Best Guitar Headphone Amps – 2021 Complete Review

| Last Updated: May 5, 2021

If you’re here, you are probably looking for a quick way to take your music with you anywhere and, most importantly, at any time without disturbing anyone.

A headphone amplifier is a great new tech that allows us to improve the performance of our music.

For more information, please have a look at the article below. 

What is a Guitar Headphone Amp?

In simple words, a headphone amp is a tiny device that resembles a full amplifier. Its primary purpose is to control the speakers inside your headphones and to improve the quality of the sounds. 

VOXAC30 Headphone Amplifier

They are useful for musical clarity, and they can also come with certain useful controls that can be tweaked to your liking. If you have a high-quality set of headphones, you might want to consider purchasing a headphone amp, which will make your headphones sound their very best. Have a look in the next section for more details. 

How Does a Guitar Headphone Amp Work?

To make use of a guitar headphone amp, you need to connect the device to the guitar and the headphones. It will then amplify the sound you can hear in your headphones, similar to a full-size amplifier. 

Additionally, you can also plug it into a small speaker, although the quality will not replicate a full-size amplifier, as this is more of the ‘portable’ version, useful for a quick practice without anyone asking you to turn it down! 

What Makes a Great Guitar Headphone Amp?

Of course, there are numerous variations of headphone amplifiers, and they all come with different features. Here are the top characteristics of a high-quality headphone amp:

Portability

First of all, we don’t get a headphone amp so we can practice with the band, as this is not their actual purpose; that’s why we get full-size amps. The most important thing is to be portable, easy to carry around, and definitely not a burden. In this way, we can practice at any time without disturbing others living in the same dwelling. 

Versatility

Another great feature of a headphone amp is versatility – some of them do not only control the volume but include cool adjustments of tone and overdrive, which makes them interesting to experiment with, apart from their initial purpose. Having a versatile headphone amp will allow for some extra variation and fun while practicing. 

Value for Money

Lastly, a high-quality headphone amp does not have to be the most expensive one. Most of them are real bargains – they pack nice features, offer high-quality sounds, and they are extremely reasonably priced. This is a core characteristic of our favorite headphone amplifiers reviewed in the next section. 

Comparison of the Best Guitar Headphone Amps

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • High-quality sounds and affordable
  • Best guitar headphone amp overall
  • Highly versatile with 12 different effects
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  • More than 300 presets available
  • The Chromatic tuner allows for muted tuning between songs
  • Contains a wide range of 16 effects which can be tweaked to perfection
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  • Ideal for practicing your guitar skills
  • Best guitar headphone amp for the money
  • Tweakable controls for level, tone, and gain
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  • Best headphone amplifier for bass guitar
  • Comes with three gain modes and nine rhythm patterns
  • Extra features include foldable plug mechanism and auto power-off
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  • Best Electric Guitar Headphone Amp
  • Up to 15 hours of battery life with battery included
  • High-gain sounds and loyally simulates the sound of the original amp
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Review of the Best Guitar Headphone Amps

Now that we have looked at exactly what makes a great guitar headphone amp, let’s look at a few of the best options that you can buy.

Bets Overall:
VOXAC30 Headphone Amplifier

VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

PROS

  • Comes with three amp modes
  • Features an analog circuit for best results 
  • Extremely convenient and easy to use
  • High-quality sounds and affordable price range
  • Twelve different effects, including delay, reverb, and chorus

CONS

  • Not as versatile as other products
  • Not very durable, made from plastic
  • Adjusting the controls can be quite difficult

What Recent Buyers Report 

The best features of this excellent amp are its high-quality sounds and ease of use. All you need to do is to connect them with your gear. However, depending on what instrument you have, it might be challenging to use when playing. The best match is with a Strat-style guitar or any other model with a jack on the front. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This model is our top recommendation due to ease of use and the high quality of its components. You can use it to create three different effects, including three delays, three reverbs, and three choruses. Additionally, you can attach an additional audio source; it is easy to use and convenient. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This product is highly recommended to anyone. As a beginner, you can easily connect it and practice at any time. The same goes for traveling musicians, as they are highly convenient and portable. Advanced guitar players would definitely appreciate the quality of this product to its fullest. 

Bottom Line

Overall, these headphones for amps are fabulous if you want to practice your favorite tunes at any time, in any place. What is great is you can also play around with a wide variety of effects, improve your performance, and all of it comes at an affordable price. This is definitely our top recommendation!

Runner-up:
Line 6 Pocket POD

Line 6 Pocket POD

PROS

  • Controls are easy to use and convenient
  • Extremely powerful and high-quality sounds
  • Can be used with both batteries and DC adapter
  • Chromatic tuner which allows for mute tuning between songs
  • Extremely flexible and versatile, with more than 300 presets available

CONS

  • High price range
  • Could be too complex for anyone who looks for simplicity

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has outstanding features, all packed into a convenient casing. It is a great guitar headphone amplifier that can be used for mobile recording. The ample features and effect allow multiple choices and tweakable controls – not difficult to understand why it is so popular with many musicians.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This product stands out to us as one of the most complex yet easy to use products. It comes with more than 300 custom presets created by professional studio musicians with outstanding tones. You can easily create mind-blowing tones at any time, with the highest quality and never-ending possibilities. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This product is a great asset to any dedicated musician. Whether you are a pro or you want to practice your hobby to perfection, it will be a true diamond among your other gear. It is impossible to get bored of them, with more than 300 presets and 16 different effects!

Bottom Line

The Pocket Pod truly shines among other headphones for amps. It has such a wide variety of integrated features and effects that it is impossible to believe how these compact-size headphone amps can offer so much while maintaining such high quality at the same time. Definitely a must-have!

Best for the Money:
NUX GP-1 Guitar Headphone Amp

NUX GP-1 Guitar Headphone Amp (Battery inside)

PROS

  • High-quality sounds
  • Battery life of 40 hours
  • Highly portable and affordable
  • Convenient, easy to use design
  • Controls for gain, level, and tone

CONS

  • Package does not contain batteries
  • Batteries need to be replaced every 40 hours, incurring extra costs

What Recent Buyers Report

What’s really impressive about this headphone amp is the crystal clear, rich tone. It offers higher quality sounds compared to many other similar options on the market, and it is extremely easy to control the volume to your liking. It is definitely one of the best headphone amps available today. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This product is an excellent affordable option if you are on a budget. It is not so complex as other options, but it offers basic features with solid and consistent quality. The controls for level, gain, and tone do offer you some extra control over such functions, and a set of batteries can give 40 hours of consistent functionality. 

Who Will Use This Most 

Whether you are a student or a beginner, these headphone amps are a great bargain. They are portable, and they allow you to play your guitar in quiet at any time, in any place. If you look for simplicity, yet high functionality, this headphone amp delivers that and much more!

Bottom Line

This headphone amp is a great budget option. The size is compact, the controls are easy to tweak, and most buyers compliment the convenient size of the headphone amp. It scores fairly on functionality and versatility. Overall, this headphone amp is widely accepted as a great value for the money. 

4. VOX AP2BS amPlug 2 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

VOX AP2BS amPlug 2 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

PROS

  • Improved analog circuit
  • Auto power-off function to save battery life
  • Extremely portable and occupies little space
  • Long-lasting design and high-quality components
  • Three gain modes and nine rhythm patterns for greater flexibility

CONS

  • Made of plastic
  • Short battery life compared to other products (17 hrs)

What Recent Buyers Report

This product offers high quality since you can play peacefully and silently while there are others around you. You can play it as loud as you want, you can use pre-programmed drum beats, which are great for keeping time. Additionally, you can speed up or slow down the tempo. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is our best bass guitar headphone amp. It has a crucial analog circuit that provides extra clarity and accuracy. The bass headphone amp provides nine rhythm patterns and three gain modes. Additional features of this model include a foldable plug mechanism that can be rotated up to 180 degrees. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This headphone amp is an excellent device for anyone looking to practice their guitar skills in complete silence. Whether you live with your family or are in a noise-restricted area, this is the most affordable headphone amp you can get for your bass guitar. 

Bottom Line

This product is our top choice for bass guitars. It delivers high on functionality and quality, although it is quite cheaply made, the plastic casing is sturdy, so if you are mild with it (no stomping!), it will be long-lasting. This product is great for practicing your bass guitar skills! 

5. Donner Classic Rock Pocket Mini Guitar Headphone Amp

Donner Plexi Tone Mini Guitar Headphone Amp Amplifier with Rechargeable Battery

PROS

  • Highly accurate sounds
  • Useful drive knob (clean/dirty sounds)
  • Outstanding quality and budget-friendly
  • Rechargeable batteries are included in the price
  • Separate input for sound, such as tape, MP3 Player and others

CONS

  • Limited features (no reverb, for instance)
  • Built-in ¼ inch phone plug (cannot use with all guitars)
  • Charging cable not included, but can be used with a standard phone charger

What Recent Buyers Report

This budget-friendly headphone amplifier is a great, quick option if you want to be able to play your electric guitar without disturbing others. One of the best features is its rechargeable batteries, which are already included in the package, offering great value for the money. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This mini-sized headphone amp is our top choice for electric guitars. It is a highly affordable and budget-friendly option. If you are worried about extra costs incurred by some due to their batteries, these are included, and they can be recharged. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This product is great for children, students, or anyone who wants to practice quietly. It faithfully replicated the sound of the amp, maintaining high sound quality and allowing you to clean or dirty up the sounds through the drive controls. For such a low price, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have this. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the Donner Classic Rock Pocket Mini Guitar Headphone Amp is our top choice for electric guitar players. Its best feature is the rechargeable batteries included in the price, which have up to 15 hours of life. Highly affordable, pocket-size, and highly accurate, this a great option for a headphone amplifier.

6. Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier

Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

PROS

  • Visually pleasing retro looks
  • Great for practicing at any time
  • Extremely affordable and compact
  • Mini-sized amp with clean and overdrive tones
  • Highly portable – includes a leather strap and a belt clip
  • Includes a fair range of controls for overdrive, tone, and volume

CONS

  • Does not include AC adapter
  • Not as loud as full-size amps
  • Some models’ batteries were already drained

What Recent Buyers Report

Whether you want to play for a bit or practice for several hours, this little amp is all you need. Although the size is quite small, it delivers much more value than that, and it is worth purchasing it if you want a practice amp. It has a visually pleasing retro style. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This almost toy-sized headphone amp is a delight to use either attached to you through the belt clip, or you can put it anywhere using the leather strap. It comes with a 9V battery, so you don’t need to be bothered by cords all around you. This great mini-amp is worth every cent and much more!

Who Will Use This Most 

This tiny headphone amp is a great choice for anyone – either for children experimenting, students building their skills, or any other musician who wants to play without disturbing others. It maintains the integrity and high quality of the sounds, and it is also portable. 

Bottom Line

For a low budget, we totally recommend this tiny headphone amplifier. It is small, compact, highly portable, and easy to use wherever and whenever you need to. Definitely recommended as a practice amp, since it is convenient, comfortable, and easy to use. It is an excellent addition to any guitar case. 

Types of Guitar Headphone Amp

Headphone amplifiers vary just as normal-size amplifiers do. The main types of headphone amplifiers include:

Bug Amps

Bug amps are tiny devices that connect right into the guitar. They do so through the jack connector on the one hand, which goes into the instrument, and the other side, typically into the headphones. They can include various parameters that allow you to make some tweaks to the sounds, such as volume, tone, and even overdrive. 

Mini-Amps

These lovely devices are like toy-sized amps. They often include a belt clip so you can attach them to your trousers, an optional tiny speaker, and also a mandatory headphone output. Most of the time, they use a battery as a power source, and they can last quite some time. 

Power Versus Battery

Batteries, power adapters, or both can power some types of headphone amps. This one depends mostly on your preferences, although the easiest and the most convenient power source is the battery – even better if it is also rechargeable, so you don’t have to pay extra for replacements. You may also go for battery-powered once if you wish, though.  

Why Should I Get a New Guitar Headphone Amp?

Although some reasons are quite obvious, here is a short list of why you should get one of our headphone amps:

  1. Because you love practicing. A headphone amp will allow you to practice at any time and in any place without bothering the other people living in your home or if it is at an inappropriate time of night!

  2. Great for a quick solo. If you want to have a quick solo and you don’t want to bother with your amp and the entire pedalboard, a headphone amp is extremely useful – easy to attach, easy to adjust, and you can start rocking in no time. 

  3. Extremely affordable. Most of our recommended headphone amps are so low priced that you need to look twice – it would be an absolute pity not to grab one as soon as possible since they are affordable and quite useful for any guitarist.

  4. Improve your sounds. Last but definitely not least, a headphone amp is a must-have when you are listening to your headphones since they offer purely clear sounds, enhance the musical detail, and boost the overall quality of the tones. Every audiophile would enjoy such an effect on music quality.  

Conclusion

Overall, we are sure at this point that you got it – a headphone amp will allow you to hear the soft details of your music to a depth you’ve never experienced before. In fact, if you try it once, we are sure you will have to go through all your favorite music all over again just to hear the purity and clarity of a high-quality headphone amp.



Thalia has spent most of her life loving two things - writing and music. Thalia's passion for music saw her learning to play several instruments throughout her childhood and teen years. This passion also led to her earning two qualifications in Sound Recording Engineering, which she now uses by writing about musical instruments, studio gear, and the processes involved in making and producing music.