4 Important Considerations to Remember When Buying a Portable DAC Headphone Amp

From analogue to digital, music and audio have come a long way with evolution over the years. As we continue to rely on mobile devices, our listening needs also evolved. Thus, headphones become essential for many. 

Also, technology is more affordable today. We’re enjoying high-performance tools to bring our music listening experience to a whole new level. 

One of the main reasons why you’re reading this post might be something that crossed your mind. You might be wondering if you can boost your headphone’s current performance. And the good news is, yes you can! 

The Digital-to-Analog-Converter (DAC) headphone amplifier or DAC head amp is the device that is commonly known as headphone amplifiers. This device is mainly used for portable music and audio, meaning it is for smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices that can play music. It is designed to improve the sound’s quality by efficiently boosting the power, voltage, and current of an electrical signal. IFI IDSD Black Label is a great example of this device, considering its wide appeal among audiophiles.

Using this device is easy, but you need to consider some factors about the audio devices’ sound quality. 

So, here are some important considerations you need to bear in mind before buying your first headphone amplifier. 

Check Your Music Source

The majority of the music you listen to today is in digital form. It comes in different quality levels and formats. A head amplifier can resolve or process the amount of detail in each track you play on your mobile device. It also depends on how much detail is there to start with. Regardless of the audio, you’re playing; you must get a sonic boost for each of it. For that, you must make sure that the audio or music you’re playing is using its highest resolution available. An MP3’s highest bitrate (quality or resolution) is at 320kbps. 

However, your headphone amp’s performance also relies on the quality of your headphones. If you have good quality headphones, then you can harness up to 7% more power & quality of the sound of music you’re listening to. When your music tracks at its highest resolution, paired with good-quality headphones, you will feel that the sound is more dynamic and has a finer texture. 

Check the System the Headphone Amp Is Connected To

The audio components that you connect with your headphone amp also impact its ability to improve the audio quality. So, make sure to use good-quality headphones or speakers to maximise the headphone amp’s performance. You wouldn’t want to use an expensive headphone amp and connect it with entry-level headphones or speakers. Thus, investing in high-end audio components is highly recommended. 

Check if Your Computer Has Drivers and Software

To get the best performance from your headphone amp, you must fine-tune your computer first. You can do this by downloading and installing the necessary software and drivers. You may get to play music and audio on your computer using your headphone amp, but without the software and drivers, you won’t get the best quality that you’re looking for. Fortunately, most high-end headphone amps these days come with its driver and software that you can install easily. Or, perhaps you can download an equaliser software packed with all the features that can pump up your headphone amp’s performance. 

Make Sure You Have Good-Quality Cables

The quality of the cable on your audio device can have a sonic impact on your headphone amps. Hence, you must invest in cables instead of relying on the ones that come with the box, to experience better sound quality. You will also want to ensure the appropriate analogue cable is connecting your headphone amp to your stereo component. Headphone amps like the IFI IDSD Black Label are compatible for different analogue and audio cables. 

The headphone amp might have answered the question ‘whether amplifiers can become portable?’. But it’s only as good if you know how to use them properly. 


Shashank Jain, founder of good-name, a young and energetic entrepreneur has always been fond of technology. His liking for technology made him go for engineering in computers. During his studies, he learned & worked on different computer languages & OS including HBCD, Linux, etc. He also has a keen interest in ethical hacking.

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