It’s been two months since 2023, and the world of audio technology has been advancing at an unprecedented pace. With so many new products entering the market, it can be tough to find a great headphone amp that won’t break the bank.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best headphone amps for under $100. Whether you’re looking for something low-cost or top-of-the-line, these are the models to consider. Read on to learn more about each of the 10 best options available today.
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Best Headphone Amp Under 100 Bucks
1. AudioQuest Dragonfly
The AudioQuest Dragonfly is the ultimate high-fidelity sound solution for anyone who wants to truly experience music in its most pure form. This ingenious little device – no bigger than a standard flash drive – acts as a USB DAC+Preamp+Headphone Amp and works with Apple iOS and Android smartphones/tablets as well as Windows and Mac laptop/desktop computers, giving you access to a true high-fidelity music source anywhere, any time.
It comes equipped with a 3.5mm port to conveniently connect to an external audio system such as headphones, powered desktop speakers, or your HiFi audio system, while its asynchronous transfer and twin clocks mean perfectly timed and controlled digital information enters the DAC, resulting in a richer, more dynamic sound with more detail and openness.
AudioQuest’s Dragonfly was designed with the audiophile in mind, delivering high-performance sound at full speed. Their proprietary Microchip PIC32MX microcontroller uses 77% less current than its competitors to ensure maximum playback quality. The 32-bit ESS Sabre 9010 DAC is structured with a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter for superior audio reproduction when playing any source of music files.
To add an extra layer of precision, twin clocks make sure that 44.1 kHz (CD quality), 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, and 96 kHz each clock accurately so you can really hear the difference in sound quality and resolution.
To finish it off, the dragonfly logo on the face glows different colors to indicate what file frequency is playing – green for CD (44.1 kHz), blue for 48 kHz, amber for 88.2 kHz, and magenta for 96 kHz! With AudioQuest’s Dragonfly, you’ll never again miss a beat in your favorite tunes.
- USB DAC+Preamp+Headphone Amp
- Asynchronous Transfer and Twin Clocks
- High-fidelity sound
- Microchip PIC32MX microcontroller uses 77% less current than competitors
- 32-bit ESS Sabre 9010 DAC with sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter
- Twin clocks ensure CD quality, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, and 96 kHz accuracy
- The Dragonfly logo glows different colors to indicate file frequency
2. FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier
The FiiO E10K headphone amplifier combines the classic design of its predecessors with an improved set of performance features. With its all-new amplification stage and compact yet tough build, you get exactly what you need to take your audio setup to the next level. This USB DAC headphone amplifier brings the convenience of modern-day technology together with impressive sound quality and allows you to experience top-grade audio without breaking the bank.
It looks as good as it sounds with its sleek black finish and smooth design, plus it’s small enough to carry around – at only 77g in weight! Its compatibility with speakers offers plenty of options for different audio sources, while the combination of 10 Watts of audio wattage and 1 Lithium Ion battery powers powerful sound that you can truly immerse yourself in. For truly deep, high-quality sound, look no further than the FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier from one of America’s premier tech brands.
No matter what type of headphones you prefer, this headphone amplifier is sure to bring out the best in your sound with its wide range of frequency responses. So if you want to take your audio setup to the next level without spending too much money, the FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier is definitely a great option.
- 10 Watts of audio power
- 1 Lithium Ion Battery
- Sleek black finish and smooth design
- Compatible with speakers
- Wide range of frequency responses
3. Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier
The Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier is a quality piece of equipment for the audiophile. Boasting a 240 Volts voltage, premium Shuguang 12AU7 tube, and Japanese ALPS potentiometer for gain control, this amplifier offers excellent sound quality that will please any music enthusiast.
Moreover, the amplifier has two inputs: a parallel 3.5mm and RCA stereo input, allowing users to choose how they want to connect their sound source. With its combination of features, this sophisticated audio device from Bravo Audio can turn any listening experience into an immersive auditory pleasure.
Its non-fatiguing sound makes it a great choice for long listening sessions. Plus, its 12AU7 tube allows users to adjust the output impedance, making it versatile enough to use with different types of headphones.
Another added bonus is its low-noise design; you won’t have to worry about any hum or interference from your audio equipment. All in all, the Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quality amp under a budget. It offers the great sound quality, versatile input options, and adjustable impedance, making it the perfect addition to any home audio setup.
- 240 Volts voltage
- Japanese ALPS potentiometer for gain control
- Non-fatiguing sound
- 12AU7 tube allows users to adjust the output impedance
- Low noise design
- 1-year warranty
4. Behringer HA400 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier
The Behringer HA400 4-channel headphone amplifier is an ideal tool for anyone looking to boost their audio capabilities in the studio or on stage. This ultra-compact amplifier system features four independent stereo high-power amplifiers, each providing uninterrupted sound with impressive clarity.
In case you need a single output to enough of your own cans, or you’re setting up something more complex for a band jam, this amp has got your back! Its lightweight and small size makes it perfect for the musician who values convenience and performance.
It has the highest audio quality with virtually all types of headphones, even at maximum volume. The phone’s level control per channel ensures the perfect balance between the left and right channels. Additionally, a DC 12V adapter is included for added convenience. It also comes with a one-year warranty for all parts and labor.
For anyone looking for a reliable and powerful headphone amp, the Behringer HA400 is an excellent choice. With its versatility, ultra-compact size, and impressive sound quality, you can’t go wrong in investing in this device! It is undoubtedly one of the best headphone amps under 100 dollars.
- 4 independent stereo high-power amplifiers
- Level control per channel
- Lightweight and small size
- DC 12V adapter included
- 1-year warranty for parts and labor
5. Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amplifier
The Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amplifier is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable yet high-quality amp. For under $100, you get a great-sounding amp that can power even the most demanding headphones with ease. It features a frequency response of 10Hz-20kHz, allowing you to experience an ultra-wide range of sound.
Moreover, it has a headphone impedance of 60 Ohms, and the high-current output means that it can drive nearly any type of headphone, from those with 16 ohms to an astonishing 600 ohms. Now you can listen to your music in its full glory without worrying about distortion or lacking sound.
Offering a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, this little amp can give your music more life and power. With RCA line outputs to boot, you have the opportunity to pipe the audio out to larger audio rigs or even subwoofers, making for a true home theater experience with nothing but your headphones. Plus, the amp is surprisingly compact and lightweight, making it perfect for use at home or on the go.
If you’re looking for an affordable headphone amp, then the Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amps are definitely worth considering. With its great sound quality and versatile features, it’s a great way to get the most out of your music listening experience.
- 10Hz-20kHz frequency response
- 60 Ohms impedance
- High current output
- RCA line outputs
- Compact and lightweight design for portability
- Affordably priced at under $100
6. Nobsound 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier
The Nobsound 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier is a great choice for those with audiophile-level taste but who still want to stick to a smaller budget. This exceptional amplification system features an incredibly low price tag that belies its superlative performance both in terms of audio quality and sound fidelity.
With the newly upgraded 6J3 tubes, the NS-08E version takes your listening experience to the next level – expect warmer and softer sounds along with more powerful bass and quieter background noise overall.
Such stereo amps offers incredibly detailed sound and has plenty of headroom for even the most high-performance headphones, such as the HD580, HD600, HD650, K701, K702, and Q701. Suitable for headphones between 24~600Ω, it is also important to note that armature earphones are not suitable for this particular product. On top of powering your favorite headphones, the 6J9 can also be used as a tube preamp for other amplifiers or active speakers.
This model features upgraded ceramic tube sockets for superior oxidation resistance, ensuring optimal longevity and durability even after long-term use. Moreover, it is designed with special compatibility to accommodate a wide variety of tubes, including 6J3, 6J4, 6J5, 6K4, and 6K5.
With an operational voltage of 230 volts and a wattage of 1 Watts, this amplifier can provide crystal clear sound quality without the hassle of annoying cables or limited mobility. Eventually, it is quite lightweight at only 381 g, so you won’t need to worry about lugging around extra equipment when you leave your home studio.
All in all, the Nobsound 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp is an amazing value for money and will easily provide you with a great listening experience at an unbeatable price. It has plenty of power to take on even the most demanding headphones and can easily be used as a tube preamp for other amplifiers or active speakers.
- Upgraded 6J3 tubes provide warmer and softer sounds
- Can handle headphones between 24~600Ω
- Compatible with various tubes, such as 6J3, 6J4, 6K4, and 6K5
- Special ceramic tube sockets for superior oxidation resistance
- The operational voltage of 230 volts and wattage of 1 watt
- Lightweight at only 381 g
- It can be used as a tube preamp for other portable amplifiers or active speakers
7. FiiO Q1 Mark II Hi-Res MFi Certified Portable Amplifier with DAC
The FiiO Q1 Mark II Hi-Res MFi offers a brilliant combination of exceptional audio components and an intelligent design. With its built-in DAC, you can be sure you are getting the best sound possible from your headphones or earbuds. Plus, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues; the FiiO is officially Apple MFi certified which not only guarantees perfect compatibility with all iOS devices but also means it was specifically designed for them.
All you need to do is connect the included Lightning-to-micro USB cable from your iPhone and plug in your 3.5mm headphone jack headphones — and enjoy the stunningly clear, full-bodied sound.
Whether you’re using it with your computer or on the go, this stylish device offers an impressive and versatile range of features. Its support for decoding audio formats up to 384kHz/32-bit PCM makes it an excellent choice to partner with your computer – just use the included USB cable, and let its two distinguished outputs, single-ended and balanced, provide you with two delicious but distinct flavors of audio.
1800 mAh battery and super-fast charging time of fewer than four hours make sure that no matter what your day throws at you, FiiO has you covered. Plus, it’s really convenient to use – just the press of a single button gives you access to all your settings.
The FiiO Q1 Mark II Hi-Res MFi Certified Portable Amplifier with DAC is an excellent choice for those who want the best sound quality and convenience in a headphone amp under $100. With its Apple MFi certification, high-resolution audio capabilities, and balanced/single-ended outputs, it’s no wonder that this headphone amp is one of the most popular in its price range.
- MFi Certification for iOS devices
- Supports audio formats up to 384kHz/32-bit PCM
- Balanced and single-ended outputs
- 1800 mAh battery with super-fast charge time
- Easy one-button operation
- Sleek, pocket-friendly design
8. FX Audio DAC-X6 24BIT/192 Headphone Amp
The FX Audio DAC-X6 is the ultimate sound experience for any music lover. Featuring CS8416 and CS4398 DAC chipsets, you can be sure to hear your favorite tunes with impeccable clarity. Delivering a high-resolution sound of up to 24bit/192kHz, this device provides enhanced sound quality for all types of audio formats.
It also has an OP275+TPA6120 headphone amplifier chipset, so you need not worry about a weak or distorted signal when it comes to your listening pleasure. With a 12V 1A power adapter included, this amazing piece of equipment is ready to start upgrading your music experience right away.
This audio digital to analog converter features black and silver colored shells and panels with a variety of input and output interfaces that allow you to customize your experience, including USB coaxial, optical fiber, 6.35mm headset standard RCA circuit output, a line level output of 2V RMS, and output power reaching up to 1000mw/16Ω with an SNR of ≥105dB and distortion ≤0.001%.
Furthermore, it’s compatible with voltage sources ranging from 100-240 ACV, all in a conveniently sized package weighing 500g and measuring 146 mm x 98 mm x35mm.
For music lovers who want the best sound without breaking the bank, the FX Audio DAC-X6 is a great choice. With its affordable price tag and top-notch features, it’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning audiophile. So if you’re looking for an excellent headphone amp under $100, then this is the one for you.
- CS8416 and CS4398 DAC chipsets
- USB, coaxial, optical fiber, 6.35mm headset, standard RCA circuit output
- Line level output of 2V RMS
- Output power up to 1000mw/16Ω with SNR ≥105dB and distortion ≤0.001%
- Compatible with voltage sources ranging from 100-240ACV
- 500g and 146 mm x 98 mm x35mm in size
- The affordable price tag of under $100
9. Topping NX1s Digital HiFi Portable Headphone Amplifier
The Topping NX1s Digital HiFi Portable Headphone Amplifier is perfect for long listening sessions. Its 40-hour long playback time means hours of entertainment or work without having to worry about recharging. It also offers a full aluminum case, which not only looks great but also makes it strong and robust enough to take with you wherever you go.
The Micro USB charge port and TOCOS potentiometer provide intelligent charging and an accurate battery indicator, giving peace of mind that the amplifier won’t unexpectedly run out of power while you’re enjoying your music.
This slim device measures 8.4 cm 5.5 cm 1.0 cm and weighs only 78g, making such portable headphone amps perfect for taking on the go. It can be powered by your computer’s USB output, providing DC5V/1A or PC’s USB 0.5A with enough power to drive headphones regardless of their impedance level between 16 to 300 ohms. With an SNR ≥ 117dB and a frequency response of 20 Hz-100 kHz, this little powerhouse packs a punch.
It also comes with gain settings of 0 dB/8.7dB and bass settings of 0 dB/4.0 dB so you can tailor its sound to your exact preferences. And if that wasn’t enough to make your jaw drop, its max output power is 150mW@32Ω or 25mW@300Ω, so you can be sure your music will sound crystal clear.
The Topping NX1s Digital HiFi Portable Headphone Amp is a must-have for any audiophile looking for an affordable, reliable amplifier that won’t break the bank! With its 40-hour playback time, full aluminum case, and high-quality output, it’s the perfect companion for any music lover.
- Accurate battery indicator to check the status
- SNR ≥ 117dB, the frequency response of 20 Hz – 100 kHz
- Gain settings of 0 dB/8.7dB, bass settings of 0 dB/4.0 dB
- Max output power of 150mW@32Ω or 25mW@300Ω
- 40 hours long playback time and Micro USB charge port
- Slim design and full aluminum case
- Perfect for headphones with impedance levels between 16 to 300 ohms
10. Fosi Audio Q4 Headphone Amplifier
The Fosi Audio Q4 Headphone Amplifier is the ideal choice for connecting your headphones to an amplifier or powered speakers. It has inputs for RCA, PC-USB, optical, and coaxial as well as a 3.5mm headphone output for connecting your headphones.
The built-in Hi-Fi headphone offers an advanced operational amplifier chip that provides exceptional DC characteristics, low noise and distortion, high output-drive capability, maximum-output-swing high unity-gain bandwidths, and low slew rate input protection diodes plus output short circuit protection. Additionally, Q4 has specified maximum limits for equivalent input noise voltage for a truly high-quality listening experience no matter what you’re listening to.
This powerful amplifier will provide you with up to 160mW of RMS power and still preserves sound quality despite its mini-sized design. With bass and treble control, the Q4 can produce a wide range of audio frequencies that unlock the full potential of your home PC/Computer/MAC/headphones/speakers system. Setting it up is easy too – no special software app or driver for installation; just plug in your cables and get going.
This mini converter has a metallic shell that provides full protection from noise interference with its output protection circuit, keeping everything safe for your expensive audio system.
Purchasing this little gem also comes with plenty of extras like a USB charging cable, optical cable, PC-USB to type B cable, and manual to help you along the way, making installation a breeze. It’s the perfect choice for audiophiles looking to take their listening experience up a notch while staying well within budget. Truly, an unbeatable value!
These ten are among the best headphone amps under 100 dollars, each offering its own set of features and advantages. In case you’re looking for portability or power, there’s an option for everyone. Get your hands on one today and start enjoying your music like never before!
- Compatible with RCA, PC-USB, optical, and coaxial inputs
- Built-in Hi-Fi headphone amp chip
- Advanced operational amplifiers chip
- Bass and treble control
- Output protection circuit
- Up to 160mW of RMS power
- Included USB charging cable, optical cable, PC-USB to type B cable, and manual
- Compact design with metal shell for noise protection
- Unbeatable value at an affordable price point
How To Get The Best Headphone AMP Under 100?
Now that you know which headphone amplifiers to look out for, here are a few tips for getting the best one:
1. Consider Your Budget
When shopping for an amplifier, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend. While many of these options are under 100 dollars, there may be ones that cost more or less depending on your budget.
Consider what features you’d like to have, as well as your listening habits, before deciding how much to spend. Your budget will help narrow down your choices so you can find the best option for you.
2. Look At The Specs
When it comes to amplifiers, there are certain specifications that make them more suitable for certain uses. Things like
- Impedance: this is the amount of electrical resistance in an amplifier, and it affects how much power is needed for a headphone. A higher impedance means you’ll need more power to get good sound from your headphones.
- Gain: this determines how loud your amp will be, so if you want to use it with low-impedance headphones, then look for an amp with higher gain.
- Frequency response: this is the range of sound that your amp will be able to produce, so if you want a wider range of sounds, then look for an amp with a wide frequency response.
- Signal-to-noise ratio: this is important as it affects how much noise you hear from your headphones. Look for an amp with a high signal-to-noise ratio to get the best sound quality.
Taking these specs into consideration will help you find the best headphone amp under $100 that meets your needs. If you’re looking for the best headphone amp under 100, then it’s important to pay attention to these specs and make sure they suit your needs.
These specs should include a low output impedance for increased power to your headphones, a wide frequency response range for better sound quality, and a high signal-to-noise ratio to reduce any background noise.
In addition, it helps if the amp has a balanced input/output connection which allows you to get the best possible sound from your headphones. Ultimately, these specs will help you determine the best headphone amp under 100 for you and your audio needs.
3. Read Reviews
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s a good idea to read online reviews of the different solid headphone amps. Seeing what other people have to say about their experience with the product can help you make an informed decision and get the right one for your needs. Reviews also provide insight into potential issues, such as noise levels or compatibility issues, that you may not have considered before.
Make sure to read reviews from a variety of sources and take them with a grain of salt, as some may be biased or exaggerated. Doing your research is the best way to make sure you get the best headphone amp for under $100.
4. Consider The Brand
The amplifier you choose will depend on your budget and audio needs, but the brand is also important. Generally, it’s best to go with a trusted name in the industry that has a good reputation for quality products. Doing some research on the different brands can help you decide which one is right for your needs.
Some well-known brands of headphone amps include FiiO, AudioQuest, Topping, and Schiit. All of these have proven to be reliable products that offer great sound quality. If you’re looking for an affordable option, AudioQuest is a good choice, as its products are generally quite reasonably priced.
On the other hand, Schiit is known for its higher-quality products, but these also come with a heftier price tag. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs. Once you’ve chosen a brand, then it’s time to start looking at specific models.
5. Get The Right Model
After you’ve narrowed down your choices to a particular brand, take the time to look at specific models. There are usually many different models of amplifiers from each brand, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs best.
For example, if you need an amp for use with studio headphones, then look for one with a higher power output. On the other hand, if you need an amp for use with portable headphones, then you’ll want to look for one that has a low power output and is more compact in size.
Additionally, make sure to consider the features of each model. Some have additional features, such as Bluetooth connectivity or a built-in DAC. These extra features can be helpful if you need them, but also make sure to consider how much they add to the overall cost of the product.
If you plan on taking your amp with you, then it’s important to consider its portability. Some models are more compact and lightweight than others, making them easier to transport. However, this may also come at the cost of sound quality.
So, make sure to look for an amp that has a good balance between size and performance. Additionally, some models come with a carrying case or strap which can make them even easier to transport.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when looking for the best headphone amp under $100. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect amplifier for your needs and budget.
Why Do You Need A Headphone Amp?
There are several reasons why a headphone amp may be necessary.
1. Increased Volume
The first reason is to increase the loudness of your headphones. This can be especially valuable if you own lower-end headphones that don’t have a lot of headroom—in other words, volume potential—out of the box. A headphone amp can provide enough power to really drive these headphones and unlock all the detail and nuance they are capable of.
2. Better Sound Quality
Another benefit of a good headphone amp is that it can improve the sound quality of your headphones. As mentioned above, many lower-end headphones won’t be able to access their full potential without an amp, but even more expensive models can benefit from one too. A good amp will be able to power the drivers in your headphones more accurately and deliver better sound quality.
3. Improved Dynamics
The dynamic range of a pair of headphones is also improved with the help of a headphone amp. Dynamic range refers to how accurately the highs, mids, and lows are reproduced—a wide dynamic range means that the music you listen to will sound more lifelike and natural. A headphone amp can help to improve the accuracy of these frequencies, as well as reduce distortion and noise.
4. More Options
A headphone amp can give you more control over how your headphones sound. Most amps will offer features like adjustable gain, bass boost, and even equalization—allowing you to customize the sound of your headphones to better suit your preferences. With these options, you can get the most out of your headphones without needing to buy new ones.
It can make sure that your headphones are compatible with any audio source you might want to use them with. Many high-end headphones will require more power and signal than the average laptop or phone can provide, so an amp is a great way to bridge the gap and make sure your headphones work properly with any device.
With these five points in mind, it should be clear why a headphone amp can be such an important addition to your setup. Because of all the benefits they offer, it makes sense to invest in a good one—especially if you are serious about getting the most out of your headphones.
Related: How To Make My Headphones Louder?
How Many Types Of Headphone Amps Are There?
Now that you know why you might need a headphone amp, let’s take a look at the different types that are available.
The most popular and widely available type of headphone amps under $100 are solid-state. These amps use transistors to amplify the audio signal, which is then sent through the headphones. They tend to be fairly reliable and can offer good sound quality for their price point.
Since they don’t require any maintenance or repairs, these are perfect for budget-conscious users who just want something that will work straight out of the box. Sometimes, however, they can be a bit harsh-sounding and may not offer the same level of fidelity as their more expensive tube counterparts.
Tube amps are a bit pricier, but they offer some advantages over solid-state amps. For one, they tend to produce a warmer, more musical sound. This makes them great for people who want to get the most out of their music.
Moreover, tube headphone amp require some maintenance and periodic replacement of the tubes, so they’re not ideal for first-time users or those on a tight budget. However, if you’re an experienced user or willing to invest in high-quality components, a tube amp can make for a great experience.
Tube amps also tend to have fewer components and a simpler design, making them easier to work with. This makes it easy to customize the sound of your headphones, as well as make repairs if necessary. That said, they’re also more expensive than solid-state amps and require more maintenance, so they may not be the best choice for everyone.
Hybrid amps are a combination of solid-state and tube technologies. They offer the best of both worlds, combining the reliability and affordability of solid-state with the warm sound of tubes. Such smartphone/desktop headphone amp can be more expensive than either type on their own, but they’re usually worth it for those who want the best sound quality without the hassle of maintaining a tube amp.
When compared to the other two types, hybrid headphone amps are generally considered to offer the best sound quality because they have the combined benefits of both solid-state and tube amplifiers. Sometimes, hybrid amps will also feature a mix of different inputs and outputs, making them more versatile than either type on its own.
These three types of headphone amps are all viable options under $100, but which one is the best for you will depend on your budget, needs, and personal preferences. A solid-state amp might be a good starting point if you don’t want to spend too much money or are just getting started with headphone amplifiers.
Tube amps offer great sound quality but require more maintenance, while hybrid amps combine the benefits of both solid-state and tube amplifiers. No matter which type of amp you choose, you’ll be sure to get the best sound quality from your headphones.
Related: AMP vs DAC
The Bottom Line
All the products mentioned in this article are great options when you’re looking for the best headphone amp for under 100 dollars. Whether you want something with balanced outputs, a sleek design, or an all-in-one device that can drive even the most demanding headphones, these amps have got your needs covered.
If you’re looking for the perfect headphone amp under $100, any of these options will get the job done. Just make sure to read up on the features and specifications of each one so you can find the best fit for your headphones and budget. With any of these amps, you’ll be sure to enjoy great sound and a reliable listening experience.