We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Headphone Amp?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A headphone amp is a gadget, most often used by guitarists, that minimizes the sound coming from the guitar by transmitting it through headphones. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, the small amp allows the guitar player to play as loud as desired because all the sound is projected through headphone speakers, so only the person wearing the headphones can hear the sound. Sometimes called a headphone amplifier, the headphone amp allows the guitarist to practice anytime, night or day, without disturbing friends, family, roommates, or neighbors.

Special Effects

Aside from simple amplification of the guitar signal, a headphone amp can also be a miniaturized portable studio with effects processor, amp modeling, and rhythm machine. Analog and digital effects processors can emulate everything from heavy distortion to hard-core crunch, chorus, echo, funk, and more and it is possible to listen to how different the effects sound through a variety of digital amps — from the Classic Fender tube amp of the 60s, to Marshal, Vox, and others.

A built-in rhythm machine can provide several different rhythm patterns to serve as a drummer; then, with the press of a button, the headphone amplifier allows the guitarist to select a venue, at which point the amplifier can place the drums, guitar, and chosen amp in a club, large arena, or other acoustic environment, which changes the overall sound of the music. A headphone amplifier that does not include a drum machine often includes a click track metronome or sampled snare drum kit to provide a backbeat, and beats-per-minute or tempo is usually adjustable, which can be helpful when working on rhythm and timing.

Learn New Songs

One of the nicest features of a headphone amp is the ability to learn new songs by using the auxiliary line in to include sound from a radio, CD, or MP3 player. Often, a guitarist needs to play along with a song to learn how to play it correctly; if this needs to be done quietly, then the option of playing all sound through headphones can be beneficial. Other options for using headphone amps while learning to play new songs include downloading tabs from the Internet and working out each measure while listening to the song through the headphones. Some guitar players prefer learning the song on their own, so some headphone amplifiers include a feature that records up to 30 seconds of a song, then slows it down to one quarter of the original speed without changing the pitch, and plays it back in steps.

Digital Tuning

Another handy feature included with most models is a built-in, digital guitar tuner. LED lights indicate flat, sharp, or true tuning for each note. Some models are also designed with a protruding jack that slides right into the guitar itself, eliminating the need for a guitar cord to connect the tuner to the guitar. Digital tuners can be more accurate that tuning to a piano as a piano can be out of pitch if it has not been properly or recently tuned.

Purchasing a Headphone Amp

The price of a headphone amp can vary, depending on the model, and they are usually available everywhere guitars are sold. One manufacturer has combined a 4-track digital recorder with headphone amp, creating a palmtop recording studio that includes programmable bass and drum machines. In most cases, bass guitars have their own designated models.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.