Best Headphone amp

Having recently purchased an NDX2 282 and 250, I have lost the headphone jack from my previous integrated.
Having decided I miss the solitude of headphones, and it saves arguments of course, I have decided to invest further with a dedicated headphone amp.

Wondering what headphone amps people are using?
All answers and suggestions welcome.
Thanks guys

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What are your headphones?

They are Shure. I’m away atm and can’t remember which number, but they cost £400 a couple of years ago if that helps.

Maybe just get a Chord Mojo — great sound and portability.

Thanks NTD.
Could do. I currently have a small Oppo HA2 for bedtime listening so feel i have to small pocket size option covered. That said I respect the credentials of the Mojo.
For the main set up in the lounge, I want to get something (black box lol) with a remote if possible.

A Lehmann possibly? But no remote…

Rupert Neve RNHP if you can live with the design. Otherwise why not go with Naim to match your main setup?

DCS Bartok? :crazy_face::thinking:

Not sure what your price range is, but the Pathos Aurium is both superb and beautiful, with balance and gain controls, plenty of inputs, and, very helpfully, an output. Would easily drive the Shures and any other headphones you could throw at it.

Try the search function their are existing threads which discuss various products that are recommended by members. Search ‘Headphone Amps

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Think I’ll give the Bartok a miss. :joy::joy::joy:

I use a Headline2+NAPSC2 into Senn 650s. It does OK.

What’s your source(s)?

I have a few, but currently using a Chord DAVE on my Empyreans… rather stellar. :+1:
I also use an Audioquest Cobalt driving a pair of Sennheiser HD650s for more mobile use.

I use a Headline 2 with a Hi-Cap DR and get great sound with BeyerDynamic Amirons. While the solution was somewhat expensive compared to other options, it provides exactly the musicality I was looking for.

A HeadLine 2 with a Hi-Cap DR here also. Driving HD-800. The circuit in the HL2 is very simple and if ever there was proof that with Naim, the power supply is the hifi this is it. The HL2 had its detractors and for sure, there are more than one way to skin a cat. But it is a very formidable headphone amp that I have yet to hear a justifiable improvement on.

However… it is currently in long term storage and I am taking delivery of ne of Luxman’s 2 headphone amps. Both of which I am yet to try so cannot indicate whether they are any good or not (not for a week or so) but only food for thought.

  • Luxman SQ-N150: This is a hybrid 10w valve integrated amp/headphone amp. Because it is just 10w, the entire output is simply redirected to the headphone output. Marketed as an integrated, though design-wise it falls into that category of headphone amps that can also drive speakers (if they are efficient enough). It costs a chunk more than a HL2/HCdr. The vast majority of owners have no speakers and use it purely as a headphone amp.
  • Luxman P-750u: A few reviews of this suggest that for some, this is the gold standard of headphone amps. Like the SQ-N150, it is purely analogue. Comes with a number of bells and whistles for balanced connections and manual impedance matching.

I’ll know more about how the SQ-N150 compares to the HL2/HCdr in a few weeks. Though the source will be totally different so there may be too many variable changes to make a fair comparison.

I had the Luxman P-750u in house for a two week demo fronted by a Linn KDS and Utopia headphones. It is not all analogue as its volume control is digital. For me this was its downfall.

I currently own a SimAudio Moon 430HA and had a Violectric V281 and Benchmark HA4 in for demo. The keeper has been my Headamp GSX Mini - it is the best of them all imho.
Well - the only exception to that is my Stax setup - nothing can touch that.


Do you have a budget? The ‘best’ are not cheap. They might be somewhat excessive with £400 'phones too. The Dave is £8.5k for example

I have a Trilogy 933, previously a 931. The former is really fantastic, but it should be for nearly £3k.



That’s not strictly true. Almost all Luxman components use their LECUA volume control, including the P-750u. It is a computer controlled attenuator fronting a resistor ladder much like the 272 or S1. There is not ADC/DAC conversion going on.

This is spot on. I mean, to some $200 is a lot for a headphone amp.

I have to say I had a Rega Ear for many many years and although it costs very little it takes a lot more money to get something better I found. Certainly when I went from the low cost Rega to the built in amp on my UQ2 it was a massive step down that I never really got over.