using an amplifier to enhance the volume and sound quality.
Integrated DAC (Digital to analog convertor)
One feature which is gaining the attention of the consumer is the DAC. A headphone amp featuring an integrated DAC helps in establishing a digital connection between the source and the amplifier. The connection can either be a USB or using a coaxial. If you primarily listen to music from your laptop or Smartphone, you need a headphone amp with integrated DAC.
If you’re looking to buy an amp for the home, it’s always great to buy a portable one because you can use it on the go. A small size amp is not only compact but also lightweight, which helps in carrying it everywhere.
Type of connection
Choose an amp that has the output according to your headphone. Otherwise, you will end up purchasing an adapter to connect the two.
Number of inputs
Before buying an amplifier, ensure that it features a sufficient number of inputs which are required to connect to the music source. If your amp features a DAC, you can only make a digital connection using a digital cable.
You cannot ignore the performance of the amp because it ultimately decides the quality of sound. Distortions if present can hamper the listening experience. Therefore, look for an amplifier with THD (Total Harmonic Distortions) and IMD (Intermodulation Distortions) less than 1% at rated output power. The lower the distortion, the better is the amplifier.
This ratio measures the noises of the amp and the source music signal. A larger ratio is preferred because it tells that there is less noise when compared to the source signal. Signal-to-noise ratio is critical because the headphones rest on the ears and the sound is easily detectable.
Look for these features before purchasing the best headphone amplifier and enjoy listening to your favorite song. Always remember any headphone will sound good, but with a headphone amplifier, the sound is worthy and does justice to the musician.
Top 20 Best Headphone Amplifiers in 2022
1. FiiO K3 DSD256 | 384K/32Bit USB-C DAC and Headphone Amplifier for Home and Computer
When it comes to the portable audio hobby, no brand can surpass the price and quality offered by FiiO. Don’t get mislead by the small size because it’s a competent amplifier for serious music listeners. Apart from being portable, it’s built using high-quality components which enhances the durability and enriches the sound quality. Coming from the house of FiiO, K3 is a sophisticated engineering design offering some powerful amplification.
It’s made in all aluminum, and due to the sandblasting procedure, it has got a pearl black finish which makes the device look attractive and elegant. Furthermore, it features 2 USB audio modes making it compatible with any PC and Mac. For audio devices where installation of a driver is impossible with 2.0 mode, you can switch to 1.0 mode and use it without a driver. Also, it weighs just 82 grams, which makes it a lightweight, portable amplifier.
The device is built to decode up to 384 kHz/32 bit PCM and native DSD256 which is by far the highest in this type of category. It features the AKM AK4452 DAC chipset which helps in delivering balanced output.
The impedance of FiiO K3 is less than 1.04 ohm, which is appropriate for low impedance audio gear. Furthermore, due to the high-quality components, the distortion is minimum, which helps in delivering outstanding performance.
Irrespective of the small size, the device is capable of holding a Penta output design and a USB Type-C plug.
It boasts of an ADC volume control which reduces the disturbances due to channel volume imbalance. It also empowers the listener to adjust the volume as per the requirement. Due to the volume control, you can listen to an array of music at a different volume.
It features some fantastic LED near the volume knob. For music sources below 48 kHz, the light is blue, for the source of 48 kHz the light is yellow, and it turns green for DSD music. However, glowing of red light indicates potential issues with the driver.
- DSD256 support
- Lightweight and portable
- Excellent DAC
- Great sound quality
- Feedback issues on connecting with a microphone
2. Schiit Magni 3 Headphone Amp and Preamp
The US-based company is renowned for making a range of amplifiers with particular emphasis on amplifier headphones. It’s probably one of the most affordable amps from the innovative house of Schiit. The device is strong enough to power hard-to-drive headphone and even in-ear monitors. When you buy Magni 3, you will never repent your decision. e
While it’s affordable, the material used is of very high quality. In comes in a metal case which has a robust and rich finish. The chunky wallet will fit anywhere and looks smart enough when paired with any device. It features a pattern of holes on the top that allows the unit to stay cold. Furthermore, it’s equipped with one stereo RCA input, one output, one power toggle switch and one hi/low switch. Using the analog output, you can easily convert the amplifier to a preamp.
The device is specially designed for low distortion and offers low noise floor. The stage fairs well when compared to other similar units. Furthermore, the stage is DC coupled, fully discrete and boasts of current-feedback design. This current-feedback design is unique to Magna because the feature is synonymous to high-end amplifiers.
The device is so powerful that you can use it with any headphone from IEMs to hard-to-drive planar designs. It’s a storehouse of power because it offers a full 200mW into 32 ohms. Furthermore, with the built-in time delay start-up and instant shut-down, you will never face any issues in volume or quality. However, if you have high impedance headphones, you might have to play around with the amplifier to make it work as per your expectation.
Unlike other amplifiers, the Magna 3 includes preamp outputs for you to connect it to the monitor of a desktop or speaker power amp. The sound and the clarity remains intact even after adding extra components to the chain. You can use it as a preamp in speaker output.
- Powerful sound and excellent quality
- Excellent design and functionality
- No DAC
3. FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier
For those who are looking to provide an extra boost to their MP3 and Smartphone, look no further than FiiO A3. Not only is the amp budget-friendly, but it outperforms many other amps of the same price range. It’s designed to be compatible with a variety of headphones, earphones and desktops. With FiiO, you will never have to worry about sound quality because it delivers the best possible sound.
The device is made from all aluminum-alloy body and chassis. The metallic texture improves the look and makes it look good next to any headphone. The new and improved design features a shielding from EM interference. Even the volume dial is made from aluminum with a black finish. It boasts of new toggle switches which are reliable and very easy to read, understand and operate. Also, it’s ideal for headphones ranging from 16 to 150 ohms.
Believe it or not, the sound quality of A3 is impressive, and the volume boosts the music as it is. The sound quality is clear, and it’s doesn’t support unbalanced toning and filtering. When you buy FiiO A3 amp, you enrich the musical experience because it plays clean and clear music without causing any distortions. The highlight of the amplifier is the bass boost, which takes the level of music one-notch higher. FiiO A3 makes use of AD8397 amp and OPA1642 preamp section for the addictive sound quality.
It provides a fantastic battery backup of 14-16 hours, which is a little more than the other amplifiers in the same range. The device is equipped with a 1400mAh battery which is chargeable even when the amp is in use.
The amplifier boasts of a fully discrete bass boost circuit which helps in enhancing the power by 3.5dB at 60 Hz. When the bass is on, it increases the bass effect without causing any disturbances to the overall sound field. And, when the bass is off, it helps in reducing noise floor and interference. For those who want an extension to their sound experience, FiiO A3 is the best choice.
- Fantastic and addictive bass
- Great design and build quality
- Potential distortion issues
4. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier Hi-Fi Valve Headphone Amp Stereo Audio Preamplifier
The amp from Douk Audio is specially designed for music lovers who crave for excellent sound performance. It’s a compact and lightweight device which can easily fit in your hand. Due to the low weight and small size, you can carry it anywhere without any hassle. The company is renowned for providing cost-effective but quality solutions to its customers. The company aims at giving Hi-Fi music to everyone.
It features a CNC aluminum shell with a super small size. The hybrid amplifier means that it uses a tube for being used as pre-amplifier and transistors for actual audio output. Due to the hybrid nature, you can feel the sound the tubes at no extra cost. On the top of the metal case, there are two 6J9 tubes which you can plug into sockets. Though the tubes are fit snugly into the socket, you need to remove the tubes with great care. Around the back are the DC 6V power and input button.
The NS-08E is a Hi-Fi tube headphone amp and boasts of a powerful drive with fantastic sound quality. It can offer 1100mW at 32 ohms can effectively power a headphone ranging from 18 to 600 ohms. It also features an upgraded circuit which provides lower background noise, excellent treble and powerful bass. Furthermore, due to the features, you can also use it as a stereo, active speaker and pre-amplifier. When it comes to treble and bass, both are well-extended and doesn’t result in any distortions. In short, the device is energetic, lively and shows no sign of slowness. It adds richness to the overall sound quality. Also, it offers a deep sound field when you pair it with Smartphone, pre-amp, stereo-system and computer.
You don’t feel any ringing or buzzing on using the amp. The company uses high-quality microprocessors for controlling the relay between switch off and on. Due to the microprocessor, the device offers a low-ground noise power cut.
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Fantastic sound quality
- Can be used as a stereo, pre-amplifier and active speaker
- Input is located at the front which clutters everything
5. Monolith 133304 Liquid Spark Headphone Amplifier-by Alex Cavalli with RCA Input, Single 1/4 Output [email protected], 108dB
Cavalli, as a brand name, is highly respected in the audiophile community because it manufactures high-quality amplifiers. After much anticipation, the liquid amps are back and at an affordable price. Surprisingly, the amplifier lacks op-amps and capacitors because it relies on MOSFETs and JFETs, which are traditional transistors. It offers all the features one can expect from a name as renowned as Cavalli. The amp is a great bargain for everyone looking for an affordable and reliable amplifier.
Unlike other Cavalli designs, the Monolith liquid spark is built with simplicity. It’s made from metal chassis and features a slotted PCB. The back panel is a house of a power button, gain select, volume wheel RCA line inputs and pre-amp outputs.
The exceptional design of the amplifier sets it apart from the competition. The liquid spark uses low noise, and laser matched, audio JFETs for delivering high performance. But, it features only a few MOSFETs for clean amplification. Furthermore, it makes use of the DC-coupled technology due to which it’s capacitor free. With Liquid Spark, you will never be disappointed with the quality of amplification.
Due to DC-coupled technology, the amp delivers clear, crisp and clean sound. The discreet design helps offers ample speed for a high fidelity sound, which is better than other costly amplifiers. The bass is magical making the amp perfect for listening kick drum pulses and rock n roll music. Even the midrange, timbre and tonality are all good for the price you pay. The kind of sound it provides will not only enrich the listening experience but will also help you relax the mind.
It offers 1300mW of power into a 50-ohm load with extremely low distortion and switchable gain.
It’s equipped with pre-amp output RCA jacks which you can control using volume knobs. Using the jack, you can use it with powered speakers. It helps you listen to the kind of music you love.
- Great build quality
- Amazing bass and sound quality
- Sound is not clinical
6. Neoteck Headphone Amplifier Portable 3.5mm Audio Rechargeble HiFi Earphone Headphone Amplifier
The mini and compact looking amplifier is designed to be used on the road. The high-quality device is suitable for MP3, MP4, phone, and laptop. It’s probably the best headphone amplifier from Neoteck because it offers sturdy construction and is durable. When you the portable amp from Neoteck, you can never go wrong because for the price you pay the device offers many features.
The aluminum matte surface is a sight to behold because it offers a comfortable feeling when you hold it. Furthermore, the material is of high-quality, which imparts durability to the overall device. The buttons and the input jacks are located on the sides. It has a 3.5mm AUX input and output. The volume knob is easy to rotate.
It offers an SNR higher than 100 Db, and THD+N is 0.0003%. Due to these features, the output is not just louder but results in a sharper and more real stereo sound which is rarely seen in such a compact amplifier. The highlight of the amp is that the music you get to here is free from distortion, which enhances the listening experience.
It’s equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery of 2000mAH capacity. You can listen to unlimited music for 8 hours. Furthermore, you should not use the device while it’s in the charging mode because it results in distortions, which can hamper the song or audio you’re listening. You can charge the amplifier using a USB cable.
The impedance of Neoteck lies between 10-15 ohms.
It’s integrated with power LED, and charge LED indicator which tells you when you charge the amplifier.
Neoteck offers noise cancellation feature meaning that you don’t hear any background sound when listening to the music. Additionally, it provides distortion with enhanced dynamics.
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Noise cancellation feature
- Great sound quality
- Small power switch
7. PreSonus HP4 4-Channel Compact Headphone Amplifier
Believe it or not, the amplifier is a dream of every drummer because instead of hearing their drum beats over them, they can listen to it in the headphone. The amp is loud enough, and you will have to control the volume during stage use and music sessions. Furthermore, it provides loud and clear sound which enriches the recording and listening experience. Though the amp is expensive, it’s loaded with features you cannot ignore.
When it comes to design, Presonus likes to keep things simple. The amplifier is integrated with right and left line input along with output with level control. Interestingly, it comes with four headphone outs. Due to the design, you can make the stereo signals mono, make adjustments in the individual headphone level. Though the amplifier is straightforward to use, it has all the features which make it a versatile audio device.
It features four screaming loud 130mW per channel stereo headphone amps which offers fantastic sound quality. Even for onstage monitoring, the quality of sound is excellent. Furthermore, unlike other amps, which give sound when changing the volume, HP4 ensures zero distortion. You can connect any headphone, and the sound quality remains unchanged. For those who want to listen to minute details of the music, look no further than Presonus HP4.
Due to the small and compact size, the amplifier is preferred by music lovers across the globe. The amp will occupy just 1/3rd of a rack, which makes it an easy baggage option. Furthermore, you can feed the line output to another HP4 amplifier.
The entire amp is made from high-quality aluminum, which enhances the durability. It features a metal case for protecting the amp from rough usage.
Interestingly, you can shut-off the monitor whenever you desire. You can mute it using monitor mute button. Furthermore, it’s powered by an external AC supply.
- Monitor mute function
- Fantastic sound quality for professionals
- Durable and high-quality material
- Potential volume issues
8. Proster Headphone Amplifier 3.5mm HiFi Audio Amp Supports Impedance 16-150Ω
For those who are spending a fortune on buying a quality headphone, a dedicated amplifier is a useful addition. Unlike other high-end amps, Proster offers an affordable solution for music lovers. The sound is a storehouse of details which helps in forming a cohesive headset suitable for all types of music. Even look wise the amp doesn’t disappoint because it’s detailed, dynamic and provides a punch performance.
The entire structure is made from aluminum alloy, which makes the device durable. Due to the shell, there is low signal and shield interference. The aluminum shell enhances the heat resistance, which ensures that the unit doesn’t heat up too fast. It features a high-quality audio cable with a gold plated interface. With the help of Proster amplifier, you can enhance the output and listen to every beat in the music. Furthermore, it has a volume control know for increasing or decreasing the volume, LED indicator for power checking, micro USB port, and charging indicator.
The versatile headphone amplifier can support headphones of high impedance 16 to 150 ohms. Even the signal to noise ratio is less than 100Db, which enhances the listening experience. Due to less distortion, you get to hear filtered music, which is free from all sorts of background noises. With Proster, enjoy high-quality audio at an affordable price.
It’s integrated with 2000mA lithium battery, which is rechargeable. With a single charge, the battery can provide 8 hours of non-stop music. You can charge the battery using a USB cable.
The amp is compatible with a range of accessories including laptop, computer, Smartphone, Tablet, DVD player, CRT, PS4 and even MP3 player.
Due to the aluminum matte finish, the device is smooth to hold. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and compact, which makes it a portable item.
- 8 hours of battery life
- Provides volume control of the headphones
- Durable, sturdy and affordable
- Potential issues with the quality of sound
9. iFi Nano iDSD Black Label Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier with MQA and DSD
iFi is a brand name which is renowned for hitting the right notes with the music lovers. It’s a company which can drive any revolution in the audio industry, and their Nano iDSD amp is one such example. iFi offers some of the most exciting and enticing features in the amp which are hard to miss. For the high-price you pay, the set of features it provides are amazing and will enrich your musical journey.
The portable and lightweight DAC and amplifier has an elegant black matte finish. It comes with a lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum metal case which reduces potential interferences. Interestingly, the volume control is fully analog balanced. The rear has a 3.5 mm line out for those who want to use it just as a DAC. Overall, the design of the amp is the highlight. Apart from being durable, iFi is loaded with some useful features.
Unlike other counterparts, the quality of sound is euphoric and provides some exceptional dynamics to the listener. For enhancing the sound quality, the device features a built-in iPurifier technology which helps in rebalancing the signal to reduce noise and clutter. It also features a built-in iEMatch for driving highly sensitive headphones. With no jitters, the audio is appealing and fantastic. Also, it comes with S-balanced technology, which helps in delivering maximum performance from balanced and single-ended earphones. Furthermore, due to the technology, you will encounter low distortion and hear no background noises.
It can drive high-impedance headphones of up to 600 ohms.
The battery can last up to 10 hours on a single full charge. Furthermore, the device comes with a USB cable for a wired connection. Due to the battery and lightweight, the amp is portable and comes handy while travelling.
It’s integrated with Burr-Brown chipset which ensures that the file format remains unchanged. When the file format remains unchanged, it results in pure and excellent sound quality.
- DAC amplifier
- High-resolution audio
- Long battery life
- Portable and lightweight
10. Behringer AMP800 Four Channel Headphone Amp
Behringer as a brand is known for providing high-quality, inexpensive stereo headphone amplifier. The AMP800 has a classy yet sleek look which will make others jealous of the amp. Apart from offering outstanding sound performance, the amp provides the highest sonic quality with every type of headphone. For the price you pay, you will never feel disappointed with the features. Furthermore, for those who are on a tight budget, look no further than Behringer AMP800.
Unlike other amps in the same price range, Behringer is made from plastic instead of aluminum. It boasts of two balanced stereo main inputs with each input possessing a balanced control and independent level. Due to this reason, you can easily route two different headphone mixes across the four different outputs. Furthermore, you can connect two separate outputs to two balanced input- something which is unique to AMP800. Such a feature comes handy when working with many musicians.
AMP800 is lavishly equipped with 30 LEDs, eight knobs in the front and five back-lighted buttons. Even with so many components on a small panel, the device ensures durability due to the rugged construction.
For the price, it offers excellent sound quality. The highs are bright and can bring life to any music. The mids of the AMP800 sound great when the music is pure. For complex music, the mids might sound a bit bland. The amp does a great job in keeping the mids and highs pronounced. It also provides excellent
bass output. Furthermore, you will not hear any background noises which make the device worth every penny. Overall, the audio quality is satisfactory and will enrich the listening experience.
It features with 6-digit LED output meter per channel which you can use with phone level control for easy monitoring. It can accommodate more than eight listeners. And, for doing so, you require a parallel link output which cascades many AMP800s. Furthermore, you can stack the entire mini-series model on top of each other to provide an ultra-compact signal processor solution.
- Lightweight and affordable
- Compact and stylish
- 30 LEDs and eight knobs
- Flimsy plastic material
11. Mackie HM-4 Headphone Amplifier
If you’re looking to increase the monitoring capacity of your studio, look no further than Mackie HM-4. The device is known for producing high-performance amplification, which in no time can become a valuable audio device. HM-4 is ideal for studios, practice spaces and even quiet stages. Furthermore, the amp is versatile and delivers impressive sound quality without using much space in the rack. At an affordable price, Mackie HM-4 will never disappoint and will produce sound quality which is hard to overhear.
The amp posses a tank design made from heavy-gauge steel chassis. It also features switches and long wear potentiometers. The amp is built to last and will not disappoint you in terms of durability. Furthermore, it’s a 4-way amplifier meaning that you can share a single stereo output with up to 4 pairs of headphone. For each output, it has an individual level control.
Irrespective of what you’re recording or listening, the HM-4 is known for delivering studio-quality sound. It’s equipped with premium analog circuits which reduce the noises and maximizes the headroom. HM-4 is a fantastic way of expanding the audio interface output, which will enhance the audio quality. Furthermore, the amp is free from distortion and background noises. It provides clean sound to the headphones. For the price you pay, the sound quality is excellent, and you will never repent the decision of buying a Mackie product.
It uses a 12V AC adapter which can drive a device from low impedance to high impedance.
Using Mackie HM-4, you can split one stereo signal into four different outputs. Furthermore, each output has an individual level control.
- Nice, compact and affordable
- Low distortion
- High sound quality
- Lightweight and durable
12. Sabaj PHA3 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier 2X6J9 Low Ground Noise Integrated Stereo Amp
The desktop electronics tube amplifier is a unique innovative from Sabaj. Apart from delivering the pristine audio quality, the amp is compatible with a range of headphones. With lots of power and no signal noise or distortion, the extraordinary-looking amplifier is a first choice for the music lovers. Furthermore, Sabaj is a name you can bank upon when it comes to quality and affordability.
The overall build of the amp if great as it features an aluminum CNC housing. The housing has a stylish and elegant design which sets the amp apart from the competitors. Interestingly, the aluminum housing is anodized deep black. Even the other components, such as the ON/OFF switch are made from high-quality material. There is an RCA at the back, and line input and output in the front. The connectors come in gold plating, which further increases the look of the device. Furthermore, the company uses a red LED to light the tubes,
The amp makes use of two military-grade 6J9 electronic tubes which are replaceable and changeable. It also uses two NJM4556Ds as circuit core. The electronic tubes help in amplification and using the NJM4556Ds amplifies the circuit to the headphone resulting in sweet and gentle sounding music. Due to the high-quality microprocessor, you hear no hissing or buzzing sound.
Furthermore, the processor controls the relay when you switch on and off the device. It results in a low-ground noise circuit, which enriches the overall listening and recording experience. Also, the high range from PHA3 is pleasant, and you will never lose any single detail when using the amp. Even the vocals and mids are sweet and sound like a human. When it comes to PHA3, the icing on the cake is zero ground noise and amplification squeal which takes audio one notch higher.
Keeping the safety of the user in mind, Sabaj has placed the high-temperature area of the tubes inside the amp and out the reach of the user.
- Pristine and real music
- Compact, lightweight and durable
- Audio is not loud
13. Bellari Audio HA543 Headphone Amplifier
Bellari is a brand which dates back to 90s when the company introduced the first tube phono pre-amplifier. And, since then, there is no looking back. For the newbie and audiophiles, Bellari HA543 is the ultimate amplifier. Apart from offering a flat response, the device provides no coloration. Without a doubt, the amp from Bellari is remarkable and will take your set up one notch higher. For the price you pay, you get an amp loaded with useful features.
The front panel features a two headphone output’s 1/8” stereo jack and 1/4” jack for connecting to two different stereo headphones. Interestingly, you can use the two outputs together at the same time. The panel also has a mute button for muting both the headphone. Furthermore, using the volume knob, you can adjust the volume sent to the headphones. Unlike other amps, it has a enhance button which converts the low-quality headphones to an entertaining piece of device. Similarly, the back panel features a balanced XLR line-level input, stereo RCA output and RCA stereo jack.
When the enhance switch is used, the amp adds coloration circuit, which helps in improving the sound quality. Due to the addition of coloration, the amp produces vocal sounds which are not only dominant and dynamic but are sharp as well. It offers tight bass details which further enriches the experience. Furthermore, due to enhancing circuit, the amp boasts of a sonic makeover which will make you fall in love with your amplifier. Also, the amp has low distortion, which further enhances the recording and listening experience because you don’t waste time on hearing unwanted background noises.
It boasts of input impedance ranging from 10K ohm unbalanced to 20K balanced. And, it supports headphone impedance ranging from 8 ohms to 600 ohms.
HA543 from Bellari possess multiple sources of input, which helps you connect the amp to every possible device. Irrespective of the headphone you choose, the amp is renowned for delivering audiophile quality.
- Compact and durable
- Doesn’t heat up soon
- Uncomplicated controls and input/output
14. LOXJIE P20 Full Balance Tube Amplifier Headphone Power Amplifier (Red)
For those who love to buy expensive headphones, LOXJIE P20 is the ideal companion as its compatible with many balanced-input headphones. It’s a balanced tube amplifier with a calibrated circuit and high-quality output. The amp is available in two sophisticated yet vibrant colors – red and black. If you’re looking for something eye-catching, the red color will suit your requirement. Furthermore, for the price you pay, the device is loaded with features, and you will never repent your decision of buying this powerful amplifier.
The company uses full aluminum CNC milling chassis which keeps the distortion away and enhances the recording experience. It features a built-in NJW1195 chip from JRC, Japan. The chip provides an ultra-high signal to noise ratio – a feature which is unique to this amplifier. Furthermore, it’s integrated with military-grade 6N3 tubes. Even the circuits are carefully tuned for seamless customer experience.
Due to the JRC, the amplifier offers great channel balance for the volumes. Interestingly, it features 60 step volume controls, which requires three full turns. The amp works magically in the balanced mode because it has enough power to drive the headphone. Furthermore, in the balanced mode, it scales nicely and makes the music enjoyable. Due to the true balanced inputs and outputs, the performance of the amp is outstanding. In short, at an affordable price, it provides a wide soundstage.
Due to the tubes and JRC chip, the amp offers zero distortion, which is great because it enhances the listening and recording experience.
The amp is compatible with many headphones and offers impedance up to 600 ohms.
It features a high-quality power supply circuit and a powerful adapter. The circuit can drive up to 600mW at 64 ohms.
The device is easy to set up and offers a range of functions, low noise and durability. The amp features a knob, display, unbalanced headphone jack, balanced headphone jack, balanced and unbalanced input.
- Lightweight and durable
- Amazing signal-to-noise ratio
- Low noise floor and zero distortion
15. EarStudio ES100-24bit Portable High-Resolution Bluetooth Receiver/USB DAC/Headphone Amp
With EarStudio ES100, you don’t need to buy the latest Smartphone to listen to high-quality audio. ES100 is a high-resolution DAC which complements the internal DAC of the phone and increases the audio quality. In short, the amp cum Bluetooth receiver is uniquely designed to provide studio-quality sound in a wireless mode. You can use your speakers or wired headphones to enjoy high-quality audio. In short, it’s well worth the money you spend because it offers features which are difficult to resist.
The housing is made from durable plastic material, and buttons feel smooth to operate. It’s equipped with two AK4375a one for every channel. Furthermore, the Dual Drive technology results in higher fidelity audio quality. Interestingly, it supports built-in double precision 10-brand equalizer. It helps in enhancing the overall audio experience. The amp also features a clothing clip for attaching the compact device to a table or desk.
Due to the integration of DCT (Distinctive Clear Technology), the amplifier offers no noise floor, which helps in improving the audio quality. The DCT removes the potential audio shuttering of the Bluetooth, which eliminates all the background noises and other interferences. On connection with a Smartphone, you can adjust the volume of both the phone and the amplifier for better audio quality. Interestingly, you can even unlock the output to prevent accidental increasing of the volume.
The amp can easily handle earphones with impedance up to 300 ohms. Anything above 300 ohms is an issue because the Bluetooth receiver is unable to deliver the required power.
It features Qualcomm CSR8675 chipset, which is the latest Bluetooth software pack. It helps in establishing a robust Bluetooth connection with many devices.
It features 350mAh of battery which has a maximum playback time of 14 hours.
It comes equipped with four different types of DAC filters for enhancing the audio quality. Unlike other amps, EarStudio has a dedicated iOS and Android application which enriches the audio and helps you explore alternatives.
- Separate channel gain
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Long-lasting battery
- Potential issues with Bluetooth connection
16. Topping 4330354362 NX1s Digital HiFi Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black)
When it comes to performance and endurance, NX1 from Topping will surpass all your expectations. The compact and portable amp take the music setup one notch higher. Due to the low price, the amp is affordable and enriches the musical journey of the customer. Low cost doesn’t necessarily translate to low-quality and NX1 is a perfect example for the same. With NX1, you will add convenience to your Smartphone.
Topping NX1 is made from high-grade aluminum, which makes it durable and sturdy. Unlike the previous models, the design features round lines all over the body of the amp. Furthermore, the sides are cut, which develops a straight and circular contrast. The contrast strengthens the grip on the amp. To prevent scratches on the surface of the amp, the company provides rubber pads. The pads are used when the amp is leaned against the wall or any other device. Interestingly, it features two horns on the upper side for protecting the cables and volume knob. In a nutshell, the build is robust and reliable.
High-impedance headphones require maximum power to deliver quality output. And, for such users, the company has a gain switch which helps in increasing the volume. Overall, the sound quality is fantastic, and there is no distortion which elevates the audio quality. The boost in the bass volume is good, the emphasis is audible, and the quality of sound is clear and transparent.
Unlike other amp batteries which discharge after 12-14 hours, NXI offers 40 hours of non-stop playback and audio. When used at a lower volume, the battery will last for a longer time-frame. It features smart charging with battery indicators to charge the battery before it completely dies down. You can charge the battery using the micro USB port.
It works perfectly with headphone having with impedance ranging between 16-300 ohms. Headphones with higher impedance are not supported.
- Compact, lightweight and durable
- Long-lasting battery life
- Excellent build and design
- Coloration in the sub-bass section
17. Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones
It’s a portable DAC/amp which lives up to the expectation of music lovers. The amp is ideal for powering high-impedance headphones. It offers stellar audio quality, which is something that sets it apart from the others. In the packaging, you will find two bright red cables, USB to micro-USB cable, and 3.5mm audio jack. You will require bright red wires when listening on a Smartphone and tablets. For the price you pay, Creative offers a decent and durable amplifier.
The unit is made from high-quality plastic material with a belt or clothing clip at the back. Using the clip, you can securely attach the amp anywhere. On one end of the amp, there is an audio input, and other has two 3.5mm audio sockets. Furthermore, one of the sides is a house of the power switch, small LED, multi-function button and a volume slider.
It offers audio-fidelity of 106dB signal-to-noise ratio, meaning that you get to hear music instead of noises. Furthermore, it helps in reducing latency with Audio stream input/output (ASIO), which helps in making the audio come to life. It comes with two headphone output jacks. Even with two discrete outputs, there is no compromise on the audio quality.
It features a built-in lithium battery which lasts up to 25 hours. You can charge the battery using the micro USB cable. Due to the built-in battery, the device is compact and portable.
Unlike other amps, E1 from Creative features a built-in mono-microphone. Using the microphone, you can take calls when connected to a Smartphone. It helps in making clear Skype calls on a PC and even Macs. Furthermore, by activating the CrystalVoice technology, you can reduce the noise and provide a clear conversation.
The amp can support headphones with impedance up to 600 ohms. It means that you can match almost every type of headphone with the amplifier.
- High-fidelity audio
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Clear voice conversation with CrystalVoice Technology
- Built-in mono-microphone
- Potential issues powering high-impedance headphones
18. Behringer MicroMON MA400 Ultra-Compact Monitor Headphone Amplifier
Don’t let the small size of the amplifier fool you because Behringer is loaded with some fantastic features which will enrich your musical journey. The ultra-compact MA400 from Behringer is a perfect monitor mixer for people who love to perform on the stage. For those who face latency issues, MicroMon MA400 is their ultimate destination. Furthermore, it’s a cost-effective and ingenious solution for personal practices before the final event. The device is so small that it will easily fit in the pocket, making it your best travel companion.
Build and design
The amp uses two 4580 dual op amps; one for the monitor and one for the mike. It also features a Mic In & Mic thru connectors. Interestingly, it has a ground lift switch. Apart from the ground lift switch it boats of a stereo monitor input. The input has a monitor level control and stereo switch. The entire unit designed Germany, so you can be rest assured of the quality.
The MA400 features XLR thru jack and results in noise-free operation. It’s a powerful mixer which helps you control two independent sources like monitor and microphone. All you need to do is adjust the MA400 monitor level control. Interestingly, you turn the monitor volume up or down without disturbing anyone during the performance. Also, you can use studio-grade condenser mics as the MA400 will pass +48V phantom power. Overall, the sound quality is excellent, and you will not repent your decision of buying the amplifier from Behringer.
The phone jacks accept both ¼” and 1/8” headphone and earbud connection. It makes MA400 ideal for hardwired in-ear-monitor (IEM) applications like drummers and keyboardists. Furthermore, the MA400 has a dedicated 12 V DC power supply. It also has an LED to indicate when it’s entirely powered up.
- Easy to use, plug and play
- Compact and economical
- Limiting power chord
19. FIFINE Headphone Amplifier 4 Channels Metal Stereo Audio Amplifier, Mini Earphone Splitter
For those who are looking to for a pocket-friendly amplifier to split the audio sources into multiple outputs, look no further than the FIFINE headphone amplifier. Due to its small size and lightweight, you can use it on the go. A speaker of this quality will help your band record simultaneous tracks and will help the sound engineer hear what the artists hear. Overall, for the price you pay, the amplifier offers with features which are useful for music lovers.
The compact and portable size makes the amp perfect for both in-studio and on-stage performances. You can easily connect multiple headphones with it. FIFINE uses high-quality metal to build the headphone amp, which makes the device durable and reliable. It features tight connections, smoothly operating knobs. Even the components are made from high-quality material to increase the life of the amp. Additionally, you can run the amp either in mono mode or stereo mode based on your requirement. Overall, the design is excellent except for the volume knobs, which are made from plastic. Due to plastic, the knobs wiggle and you need to use them carefully.
FIFINE headphone amplifier is a mini stereo amplifier with 4 x ¼ “stereo headphone TRS output connector jacks. It also has a ¼” input connector jack. Furthermore, it amplifies four channels with a separate volume knob for every output. Even at high volume, there is no audio crackle, and the device offers zero distortion. You will not encounter any signal loss even when you connect all the four headphones. The amp is ideal for four people who watch the mix for tracking and while working out in the gym. Overall, the sound quality is pristine, with no latency.
The ultra-compact amp provides superb performance and works using a 12V DC power adapter. The company offers one year of warranty on the amplifier.
- Sturdy, robust and durable
- Zero loss in signal fidelity
- Can power high impedance headphones with any issues
- Volume knobs are made from plastic
20. LiNKFOR Portable Headphone Amplifier with Lithium Battery Two-Stage Gain Switch portable headphone amp
LinkFOR portable headphone is specially optimized for using it with a wide range of headphones and earphones for the high-fidelity listening requirement. Despite being priced affordably, the amp boasts of high-quality build and innovative design. When you buy the LiNKFOR portable headphone with lithium batteries, you will not repent your decision because it offers incredible sound quality.
The entire device has an aluminum matte surface which makes the amp durable and robust. The aluminum alloy shell makes the amp look attractive. Due to the unique and innovative design, handling the device is comfortable, and it will not slip from your hand. The amp is ideal for MP4, MP3, iPad, iPhone, laptop, computer and any 3.5mm audio device. Furthermore, the device is compact and lightweight, which makes it a portable item. It features a gain switch, gain switch indicator, charging indicator, micro USB port, volume control, power indicator, input and output jacks.
The SNR is higher than 100Db and THD + N is 0.0003% because of which the final output is not just loud, it’s sharper and real. Interestingly, even at loud volumes, the amplifier offers zero distortion, which enriches the recording and listening experience. Furthermore, it features a gain switch for enhancing the signal input into the amp circuit. It also improves the performance of the headphones. You can even take the amp on a flight as it will not cause any hissing sound and allow you to listen to distortion-free audio. Overall, the sound quality is pristine, making the amp worthy of every penny.
It’s integrated with a 1200mAH lithium battery which has 5 hours of playback time. You can charge the device using the micro USB port. Connect the amp to a laptop or computer and the device will charge. Furthermore, it features a charging indicator when the device is put in the charging mode.
It possesses adapted headphone impedance of 10-15 ohms.
- Excellent surface design and connectivity
- Rechargeable lithium battery
- Amazing sound quality
- Portable, lightweight and durable
- Only 5 hours of playback time