Looking for a good Headphone amp under 100$ Any suggestion?
May 4, 2014 at 2:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Phunkadelic

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I wanted a nice pair of headphones but i'll be honest, i'm a head on a swivel...I got friends that say to get Beats by Dre, and on the other end I hear they suck on a major level...so not to get stuck with a pair of 200+ paperweights I looked around and decided to start with the JVC HA RX700. Gotta say was surprised with the sound...but I heard that you can buy amps that can push these a bit more. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 
May 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM Post #2 of 11

TeskR

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Are you looking for a portable amp or a more desktop style amp? And what would you be feeding the amp from?
 
May 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM Post #3 of 11

MrBeats

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As far as desktop amps go I would recommend the Schiit Magni 99$ or if you want to try a really nice tube amp the Schiit Vali 119$. Really don't need to look beyond either of those as they are probably the best you can find for that price and they sound just as good as some 200+$ models out there.
 
If you want portable I would recommend the Fiio E17 which I think you can get on amazon for about 108$ ish. The E17 also has the added benefit of being a DAC/amp so if you don't already have a DAC, get this. It uses the same C-Media chips as the Xonar STX so you get really, really good sound.
 
Either of these options can't be beat at the 100$ mark period. Hope this helps.
 
May 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM Post #4 of 11

Oregoneon

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I'm in the same boat. My e11 finally is giving out and I need something else. I like the looks of the e17 and will probably go that route as I'd really like a DAC as well, I'm not seeing it for much under $140 though.
 
May 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM Post #5 of 11

cel4145

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For desktop, non portable usage, look at Schiit Magni, Schiit Vali, and Objective 2 amps. The Vali is a hybrid tube/solid state, so not quite the same thing as a full tube amp. Gives you some tube flavor. If want to get into tubes with a hybrid amp, then look also into the Little Dot I+ since it will allow you to switch out tubes to tweak the sound (the Vali does not).

For portable use, read these shootouts and make your choice :)
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared
http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared
(rankings follow the reviews).

ClieOS also tends to have fuller reviews of many of those amps if you will google his username and the make/model #.
 
May 7, 2014 at 12:53 AM Post #8 of 11

MrBeats

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The difference between portable and desktop is that the portable is about the size of a I-pod desktops about the size of a brick and they are more delicate for the most part. Since you are plugging it into a laptop I assume your going to be moving it around a fair bit. In this case get a portable one as they take to moving around much better than a desktop.
 
May 7, 2014 at 4:30 PM Post #10 of 11

150dB

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The e17 is a great unit and is capable of putting out amazing sound due to it being a high end DAC unit as well. 250mW @ 32ohms, do the output is also very high for what this unit offers, this will pound most phones pretty good! As a FiiO addict, try using the line out and run it to the FiiO e12!
That's an excellent portable combo as long as you have a player. If not just check out the FiiO X3, or X5. These pack a lot of power by themselves. Hope this helps!!
 
May 7, 2014 at 9:43 PM Post #11 of 11

150dB

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The e17 is a great unit and is capable of putting out amazing sound due to it being a high end DAC unit as well. 250mW @ 32ohms, do the output is also very high for what this unit offers, this will pound most phones pretty good! As a FiiO addict, try using the line out and run it to the FiiO e12!
That's an excellent portable combo as long as you have a player. If not just check out the FiiO X3, or X5. These pack a lot of power by themselves. Hope this helps!!
 

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