Best Mini Headphone Amp Reviews 2017

Looking for the best mini heaphone Amp? It’s said that one of the world’s most popular and widely used languages is music, due to its ability to feed the soul and revitalize your body. Listening to music on your headphones is relaxing and allows you to drift to another world. But quite often, outside noise may disrupt your listening experience, which is why you need to invest in a mini headphone amp. Here, we have reviewed gadgets from some of the best mini headphone amp brands that will not only give you value for money, but also transform how you enjoy music through your earphones. You will be glad to note that Top Products also has a review for best headphone amps!
Watch Our Mini Headphone Amp Review
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Design
Size
Frequency
Power
Our Top Choice
Audioquest DragonFly V1.2 USB DAC
Bill Low founded AudioQuest in 1980 with the aim of providing quality audio cables that produce the best sound.
Compact-sized; versatile compatibility; great DAC performance; direct headphone drivers
Power restriction prevents direct plug-in
USB stick
Variable or fixed output
2.4 x 0.7 x 0.4 in / 0.2 ounces
24-bit/96kHz
USB charging
Best Value
FiiO A1 Plug-and-Play Headphone Amp
Since 2007, FiiO has striven to provide music lovers with high-quality audio products that will let them enjoy good sound at an affordable price.
Portable, plug-and-play design; digital volume buttons; flexible EQ modes; durable aluminum body
Doesn’t accommodate USB connectivity
Plug and play
Headphone output jack
1.6 x 0.4 x 1.6 in / 0.6 ounces
20Hz-20 kHz
Rechargeable lithium battery
Sony USB DAC Headphone Amplifier
Sony is one brand that has dominated the entertainment industry for over six decades by consistently providing quality products and exemplary services.
Advanced audio technology; superior sound effect; durable aluminum casing; quick file conversion
Quite pricey due to great craftsmanship
USB input
High-resolution audio
3.6 x 2.5 x 7.1 in / 14.7 ounces
192kHz/24-bit
Built-in rechargeable battery
VOX amPlug 2 Guitar Headphone Amp
VOX started out over fifty years ago and continues to provide music lovers with audio products that give quality sound.
Multiple amplification modes; superior sound; foldable rotating plug; fits most guitars
May take time to master programming the modes
Bass guitar amp
Headphone output
7 x 1 x 5 in / 3 ounces
Low frequency
Alkaline/Zinc-carbon batteries
Syba Portable Headphone Amplifier
SYBA was formed in 2001 with the purpose of helping you solve connectivity issues on your personal computer.
Double bass boosting; superior sound amplification; dual headphone output; lengthy battery life
May not completely filter outside noise
Bass boosting
Dual-headphone output
6.8 x 3.8 x 1.5 in / 33.6 ounces
250mW/16ohm
Built-in rechargeable battery

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Mini Headphone Amp?

Plato once said, “Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind and charm to everything in life.” Well, it’s true that music has been found to heal one’s mind naturally and bring tranquillity to life. We all love music, and some of us just can’t function without headphones or amplified music in the car. But, have you ever been in a situation where you just want to listen to some sweet jams on your headphones but the volume is too low or the outside noise is just too much? Well, it’s to counter this problem that mini headphone amplifiers were invented.
But don’t my headphones already have built-in amplifiers? The answer is yes. However, for a headphone amplifier, all its circuitry is dedicated to giving you better sound without any power limitations, which ensures that you hear the best-quality sound on your state of the art headphones. If you love playing the guitar, a mini headphone amp will come in handy, and you will definitely notice the difference in sound, since the bass will be boosted to great levels.
But where do I even start in my quest for the best mini headphone amp in the market? Knowing what to look for is essential, and one key consideration factor is the gadget’s digital to analogue conversion (DAC) frequency. The size of the amp is also critical, and the tinier the better since you don’t want any weight added to your headphones. Word of caution though: always put the volume on your headphones at a comfortable level to protect your eardrums.
Price
Let’s face it; nothing is as priceless as a good collection of refined tunes and, better yet, listening to them on top-notch headphones with the sound boosted by a mini amplifier. That said, getting a quality mini headphone amplifier can cost you between around $27 and £320, depending on a couple of factors. In this range, you will find a mini amplifier that will give you quality sound free from distortion. You will also encounter some models that are a bit more costly, which have an insane DAC frequency, resulting in powerful sound amplification.

It’s worth stating that we did come across cheap mini headphone amps, which we highly discourage you from purchasing, especially if you have invested in high-end headphones. The volume control in such amps is misleading, and those that are battery-charged tend to run low in a couple of hours, which is a bummer when listening to music.
Features
When you were shopping for your headphones, there were key features that you looked out for in order to get the ideal product. Consequently, you need to look out for the following key features before adding that mini headphone amp into your cart:
  • Type -The two most common types of mini amps are USB sticks and guitar amps. You may find amps that allow for USB connectivity as well as output.
  • Design -There’s a wide range of designs available, but the most common are those that come shaped like a tiny box. What really matters in the design is the input and output structure, as well as the internal circuitry.
  • Size -Fortunately, most mini headphone amps come in a small, compact size, which ensures that they are easily portable and can comfortably fit in your pocket.
  • DAC Frequency -The rate of digital to analogue conversion (DAC) should be fast enough to ensure efficient sound transmission without any distortion.
  • Battery Life -Most of these gadgets are battery-powered, and it’s important to consider how long a fully charged battery will last you. Better yet, the gadget should have an indicator to show you when to recharge and the charging status.
Construction and Design
Mini headphone amps are designed to allow for quality sound amplification through connecting a jack to your headphones, without taking up too much space the way standard headphone amplifiers do. The size of these gadgets is deliberately small to allow for portability. The two most common designs are those that allow for USB connectivity and the guitar mini amps.

The USB stick amps come with a port that acts as the auxiliary input, with a headphone output component. USB connectivity allows for effortless data transfer, which ensures quality sound amplification. The more traditional mini amps have an output jack that allows for connectivity with the headphone.

An important aspect in the design of these gadgets is the volume control component. Some may have analog buttons that are used for volume adjustment, while others may have electronic volume control. The internal circuitry is critical and should of good quality to ensure an efficient DAC frequency. Some of the gadgets may feature an external casing made of aluminum, which is built to last and prevent any damage in case of external impact.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a mini headphone amp greatly depends on its DAC frequency, which should be efficient enough to offer quality sound amplification with minimal or no distortion. When choosing the ideal amp, ensure that it supports your headphone’s impedance and has flexible adjustments to enjoy an incredible listening experience. Since most mini amps are battery-powered, the length of the battery life is essential. How long a battery lasts depends on the usage, but most can serve you for periods of three to eight hours of continuous play.

Mini headphone amps are pretty easy to use, and all it takes is plugging it in, depending on the provided input, and the gadget works its magic. Of importance is handling the amp with care, since dropping it may cause external impact leading to damage. Most amps come fully assembled and may have instruction manuals to guide you on how to operate them.

What is the Best Mini Headphone Amp?

The DAC frequency and the design of the amp’s internal circuitry are some of the key factors to consider when purchasing a mini headphone amplifier. Let’s explore more pointers to further guide you in your decision.
Our Top Choice
The AudioQuest DragonFly V1.2 USB DAC is a compact-sized gadget that not only lets you enjoy authentic sound from your computer, but is also compatible with smartphones and most tablets. Do you prefer an amplifier that can accommodate even power-hungry headphones? We believe that the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red Headphone Amplifier will be a great fit.
Audioquest DragonFly Version 1.2 USB DAC/Preamp/Headphone Amp – Available in Black or Red

Audioquest Mini Headphone Amp 15660


Features
When Bill Low founded AudioQuest in 1980, he was on a mission to come up with quality cables that would give music lovers incredible sound, regardless of the media output. True to this endeavor, this brand has risen over the years to rank among the best cable providers in the music industry. One of the key features of AudioQuest’s products is a mechanically stable cable, which the brand believes can make or break the sound effect. Their passion for incredible performance while still being affordable has made this brand a force to reckon with.

Well, if you have been looking for a headphone amplifier that is not only USB compact-sized, but is also compatible with your smartphone and tablet, your answer lies in the AudioQuest DragonFly V1.2 USB DAC. This portable gadget is labeled as a USB digital and analog converter (DAC), and is compatible with Apple and Android systems. Its ability to seamlessly filter through and bring natural, clear sound has earned it many accolades in the music industry.

Here are more features of this headphone amplifier:
  • 32-bit ESS chip for enhanced digital performance
  • Direct headphone drivers for an authentic sound
  • The preamp is fed using fixed outputs
  • A medium power output of 1.2 volts, compatible with most headphones
  • Precise digital timing through asynchronous transfer
  • Volume controls are analog
  • Allows you to play all types of music files, such MP3, or even high resolution
  • Incorporates Gordon Rankin’s Microchip Advanced Technology for great audio solutions
  • Fully compatible with computers with no need of downloading new drivers
  • Free application for software upgrade
  • The gadget is unisex and user-friendly
Not digging this black design? Well, not to worry, our dear music lover! This headphone amp is also available in red.
Best Value
Since 2007, FiiO has striven to provide music lovers with high-quality audio products that let them enjoy good sound at an affordable price. Would you rather have a different design that accommodates USB connectivity? We believe that the FiiO Q1 USB DAC Amplifier is a great match.
FiiO Plug-and-Play Portable A1 Headphone Amp – Available in Silver or Black

FiiO Mini Headphone Amp A1 - Silver


Features
FiiO is an ISO-certified manufacturing brand that was started back in 2007 to provide music lovers with dependable audio products. This quality-driven brand embraces the spirit of innovation and impeccable customer service in all that they do. Being a Chinese company, they are continuously working to build people’s confidence in the country’s products by coming up with impressive designs of the highest standards.

Such design is evident in their A1, which is tiny in size but huge in sound amplification, thanks to its hardware booster that takes the sound effect to impressive levels. Would you believe that the A1 is built to give you better hi-fi output than a smartphone? Incredible, right?

What more can we learn about this amazing amp? Here are more features:
  • Electronic volume buttons with sensitive Alps micro switches
  • Four EQ modes, allowing you a lot of flexibility as you listen
  • LED indicator light that shows three different colors for particular functions
  • Has a LI-poly rechargeable battery whose play time is about 13 hours
  • Low-battery indicator with a charging time of three hours
  • Weighs 20 grams, making it portable
  • Boasts an aluminum chassis that’s both durable and elegant
  • Has a backflip that’s clear and removable for operational efficiency
  • Convenient plug-and-play design with enhanced audio
Not digging this silver design? You can also get this product in an elegant black color!
The Sony USB DAC Headphone Amplifier features a technology known as High-Resolution Audio, which is designed to offer you superior-quality sound compared to that of a CD. Do you need some great-sounding headphones to use with this amplifier? We believe that the Sony Extra Bass Headphones will be a great fit.
Sony Portable Silver High Resolution DAC / Headphone Amplifier

Sony Mini Headphone Amp PHA1A


Features
Since 1946, Sony, a Japanese brand, has continuously kept the world entertained through music, video, picture and other audio products. This multi-billion dollar brand has continued to dominate the entertainment industry, and it’s with good reason; their products are innovative, affordable and of superior quality. As of the end of March 2017, the company had generated close to $67.9 billion in sales, which is very impressive. Through such sales, it’s evident that consumers around the world have faith in the quality of Sony products.

Its USB DAC Headphone Amplifier is part of its impressive catalog, and this product is sure to take your music enjoyment to another level. Featuring an innovative technology known as High-Resolution Audio, this gadget will ensure that you thoroughly enjoy your music. Such technology uses an internal USB clock that quickly converts digital signals into a more authentic analog sound.

Here’s more to this quality headphone amp:
  • Converts audio files of formats not exceeding 192kHz/24 bit
  • Has a variety of connection options, including USB and micro-USB connectivity
  • Quality components that filter out noise and reduce distortion
  • Internal circuit is protected by a durable, aluminum case
  • The volume knobs are easy to adjust and are protected by solid bumpers
  • Powered by a rechargeable Lithium battery
  • Gives you up to six hours of music playback
  • Adapts to various headphones through a flexible output
  • Includes accessories such as connecting cables and a mounting pad
  • High bandwidth for exemplary sound amplification
  • Weighs about 0.3 pounds, making it easily portable
The VOX amPlug 2 Guitar Headphone Amp is expertly designed to give you a wide spectrum of responses, with three modes of amplification that give you superior sound effect. Not digging this design? Check out the VOX Amplifier Head that has 50 watts of power instead.
VOX amPlug 2 Low Frequency Guitar Amplifier – Available in Multiple Styles

VOX Mini Headphone Amp AP2BS – Bass


Features
VOX has been in the industry for over five decades and is a reputable manufacturer of guitar amplifiers. Loved by music legends and beginners alike, this brand prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation when it comes to sound amplification. The unique tone of their guitars and the ingenious design of their amps have driven VOX to be among the top in the industry. Operating under the principle of superior quality and exemplary customer service, VOX has managed to command an incredible number of loyal customers.

Their amPlug 2 Guitar Headphone Amp is one of its incredible amplifiers that will amaze you with its serious sound amplification. With three modes to choose from, this amp is the way to go in terms of sound effect. With a wide array of functionality, the amp is designed to allow headphone output with an auxiliary input. If you love playing guitar, then this amp is a must-have, since it will take your sound to another level.

Since guitars are designed differently, this amp has a plug that folds up to 180 degrees to accommodate the variances. With a power function that automatically turns off when not in use, this amp is convenient to use. What’s more? It occupies minimal space and, at times, you won’t even notice its presence. Don’t be fooled by its small size, though, because its humongous sound amplification is hard to ignore!

Not looking for a bass guitar amp? Well, not to worry, since this tiny work of wonder is also available in six other styles such as classic rock, metal, clean, blues and even lead.
The SYBA Portable Headphone Amplifier incorporates two bass-boosting levels geared toward ensuring maximum sound amplification and will help get the best possible sound effect. Do you prefer a built-in amplifier for your headphones? Then you will definitely love the SYBA Headphone With Built-in Amplifier which is compatible with most smartphones.
Syba Portable Battery Powered Headphone Amplifier – Available in Multiple Styles

Syba Mini Headphone Amp SD-DAC63093 – Bass Boosting


Features
SYBA, or rather ‘Suit Your Business Anticipation,’ is a brand that has mastered the art of designing and manufacturing computer parts that will help resolve common connectivity problems. Since its inception in 2001, the brand has served the technology industry while being guided by the principles of superior quality and exemplary customer service. To stay among the best in the industry, SYBA has continuously invested in research and development over the years, which is why their products embrace the latest trends in design and user-friendliness.

Their 3.5 Inch Portable Headphone Amplifier is one such innovative product that will make sure that you listen to nothing but the best sound on your headphones. Designed to give you five times the power through its output, this amp will impress you with just how well it transforms sound. With an output of 250mW/16ohm, the amp is built to ensure that you get great sound as you listen to your favorite jams.

Wait! Here’s more:
  • Dual headphone output to allow you to share music when out and about
  • Bass boosting occurs on two levels
  • Sound-to-noise ratio is greater than 90dB
  • The headphone drivers have an ability of between 16 and 150 ohm
  • Compatible with headphones from Apple as well as Samsung
  • Has one analog output port and two input ports measuring 3.5mm
  • Its built-in battery is rechargeable and can last up to eight hours
  • Has an LED light to indicate low battery and charging status
  • Has several switches to allow functions such as bass selection and volume control
  • Has a micro USB charging input

Get the Best Mini Headphone Amp of 2017!

Wow! You’ve made it this far and, now that you are done reading this review, it’s our hope that you are better equipped to get the best mini headphone amp for your needs. Who knows? You may have already spotted one here! If not, the featured brands have a wide selection for you to choose from – you won’t be disappointed!

Our Top Choice
Audioquest DragonFly V1.2 USB DAC
Best Value
FiiO A1 Plug-and-Play Headphone Amp
Sony USB DAC Headphone Amplifier
VOX amPlug 2 Guitar Headphone Amp
Syba Portable Headphone Amplifier