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Best Of 2018

Top 3 Headphone Amplifiers 2018 – Top Rated Headphone Amps

When it comes to buying a headphone booster, you have an abundance of choices. Whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $500, you’re bound to find a portable amplifier that offers pitch-perfect sound.

If you’re a true music lover, you’ll want something that lets you get carried away in your favorite tunes. That’s why it’s important that the amp you choose is the optimum fit for your turntable, PC or smartphone.

So what does a headphone amp do?

Think about it this way. Pairing a 3.5mm amplifier with a device is like putting high-octane fuel into a sports car. The sports car has high performance, but it’s the fuel that powers it to race faster.

Stay tuned for my favorite headphone amps for 2018 to enhance your music or gaming experiences.


1) Creative Sound BlasterX G5 7.1

Overview

The Soundblaster X is every audiophile’s dream. This is a 7.1 24-bit/192kHz, 120dB USB Digital Audio Converter (DAC) that couples as a headphone amplifier. You can hook it up to almost any PC, smartphone or Xbox – meaning that you can use it at home and on the go.

The shell is stylish black with rubber padding on the back. This gives you solid grip if you place your G5 on almost any surface. The front of the shell has a headphone and microphone input. This is where you hook up your device to convert audio for superior sound. The knob has an in-built LED light that dims and brightens with the volume.

The G5 is powered by the Blaster X Acoustic Engine pro. It comes with various profile settings that are 100% customizable. This is great if you want to adjust your sound landscape to different games. You also have the flexibility to import an existing sound profile from another device.

My Verdict

My favorite feature is the scout mode. (Gamers, take note!) This function lets you hear the approaching footsteps of your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct advantage in first-person shooter games like Call of Duty.

On the negatives, the Sound Blaster isn’t as portable as promised. The dimensions are reasonable, but I wouldn’t want to carry it around with me all day. Another drawback is headphones that fall below 150 ohms. Make sure you set the G5 to the low setting, otherwise you may experience a surge that will damage your valuable device.

Overall, the G5 is ideal if you want something adaptable that connects to multiple devices. If you’re looking for better audio for your PS4 or XBOX, this will be your new go-to product.

Specifications

  • 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Immersive 3D PC Gaming Audio
  • High performance Console Gaming Audio
  • Acoustic Engine Pro
  • Headphone Amplifier
  • Built-in SB-Axx1 Audio Processor
  • Light Volume Control with Illuminated Volume Indicator
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Creative Sound BlasterX G5 7.1 Headphone Surround HD Audio External Sound Card...

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:00 pm

$129.99 $149.99


2) Fiio E07K Andes High Output Portable Headphone Amplifier

Overview

This headphone amp has a luxurious feel with exceptional build quality. The box is made with a brushed black metal finish with gold-plated outlets for USB, RCA outputs, and pre-amp out. All of my cables fit in snugly and stayed in place, so I never had an issue with them falling out.

The FiiO is great if you want to amp up any MP3 player like your iPhone or Android device. It offers a dual function as a headphone amp and a desktop DAC amp when paired with a FiiO DAC Q1 or E17 (see next review).

My Verdict

Somewhat disappointingly, the power outlet is bulky and a pain to lug around. If you know that you’re going to carry your amp in your backpack, consider exchanging it for a smaller one.

All in all, this is a dynamic amp. The sound that comes through is pristine. As long as your device has a quality build in soundcard, the FiiO works without a hitch. I’d rate it a solid 9/10 with one point docked for the charger. If you’re an audio geek and like your music loud, this one’s for you.

Specifications

  • Soft on/off with sealed relay protects power amplifier output
  • support for Windows XP/2000/Vista/7 and Mac OSl
  • Right and left output can be independently adjusted
  • Two 3.5mm stereo headphone outputs
  • Three levels of gain adjustment at 0, 6, and 12dB
  • Volume controlled and fixed level RCA outputs
  • Digital audio with resolutions up to 96kHz/24-bit via its USB
  • 20 shifting choices from -10dB to 10dB Lo Bypass Switch
  • playback of audio from a computer or analog source
  • Size: 5.8 x 4.2 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 3.84
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Fiio E07K Andes USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifier Black

Last update was in: May 30, 2018 7:47 am

$9,013.73

 


3) FiiO E17 Alpen Portable Headphone Amplifier

Overview

The FiiO E17 screams quality. It comes with the FiiO signature smooth metal face and little rubber pads for effective surface grip. I really like that it’s almost the same size as an iPhone so it fits comfortably into my hand.

In the package you’ll receive a jump cable, a mini USB for charging and to use with DAC, and an optical connector. The amp interface is easy to use. You can adjust the bass, treble and gain in two level increments for balance. There is a sleep function, which is a nice addition if you have to suddenly rush out. The FiiO also charges while you play so you’re never out of battery.

A drawback is that on this model you can’t bump up the bass up to the same level as with other FiiO models like the Eo9K. On the positive, the high-pitch sounds are crystal clear. So if you’re looking to amp up your music with earth-shattering drums and bass, you’ll be better served with a higher spec model.

My Verdict

For $100-$200, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find anything this good. You’re getting an external soundcard for your PC and an amp that can be hooked up to PS3 and smartphone alike. For its size and specs, this is the perfect product if you like to take your amp on the road.

Specifications

  • Standard mini USB interface
  • 5 mm stereo headphone output for 16-150 ohm headphones
  • 5mm SPDIF input (optical, coaxial) digital connector to receive PCM signals up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • 5mm Analog Line-In for use with other audio sources, 18-Pin multi-functional interface to connect FiiO’s L7 and E9 docks
  • Digital Bass, Treble, Gain, Volume Controls
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

FiiO E17 Alpen Portable Headphone Amplifier USB DAC

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:00 pm

 


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