Sometimes having the blessing and curse of loving Hi-Definition audio, comes with its downfalls. One of these is the fact that a lot of Hi-fi Headphones do require a lot of voltage and often have high impedances.
This is unfortunate for some because not everyone has the budget to not only buy a pair of Hi-Fi headphones but drive them with a great and clear-sounding amplifier. Yes, the headphones are the main component and some would say that buying a budget amplifier as if it were to “buy a Ferrari but power it with a Honda Civic engine”, just doesn’t make sense.
Now, this is NOT always the case. In fact, with the research we have done, we found some incredible Amplifiers that will champion in powering your Hi-Fi headphones, giving them the power they need, without any distortion or tampering at those higher volume levels.
Luckily we found some absolutely great options for those of us who have a great pair of Hi-fi headphones, that need a little power to drive them.
Here are our Best Budget Hi-Fi Headphone Amplifiers.
Very Low Cost Headphone Amplifiers
Now, despite Pyle’s extreme budget-friendly approach, if you are on a real tight budget, this little amplifier is a real good option for you.
Obviously, this is the bottom of the list type of choice but you do get 4 balanced TRS outputs, with their own volume knobs.
I wouldn’t use this for something that needs a lot of drive and definitely no more than two high impedance headphones.
Keep in mind that the board has maxed out voltage of around 20 dB, so keeping some headphones under 50 ohms is probably recommended.
Nevertheless, this is an extreme budget option that I can see being very beneficial in the right circumstances.
Now, getting a little higher in price, and honestly, more realistic for this price range, we have LVY’s single input/output 3.5 mm headphone jack amplifier.
This is a much more realistic option considering that it is run through a simple 3.5 mm headphone jack and only has one input and output source. It doesn’t try and be something that it isn’t.
It has a micro-USB charging port and can run for about 5 hours. It has a max output board gain of around 120 DB and load impedance of 16-3000.
I am honestly impressed with this one and considering its extremely low percentage of distortion, sitting around 0.0004%, this device is perfect for a budget travel headphone amplifier.
Topping off the extremely low-cost Hi-fi headphone amplifiers on this list, we have the Donner 4 way headphone amplifier.
The one stand-out feature on this device is that you not only have a TRS input source, but you also have a 3.5 mm input jack source as well.
This opens up a world of possibilities, not to mention that it has 20 dB of max gain on each output source.
It has a power switch and proclaims an impressive S/N ratio of <100 dB.
Considering the price and level-up nature of this device, if we had to recommend any from this low-cost section, this would be the one.
Mid-Tier Low Budget Headphone Amplifiers
Moving up in price, we go on to Mackie’s HM-4. Not only is this a great option but it comes from a great brand as well.
Mackie is one of the leading brands in the audio hardware industry and for great reason. They provide quality equipment, at often a very competitive price.
We see here that this device features 1 TRS input to 4 TRS output and drives about any headphone you throw at it and true to Mackie quality, you’ll be getting a great flat and accurate response.
Do keep in mind that this piece of hardware is specifically only for mono, so great for those purposes but not needed if you are looking for a stereo-only amplifier.
Yet another extremely useful, powerful, and grade A product on this list, Douk delivers a fantastic stereo headphone amplifier that has 1 TRS input and 1 TRS output.
The matched headphone impedance of this device is 16-600 with a frequency response of 20-30kHz. This also has an S/N ratio of 110 dB, so, needless to say, that Douk had audio engineers and Hi-Fi enthusiasts in mind when building this device.
Not only does it look fantastic, it is built incredibly well. The one input is more realistic when looking into this price range and even if needed, it could be split even further past that.
The frequency response is flat and the headphone amp has a great tonality to it that does not hinder anything from the original signal.
Getting a little pricier on this mid-tier headphone amplifier section, the FiiO is most definitely an icon in the headphone amplifier space, and for good reason.
This little single output amplifier doubles as a DAC and even has a bass switch. This can easily power 250-ohm headphones and often is praised for its extremely low noise floor and incredible build.
No matter where you go, you will often hear audiophiles mention the FiiO device as an outlier in the budget line-up.
It additionally supports audio files of 192 sample rates, so audio engineers can use this as a viable option as well,
The Samson delivers an excellent option if you are in need of some decent power while having 4 input sources.
Samson is a brand that has been delivering quality equipment for decades and without many faults either. This is without a doubt a trusted and true brand.
This is not only a stereo amplifier but also doubles as mono, or stereo to mono. It has 2 L-R 3.5 mm inputs, as well as 2 L-R TRS 1/4 inputs.
It even has a mute button, mono button, and master volume knob too.
This really is the complete package when it comes to this price.
Running a headphone impedance of 16-600, not only does what a lot of these other options on this list does but with stereo and mono support, as well as 4 channel outs.
Top-Tier Budget Headphone Amplifiers
As my favorite and personal choice for this list, this little piece of Schiit technology is an absolutely fantastic headphone amplifier that honestly deserves to be worth hundreds more.
The sound is extremely clear and accurate, with no distortion, and I easily powered my 250 Ohm DT770 headphones with these.
They have one TRS output and L/R RCA inputs on the back.
The device is built extremely well and as per their description, this isn’t just a budget starter amplifier, this can bleed into any professional work if needed as well.
This device delivers on so many levels and I cannot recommend it enough.
Coming to the very last product on this best budget Hi-Fi headphone amplifiers list, PreSonus really delivers in providing listeners with an incredible 4-way headphone amplifier.
In fact, not only does this have 4-way output TRS jacks, it has an L/R monitor throughput on the back too! So technically, this is a 5-way headphone amplifier. The input is L/R TRS input as well.
Each channel has a crazy 130 mW power range and the device even features an overall monitor level! Not only that but a -98 Db Noise floor.
You have the ability to daisy chain and mono sum your audio. This could really work as a small studio hub for a lot of things.
This really is the end all be all when it comes to the most outputs, power, abilities, and features when looking for a budget Hi-Fi headphone amplifier. I really recommend checking the product out!