Best Tube Headphone Amp
Modern technology has made us so used to things like a good headphone that we hardly ever think about what goes into making it as efficient as it is. Even if we’re having problems with our headphones we hardly ever think about getting to their root. Instead, we choose to take a shortcut by going and buying another set, which may or may not be any better. A better option would be to study the reviews available online, say on Amazon.com or some other such site, and then take a well thought through decision.
You need to understand that in searching the reviews you’ve just got to take into cognizance the simple fact that the difference lies not simply in the physical contours of the headphone (which of course are important too) but in the tube amp that goes into it. After all, that’s the device that has a direct influence on the sound quality – which is what you need from your headphones.
Here’s a look at a few tube headphone amps for you to choose from, while keeping in mind your budget and other factors, such as the type of headphone. Check these out based on your budget and technical requirements and go for what seems ideal for your headphone needs.
This under $100 tune headphone amplifier from Bravo Audio is competitive, yet built to last.
An excellent range of fine features is responsible for the immense popularity of the Bravo Audio V3 Tube Headphone Amplifier EQ Equalizer.
• Outstanding sound quality
The device produces powerful tube sound with Russian EH 6922 that will leave you feeling warm and comfortable as a result of the melodious sound falling into your ears. The 3-band graphic equalizer further enhances the sound quality.
• Low noise
Considering that a headphone virtually goes into your ears, it’s important to ensure that the noise emanating from it isn’t too loud as that can damage your ears. The low noise of this gadget is ensured through a passive EQ.
Another safety aspect of this tube headphone amp is the voltage, which is maintained at 24V DC.
• Things to look out for
The device tends to get somewhat hot with continued use. Also, it’s not really a portable amp, which you may find restrictive.
If you don’t plan to use your headphone excessively, you can easily choose to go for the Bravo Audio V3 Tube Headphone Amplifier EQ Equalizer.
This is another great headphone amplifier of the tube variety from Bravo Audio.
Some of the best underlying features of this tube headphone amp include:
• A-class amplification
Bravo Audi evidently believe in providing excellent sonic quality in their tube headphone amps. This model also boasts of the same, giving you some of the purest sounds.
• Tonal variety
It’s designed to provide a music variety ranging between bass, grunge, electronica and lounge. And the sound quality is quite cool and crisp.
• Excellent looks
Yes, looks do count. If you’re going to keep your headphones on your desk, they’d better look good, which this one definitely can boast of.
Things to look out for
The circuit seems to make some noise, which you’re likely to notice during the pauses.
Overall, this tube headphone amp seems to be good value for money. Barring the slight noise, which evidently is hardly audible, there’s not much to complain about when it comes to the Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier.
The Nobsound from Douk Audio comes with the promise of high performance backed by high fidelity, which is what defines the quality of sound.
The high quality performance of this headphone amp is the result of its amazing features, which will leave you wanting more of it.
• Quality performance
It’s designed to raise the performance bar of most of the headphones, including HD 580, HD 600, HD 650, K 701, K 702, Q 701, and more. And to ensure that you continue to get that quality of performance, replacement vacuum tubes are included in the form of E180F, 6ж9П, EF861, and 6688. So you’re never at a loss if you’re wanting to hear some good music while you work, or maybe just have a discussion – official or personal – through Skype or some other online platform.
• Compactness of size
Interestingly, all that high performance is not because of the size of this amp but despite it. It’s probably the smallest headphone amplifier in the world.
Things to look out for
Unfortunately, the package doesn’t include audio cables, which you may need to buy on your own at an additional price of course. And do remember to unplug the power adapter when the headphone is not in use or you may find the adapter getting drained quite quickly – a problem that can lead to your headphone being rendered useless in the absence of proper amplification of the input signal.
There haven’t been any significant consumer complaints about this tube headphone amp, so you can take the plunge without undue worry if you’re thinking of purchasing it. Of course you’d need to take the proper care, following the instructions provided. Else it may end up being a brief love affair for you with your headphone.
Check out our other headphone tube amp reviews!