Best Portable Headphone Amp Under $100: top 6 picks

Almost everyone uses headphones for listening to music. But not all are aware or able to utilize the whole potential of their high-tech audio gadgets.

You can't just blame your cane's for this; they are simply like other audio equipment in the business.  

What matters most is your listening and resulting experience. 

Headphone amps brings out the best out of your listening devices and delivers an impeccable audio entertainment.

If you are a audiophile or ordinary listener crazy about the realistic, natural sound enriched with all finer details these best headphone amps made for you.

Being under $100 budget they doesn't burn a hole in your wallet.

These best portable headphone amplifier mostly doubled up as DAC which is another finest trait of their capabilities.

Let's move ahead, and take a look on this chosen best portable headphone amp collection.

Device Name

Weight

Type

Impedance

Frequency

Power

Playtime

Brainwavz AP001

0.3 ounces

H.Amp

16-150 ohm

10Hz-100kHz

Battery

+12 hrs.

Check Price

Topping NX2

5.6 ounces

Amp+ DAC

16-300 ohm

20Hz-20kHz

Battery

100 hrs

Check Price

Audioquest DragonFly

3.5 ounces

Amp+  DAC

32-60  ohm

Up to 96kHz

USB power

plug and play

Check Price

Creative Sound Blaster E3

6.7 ounces

DAC+  Amp

Up to 600 ohm

Up to 96kHz

Battery

8 hrs (Bluetooth)  17 hrs (Analog)

Check Price

Poweradd 4.0

2.1 ounces

H.Amp+ Reciever

8-600 ohms

87-108 MHz

Battery

60 hrs.

Check Price

FiiO E12 Mont Blanc

5.6 ounces

USB H.Amp

16-300 ohm

10Hz-90kHz

Battery

12 hrs.

Check Price

How familiar are you with a Headphone Amp?

These are the low-powered audio amplifiers specifically designed to drive headphones.

In General, you can found them embedded in electronic devices, portable music players(iPods) and televisions.

Standalone units used by Quality music lovers, Audiophiles and Sound professionals.

'It is not a Style statement or Accessory; It's Tool of Transformation.'

A good quality amplifier not only brings the dramatic listening enhancement but also serves as a Pre-Amp.

Pre-Amp facilitates switching between multiple player inputs, capable of driving your headphone and provides a pre-amp output for speaker systems.

Find out, When My Headphones require the Best Amp?

For high-quality music listening, these little gadgets are very crucial. You got me; I am talking about a Best Headphone Amp, which is portable and comes within $100 budget.

The most prominent logic is, they swiftly raise the volume and fine audio details. Altogether boost the signal level, enhance the quality and feel of the music stream.

Without the Best Amplifier, you can't feel the summit of your Sound play.

Big league High-impedance & Planer Magnetic headphones require proper amplification to drive out their real potential.Like Beyerdynamic, Grado, Sennheiser's &, etc.

If you desire to feel the thrill and adrenaline rush of high-resolution music, must choose a partner for your listening gear.

Know about those situations when you don't want a Headphone Amp:

-IEM/In-Ear Headphones or Earphones: All IEM has inbuilt drivers, that gives the finest sound and increase efficiency. Earbuds like Sennheiser CX 300 MK II & Shure SE215-K and lot others tune well with iPod or portable media players without any external amplification. Check this.

-Lower Impedance Headphones: With Headphones impedance rating below 80 ohms, you are clear to go without Amp.

-Headphone with Active Noise Cancelling: Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation technology already integrated with an internal amplifier. So, no sense of joining another one i.e. Bose QuietComfort 25 and Plantronics BackBeat Pro & more.

Reminder:-

As you about to enter into the central article core, just want to mention- Consider visiting my previous related post "Top 9 Best USB DAC under $100-$300: For Audiophiles."

Note: All featured products are Individual Multiplayer with the remarkable track record and fall within the $100 Budget outlines. 'Displayed inrising-order, means as you move ahead of the Quality got better.'

Beginning is just perfect for this 'Best Portable Headphone amplifier under $100' article. The smallest, compact and portable device in this product analysis.

AP001 is an entry-level ($25) audio enhancement accessory; that is unique in its segment.

Nice to go with your 16 ohm-150 ohms range listening gadgets, rare t find in this zone.

OP AMP delivers additional power and bass punch to your headsets than the source.

Designed to keep a focus on ultra portability, lightweight 15.5g body rightly hit on target.

The unique key-hole design has Smart Blue LED inside, gives a distinct appeal to its likely users.

An in-house 120mAh battery capable of running for 12+ hours continuously on the full two hours charge, which performed through micro USB mode.

Now comes to features, it has single 1 line input with dual audio output, which means you can use two headphones simultaneously with equal ease.

Both ports are compatible with any 3.5mm audio plug.

..Again a great feature at such price.

A real enhancer being the absence of on and off switches, it knows and turns automatically according to signal movement.

Regarding Audio quality, you get high and clean detailed sound without much distortion. The lower andupper-frequency response remains intact with improved noise performance.

Supported frequency range is 10 Hz-100 kHz.

By overall comprehensive analysis, Brainwavz AP001 is indeed a Best Headphone Amp delivers much more than one can expect from under thirty dollar product. Dual headphone port, ultra portable tiny design, incredible audio enhancement and high-frequency response speaks the class of own.

The Package Accessory includes Micro USB Charging Connector & Stereo Line-in cable.

Find the complete product review here.

Pros

One of the Best portable headphone amp. Bass boost feature for high-intensity listeners. Dual headphone out port. Auto on/off feature. Powerful sound amplification. Reasonably economical price. Best for portable audio sources with headphones, which are less power hungry.

Cons

Require Bass-boost 0n/off control. Lack of Volume control. Static 'pop' issues during plugging and unplugging.


How about getting a best headphone Amplifier & USB DAC within the same device? That's too at $50 price zone. But here it is coming straight in front of your eyes.

This not so famous brand 'Topping'mark his footings in the audio world for a while now. A much superior and next-level upgrade of NX1 Headphone Amp.

It has some exclusivities which prompt me to include in this collection. Apparently, you eager to know about the product specialties, take a look.

  • Ultra long 100 hours battery life with Inbuilt 1000mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Polymer Battery, fully charged in 1 hours on 2A supply.
  • Minimum Total Harmonic Distortion(THD) of 0.0001% at 32 ohms.
  • Built in DAC decoder with USB smart charging.

You can't find any better 'best DAC and headphone amp' combo under 100 dollars, which is so slimmer, thinner and portable.

Topping NX2 precisely crafted with industrial grade amp design; that means no fancy or personalization, only meant for business.

The smart metallic (Aluminium) device got 4.3 inches length that might be a drag to portability, But it is due to the massive battery.

On the front panel, you got Power switch, headphone jack, AUX in port and Classic Volume controller. Back portion has a charging slot and USB OTG port (For DAC use). Also, provided Two Power LED light and charge LED Indicator.

It supports 16-300 ohms range of headphone, which is pretty enough until you go for high impedance Beyerdynamic like gadgets.

Regarding compatibility, this device designed to almost everything; MP3/MP4, Android / iOS devices, computer, and PC.

Now find out the Package box; which includes NX2 Amp, One audio cable, USB cable, two Silicon bands, Instruction manual and five Velcro pieces for attaching to the back of your smartphone.

Sound performance is impressive with various Hi-Fi electronics like WIMA capacitance, ALPS Potentiometer. You also find the Gain control and Voice quality enhancement functions for superior output.

For accurate user impression and reviews, consider visiting this Head-Fi analysis thread here.

Pros

Excellent multifunctional Budget Amp. Sleek, compact design.Spotless clean, warm and Dynamic audio. High Battery reserve. Powerful PCM2704 Soundcard. Additional Best cheap DAC option.Greater device compatibility. Smart USB charging feature. Best in class value for the price.

Cons

Absence of gain volume button. Inclusion of OTG cable for smartphones would be better


A Highly recommended audio solution for you, if acute portability is your addiction.

"Single Device, Three Avatars" How this sounds to you.? No doubt you going to crazy about it

I am sure, till now you got an idea, It's about one of Audioquest product. Which is an Incredible combination of -USB DAC, Pre-Amp with Headphone Amp.

DragonFly v1.2 is a dedicated Mini USB DAC/Amp for high-resolution (FLAC to Apple files) across a range of gadgets. A highly upgraded version of initial DragonFly 1.0 model.

How this small Memory-stick sized device transforms your music source into high-fidelity music players is incredible.

It bridges gaps in between an Audiophile and Mainstream music lover. Already won various prestigious audio awards & Expert's choices.

Why DragonFly is a high worth Trophy.? Take a quick look on these significant edges, which are obviously in addition to above description.

  • 24-bit/96kHz (MP3 to high-resolution)music playback capability.
  • 64 position Analog volume control.
  • ESS Sabre DAC chip for incredible sound performance.
  • Highly-sophisticated asynchronous USB data transfer system.
  • LED indicator color codes for different sample rates.
  • Best compatible with Mac or PC can use with almost any source.

Also, directly connect to your headphone, power speakers or computer systems, and enjoy remarkable audio wherever you go or wish.

Convenience and Performance are two signature identities of Audioquest audio devices.

As it draws its power from connection source, you can easily take along in outdoors and travelings. Simply hook up to your unused computer USB port and enjoy the show.

Did you notice something unique is its appearance.? Unlike others, you can't find any visible switches, buttons or control panels on the exterior.

Everything is driven and controlled by your computer USB port and On-screen interface.

Still missing something want more? Go for DragonFly v1.5 for the next-level experience.

Indeed, you can't find any better at listed price, which has such remarkable traits in a single body. With natural sound character, extreme portability and top-notch act Audioquest DragonFly v 1.2 becomes your Dream grab.

For an additional in-depth study, consider visiting expert product review here.

Pros

Revolutionary Multirole Audio Gadget. Best Portable USB Dac/Amp combo. Attractive design.Superior-grade audio performance. Richer, bright, detailed and more colorful sound. No driver needed for computers. Easiest setup and user manual. Ultra-portable and lightweight at 0.77 ounces. Useful Computer Audio Setup Guide. High value sub-$100 product.

Cons

Power hungry Device, quickly drains out less capacity sound source. A bit more Bass punch would be off better use.


Creative Labs revolutionize the Portable headphone amplifier arena with their Sound Blaster series gadgets.

Also, redefined the meaning and boundaries of high grade listing through its pro-user platform and technological mastery.

Unlike the predecessor E1, this HD amp delivers enhanced quality audio wirelessly to your smart mobile devices and tablets.

For the sake of Portability, many present day's devices compromise on sound quality. E3 is a precisely crafted headphone amp and DAC combo, brings you superior audio amplification and decoding dedicatedly.

Initially, people get the wrong idea about how this tiny gear is going to get them desired results. But Creative State-of-art technology integrates multiple audio marvels inside its small body.

Now it is time to acknowledge those advances entitles to secure a higher place in my Exclusive 'Best portable headphone amp under 100' collection.

  • Enjoy Remote wireless music streaming directly to ears from your smartphone or tabs, also facilitate playback and volume control. In case of incoming call just press a switch and talk to your caller with Inbuilt Mic,.How cool is that.?
  • You can playback high-fidelity 24 bit/96 kHz music via Bluetooth 4.1 and analog mode.
  • NFC allows for pairing and connects E3 to other NFC-enabled devices by tapping them together.
  • Get Studio quality audio with 600 ohms headphone support also extends the limit of your headphone choices.
  • Share easily through Dual headphone output jacks without compromising on sound quality.
  • High performer 112 dB SNR (DAC) leads to the gateway of SBX Pro Studio Suite of audio technologies when connected to your Mac and PCs.

Battery reserve is on par with its reputation. You have up to 8 hours Bluetooth or 17 hours of analog playtime on a complete charge.

Controlling & operational task made easy due to its efficient configuration. You got button control for Power/Bluetooth, Volume, and Track management and Call answer/pause/play functions. Need more rocking punch.? Consider Sound Blaster E5.

Package Box inventories; includes E3 amp, Micro USB to USB cable, 4-pole analog cable, On the go cable along with Quickstart and warranty brochures.

Here vitally necessary to mention its ultra-portability, with mere 44 grams weight best amp never made so lighter. You can carry it around in your pocket, or a bag also clips onto clothing.

Go through user reviews here.

Pros

Great versatile headphone amp. High fidelity low latency wireless audio. Super portability. Codec's supported(AAC, SBC, and Apt-X). Extremely useful Desktop/PC Enhancements.Smooth setup and user profile. Multiple connectivities. Good Battery life.

Cons

Majorly None.


I think most of you rarely introduced with such wonder package under $50 segment. There is loads of good reason to include in my best headphone amp under 100 dollars collection.

This best budget device has everything, some of which surely out of your imagination.

A Bluetooth capable amplifier perfectly compatible with your headphone, home stereo, and car stereo systems also doubled up as an audio receiver. What you want to say.?

Don't be hurried, still lots on the way coming ahead.

The 08 to 600 ohms gadget support range is admirable, no need to go for expensive best DAC, tryPoweradd. You can enjoy with higher impedance headphones without any additional expenses.

Regarding product design, everything crafted in a more straightforward clear and delicate manner nothing fancy out here. Also durable, highly portable and lightweight at 0.13 lbs.

Bluetooth 4.0 feature is another wonder. Now you can transform your non-Bluetooth best desktop speakers into Bluetooth-enabled gadgets.

Stream music wirelessly without boundaries from smartphone, tablet and PC. A real deal maker & I thinks most of you agreed on. Isn't it.?

Now talk about the Audio, it offers three Dynamic Bass Boost, 3D surround sound, and Standard audio modes. The Green, Purple, and Blue LED indicators provide actual operational assistance.

In Bluetooth devices, the primary concern is of signal quality and seamless transmission. With Apt-X technology, it ensures you stable signal and high-fidelity stereo audio output.

Want to connect your non-Bluetooth devices.? Use the provided 3.5mm AUX audio input and enjoy music on your media players, computer or others.

It is incomplete without mentioning the Ultra juicy 1300 mAh Li-ion battery, which delivers up to way long 60 hours playtime on a complete charge. That lasts your long road-trip adventure without a hitch.

No need to worry about compatibility, it goes best with most of the iOS, Android, and Windows devices, MP3, MP4, CD players, laptop, and PCs.

Find actual buyer reviews here.

Pros

Best Bluetooth headphone amp. Double delight amplifier and receiver. Triple audio mode (Bass, Surround, and Standard). AUX Line-in to connect non-Bluetooth devices. Compact, portable and lightweight. Ultra-high battery reserve. Superior audio output. Wider compatibility. Best customer service support and services.

Cons

At this price, it is hard to get such excellent deal.


Who ignores an Audiophile Masterpiece that finely tunes with your Hi-Fi Audio Listening gears.? Mostly all DAC/Amp user quite familiar with the name'FiiO'.

If I say that portable amplifier delivers Hi-fidelity sound performance with $100 price range, all thumbs rise unanimously.

FiiO E12 is that professional league headphone amp in business.

FiiO is a well-reputed name in headphone audio world. Since long, they are consistently delivering great products and establishing the new benchmarks of excellence.

Why should everyone know about it? I am presenting you some handpicked mainstream insights ahead.

-Mont Blanc uses high-grade OPAMP pair(OPA1611 & LME49600) resulting into near zero distortion at 0.00003%.

-'Exceptionally fine-designed product' that I want to caption it. Yes, you heard right. The sophisticated metal crafting to the superb slim body is a live example of precise expertise.

-Here you find, a fluid balance between superior audio fidelity and long term endurance. Selection of cutting edge audio devices like AIMA capacitor, ALPS potentiometer, and Big capacity Li-polymer battery does the job.

-Built in three cascaded battery pack able to provide +11V steady power feed. With large dynamic range, E12 smoothly drives high impedance jumbo headphones like Grado or Marshalls.

-Another major edge is the charging freedom; You have multiple options like PC USB, Smartphone, and iPod power adapters. Enjoy outdoor without hassle. Usually, complete charged in 3 hours through your laptops 2A adaptor.

- Mont Blanc amp has one of the most pro-user features. Charging indicator with respiration lamp effect keeps you update about the charging status. Blinking frequency signals speed of charging.

This portable headphone amp prowess counts following majors; Up to 4-5dB Bass Boost (at 50Hz) and Crossfeed.

Crossfeed reduces the surrounding instruments, thus delivering you more upfront clean and symmetrical vocals.

Unit Accessories includes; E12-Mont Blanc amp, 3.5mm interconnect cable, USB charging cable, cloth carrying case, Binding rings, user manual and warranty card.

With around $100 price bracket, FiiO made it possible to create Audiophile class best budget amp. Best in league Hardware, User-features, audio performance, smartly packaged into compact classic metal body surely leads to the supremacy.

Read audiophile product review here.

Pros

High-Grade audiophile headphone amp. Incredible metallic Hardware. Power packed Mini Gadget. Splendidly designed product. Impressive 12 hours battery juice. 16-300 ohms headphone support. Intelligent USB charging. Best to go with big power hungry and Planer Magnetic headphones. Greater efficiency user-platform. One year manufacturer warranty. Highest price/performance ratio.

Cons

Not serious one, at this price point. Might felt some noise with In-Ear Monitors. Volume Knob is a bit stiff to turn.


Parameters: How to select a Best Portable Headphones Amplifier Under $100

  • Build quality & Design- It not only cover the housing enclosure but also design, crafted material, size, durability.
  • Listening gear type you are using- Opened, semi-open or closed. Open-back gears consume more power than closed-back one.
  • Power Measurement- Amplifier's output power measurement need to be taken into consideration.
  • Your Music-preference- More prominent for Big-Bass music genres like rock, metal or pop. I n that case you should go for amp having better Bass-Boost.
  • Supported Output Impedance- Did your amp has the required impedance support capability? Take a look.
  • Setup & User Interface- Easy hassle-free setup up procedure and pro-user operating control are vital for complete satisfaction.
  • Processing Speed- It matters and noticeable on Bass-notes.
  • Transparency & Neutrality- The openness and layering of Amp important to infuse depth of sound field.
  • Overall Soundstage- Comprehensive analysis regarding Originality, clarity, transparency, details, tonal balance, and feel create a decisive Impact.
  • Power reserve / Mode of Charging- Amp's power profile(Battery) and charging mode affects your selection.

Being a Budget-specific Topic, no need to mention about here again.

The Concluding:

I am confident that, by now you absorb pretty enough insights about 'Best Portable Headphone Amp under $100 for Great Sound' concept.

The Technical know-how Parameter analysis about the Use of Headphone Amp & Specific pointer to select the best gadget, all comes handy in your quest.

Included best products are precisely chosen multi players and best in their respective segments. Also, all six devices rightfully deserve their positions in this list.

So, storm the marketplace and own your best Portable Headphone Amp, If you not done already.

We do care a lot about yours, Did you also.? I am much delighted to have your words below.

Hope you like this presentation. Don't forget to share with your social network.

Thanks for visiting, Have a Great Time!


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