If you’re looking for better performance from your headphones, your first thought may be to pick up a new pair. However, there is another option, adding a headphone amplifier should take your current headphones sound production to the next level. Depending on what type of music you listen to, you may even want to look for an amplifier that has a bass boost function. Now, if you listen mostly to music that doesn’t focus on bass (classical, vocals, etc.), an amp with bass boost isn’t necessarily the way to go; if bass heavy music (hip-hop, EDM, dubstep, etc.) is your thing however, having a bass boost feature can really bring your music to life. Many headphone amps offer some type of bass boost, be it selectable levels or a simple on/off.
The E18 Kunlun from Fiio is one of the best portable headphone amps available. The E18, designed specifically for compatibility with Android smartphones, functions as a headphone amp/DAC to give you some of the best on-the-go sound quality around. Featuring an intuitive 2 level bass boost, the E18 Kunlun can bring your favorite rumbling beats to life.
The Fiio Alpen 2-E17K is a great headphone amplifier/DAC. The portable E17K amp features easily adjustable treble, bass, gain and channel balance through the simple scroll wheel rather than having unique buttons on the amp. It has an easy to read OLED display for access to these adjustable features. This amp also has a headphone output, a dual function line-in/out port and a coaxial digital input port.
The ultra portable Fiio E07K headphone amplifier/DAC offers tremendous value. The E07K Andes features a Wolfson WM8740 DAV and Texas Instruments PCM2706 USB receiver to inject new life to your music. This amp has an adjustable bass boost and treble (adjustable between -10 and +10dB) as well as a selectable gain (0, 6 or 12dB) through the easy to navigate menu.
If you’re looking for better audio from your laptop, the Fiio E10K is designed for just that. This USB DAC headphone amplifier has an internal PCM5102 DAV chip to improve the audio quality from your laptop and is capable of handling PCM files in up to 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. It has an easy to use selectable bass boost function as well as a built-in low-pass filter.
A cheap headphone amp that doesn’t sacrifice quality isn’t an easy thing to find. The Fiio E6 is an affordable headphone amplifier with Fiio’s well known quality and performance. While this portable headphone amplifier doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of pricier models, it is more than serviceable for the average listener. It features selectable bass boost modes, easy volume control and a 3.5mm output and input interface.