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Best Of 2018

The Best Top 5 Headphone Amplifiers of September, 2018 REVEALED

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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 of September, 2018 to enhance your music or gaming experiences.

 

1) Creative Sound Blaster Zx

Overview

The Sound Blaster Zx is every audiophile’s dream. This powerhouse of a device combines a gaming sound card with a state of the art headphone amp including a Core 3D Audio Processor. You can hook it up to almost any PC, smartphone or Xbox – meaning that you can use it at home and on the go.

What We Like

The shell is bright red with rubber padding on the back. This gives you solid grip if you place your Zx 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. All of the audio connection points such as the headphone jacks are gold plated for maximum audio quality.

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.

What Needs Improving

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. The software could do with more frequent updates, but other than that, a stellar product.

8.9Expert Score
The Final Verdict

Overall, the Sound Blaster Zx 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.

Creative Sound Blaster Zx PCIe Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module

3 used from $87.43
Free shipping
Last update was in: September 3, 2018 3:31 pm
$101.01 $149.99

 


2) Nobsound Mini Audio HiFi Headphone Amp

Overview

You can’t talk about headphone amps without mentioning the Nobsound. This amazing amp was developed by big name Douk Audio, and I first heard about it from my DJ neighbor.

What We Like

It has almost all the qualities of an expensive, top of the range headphone amp but is on offer on Amazon for as little as $50. It pairs with a range of headphones and produces impeccable sound. You can really tell that this sound gadget was made by professional-grade music lovers, for music lovers.

What Needs Improving

I’d rate the Nobsound almost perfect, with a couple of points docked for a slight tendency of cellphone signals to interfere with it.

8.7Expert Score
The Final Verdict

All in all, this is a dynamic amp. The sound that comes through is pristine. A star product fit for anyone.

Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp

1 used from $75.00
Last update was in: July 21, 2018 3:36 pm

 


3) Fiio E17K

Overview

The FiiO E17K 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.

What We Like

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.

What Needs Improving

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.

9.0Expert Score
The Final 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.

Fiio E17K ALPEN 2 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier

4 used from $64.09
Last update was in: September 3, 2018 3:51 pm

 


4) ART Professional Headphone Amplifier With EQ

Overview

Do you have a home recording studio? Or are you just looking for a professional grade headphone amplifier? Meet the ART Headphone Amp Pro.

What We Like

ART stands for Applied Research Technology – and their products live up to the title.
This headphone amp serves up a whopping 6 x outputs. Each channel comes with independent EQ controls for bass, treble, dual function pan/mix and a ton of monitoring settings. The bright LED lights provide a beautiful visual representation of volume levels. There is a mono switch is a great addition and lets the sound flow through left and right headphones seamlessly. The ART is so sophisticated that it can even double up as an amp for bands.

What Needs Improving

If you are using the ART for music practice, just bear in mind that if you’re routing multiple headphones through the same channel, the power is split. If you pair the headphone amp with high quality headphones, you won’t have a problem!

9.5Expert Score
The Final Verdict

Affordable headphone amps don't get much better than this. If you're not used to high grade amps it takes a few moments to get your head around the settings, but once you've nailed it, your experience will be transformed.

ART HeadAmp6 Pro 6 Channel Professional Headphone Amplifier With EQ

2 used from $164.99
Last update was in: August 16, 2018 7:32 am

 


5) Behringer PowerPlay P1

Overview

The Behringer Power Play prides itself of being a “drummer proof” headphone amp that is cheap enough for anyone to own. After using it everywhere from home to recording sessions over the last few weeks, I can safely say, this headphone amp packs power.

What We Like

The Behringer is very easy to set up and use. It offers two channels, mono and stereo, and a respectable array of mixing options to catch all the nuances in your sound. It comes with a 12-hour battery, which is plenty enough to last you over several days or one intensive day of music.

What Needs Improving

The only downside is the volume capacity. If you’re in a huge band or play in large venues, you might find that the Behringer can’t quite stretch that far. But for anything less ambitious, it will serve you well.

9.7Expert Score
The Final Verdict

The Behringer PowerPlay P1 headphone amp is a solid device for home music lovers and professional musicians. Set it up, plug it in and you're ready to go. I'd recommend it especially to aspiring musicians and bands who don't yet have the mountains of cash required for state of the art studio equipment. Buy this to get yourself started, and see where it can take you.

BEHRINGER POWERPLAY P1

2 used from $52.00
Free shipping
Last update was in: August 16, 2018 8:14 am
$48.75 $49.99

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