Do you love hearing music? Who doesn’t, right?
If you are really an audio enthusiast, you might have heard the name, headphone amplifier. I know most of you haven't used one but heard about it.
Some of you may also think this way, ‘I have an expensive headphone. Why the hell I spend money again for the same purpose of hearing music?’. Trust me expensiveness is not the sign of quality.
Here in this post, I am going to share a list of the best headphone amp under 100 dollars. If you are a person who has the interest in travelling a lot and wants to experience the joy of good music on the go, you need one of the best portable headphone amps.
That’s why I am coming with this post featuring cheap good headphone amp.
Best Headphone Amp under 100 Bucks
Before diving into the list, let me ask you one question. What is a headphone amp? Why are you going to buy a headphone amp? How did you realize the need for one?
What is a Headphone Amp?
A headphone amp is an external device that is used to enhance the quality of audio via your headphones. I hope you know what amplification is.
Headphones do the same function of amplifying audio signals from a device like PC or laptop. Home theatres come with an inbuilt amp to power up giant speakers. But most of the times, headphones do not contain one.
What if you don’t have an amp to be used with your headphones?
Like every other electrical device, headphones too need power to function. It gets power from that 3.5 mm audio jack only. Unfortunately, that is not sufficient to deliver specific sounds like the heavy bass. Here arises the need for an amp.
Best headphone amp stays as a mediator between your laptop (or PC) and headphones, thereby giving it extra power.
The following are some factors that indicate the need for a headphone jack.
#1. Quality of Your Headphone
Headphones are your ultimate audio equipment. It is through that you hear the music. The very first thing to consider is the quality of your headphone itself. You might have purchased an expensive headphone. But that doesn't avoid the need for an amp because not every headphone comes with the built-in amp.
If your headphone has the capability to deliver sounds less than 100 Ohms, you don’t need an amp. For all the other headphones with sounds greater than 100 ohms, you need an amp to enhance the quality of the music.
Several types of headphones are there- in-ear, over-the-ear, etc. Most of the in-ear headphones do not need a headphone amp. Active noise cancelling headphones also deliver audiophile grade sound even without an amp.
Money is everything in this materialistic world. So, you can’t move without it. If you want to get good audio quality, you will have to shell out some bucks.
You can grab the best headphone amp under 100 dollars. To be precise, $80 is enough. I suggest you to buy a headphone with inbuilt amp irrespective of its price. In case you don't have enough budget, go with a headphone+ amp. It will surely give you a magical experience when hearing the music.
Are you ready to swim through the list of the best headphone amp under 100? Here we go.
I think you deserve the best at first. That’s why I have included the best headphone amp under $100 as the first item in this post.
Have you ever seen a product with 5-star rating on Amazon? I rarely see one. Even if you don't have an intention to buy an amp, just see this. Poweradd Bluetooth amplifier has got a 5-star rating, which proves the popularity and quality, one of these best cheap headphone amp has.
When it comes to design, you can't find anything fancy here. They kept it clean and elegant without overloading the body with tedious design elements. The body is built out of high-quality plastic weighing only 55 grams.
With the Bluetooth 4.0 support, this one is the best portable headphone amplifier under 100.
Even if it is meant mainly for headphones, you can amplify the music from speakers and car stereos as well.
Can you remember what I said under ‘quality of your headphone’ section? You don’t need an amplifier for headphones giving out less than 100 Ohms impedance. But this budget beast can amplify sound from headphones ranging from 8 to 600 Ohms.
I always worry about sound interruption while the topic of discussion is Bluetooth devices. But here, the company has incorporated Apt-X technology with which you can enjoy music seamlessly.
If your device supports wireless technology, you can use it as an entirely wireless device. However, the package includes a 3.5 mm audio cable for devices without wireless technology.
In between the aux in port and headphone jack, you can see an LED, which has three colours- green, purple and blue. Three of them stand for three different modes- dynamic bass boost, 3D surround stereo and standard mode.
With a 1300 mAh battery, Poweradd promises you 60 hours of battery backup on a single charge.
Here comes a Creative Child, Sound Blaster E1- one of the best external amplifiers for headphones.
Unlike every other budget headphone amp, this one has got an incredible feature. It's none other than an inbuilt microphone. Headphone amplifiers with built-in mic are not common.
You are getting a lot for mere $40. At first, you may think that this one is not going to satisfy you by seeing the size of it. But Creative engineers have got the expertise to hide the magical sound quality inside that small case.
Portability is another thing you get with Sound Blaster E1. Being smaller, carrying this device around will not be a worry. You can connect the same to your shirt with the clip it has got on the back.
It has nearly a rectangle design. On two shorter sides, a USB port, aux port and two headphone jacks are situated. One of the headphone jacks can act as a microphone port also.
On the right longer side, the device has got a play/ pause button, volume controller, power button and a power notification LED.
Inside the box, you will get a four pole analogue cable, a micro- USB cable, the amp itself and a user manual.
With the micro- USB cable, you can convert this device into a DAC also.
As you can see in the image, the design is very compact. And, it has only the weight of 25 grams that allows you to carry it without sweating much.
You may think like, what the heck this guy is doing, right?
I know you are not familiar with the brand Topping. But their NX1 and NX2 amplifiers have grabbed the love of audiophile and has been making a huge buzz around the audio arena for a while now.
You can't find any other best headphone amp under 100 bucks that is slimmer than Topping NX2. A headphone amp with DAC can't be even thinner. Having a length of about 11 cm, you may find it a little bit difficult to carry around like a breeze.
Topping decided to go with an industrial design for both of their headphone amps. So, you will not find an extremely personalized design here.
On the front, you will get a power lever, headphone jack, AUX in and a volume controller. On the back of the device, the amp has got a USB port (for DAC purpose) and a charging slot. Two LEDs are given to light up when the amp is powered on and charged.
It supports every audio delivering device out there, be it a smartphone (of any OS), PC, laptop or Mac.
Inside the package, the company included the amp itself, a charging cable, a USB cable, two silicon bands and five Velcro. The last two items can be used to attach the amp with your smartphone.
Even though the company claims it to be one of the best portable headphone amplifiers under $100, the length may be an interruption to its portability. It has got 11 cm length because of the large battery of 1000 mAh, which is capable of providing 100 hours of backup.
This headphone amp supports impedance from headphones up to 300 Ohms.
If you are a design freak, I recommend buying this headphone amplifier with a price of only about 50 dollars.
Oops! Haven’t you heard about Fiio yet? Fiio is a well known for their amplifiers and Digital to Analogue Converters. E07K is one of the best products from them.
On the first glance, you can't believe that E07K is a cheap headphone amp under $100. Why because its build and design never allow you to think so. You will feel it is a portable MP3 player at first. The OLED screen it has got to display the volume level may substantiate your initial impression about it.
On the front of the device, you can see an OLED screen with showing volume level, an LED and a Fiio branding. And two switches are placed on the right edge of the device. On the left, it has the volume up/ down buttons, power on/ off buttons and menu. You will get two audio jacks on top. The glass finish on the front of this best headphone amp under 100 bucks makes a premium feel.
Like every other amplifier on this list, this Fiio product too works with most of the devices and platforms.
If you read any other article here, you might have become familiar with this brand. Brainwavz concentrates their expertise in manufacturing audio products with high quality. But the highlight is they are not ready to push potential customers into a serious dilemma by overpricing their products.
Brainwavz continues its saga of customer friendly budget products by launching AP0001 also. They are not marketing anything blindly. Everything they say for marketing is this amplifier’s feature.
You can’t expect much from a $25 device. So, don’t think this one supports a 600 Ohms headphone. Brainwavz AP001 easily works with headphones with impedance ranging from 16 Ohms to 150 Ohms. I think it’s enough for one who uses a budget headphone.
The design is elegant with a texture on the front. The front also features a keyhole-like opening that adds beauty to this best portable headphone amp.
On the front, you can’t find anything except the texture and the branding. Every button is situated on the four edges. You won’t have to deal with a lot of jacks and ports. Only four ports are available- one for input, two for output and the remaining one for charging purpose.
Two LEDs are available- one indicates the charging and the other, the playback. As the name suggests, this headphone jack is highly portable.
With the 120 Ma rechargeable battery, you will get 12 hours of backup (decent enough, right?).
This one is the cheapest headphone amplifier on this list of the best headphone amp under 100 dollars.
Did you get stunned? I bet you did if Pyle is not new to you.
Pyle is not a company who aims their budget customers. Most of the company's products are expensive for a typical lower middle-class buyer. But this time, around, they rewrote this conventional practice.
As the name suggests, it has got four knobs to control levels. If you are a person with only one set of headphones, you don't need this. This audio amp is only for those who want to split the audio into different levels.
In spite of the low price, the internal circuit is powerful enough to amplify every signal. Don’t try to connect this to a headphone with very high impedance. That will be like forcing a fly to shoulder a hill.
There is nothing extraordinary to boast about the design. So, you may not carry it around when you go out. Actually, the company did the right thing by spending much on quality and less on design, thereby keeping its price low.
Along with the level controller knobs, the front houses an ordinary power LED and Pyle branding. On the back, you can see four outputs (four each level), an input and a charging port.
You should buy an adapter (if you are an Asian) because the charger is the European type.
Have You Chosen the Best Headphone Amp under 100 Bucks?
I hope you got an idea of what a headphone amp is. The first section I wrote will certainly help you to determine whether you need an amp or not.
However, the above given six products are the best headphone amps under 100 dollars. At first, set your budget, know your needs and then shortlist the items. May the perfect one reach your hand!
Have a great day.