What’s The Difference Between A Headphone Amp vs Integrated Amp?

With so many different classes and styles of amplifiers on the market, it can be a lot of work trying to find the one that suits your needs. Some amplifiers might seem very similar, leaving you confused as to what the difference is between a headphone amp vs integrated amp.

Headphone amp vs integrated amp

Headphone amps are designed to exclusively for the use of headphones for listening. They typically aren’t powerful enough to be able to power regular speakers, and wouldn’t be likely to allow as powerful of a sound as amplifiers that are created for use with speakers.

These amplifiers tend to be much more compact and can sometimes let you plug in multiple pairs of headphones so that you can listen with others without having to play music out loud. Essentially, a headphone amp will improve the sound of the music you play through it for the purpose of headphone listening.

FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier

This amplifier is great for a variety of different headphones, allowing you to listen as long as your headphones are between 16 and 150 Ohms. It also offers a gain switch so that the amplifier can be adjusted for the needs of whatever headphones you happen to be wearing. This will ensure a better listening experience.

The FiiO amplifier is made with high-quality materials and designed to offer high-quality sound so that you can get the most out of your listening experience. It’s highly portable and has a simple, nice looking design so that you can carry it with you without it taking up too much space.

With this amplifier, you’ll also be able to get a bass boost which can increase the output by 3.5dB at 60Hz so you’ll be able to really rock out without bothering the people around you. It’s made with an entirely aluminum body that allows it to be durable and can also protect the device from EM interference.

This amplifier also comes with an internal battery to allow for up to 16 hours of use, which is a really great battery life that will keep you from having to worry about having to charge it often.

Integrated amps

Unlike a headphone amplifier, the integrated amplifier is often larger. There are some compact models but they will still be bigger than most headphone amplifiers. Integrated amplifiers are made to power speakers and typically offer more power to do so. They can sometimes allow you to use headphones, but it’s important to keep in mind that they may sometimes be too powerful to be able to allow you to enjoy the music through smaller speakers. They also typically have several places to plug in different devices such as CD players, DVD players and other auxiliary sources.

Orb Audio Booster 50 Watt Mini Integrated Amplifier

This is a high-end amplifier made with a compact design, but can still offer a lot of power to your speakers regardless of their size. It uses 25 watts per channel, and has a very sleek, simple design. You’ll also get a digital optical input, a subwoofer pre-out, two 3.5mm stereo analog inputs, dialog boost and a 5V USB slot that you can use for charging the device or just for power.

With its compact design, this amplifier is made with brushed aluminum that will fit in even the fanciest homes. It’s designed to be easy to use and offers controls that are very streamlined. You can also program the amplifier so that it will be able to respond to a universal remote as well as cable and satellite provider remote controls; that way you can use a remote you may already have, or at least get a single remote that will control all your devices.

This amplifier is a little more expensive than the headphone amplifier listed above, it also comes with enough power and capability to offset that cost.


The main differences between headphone amplifiers and integrated amplifiers are the size and the amount of power that they are capable of putting out. Integrated amplifiers typically use and require more power in order to create a high-quality sound through any speakers that may be attached. Meanwhile, headphone amps use less power because the speakers they typically need to connect to are smaller and closer to your ears.

Deciding between the two can largely depend on what you want to use an amplifier for most often. You should also keep in mind that while you can listen using an integrated amplifier and headphones, many integrated amplifiers are going to be too powerful to create the same musical effect they offer to large speakers.


The decision you’ll need to make when shopping for one of these amplifiers is what you’re going to need it for.

If you want to listen alone or at the very least be able to listen without disturbing people who don’t want to hear the music or other sounds that you do, then a headphone amplifier can be a great option. However, if you want to be able to use your device for playing music out loud as well as in private when needed then you may want an integrated amplifier.  It’s completely up to what suits your needs and budget.


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