A high-end audio setup featuring some of the best headphone amplifiers on the market, including a prominent pair of headphones for an immersive listening experience.

6 Best Headphone Amplifiers of 2024

In the quest for the ultimate audio experience, the best headphone amplifier can be a game-changer.

Many assume that plugging headphones directly into a device is enough. But, for those who crave more than just listening, a headphone amp is essential to truly experience every nuance of their music. These compact but powerful devices amplify your music player’s signal. They enhance both volume and detail.

The beauty of headphone amps lies in their diversity and accessibility. Whether you’re a beginner eager to explore the world of enhanced audio or an audiophile seeking the pinnacle of sound quality, there’s a headphone amp tailored to your needs and budget.

Affordable models promise significant improvements. High-end devices transform sound into a rich, immersive experience. The headphone amplifier for you depends on your specific requirements. It could be portability, sound customization, or compatibility with various headphones.

Embarking on the journey to find the headphone amplifier can be as exciting as it is daunting. With the right headphone amp, you’re not just listening to music; you’re experiencing it in its purest form.

Our Top Picks

We provide our product links with Amazon assurance whenever possible.

Best Price$78
Schiit Magni+
Rupert Neve Designs RNHP
Monolith 133304
Schiit Magnius
Burson Audio Conductor 3X

Overall Best Headphone Amp: Schiit Magni+

The headphone amplifier for those seeking a blend of quality and affordability is the Schiit Magni+. This compact powerhouse delivers exceptional audio. It’s a top choice for both beginners and audiophiles. Its sleek design and robust performance make it a standout in the headphone amp market, offering an unmatched listening experience.

The Schiit Magni redefines the standards for the headphone amplifier with its robust build and crystal-clear audio reproduction.


  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.02dB
  • Input Impedance: 25k ohms
  • Gain: -8dB, 0dB, or 14dB, selectable via front switch
  • Topology: OPA1656 op-amp for voltage gain with local feedback
  • Output Buffers: OPA1656 (6 stages per channel) with local loops
  • Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2.8W RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 2.4W RMS per channel
Pros High Power Output Selectable Gain Options Detailed Sound Quality
Cons No Built-in DAC Large Wall Wart Limited Aesthetic Appeal

Who Is It For?

The Schiit Magni+ is the headphone amplifier for those who value both quality and affordability. It’s perfect for beginners taking their first step into high-fidelity audio and seasoned audiophiles looking for a reliable, high-performance amp.

With its high power output and selectable gain options, it caters to a wide range of headphones, from budget-friendly models to high-end audiophile gear. The Magni+ offers a detailed and immersive listening experience, making it ideal for those who want to explore the depths of their music collection.

While it lacks a built-in DAC and has a somewhat utilitarian design, its sound quality more than makes up for these shortcomings. If you’re in search of an amplifier that brings out the best in your music without breaking the bank, the Schiit Magni+ is the headphone amplifier to consider.

Best Portable: FiiO NEWK3

The headphone amplifier for on-the-go audiophiles is here: the FiiO NEWK3. Compact, sleek, and powerful, this portable amp is designed to elevate your listening experience wherever you are.

The NEWK3 is a perfect companion for music lovers who demand quality sound. It has high-resolution audio support and user-friendly features. You won’t be tied down.

The Fiio New K3, a prime example of the headphone amplifier, offering a simple yet powerful boost to your audio experience.


  • DAC Chip: ES9038Q2M for superior audio decoding
  • Max Sampling Rate: 384kHz/DSD256, ensuring high-fidelity sound
  • USB Audio Mode: UAC2.0/UAC1.0 for versatile connectivity
  • Coaxial Output: 192kHz/24bit for expanded audio options
  • Form Factor: In-ear, designed for comfort and convenience
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C for modern, efficient connections
  • Special Feature: Lightweight, ideal for portability
  • Color: Titanium, offering a stylish and modern look
Pros High-Resolution Audio Versatile Connectivity Portable Design
Cons Limited Power No Bluetooth Design

Who Is It For?

The FiiO NEWK3 is the headphone amplifier for music enthusiasts who are always on the move. Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or simply enjoying music in different settings, the NEWK3 offers a high-quality, portable solution.

Its lightweight design and USB Type-C connectivity make it a breeze to carry and use with a variety of devices. The NEWK3 is particularly suited for those who appreciate high-resolution audio and want a reliable, easy-to-use amp that can keep up with their dynamic lifestyle.

It’s an ideal choice for anyone who wants to enhance their audio experience. It avoids the bulk and complexity of traditional amps. With the NEWK3, you’re not just listening to music; you’re immersing yourself in a world of crystal-clear sound, wherever you go.

Best Compact Headphone Amp: Rupert Neve Designs RNHP

Renowned for its exceptional sound quality, this amplifier is a testament to Rupert Neve’s legacy in audio excellence.

Its sleek design and robust build quality make it a top choice for audiophiles and professionals. It fits seamlessly into any audio setup.

Embrace audio perfection with the Rupert Neve Designs RNHP, celebrated as a headphone amplifier for professional and audiophile use.


  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 120 kHz ±0.2 dB
  • Maximum Input Level: +22.8 dBu (XLR), +14.7 dBu (RCA)
  • Output Power: 300mW RMS into 44 Ohm
  • Headphone Impedance Compatibility: 16-600 Ohm
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo, 2 x RCA, 1 x 3.5mm
  • Output: 1 x 1/4″ Stereo Headphone
  • Dimensions: Compact and portable design
  • Build Quality: Robust and durable construction
Pros Exceptional Sound Quality Wide Compatibility Durable Build
Cons No Digital Inputs Limited Features Higher Price Point

Who Is It For?

The Rupert Neve Designs RNHP is the headphone amplifier for audio enthusiasts. It is also ideal for professionals who prioritize sound quality above all else. Its exceptional clarity and fidelity make it ideal for studio monitoring, mixing, and critical listening.

Whether you’re a musician, producer, or audiophile, the RNHP offers a level of sonic purity that enhances every detail of your music. The amplifier is compatible with a wide range of headphone impedances.

Therefore, it can power everything from in-ear monitors to high-impedance studio headphones. The RNHP’s robust build and compact size also make it a reliable choice for both studio and portable setups.

If you’re in search of an amplifier that brings out the best in your headphones without compromising on quality, the Rupert Neve Designs RNHP is the perfect fit.

Best Tube Headphone Amp: Monolith 133304

The headphone amplifier for audiophiles seeking a blend of classic warmth and modern clarity is the Monolith 133304. This amp is designed by the renowned Alex Cavalli.

It offers a unique listening experience, combining powerful performance with a sleek, user-friendly design. It’s an ideal choice for those who appreciate the finer details in their music.

Discover the pinnacle of sound amplification with the Monolith 133304, a headphone amplifier that promises unmatched audio precision.


  • Power Output: 1.3Watt@50R
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 108dB
  • Crosstalk: –73dB
  • Output Impedance: < 0.1 ohms
  • Gain: +3dB or +6dB
  • Input: Unbalanced stereo RCA
  • Output Protection: Delay and offset protection
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 7.3 x 2.8 inches
Pros High Power Output Low Output Impedance Advanced Output Protection
Cons No Balanced Input Limited Gain Settings Bulky Design

Who Is It For?

The Monolith 133304 is the headphone amplifier for those who are passionate about their audio experience. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a music enthusiast stepping into high-quality audio, this amp offers a perfect balance of power and clarity.

Its high power output ensures that it can drive a wide range of headphones, from the most sensitive IEMs to power-hungry planar models. The low output impedance means that it delivers a clean, uncolored sound, preserving the integrity of your music.

However, its lack of balanced input and limited gain settings might not appeal to those who prefer more customization in their audio setup. The Monolith 133304 is ideal for someone who values simplicity and efficiency in their audio equipment.

Its robust build and advanced output protection make it a reliable companion for long listening sessions. It immerses you in a world of detailed and vibrant sound.

Best Balanced Audio: Schiit Magnius

The headphone amplifier for those seeking a balance of quality and value is the Schiit Magnius. This solid-state amp stands out in the crowded market with its exceptional performance and sleek design.

It’s an ideal choice for audiophiles who demand high-quality sound without breaking the bank. Compact and powerful, the Magnius is a testament to Schiit’s commitment to delivering top-notch audio experiences.

The Schiit Magnius stands out in the quest for the headphone amplifier with its robust design and high-quality sound output.


  • Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 6.0W RMS per channel
  • Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 5.0W RMS per channel
  • Crosstalk: Less than -90dB, 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Power Supply: 24VA 15VAC transformer, linear regulated +/- 13.5V rails
  • Power Consumption: 6W idle, 21W max
  • Size: 9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Balanced Input: For high-quality audio
  • Output Wattage: 5 Watts
Pros High Power Output Excellent Crosstalk Reduction Compact Design
Cons No DAC Included Limited Color Options Wall-Wart Power Supply

Who Is It For?

The Schiit Magnius is the headphone amplifier for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. They crave a high-fidelity audio experience without the exorbitant price tag. It’s perfect for those who appreciate the clarity and depth of balanced audio. Their headphones can benefit from its powerful output.

Whether you’re a professional musician, a studio engineer, or just someone who loves to dive into their favorite tracks, the Magnius offers a pristine listening experience. Its compact size makes it a great fit for any desk or audio setup, and its high power output ensures that it can drive a wide range of headphones.

If you’re looking for an amplifier that brings out the best in your music without requiring a hefty investment, the Schiit Magnius is your go-to choice.

Best Premium Headphone Amp: Burson Audio Conductor 3X

Discover the headphone amplifier for premium audio enthusiasts: the Burson Audio Conductor 3X. This high-end amplifier combines exceptional sound quality with a sleek, modern design.

It is a top choice for audiophiles seeking unparalleled audio performance. Its advanced technology and robust build quality set a new standard in headphone amplification. It offers a listening experience that’s as luxurious as it is immersive.

Experience superior sound with the Burson Audio Conductor 3X, a contender for the headphone amplifier, blending high-fidelity audio in a compact form.


  • Output Power: 7.5W per channel
  • Frequency Response: 0 Hz – 56 kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.001%
  • Input Impedance: 38 kOhms
  • Connectivity: USB, Optical Toslink, Bluetooth 5.0
  • DAC: High-Resolution ESS9038
  • Weight: Approximately 5 kg
Pros Powerful Output High-Resolution DAC Versatile Connectivity
Cons Premium Price Heavy Build Complex Setup

Who Is It For?

The Burson Audio Conductor 3X is the headphone amplifier for serious audiophiles. It is also ideal for music professionals who demand nothing but the highest quality sound.

Its powerful output and high-resolution DAC make it ideal for those who appreciate the finer details in music. The Conductor 3X offers an unparalleled audio experience. It suits studio engineers, musicians, and discerning listeners at home.

The device has versatile connectivity options. It includes Bluetooth 5.0. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices. However, its premium price and complex setup mean it’s best suited for experienced high-end audio enthusiasts.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got The Best Headphone Amplifier?

  • Compatibility: Ensure the headphone amplifier matches your headphones’ impedance and sensitivity. Not all amplifiers work well with every headphone type.
  • Sound Quality vs. Price: The headphone amplifier doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Look for one that offers great sound quality within your budget.
  • Size and Portability: Consider if you need a portable amp or a stationary one. Portable amps are great for on-the-go, but stationary ones often have better power and features.
  • Additional Features: Some amplifiers come with extra features like equalization controls or multiple outputs. Decide if these are important for your listening experience.
  • Power Source: Check if the amplifier is battery-powered or requires an AC adapter. This affects where and how you can use it.
  • Brand Reputation: Research the brand’s reputation for quality and customer service. The headphone amplifier should come from a reliable manufacturer.

Do I need a headphone amp and DAC?

If you’re in the market for the headphone amplifier, you might wonder if you also need a DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter). Here’s the deal: a headphone amp boosts the audio signal to your headphones, making it louder and clearer. A DAC, on the other hand, converts digital audio files into an analog signal.

If you’re using high-quality headphones and want the best sound, combining a good headphone amp with a DAC can significantly enhance your listening experience. However, if your audio source already has a decent DAC (like most modern smartphones and computers), you might only need a headphone amp to improve your audio quality.

Do more expensive amps mean better sound?

When searching for the headphone amplifier, it’s a common belief that more expensive means better sound. However, this isn’t always the case. The key is to find an amp that delivers clean, undistorted power suitable for your headphones.

While higher-priced amplifiers often offer more features and power, they don’t guarantee superior sound quality. Factors like the design, components used, and compatibility with your headphones play a crucial role. It’s possible to find a moderately priced amplifier that meets your needs perfectly.

Martin Brown is a tech-savvy writer with deep expertise in music technology, studio equipment, instruments, and innovative production tools. His interest in music never disappeared from an early age.