TechPluz.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, as well as to other websites that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.
In addition to being capable of powering high-quality headphones, most portable headphone amplifiers also double as digital-to-analog converters (DACs). Every DAC has a dedicated audio processor that can make your music sound noticeably better when paired with a high-quality pair of headphones.
The FiiO Q5 features outstanding build quality and a sleek design. What makes it stand out though is its Bluetooth (aptX) functionality. Clearly, huge tech companies like Apple believe the future is wireless, and with this amp, you won't lose as much sound quality compared to a standard Bluetooth connection.
This device provides an incredibly clear, accurate, and detailed sound with a strong bass, clear mids, and smooth highs. Despite its portable size, the Q5 is able to drive any average set of headphones. We would have liked to see a small screen on the amp, but it does have indicator lights, so you can quickly identify the input modes. On the plus side, it's equipped with a large 3,800 mAh battery, which should provide well over 10 hours of use.
$47.95 BUY NOW
The Sound Blaster E1 by Creative is a well-priced headphone amplifier that can power studio-grade, high-impedance headphones. It delivers stellar audio quality, and it comes with a duo of 3.5-millimeter audio jacks, allowing users to share their tunes with another person. Its battery is rated to deliver up to 25 hours of playback on a single charge, while a built-in microphone allows users to make phone or Skype calls when connected to a compatible device.
$99.99 BUY NOW
The FiiO Q1 Mark II is yet another attractively priced portable headphone amp with built-in DAC. It can deliver up to 20 hours of playback, and it can power high-impedance headphones (up to 150 Ohms). Despite its price tag, the Mark II features a metal casing with gold accents that equally feel and look premium. You can use it with a laptop as well.
$298 BUY NOW
The Sony PHA-1A is a premium portable headphone amp and DAC with a sleek design, an aluminum body, and a rotating volume knob with great tactility. The device has both a microUSB and a full USB port for connectivity, an excellent frequency response, and a rechargeable battery. Its DAC chip is made by Wolfson, which is one of the most respected brands in its industry. The unit comes with a duo of silicone bands for attaching it to your favorite mobile device. It's an excellent option if you have the budget for it.
This portable amp is suitable for headphones ranging from 16 to 150 Ohms, and it delivers superior sound and impressive bass in an attractive aluminum body that's small enough to pocket. Equipped with a 1,400 mAH battery, the FiiO A3 provides 16 hours of use, which is enough for high-quality audio on long flights or enough juice for two days at the office. It comes with a cable for connecting it to your MP3 player or smartphone, a charging cable, and a heavy rubber band for strapping it to your devices.
$25 BUY NOW
You need less than $30 to snag a good portable headphone amp like the M-Audio Bass Traveler, which can power two sets of headphones with up to 100 Ohms of impedance. It has a rechargeable battery that delivers up to eight hours of playback, a rotating knob for volume control, and a LED battery indicator. This is an excellent option for first-time buyers on a budget who are looking to up their audiophile game.
$27.99 BUY NOW
Don't let its small size fool you — the FiiO A1 packs a punch. It offers four EQ modes for fine-tuning your songs, boosting bass, and helping make your music much louder. It comes with an attached clip, making this one of the few amps you can run with. If you're looking for an affordable and portable amp to help silence a plane engine while traveling, this one will do the trick.
$188.17 BUY NOW
A premium offering by Creative, the Creative Sound Blaster E5 is one of the most feature-rich offerings available on the market. It has a powerful amplifier that can drive headphones with up to a whopping 600 Ohms of impedance, as well as an excellent DAC with Cirrus Logic CS4398 chip. The Sound Blaster E5 is brimming with connectivity options that include full USB and microUSB ports, Bluetooth, and NFC for easy pairing with mobile devices. You can use the device as an external sound card on your PC and Mac using available Creative software to tweak its settings.
$99.99 BUY NOW
The Fiio E17K ALPEN 2 has a sleek metal body and convenient OLED display. It has a microUSB port for charging its built-in battery or for connecting it to a PC or Mac for use as an external sound card. The E17K ALPEN 2 has a convenient navigation wheel and an excellent digital-to-analog converter powered by a Texas Instruments PCM5102 chip. Overall, it's a portable and highly versatile headphone amp/DAC combo.
$39.99 BUY NOW
The FiiO K1 is a portable headphone amp and DAC that doesn't require a battery — it takes power from the source it's connected to. It weighs less than half an ounce, so it's easy to carry around even while connected to your smartphone.
Amazing value, excellent sound quality (it packs a TPA 61332A amp and TI PCM5102 DAC chip), and the ability to power high-impedance headphones (up to 100 Ohms) make the FiiO K1 a safe buy for seasoned audiophiles and newbies alike.
$999 BUY NOW
Portable headphone amp and DAC combos can hardly get any more premium than the Shure SHA900. The device can connect to both digital and analog sources to process audio, or it can just play analog signal without converting it.
A color display, rich connectivity options for both mobile devices and computers, and a metal body with an exceptional finish are also among the SHA900's features. Of course, users can customize their EQ settings or apply factory-preset ones. The Shure SHA900 delivers an amazing sonic experience, though it also requires similarly priced headphones. Only serious audiophiles should consider this one if they have the budget for it.