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Best Headphone Amplifiers for 2022

Steve Fletcher
  Nov 29, 2022 8:42 PM

You should buy one of the best headphone amplifiers if you want more devil in the details of your music. Even a cheap portable headphone amplifier can significantly enhance your personal listening experience by giving your headphones more strength and control than a smartphone ever could.

Schiit Magni 3+B Headphone Amplifier and Preamp


Overview

Amplifiers are available in a wide range of sizes and designs. Each amplifier has unique sonic characteristics that will affect your music and change how it sounds by making it warmer, more defined, etc. A diverse yet essential component of any system, amplifiers offer a variety of input and output connections and supply the energy required to run your preferred high-fidelity headphones or speakers.

Schiit Magni 3+B Headphone Amplifier and Preamp

To determine whether the specifications of a certain amplifier are compatible, it is crucial to know how much power your headphones are rated for.  Therefore, this article is written to help you understand more about the specifications, reviews and recommendations of the best headphone amplifiers.


Top Picks


In-depth Reviews

1. Chord Electronics Mojo 2 

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Dimensions : 3.26 x 2.44 x 0.9 inches

  • Weight: 11.2 ounces

  • Brand: CHORD ELECTRONICS

  • Connectivity Technology: Wired

  • Material: Aluminum

  • Headphones Jack: 3.5 mm Jack

PROS:

  • Benchmark transparency

  • Liveliness and open

  • Several choices for customization

CONS:

  • Unorganized color display

The Chord Electronics Mojo 2 is still a DAC (AMP), and it can play files with bit rates of up to 768 kHz and DSD 256!

The menu offers fully lossless tone controls, a mute function, four-setting crossfeed adjustment, a button-lock feature and more. It is accessed by a new fourth control sphere.

With the addition of a new USB-C data input for additional flexibility, there are now four digital inputs.  Up to two listeners can still use the two 3.5 mm mini-jack headphone outputs simultaneously.

A new FPGA-based battery-charging mechanism gives Mojo 2 significantly better battery management. The technology allows for substantially quicker charging rates and a significant 75% reduction in power loss, resulting in cooler and more effective charging.

2. Rupert Neve Designs RNHP

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Rupert Neve Designs

  • Connectivity Technology: Wired

  • Voltage: 24 Volts

  • Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 4 inches

  • Weight: 3.03 pounds

PROS:

  • Excellent drive with beautiful tone

  • Precise and natural sound

  • XLR inputs with balance

CONS:

  • No DAC

  • Not everyone likes the appearance of lab equipment

The amp is among the cleanest and most exact sounding ones available, as implied by the moniker "precision." Throughout the whole spectrum of frequencies, it is incredibly clear, allowing you to hear the fine nuances in the high-mids and low-mids amid the rich and powerful bass end.

Since this is a standalone headphone amplifier, a separate DAC is required. It will easily fit into any audio system and bring out the most in your headphones and DAC thanks to its 3 independent selectable inputs (balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA, and unbalanced 3.5 mm).

3. AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: AudioQuest

  • Interface Type: USB

  • Dimensions: 0.55 x 0.55 x 2.36 inches

  • Weight: 4.2 ounces

PROS:

  • Clear sound

  • Very transportable

  • Compatibility with devices

CONS:

  • Poor audio quality

Cobalt, the top model in the DragonFly line, outperforms the already excellent Red model in a number of ways, making it the best portable headphone amp. The ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip comes first. Although it can be a touch harsh in exposing the flaws of low-quality audio sources, its minimum-phase gradual roll-off filter assures clear and realistic sound. Additionally, the casing and circuitry are excellent at removing cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi noise that can taint and muddy the listening experience.

4. Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Cambridge Audio

  • Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, USB

  • Supported Internet Services: TIDAL

  • Item Weight: 1 Kilograms

  • Compatible Devices: Laptop, Smartphone

  • Memory Storage Capacity: 20 GB

  • Dimensions: 7.52 x 8.46 x 2.05 inches

PROS:

  • Smooth, clear and deep sound 

  • Wide connectivity

  • Native support for MQA

CONS:

  • No remote control

The DacMagic 200M is a bit of a no-brainer if you're looking for a DAC that packs a ton of helpful functionality into a stylish and sonically astute chassis, especially at this price.

It is sufficiently equipped to fit seamlessly into any desktop or hi-fi setup. Numerous digital inputs accommodate a variety of sources, and aptX Bluetooth is also included. The combination of balanced and unbalanced outputs, a headphone output, and high-resolution audio capability pretty well covers all the bases.

It has that distinct "Cambridge sound," which is characterized by a full, silky tone paired with an open, expressive, and powerful delivery.

5. Schiit Magni Heresy

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Schiit

  • Color: Black

  • Connectivity Technology: Wired

  • Weight: 2.12 pounds

PROS:

  • Affordable

  • Made in the USA

  • Sufficient power

  • Sleek, small, and has a nice industrial design

CONS:

  • Power switch at the back

For years, people have praised Schiit Audio's Magni series of standalone headphone amplifiers. In 2020, Schiit Audio introduced the Magni 3+ and Magni Heresy, which are the Magni 3's successors.

The two models approach amplification in fundamentally different ways. While the Heresy is an op-amp based amplifier, the Magni 3+ and its predecessors use discrete amplification with symmetrical feedback.

Both amps are excellent. Heresy features a lower noise floor, less hum, and less distortion. With only a volume control, a high/low gain switch, and an RCA output, this very basic headphones amplifier can also be used as a preamp for powered speakers.


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Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


FAQs

1. When is a headphone amplifier appropriate?

You only need an amplifier when the maximum electrical output of your source—be it a laptop, smartphone, or other device - through the headphone port is less than what your headphones need to achieve the desired output level.

2. How much power is required by a headphone amplifier?

Depending on the type of headphone being used and the amplifier's architecture, the majority of headphone amplifiers deliver power between 10 mW and 2 W.

Schiit Magni 3+B Headphone Amplifier and Preamp

3. How can an amplifier improve the sound of headphones?

Amplifiers will produce more power, allowing your audio equipment to play louder. An amp will solve problems if you discover that you are using most of the sound volume scale on your smartphone.


Conclusion

In conclusion, a headphone amplifier is a power amplifier made to drive headphones rather than loudspeakers. They can be compact and lightweight, use a single amplifier chip, or adopt a more audiophile design with a dedicated output stage and high-end parts.

Hopefully, you can find the one of the best headphone amplifiers which complement your headphones and your intended use.


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Steve Fletcher
Steve Fletcher
Steve is a computer enthusiast. He loves building and fixing computers in his spare time. He can be turned to for guidelines on how to build a PC from scratch or reviews and opinions about various tech products. He graduated with a bachelor degree in technical writing and communication. He has been a content writer for productfind for almost 5 years.