If you’re looking for the best portable amplifier, you’ve come to the right place. In this buying guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know before making your purchase. We’ll cover why you might need a portable amp and which type of headphones work best with them. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on factors to consider before making your purchase. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or just looking for a refresher, read on for all the information you need!
The Best Portable Amplifiers
The FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier is perfect for anyone looking for a portable and powerful amplifier. With its expertly selected components and design, the A3 provides superior sound quality through its OPA1642 preamp and AD8397 amp section. The A3 has a gain switch that allows you to match the output to your headphone power needs, ensuring that you get the best sound quality possible.
The FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier is perfect for anyone looking for a boost in sound quality. This amplifier has a discrete bass boost circuit that increases output by 3.5dB at 60Hz, making it perfect for boosting the sound of low-end frequencies. It also has a sturdy all-aluminum body and chassis that helps to shield against EM interference. Plus, its 1400mAh internal battery can provide up to 16 hours of use on a single charge.
- Brand: FiiO
- Color: Black
- Model Name: Kilimanjaro 2
- Item Weight: 92 Grams
- Material: Aluminum
- Powerful amplifier for your headphones
- Gain switch to match output to headphone power needs
- Great for people who want to listen to music on the go
- Shields against EM interference
- Enjoy up to 16 hours of use on a single charge
The iFi Hip-DAC is the perfect portable DAC headphone amplifier for Androids and iPhones. It features up to 6 hours of battery life and a slim, lightweight design perfect for carrying in your pocket. It also offers native digital to analog conversion of any high-resolution audio format, including MQA.
iFi Audio’s Hip-DAC is a portable, balanced DAC headphone amplifier. With its direct connection to your smartphone via USB input, it offers unmatched convenience and versatility. The Hip-DAC features 400 mW max power output from the onboard amplifier for superior music playback quality.
- Switchable gain
- XBASS enhances bass without muddying the mid-range
- Balanced HP 4.5mm and 3.5 mm
- USB C balanced
- Portable for Androids and iPhones
- Features up to 6 hrs of battery life and a slim, lightweight design perfect for carrying in your pocket
- Direct connection to your smartphone via USB input provides superior music playback quality
- Enjoy the sound of your music with no distortion
- Battery life may not be as good
This Proster Portable Headphone amp 3.5mm Stereo Audio Out is perfect for your high-quality headphones. It improves your 3.5mm tone of voice, making conversations clear and enjoyable! With an impedance of 16-150Ω and a signal-to-noise ratio> 100Db, this little guy can filter out background noise and give you the best possible sound quality. The impedance is also adjustable to work with any headphones. Plus, the 3.5mm stereo output makes it easy to connect to any device.
This portable headphone amp from Proster is perfect for enhancing your listening experience. A 1500mA rechargeable lithium battery offers up to 8 hours of playback after a full charge and comes with a 1.1m USB charging cable for easy charging on the go. It has an aluminum alloy shell that shields and reduces signal interference and features heat resistance for added durability.
- HiFi Headphone Amplifier
- Personality Stereo
- 1500mA rechargeable lithium battery for continuous 8 hours usage
- Charging indicator for power checking
- Volume control knob
- Aluminum alloy shell
- Compact and portable
- Achieves better sound quality from your headphones
- Impedance is adjustable to work with any headphones
- 3.5mm stereo audio output makes it easy to connect to any device
- 8 hours battery life on a single charge
The eSynic Headphone Amplifier Portable Amp is a mini HiFi headphone amplifier featuring 3.5mm AUX input and output. With this amplifier, you can freely enjoy music from your phone or other devices without any trouble. It also has an advanced circuit design that guarantees a pure sound quality for all ranges of frequencies to give users a high-fidelity listening experience.
The eSynic headphone amplifier has a two-stage gain switch. The first stage is the low gain mode, suitable for a wide range of headphones and earphones. The second stage is the high gain mode, which is more effective for high impedance headphones or earphones. A rechargeable lithium battery with 1000mah capacity allows it to work for more than 8 hours. This amplifier also comes with a 1.2m USB Cable and 2pcs audio cable.
- Lithium battery capacity: 1000mAH
- Amp using time: More than 8 hours
- Amp battery voltage: DC3.7V – 4V
- Amp internal working voltage: ±4V
- SNR: SNR>100Db
- THD+N: THD+N 0.0003%
- Output Power: 40Mw in Impedance 16Ω
- Adapted Headphone Impedance: 16-300Ω
- Provides a high-fidelity listening experience
- Portable and lightweight design
- Small and portable, so it’s perfect for traveling
- Has a low noise floor, meaning you can enjoy your music without any annoying background noise
- Not ideal for car stereo playback/amplification
The Neoteck Portable 3.5mm Headphone Amplifier with Bluetooth 5.0 Receiver is a HiFi headphone amplifier that supports most headphones of high impedance 16-150Ω. It has a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver that allows you to connect with any Bluetooth devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc.
It has a two-stage gain switch, so you can adjust the volume according to your needs. This amplifier can be used both as an external sound card and a headphone amplifier. This means that it can boost the audio signals from your devices (such as computers, mobile phones, or MP3 players) and send them through 3.5mm cables to headphones or speakers for a better listening experience. You can also use it as an external sound card for your PC/Laptop/Mac.
- Adapted Headphone Impedance: 16-150Ω
- THD+N: 0.0003%
- Lithium battery capacity: 1500mAH
- Amp using time: more than 8 hours
- Bluetooth decoding mode: SBC, AAC
- Bluetooth protocol: A2DP V1.3.1, AVRCP V1.6, HFP V1.7, HSP V1.2
- Bluetooth distance Max : 26ft/ 8m
- Amp battery voltage: DC 3.7V – 4V
- Amp internal working voltage: ±4V
- Can be used with any headphones of high impedance
- Signal-to-noise ratio is excellent
- Can be used as an external sound card for your PC/Laptop/Mac
- 3.5mm audio connection
- Some songs lose quality during playback, and it can be an issue over time
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Portable Amplifier
Before you buy a portable amplifier, consider the following factors:
The length of time that batteries last varies between models. Some can provide up to 24 hours of continuous use on a single charge, while others require frequent charging sessions every few hours or less. It really depends on how often they’re being used at full capacity.
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
This refers to how much noise there is compared with intentional sounds coming from the amplifier. Suppose there’s a lot of static or other interference present in your audio setup. In that case, it may be worth investing in an amplifier with higher SNR ratings because this will reduce unwanted noises that could negatively affect your listening experience. A higher SNR rating means that higher values will translate into better audio quality and less distortion.
Weight and Size
Amplifiers can vary significantly in weight and size, so it’s essential to find one that is comfortable to carry around with you, especially if you plan to take it outside of the home. Some are small enough to fit into a pocket, while others may require a bag or case for transport. Just be sure to measure how much space it will take up beforehand to avoid any surprises later on.
THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion. This is the amount of noise that a portable amplifier produces when it’s playing back music at different frequencies. The lower this number is, the better quality your audio will be. For example, if an amplifier has 0% THD, you won’t hear any distortion in your music even if you’re listening to it at a high volume.
Impedance refers to how much current can flow through an electrical device without causing damage or reducing its performance. Higher values indicate better resistance, while lower ones mean more risk of damage over time due to wear and tear from constant use at total capacity, which may eventually result in irreversible loss of functionality.
Headphones come in different impedance levels, so you must check the specs of both your amplifier and headphones to ensure compatibility. Generally speaking, if the impedance level of your headphones is lower than that of the amplifier, you’ll be able to get away with using a model with lower power output (wattage) without any problems.
This refers to the range of frequencies that an amplifier can reproduce accurately. The lower limit is “cutoff frequency,” while higher limits define how much high-frequency detail can be heard. In other words, it’s possible for some devices like headphones or speakers to have wide ranges on their specs sheets (for example, 20 Hz – 20000 Hz), but not all sound sources will contain information below 20 kHz (i.e., Audible).
Sensitivity refers to how loud a portable amplifier will be when playing back music at the full volume level. Generally speaking, if you plan to use your device outside, it may be worth investing in one with higher sensitivity since this means less distortion from background noise and a more consistent listening experience.
This is how much power the device outputs which is essential to consider if you have high-impedance headphones that need more juice to run optimally. If you’re unsure about what impedance level your headphones fall into, consult the manufacturer’s website or check out our blog post on choosing the right pair of headphones.
Inputs and Outputs
Inputs are what type of cables or connections can be used with an amplifier (e.g., headphone jack, USB). Outputs refer to how much power a portable device puts out when playing back music at the full volume level depending on impedance level and sensitivity settings.
Type of Use
If you plan to use your amplifier in a noisy environment like an airplane or car, it may be worth investing in one with higher sensitivity since this means less distortion from background noise and a more consistent listening experience.
Some people prefer their portable amplifiers to just be generally lightweight, while others want them small enough to fit into pockets so that they don’t have to carry around anything extra when traveling. If portability isn’t as big of a concern, look for models with a built-in battery to last longer and offer more flexibility while being used out on the go.
This is especially important if you plan on using your portable amplifier frequently and/or outdoors where it may be more susceptible to accidental damage. It’s also nice to have a model with extra features like NFC for one-touch pairing with compatible devices or an integrated DAC (digital-to-analog converter), which improves audio quality when listening from digital sources.
Gain refers to how much power the device outputs, which is essential to consider if you have high-impedance headphones that need more juice to run optimally.
There you have it! These are some of the main factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing the best portable amplifier for your needs. We hope this guide was helpful, and please feel free to leave any questions or comments below!