Top 10 Best Portable Headphone Amps in 2021


You must definitely be a music enthusiast since you are reading this review. The best portable headphone amps are now within your grasp because you are here. Portable headphone amplifiers are compact audio amplifiers.

The portability of the headphone amp enables you to listen to high-quality music wherever you are. They help expand volume, if you are in a noisy place, you will still be able to hear your music comfortably. With the headphone amp, you will enjoy your music so that you get the most out of your high-resolution audio.

The difference is they are specifically made for headphones and not speakers. You should be willing to invest in one of this if you want great quality sound. They are great for headphones which need a more powerful source to drive. If you have high-quality headphones which sound underwhelming, then a portable headphone will help do you justice.

When buying a portable headphone amp:

  • Compatibility: Ensure that your headphones and headphone amp are compatible. If the amp is unable to drive your headphones then you will be left stranded.
  • Battery life: Since you are buying a portable headphone amp, you need to ensure that it will be of good service to you. An amp with a long battery life will last you longer before the next charge.
  • Sound performance: Since you are making an investment, you need to be keen on the amps sound performance. Check out its quality and if possible, give the amp a test run as well.

10. Sabaj, Audio PHA2 Portable Headphone Amplifier

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By: Sabaj

The next portable headphone amp we are going to look at is from Sabaj. Much like the previous product, this amp is also an upgrade. The Sabaj Audio PHA2 is an improvement of the PHA1 version. Compared to its predecessor, this particular amp has a higher output power. It is capable of driving high resistance headphones. This is because it was built with a Sabaj-patented power module and TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier chips from TI. The fact that it has an independent power circuit is also a plus.

The company has designed it in such a way that you will always have power input options. These options include a micro USB input and a 5V power supply. It’s very convenient since you won’t always find yourself in places with direct power supplies. It is also compatible with different kinds of headphones. This is thanks to the amplifier’s 3.5mm/6.35mm high and low resistance headphone input jack. You will also be able to connect another amp or active speaker connection because of a specially added RCA input.

Extra features:

  • The amp has a compatible resistance of 8ohm–600ohm.
  • It has an 85 dB channel separation.

9. Behringer, AMP800 Four Channel Headphone Amp

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By: Behringer

The Behringer AMP800 is recommended for studio and stage applications. This Ultra-compact headphone amplifier system is definitely above average. Out of all the options we have come across so far, it ranks exceptionally when it comes to the highest audio quality levels. Even at maximum volume, you will be able to use it with virtually all types of headphones.

This is what you need for easy level monitoring. The amp offers phone level control. To top it off it was also designed with accurate 6-segment LED output meter per channel. For individual mixes, it has 2 balanced stereo main inputs with independent level and balance controls.

Extra features:

  • It has 4 independent stereo high-power amplifier sections.
  • The amp has high-quality potentiometers and illuminated switches.

8. SHIDO, Portable Voice Amplifier Wireless

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SHIDO backs up the saying that big things come in small packages. This is evident in from the capabilities of this portable headphone amp. Don’t let its pocket size appearance fool you, your voice will be amplified to very interesting levels. As a matter of fact, 200-300 people will be able to hear you clearly in a big room. Your shouting days will be over, and you won’t have to worry about sore throats anymore.
The purchase also includes a portable microphone and waistband for easy movement. You will even be able to carry it around your neck if you find it convenient. The amplifier has a 1200mAh big lithium battery which is rechargeable. On a full charge, you can use it to listen to music for 6 to 8 hours. When it comes to amplifying, the amp will last between 8 to 12 hours.

Extra features:

  • It supports a transmission distance of up to 150ft.
  • Lifetime technical support.

7. PreSonus, HP2 Personal Headphone Amplifier

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By: PreSonus

If you are a musician or performer looking for additional mobility, then the PreSonus HP2 was built for you. It is one of the best because it doesn’t compromise on the audio quality at all. Other individuals who would benefit the most out of this purchase are those who want music on the road. Few amplifiers work to this level with wired in-ear monitors (IEMs). No complicated setups will be necessary for you to enjoy yourself. The amp has one stereo 1/8-inch headphone output which has volume control. It also has two XLR line-level inputs.

You will be able to freely choose between mono and stereo. A pan knob is provided for easy operation. All its features and simplicity are what make it a great for anyone who is constantly on the move. This amp can be clipped to a belt and even mounted on a microphone if necessary. With this kind of headphone amp, the hassle of constantly changing your batteries will be a thing of the past. Its nine-volt battery is able to last up to 7hours and it can also be powered using an external DC power supply.

Extra features:

  • The amp comes with a 2-meter audio cable.
  • It also has an LED battery indicator.

6. Tascam, ART Pro Audio HeadAmp 4 Four Channel Headphone Amplifier

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By: Tascam

I would recommend this portable headphone amp to people seeking a 4-channel option. Each of these output channels has their own volume control. It has 1/8th-inch as well as 1/4-inch inputs, which are parallel, wired. Both of the input types are four in number. They allow its connection to virtually any source and provide the amp with a variety of options.

The inputs are what make it possible for the amp to drive a number of headphone configurations. Examples of such headphone configurations include custom earpieces, in-ear monitors, studio phones and others. This amp can also be connected to headphone output or line-level source.

Extra features:

  • It offers lower noise and lowers distortion as well.
  • The amp comes with a custom extruded stackable metal case.

5. Topping, NX4 Portable Audio Amplifier Headphone Earphone

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By: Topping

NX4 portable audio amplifiers have done quite well in the market. This topping NX4 DSD is considered to be the latest version of this amplifier. Why does it stand out so much? Well, the amp was designed to support some of the highest resolution audio available. This includes DSD512 (native), DSD256 (DoP) and 32 bit/768 kHz. It’s also able to handle orchestral music at a complex level. You will love how the base is well defined and how solid it is. Transparent and natural vocals are also a benefit that comes with this purchase.
The headphone amp is as light as they come. It weighs about 5 ounces and it’s as compact as a thin pack of cards. To make things easy for you, it has Velcro feet for attachment purposes. You could attach the Velcro to your phone or even your digital music player. The purchase will also include rubber bands for this purpose. The audio amplifier has printing on the outside which has all of its specifications listed.

Extra features:

  • You will get 28hours of playback while using the headphone amp.

4. FiiO, A5 Portable Headphone Amplifier

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By: FiiO

The Fiio A5 is one of the sharpest looking portable headphone amps in this review. You will definitely be impressed by the enormous sound it produces. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the amp is an Amazon’s Choice product. It uses MUSES02 & LME49600 op-amps, which play a large role in the sound quality it provides. In fact, because of this, the distortion is at .00003% which is near zero. You can’t get easily get such results from the average amp in the market.

It has a bass boost feature and high/low gain switch options. This amp can be charged using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. It was built with a USB ‘smart-charge’ circuit to enable this.

Extra features:

  • The purchase is backed by a 1-year warranty.
  • You will also get a 6-month battery warranty.

3. Shure, SHA900 Portable Listening Amplifier with USB DAC and Customizable EQ Control

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By: Shure

As far as customization goes, the Shure SHA900 is one of the go-to portable headphone amp options. This is a definitely a premier alternative. One of the features which make it popular is its digital-to-analog conversion. The digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) is great for use in line with portable digital audio sources. Not only that but also between earphones and headphones of high quality. You are assured of high-fidelity audio, which will introduce you to new standards.
This portable headphone amp will help maximize the audio playback fidelity as well. This is because of the 5 preset settings and four other customizable settings it comes with. Navigation will be easy because it has streamlined controls. The amp has several user-friendly options ad an enhanced audio control as well.

Extra features:

  • It has very elegant aluminum housing.
  • The amp’s headphone impedance range is 6 to 600 ohms.

2. iFi, Pro iCAN Professional Studio Grade Fully Balanced Headphone Amplifier

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IFI has one of the most reliable portable headphone amps. It can drive almost all headphones from the easiest to the most difficult to drive. These include CIEMs and the AKG K-1000, stated as the easiest to the most difficult. It has a 3D Holographic feature for Headphones. The features allow for ‘out of head’ placement of the sound sources. To top it off, it makes the sound field equivalent to when a person is listening to loudspeakers in a room.

Extra features:

  • The portable headphone amp operates with full differential internal signaling.
  • It has two individual input circuits.

1. Sony, Signature Series Audio Component Amplifier (TAZH1ES)

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By: Sony

Sony offers a sensitive and natural sound with this hybrid amplifier circuit. It was built with a DSD re-mastering engine. The engine is what enables it to convert all PCM source to DSD 11.2MHz. The amp is also able to simulate the phase characteristics of an analog amplifier. This is thanks to its DC phase linearizer. Its headphone output balanced connections are 4.4mm, 3.5mm x 2, and XLR4. The unbalanced connections are 6.3mm and 3.5mm.

All unnecessary resonance for sound will be eliminated by the amps acoustically tuned panel. For prevention of mechanical resonance, it has an eccentricity Insulator.

Extra features:

  • The amp has an fbw chassis for a rigid structure.
  • It has a low point of gravity because of its double layer bottom plate design.

To wrap up

There are different types of amplifiers in the market. The three include Studio Headphone Amps, Tube Headphone Amps, and Portable Headphone Amps. You are reading this review because you want to avoid the confusion that comes with such choices. Without a proper guide, one can easily purchase the wrong gadget. Lucky for you, you won’t have any regrets after going through this review.

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