What Are Headphone Amplifiers And Do You Need One?

by Nausheen Shaikh April 25, 2015

What are headphone amplifiers and how do you use them?

In simple terms, a headphone amplifier, when connected to your music player or smartphone; amplifies or enhances sound such that music that is conveyed to your headphones is louder, the notes are clearer and the aural experience is much better than what you would get through just your headphones.

A staple of audiophiles world over; just like audio amplifiers used to drive sound to loudspeakers, these are designed to drive sound exclusively to the mini speakers in your headphones or earphones.

So basically, you can connect your amp to your music player/iPod/phone and then connect it to your headphones for sound clarity so awesome, you'll feel like you're listening to music being recorded in a studio.

Do your headphones need an amplifier?

Amplifiers can improve the quality of nearly all headphones and earphones and there are some headphones, like the Audeze LCD2 and LCD3; that cannot function without an amplifier. However, if you have headphones that are say, below Rs.1000, buying an amp might be a bit pointless as these headphones don't have enough power to drive sound through the amp.

What you should do is make sure is that all the components of your music system are of a similar quality. So, your music files, headphones and audio player should all be great so that the amplifier can well... amplify it for a insanely awesome music experience. It's also preferable to have a full sized over-ear headphone for the same. 

If you're listening to music through your computer, a DAC; that are used with amps, will hugely improve your listening.

Essentially, what you need to take away from the above is that amps have been created to amplify sound from the headphones you already have. So, if you already have a good headphone, and want to get much better sound without investing a large amount of money into a higher-end model, get an amp. They'll be a great upgrade to your current model and if/when you decide to get a fancier headphone, they'll enhance then too.

A great entry level amp is the FiiO-Fujiyama E06. For serious audiophiles, we'd recommend the FiiO Mont Blanc E-12A.

You can browse through our amp collection here

Or read about Headphone Amplifiers in depth here.


Still confused? Don't hesitate to #AskHeadphoneZone or sound off in the comments below!

If you liked this article, you may also like:  Open-Back versus Closed-Back Design

Nausheen Shaikh
Nausheen Shaikh

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.