Before you go looking for a guitar headphone amp, what exactly is it, and what does it do? A headphone amplifier is a simple idea. It is a low-powered amp that boosts the audio signal from your guitar.
A headphone amp raises the signal to a level that it can be made into sound waves in your headphones. So, it operates the same way that your guitar amp works but at a much lower level.
Are they useful?
They certainly are. No more being told to turn it down or having to stop playing late at night when you want a bit of practice. Neighbors not setting the dog on you. Wherever you are, a headphone amp for your guitar is a useful and very productive thing to have.
But they go beyond just providing quiet practice. Some even have effects built-in and other features. While others work with pedals and even mixing consoles.
So, let’s take a look at the Best Guitar Headphone Amps currently available and find the perfect option for you…
- 1 Top 8 Best Guitar Headphone Amps on the Market in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Andoer Vitoos – Best Mini Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.2 2 Donner Classic Rock Pocket – Best Budget Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.3 3 Line 6 Pocket POD – Best Effects Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.4 4 Flatsons – Best Affordable Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.5 5 Caline – Best Strat Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.6 6 VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 – Best Adjustable Jack Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.7 7 Kithouse B6 – Best Bluetooth Guitar Headphone Amp
- 1.8 8 Valeton Rushead Max – Best USB Rechargeable Guitar Headphone Amp
- 2 Best Guitar Headphone Amps Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for Something Else?
- 4 What are the Best Guitar Headphone Amps?
Top 8 Best Guitar Headphone Amps on the Market in 2021 Reviews
1 Andoer Vitoos – Best Mini Guitar Headphone Amp
This is one of the best heavy rock guitar headphone amps because it is specifically built for practicing that style. For that purpose, it has a built-in distortion effect.
It is a compact and lightweight little unit, as most headphone amps are. Measuring just 2.7 by 1.5 by 2.7 inches means it is going to fit neatly in your pocket. Therefore, this is one of the best compact guitar headphone amps on the market.
It is made with an outer shell of plastic. However, it does feel quite cheaply made in the hand because of its plastic construction. But the jack socket feels secure, and it has a firm fitting when you plug it in.
It is powered by a rechargeable built-in Lithium battery. To recharge it, you use the USB cable provided by plugging it into your computer. There are LED lights that indicate the level of power left in the unit. Also, a light indicates the unit is charging.
Apart from the built-in distortion, there is a three-way adjuster control. This allows you to dictate the amount of drive and the tone, and also the volume.
There is no need for any installation procedure; it is just plug-and-play. It has an aux-in jack which allows you to connect up a phone playlist or an MP3 Player. Therefore, you can use that to practice with.
Silent practice for you and a friend…
It also has a splitter plug that is provided. This will let you connect up to two headphones at the same time. This is a decent little headphone amp at a reasonable price and can also be used with a bass guitar if you wish.
- A compact, lightweight build with a rechargeable battery.
- Built-in distortion and a splitter plug.
- The build feels a little vulnerable.
2 Donner Classic Rock Pocket – Best Budget Guitar Headphone Amp
Donner is quite well-known in some guitar circles. We wouldn’t say they make the best equipment out there. But what they do make is adequate for the job, and it is always cost-effective. As a result, this is one of the best affordable guitar headphone amps available.
Quite a nice design on a plastic outer shell. The jack plug fitting is solid and durable. It is a compact little unit measuring just 3.15 by 1.2 by 0.6 inches. Easy then to carry around with you. It offers simulated attempts at producing classic rock sounds.
To help you create the tone you want, there are three controls located conveniently on the top of the unit. These give you options for Drive and Tone and also Volume control. There is a standard headphone socket and an Aux-in to let you connect up an external device.
There is a rechargeable, built-in battery that will give you a good 15 hours of use. As a result, this is one of the best battery life guitar headphone amps on the market. There is an LED indicator to let you know about battery status and how much power you have left.
This is a decent little headphone amp for your guitar. It draws criticism sometimes, but that is usually from people who are expecting too much. It is basic, but it does the job. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.
Best for Teles and Les Pauls…
Take care if you have a Strat or a similar design. The fitting can sometimes be awkward given the position and angle of the output jack. But that will apply to all headphone amps designed like this if you are using a Strat.
- Decent build quality with a sturdy jack.
- Easy to use controls and a nice outer design.
- These types of designs can be vulnerable, so care is needed when handling them.
3 Line 6 Pocket POD – Best Effects Guitar Headphone Amp
Now we go to something that might be considered a little different. The Line 6 Pocket POD carries an abundance of sound options and features.
This is another small and compact little unit that isn’t much bigger than a guitar tuner. It measures 5 by 3.25 by 2.5 inches in size and weighs just six ounces. It has four rotary controls, a four-way toggle rocker switch, and two pushbuttons. On the top are connections for your headphones, an Aux-in, and an LED screen giving you information regarding your settings.
Another useful addition is the chromatic tuner which has a mute control. But it isn’t about the build with this little amp; it is what is inside.
It looks like an innocent little machine until you go to have a look at what is included. To say it has multiple features might be an understatement. It has 32 different types of amp simulations and 16 cabinets.
That will let you find just the sound you are looking for. There are also 16 effects, including all the favorites you might hope to find. Therefore, this is one of the most versatile guitar headphone amps you will find.
Using the USB, you can connect up to a computer and access the Line 6 website for free software. This gives you access to over 300 preset sounds using a variety of amps, cabinets, and effects. If you choose, you can use this as an extra effects option if you place it in front of your amp.
You have the choice of battery or mains power. It hasn’t got a rechargeable battery; it uses four AAA batteries. Battery life might be considered its weak point as they don’t last very long. Four batteries are included, but the power supply is not included and is an optional extra.
It has a wealth of potential with what is inside but seems to suffer from some basic problems. At this price point, you might expect that not to be the case. For us, the biggest negative is the power supply. Battery life is not good, and they expect you to buy your own power unit.
- A well-built unit that is portable.
- Plenty of sound choices built-in with access to further edit options on the website.
- Quite expensive and doesn’t have a mains supply which you will almost certainly need.
4 Flatsons – Best Affordable Guitar Headphone Amp
As we have just seen, you can buy headphone amps that carry a stack of bells and whistles. But what about those people who just want a simple enough unit at a cost-effective price. If you are someone that fits into that category, then this might suit you.
This is a compact little unit that measures 3.94 by 3.11 by 2.09 inches. Therefore, it is going to be easy to pop it in your pocket and carry it with you. It needs no extra downloads and is a simple plug-and-play device.
It does not have a rechargeable battery and runs off two AAA batteries which are not included. You should get a reasonable level of user time depending on how much you have the volume turned up. This is probably an amp for occasional use.
It is designed to give you some extra sound options for those that might be practicing some classic rock. It makes a decent attempt to simulate the sound of some early analog amps. And to help you on the way, there is built-in distortion.
Simple to use and located on the front panel. They are Gain, Tone, and Volume. Simple enough, but you can still create a high-gain overdrive sound if you need it.
There are the usual connections that include an Aux-in. That allows you to connect up a CD player, MP3, or your phone’s playlists. Very basic, but at a very cost-effective price, making it excellent value for the money if you don’t want to spend a lot.
- Simple to use at a cost-effective price point.
- Some basic controls to give you a high gain sound.
- Some will just need a higher-quality unit with a few more effects and options.
5 Caline – Best Strat Guitar Headphone Amp
This is another headphone amp with a similar design to others. Although, there is one slight difference in the design that could have an impact.
The position of the jack plug is located on the back of the unit. The usual design has the jack protruding directly from the bottom. This means that it will make it easier to connect with a Strat and any other guitars with similar output sockets.
It has the usual controls featuring Volume, Gain, and Tone. By adjusting these controls, this little amp will deliver anything from a clean tone to a very heavy, almost metal distortion level. Certainly a lot more extreme than most. If you enjoy playing metal, then this could be one to practice with.
It has a rechargeable Lithium battery. That, in our view, is always a plus point. Far better to be able to charge the unit up than to keep buying batteries. With this built-in, you can play anytime, anywhere.
The battery will give you 6-8 hours of playtime for each change, depending on how you use it. There is also a charge indicator to let you know the status of the remaining power. Another good inclusion.
There is a ⅛-inch output for headphones, and the same as an Aux in to allow you to hook up external devices. Compact and easy to carry around, it is set at a reasonable price point.
- Creative design to make connection easy at a reasonable price point.
- Some good overdrive sounds and a rechargeable battery.
6 VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 – Best Adjustable Jack Guitar Headphone Amp
All well and good buying yourself a headphone amp, but there is a problem if you haven’t got any headphones. It may be that you have a very good set of headphones but don’t want to carry them around.
Problem solved. With this headphone amp, you get a reasonable set of headphones thrown in to carry around with it. More on that later.
It doesn’t need too much to be said, does it? That famous design has been recreated in mini mode to give you one of music’s most iconic looks. But this little amp is so much more than just good looks. That is what makes it one of the Best Guitar Headphone Amps.
It’s Vox; that is all that needs to be said. But it has an interesting design feature. The jack plug is built to fold into different positions. A rotation of a full 180 degrees means it will fit any guitar. Its compact design means you can easily carry it around with you wherever you go.
It takes AA size batteries and hasn’t got a rechargeable battery feature. Each battery charge should give you up to 17 hours of use.
Being a Vox, a couple of things are going to happen. You are going to get that ‘chimey’ sound from it. And there will be a 60s tremolo sound somewhere inside. You have them both. The circuits are analog, and it produces “that” AC30 sound.
It also has two other voicings giving you a choice of sounds. Built-in are Chorus, Delay, and Reverb, each with three separate sonic variations. This effectively gives you nine different effects. Add on the tremolo sound, and you have a little amp packed with goodies.
Including a set of headphones is a great idea. They are quite basic, of course. You wouldn’t expect too much, but they do the job. They are a set of Knox TX-100 closed-back headphones. Well-padded and comfortable, they are a great addition. The headphones have both ¼ and ⅛ inch connections.
This is a great little bundle that is set at a very attractive price when you consider what is provided. Iconic design and look, a folding plug, great sounds, and a set of headphones. Does it get any better?
- Great Vox looks with a stack of great effects and sounds built-in.
- Set of closed-back headphones included at a competitive price point.
- A rechargeable battery would have been the icing on the cake.
7 Kithouse B6 – Best Bluetooth Guitar Headphone Amp
We have a complete change of design with this next headphone amp. This has the jack plug located on top of the unit. With a slight curvature in the shape, the jack on this amp will easily fit any guitar output socket. Not only do we have a change of design shape, but we have two special inclusions, as we’ll find out soon.
It has a built-in rechargeable Lithium battery. The plus point about rechargeables is that you need never be without power. Each charge should give you about eight hours of use.
This little amp has some good effects built-in that you might find in other headphone amps. By that, we mean it has Reverb, Chorus, and Overdrive. Those are sometimes found in some products.
The addition of a Flanger is something you don’t often see, but a Wah? Never seen that before on a headphone amp like this. One of two special inclusions. You only get a basic Wah effect, but it is there and is a welcome inclusion.
Controls and the status of the headphone amp are all located on the fascia. The exception being the power button and the mode to the left side. A well as the USB and the ⅛-inch jack input to the right. There is a ¼-inch input for external devices.
This headphone amp has a Bluetooth connection. Another special inclusion you don’t often find with headphone amps. Unfortunately, it can’t connect with other Bluetooth devices; it is used to play music only. Nevertheless, a nice touch that offers some new options. It operates with the standard 33 feet operating range.
A range of uses…
This headphone amp not only works with guitars. It is also suitable for bass guitars and is one of the best acoustic guitar headphone amps providing there is a jack socket. Most things with a pickup will be fine.
For its special inclusions and design ideas, this should be definitely be included in our reviews of the Best Guitar Headphone Amps. Slightly more expensive than some but it carries a lot of extras. Quite good value for money.
- Creative design with rechargeable battery and easy-to-use controls.
- Plenty of effects and Bluetooth built-in.
- Volume is a little quiet.
8 Valeton Rushead Max – Best USB Rechargeable Guitar Headphone Amp
To finish our look at the headphone amps, we go back to a more conventional design.
Easy to use…
This is an easy-to-use headphone amp with all the controls placed conveniently on the front fascia. The rotating dial controls are located on the top. There are sockets for Aux in and the headphones that are placed on one end of the unit.
There is plenty built-in, and you can easily access everything. From a nice clean tone through overdrive and on to heavy metal, they are all accessible. There are plenty of amp and cabinet simulations to choose from. Also built-in are Reverb and Delay options that give you that extra bit of tone creation.
There are switchable MOD module options with Chorus, Flanger, and Tremolo. Also, an ambient control for adding even more to the Delay and Reverbs.
Quality comes at a price…
The rechargeable Lithium battery will power up both the headphone amp and will charge any devices with a USB connection. A full charge will give you about five hours of use. A nice little unit with plenty of effects and sound options built-in. It is a little more expensive than some similar units.
- Some nice effects and sound options built-in.
- Rechargeable battery that will also charge other USB devices.
- Some may think it a little expensive.
Best Guitar Headphone Amps Buying Guide
When you buy a headphone amp, the one you choose will depend on what you want out of it. Some are very basic, while others are packed with features. Do you just want a simple, cheap little amp to use occasionally at home to protect neighborly relationships? Or do you need something more serious?
Do you need effects?
If you think you want as many effects as possible, there are plenty to choose from. We sympathize with those that do. If you are playing certain styles of music, it won’t sound right to “play it clean.” You will need to create the feel and effect. Overdrive especially, but also other effects achieve that.
Many of them have some sort of effects library. Some are quite sophisticated. Some could even be placed at the front of your amp for performances. But you only need to choose what you need.
This is an important issue. Units that do not have rechargeable batteries can sometimes be a problem. Often an expensive one. It will depend on how often you will be using it.
Most of them are a size that will fit in your pocket. They often have similar design shapes. But even those that don’t are not going to take up to much space to carry around.
Don’t forget you will need headphones. If you have expensive headphones, you might not want to carry them around with you to work with a headphone amp. You may need to get another pair. Remember, though, that a very cheap pair will impinge on the sound of the amp. You will need something reasonable, otherwise, the sound will be poor.
They are all quite similar to each other. There are a few that cost a bit more, but they have more effects and built-in options. If you don’t need them, it is a waste of money.
Looking for Something Else?
Our selection of music and audio equipment continues to grow. Check out our in-depth review of the Best Bass Amps or the Best Keyboard Amps, as well as our Fender Rumble 40 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier Review, our Roland VT-4 Review, and our Marshall Code 50W Review for awesome sound options you can buy.
Also, take a look at our in-depth Sennheiser HD1 Free Bluetooth Wireless Review, our UE MEGABOOM 3 Review, our Sony MDR-7506 Review, our Monolith M1060 Headphone Review, and our Skullcandy Indy True Wireless Review for even more amazing products on the market in 2021.
What are the Best Guitar Headphone Amps?
From our perspective, we won’t be using it other than for a bit of light practice at home or in a hotel room. We don’t need it to be loaded with effects though some are useful. And it would also be nice if it was an attractive-looking little thing. We would therefore pick the …
Good sounds, portable, it looks great, and of course, it comes with a set of headphones. Our choice for the Best Guitar Headphone Amp.
Until next time, may the music make you merry.