Best Headphones Amps
Headphones are a crucial part of many people’s lives. They allow us to enjoy our favorite music without disturbing others and can be used for gaming or watching movies on the go. But if you’re looking for headphones that sound amazing and have excellent audio quality, then you need a headphone amplifier! This article will teach you everything you need to know about what to look for in a headphone amp, as well as recommend the 10 best options currently available.
- 1. Schiit Magni 3 Heresy
- 2. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
- 3. Behringer Microamp HA400
- 4. VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier
- 5. Mayflower Electronics Objective2 Headphone Amplifier
- 6. AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
- 7. Sound BlasterX G6 Headphone Amp
- 8. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
- 9. PreSonus HP4 4-Channel Compact Headphone Amplifier
- 10. Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amplifier
- Does a More Expensive Headphone Amp Mean Better Sound?
- Headphone Amp Types
- Impedance and Wattage Explained
- Headphone and Amp Matching Explained
- DACs Explained
Our pick for the best sound goes to the Schiit Magni 3+. It’s a bit more expensive, but it offers audiophile-grade performance. It can be used with any headphones and is best for those who want to get the absolute best sound possible in their headphones.
The Behringer Microamp HA400 wins our pick for the best value headphone amp. It’s a great option for those who need something quick and affordable but still want high-quality sound. It has a line out that can be used with any other amp or headphone
The FiiO E10K Headphone Amp is our pick for the best budget headphone amp. With a price tag of less than $80, this affordable option provides all-around excellent sound quality and functionality along with an attractive design that’ll look great on any desk or tabletop.
The Sound BlasterX G6 is a headphone amp that has the best features. Its sleek design, impressive sound profile, and versatility make it stand out in the marketplace of amps for headphones.
The VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 has been awarded the best-designed headphone amp. This award is a testament to the simplicity of this device that allows musicians and audiophiles alike to enjoy their favorite music in pristine, high-quality sound without needing any additional equipment or fussing with complicated settings.
The Schiit Magni 3 Heresy headphone amp is the best value for those looking to get an excellent sound. It’s small and compact, but also powerful enough to drive any headphones you have – from a high-quality pair of earbuds all the way up to professional studio monitors!
What is a headphone amp?
A headphone amp is a device that makes your music sound better and louder! A headphone amplifier takes the tiny electrical signal from whatever you are listening to, such as an mp3 player or phone, then uses power—either batteries or electricity in some cases-to pump it up. Then this bigger audio signal travels through wires into your headphones where the change will be instantly noticeable: less static noise (or even complete silence), improved clarity of vocals and instruments on acoustic recordings, more bass response for hip hop tunes or dubstep tracks with intense subwoofer action going down!
Do I need a headphone amp?
Your headphones’ sound may be overly distorted and quiet if your device doesn’t have enough power to drive them. If you find that the max volume of your headphones is insufficient, or experience other audio issues with a pair of ‘cans,’ it’s time to invest in an external amplifier for precise control over their output tone on a higher amp curve.
Our Selection of the 10 Best Headphone Amps
1. Schiit Magni 3 Heresy
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||16 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||5.0 x 3.5 x 1.25 inches|
The Schiit Magni 3 Heresy amp is heavier than one would expect and feels sturdy, indicating great build quality. The device is slightly larger than other headphone amps on the market so portability may not be a primary strength but it still looks nice with your gear in any setup.
The Magni 3 Heresy is not just a headphone amp, it also functions as both preamp and amplifier – this means that these devices can power your headphones or send an audio signal to another speaker such as powered speakers. I’ll touch on the connections you’ll find later in my review of its features.
When I first opened the box to my Magni 3 Heresy, I was in awe of its sleek design. The sound quality that comes out is truly exceptional for an amp at this price point! When paired with a good DAC like the Modi 3 you can power any pair of headphones regardless of their impedance and integrate your headphone amp into your audio setup seamlessly.
It’s hard not to compare other amps costing more than 100 dollars when comparing their complex designs which set them apart from all others on the market; so it’s best that you hear these incredible sounds for yourself by experiencing one of our many offerings before making up your mind about what could be right for you personally. The Schiit Magni 3 Heresy is a great value for sound quality. With the addition of a DAC, it can outperform all other amps in its class until you double or triple the price tag.
The Schiit Magni 3 Heresy is the perfect headphone amp/preamp combo for all of your audio needs. The front panel features a ¼-inch jack and gain knob to give you full control over how much power goes into your headphones, while on the back, there are RCA in/out connections that allow you to use it as a preamplifier. With an AC adapter included with purchase, this amplifier really does make traveling easy!
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Clear, detailed sound with a very low noise floor
- High output power
- Preamp functionality
The Schiit Magni 3 Heresy is the perfect answer for people who want to take their listening experience up a notch. With its wide array of abilities, it’s an incredible product that can be used with any pair of headphones you own! If you’re looking for a high-quality audio experience, the Schiit Magni 3 Heresy with the Schiit Modi 3 is your best option. This setup will run at just under $200 and offers an exceptional sound that can’t be matched by other systems in this price range.
2. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||16 – 150Ω|
|Dimensions||0.83 x 1.93 x 3.11 inches|
The FiiO E10K has been designed to be a lightweight, portable headphone amp that you can take with you on the go. But don’t let its size and weight fool you—the front panel is packed full of features! On one side there are two jacks for your headphones or speakers; these allow easy connection without having to worry about finding an extra cable in order to power up the unit.
The FiiO E10K headphone amp is the perfect accessory for those who want to enjoy their music in high quality. It sports a PCM102 DAC chip that handles up to 24-bit/96 kHz files, and it also has an integrated delay & phase shift reduction as well as an onboard linear filter which all work together to produce clarity-enhancing features. Not only does this unit have these sound qualities but it produces amazingly low noise floor due to its optimized low pass filters too!
The E10K has a versatile set of features that is perfect for audiophiles and casual listeners alike. My favorite feature included in the internals is its built-in bass boost option, which allows users to take advantage of low-frequency vibrations when listening via headphones or speakers. The EQ curve applied adds an impressive punch on the lows while providing warmth throughout other frequencies as well!
FiiO E10K Headphone amp is a perfect solution for those who are looking for the best headphone amplifier on the market. Even though it’s inexpensive, its sound quality and features offer an excellent bang-for-your-buck performance that cannot be matched by other products in this price range. Whether you want to enjoy your favorite songs with some extra detail or need another layer of clarity while gaming at night, FiiO will not disappoint!
If you’re like me and enjoy bass-heavy music, the FiiO E10K could be a great choice for your listening pleasure. This amp is especially suited to electronic music, metal, or hip hop as it accentuates these genres’ sounds while coming through with warm tones and deep bass capability. It’s a fantastic addition to any Hi-Fi setup!
The FiiO E10K is the perfect balance between price and performance. Built with a sleek design, it has all of the connections you would need for an audio setup! On its back panel, there are line-out and coaxial ports to connect your computer directly to this amplifier; making any setup easy as can be. The headphone jack on the front makes listening effortless without taking away from what’s happening in real life around you or anything else going on at that moment – no headphones needed!
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Produces high-quality sound (low noise floor)
- Variety of connections to other audio sources
- Bass boost for an enhanced experience
FiiO has revamped the user-friendly E10 to provide a budget option for those who want in on the USB DAC headphone amp trend. The industry veteran offers an under-$80 purchase that will suit most needs, especially with its variety of features and versatility when it comes to different types of headphones. For buyers looking for convenience without sacrificing quality, this is one product you won’t regret buying. The FiiO E10K headphone DAC amp is a great purchase for the price. It’s hard to argue against its appeal with an un-intrusive, sleek design and powerful bass boost capabilities that will be perfect for most people who want their HiFi headphones working properly ASAP or those looking to get every last bit of audio quality possible at all times. With a variety of connectivity options available as well!
3. Behringer Microamp HA400
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||8 – 1007Ω|
|Dimensions||4.08 x 2.25 x 1.83 inches|
The HA400 is a tiny, black box with four knobs. Yes, that’s it. If you are looking for an amp to match your no-frills lifestyle and practical nature this device will speak to you spiritually! I am also a huge fan of devices built in the functional style like this one and think it would look great on most audio setups while still being compact enough not to take up any space and doing its job admirably well! What more could you want?
The Behringer Microamp HA400 is a high-quality, low-priced 4-channel headphone amp that allows you to listen to the same audio signal on four different pairs of headphones. This setup is ideal for those with home recording studios who need an efficient way of splitting their sound into many channels.
The Behringer Microamp HA400 is a must-have for music producers who like to listen while they work. You may have wanted, at one point or another, to play your instrument and collaborate with other musicians but didn’t want the noise of speakers in someone else’s house! The design allows you all to connect headphones so that even if it’s after hours (or midnight), you can still produce without disturbing anyone around.
The Behringer Microamp HA400 is an affordable, portable amplifier that could amplify the sound of a simple instrument. The amp may not be designed for professional use but it gets the job done when you need to add some oomph to your performance or just want something extra on hand in case of emergency.
The Behringer Microamp HA400 is one of the most popular guitar amps on today’s market. It does not provide a high-quality listening experience but it can be used as a powered 4-channel audio splitter for headphones that require amplification to get your signal up and running with no fuss. The sound quality will remain unchanged by using this amp, however, you’ll find these devices immensely helpful in providing an efficient workflow without sacrificing any performance whatsoever!
The Behringer Microamp HA400 has a very straightforward interface for connecting your audio signal and splitting it into 4 amplified headphone signals. In the rear of the amp, there are five ¼-inch jacks, one for inputting an audio signal to be split between all four outputs. Next to these connections is a 12-volt DC power in connection so that you can plug in the included adapter if you need more juice than just what’s coming out from your USB port or 9V battery!
The Microamp HA400 is a great-sounding amp. It will do wonders for your music if you’re looking to just amplify it and enjoy the sound on headphones or speakers without all of those complex options like digital conversion features that other amps have, making this amplifier perfect for someone who wants an affordable high-quality product with no headaches!
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Clear and articulate sound
- Incredible value for money
- Durable build
The Behringer Microamp HA400 is a great solution for anyone looking to amplify one or more pairs of headphones. This practical design and no-frills connectivity are easy to grasp, meaning you’ll have it set up in no time if you purchase this headphone amp from your home studio setup!
Audio engineers and music producers with home studios could benefit greatly from adding this amp to their setup as recording musicians, vocalists, or collaborating engineers will be able to tune in without you waking up family members who may be sleeping while you make the next dubstep hit at 5 am.
The HA400 is a four-channel headphone amp that was designed with specific use cases in mind. It has been rated highly by users who need this kind of amplifier for their work, which makes it the best choice if you are also looking to buy one as well!
4. VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||32 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||7.0 x 1.0 x 5.0 inches|
If you’re looking for a convenient and flexible way to practice your guitar or bass, the VOX amPlug 2 is an excellent choice. This portable amp can be used on its own or connected with your instrument of choice thanks to its 180-degree swivel input socket that has three discrete values: Volume, Tone, and Gain. It also features various models depending on what sound you are going for in order to best suit any occasion!
VOX amPlug 2 guitar/bass headphone amp is the perfect device for high-quality audio and practicing your instrument. The 3 adjustable values of volume, tone, and gain make it easy to find what you are looking for in a sound; while depending on which model you have there may be an additional list of features like choruses or reverbs. With more than just one function available this product is great all around!
The VOX amPlug 2 is the perfect solution for practicing guitar with your headphones. It has a 17-hour battery life, so you can expect to be running through quite a few AA batteries but far fewer of them than one might need if they were using other portable headphone amps! The amp comes equipped with features that are just right for those looking for portability and convenience in their practice sessions – it’s hard not to want this awesome product!
From amPlug to the newly released amPX, Vox offers a variety of models for guitar and bass players. These headphone amps offer rich sounds that are customizable thanks to their wide range in styles such as Blues Rock or Metal Core. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could choose your desired sound from home? With these top-notch headphones amps (amPlugs), there’s no need to head out when all I want is some quality “me” time!
I love the sound of my VOX amPlug 2 because it has a rich, metal tone perfect for jamming. I play guitar and its tonal quality is ideal for me as an electric guitarist looking to rock out with some classic tunes!
The amPlug 2 is a lightweight headphone amp that allows you to play guitar or bass without the need for an amplifier. Unlike other amps, this one requires only two AA batteries in order to provide hours of playing time and can be played with any type of harmonic instrument; it even has both a 1/4 inch input jack and auxiliary inputs so you don’t have hassle hooking up your device while on-the-go! The ergonomic 180-degree swiveling connection provides easy access where ever life takes us, making this truly versatile product perfect for those who like keeping things simple as well as cost-effective.
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Affordable price
- Can be used with other instruments
- Variety of models to fit a variety of needs
The Vox amPlug 2 is a great product for guitar and bass players who want to practice with headphones on the go, but don’t have time or space to lug around an amp. The strong points of this device are its high-quality effects–reverbs/choruses/delays that can be adjusted in both volume and values–and portability. It’s modeled after one of 7 different cabinet types available so you get your desired sound without any hassle!
These headphone amps look great, and they sound great too! If you’re looking for a way to play guitar without bothering the people you live with or practice while traveling then these are perfect. They combine quality performance and convenience in one small package so it’s no wonder that everyone is talking about them right now.
5. Mayflower Electronics Objective2 Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||32 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||6.8 x 6.2 x 6.2 inches|
This tiny little amplifier has an input jack so you can plug right into your music source without having to mess around with cords, as well as two output jacks that allow you to have more than one listener plugged in at once if necessary. The sound quality on this amp far exceeds its size- I would recommend it for all serious audiophiles looking for something simple yet high performance!
The Objective2 headphone amp is not one of the least likely to cause you any headaches, especially if you crank that gain knob up too high. Mayflower Electronics really hit a sweet spot for me with this product because it knows what its job is and doesn’t try to show off. The Objective2 amp is a sleek and minimalistic amplifier that leaves all the unnecessary stuff in your room to focus on the audio. You will not only get crisp quality sound, but you’ll be able to enjoy how great it looks with any other hardware around!
The Objective2 is a single-channel headphone amp that’s made with great sound in mind. It doesn’t come equipped to handle anything other than headphones, but the performance it gives puts its competitors on their toes. If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective way of managing your audio needs without any complicated features or flashy displays then this might be worth checking out!
The Objective2 headphone amp provides very high-quality audio amplification while also being cost-effective. Considering the general consensus when it comes to these kinds of audio devices is that you don’t get much more when you spend a lot of money unless you spend an exorbitant amount, we are happy with this safe middle ground where buyers can pay a bit more for good quality experience without going all-in -after all who wants their wallet emptied?
The Objective2 headphone amp is the perfect choice for someone who wants a solid audio experience on their headphones but doesn’t want to spend an arm and leg. For this price, it’s going to come down to more personal preference; if you like your music with little distortion then go ahead and get one of these bad boys!
With the advanced design of this headphone amp, you can enjoy listening to your music in high quality. This device has two inputs: one input for sound from a mobile phone and another input for an auxiliary cable or another audio signal source like television sets with RCA ports. The amplifier is easy to install because it works on 12-20 volts AC current power supply through its rear port located at 8 x 2 ¾ inches sized rectangular shape box which is very compact so that it will not take up too much space after installation
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Clear high-quality sound
- Open-source design and manufacturing process
- Low price for the quality provided
I’ve always been a sucker for practical and affordable design. The designer of the Objective2, NwAvGuy, has long been a notorious designer in the hi-fi audio scene but his headphone amp design is what really hooked me with its simple yet efficient aesthetic that matches its functionality. I like how this headphone amplifier doesn’t take up much space on my desk and being able to plug it into any computer makes listening to music anywhere possible all while delivering high-quality sound at an amazing price point!
The only problem for the Objective2 is its lack of preamp functionality. The Schiit Magni series, 3+ and Heresy both offer this feature – a cheaper price-point too. The FiiO E10K offers portability and onboard DAC where the O2 has none but we can’t overlook how incredible its audio quality is! The Objective2 is the headphone amp for you if it’s sound quality that matters. It might not have some of the features as its competitors but at this price, who can complain?
6. AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||10Ω and higher|
|Dimensions||2.4 x 0.7 x 0.5 inches|
The Cobalt is the smallest amp covered so far, but also one of the most complex as well. The simplicity and elegance in its design match with that complexity beautifully; it looks like an elegant blue car parked on a white street. On top sits DragonFly’s logo which changes colors depending on what sample rate or file type you are using at any given time––allowing for easy identification while performing complicated tasks (though not everyone will enjoy having to decipher them).
The dragonfly cobalt headphone amp is stunning. It leaves the box feeling luxurious and professional, but it’s not just for show! The team behind this product really cared about their design choices-from how beautifully they display themselves by offering a protective sleeve in order to keep your investment safe while traveling.
The DragonFly Cobalt headphone amp is a sleek, compact piece of equipment with an incredible design. It’s the perfect size for on-the-go use and features some impressive specs that make it great to take anywhere. The 24/96 resolution sounds better than ever before in this model thanks to its onboard ESS ES9038Q2MDAC chip which has been optimized for improved natural sound quality. This DAC includes slow roll-off filter technology so your music will be as crisp and clear as possible when you want to listen without worrying about distortion or muddying up any details!
The Cobalt is the ultimate portable amplifier, selling itself on its ability to play any audio file from MP3s up through MQA without skipping a beat. It not only indicates which format you’re playing via its LED logo’s color but can also be used as both an amp for your stereo and for headphones with ease–and it even fits in your pocket!
The DragonFly Cobalt headphone DAC/amp is a versatile device that will please beginners and veterans alike with its wide array of features. This amp leans toward the pricey side, but for those looking to invest in quality sound equipment, it’s hard to go wrong with this purchase.
The DragonFly Cobalt is a great device for producing high-quality sound. It may not be as powerful, but it has enough power and volume to produce quality sounds from your mobile phone or tablet without breaking the bank.
The Cobalt is a mobile amp that eliminates the need for drivers, and yet it still provides an improvement in sound quality. It’s compatible with most headphones on any platform you prefer Spotify, tidal, apple music, or your own files. However, if you’re looking to improve performance even more- this might not be the right option as software driverless amps are limited by power sources like batteries which can’t last long enough when driving high ohm headphones (especially while charging).
With a simple layout, DragonFly Cobalt’s USB male connector and 3.5mm headphone jack allows for it to be used with any device when paired with the appropriate adapter or connection cable. If you’re using this amp on your laptop, simply plug in its single USB port – no driver installation is necessary!
3 Reasons to Buy It
- High-quality sound
- Compact and portable size makes it easy to take anywhere you go
- Plays all audio file types
We all want to listen to our favorite artists and albums the way they were originally recorded, but it can be tough finding an affordable solution. If you’re looking for a high-quality sound experience on your mobile device, look no further than the DragonFly Cobalt. It turns out that spending more money is worth it when you get superior quality in return!
When it comes to mobile headphone amplifiers, the DragonFly Cobalt is sleek and dependable. It can be used with any iOS or Android device with a standard charging port which makes it very convenient for those on-the-go listeners who want some great sound quality without much hassle!
7. Sound BlasterX G6 Headphone Amp
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||1 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||4.4 x 0.9 x 2.8 inches|
I was a little underwhelmed when I first saw the G6. It’s nothing like what I would expect from an awesome headphone amplifier, and yet it is still pretty cool! The design may not be to my tastes but its simple interface makes up for that. And with sturdy chassis, how can your headphones go wrong?
The Sound BlasterX G6 is a gaming headphone amp that should only be used for the most extreme audiophile needs. Boasting an integrated 32-bit 384 kHz DAC chip, 130 dB dynamic range, and more proprietary 2-channel discrete bi-amp technology than you can shake your stick at, these headphones are not just good to have on hand in case of emergency – they’re essential if you want true surround sound support while playing games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Fortnite Battle Royale with other players online!
The G6 has been designed with all of these specific uses in mind and includes many features not found in typical desktop headphone amps such as surround sound support for enhanced spatial audio while playing games; Xamp discrete amplification capabilities which means less distortion during gameplay—even at high volume levels; and compatibility across platforms: Windows 10 computers, Nintendo Switch™ (home console mode), Sony PlayStation® 4 Pro/5th-generation PlayStations®, Microsoft Xbox one S/X).
If you’re looking for a headphone amp that’s more than just good at playing music, the Sound BlasterX G6 is made to be an all-inclusive audio solution. With Hi-res audio formats and multi-bit modulation – not to mention its cool features such as distortion control and sound quality improvements – this gaming headset amplifier has been designed with gamers in mind but will work wonders outside of your favorite game too!
The Sound BlasterX G6 gaming headphone amplifier provides an excellent sound experience both in and outside of a game. Compared to other products on the list, this DAC amp is one you wouldn’t necessarily buy for its audio quality. Rather, it would be more likely that you enjoy the visuals and extra features offered by this product which can increase your clarity given the price range.
The G6 is a gaming headphone amp that offers audiophile quality with extra features. The sound profile of the amplifier itself was surprisingly neutral given its purpose, but you can color your audio to give it more oomph by messing around with the settings in this app and playing around with all of these different effects for voice changers. They’re really fun!
The Sound BlasterX G6 has a line optical in/out connection on the back, as well as a micro-USB port to transmit data and power. In front is one 3.5 mm jack for headphones and another mic input that can be used by gamers or podcasters who want an extra microphone channel with their gaming headphone amp of choice.
In the back, the Sound BlasterX G6 has a line optical in/out connection as well as a micro-USB port for data and power transmission. There are two 3.5 mm connectors for headphones and a microphone on the front. This gaming headphone amp’s connectivity is standard for a headphone DAC/amp with microphone capability.
3 Reasons to Buy It
- High quality
- Apple and Android
Gaming amps are going to be around for a while, and I think this one grew on me. At first, I was put off by the BlasterX G6’s visual design; it felt too far outside my target demographic. After some time with it though, I’m sold on its great gaming features like Scout Mode in shooters or surround sound when playing cinematic games–plus you can morph your voice into group chats with friends! There is a vast array of fun and practical features included in this DAC/amp.
With great audio quality, a wide dynamic range, and hi-res playback capabilities all rolled into one device that is small enough to fit in your pocket; this amp will be the perfect companion for any audiophile on the go.
8. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||18 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 inches|
The Nobsound NS-08E vacuum tube amp is a beautifully designed piece of audio hardware that would look great in any home. The tubes give the whole thing an old-school but still cool look and if you like to have vintage-style equipment then this may be for you! This mini amplifier has all sorts of features packed inside it, so let’s see how well they hold up against other amps out there. For $50 I think this might be worth checking out because who doesn’t love having their headphones powered by a nice little tube amp?
The Nobsound NS-08E is a miniature headphone amplifier that markets itself as an audiophile’s dream for the modern world. This vacuum tube amp includes preamp functionality, but it seems to be designed more with portability and style in mind than sound quality or features you would find on larger models of this type. It also ships without any wiring so users will have to supply their own cable if they want one (although I am not sure how long these cables are supposed to last).
The NS-08E comes with two vacuum tubes, Chinese 6J3 tubes. This is a shame because they’re not even the best tube amps out there and rolling these isn’t worth it when you could buy another amp for just as cheap. Tube amplifiers offer an incredible amount of warmth in your sound but at this price point or small size, don’t go through all that trouble if we’re honest!
Tube amps are a time-tested classic that is hard to find on the modern-day market. This amp will provide you with a warm, vintage tone without sacrificing much in terms of power and volume levels. The only drawback? It’s not exactly ideal for smaller spaces – it takes up quite a bit more space than your average amplifier or DAC!
The Nobsound NS-08E vacuum tube headphone amp has a bit of warmth thanks to its included vacuum tubes, but they aren’t very good stock tubes, and replacing the tubes isn’t worth this small amp that’s cheap. The tone is colored by their low-quality build so I would not recommend using expensive ones with them because you wouldn’t get much out of an upgrade in sound anyway.
The sound is serviceable and any headphones you have below the 600-ohm range will work fine with this amp, I just can’t get over the noticeable headaches and lack of features compared to other amps in this list. If you absolutely must have a tube amplifier it’s worth saving up for an amplifier that can truly harness the power of quality vacuum tubes as well as get those warm expressive sounds we all love from good old-fashioned tube amplifiers.
The overall tone of this amp is good, but it does have some downside. I don’t think that the sound quality alone makes up for all of its other shortcomings. The price is low and requires an external DAC to be hooked up, which drives your total setup cost upwards because you need a receiver or amplifier as well. It’s best used with headphones in my opinion since there are cheaper amps out there that work better on speakers if they’re what you want anyway!
The connections on this vacuum tube headphone amp are a bit less than what you would expect from the competition in this list. With only two 3.5 mm jacks for input and output, there is limited connectivity as well as preamp capability with no stereo option available due to the front placement of both inputs/outputs. I can see why Nobsound does not recommend it for use with high-end audio systems or home stereos because they have much better options that offer more versatility when connecting headphones and other devices… but then again, these amps aren’t made specifically for those purposes so I’m being nitpicky here too!
3 Reasons to Buy It
- 32-bit 384kHz DAC
- 7.1 Virtual surround sound
- Xamp 2-channel amplification
Look at the vacuum tube amp and you’ll see that it’s not worth your money. The only reason someone would want to buy this is so they can save some cash, but now what do I tell you? You’re going to need an external DAC or even a converter if you don’t have one already because these inputs are for 3.5 mm jacks! I’ve been trying to find the perfect tube amp for a while, but I haven’t found anything that really suits my needs. The problem with cheap tubes is they don’t have enough power and sound quality because of this middle ground status where it tries too hard at being an affordable option without any extras or good features.
That being said, there is still an obvious market for this. I think as a cheap introduction to tube amplifiers this headphone amp could be for you, just be aware that you’re likely to spend another 20-50 bucks on a DAC if your headphones don’t already have one (in which case the NS-08E isn’t really worth it), and 50 more dollars or so on tubes in order to make use of its features. If all those things sound like too much hassle then consider going with a cheaper model such as FiiO’s E10K/Fulla instead; they’re both excellent options!
9. PreSonus HP4 4-Channel Compact Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||32 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||1.75 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches|
The first impression I got from the PreSonus HP4 4 channel desktop headphone amp was that it looks pretty dated but don’t let appearances fool you into thinking this isn’t still one of the best amps at this price point on Amazon!
This 4-channel headphone amp is perfect for those who want an upgrade to their headphones. The main selling point of this unit is its ability to power up to four pairs at once, and it has other features like global mute, slots so you can mount the amplifier on a rack (1/3U), and room cue/monitor control. For just 120 more dollars than the Behringer Microamp HA400, which also doesn’t offer all these great extras that are included with PreSonus’ model– such as professional output tone voice or dirt protection circuits–this device provides even better sound quality in your studio space!
The varied features and production-oriented design make this a fantastic amplifier for those in the industry. It has enough power to serve as an audio hub without sacrificing sound quality, which is particularly important when working with others who will be listening through headphones. This makes it perfect for studio settings or small get-togethers where you want to share your music but you don’t need everyone else’s attention drawn away from their own tasks while they listen!
When you’re looking for a new amp to power your headphones and give them better sound quality, the PreSonus HP4 is an excellent choice. It has 4 channels that can simultaneously drive up to 600-ohm loads each with extremely high fidelity. For those of us who never want our volume level too low or cranky-sounding when we listen to music on it, this amplifier’s great features will serve us well!
The PreSonus HP4 has 4 ¼ inch headphone jacks so you can hook up an entire studio and listen to yourself work. The line in ports are perfect for recording through, while the output tone of voice should be Professional which is necessary when working with other people on a project.
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Monitor cue control
- 1/3U rack-mount chassis
The PreSonus HP4 4-channel headphone amp is our favorite option for those of you on the market looking to power 1-444 pairs of headphones. If your current system isn’t powerful enough, and you are hearing distortion or low volume levels with multiple sets of cans plugged in – this little guy can take care of that problem. You could go a lot cheaper than this amplifier but any sacrifice in quality will be worth it!
10. Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amplifier
Specs & Features
|Recommended Headphone Impedance||16 – 600Ω|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 inches|
The Monoprice 111567 headphone amp is a sleek black brushed aluminum box. It’s slightly too big and heavy for my liking, but the design with its minimalistic approach was what caught my eye in the first place, I just wish they designed it to be more portable so that people can carry them around wherever without taking up as much space!
I was a bit hesitant to purchase this amp initially, but after owning it for some time I now understand why. This is the soberest of all my amps and that’s what makes me love it so much. It doesn’t have any boisterous features like its competitors do – rather, Monoprice 11567 provides subtle yet powerful sound quality with an elegant design unmatched by other brands out there today!
The Monoprice 111567 is a headphone amp and DAC combo that’s perfect for those who aren’t looking to make their ears bleed. This beautiful piece of equipment features an amplifier with 600-ohm capabilities, while its built-in DAC won’t let you down when it comes to sound quality either!
The Monoprice 111567 is a very basic headphone amp, but it does the job. However, at this price range, there are more fully-featured DAC/amps that offer much more than what you get with the Monoprice 116517. The Behringer Microamp offers 4 channels for your headphones and even has connections to external devices whereas all of these features can be found in most similarly priced competitors within its category.
The sound capabilities of the Monoprice 111567 headphone amp are very basic compared to other amps on this list. There is a slightly noticeable change in quality if you’re comparing your audio quality to your computer’s native sound but for just under 100 dollars there are much better products available that offer an amazing experience, so it’s not worth spending any money on one when they’re just passable.
It seems like everyone buys this as their first headphone amplifier. It sounds better than your computer’s audio and is more affordable for those who don’t want to drop $200 on an audiophile purchase right away. However, because there’s not much else going into these amps besides power regulation with no other components or features I think most people would rather move on to something bigger and better after they’ve become accustomed to how headphones sound using just such an inexpensive device!
The Monoprice 111567 is a headphone amp that includes the ability to function as a preamp. This device has all of the connections you may need, including pre-out, line out and auxiliary RCA ports on its backside while sporting USB 3.0 and 15V/DC outlets in its front end for quick connectivity if required. Other interesting features include ¼ inch jack compatibility so long as an adapter is used with any other type of connection like your headphones which use it typically; this allows users more flexibility when connecting their audio sources than they would have otherwise had without these additional inputs
3 Reasons to Buy It
- Built-in DAC
- Stereo preamp functionality
When I first opened the box, my expectations for this DAC/Amp were low. After testing it out with a variety of genres and music styles, however, I was taken aback by its high-quality build – excepting only one glaring flaw: the volume knob which is unacceptable. It also has an incredible blue light that makes the quality difficult to appreciate if you’re not facing it directly or don’t have enough brightness settings on your screen (I recommend any color other than bright blue).
As far as audio performance goes though; even without being able to hear anything in stereo coming from either side when using headphones connected via 3.5mm jacks instead of a Bluetooth 4 connection), there’s no denying that these are some solid-sounding speakers!
Everything you Need to Know About a Headphone Amp
Does a More Expensive Headphone Amp Mean Better Sound?
Generally, the more money you pay for an amplifier, the higher quality it will be. However: this is not a hard and fast rule. While we want your sound to have its best possible tone with an amazing bass response and clear vocals, do not use price as a benchmark when picking out your amp!
When you’re looking to buy an amp, paying more doesn’t always mean better sound. Often times expensive amps are bulky and fragile with tubes that have a high failure rate. You may not need all the features of these pricey models so save yourself time and money by only purchasing what’s necessary for your needs!
Headphone Amp Types
This is one of the most daunting decisions you will ever make, to be honest. There are so many different models and options that it becomes difficult about what’s best for your needs. What kind of sound do you want?
Tube amps, also sometimes called vacuum tubes or valves, are those glowing glass cylinders you see on some headphone amps. They form part of the audio circuitry by letting electrons burn off in a vacuum chamber.
The best thing about tube amps is that they give you a never-ending project to work on with the potential for an end product that will leave your rack shining and versatile. It’s worth mentioning, however, that there are some things to consider before buying into this system of sound production: not only does it impart rich warmth to your tone; but also tubes can be fragile if taken carelessly. A little polystyrene should do the trick when storing them – just make sure they go pin side down!
Second of all, the tubes in any system are going to be temperamental. They break or short-circuit and just generally do not perform as advertised. It’s inevitable that they will need to be replaced at some point; it doesn’t happen often but you should know about this foible so that you can prepare for when it does arise!
Thirdly, any system with tubes should allow you to perform the arcane practice of ‘tube rolling’. Next time your sound doesn’t cut it, try switching out its single-use components for some new ones and see what happens!
Solid State Amps are a newer type of amp that doesn’t use tubes. They instead rely on solid-state circuitry to do the job – which means they’re less warm and characterful than traditional tube amps, but also more reliable. And while their sound isn’t as rich or full as one made with classic tubes, it is known for being crisp and detailed in an accurate manner.
Hybrid Amp Systems
When you want to get your hands dirty, a hybrid amp can do the trick. These powerful devices use both tubes and circuitry in order to provide their power and tone. They are perfect for those who love tinkering with different sounds on stage or at home!
Impedance and Wattage Explained
The amp’s wattage is the amount of power it puts out, and a headphone’s impedance (Ω) determines how much. If an amplifier outputs one watt at 32 ohms, then any pair of headphones with an impedance level that matches will only be taking in one watt worth of power – even if they are designed to deliver significantly more than this! When it comes to headphones, wattage and impedance are less important than they may be for full-sized speakers. Your amp should have a range of compatible headphone impedances; as long as your particular pair fits within this range, you’ll get by just fine!
Headphone and Amp Matching Explained
One of the simplest ways to figure out if your headphones are compatible with an amp is by looking at their impedance. All you need to do is look up this number and compare it against a list of amps made by that brand, or on the manufacturer’s website.
Amp compatibility gets complicated when headphone impedances go from too low (below 16 ohms) through “marginal” (32-64ohms), all the way up into the high range (>600ohm). Luckily, most amplifiers have input ranges that will work best with lower capacity models like <16Ω while still working well enough for more powerful devices>600Ohm
All the amps on this list can drive great headphones to a suitable volume. So if you need your amp louder, then it’s probably not for any good reason anyway and will only damage your hearing more than what is already happening from using so many hours each day with loud music or noise around you!
DACs, or digital-to-analog converters. What you need before your music can reach your ears is a DAC that converts the ones and zeros of data into sound waves in the air for people to hear – since most phones have this built-in already, it’s safe to say the listening experience will be great coming out of speakers on their device too! If not though, then we highly recommend an external one as it’ll give much better quality than what comes straight from them.
Unsure if you should get a DAC or a headphone amplifier? You can read our article explaining the differences and which one will be best for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use a headphone amp?
Headphone amps are like small amplifiers that can increase the volume of your headphones. They’re just what you need if you want to be able to enjoy music at its fullest potential, without having others hear it too! To put one together is super easy: first, make sure it has power and is connected with sound output from something else (like an external device or computer). Next plug in some good quality headphones – then turn on the amp up all the way for 10 seconds until they start making noise; now adjust them down so they’re loud enough but not really painful.
Why should I use a headphone amp?
There are many benefits to owning a headphone amp. One of the most popular is that it helps in improving sound quality, increasing volume and clarity on an audio signal before you can hear its output through your headphones! This means you’ll always have great music whether indoors or outdoors with friends and family – no matter where life takes you. Some also come packed with other features like FM radio tuning – perfect for when there’s nothing playing on your iPod playlist but don’t want any silence either. So make sure to check out some headphone amps today if these perks sound interesting!
How do I connect a headphone amp to an audio interface?
You may be wondering how to connect a headphone amp to your audio setup. Luckily, I’m here to walk you through it! Simply plug the output of your interface from one side and then run that wire over so that you can plug in both sides of the connector on each end (the amplifier’s input and out).
After this is done, just insert some earbuds or headphones into the other ends like normal for listening. This way, when recording without an audience, there will not be any disturbance coming back at them off-mic during playback via their speaker thanks to having something plugged directly in instead of being picked up by room acoustics such as echo or reverb rebound around walls.
How do I connect a headphone amp to a PC?
It doesn’t matter what type of headphone amplifier you have, it is important to know which port connects your amp to your pc. This way you don’t need an extra cord or adapter that can cause a tangle and mess in the future. Consult with the user manual for specific ports but usually, solid-state amps will connect via micro-USB while USB 3.0 might be used as well depending on the model!
How Do I connect a headphone amp to a mixer?
Remember to consult your user manual for exact specifications, but a general rule of thumb is that you should look out for line-in ports and go from there. Send the main outs from your mixer to the line-in ports on your headphone amp, and be sure all levels are checked before wearing headphones!