10 Best Headphone Amps for 2018

At a glance: Our top 3 picks
Your shortcut to our team's top 3 recommendations
FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier
  • Specially designed for low sensitivity and high impedance headphones.
  • Convenient and easy to use due to the sleek, compact design.
  • Equipped with a new and improved amplifier circuit with low noise and low distortion, to provide as much clarity as possible.
  • Easy to operate as it comes with a barrier-free design along with a volume potentiometer.
  • Combines two exquisite technologies and gives you an unparalleled listening experience.
  • Comes with 3dB bass boosting circuit.
  • Has 4 high-power stereo amplifiers to give you the best sound quality even when you crank up the volume.
  • Ultra-compact design which makes for both good stage and studio application.
  • Comes with a high-quality construction to give you great durability.
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Best Headphone Amps of 2018

1. FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-A1-Silver-Portable

Most headphone amps are designed to facilitate high impedance. If you don't have much in the ways of technical knowledge, this simply means that sound emitted from headphones under $200 don't require an amp.

The FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier is also specifically designed to work with high impedance headphones. They are highly portable and represent an upgrade from the previous model, the E5. As it's a more advanced model than the E5, it contains all the features that were present in the E5, along with added features and an additional performance boost.

Pros:

+ Specially designed for low sensitivity and high impedance headphones.

+ Convenient and easy to use due to the sleek, compact design.

+ Equipped with a new and improved amplifier circuit with low noise and low distortion, to provide as much clarity as possible.

Why We Liked It - Whether it comes with bass boost or not, the FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier is one of the best headphones you'll find at such a great price.

2. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier

When discussing headphone amps, the first and the foremost thing to look for is their ability to improve sound quality. Now imagine buying a headphone amp that doesn't have any effect on sound quality. You'd consider it to be a waste.

However, with the FiiO E10K USB DAC Headphone Amplifier in your setup, you can rest assured that you have actually selected the right option as far as headphone amps are concerned. It will give you a major sound quality boost so you only get the very best from your equipment.

Pros:

+ Easy to operate as it comes with a barrier-free design along with a volume potentiometer.

+ Combines two exquisite technologies and gives you an unparalleled listening experience.

+ Comes with 3dB bass boosting circuit.

Why We Liked It - There are no drawbacks with the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier, making it a top choice buy.

3. Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier

Behringer-Ultra-Compact-4-Channel-Headphone-Amplifier

The Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier is easy to set up. It has a 4-channel headphone amp, enabling four people to use it at the same time and adjust the volumes according to their liking. It's a super-compact headphone amplifier that can be used with almost every headphone you can think of.

Pros:

+ Has 4 high-power stereo amplifiers to give you the best sound quality even when you crank up the volume.

+ Ultra-compact design which makes for both good stage and studio application.

+ Comes with a high-quality construction to give you great durability.

Why We Liked It - It's a rarity to find such a perfect product as the Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier. Even better, the price is right on this amp.

4. Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier

Monoprice-611502-Headphone-Amplifier-Overdrive

When you're a musician, you're well aware of the fact that you have to constantly practice to improve your skill level. For those times you need to practice quietly, the Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier is perfect and will cater to the needs of pros and music enthusiasts alike.

Pros:

+ Specially designed for those more quiet moments when you want to practice without anyone even hearing you.

+ Designed to suit electric or bass guitars.

+ It derives its power from two AAA batteries and also comes with a 3.5mm TRS output so you can easily connect your headphones.

Why We Liked It - When you have such a gem of a product as the Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier, there;s no point in looking elsewhere.

5. Pyle-Pro PHA40 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier

Pyle-Pro-PHA40-4-Channel-Headphone-Amplifier

The Pyle-Pro PHA40 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier is quite capable of elevating sound quality within your headphones and can introduce you to an all-new listening experience.

Pros:
+ Power on LED Indicator so you get the lights every time you switch on this headphone amp.

+ Comes equipped with stereo headphone output level controls.

+ ¼ inch stereo headphone output jacks.

+ Comes equipped with a DC power supply of 12V/150mA.

Why We Liked It - The price of the Pyle-Pro PHA40 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier is phenomenal. You can overlook the slightest of shortcomings with this headphone amp.

6. FiiO A1 Portable Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-A1-Silver-Portable-Headphone

Headphone amps give some added power to your pair of headphones. If you are an audiophile, you'll know the difference a headphone amp can make in the overall sound quality of the headphones but only if the amp is chosen wisely.

The FiiO A1 Portable Headphone Amplifier is capable of doing just that. It enhances the quality of the sound which improves your listening experience. It's equipped with all the necessary features you'd expect from an excellent headphone amp of this size.

Pros:

+ This headphone amp travels well because of the compact size and is highly portable.

+ Comes equipped with hardware bass boost settings.

+ Equipped with 4 EQ modes so you get the maximum flexibility.

Why We Liked It - The FiiO A1 Portable Headphone Amplifier is a world class headphone amp.

7. M-Audio Bass Traveler | Portable Powered Headphone Amplifier with Dual Outputs and 2-Level Boost

M-Audio-Bass-Traveler-Headphone-Amplifier

As already stated above, any headphone amp is capable of enhancing the sound quality of a portable sound device and gives you an amazing listening experience. Now when you have such a huge brand name like the M-Audio attached to a product, you know you're getting some great gear.

The M-Audio Bass Traveler | Portable Powered Headphone Amplifier with Dual Outputs and 2-Level Boost is one of the best headphone amps ever. It isn't just able to boost sound quality, but it also comes equipped with extra features.

Pros:

+ Battery-powered amp and can support up to two headphones at the same time.

+ The battery lasts up to 8 hours.

+ This amp is equipped with a bass boost so you get the best listening experience every time.

Why We Liked It - When you have such a great product like the M-Audio Bass Traveler | Portable Powered Headphone Amplifier with Dual Outputs and 2-Level Boost, coupled with the amazing brand name, choosing this headphone amp makes perfect sense.

8. Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones

Creative-Headphone-Amplifier-Integrated-Smartphones

If you want a headphone amp that's able to support impedance up to 600 ohms, this is the one for you. The extent to which the Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones can increase the sound quality of your headphone is totally unbelievable. This is because of the 106dB SNR (Signal-to-noise Ratio) that this amp is equipped with.

Pros:

+ When you want a studio grade listening experience from any of your headphones this amp is the right option; it supports headphones having impedance up to 600 ohms.

+ Comes equipped with a lithium battery.

+ The battery can last up to 25 hours when fully charged.

Why We Liked It -The Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones has so much to offer, it's definitely worth its higher price tag.

9. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp

Nobsound-NS-08E-Integrated-Amplifier-Headphon

The ability of the Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp to be played with any kind of headphone makes it far superior to most of the other headphone amps that are available on the market today.

Pros:

+ Capable of delivering high-fidelity, for a top-notch listening experience.

+ Good value for the money.

+ Both the input and the output jacks of this headphone amp are 3.5mm.

Why We Liked It - This is arguably the best headphone amp that you will find at this price.

10. FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier

The FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier has all the qualities that you ever want from your headphone amp. The best part is that it's available at an amazingly inexpensive price. This is one of the top sought-after amps in its class.

Pros:

+ Aluminum body with a pleasing design.

+ The sound quality that you get from this headphone amp is far superior to similar products.

+ Specially designed to suit headphones ranging from 16 to 150 ohms.

Why We Liked It - This amp has everything you need for great sound quality. If you really want to amp up your listening experience, the FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier is right for you.

Headphone Amp Buyers' Guide

The world that we live in has changed thanks to ever evolving and advancing technology.As with all other aspects of life, music also went through some dramatic changes because of this evolving technology.When headphones were first introduced, people were amazed. The compact, user-friendly and user-dedicated sound pods, referred to as “headphones” were revolutionary. Headphones have gone through vast changes over the last few years and we now have all sorts of different types of headphones available in the market. If you look back several years, there was no concept of headphone amps. People are well of the benefits headphone amps.

There are some key factors to look at before you purchase any headphone amp, which are discussed below. When going for a headphone amp you should always ask yourself a few questions to make the best possible decision.

  • The Budget

The first and the foremost question to ask yourself when going for a headphone amp is your budget. Once you've settled on a price range, you should stick to it and get the best available option to best suit your needs.

There are headphone amps available that will cost you as low as $80 or less and they can also go up to hundreds of dollars. If you're looking to get an inexpensive headphone amp, be aware that while it will help you get a better quality sound and more power, the more expensive ones will come with advanced features.

  • Portable or Desktop Amp

Now this as another pretty important question that you should ask yourself before you purchase a headphone amp. Do you require portability out of your headphone amp or you are looking for a desktop amp to use with your PC or a gaming console?

The sizes are different. If you're talking about portable headphone amps, they're pretty small in size and can easily fit into your pocket. This doesn't mean just because they're smaller that you won't get top performance.

The same goes for the desktop amps as well. These amps are relatively big compared to portable headphone amps, but their size has nothing to do with their performance. You may find some of the very small portable headphone amps give you a way better performance than the bigger desktop ones and vice versa. It's important that you know what the application of the headphone amp that you're buying is going to be.

  • The Headphone Type

It's important to ask yourself what type of headphones are you going to be using with the amp? Open, closed or semi-open ones. Open-back headphones require more power compared to closed-back ones because of the different application of the two types of wireless headphones. To get the most out of your headphone amp, you'll need to figure out what headphones you'll be using. For low priced headphones with bluetooth capability, click here.

  • Music Preference

Your music preference doesn't matter as much when it comes to buying a headphone amp. Budget and headphone type are more important. If you have a thing for rock, opt for headphone amps that come equipped with bass boost. On the other hand, if you love classical, you be needing the bass boost at all.


Our Top Pick

FiiO E6 Portable Audio

One of the very best headphone amps that you will ever is the FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier. It's renowned for its high performance and will give you everything that you need from your headphone amp.

This headphone amp is specially designed for low-sensitivity and high impedance headphones.It's the upgraded model of the E5 by FiiO and has all the qualities and attributes as the E5 and is also equipped with new and improved features, making it the best available choice for you as far as the headphone amps are concerned.


Premium Choice

FiiO E10K USB DAC

FiiO never ceases to amaze its consumers by making the very best headphone amps. Over the years, it has produced a number of headphone amps which were widely popular with both audiophiles and pro musicians. When it comes to making the very best headphone amps, this company just has no equal.

The FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier is another impressive headphone amp by FiiO, which will cater to all your needs as far as headphone amps are concerned. The volume potentiometer and the barrier-free design of this headphone amp make it fairly easy to operate. It's also equipped with a 3dB bass boosting circuit to give you louder sound. It enhances sound quality since it combines technologies together to give you the best sound around.


Great Value

Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact

One of the best great value amps you will ever find is the Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier.

It's a 4-channel studio headphone amp that can accommodate up to four headphones at the same time and even gives each listener the power to control volume.
If you're in the studio with your band this is the perfect headphone amp. The price point makes it pretty distinct from other amps as well.

FAQs

What is a Headphone Amp?

A headphone amp is a power amp that has the ability to drive the miniature speakers found inside a headphone and boost the sound.

What are the Benefits of Using a Headphone Amp?

Headphones amps have the ability to give more power to your headphones and by more power, we mean they increase the signal quality of the headphone. They are also capable of enhancing the sound quality of headphones.

Which are the Best Headphone Amps?

The best headphone amps are the ones that actually serves the purpose for which they are designed. This purpose is to give more power to the headphone and also increase the sound quality of the headphones. Features and specs are just a matter of the personal preference.

Why do I Need a Headphone Amp?

If you want to boost your sound and enhance the quality of your headphone audio, then you should consider buying a headphone amp. If you'd like to read more reviews on headphones, click the link.

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