Best Headphone Amp Under 100; Review & Buyer’s Guide

Usually, you wouldn’t think of getting a headphone amp as it’s not the most necessary thing for everyone. However, if you are a music enthusiast and want to get the most out of your high-end headphone, then getting a headphone amp will be a wise choice.

In my experience of working with several headphone amps as an audiophile, I found a night and day difference in the sound quality. I went through a lot of different headphone amps and picked out the best ones for you.

Best in performance

 Best overall

Best for daily use

AudioQuest DragonFly Headphone Amp

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Neoteck 3.5mm Headphone Amplifier

While choosing them, I considered the user experiences and tried them out myself, so you get a complete overview of these headphones. Let's get started with them.


Top 12 headphone amps under 100

Well, if you already have high-end headphones, you won't want to spend too much money on your amp. That’s why all the amps I put on this list are affordable and come under 100 dollars.

1. AudioQuest DragonFly Black v1.5 Plug-in USB DAC- Best in performance – Best in performance

When you want a headphone amp, portability can play a huge role. Especially if you move around a lot while listening to music, this headphone amp can be a great pick. It just has the size and measurements of a USB stick so that you can carry it in your pocket.

Along with the headphone amp feature, you get another functionality on this which is a DAC. So, it's not just about the headphones; you can use them for your audio production work with your speakers as well.

This will bring out the richness and clarity from your high-end headphone that leaves you with satisfaction all around.

AudioQuest DragonFly



  • Input options: USB
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Windows/Mac/Android/IOS
  • Dimensions: 2.36 x 0.79 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces


  • This amp is super compact that you can carry in your pocket
  • It’s completely wireless, so things are just less troublesome
  • This can bring out the best sound quality from your headphone
  • You get multiple functionalities with the DAC feature on this as well
  • It has got a reliable, built quality that you will never question at all 


  • It only comes with one input option
  • The feature on this one is a bit limited 

2. VOX AP2BS amPlug 2 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

Are you looking for an app that doesn't cost you a whole lot but lets you record your instruments? Then I think this will be the perfect pick for you. It comes in different variants for different instruments.

Unlike traditional amplifiers for instruments, this one is a portable option. You can carry this in your pocket and use it wherever you go. Plug in the amp to your instrument and plug in your headphone or speakers to the amp; that’s it, you are good to go.

Now, the best part of this amp is the sound quality you get from it. It’s too good and gives you the perfect tones for all the instruments.

 VOX AP2BS amPlug 2 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier



  • Input options: 6.3mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Instruments, Headphones, Speakers
  • Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 3.04 ounces


  • It’s a very compact headphone amp for playing your instruments wherever you want
  • This one brings some top-notch sound quality out of your instrument
  • It comes with 17 hours of battery life for nonstop playing
  • There is a reasonable price which is worth it for sure
  • It comes in different variants for your different instruments 


  • You only get the perfect tones for a particular instrument
  • It has got limited functionalities 

3. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier – Best overall

If you are looking for a combo of a DAC and headphone amp, this can be a great pick within budget. And the best part is you even get the best quality out of your mid-end headphone, which is a rare sight to see.

It does come with a break in time which may lead you to doubt the quality. But once that is over, you get to experience some of the smoothest and warmest sounds you have ever heard.

The perfect feature of this one is the volume control capability. It’s too impressive not to talk about. You get the perfect volume levels, and there is simply nothing to complain about.

 FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier



  • Input options: USB
  • Output options: 3.5mm/ coaxial
  • Compatibility: Windows/Mac/Android/IOS
  • Dimensions: 0.83 x 1.93 x 3.11 inches
  • Weight: 2.72 ounces 


  • The sound quality is top-notch, even for a mid-end headphone
  • You get excellent volume control from the amp
  • The build is quite compact, with a sturdy finish on the exterior
  • You get the functionality of a DAC along with the headphone amp feature on this
  • This is surely a value for money amp for headphones


  • It lacks the power to work with some higher-end headphones

4. Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

This one has to be one of the most unique-looking headphone amps you will ever come across. While it looks different, it also has some interesting features that I found very amusing when I tried it.

I found it to be a bit rawer and creamier than other headphone amps I went through for the sounds. It brings out a certain feel for instruments with strings. So, if you have one, you will enjoy the sound you get for sure.

It’s a great choice if you want to enjoy music and movies. Because the lows you get on this are strong while the higher frequencies sound clear.

Bravo Audio V2



  • Input options: 6.3mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Instruments, Headphones, Speakers, DAC
  • Dimensions: 1.73 x 3.11 x 3.11 inches
  • Weight: 1.1lbs


  • The amp comes with great volume control that you will love for sure
  • It has got excellent sound quality for any instrument and headphones
  • The looks are unique, with a heavily built quality
  • It’s a great headphone amp for the price
  • This is just perfect for music and movies 


  • You may need to change the stock tube for better performance
  • The amp tends to get hot after long hours of usage 

5. FX Audio DAC-X6 24BIT/192 Optical/Coaxial/USB Digital Audio Amplifier DAC

If the internal DAC of your device sounds very bad, this can be a great upgrade to that. Because once you use this one, you will see a drastic change in the sound quality. It’s almost night and day.

This can bring out the proper sound quality you should be getting out of your high-end headphones. And with the affordable price, it's truly worth giving a shot to upgrading the sound quality.

Something I have to mention specifically, it’s a great option for bass lovers. It has got that extra oomph you love to have in the bass ends.

FX Audio DAC-X6



  • Input options: Optical/ Coaxial/ USB
  • Output options: 3.5mm/ 6.3mm
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, IOS
  • Dimensions: 5.79 x 3.82 x 1.26 inches
  • Weight: 2.2lbs


  • This is a compact headphone amp that you can carry everywhere
  • It also serves as a DAC along with a headphone amp
  • You get a significant change in the sound quality from stock DAC
  • It’s worth your money for the upgrade
  • This one is great for higher-end headphones 


  • There are better choices that you can find
  • The sounds can be a bit closed-in 

6. Behringer MicroMON MA400 Ultra-Compact Monitor Headphone Amplifier

Do you go through a lot of studio monitoring in your work life? This can be a great addition to your work that won't cost you a whole lot. It's the best pick for beginners considering they would go for something at a reasonable price.

The amp is super compact and, at the same time, well built. You get a sturdy piece of audio equipment that you can carry almost anywhere; nothing more to ask from it, right?

Something unique about this one is the easy fixes to typical problems. You don't need to go through many technical kinds of stuff to hear your previous recording over your current recording.




  • Input options: Stereo monitor input
  • Output options: 3.5mm/ 6.3mm
  • Compatibility: Instruments, Microphones
  • Dimensions: 4.06 x 2.52 x 1.85 inches
  • Weight: 13.4 ounces


  • It has got great power to bring out the full potential of higher-end headphones
  • The amp has a heavy-duty built quality that reassures you of durability
  • This is a pretty compact headphone amp, so you can carry it wherever you go
  • It improves the sound quality of your microphone, headphones, and instruments a lot
  • It’s a great pick for beginners who need a studio monitor at a reasonable price 


  • It doesn’t work that well with dynamic microphones
  • You can't get much out of lower to mid-end products 

7. Monoprice 111567 Desktop Headphone Amplifier

If you want to get the most out of your headphones for a better music experience, then this is it. This will satisfy all your needs with sound quality, and you will surely fall in love with this one.

The best thing about this one is the natural sounds it brings out of your headphones—no extra oomph on the bass, neither enhanced clarity. You get to hear the raw music the way it was meant to sound.

I loved the wider soundstage this one brings to the sounds. It's amazing to hear that kind of immersive sound and get a whole new music experience completely.


  • Input options: USB
  • Output options: 3.5mm/ RCA
  • Compatibility: Desktop, Laptop
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.73lbs


  • It gives you excellent improvement in the sound quality over stock DAC’s
  • The sounds are more natural and immersive than usual
  • With the RCA output options, you get a variety to try out
  • It’s not that large, so it fits on your desk perfectly
  • It’s worth the money for sure 


  • This doesn’t have the best finish on the built
  • It doesn't go well with medium-end headphones 

8. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Here's another unique-looking tube headphone amplifier to power up your audio devices. From the two vacuum tubes on the amp, you get excellent amplification of sound that satisfies you completely.

Coming to the sound quality of this amp, you get some warm and clear audio from the mid to higher ranges. As for the bass, this one puts out decent power in that too. So, overall, there is nothing to complain about the quality whatsoever.

A great thing about this one is that you can upgrade the tubes whenever you want. This gives you the option to enhance the performance of the headphone amp even further for a better quality of sound.


  • Input options: 3.5mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone
  • Dimensions: 7.28 x 6.14 x 3.23 inches
  • Weight: 13.4ounces 


  • This one brings great sound quality out of your devices
  • There is no complicated connectivity, so it’s easy to use
  • The sound has excellent mid and highs with powerful lows
  • With the replaceable tubes, you get the option to upgrade the amp
  • It’s worth your money without any second thoughts 


  • You may have to replace the stock tubes for even better results
  • It doesn’t come with the prettiest of appearance 

9. SMSL T2 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

If you plan to get into vacuum amps, then going for this one won’t be a bad idea. It comes with great improvement in the sound quality that will leave you in awe. And the price isn't that much, so it's a decent choice for beginners.

It’s not the largest amp globally, which makes it a great choice to carry around. You can get excellent sound quality even while you are traveling when you have this one. It also works with smartphones, so nothing to worry about at all.

As for the sound quality, I was impressed with it, considering this one is an entry-level headphone amp. And with the option to remove the tubes, you can always make it better.


  • Input options: 3.5mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone
  • Dimensions: 2.87 x 1.02 x 3.46 inches
  • Weight: 1.25lbs


  • This gives you great improvement on the sound quality
  • You get excellent details from the sound on all ranges
  • It’s very compact so you can carry it wherever you go
  • The compatibility is great on this as well
  • It’s a value for money headphone amp for sure 


  • It may not have enough power for higher-end headphones
  • The stock tubes won’t give you the best results 

10. Sabaj PHA3 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

While we are on the subject of vacuum tube headphones, this is another option you can lookout. And I must say, this one seemed to top the list in performance among all the other tube amps.

One of the crucial factors that differentiate this one from the other ones is its RCA input option. Using this input option will surely give you better sound quality than you would expect from this amp.

Another thing to love about this one is the build quality and looks. While that doesn’t matter much in audio equipment, it’s always good to have a stylish, heavy-duty amp by your side.


  • Input options: 3.5mm/ RCA
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone
  • Dimensions: 8.11 x 6.89 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.41lbs


  • The amp has got classy looks with a heavy-duty built quality
  • This amp comes with a lot of power to work with your higher-end headphones
  • You get a good improvement in the sound quality
  • The higher frequencies you get from the amp sound very much pleasing
  • There are no ground noises with this amp which is a great thing 


  • The stock tubes can’t put out the best quality
  • You will need to go through a break-in time to get better performance 

11. Neoteck 3.5mm Headphone Amplifier Two-Stage Gain Switch – Best for daily use

This can be a great pick for portability with some stylish looks, lightweight build, and sleek design. You will never be ashamed to bring this out, even when on the bus or on any transport.

While it has a convenient body and design, it also serves well in the sound quality department. This brings out sound from your devices without any distortion and has a more stereo impact on them.

Along with all that, when you pair it up with the 8 hours of battery life, you have an amazing headphone amp.

Neoteck 3.5mm Headphone Amplifier



  • Input options: 3.5mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone
  • Dimensions: 3.82 x 2.36 x 0.59 inches
  • Weight: 5.6ounces


  • The sound quality is far better than you would expect from it
  • It comes with some stylish and sleek designs for portability
  • You get 8 hours of battery life on this one
  • The volume control is impressive, and you will love it
  • It is without a doubt a value for a money headphone amp 


  • It’s not suitable for professional use

12. SONICAKE Guitar Bass Headphone Amp Mini Headphone Amplifier

Finishing off the list with another quality headphone amp for your instrument. Whether you have a guitar, bass, or any other instrument with line-in input, you can get this one for the best sound quality. The best part, no need for cables or heavy machines, as you can carry this in your pocket.

You get several options on this amp, such as volume control, tone control, and gain control. And you won't even have to move anywhere to control them since the amp will be connected to the instrument in the first place.

The sound you get from this headphone amp is just too good to be true. It brings out the perfect tones from your guitars and basses that leave you with pure satisfaction.


  • Input options: 6.3mm
  • Output options: 3.5mm
  • Compatibility: Instruments, headphones, speakers
  • Dimensions: 3.15 x 2.56 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 4.9ounces


  • This is a great compact headphone amp to get for your instruments
  • You get excellent sound quality coming out of it
  • There are no hassles of cables or connections, plug, and play
  • It comes at a very affordable price with good quality
  • The build is decent and assures you of durability 


  • The battery backup isn’t that good
  • You have to charge a lot 

Buying guide for affordable headphone amp under 100

For getting the best headphone amp based on your personal preferences, you will need to consider some factors. Here are the things you should be looking at-

  • Type of amp 

There are usually three types of headphones amps you can see out there. One is a vacuum tube amp, one is a solid-state amp, and one is a hybrid amp.

Vacuum tube amps usually give you a warmer tone with some vibrant sound production. These amps tend to work around the distortion in any sound and make it a bit better.

On the other hand, solid-state amps will give you more detailed and sharp sounds. They lack warmth like the vacuum tube amps. And they can be portable, while vacuum tube amps aren’t that portable.

Then there is a mixture of two, which is the hybrid amp. It has got a mix of both tube amps and solid-state max. It gets the power capacity of solid-state amps with the tonal warmth of a vacuum tube amp.

  • Sound quality 

Of course, you will need to consider how the amp sounds for you. Some amps will have a better ability to bring out the best results from your headphones. At the same time, some will add their touch to it. Also, some come with better low ends of music, while some have better clarity in the higher frequencies.

It will all come down to what you prefer to listen to in your music.

  • Portability 

Portability can also play a huge role in choosing an amp. If you want to use your amp to listen to music, you will most likely go for a portable option. On the other hand, if you want to use the amp for desk work, getting a better desktop amplifier would be the best choice.


To sum up, choosing the best , low-cost headphone amp under 100 shouldn’t be that difficult after all this explanation. Still, to help you choose one in particular, here are the top 3 amps that I liked the most.

For the best performance, go with the AudioQuest DragonFly. And if you prefer a balance of everything, then you should choose the FiiO E10K USB DAC as it’s the best overall pick for anyone. As for the daily users, I would say Neoteck 3.5mm Headphone Amplifier beats everything else.

Aside from these three, you can choose anyone from the list because you end up with quality no matter which one you get.

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