Getting the best tube amplifier available is a very rewarding experience. This is because doing such allows audiophiles to obtain the quality of music that they deserve. But since the number of available options on the market continues to grow, selecting the best tube amplifier has become more complicated.
Because of this, interested buyers are strongly advised to conduct research prior to purchasing. This can be done by checking the available stock in shops found in the area and assess their features. They can also conduct online searches to identify the most reliable products and familiarize themselves with important factors that must be considered when buying a tube amplifier.
Important Factors to Consider in Selecting the Best Tube Amplifier
Selecting the best tube amplifier is not as complicated as everybody thinks. In fact, this can be accomplished by knowing the most important factors that must be considered during the selection process. Particularly the following:
Size and weight
One of the most important attributes to keep in mind when choosing the best tube amplifier is the product’s size and weight. Although it is a common notion that a heavier and larger amplifier includes more features since its size and weight suggest that it is equipped with many useful components, this belief has gradually changed.
This is because a lot of companies that make tube amplifiers are now using smaller yet more efficient components to make their products more lightweight and compact but still powerful.
Due to this, buyers are advised to go for tube amplifiers equipped with the latest components since they’re lighter, smaller and more powerful. Not only that, these amplifiers are also among the most energy efficient and compatible with some of the latest audio sources such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Aside from the size and weight, the compatibility an amplifier must also be taken into consideration since failure to do so may cause buyers to obtain products which are not compatible to some audio sources and headphones particularly those that are widely used today. When this happens, buyers will regret their decision since the amplifier will only work with limited audio sources and other accessories.
Finally, buyers must look at the set of functions that a tube amplifier has prior to the purchase. By doing this, they will easily determine which of the available options are equipped with the functions that they seek.
In addition, examining the available functions of the device is also helpful in knowing if it is decently priced or expensive.
Reviews of the Top 5 Best Tube Amplifiers
GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2
The GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2 is a bestselling tube amplifier because many have discovered its multitude of features. The product is designed to produce refined and exquisite music. Finally, it is durable enabling it to handle the challenges of continuous use.
The GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2 is sold with dimensions of 10.6×7.1×7.9 inches and an estimated weight of 18.9 pounds. It is marketed as a single-ended amplifier and 100% handmade. The amplifier is designed to effectively reduce distortion and works best when used on chords and vocal music.
The product is equipped with a 5Z4P, 6N9P and two EL34-B tubes and requires an input voltage of 110V. It offers an output impedance of 4ohm and 8ohm, input impedance of 100Kohm and an output power of 8W. Finally, it has an input sensitivity of 500mv-2000mv.
The GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2 is regarded as the best option for sound enthusiasts since it can create refined and exquisite music. It is designed to work well with vocal music and chords as well as capable of reducing the amount of distortion of every sound file played with it.
Aside from that, the product is known for its functional and durable design. It is made of high-grade materials that allow it to withstand the wear and tear caused by continuous use.
The GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2 comes with a number of flaws. First it is sold at a relatively expensive price and is heavier compared to some of its rivals.
Second, the product’s availability is quite limited and this usually leaves buyers with no options but to wait until it is available again. Finally, it is not always available for shipping in some countries.
Despite its expensive price and relatively heavy construction, the GemTune X-1 Class-A Tube Amplifier with 5Z4P*1, 6N9P*1, EL34-B*2 still remains a bestselling tube amplifier because it effectively reduces distortion from sound files and can generate refined and exquisite music. On top of that, it is durable and does not get easily damaged.
Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 Headphone Amplifier Pre-Amp Tube
The Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 Headphone Amp Amplifier Pre-Amp Tube is one of the bestsellers on the market at present. Many buyers prefer this over the other options since it is portable, lightweight and durable.
It is designed to efficiently produce more natural and warmer sound, it is user-friendly and can be used even by those with no experience in complex sound-engineering.
The Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 Headphone Amp Amplifier Pre-Amp Tube comes with dimensions of 8.5×4.2×4.3 inches and weighs about 5.5 pounds. It is marketed as a Class A SEPP OTL circuit and fitted with gold-plated unbalanced phono RCA input jacks along with a ¼-inch gold-plated stereo headphone output jack.
The product is equipped with 6JI driver tubes and 6N6 power tubes. It comes with a frequency response rate of 20HX-50HZ and features a pre-amplifier output impedance of 10K ohms.
In addition to that, the amplifier is designed to work well with headphones with the impedance rate of 32 to 600 ohms. It consumes about 28 watts of power and sold along with blue jumpers, a power cord and an English user’s manual.
The Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 is considered a must-have for tube stereo amplifier enthusiasts due to its functional and decent design, light weight, high-grade components and durability. It can also conveniently be taken on the go, allowing users to listen to quality music while travelling.
Aside from that, it comes with a number of user-friendly controls and knobs along with the RCA input jacks for connectivity to compatible audio sources. It has also proven efficient and can be used for long hours without over-heating. Finally, it can conveniently produce natural and warn sounds when tweaked properly.
The Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 has a few flaws. First, it is sold at an expensive price. Second, it usually gets out of stock. Finally, it is not eligible for shipping in some countries and not sold along with applicable warranty.
Despite its higher price and a few downsides , the Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X2 6N6 X2 still remains a good buy for audiophiles because it is user-friendly, durable, lightweight and made of high-grade components. It is capable of generating warm and natural sounds. The product can also be conveniently taken on the go, allowing users to listen to good music while travelling.
Nobsound® MS-10D Hybrid Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier
The Nobsound® MS-10D Hybrid Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier is regarded as the company’s flagship product but its attractive appearance, durable construction and capability to create great sound quality has enabled it to attract more buyers. Furthermore, it is sold at a budget-friendly price, does not get easily damaged and is proven to be cost-effective.
The Nobsound® MS-10D Hybrid Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier features an upscale exterior appearance and projects a functional design. It is fitted with two 6N1 and two 6P1 Beijing tubes.
The amplifier is designed to make use of an input power of 100W and provides an output power of 25W+25W. It is equipped with independent knobs for adjusting the bass and treble, RCA audio input jacks high and low regulation knobs and a gold-plated type terminal.
The Nobsound® MS-10D Hybrid Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier is a bestseller to those who are fond of listening to Hi-Fi sounds since it has a simple, decent and functional exterior design. The product is lauded for its portability, user-friendliness and for the availability of the high and low regulation knobs.
In addition to that, it is made of high-grade components that make it durable and resilient to harmful elements that might damage it. Thus, the device is cheaper to maintain since it does not damage easily. Finally, it is sold at a relatively cheaper price.
The Nobsound® MS-10D Hybird Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier suffers from a few downsides. Compared to some of its similarly-priced rivals, it is relatively heavy.
A lot of experts also criticize the product because it lacks some of the advanced features that its closest competitors have. Finally, it is not backed by an applicable warranty.
The Nobsound® MS-10D Hybird Tube Amplifier Power Amplifier despite of its flaws is still a good buy for audiophiles due to its user friendly design. In addition to that it is made of high-grade and durable materials that prevent it from getting damaged. To top it all off, these features can be conveniently obtained at a cheaper price.
Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp
The Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp is a popular tube stereo amplifier on the market today since it comes in a small package but is able to produce high fidelity sounds and provide the performance that many audiophiles want. It is also designed to conveniently power almost all high performance headphones and at the same time equipped with 3.5 mm input and output jacks.
Surprisingly, it is also sold at a lower price despite its long list of useful features.
The Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp Features a simple yet functional design. It is made of high-quality materials, provides an output power of 32 ohm and has a headphone adapter impedance of 18-600 ohm.
The amplifier also includes the technology to lower the level of harmonic distortion. It is equipped with a large gold-plated control knob for the volume along with a single set of gold-plated 3.5mm input and output jacks.
It also comes with a big red power button at the back that allows users to conveniently turn it on or off. To deliver the desired performance, it is fitted with two 6J9 vacuum tubes that can be replaced by the E180F, 6688, 6ж9П or EF86.
The Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp is regarded by audiophiles as a good buy becuase it is compact and lightweight yet capable of generating high-fidelity sounds. It can also easily power some of the high-performance headphones on the market.
The amplifier comes with a gold-plated front where the 3.5mm output and input jack and the large volume control knob can be found. Finally, this device can be easily turned on and off for it comes with a large power switch button at the back.
Aside from its useful features, the Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp also comes with a few issues. First, it lacks the independent control knob for the bass and treble that most of its rivals have.
A lot of buyers are also complaining that it goes out of stock quickly. Finally, it is not available for shipping in some countries and not sold with an applicable warranty.
Despite its issues, the Nobsound® 6J9 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Mini Audio HiFi Stereo Headphone Amp is still preferred by audiophiles particularly by those with limited budgets because it is cheaper yet still capable of generating high-fidelity sounds. It is also made of durable materials and does not damage easily.
On top of that, it is designed to work well with various high-performance headphones like the HD 580, HD 600, HD 650, Q 701, K 701, and K 702.
Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier
The Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier is one of bestselling tube headphone amplifiers on the market. It comes with relatively smaller dimensions but powerful enough to match the performance provided by the larger ones.
It is also admired for its simple, straightforward and functional design. It comes with an aluminum casing that effectively dissipates heat and enables the product to work well even for long hours. Finally, it is designed to work well with some of the latest audio sources.
The Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier comes with dimensions of 5.7×5.4×4.5 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds. It has an upscale design and straightforward construction.
It is equipped with an aluminum casing that dissipates heat along with 2 input and 3 output ports. The product works well with audio sources such as iPhone, iPod or laptop and equipped with a 12AU7 tube.
The Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier remains popular among audiophiles because of its ability to produce high-fidelity sounds, its smaller dimensions and lightweight construction. It is also lauded for its high-grade aluminum casing that effectively dissipates heat and enables the device to work longer hours without overheating and for its highly-durable components.
It is famous among sound engineers since it comes with 2 input ports that enable it to connect to audio sources like an iPhone, iPod or laptop along with 3 output ports that make use of a 3.5mm or 6.35mm RCA jack to connect with a power amp or headphones. Finally it is sold at relatively lower price.
The Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier despite its long list of desirable and useful features is usually subjected to criticism for its lack of availability as it is quite limited and easily goes out of stock. Many buyers are also suspecting that its aluminum casing in some instances can become hot and might cause burns.
Aside from that, this product is also not backed by an applicable warranty and not eligible for shipping in some countries.
Although it comes with a number of downsides, the Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier is usually regarded as a best buy for many consumers given that it is lightweight and compact yet powerful. Aside from that, it is designed to work well with almost all types of headphones and audio sources such as an iPhone, iPod or laptops.
The product has 2 input ports that enable it to be connected to an audio source along with 3 output ports to connect to power amps or headphones.