You buy a 250-ohm headphone and return home all excited. But you feel that the sound quality is not up to the mark. You’re worried now if you need an amp. If you’re feeling confused, you’re at the perfect place! So, do you need an amp for 250-ohm headphones?
Most probably, yes. Because high impedance headphones require more millivolts per second. Hence, you need a suitable amp to power it up. It will then output the audio from your headphones properly. Normal connecting devices aren’t equipped with good amps. So, get an amp if you want your money’s worth of audio quality.
That’s the gist of it! But do you want more? Because I will go into deeper details about why you should get an amp. I’m well aware that buying a compatible amp can be tough! So, I will mention the things you should look out for. And lastly, Iâ€™ll recommend some amps as well. Hence, do stick around!
Why Should You Get An Amp For Your 250 Ohm Headphones?
Before I get to the main topic, there’s one question you’re thinking about. Can you use your 250-ohm headphones without an amp? Yes! You can. But it is not recommended. You will know why soon.
Headphones with higher impedance (250 in this case) require high voltage input. The host impedance (your connecting device) will have to match your headphones’ impedance.
The impedance between them must match at different levels. That way, you will get the desired audio quality.
Without going into too many details, just know this. Higher impedance means better resistance in a circuit. In the case of headphones, better audio quality.
To properly output that quality, you require a suitable amp. Yes, you can use your 250-ohm headphones on your laptop, phone, or other devices.
But you will hear clunky, distorted audio at certain frequencies. Like in some songs, there are low frequencies that you might not hear clearly or at all. So, getting an amp is a big deal.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on headphones, and then not use them to their full potential? Do you want it? Be smart. Just spend a couple more and get yourself an amp.
Things To Consider Before Buying An Amp For Your 250-ohm Headphones
Just buying an amp will not help you. You will need specific milliwatts to bring out the ideal audio quality. To know this, you must know the impedance and the efficiency rating of your headphones.
In this case, efficiency means how many decibels will be produced per milliwatts or millivolts. So, this will help determine the amp that you need.
Many online calculators can help you here. Let’s say that you like to hear music at a moderate volume, which is 100 dB. And from the box, you got an efficiency rating of 100 mW per decibel.
So, inputting the impedance and sensitivity, you will find that 1 mW of power is required. This means you need an amp that can output at least 1 mW of power for your headphones.
Also, if you cannot find an efficiency rating, look for the sensitivity rating. They are almost the same. The formerâ€™s unit is milliwatts (mW) per dB and the latter is volts per dB.
You will find different specification sheets that can help you find compatible amps. Additionally, I recommend buying amps that can output higher voltages than you need.
That way, you can ensure superior quality in all ranges. And by ranges, I mean frequencies! Frequency is another big part of headphones. Many components of headphones control the different frequencies of bass, treble, and sound. So, youâ€™ll need an amplifier to properly utilize that.
For 250 ohm headphones like Beyerdynamic, you need a 31-ohm amplifier. A general rule of thumb is to consider amplifiers that have an impedance that is eight times lower than your headphones. But you shouldn’t buy that accurately.
Getting a bit higher, like 40 ohms, is ideal because some headphones create different frequencies that require more or less power output.
Amps That Are Recommended For You
Even after all the explanations, you might still be unsure about what to choose. Don’t worry! I have your back. If you’ve come this far, do check out my favorite picks! Among many amps, these are the best, in my opinion. So, here they are!
iFi Hip AMP
I like this amp for its smooth design. The blue coppery finish is pleasing to my eyes. After hooking it up to your headphones, you will immediately feel the difference in audio quality. It has many features that are very good for the price youâ€™ll be paying. So, give this amp a go!
- Unique feature ”xBass” greatly improves bass for the bass lovers
- Improves overall audio quality of streaming sites like TIDAL
- Connection setup is easy
- Directly connect phones via USB
- Adjustable audio experience through Power Match technology
- Weak battery life
- Adapter required for Apple devices
Fosi Audio Q4
If youâ€™re on a budget, Iâ€™d highly suggest this one. It has a solid build quality. I also like its compactness and the black color. There are some downsides, of course. But it does the main job right. So, great sound quality, lightweight, and affordable. What more could you ask for?
- Easy plug and play setup
- Compact and solid build
- Affordable price
- Multiple connectivity options for many devices
- Great for improving bass and treble
- Better options at higher prices
- The 3.5 mm jack is a bit janky and weak
Sound BlasterX G6 Headphone Amp
If youâ€™re a gamer, this amp is for you! Itâ€™s a great amp for headphones on all consoles, PC, and Nintendo. It supports amplification, even for 600-ohm headphones. You can easily stream audio on this! The sound is clean and distortion-free. Excellent for Twitch or YouTube as well! So, grab it while you can!
- Strong build quality
- Custom designed amp suitable for streaming audio
- Ultra low ohm output ensures perfect sensitivity for ears
- Multi-bit modulator tech ensures almost zero distortion
- Superior audio processing creates immersive sound quality
- Great navigation of buttons
- A tad expensive
- Need to buy a separate adapter for consoles
FiiO K5 Pro DAC and Amplifier
This amplifier is also very nice! RGB makes everything cool, right? Well, such is the case with this too! It has a durable aluminum body. The toggle option has three different enhancing levels of 0, +6, and +10 dB. Expand through different sound stages by using headphones and speakers also. So, give this baby a shot!
- Low distortion and wide dynamic range
- Easily and auto-installation of drivers and software
- Adaptable dials for fine-tuning sound
- A plethora of jacks for headphones, speakers, and other devices
- The RGB lighting is pleasing to look
- Bass booster is a bit weak
- Build quality couldâ€™ve been better
- Performance is good but not great
I hope you find something of your liking from these picks. Remember to check if they are compatible with your headphones or not. Most of the popular 250-ohm headphones are from Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser.
There are other top dog markets too! So, be very careful about this.
Hopefully, you learned something today. In short, it is wise to buy an amp. Because it brings out the superior sound quality of your headphones. So, using 250-ohm headphones without an amp is not recommended.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope you find the amps and headphones of your dreams! Stay safe, and take care!