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10 Best Headphone Amplifiers

Sabaj Audio PHA2

Sabaj Audio PHA2

Sabaj Audio PHA2 on Amazon

The Sabaj Audio PHA2 delivers plenty of versatility in a small package, with both stereo miniplug and quarter-inch jacks, RCA input and output, and micro USB and DC barrel plug connectors for its 5-watt power requirement, all at an impressively low price.

  • Up to 15 volts of amplification
  • Suitable for high-impedance drivers
  • Not ideal for lossless playback

Schiit Fulla 3

Schiit Fulla 3

Schiit Fulla 3 on Amazon

Many PC motherboards are overrun with interference, but the Schiit Fulla 3 can get around that without requiring a huge investment. It takes up very little desk space and most of the manufacturing and production is done in the USA.

  • Line-in and usb inputs
  • Dedicated microphone jack
  • Lacks optical or rca connections

AudioQuest Dragonfly Red

AudioQuest Dragonfly Red

AudioQuest Dragonfly Red on Amazon

One of the most popular in-line DACs around, the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red is more powerful than its small stature would have you believe. With the addition of a simple dongle, it makes for a major upgrade to nearly any tablet or smartphone.

  • No bigger than a thumb drive
  • Works with most operating systems
  • May require some software tweaking

Schiit Magni 3

Schiit Magni 3

Schiit Magni 3 on Amazon

Despite its relatively moderate price, the Schiit Magni 3 is lauded as one of the best options on the market. Its discrete, switchable gain stage and refined, solid-state wiring help it to perform at the level of many ten times its cost.

  • Delayed startup eliminates popping
  • Can push 2000 milliwatts at 32 ohms
  • Doesn't have a dac

FiiO BTR5

FiiO BTR5

FiiO BTR5 on Amazon

Sporting advanced features like Direct Sound Digital and 32-bit playback, the FiiO BTR5 is about as good of a portable option as you can get without spending a fortune. It has dual DACs and a mated app for controlling its 8 low-pass filters and 10-band equalizer.

  • Also serves as a bluetooth receiver
  • Utilizes high-resolution codecs
  • Balanced and single-ended outputs

Monolith Liquid Spark

Monolith Liquid Spark

Monolith Liquid Spark on Amazon

With a peak power of over 1.3 watts, the Monolith Liquid Spark can accommodate some of the most demanding drivers. Its DC-coupled technology without inline capacitors, along with high-quality transistors throughout, ensure clean amplification with minimal interference.

  • Premium metal body
  • Rca preamp passthrough
  • Has only a quarter-inch output

JDS Labs cMoyBB

JDS Labs cMoyBB

JDS Labs cMoyBB on Amazon

A novel, refined version of a famous DIY setup, the JDS Labs cMoyBB consists of thoughtfully designed components housed in an actual Altoids tin. Despite its small size and limited connector selection, this Japanese-import model offers especially clean sound.

  • Automatic on-off sensor
  • Bass boost toggle switch
  • Powered by a 9-volt battery

SMSL M500

SMSL M500

SMSL M500 on Amazon

The SMSL M500 is reasonably priced for a model that supports the advanced Master-Quality Audio, or MQA, format. It has a full-function remote control and utilizes the powerful Sabre ES9038PRO conversion chip to deliver a studio-quality experience.

  • True 32-bit processing
  • 2-inch led display
  • Low noise floor

EarStudio ES100

EarStudio ES100

EarStudio ES100 on Amazon

If you want to eliminate wires from your setup, look no further than the EarStudio ES100 , which is versatile enough for simple earbuds, as well as more power-hungry drivers. This cost-effective model uses Bluetooth codecs like aptX HD and LDAC for near-lossless audio.

  • Supports unbalanced output
  • Fits easily in a pocket
  • Battery life of 14 hours

iFi Zen

iFi Zen

iFi Zen on Amazon

A well-made and reasonably priced option, the iFi Zen offers helpful features for those with high-fidelity audio devices, including a robust 4.4-millimeter unbalanced jack, a toggle switch for fixed or variable mode, and support for the lossless MQA format.

  • Bass adjustment knob on the front
  • Burr brown converter chip
  • Asynchronous usb type-b input