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Desktop Headphone Amps - Naim Audio

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.


As dedicated Naim Audio retailers we have many models on demo in our showroom, including Mu-So, XS and Classic range hi-fi separates. Learn more in our full Naim range guide or call us for advice on 0121 224 7300/7401 or e-mail us.

For over 40 years, Naim Audio has relentlessly pursued the same simple aim: to recreate the performance a musician has recorded accurately and with all of the information wholly intact. Not only that the notes be faithfully preserved, but also so must the emotion and passion that inspired the performance. Its for this reason that Naim are so popular among music lovers - they bring music to life.

Naim Audio was founded in 1973 by Julian Vereker OBE, entrepreneur and self-taught engineer, with a deep passion for music, but was unsatisfied with the sound quality of hi-fi, available at the time. Established in Salisbury, Julian began designing and manufacturing a hi-fi range that ignored accepted design wisdom and focused on aspects of design and performance that made music burst to life.

In that same year they released the NAP 200 power amplifier, soon followed by the NAC 12 pre-amplifier in 1974 (and although this model name is no longer used, much like "NAP" for the power amplifiers, "NAC" is still used to designate Naim's pre amplifier models). These initial designs laid the foundations for 40 years of iconic and award winning products that have followed.

As the brand grew in popularity over the 70s and 80s, they sought to grab the attention of press and public with a series of tongue in cheek adverts (you can see these and read more about the brand in our History of Naim blog). In 1983, Naim released their first integrated amplifier, simply called NAIT, a designation also used in current integrated amplifier models today.

Naim was awarded with the prestigious Queen's award in 1985 and has received this award a further two times since (once winning for Export in 2010 and once for innovation in digital music streaming in 2014). In 1991, Naim released their first CD player, the CDS, which again flew against conventional wisdom with a two-box design (the current flagship CD player shares a lineage with this original model).

Over the years, many Naim models have achieved iconic status, including the Naim NAP250 power amplifier, a favourite among many audiophiles with a latest iteration of this model that continues to this day. As an emphasis over the quality of the Naim range, they partnered with distinguished British brand Bentley in 2008 to provide music systems for their cars.

In 2009, Naim also released the "Uniti" range, which turned the conventional wisdom that "more boxes are always better" by combining power amplifier, pre amplifier, CD player and/or streaming capabilities in one box. Of course, the higher separates Naim systems will always sound better, but the four models in the Uniti range established themselves as such a high performance solutions for a reasonable investment that there are little other options that can compete.

In 2013, Naim also released the Naim Mu-So, a wireless streaming speaker system and another revolutionary move by the brand. To put this into perspective, the release of this product was as much of a surprise as if Bentley released a competitor in the low-priced car category that outclassed all of the established competitors.

The Mu-So has done just that. A hugely popular "lifestyle" music solution, both existing Naim owners and new customers have discovered how wonderful this speaker system sounds as a classy, single box unit for enjoying music in an area where you can't accommodate a full separates hi-fi system.

With a rich heritage and history of pioneering products in the hi-fi industry, Naim have cultivated a brand which is synonymous with the pinnacle of hi-fi, as well as the values and quality of British hi-fi and manufacturing. Naim Audio is designed and manufactured in Salisbury, UK and their relentless pursuit of sonic perfection has seen a host of awards and stellar reviews.

Naim offer a range of integrated amplifiers, pre amplifiers, power amplifiers, CD players, streamers, CD players, DACs, loudspeakers and accessories. In 2011, Naim merged with Focal JM Labs, and with a synergy in design, this makes Focal speakers a natural matching choice for Naim. Other highly recommended options include KEF speakers and ProAc speakers.

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 - Naim Audio

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