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Desktop Headphone Amps - Audiolab

The headphones socket on most amplifiers and computers is rarely optimised for sound quality, and often serves simply as a tick on the features list designed around a simple PCB. A dedicated headphone amplifier is designed to overcome this by driving your headphones properly to get the very best sound quality via computer, streaming, CD or vinyl. We also sell portable headphone amplifiers for getting the best sound from your phone or portable player on the move.

Headphones have become an increasingly viable way of enjoying hi-fi and audiophile quality sound in your home, with many stunning full sized headphones available varying in style, size and price. However, no setup is complete without a quality, dedicated headphone amplifier, which can truly turn many pairs of headphones into a reference quality component. The difference that can be achieved by using a purpose designed amplifier can be truly staggering, which is why we keep a range on permanent demonstration in our showroom. Our knowledgeable staff are always happy to assist in arranging a demonstration or offering advice. We also offer Free Next Day UK Delivery on all of our in stock products.


Audiolab is a key brand in hi-fi audio offering products that combine high-end performance with affordable prices. The current 8300 range updates the 8200 range and has received a host of stellar awards and reviews.

Since its founding in 1983 by Philip Swift and Derek Scotland and its launch of the original 8000A amplifier, Audiolab has been designing products in the UK that demonstrate audio engineering at its best, the range features products born from fervour for music intricately engineered by a team of hi-fi specialists.

In 2010, Audiolab launched its cutting-edge full-width 8200 Series, fusing the brand's ethos of minimalistic, well-built ergonomics and crisp, clear sound with an advanced performance-led design. One year later, the M-DAC arrived seeing in the new, compact LAB Series flanked by the Q-DAC and M-PWR. Since the launch of these series, Audiolab has gone on to win more coveted awards in UK hi-fi publications than any rival brand of top-performance audio electronics.

Audiolab's latest accomplishments include the 8300 series which references the 8200 blueprint but refines each component with HD audio technology, better efficiency and enhanced aesthetics, to build a hi-fi system that leaps ahead of leaders in the market. They have also revisited the iconic 8000 Series thirty-five years later with the all-new 6000 Series, designed for modern audiophiles seeking premium-grade performance, build and functionality at an affordable price.

The Nano is currently the smallest and newest model in the M-DAC range combining hi-res digital playback with portable convenience, exploiting the brand's experience in industry-leading and multi-award-winning DACs, ideal for listening to music via computer through headphones, or as part of an amplifier - speaker system.

Audiolab consistently strives to achieve excellence in the quality and sound of its products whilst staying true to the philosophy of its founders in creating well-engineered parts that afford high performance sound quality with excellent value for money.

One key advantage of specialist dedicated headphone amplifiers is the ability to drive headphones better than those included in most products and portable audio players. The purpose built amplification and increased power result in greater volume, dynamics, presence and soundstage. Many amplifiers are designed to be used with a range of headphones, while others may be specifically voiced to work with particular headphones.

Music on the go has become a daily occurrence for many people – using portable media players, smartphones and tablets to enjoy audio and video content when commuting or out and about. Being able to store an entire music collection on a tiny device has led to a demand for quality headphones to improve playback, and in turn a demand for quality portable headphone amplifiers to draw more fidelity, finesse and power out of our devices and music collections.

A key specification to consider when selecting a headphone amplifier is impedance. Just like loudspeakers, the ease of driving a pair of headphones differs from model to model. Some headphones may require more power than others, as well as a headphone amplifier with a higher output impedance in order to drive them suitably. Therefore, matching the impedance of your amp to your headphones is important in unlocking their potential and squeezing every last drop of performance out of your headphones. Some models feature multiple headphone inputs which offer different impedances, allowing you to use multiple pairs of headphones with your amplifier, and to impedance match with more precision for the best possible sound.

A headphone amplifier is the same as an amplifier designed for hi-fi usage, only designed to power smaller drivers, typically delivering much lower power and having a higher output impedance. Just like a stereo amplifier, headphone amps can utilise different components and circuitry to achieve different tone and sound characteristics. We offer a range of valve based headphone amplifiers, which offer the warmth and richness that is often associated with valve amplification for your headphones.

Desktop Headphone Amps - Audiolab

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