Whether you’re looking for a simple solution to your audio woes or you’re looking to amp up your audio experience, a headphone amp is the way to go. These handy devices can be used to boost the audio quality of your headphones, allowing you to hear more detail and better bass. We’ve put together a list of the best headphone amps in 2021 to help you get the most out of your audio experience.
There is no question that headphones have made life much easier in recent years. They’ve made it possible to listen to anything on any device and to share sounds with people around you in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. In this guide, we're going to focus on the best headphone amps on today's market. These take your listening and recording experience to the next level.
Before purchasing a set of headphone amplifiers, here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your new equipment.
Carefully read the instruction manual
Your amplifier will likely be a new model, so you should know what settings, inputs, and outputs it’s compatible with. If you‘re not 100% sure, call the manufacturer to double-check. There's a good chance you can override the built-in headphone amp and use a separate amplifier.
Make sure your chosen headphone amplifier can power any headphones that are listed in the product specs. It's not uncommon for a brand to not work with other brands products, so just be wary.
Whether you’re new to the world of headphones or you have years of experience under your belt, the decision to buy a headphone amp will undoubtedly be influenced by your personal preference and requirements. Here are some factors to consider when shopping for the best headphone amplifier.
How much power do I need?
Before you buy your headphone amplifiers, measure the amount of power that you need. Most headphones can handle a wattage of around 500 to 1,000 watts, but you may find a pair that can only handle 250 watts. Find out the headphone amps power requirements on your chosen models to make sure you don't end up purchasing an amplifier that‘s too powerful for your headphones.
What kind of input device do you want to connect my headphone?
Check out whether your favorite headphones are compatible with your preferred input devices. While you can't control a device s connectivity, you do have the option to input your own audio through your amplifier, which is worth considering if you just want a basic headphone jack replacement.
How good is the internal sound quality of the amp?
If you get a bad quality headphone input, it may render the overall performance of your amp useless. Also, be sure to check the quality and quantity of cables included with the amplifier as this will also affect the sound of its output.
The cheapest headphone amps will cost about $50. These will often be compact, and they will not have a headphone jack. They will, however, have enough capability to drive small devices and may come with some extra accessories.
In the $60 to $100 range, you will find two-channel headphone amp designs with headphone outputs. Some of these will be USB models, giving you the option to connect to a computer or other device using a USB cable.
Expensive (and best for studio monitoring)
The best headphones amps are priced between $125 and $300. The output impedance can be lowered to below 1.0, the signal-to-noise ratio can reach 100,000:1, as well as other features. If you’re not going to use your headphone amplifier for more than a few years, a $100 headphone is the best price.
How Do We Chose Our Selection of the Best Headphone Amps?
Headphones are a multifaceted item, and every single aspect of them, from materials to appearance, is subject to constant evolution and change. As such, it is imperative that one purchase a headphone amp that is made with care in order to elevate one's listening experience. To assist with this endeavor, we scoured the internet to bring you a list of models that have been deemed most suitable for the modern buyer. Our research included brand, model, features, reviews, price, delivery, customer service, returns, tracking, and more.
What Are Some Features To Look For In Headphone Amps?
When looking to buy headphone amps, size is always one of your most vital considerations. Before venturing out on your quest for new sounds, take note of how many hours you usually listen to and where. A headphone amp of a compact size that you can carry in your pocket is ideal for a trip or commute, while a bigger size will be more suitable for at-home use.
The sound quality of any audio device is paramount to its usability. The best audio equipment will have a vast range of sound types ranging from realistic to dreamy. It is important that you opt out of products with subpar sound if you want to hear the purest sounds from your new headphones.
Connectiveness is essential for effective sound delivery. There are several options offered by brands when it comes to connectivity, but make no mistake, the more options a product has, in terms of connectivity types, connectivity problems are bound to occur. Keep an eye out for wireless options, as these deliver better connectivity than wired options.
Battery-powered headphone amps offer an outstanding convenience when compared to the alternatives. Some models are designed to run for days without requiring a recharge, whereas others are capable of lasting for weeks when powered by AAA batteries.
A headphone amp is a device that converts the electrical signals from the headphones you have connected to it, into high-quality audio signals that can then be played back by your speakers. The amps also create a signal that is balanced and can pass through other audio equipment to work properly. Most headphones have a limit on the amount of audio they can output at once. Headphone amps work by converting the audio signal, using a circuit, to a voltage that a speaker can “hear.” Some headphones also have filters that reduce the high frequencies so the sound isn‘t as distorted as it could be. You're probably already familiar with the basic types of headphone amps that work with headphones. These work using two speakers and a transducer. A single headphone jack amplifies the signal coming from your headphones, and sends it to the speakers, which are connected using an electrical cable. This is the most common type of amp that you will run across. It works with a single pair of headphones and takes a standard cable and converts it into a stereo signal. An RC circuit is similar to our first example, but it uses three transducers. Each of the transduction plates moves with respect to each other, mimicking the way sound waves are reflected by two different types – the magnetic and acoustic – of materials. As a result, it mimics the reflection of a real room and is able to pass sound through different rooms to create an effect. Because it s an RC model, the amp can work anywhere – even outdoors – and has a longer range than the single-head model.
Headphone Amp FAQ
Q: What is a headphone amp?
A: A headphone amplifier is an electronic device that is used to boost or enhance a sound source, such as a radio, a television, or a digital music source, when played through your headphones. It also plays a part in the creation of sound by creating the distortion known as an audio signal path.
Q: How do I choose a good headphone amplifer?
A: The best headphone amps will be able to support a wide range of audio formats, which will help you to have better quality music. You should also be aware of the sound quality of your preferred audio source and also consider the capabilities of any potential headphones you are considering. The level of quality depends on several factors such such, the audio quality, power consumption, and special features. For example, if you want a high-end headphone product that supports the highest-quality formats and delivers clear and crisp audio, make sure to look for one that has a very high audio output and can deliver more power. If you have a low-powered smartphone or MP3 player, then look out for an amp that can efficiently work with these devices.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.