Best Headphone Amp

We take a look at the best headphone amps for your needs, as well as discuss in detail which factors you should look for in a headphone amp.

Getting the right sound from your devices and headphones can be tricky. Some components in modern devices can affect the quality of the sound they project. Lower quality components in headphones, phones, and even laptops can leave you with poor sound quality. There’s nothing worse than trying to listen to your favorite tunes and getting a tinny response from your devices!

That’s where a headphone amp comes in. A quality headphone amp will boost the quality of the music you listen to and improve the sound of your headphones. The DAC (digital-to-analog converter) technology can bypass the built in DAC amp of your phone to deliver better quality sound. But if you’re new to headphone amps, you might not know what to look for. There are so many different options to choose from, how can you be sure you’ve found the best headphone amp for your needs?

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the best headphone amp.

If you still don’t find what you need here, maybe sneak a peek at our review of the Sennheiser GSX 1200 Pro here.

How We Picked

Trying to find the right headphone amp for your needs can be tricky – especially if you don’t know what to look for. With so many different models on the market you may be tempted to opt for the cheapest headphone amp that you can find. However, you will need to ensure that it’s perfect for your needs first.

What are the most important factors that you should consider before choosing your next headphone amp? How compatible is it with your brand of headphones and device that you’ll be playing music from? What other features does it offer?

There’s no need to worry. We’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of headphone amps to find the best model for your needs. We looked at factors such as headphone impedance, sound control, and input and output modes to determine which were the best headphone amps on the market.

So let’s take a look at the best headphone amps!

Our Recommended

Best Headphone Amp

Editor's Choice
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Digital input: PC USB / Coaxial / Optical(with toggle switch)

Output: 6.35mm headphone out / 2ch stereo power amp

Line level output: RMS 1.8V

Frequency response: ±3dB(20Hz-20khz)

Headphones Impedance: 32Ω-600Ω

SNR: -94dB

THD: 0.001%

PROS

Versatile

Several input and output modes

High quality sound

Compact

CONS

Volume doesn’t control RCA output

The FX-AUdio DAC-X6 Mini is a powerful headphone amp that any audiophile will be happy to have in their collection. This is a great option for those new to headphone amps, as it offers great quality sound but at a more affordable price than some of the competitive models which cost hundreds of dollars. This headphone amp is a powerful tool that you can use to boost the sound quality of your music when listening through headphones.

Another handy feature of this particular headphone amp is that it can also be used with speakers to boost sound quality. So if you want to boost the quality of your sound when watching your favorite movies and shows, or even when you’re playing your favorite games. This makes it the perfect fit for you if you want to use your new headphone amp to boost several devices in your home.

The FX-Audio DAC-X6 Mini comes with a range of input and output options so that you can use it for a variety of purposes. It includes PC-USB, optical fiber, and coaxial three inputs. It can easily be connected to DCD, DVD, and TV set-top box. In terms of output, the headphone amp features RAC, 6.35mm headphone port 2, and it can also be connected to an active speaker, tube vacuum amp, and a power amplifier.

This headphone amp features a compact design for easier portability. Its smaller design also means it won’t take up loads of room in your home. So you won’t have to worry about sacrificing tons of shelf space or workspace in order to use your new headphone amp.

Overall the FX-Audio DAC-X6 Mini headphone amp comes with a range of great features and excellent usability, all at a competitive price.

Enthusiast Pick
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Connector Type: RCA, USB Type B, USB Type C

PC-USB supports input sampling rate: 96K/24Bit

High and low sound adjustment range: ±6dB

Fiber/coaxial support input sampling rate: 192K/24Bit

Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)

PC-USB support operating system: XP/W7/W8/W10/MAC/linux

Distortion: 0.01%; SNR: ≥105dB

Amp output maximum power: 100mW 32Ω load

Headphone matching impedance: 16-200Ω

Working voltage: DC5V; RCA output level: 2.3V

PROS

Headphones and speakers

Plug and play

Variety of input and output modes

18 month warranty

CONS

Noticeable white noise in low impedance headphones

The Fosi Audio Q4 headphone amp is the perfect choice for those who want better control of the sound their headphones produce. This particular headphone amp allows you to easily adjust the treble and bass tones of your music to suit your personal preferences. You can also adjust the volume to make the most out of your music.

A great feature of the Fosi Audio Q4 is that it comes with a range of input and output modes. This means you can easily choose the setup to suit your needs. It works as a terrific headphone amp, but can also be used with a variety of other devices to suit your sound needs. It features PC-USB, optical, and coaxial S/PDIF inputs which are usable with most audio systems. It also features RCA output which can be used with speakers, computers, and more.

Another handy thing about this particular headphone amp is that it’s pretty much plug and play. You won’t need to install any complicated hardware before you can use it. You can use it pretty much straight out of the box to help you get the most out of your headphones. Its compact nature also aids its portability.

You’ll get everything you need to work this headphone amp. Included with the amp itself is a 5V USB power supply cable, a PC-USB cable, and an optical cable. You will also get 18 months warranty included for added peace of mind.

All in all the Fosi Audio Q4 headphone amp gives a competitive choice but at a more affordable price than some comparative models.

Mid Range Pick
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Headphone Output Power: ≥ 1.5 W into 32 Ohms

Headphone Output Current: 500 mA (Max)

Digital Chipset: DAC: AKM AK4493 USB: XMOS XUF208

Number of Headphone Channels: Single Channel

USB: USB Type-B

Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 80 kHz

PROS

Multiple interfaces

High quality audio

High quality components

Compact

CONS

Pricy

The FiiO K5 Pro headphone amp is the creme de la creme out of all of our picks. It features a range of high quality components to give you the best sound quality possible. This headphone amp comes with AKM AK4493EQ DAC chips to give you smoother, pleasant sound thanks to the high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion. It also features XMOS USB Audio for reliability, and gives you precise volume control thanks to the NJRC NW1195A analog volume adjustment chip.

Another great feature of this particular headphone amp is that it comes with a variety of interfaces. This means you can not only use it with your headphones to boost their sound, but you can also use it with multiple other devices to boost the quality of sound from your speakers.

A unique feature of this headphone amp is that it comes with a gain switch. This allows you to easily adjust the level of gain between low, medium, and high, depending on how much power you want to drive to your headphones. This will be a handy feature to have on your headphone amp if you want to better adjust the sound to your preferences.

This particular headphone amp has been designed to help you make the most out of your headphones. It gives you a total power output of up to 1.5W under a 32ohm load, as well as up to 20Vpp at 300ohm. This means that your headphones will be able to achieve the best quality audio compared to a headphone amp at a lower price range.

The FiiO K5 Pro is an excellent choice that will be the perfect fit for those serious about the sound quality of their headphones and are willing to spend a little bit extra.

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Control Type: Call Control

Impedance: 100 kOhms

Maximum Input Level: +15 dBu. Headphone Outputs

Impedance: Approx. 80 Ohms

Maximum Output Level: Approx. 40 mW in 100 Ohms

External power supply, 12 V, 150 mA

Power Range: 120V, 60Hz. Physical

PROS

Compact

4 amplifier sections

High quality audio

Individual channel controls

CONS

Short power cord

The Behringer Microamp HA400 is the perfect choice if you’re restricted by a budget. This particular headphone amp will have all the basics covered so that you can listen to high quality music whenever you want. It delivers audio of the highest quality and is compatible with practically all types of headphones. Even when you’re playing music at the maximum volume!

A handy feature of this headphone amp is that it offers 4 output sections. These are capable of working independently from each other for high quality audio. You won’t have to worry about someone else’s headphones impacting your sound quality if you’re using the headphone amp with a friend and you need to adjust your settings. The levels can be independently controlled via the level controls.

You’ll get everything you need to use this headphone amp included. It comes with its own DC 12V adapter so that you can power it up straight out of the box. Perfect if you don’t want to have to buy any additional hardware in order to power up the headphone amp.

Another great feature of this headphone amp is that it’s super lightweight and compact. This makes it easy to transport around with you so you can listen to high quality audio wherever you want to.

Overall the Behringer Microamp HA400 is a solid choice if you’re looking for a budget option that still delivers a solid performance.

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Product type: Headphone amplifier

Amplification type: Tubes

Consumption: 10W

THD+N: Single-ended 0.02%

SNR: Single-ended 97dB Balanced102dB

PROS

CNC aluminum

Up to 600mW at 64ohms

Military grade vacuum tubes

2 colors

CONS

Pricy

The LOXJIE P20 headphone amp is the perfect choice for those of you who prefer an old school style amp. This particular headphone amp features military grade 6N3 electronic tubes as well as carefully tuned circuits. These vacuum tubes give the amplifier a warmer sound than some more modern headphone amps, making them the perfect addition for those who want a different sound quality from their device.

This particular headphone amp allows you to maximize the performance of your headphones. It features true balanced inputs and outputs to minimize audio interference and allow you to enjoy high quality audio. This will be essential if you want to make the most out of your headphones.

Another great feature of this particular headphone amp is that it’s super easy to use. Simply rotate the knob to adjust the volume. You can press and hold the same knob to power the machine on or off. Giving the knob a short press allows you to switch between the setting menus for you to adjust features to suit your needs. This also allows you to switch between input and output ports.

The LOXJIE P20 headphone amp is ideal for those who know a little more about headphone amps and want a warmer sound.

Things To Consider

Headphone impedance

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best headphone amp for you is the type of headphone impedance that will be in play. Headphone impedance tends to be measured in ohms, or Ω. Anything with low impedance, such as 25ohms, doesn’t need a lot of power to deliver high audio levels. Headphones which use low impedance are more likely to become damaged when using the wrong amplifier, so it’s crucial you choose the right amp for your specific headphones.

To find the best headphone amp you will need to know what headphone impedance your particular headphones have. You should be able to find this on your product packaging, or you can check the manufacturer’s website if you want to make sure. This should also give you the corresponding figure that you’d need to look for in an amplifier. You should aim to get a headphone amp that uses at least 10 times fewer ohms. For example, a set of headphones with 300ohms would need to be paired with a headphone amp that has 30ohms.

Input and output modes

One factor to consider is what variety of input and output modes your chosen headphone amp comes with. This is because the majority of mid-priced headphone amps can also be used to adjust the sound on your speaker systems, too. So the more input and output modes your chosen headphone amp comes with, the better!

In terms of headphones, you should ensure that the headphone jack your headphone amp comes with is able to accommodate your preferred set of headphones. If it doesn’t feature the same jack, you may need to buy an adapter.

You may also want to consider how many output sections the headphone amp has. Depending on what you need to use your new headphone amp for, you may need to have output to several different sets of headphones or even speakers as well. A headphone amp that allows you to control the output to these different channels will be a handy feature to have.

Sound control

A handy factor to have on your headphone amp will be full control over your music. This won’t only include a volume dial or knob that you can use to adjust the volume. Headphone amps that also allow you to adjust the bass and treble independently of one another will help you to enjoy the finer aspects of your favorite music. You can easily adjust the sound to suit your needs.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this may be dependent on the price of your chosen model. Some of the cheaper models don’t offer this level of sound control. However, you shouldn’t shell out for the most expensive model you find. If you want this greater level of sound control over your music, you should take a look at the Fosi Audio Q4.

Balanced audio

Another important factor to consider will be whether the headphone amp features balanced audio. This works differently to unbalanced audio, as it actively works to try and minimize interference with the sound, such as white noise or feedback. Balanced audio makes use of a slightly different technique to unbalanced audio to weed out any interference that can occur.

Balanced audio makes use of two different signals as well as a ground wire to get this more accurate sound. It reverses the polarity of this signal at the receiving end so as to cut out any unwanted noises, meaning you can enjoy clearer, truer sound.

Our Verdict

Editor's Choice
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Digital input: PC USB / Coaxial / Optical(with toggle switch)

Output: 6.35mm headphone out / 2ch stereo power amp

Line level output: RMS 1.8V

Frequency response: ±3dB(20Hz-20khz)

Headphones Impedance: 32Ω-600Ω

SNR: -94dB

THD: 0.001%

First up is the FX-Audio DAC-X6 Mini. This particular headphone amp gives you great quality sound but at a more affordable price than with some competitive models.

The Fosi Audio Q4 headphone amp is another great choice if affordability is a factor for you. This headphone amp allows you to adjust the bass and treble to suit your preferred tastes.

Next is the FiiO K5 Pro. This headphone amp is pricier than some of the others on our list, but it packs a powerful punch in terms of sound quality.

The Behringer Microamp HA400 is an excellent budget friendly option. This headphone amp features 4 stereo channels which can be controlled independently from each other.

Rounding off our list of the best headphone amps is the LOXJIE P20. This headphone amp makes use of military grade vacuum tubes which give it a warmer sound overall.

And so our guide to the best headphone amp comes to an end! All of the products we’ve highlighted above will be perfect for your needs. You should now know everything that you need to know to find the best headphone amp for you. Got a question for us about the best headphone amp? Drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help!