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Desktop Headphone Amps - Focal JM Labs

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.


For over 30 years, Focal designed and built hi-fi speakers and drivers that wowed music lovers and critics alike and set new standards for class performance. Focal combines passion, tradition and technology for ultimate listening.

Focal JM Labs was founded in the 1970’s by Jacques Mahul, a trained engineer and specialist in speaker drivers (hence the "JM" part of the brand name being his initials). Jacques started manufacturing drivers only under the "Focal" brand and thanks to their innovative design they were incredibly popular, and so he created the "JM Lab" brand to create his own range of loudspeakers to go with the drivers.

The brand revolutionised the bookshelf speaker segment of the market with the release of the famous DB13 which featured a dual voice coil that offered a similar level of sound and bass response as larger speakers.

From 1990 onward, Focal JM Lab enjoyed swift growth in both home audio, car audio, studio professional audio and headphone markets, and soon became France's leading loudspeaker brand. The 1990s also saw the brand establish itself overseas, especially in the rest of Europe, the Far East and North America - and now 70% of Focal speakers are sold to international owners.

In 2011, driven and united by their passion for exceptional sound quality Focal and Naim Audio merged, creating a new European leader in audio which promises to deliver exceptional products

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 - Focal JM Labs

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