Introduction to Headphone Amplifier Reviews

With the wider proliferation of high quality headphones in the marketplace, a need for more dedicated sources of quality amplification has followed. A proper headphone amp used to be seen only in tandem with expensive electrostatic headphones or in a recording studio. Not anymore. In the quest to develop higher resolution headphones, a number of models now present a more challenging load to drive to their fullest potential. This applies to many models of both home and portable headgear. A properly designed headphone amplifier, whether for home or portable use, can go a long way to increase your musical enjoyment when listening to cans. Having more robust dedicated circuitry and power supply capacity will reduce the distortion of any headphone you plug into it. And it also opens up your choices to variety of headphones you can experience. This is handy particularly if you want to drive some of the lower sensitivity pro-style or audiophile headphones out there. Just like your home speakers, headphones can only benefit from an abundant supply of clean power to drive them. Today, a wide array of headphone amplification is available to use in conjunction with both portable and home equipment, with prices varying accordingly. They range from tube to solid state amplification. Some have built in DACs and USB connections for use with computers. Some of the portable units are robust enough to allow you to take your home headphones on the go, while some of the home units will feature both standard and balanced connections for various headphone types. Through our reviews, featuring both subjective analysis and bench testing, we will help narrow down the best amplifier match for your given headphone need.

Headphone Amplifier Reviews

iFi Audio xDSD Portable DAC/Amp Review

If you are searching for a way to make the music from your smartphone/DAP sound better, or if you need to drive some less efficient headphones, iFi Audio submits the xDSD portable DAC/Amp for your consideration. It looks to be an impressive little beast that is barely bigger than a deck of cards.

AURALiC TAURUS MKII Balanced Headphone Amp Review

The AURALiC TAURUS MKII uses their proprietary ORFEO Classs-A output modules to deliver amazing sound to high-end headphones. Enjoy incredible transparency and tonal quality via either the standard or balanced output of the TAURUS MKII. Easily one of the best headphone amps on the market and a reference quality pairing with the HiFiMAN HE-6 planar magnetic headphones.

Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier / Prime Power Supply Review

The Meridian Prime and its Prime Power Supply are a compact unit designed to fit on even the most cluttered of desks. Enjoy clean and neutral playback up to 192/24 bit PCM via USB connection. The Prime even has enough power built into it's mini stature to handle beefy planar magnetic headphones. At $2,000 for just the Prime, it is a bit pricey, but worth checking out if you need something small.