Desktop Headphone Amplifier
    Product # 11567
    On Sale 24.93% OFF
    Desktop Headphone Amplifier
    Product # 11567
    $73.99 $98.56
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    In Stock This item will ship on 1/23/2017 if ordered within 2 days 19 hours 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
    31 Reviews
    5 Stars
    4 Stars
    3 Stars
    2 Stars
    1 Star
    15
    9
    3
    2
    2
    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
    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
    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
    I regret nothing
    I lost an old sound card for a new PC build and rather than use onboard sound, which I never card for, I looked at this DAC/amp and figured I'd give it a shot at running my HD598s. A really solid choice for desktop applications (it ran a pair of bookshelf speakers I felt like testing too very well) and a good choice over onboard sound.

    PROS: Really nice audio quality, feels solid

    CONS: The piercing blue LED seems to be a pattern here, but it doesn't bother me that much.
    October 20, 2014
    Works, but not as promised
    Before buying the unit, I contacted support via chat to make sure the rear outputs would cut when I plugged headphones into the front jack. Even got a copy of the chat e-mailed to me and the tech did assure me the rear output would cut upon plugging in the headphones. They don't. I have fashioned an ugly workaround that I am far from pleased with.



    Next, the LED is ridiculously bright. Must be made by the same people that made the HDMI switches I bought from them recently. Needed three layers of translucent tape over the LED to make it tolerable.



    On the plus side, it sounds very good and powers everything from my Ultimate Ears ear buds to my brand new Koss Pro4/A headphones.



    Wish they worked as promised and hope they will find a better/gentler LED vendor in the future.

    PROS: Sounds better than computer sound card.

    Easily powers full size headphones.

    Convenient and smoothly operating volume control.

    CONS: Plugging in headphone does not cut rear outputs.

    Ridiculously bright blue LED that could light runways at airports it is so bright.
    February 8, 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
    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
    works great
    Everything needed to hook up to computer was included. Plugged into usb port on HP laptop. No driver install needed wondows 8.1 took care of everything automatically. Huge improvement over the laptop headphone jack. Using Audio-tech... 50x studio monitor headphones. Very clear highs, and very rich, deep natural sounding base. Using Tidal streaming 16/44k and it sounds like a high end hifi system. When a good mixed cd plays, there is dead silence when there is no sound. Very nice listening experience. I am very pleased for the price.

    PROS: Metal case nice

    Knobs socket feel solid/good

    Great sound quality

    CONS: None so far
    February 14, 2015
    Does the job
    I can make my headphones louder than I need. I can't say if the quality of the sound is better it's definitely not worse and maxing out the PC volume does not generate obvious distortion. I'm entirely happy with the product's performance.

    Unlike some of the other reviewers, the knob on mine is nicely aligned.

    PROS: Does exactly what I needed: increases the headphone volume from my PC's audio out jack. My PC is my primary multimedia player. Often the audio wasn't quite loud enough for my aging ears. I had been using a FiiO portable amp to jack up the sound but it has to be re-charged after a few hours use. The Monoprice headphone amp is powered by a wall-wart so it's one less gizmo to charge.

    CONS: No serious complaints:



    1 Missing the obvious mini-stereo input jack or an included adapter for use with a PC. The Aux. input is a pair of RCA sockets and RCA cables are included but all my PCs have optical and mini-stereo jacks so I had to dig through my adapter collection to find the right one. Also had to dig out a standard stereo phone jack to mini-stereo adapter for my earbuds. For the price, an optical input might have been included as well.

    2 Adds yet another wall-wart to the collection.

    3 Very minor point, but I would prefer that the volume knob had a bit of surface texture it's so smooth that sliding my thumb on it to turn it on takes more pressure than I like.
    September 5, 2015
    4/5
    Works as stated. Only have used USB DAC input so far. Plenty of volume for over the ear headphones. Volume knob large and easy to turn. Was able to remove volume knob (it was hot glued on) and re-adjust so that it turns more level.

    PROS: Solid Base Build

    Good smooth feel on volume adjustment

    1/4" Jack



    CONS: Flimsy Volume Knob, Glued on Crooked so feels weird when adjusting volume.
    August 2, 2015
    Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
    Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 3 answers
    What's the output impedance?
    A shopper on Nov 23, 2016
    BEST ANSWER: From what I have read, it is reputed to have output impedance of 10 Ohms, but it doesn't appear to be officially specified. I googled it and found that info from a thread on this DAC/amp on Head-Fi.
    Is the DAC USB input asynchronous?
    A shopper on Jan 2, 2017
    BEST ANSWER: Please be a little more specific, I am afraid that I do not understand what you are asking.
    I plug the USB directly into my iMac.
    Just a note the amp is not working and I am waiting for an RA, they said 3 days, it has been more then a week, I am hoping that with the holidays they re closed.
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