Recommend a good quality headphone amp on a students budget ?


Novice Member
Lo all

I've been looking about for a good quality headphone amp on a students budget. I've read about DIY class A headphone amps and how they create a more soothing and natural feel, but I'm a complete novice when it comes to sound. This being said I'm pretty good and have a lot of experience with a soldering iron and would be keen on making something myself. Sort of having the additional satisfaction of listening to music through something I had a hand in creating.

I've got a reasonably high spec PC with an Audigy 2 ZS sound card and I use the PC for everything from DVDs to listening to CDs. As I live in close proximity to others headphones are a must, so thought it was time to invest in a good quality headphone amp.

I'm currently using my old Sony HiFi as an amp for my Koss and Sony headphones as I've had bad experiences driving headphones directly from soundcards in the past ;).

TBH I dont care what the thing looks like, as long as it does the job.

I'm looking to buy it in the next month or so, any ideas / rough guides as to what would be considered the best bang for buck ?

Thanks in advance :)



Distinguished Member
I know u never really metioned budget or if it's a HiFI one ur after but i reckon this portable BK headphone amp is just what ur after. it really does have tremendous sound quality. Really did suprise me.
For the money its awesome and possibly cant be beaten tho dont know of any other portables so dont quote me.
I Use with Iriver/PC and my Pure Evoke 1 xt DAB with Grado SR60's and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's. Really very good indeed.:smashin:

Here it is with My IRiver IHp-120/Grado SR60's and Chord Ichord cable as better cable (two are supplied tho) did give better sound.

Oh and it's 9V batt has already lasted 8hrs+.

Heres link to site, Highly recomended. Remember i bought a £45 chord minijack cable for it!
It's That good!!


Novice Member
I don't think I'd spend more money on the cable than the electronics myself, but I'm also very happy with my BK Headphone amp.

I run it from the line-out of my computer into Sennheiser HD570 cans which definitely like the extra power available. A few quid on a rechargeable battery and I've been all set for over a year now, each charge lasts well over 10 hours for me. :)


Active Member
OOOOhh Amp Wars :)

Whats the best out of these 2 pocket amps:

PASV2 versus Go-vibe

I've seen the PASV2 at Headfi for like years. Where did Go-vibe come from?


rommi said:
OOOOhh Amp Wars :)
your not joking at all...
spent the last month or so looking into this sort of thing and people get very very serious indeed. not only have you got an array of cheap amps (diy style) you got people all modding and remodding and then modding again and it true audiophile fashion argument is rife over which is the clearest tightest truesest and a lot of other stuff i dont really understand.

personaly im going down the patch of making my own purley for the kick of it.
im going to use the Cmoy2 PCB (linky to pic + Instructions)

the first attempt got mullard due to being foolish enuf to take advace from a chap in maplins.. never again.

will stick up a post with all the blah when the new pcb turns up in case anyone else fancied a pop.


Well-known Member
I bought the updated Pengun £40 ish a few months ago and loved it and still use it. Then on a whim after reading so much on it I bought the PA2V2 £30 ish and I think it has the edge, and Gary's a great guy to deal with The PA2V2 is also much stronger I think the case makes it virtually able to withstand anything, and it's half the size of the Penguin tin. My tin already looks quite tatty


Novice Member
Lo there and thanks all for the reply

Would have been sooner but some unfortunate matters IRL kept me away.

Hmm at that price I cant complain at all :)

Seen a good number of people on about the PA2V2 and its not a bad price either. Still was curious, I've seen so many using a pot for the volume control, anyone get any of the "snap crackle and pop" sounds when you vary the volume after a while ?

Some of the pages out there reckon that a bit of cross over in a headphone amp (left to right and right to left) can leave a more natural / pleasant experience, anyone have any views on this ?

-M ... now with more options than he was originaly contemplating ;)

Edit :-

GMC360Live the reason I didnt add a budget is that I'm just looking for the best bang for buck at the smallest outlay. That being said I'm more of a person that would rather buy to keep than buy to replace if you know what I mean. So, if spending a little more would result in a far superior experience, then it would be foolish to stick with the cheapie rather than take the hit and be happy with the result. As for it being either pocketable or stand alone, either is fine as long as it does the job :)


Well-known Member
My Penguin needs a quick up/down on the volume to clear crackles/dust, especially at the midway point where I leave it most of the time. But none on the PA2V2 so far.
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