Rating of the best headphone amplifiers



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A headphone amplifier is a great way for music lovers to improve the sound of any song. The device involves installation not only to the headphones themselves, but also to other devices, such as radios. With their help, you can achieve new juicy facets of sound.

TOP of the best headphone amplifiers

Fostex HP-A3

Fostex HP-A3

One of the best entry level amps with a decent DAC. The model wins back all the money and even more: users get a wide detailed musical picture in the entire frequency spectrum. High-impedance headphones, they say in the reviews, sway with difficulty with the Fostex HP-A3 — the detail drops, but the sound is still good. A powerful feature is the simple switching of the source and output of the sound. No need to switch cables, just press the button — and already the music plays not from the speakers, but from the headphones. The dimensions of the box do not allow us to call the amplifier portable, it is not suitable for use on the go.

Pros and cons

  • Connection indication
  • Convenient switching between audio output devices
  • Compact dimensions
  • Outdated look
  • No on/off button

Sennheiser GSX 1200 PRO

Sennheiser GSX 1200 PRO

This is an amplifier that can be connected to up to 8 amplifiers to organize voice chat between members of the same gaming team. The model supports 7.1 surround sound, so the device is also suitable for fans of gaming and VR. The volume is adjusted separately in the game and voice chat, which is convenient. You can quickly switch between speaker and headset. There are equalizer presets that allow you to improve the quality of speech, music, and even out the frequency response. As a bonus, the manufacturer gives a 2-year warranty. The amplifier is a USB sound card and no drivers are required for it to work. Everything works great on both Windows computers and Macs.

Pros and cons

  • 7.1 virtual audio support
  • Suitable for gamers
  • Separate game and chat volume control
  • No drivers needed
  • Short supplied USB cable (1.2 m)
  • White noise may appear

Sony PHA3

Sony PHA3

It’s almost a portable DAC and headphone amp in one package. The model was released in 2020 and is still relevant — it can work with balanced headphones, in which both channels are connected separately. The delivery set is surprisingly rich, and this partly explains the high cost of the product. In the box, in addition to the amplifier itself, there are cables for Walkamp and speaker with two 3.5 mm jacks, rubber rings and gaskets, as well as micro-USB for connecting to a smartphone. The sound of the PHA-3 is detailed and without pronounced accents — it is neutral. With Sony headphones, this model is revealed especially well.

Pros and cons

  • metal case
  • Rich equipment
  • Many inputs
  • High price
  • Short battery life (5 hours)
  • Takes a long time to charge (about 15 hours)

Questyle CMA-800R

Questyle CMA-800R

According to music industry professionals, Questyle CMA-800R is also one of the best headphone amplifiers. A unique feature of the gadget is current amplification, which minimizes the distortion of the reproduced sound. A similar technology is used in video processing and high-speed communications, the American manufacturer was not at a loss and adapted it for audio equipment by patenting a novelty under the Questyle brand. This headphone amplifier belongs to the luxury models, this is echoed by the cost, which is inaccessible to most users. But the price is quite justified — the gadget works with headphones with any impedance, giving out a very powerful, incomparable sound.

Pros and cons

  • Lots of entrances and exits
  • Quality sound
  • Suitable for high impedance headphones
  • High price
  • Fully reveals only with premium headphones
  • Non-portable form factor

M-Audio Bass Traveler

M-Audio Bass Traveler

Inexpensive portable headphone amplifier. Ideal for those who have good headphones, and they sound great in conjunction with a computer, but play quietly and flatly with a smartphone. In this case, M-Audio Bass Traveler will save you. The compact device will reveal the potential of your wearable acoustics. There are two headphone jacks at once, so you can listen to music from 2 different models at once. There are 3 modes of operation: the first increases the volume, but leaves the bass at the same level, the second increases the bass to an average level, the third adds the bass to the maximum. This is the best option for using with a smartphone.

Pros and cons

  • There is a charge indicator
  • Simple control
  • Can connect two pairs of headphones
  • Mark Corps
  • Charging via legacy micro-USB port

OPPO HA-2SE

OPPO HA-2SE

The headphone amplifier has a built-in dual-channel DAC that is capable of processing the highest quality PCM signal (up to 380 kHz/32 bits), producing a powerful sound output that opens up all the facets of music. The device is equipped with a large number of connectors, which indicates its incredible ergonomics. Two 3.5 ports Line Out and Line In allow the user to independently choose the sound quality — when connected to the first port, the DACs are not used, the music sounds without any processing, and using the second input, you can pump any track and feel the full power of the converter. The case also houses a microUSB connector (for Android devices) and a full-sized USB port (for a flash drive, PC, or Lightning cable).

Pros and cons

  • Stylish appearance
  • Compact dimensions
  • Power bank function
  • There is a musical color
  • Volume control loosens over time
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