A headphone amplifier is one of those devices that are difficult to do without not only for a professional artist, but also for a real music lover or just a lover of listening to the high-quality sound of his favorite tracks.
Even expensive headphone models will not be able to handle this in the same way as the best portable headphone amp designed specifically for this purpose. Portable headphone amp reviews will help you to choose the right amp device.
There are various types of amplifiers, including non-portable and portable, the second is the most convenient and cheapest option for everyday use in combination with any headphones, phones, Bluetooth speakers and sometimes even laptops.
The best portable headphone amp should be a very light device, have a good battery, and, accordingly, the duration of work without recharging.
Naturally, dimensions are also one of the decisive factors when choosing such a device. Modern technologies make it possible to make amplifiers the size of a USB flash drive, or even smaller, while using such a small device you will get a much cleaner and deeper sound.
Best Portable Headphone Amps Reviews
EarStudio ES100-24bit – best overall & DAC
Portable headphone amp under 100 can easily claim the title of the best portable headphone amplifier. But let’s start right away with the cons. It may not be very convenient for some to use this amplifier due to its dimensions, because its dimensions are: 1 x 2 x 0.5 inches. Although this is small enough, there will be other more convenient amplifiers in the review.
As for everything else, it’s just on a different level compared to other devices in this price category. Firstly, there is a special application with which you will control the battery, operating mode, volume and other basic parameters directly from your phone.
A distinctive feature is that with the help of this device you can make your headphones wireless, because it connects to your mobile device using Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth headphone amp is a new word in the industry.
A lithium battery enclosed in beautiful dark color housing, allows this amplifier to work for over 12 hours without charging.
Regardless of the frequency, this amplifier will perform just fine.
Dual Drive technology that is used to improve the sound will make it completely different from a good point of view.
- Shows itself on the good side when working at any musical frequency
- An excellent application with which you can customize the amplifier for yourself, setting up many important functions and parameters as it will be convenient
- In some cases, with very long-term use of the device every day, after six months of operation, problems arise with connecting the device using Bluetooth
- It can turn off in cold weather or at very high temperatures
This small headphone amp can be used for headphones from 16 to 150 ohms and is even larger than the previous version, nevertheless it costs less.
For trouble-free work for a long time, a lithium battery used in this amp, the case of such device is made in dark gray color.
The battery capacity is 1400 mAh, which is quite enough in order not to charge this amplifier for 16 hours of active work at medium volume.
Also, there is a built-in bass-boost circuit, which is suitable for fans of hip-hop or other music, where for the best sound you need to hear pronounced bass.
The aluminum body of this device protects it from most scratches and also makes it light enough for its dimensions: 0.51 x 3.59 x 2.2 inches. Moreover, the weight of this device is only 3.25 ounces. Among the controls you can find a volume control, as well as turning on and off the bass amplifier and the amp itself.
- Even at the highest volume of the amplifier, it does not produce any extraneous noise, only crystal clear and amplified melody
- Bass boost even at high frequencies works just fine, without distorting other sounds
- When used together with low-quality wires, it can still give out some problems in terms of sound quality
- If the amplifier is constantly operating at the highest volume, the battery will perform worse over time and for less time
CHORD Electronics Mojo
The weight of this device is already as much as 6.3 ounces, which is much more than the previous options. Main dimensions: 3.23 x 2.36 x 0.87 inches.
Also, two lithium batteries are used to power the mobile headphone amp, which greatly increases its operating time, because this requires much more power.
This amplifier can be used to listen to most tracks up to 768 kHz 32 bit. Also, it is compatible with absolutely any device and operating system, regardless of whether you have an Android phone or an iOS.
In addition, it is equipped with two 3.5 mm outputs, so that not only you can connect to it, but another person can listen to the same crystal clear melody.
Output Power 1kHz -600 ohms 35 mW – 8 ohms 720 mW make this small but very powerful device one of the best on the market for its price point. Among the controls there is nothing superfluous, two buttons for switching the volume and a power button.
- Handles the job perfectly whether your headphones are cheap or expensive, which is rare
- You get a device with excellent technical characteristics for that price
- It would be nice to add a USB-C connector to this device
- You cannot charge this unit while it is on. In this case, serious problems may arise with the duration of the work and the overall performance of the device
Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS
A light enough and compact device that will be easy to carry everywhere with dimensions: 2.1 x 1.2 x 0.3 inches, weighing only 1.6 ounces.
There is a YUSB input, a 3.5 mm input. One of the easiest options that can be found on the market.
There are two buttons for volume control, which occupy almost the entire rear panel. There are no power buttons – to get started, just connect the device to your computer or phone and start listening to your favorite music.
In addition, there is a built-in 24-bit DAC, and the maximum power is 150mV.
- It does not heat, it also has a very compact size, which is really important when choosing a portable amplifier
- The DAC built into the device allows you to save money on the purchase of a separate unit
- The main disadvantage is that the device cannot be used with phones without a certain adapter, which reduces the device’s performance and the quality of the sound received
- If you have cheap headphones, the difference will be more noticeable only in terms of volume, but not in sound quality
This portable DAC amp make possible to decrypt any audio files up to 32 bits.
Also, the device supports decoding of any tracks from an iPhone, computer, laptop or almost any other device.
The phone amp looks very decent, it has a volume control lever on the side.
In addition to this, there is an output for USB, 3.5 mm jack.
The dimensions of the device are 4.88 x 2.52 x 0.63 inches, it is very thin, which is convenient to carry it in your pocket. Weight is only 6.7 oz. It receives power from a lithium battery, which is enough for at least 8 hours of operation. Charging takes place using the USB cable that comes with the kit.
- In comparison with other devices in this price category, it has the most balanced sound at all frequencies, from low to high
- Lightweight and compact, with a great design, it handles tasks that other bulkier models cannot
- I would like not only to improve the sound quality, but also to increase the volume
- Long enough charging process