10 Best Headphone Amps for 2017

If you are about to commence the search for a headphone amp; you will soon discover that there are many varieties and features associated with these amps, which may prove difficult in selecting the right one for your needs and requirements.

We have therefore taken the liberty of exploring and reviewing some of the very best headphone amps out in the market today, in order to help you select an amp that suits all your needs perfectly.

1. FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-A1-Silver-Portable

Most of the headphone amps that you will find in the market these days are designed to facilitate high impedance. For those not technically knowledgeable, this simply means that the sound emitted from headphones under the range of $200 do not require any amp.

The FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier is also designed specifically to work with high impedance headphones. As can be determined from the title of these headphone amps, it is highly portable and is an upgrade from the previous model that was anE5. As it is a more advanced model than the E5, it contains all the qualities that were present in the E5 with added features and an additional boost in performance.

Pros

+ It is specially designed for low sensitivity and high impedance headphones.

+ The use of this headphone amp is rather convenient and easy and that is due to the sleek, and compact design.

+ It comes equipped with a new and improved amplifier circuit with low noise and low distortion, in order to provide as much clarity as possible.

Why We Liked It – Whether it comes along with bass boost or not the FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier is one of the best headphones that you will find on the market today and that too at a pretty nominal 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 with these products is their ability to improve the quality of sound. Now just imagine buying a headphone amp and it does not have any effect on the sound quality. You would then consider the purchase such a waste.

However, with the FiiO E10K USB DAC and 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 boost the quality of the sound to a great level so that you only get the very best from your equipment.

Pros

+ It is really easy to operate this headphone amp since it comes equipped with a barrier-free design along with a volume potentiometer.

+ When you talk about its ability to provide you with the best sound quality it is just extraordinary since it combines two exquisite technologies together and gives you an unparalleled listening experience.

+ Another factor that this headphone amp has and which will enhance your listening experience is that it comes equipped with 3dB bass boosting circuit.

Why We Liked It –You will not be able to find out any real drawback with the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier and hence it is one of the best headphone amps out there.

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

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

All that you can expect from your headphone amplifier is delivered by the Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier. This easy to set up headphone amplifier is one of the best products on the marketat present.

This amp is a 4-channel headphone amp, so that four people can use it at the same time and with the volume levels adjusted according to their liking as well. It is a super-compact headphone amplifier that can be used with almost every headphone that you know of.

Pros

+ This headphone amp is equipped with 4 high-power stereo amplifiers to give you the best sound quality even when you take the volume up to the highest levels.

+ These headphone amps are ultra-compact in design and have the ability to work with any headphones out there and therefore the applications to both stage and studios are quite good.

+ This headphone amp comes with a pretty high-quality construction to give you really good durability.

Why We Liked It –Well, it is just a rarity to find such a perfect product as the Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier and that too at the price at which it is available.

4. Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier

Monoprice-611502-Headphone-Amplifier-Overdrive

When you are a musician you are well aware of the fact that you have to constantly practice to improve your skill level. It may not, however, be possible to do this all the time, where you can simply pick up your normal amp and start playing and listening to what you are playing in full throttle, due to consideration for your neighbors and those around you.

Therefore at times when you need your silent practice, you cannot find a better headphone amp than the Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier which will cater for this like a pro, and will not let you down and is sure to meet all your expectations.

Pros

+ This headphone amp is specially designed for those more quiet moments when you want to just practice without anyone even hearing you.

+ It is designed to suit electric or bass guitars.

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

Why We Liked It – When you have such a gem of a product as the Monoprice 611502 Mini Headphone Amplifier there is just no point in looking elsewhere, when it comes to practicing guitar; whether electric or bass.

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

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

When speaking of the best headphone amps that are available out there all these amps have one thing in common, and that is the ability of these headphones to enhance the sound quality that you will hear in your headphones.

The Pyle-Pro PHA40 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier is no different, and also quite capable of elevating the sound quality within your headphone, and introduce you to an all-new listening experience that you have not heard before. That is the reason why this headphone has managed to earn a spot on our list of best headphone amps.

Pros

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

+ It also comes equipped with stereo headphone output level controls.

+ The stereo headphone output jacks that you get with this headphone amp are of 1/4.

+ It also comes equipped with a DC power supply of 12V/150mA.

Why We Liked It –The price at which the Pyle-Pro PHA40 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier is available is pretty amazing therefore you can overlook the slightest of shortcomings with this headphone amp.

6. FiiO A1 Portable Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-A1-Silver-Portable-Headphone

It would not be an overstatement to say that the headphone amps give some added power to your pair of headphones. If you are an audiophile you will 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 highly capable of doing just that i.e. enhancing the quality of the sound so as to enhance the listening experience for the user. It is equipped with all the necessary bells and whistles that you expect from an excellent headphone amp of this size.

Pros

+ When you talk about the portability of the headphone amp it is really important because most people carry their headphones along with them wherever they go. This headphone amp, therefore, travels well, because of the compact size and is highly portable.

+ Also, comes equipped with hardware bass boost settings.

+ This headphone amp is equipped with 4 EQ modes so you get the maximum flexibility from it.

Why We Liked It – Well as is rightly said that nothing in this world can ever be perfect and if you want the closest thing as far as headphone amps are concerned you should opt for the FiiO A1 Portable Headphone Amplifier.

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 that any headphone amp that is capable of enhancing the sound quality of a portable sound device and give you an amazing listening experience from your headphones is considered to be very good. Now when you have such a huge brand name like the M-Audio attached to any product you can be assured of its quality.

The M-Audio Bass Traveler | Portable Powered Headphone Amplifier with Dual Outputs and 2-Level Boost is one of the best headphone amps that you will ever find. It is not just able to boost the sound quality of the headphones that it is played with, but also comes equipped with extra features, as could be expected from any product by M-Audio.

Pros

+ This headphone amp is a battery-powered amp and it can support up to two headphones at the same time.

+ The battery of this headphone amp lasts up to 8 hours so you can enjoy an increased sound quality for a period of 8 hours when fully charged and that too along with a companion.

+ This amp is equipped with a bass boost so that 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 would makeperfect 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

When you want a headphone amp that is able to support impedance up to 600 ohms this particular headphone is the best available choice for you. This headphone amp is not only capable of this, but a lot more as well. Hence it has rightfully earned a spot on our list of best headphone amps.

The extent of 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 and that 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 for you since it supports headphones having impedance up to 600 ohms.

+ Comes equipped with a lithium battery so you are free from the worry of keeping it plugged in every time you use it.

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

Why We Liked It –With keeping in mind, that all good things come at a price, the Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones has so much to offer, and is therefore worth every penny.

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

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

When talking about the best headphone amps that are available in the market you cannot for the slightest of moment count this headphone amp out. With all the things that you require from your headphone amp, and that too in a complete package is what you get with this headphone amp.

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

+ Sine these headphone amps are capable of delivering high fidelity, therefore, the listening experience of the user is taken to an entirely different level.

+ When you are going to compare the price point at which this headphone amp is available with some other amps of the same sort you will find out that it is really inexpensive.

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

Why We Liked It –Arguably the best headphone amp that you will find at this price is the Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp.

10. FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier

FiiO-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier

There is absolutely no way that you can exclude the company known as FiiO when it comes to the top of the line headphone amps that are available on the market today. The company has produced some of the very best headphone amps over the years and has gained a rightful reputation in the eyes of its users.

The FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier since being a product of the FiiO, there is just no way that it should not have been included among some of the best headphone amps that you have ever come across. With all the qualities that you ever want from your headphone amp and that too with an amazingly inexpensive price make this headphone amp a sought-after amp in its class.

Pros

+ When you talk about the looks of this headphone amp they are pretty impressive since the body is all aluminum with a nice design.

+ The sound quality that you get from this headphone amp is far superior to some other amps of its kind and that is because of the expertly selected components and the design that it has.

+ It is specially designed to suit headphones ranging from 16 to 150 ohms.

Why We Liked It – This amp has everything required to provide a great sound quality and really amp up your listening experience. The FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier is also available at a great price.

Headphone Amp Buyers Guide

The world that we live in, has changed quite dramatically and the biggest reason for this change in the world today is due to ever-changing and advancing technology. It would not be an overstatement to say that the ever-changing and advancing technology has had and is still having its effects on every aspect of life and society as we know it.

As with all other aspects of life; music also went through some dramatic changes because of this evolving technology. There was a time when people used different objects as musical instruments but with the advancement in technology and the introduction of specific musical instruments, there are improvements in design and technology, where music is also concerned.

When the headphones were first introduced people were amazed, as the only medium available at the time, for emitting sound, was through a speaker. The compact, user-friendly and user-dedicated sound pods, referred to as headphones, were simply revolutionary. The headphones themselves 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. Who would have thought at the time when the first headphones were invented that these could also be used with an amp? But now, in the modern world, it is actually a reality and a pretty common practice of music lovers and avid gamers all over.

There was a time when people were first introduced to the headphones and the astonishment of the people when they witnessed the first headphones was really amazing, now who would have thought at this point of time that the headphones manufacturing will one day become a complete industry and that too a pretty advanced one as well.

If you would have told this to someone back then, they would just laugh as if they were told a joke. But now it is as real as anything, the headphone manufacturing is actually a thing of a reality in the modern world that we live in.

There was no concept of headphone amps if you just look back quite a few years from now. But the world that we live in today highly recognizes this concept and not only it recognizes the concept but is actually witnessing its practical applications and also benefitting from it at the same time.

In this modern world of today, people are well of the headphone amps that are available in the market. But only being aware of their availability in the market would not help you in selecting the best one for yourself. Since the manufacturing of the headphone amps has completely evolved as an industry, therefore, you have a lot of options at your disposal to choose from. It is a common fact that when anyone is provided with so many options he/she tends to get confused in making the right decision. It is important in the correct decision making as far as buying of a headphone amp is concerned that you should do not only your homework but also a thorough research if you want to select the best one out of the lot.

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

  • The Budget

The fist and the foremost question to ask yourself when going for a headphone amp are what is the budget that you have in mind for purchasing it. Once decided it is really important that you should stick to the decided budget and get the best available option to best suit your needs and requirements within that particular budget.

As is the case with most of the other products that you ought to decide your budget first and then step into purchasing of it, the similar goes for a headphone amp as well. But in order to select the best one you need to know all the price ranges that these headphone amps are available in, because if you are going to hit the market without having the idea of the price ranges then the chances are that you are going to mess up the purchase.

There are headphone amps available in the market that will cost you as low as under $80 and can go up to hundreds of dollars. If you are looking to get an inexpensive headphone amp be aware that it will surely help in giving you a better quality sound and more power which is actually the primary function of the headphone amp but with the more expensive ones you are entitled to get some really advanced features. So now the budget will depend on what you need out of your headphone amp.

  • Portable or Desktop amp

Now this as another pretty important question that you should ask yourself before you step into purchasing of a headphone amp if you require portability out of your headphone amp or you are looking for a desktop amp that you would be using with your PC or a gaming console.

Well, the sizes of both the application of the headphones are different. If you are talking about the portable headphone amps they are pretty small in size and can be as small as to easily come into your pocket but that does not mean at all that you cannot expect the best performance from them because of the smaller size.

The similar goes with the desktop amps as well, these amps are relatively big as compared to the portable headphone amps but their size has nothing to do with their performance. You may find some of the very small portable headphone amps giving you a way better performance than the bigger desktop ones and vice versa.

Therefore it is really important that you know what is the application of the headphone amp that you are buying is going to be. Whether you are looking for portability from your headphone amp or you just need to connect to your PC (the desktop amp).

  • The headphone type

It is really important that you ask yourself this question before you go on and buy a headphone amp that what type of headphones will you be using the amp with, whether open, closed or semi-open ones. When you talk about the open-back headphones they require some more power as compared to the closed-back ones and that is because of the different application of the two types of wireless headphones.

Therefore it is really important for you to know what headphones you will be using the headphone amp along with in order to make the correct decision and get the most out of your headphone amp that you have actually selected.

  • Music Preference

Well, this question that what is your preferred choice of music is not that important as all the questions stated above but still will help you a great deal in the correct decision making as far as the selection of the best headphone amp is concerned. If you are a person that have a thing for the rock genre you will require headphone amps that come in equipped with bass boost, but on the other hand, if you are a person who is a lover of the classical genre you will not be needing the bass boost at all.


Our Top Pick

FiiO E6 Portable AudioOne of the very best headphone amps that you will ever get in the market is the FiiO E6 Portable Audio Headphone Amplifier that is 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 so if you are using such type of headphones you can expect just the best out of this headphone amp.

It is the upgraded model of the E5 by FiiO and therefore has all the qualities and the attributes as that of the E5 and also is 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 DACThis company that is known as FiiO never stops to amaze its consumers by the very best headphone amps, that it is renowned for manufacturing. Over the years it has produced a number of headphone amps that were used by all, whether an audiophile or a pro musician. When it comes to the manufacturing of the very best of the headphone amps this company just has no parallel.

The FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier is another impressive headphone amp by FiiO, which will cater 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 is also equipped with a 3dB bass boosting circuit to provide you with some loudness. It is quite capable of enhancing the sound quality since it combines to technologies together to give you just the best sound.


Great Value

Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-CompactOne of the best amps that you will ever find in the market is the Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier that will satisfy all your needs and requirements as far as headphone amps are concerned.

It is a 4-channel studio headphone amp that can accommodate up to four headphones at the same time and even gives every listener the power to control the volume as desired.

So when you are in your studio along with your band and everyone is working on different ideas on music this is just the perfect headphone amp. The price point also at which this headphone amp is available makes it pretty distinct from other amps.

 

FAQs

What is a Headphone amp?

A pretty simple and an easy to understand the definition of a headphone amp is a power amp that has the ability to drive the miniature speakers found inside a headphone.

What are the benefits of using a headphone amp?

As we all know that headphones amps have the ability to give more power to your headphones and by more power, we mean an increase in the signal quality of the headphone. Another factor that the headphone amps are good with is most of the headphone amps are also capable of enhancing the sound quality of the headphone.

Which are the best headphone amps?

Well, you will find a number of headphone amps available in the market these days but the best headphone amps are the ones that actually serves the purpose for which they are designed for completely. This purpose is to give more power to the headphone and also increase the sound quality of the headphones, the features and specs are just a matter of the personal preference.

Why do I need a headphone amp?

The answer to this question is a really simple one and that is the same reason that you will hook up your room speakers with an amp. The big speakers of the room need a conventional amp to enhance the performance and the sound quality of the speakers and in the case of the headphones when you have the miniature speakers this is done by the headphone amps i.e. their overall performance is boosted. If you’d like to read more reviews on headphones, click here.

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