Are you shopping for the best headphone amp, but with the number of options you aren’t sure which one to buy? The amount of choice is overwhelming so reading a guide like this can be helpful as we have narrowed down the best options. In this buyer’s guide you’ll be presented the best 6 options the marketplace has to offer.

We have done our research on all headphones amps listed in this guide and written a detailed review, which you can read and decide if they match your requirements. We have rated each headphone amp on a scale of 1 to 5 so you can quickly look through our options and decide the one that interests you. Also, we have created 3 price categories so that buyers of all budgets have headphones amps to choose from.

Furthermore, if you’ve never bought a headphone amp then we have created a buying considerations section where we go over the main features. Even if you don’t buy from us at least you would have gained the necessary information to make an informed decision and purchase the most suitable option. We hope you have as much fun reading this guide as we did writing.

Budget
best-budget-headphone-amp
Sony PHA1A
4.9/5.0
Weight: 14.7 ounces
Wireless: No
Can handle 8 Ohm to 600 Ohm and has a long battery life.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-headphone-amp
FiiO Q5
4.9/5.0
Weight: 6.9 ounces
Wireless: Yes
Has a 10 hour battery and comfortable to hold.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-headphone-amp
iFi Audio Micro iDSD
4.9/5.0
Weight: 10.9 ounces
Wireless: Yes
Has 4000 mW of input power and a 12 hour battery life.
Check Amazon

Buying considerations

Items by price:

Headphone Amps Comparison Table

Make and ModelWeightWirelessPrice
Audioengine N22 Desktop Audio Amplifier56.48 ouncesNoCheck Price
Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter16 ouncesNoCheck Price
FiiO Q5 Bluetooth aptX and DSD-Capable DAC Amplifier6.9 ouncesYesCheck Price
Sony PHA1A Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier14.7 ouncesNoCheck Price
iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier10.9 ouncesYesCheck Price
xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp4.5 ouncesYesCheck Price

Best Headphone Amp Under $250

Are you searching for the best budget headphone amps, but so far not had any luck? Then the under $250 price category is for you as it offers cheaper amps that delivers great audio quality. The low price indicates compromised quality but they do a good job of drastically improving audio quality to provide soothing music.

1. Audioengine N22 Desktop Audio Amplifier

Audioengine N22 Desktop Audio AmplifierView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Audioengine N22 amplifier is a great headphone amp for desktop use as it has multiple essential inputs. Furthermore, the amplifier has many dials that you can turn to regulate the audio to your preferences. Also, you can adjust the volume without having to touch other devices, which is a lot faster and convenient.

The N22 is wrapped in real wood so it feels premium when holding and the materials are long lasting. The stylish design goes well with all PC setups and doesn’t distract you when listening to audio thanks to the black color.

Setting up the amplifier can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before so we recommend that you check out a guide. Also, the black paint is easy to scratch so keep it away from sharp objects and edges.

In summary, the Audioengine N22 Desktop Audio Amplifier is a great choice as it has multiple inputs that are compatible with most audio devices. The black wooden design gives the amp a unique look and it doesn’t distract you when playing music.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 56.48 Ounces
Connection: Wired
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
Ideal for desktop use
Wooden design
Has volume controls
The Cons
Paint can be scratched off by sharp surfaces
Can be tricky to setup

2. Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter

wordView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter has input sample rates of 32 kHz – 96k Hz when using in USB mode. Also, it has other connection methods such as RCA 3.5mm mini-jack, which is compatible with most headphones.

The amplifier can be used with desktops to provide clearer and more enjoyable audio and you don’t need to download any extra drivers. The design of the device is unique and slim so it doesn’t take up much room. Also, it has volume control so you can easily adjust it without the need to touch external devices.

The small compact design means that the pieces have to be smaller and therefore more expensive to produce. Also, make sure that you don’t misplace the amp anywhere that it can slip off as small drops can damage the microchips inside.

To summarize, the Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter is an excellent choice as it is compatible with most headphones due to the RCA 3.5 mm jack. The amp is designed for desktop use so it provides clearer audio without the need to download extra drivers. Also, you get volume control so you can easily adjust without the need to touch other devices.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 16 Ounces
Connection: Wired
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
Ideal for desktop use
Comes with RCA 3.5 mm jack
Has volume controls
The Cons
Easy to damage
Compact size means the parts used are more expensive

Best Headphone Amp Under $350

Are you searching for the best headphone amps that offer a combination of competitive pricing and quality? The under $350 category has some of best options that you can purchase today. They offer soother audio that reduces distortion and improves clarity. Also, they offer easy compatibility with headphones as they have 3.5 mm jack.

3. Best Value: FiiO Q5 Bluetooth aptX and DSD-Capable DAC Amplifier

FiiO Q5 Bluetooth aptX and DSD-Capable DAC AmplifierView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The FiiO Q5 Amplifier has been certified by 3 major bodies: Hi-res audio, MFI certified, and aptX. This means the amp can produce extremely good quality audio that makes any headphone sound enhanced. The AK4490EN DAC chips are known to output detailed audio with little to no distortion.

In addition, the amplifier has multiple uses such as enhancing the audio from your smartphone and Sony Walkman players. It also has volume controls that aim to get rid of imbalances in the audio. Moreover, the 3800 mAh battery can connect to mobile phones and other devices for up to 10 hours.

There are multiple switches located on the amp that allows you to adjust the bass, so if you like extra lows then you can increase them to your preferences. Also, there are RGB lights that indicate the amplifier status.

However, the RGB lights can be distracting, which means using this amp in the dark is not always practical. Also, the visual design could be improved and if that’s a big deal then you’ll appreciate the other amps in this buyer’s guide.

To summarize, the FiiO Q5 Bluetooth aptX and DSD-Capable DAC Amplifier is a great choice that comes with RGB lights, which indicate the status of the device. Inside the amp is a 3800 mAh battery that provides a running time of 10 hours. In addition, you can adjust the lows so if you like bass heavy music then this amp is ideal.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 6.9 Ounces
Connection: Wireless
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
Certified by many established audio bodies
10 hour battery
Comfortable to hold
The Cons
Basic design
RGB lights can be distracting

4. Best Budget: Sony PHA1A Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier

Sony PHA1A Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone AmplifierView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The lightweight design of the Sony PHA1A Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier makes it portable. The battery life 6 hours which means you can take it while traveling. The battery is quickly charged as it uses lithium-ion power cells, which means if you run out of power you can quickly plug it in to get some playback time.

The materials are mostly durable aluminum so you don’t have to worry about accidental drops as the microchips inside are heavily protected. A two position side mounted gain switch allows you to optimize the amplifier output level to match your headphones impedance – ranging from 8 Ohm to 600 Ohm.

The amplifier uses a 3.5 mm jack that you can use to plug in your headphones. The device can decode a variety of Hi-Res PCM audio file formats up to 192 kHz/24-bit. Also, you get multiple connectivity options so you can pretty much connect any audio device to the amp.

To connect a Walkman to the amplifier you will need to purchase a cable separately, which comes at an extra cost. Also, make sure that your headphones needs this specific amplifier as it’s made from powerful headphones.

In conclusion, the Sony PHA1A Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier is a brilliant choice since it can handle most headphones and other devices. The amp can handle 8 Ohm to 600 Ohms, which is considerably more than most amplifiers. Also, the device can read audio formats up to 192 kHz/24-bit.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 14.7 Ounces
Connection: Wired
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
Can handle 8 Ohm to 600 Ohm
Can read files up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Long battery life
The Cons
Must be additional cables for certain devices
Basic design

Best Headphone Amp Under $600

Are you looking for the best headphone amp and have a budget up to $600? This category features the best options that are available at the premium end of the marketplace. They offer excellent compatibility with devices other than headphones. Also, they offer great durability as the materials used are premium.

5. Top Pick: iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone AmplifierView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier can take on power up to 4000 mW, which means it can handle the majority of headphones. The device uses an AMR global master timing precision clock system to stop jittery sounds. Also, the iEmatch technology helps for sensitive in-ear monitors and bit perfect sound.

This is a wireless headphone amp so you can take it while traveling. It has a battery pack inside that delivers up to 12 hours of playback and has a USB port to charge your smart device.

The amplifier design is smooth black and has clear labels next to each port so you’re not confused when hooking up the amp. The materials used are ultra-durable and can take a beating so don’t worry about accidental drops.

This is not a budget option so make sure you have the money to invest. Also, think about if you’ll actually need to use the 4000 mW power, because most headphones use significantly less power.

To conclude, the iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier is a good premium option because it has an input of 4000 mW. This amp is made to be portable and has a battery life of 12 hours. Also, the materials used are super durable, which means this device is going to be long lasting.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 10.9 Ounces
Connection: Wireless
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
4000 mW of input power
12 hour battery life
Durable design
The Cons
Not a budget option
4000 mW may be too much for your headphones

6. xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp

xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone AmpView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp has a battery life of 10 hours. The amp can handle a power input of 500 mW, which is more than enough for most headphones. Also, the amp can handle 32 ohm to 600 ohm so it can take on the most advanced headphones of today’s era.

The amplifier uses technologies such as xDSD that improves sound quality of instruments and vocals. The xDSD technology has two modes, headphones and speakers, which means you don’t have to use this amp just for headphones alone. Also, the amplifier has built in Bluetooth so you can control the music from your smartphone.

The materials used to create the amp are super durable, which means it’ll last longer and won’t wear out over time. Also, the amp offers two of the main connectivity methods: 3.5 mm AUX port and Bluetooth. These are the most common methods used for connection so your amp will be compatible with almost all devices.

If not looked after the amp can break as small drops can shatter the microchips inside. Also, the price tag isn’t small so make sure the quality that’s offered here is something you actually need.

To conclude, the xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp is an excellent choice because it can handle 500 mW of power. Versatility is ensured since you can connect via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm port.

amazon

Tech Specs
Weight: 4.5 Ounces
Connection: Wireless
Multiple connection methods: Yes
The Pros
Stable Bluetooth connections
xDSD technology enhances audio
10 hour battery
The Cons
Big price tag
Easy to break if not looked after
0/50 ratings