Desktop Headphone Amplifier
    Product # 11567
    Desktop Headphone Amplifier
    Product # 11567
    $98.56
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    In Stock This item should ship tomorrow (12/5/2016) if ordered within 1 hour 36 minutes

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    Desktop Headphone Amplifier

    Get superior audio reproduction from your computer and audiophile headphones using this Desktop Headphone Amplifier from Monoprice!

    This headphone amplifier features a USB input and a professional level Texas Instruments Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), effectively replacing your sound card without requiring you to open your PC and installing a new card. The high-current output allows it to drive headphones with a wide range of impedances, from 16 ohms to 600 ohms.

    The RCA line outputs allow you to send the output to a stereo amplifier or powered speakers for those times when you don't want to use headphones. A set of RCA line inputs allows you to connect an external audio source, such as a CD player, so you can enjoy the advantages of the high-current headphone output with other audio sources.



    Support Files:



    USB DAC 96 kHz, 24-bit
    Output Power ≥ 900mW (32Ω loaded)
    ≥ 150mW (300Ω loaded)
    Headphone Impedance Range 16Ω ~ 600Ω
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio ≥ 100dB (A weighted) (AUX IN)
    Distortion < 0.003% (AUX IN)
    Frequency Response 20Hz ~ 20kHz
    Fixed Line Out < 2V rms
    Adjustable Pre-out 0 ~ 6V rms
    Power Supply 15 VDC, 2A

    Package Contents:

    • Headphone amplifier
    • AC adapter (15 VDC, 2A)
    • USB cable
    • Audio cable
    • User's manual

     
    4.1 / 5.0
    29 Reviews
    5 Stars
    4 Stars
    3 Stars
    2 Stars
    1 Star
    14
    9
    2
    2
    2
    Nice!
    I use it with my Sennheiser HD485 high-impedance headset. It is clearly better than the headphone out of my CD player and also, but by a smaller margin, my FiiO E6 headphone amp. Have only used the RCA inputs, not the USB digital input. It is immediately clear that the bass is a bit clearer with this amp. Within minutes is also becomes clear that the sound is more open, instrument (when listening to classical music) are better defined. No fatigue listening to loud, complicated passages. Quite pleasant. Brings new life to music. I have no experience with other headphone amps than the ones mentioned. I feel I have gotten my moneys worth and am happy with this purchase.

    PROS: Sound good, looks good, will serve as night light when on

    CONS: No cons regarding its performance as headphone amp. The blue LED when powered on is bright enough to serve as night light in a dark bedroom. Easy to fix if that bothers you.
    June 9, 2015
    Great desktop amp
    The amp provides a very noticeable improvement over my MacBook Pro's headphone out. The sound comes out very clear and much fuller. It's also very noticeable with background sounds and lower volume pieces. There are things I never heard before, such as the foot pedal moving with piano music. Very nice.



    A lot of people commented on the LED being too bright. It is very bright, but I think it's cool, so no big deal. It turns off if you turn off the unit by turning the volume all the way down, so I guess it's only an issue if you're watching a movie or something with it.



    Overall it's a great value, very happy with it

    PROS: USB interface is much easier than most headphone amps

    Sounds great



    CONS: There aren't any good 1/4in to mini-jack converters for headphones with 3 channels.

    Not super portable, so you wouldn't put it in your laptop bag (probably)

    The position of the headphone jack is a bit annoying, it's right where your ring finger goes when you spin the knob
    March 8, 2015
    GREAT HEADPHONE AMP!!!
    Love this amp! I was looking for one I got put at my desk at work and this works very well. I am using it with my M50x and my HTC ONE M8 and it does a great job. Well done Monoprice!

    PROS: Great sound and now I can really enjoy my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Price point is good.

    CONS: I hesitate to even list this as a "Con" but, I would have liked to have a smoother feel when using the volume knob. This is very minor and should not sway your decision for making a purchase.



    It is a little bit bigger than you think, if you are looking for an amp to be portable while listening to your music/podcasts/movies on your phone while you are on a bus/airplane/train, this will not work out for you. If you are going to put this in a stationary location, then this is not a big deal.
    August 21, 2015
    Mad a much bigger difference than I expected
    I bought it to reduce the number of wires running around my desk, to simplify volume control and switching between headphones and speakers. Improving the sound was a hoped-for goal, but not the primary goal.



    The wire count is reduced by going through a USB hub with all my other USB devices. This works perfectly on my Mac. It was instantly recognized without a driver. Expectations were met, a little less tangle in my life.



    Controlling the volume mechanically with a dial is wonderful. You know where it is at a glance. The Mac doesn't even allow you to change the volume in software. It's either muted or not. It clicks off when turned all the way to the left. It supports both high and low gain headphones, but I didn't test this capability.



    Then there's the sound. I would have been happy with a small improvement, but I was actually blown away by the difference. I'm listening to my music with new-found delight. My old Sennheiser HD-495 headphones are not particularly special headphones, but to my ears they sound great now. There's more presence and tighter and more bass. I hear details in familiar music that weren't apparent before.

    PROS: - Makes a huge difference in how my average quality headphones sound

    - Nice metal case with a very solid feel

    - Large volume control knob

    - The USB audio adapter allows lets it be connected through a hub to my laptop and to have one less wire running to the laptop.

    - Don't have to change the volume on the PC/Mac. Love the mechanical control.

    CONS: - Blue led is bright, but not a big deal to me

    - Would have been nice to include a 3.5mm to 1/4 inch headphone plug adapter.
    February 24, 2015
    Can make a huge difference with the right cans
    I bought this several months ago but, decided not to do a review on it earlier. Reason being, I had only a Supberlux HD681 EVO headphones. While these are almost certainly the best cans $40 can buy, they are limited as to what can be heard. Using these cans, I compared the Monoprice amp to my Fiio E11 portable amp and there was a small, but noticeable improvement with the Monoprice desktop amp. Quite honestly, I was disappointed. I recently purchased a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880/250 ohms. The comparison between the 2 amps is now dramatic! As I had earlier suspected, the Monoprice amp's abilities far exceeded my limited quality headphones. The DT880/250 ohm's are considered a difficult headphone to drive, more so than the higher impedance Senn 600/650's. The monoprice amp drives them to ample volume on the low gain setting. This amp will NOT make a budget pair of headphones sound great. Garbage in= garbage out. Not that the Supberlux are garbage by any means. In fact, a high resolution amp will indeed make a poor product sound worse, which is not the amps fault. I took the plunge to buy the Monoprice amp after reading several head-fi.org revues from those that have heard many other higher priced amps and found the Monoprice to be of great quality and value. In short, highly recommended for a good quality set of cans.

    PROS: Very high quality amplification. Drives difficult headphone loads with ease. Affordable price. It is sold and backed by Monoprice

    CONS: None so far. It would be nice to be able to dim the blue LED
    March 24, 2015
    Looks great, sounds even better.
    This is a great little headphone amp, though just calling it a "desktop headphone amplifier" really sells it short. This is a DAC that replaces your subpar sound card if you want to use your PC as a stereo audio source. The headphone amp part is great, but the rest of this unit can make your PC the centerpiece of an audiophile-quality stereo (rather than using your sound card's DAC, which is never any good).



    I have the 8323 headphones (which sound great, especially when connected to this, and are dirt cheap). Plus, for my regular PC speaker system, I have the line out connected to a 20wpc Lepai T-amp, which powers two old Optimus Pro-77 speakers. Then, I have the Pre-out going to a powered subwoofer, for a nice 2.1 sound, and I can control the subwoofer level with the knob on the DAC. With all this going on, there's still a switchable aux-in, which is ideal because the T-amp only handles one source at a time. With a PC that streams audio and video and plays CDs, why would you possibly need another audio source? A turntable, of course! So what this DAC lets you do is turn your PC into a true stereo. You can connect it to powered speakers, an inexpensive amp and cheap speakers like I do, or a more expensive receiver/amp and enormous speakers if you're so inclined.



    If you primarily use your PC for gaming and/or movies and like your surround sound, this probably is not the way to go, but if you stream a lot of music and are still using the onboard audio card/chip and computer speakers, this will be a great upgrade.



    I've been looking at inexpensive DACs for a while now, but never quite found one that had all the features I wanted until now. You can find headphone amps for cheaper, but nothing like this for this kind of money.

    PROS: All metal construction.

    More connectivity than the average USB DAC, with RCA line outs, pre outs, and an aux-in.

    CONS: Like many Monoprice products, the LED is too bright.

    The volume knob didn't turn smoothly at first, but I pulled it off and removed the glue blob problem solved!
    July 30, 2014
    Excellent value
    Bought the unit to stick on my Lenovo laptop doc which does not pass along the analog audio but does give me a ton of USB 2.0 ports so I leave this permanently attached to dock and senheisser 439 (occasionally swap with the senheisser 380 which is normally on the Fiio X3)

    Sounds very nice, drives the senheissers to louder than I normally listen at while staying clean.

    The one thing I wish they would do if they ever update it will be to add a 3.5mm jack (just wire it parallel to the 6.3mm jack, I'd rather not have isolation resisters lower the damping factor of the amp). In this day and age, most headphones have 3.5mm plugs (although I still have some oldie but goodie phones that are 6.3mm so it is nice to be able to plug them in also) Having to stick in a 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter on the front panel looks ugly.

    PROS: Excellent value, works out of the box, Window 7 installed a driver for it as soon as I plugged it in.

    Sounds as good as my Fiio X3 with FLAC source.

    CONS: the default Windows 7 drivers only go up to 24bit / 48K while the spec sheet claims 96K capability .. with no link to get a better device driver (hence one star off)
    October 10, 2014
    Great little unit
    I bought this because the headphone jack on my computer at work shorted out and so would only play out of one channel. This had the added bonus of me being able to come out of the preamp outs to my 5" powered monoprice monitor speakers. They do a great job for both uses. You can't find a better DAC/Amp for the price.

    PROS: Cheap

    Good build quality

    Sound quality is great

    CONS: Piercing blue led
    August 28, 2014
    Better than a Mac Book
    So is it better than a MacBook headphone out? Yeah, by quite a bit.



    Songs that will sound pretty good are songs like this:



    Pink Floyd Bring the Boys Back Home (2011 remaster)

    O Brother Where Art Thou? Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

    Sarah McLachlan Mercy



    Why those three?



    In Mercy, the vocals are point sources, and sound beautiful with the quiet strings in the background. Great clarity in the vocals without any noise corrupting the strings.



    In Hard Time Killing Floor Blues, the distortion of the mic suffers from the Macbook treatment, and is really feels more like an audio smear. On the Monoprice amp, it's crisp and comes from a distinct point.



    Bring the Boys Back Home. Lots of distinct sound sources in space which the ears can begin to pick out. Easier to do so on this amp than the Macbook audio output.

    PROS: Delivers subtle details to headphones that the MacBook can't



    Lovely, controlled sound.

    CONS: The knob is a cheap plastic. Mine was cracked. Blue LED is brighter than anything else in the room.
    October 29, 2014
    Astounding quality and value
    This little rectangular wonder is an astounding value for the money. At under a hundred dollars, you get a two-in-one USB DAC and amplifier, to which you can hook up headphones or speakers (or both, like me!). The sound quality is great, though in my opinion all solid-state DAC/AMPs provide the same level of fidelity. Therefore, to my ears, it sounds exactly like an O2/ODAC that I have laying around.



    The unit is extremely well-constructed, being mad entirely of a lightweight black-painted metal. The unit includes a power cable, an RCA cable, and a USB connector that is so short I cannot find any use for it.



    You'd be hard-pressed to find anything that approaches this level of bang-for-your-buck with its features, overall high quality, and good looks. The only thing that bugs me is the LED next to the light indicatorI seriously have no idea what they were thinking making it so bright, because it feels like it burns a hole in my retinas even out of the corner of my eye.

    PROS: Price, sound quality, connectivity options, gain options, build quality

    CONS: The blue LED light could illuminate a small village at night
    July 3, 2014
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    What's the output impedance?
    A shopper on Nov 23, 2016
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