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The Best Portable Headphone Amp With Built-In DAC

Updated Dec 12, 2022
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Many audio enthusiasts still prefer wired headphones, but the best pairs may require more power than the cheap amps built into phones, tablets, and computers can muster. If your favorite wired headphones sound too quiet or dull when connected to a mobile device, you may need a portable headphone amplifier with a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC). We recommend the EarMen Eagle for most people because of its great combination of convenience, performance, and affordability. But we also have recommendations if you need something more powerful or more affordable.

EarMen Eagle, a great all-around choice

EarMen Eagle

A great all-around choice
The EarMen Eagle packs impressive power into a super-compact, affordable design, but it lacks some audiophile-oriented features like MQA support and balanced audio output.
We recommend
iFi Hip-dac2, if you need more power

iFi Hip-dac2

If you need more power
This large headphone amp is almost three times as powerful as our top pick and runs on a built-in rechargeable battery, but it feels almost like carrying an extra phone with you.
A better upgrade
Hidizs S3 Pro, compact yet capable

Hidizs S3 Pro

Compact yet capable
The Hidizs S3 Pro is the size of a stack of five nickels, yet it has enough power to drive most headphones. But the design feels a bit flimsy.
Budget friendly

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