You are an audiophile and you own - or are hoping to own - high-quality and/or high impedance pair of headphones. You truly appreciate all the subtleties of music and you appreciate a great listening experience and want to listen to your headphones at a high volume which power you know is there, but it is just not happening. Or some of your HiFi audio components don’t have a headphone jack, and you wish to change that. Rather, you wish to use your great headphones on the go or in a different room from where your audio system is set. If you still aren’t sure you need one or don’t know much about headphone amps, click HERE to learn everything you need to know about them.
So at this point, you already know that you either need or want a headphone amp to improve the performance of your headphones. You might find yourself in the state of shopping for the right one for you, for your needs and expectations. You’re browsing here at SKY by Gramophone, and let’s be honest, there are various types and price points of headphone amps to choose from. So which one is the one for you? The first thing you need to ask yourself is: what type of audio source will you be plugging into the headphone amp? Just analog? Straight from your computer? Maybe you need multiple audio inputs? These are crucial, and you need to define them before you move to the shopping stage!
If you answered only ANALOG, here’s what you need to know:
These usually have just one or two analog inputs. They have volume control and a headphone jack as well, of course, and are usually small in size. A few of them may have a phono input for a turntable, which can be excellent to listen to your records straight from your headphones. If you fall in the category of needing a headphone amp because your HiFi audio components don’t have a headphone jack, these are great choices to solve this problem. Great options are the Hugo 2 and MoJo 2, by Chord Electronics.
If you are plugging straight from your COMPUTER, here’s what you need to know:
The quality of the built-in components that are in the most common audio devices - computers, laptops, and smartphones - can lack quality since it’s not the manufacturer’s priority. In fact, some of them can deliver a really bad sound quality. And here’s a simple solution for this: headphone amps that connect to your computer through a USB connection, like the AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt or the IFI Mini DAC/Headphone Amplifier. They usually also have DAC that will work immensely better than the built-in one. These are also great options for on-the-go since you can connect them to your smartphone with the proper adapter cable.
If you need MULTIPLE audio INPUTS, here’s what you need to know:
This is the most common type of headphone amp! You can expect to find a USB input for computers, and analog and digital audio as well. They will also likely have inputs with the ability to drive a power amplifier or speakers. Are you thinking what we are thinking? YES! These have the ability to improve your headphone’s performance and also to connect everything so you can create a smaller audio system that can sound really, really good! These can also be powered by batteries or can even be portable, so they’re perfect for both home and on the go. The Naim Unity Atom is a great option in this category.
Well, now that you know everything there is to know about headphone amps, such as the uses for it and the right type for your needs, it’s time to shop for one and have your listening experience enhanced in a manner you never thought possible! Here’s a quick link to the SKY by Gramophone page dedicated to Headphone Amplifiers!
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through the chat right here at the bottom-right of the page!