The 7 Best Guitar Headphone Amps (2024)
Guitar headphone amps are essential for bringing out the sound with perfect nuances. Guitar amps basically amplify the sound that you are producing with your instrument. Additionally, guitar headphone amps allow you to understand and analyze the sound from a production and recording point of view.
Guitar Headphone Amplifiers allow you to experiment with your musical compositions as long as you like, without the fear of disturbing other’s peace. It is specifically valuable for raw musicians who want to freely mess around with their tunes.
My top recommended guitar headphone amp is the Fender Mustang Micro. This is an extremely versatile and popular option from a renowned company.
My second recommended guitar headphone amp is the NUX GP-1. This is a nifty, budget-friendly option with solid battery life for quiet practice sessions.
The 7 Best Guitar Headphone Amps (2024)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
Fender has been around for a long time so it’s no wonder that they have amassed a huge reputation for being one of the best manufacturers of musical instruments and amps today. The Fender Mustang Micro is an all-in-one headphone amp and USB audio interface for the modern musician.
This headphone amp is extremely versatile, featuring 12 amp types and 13 effects types from Fender’s Mustang GTX lineup with controls for EQ, Effects, and Volume. It’s a rechargeable device with four to six hours of continuous play which is more than enough.
With additional features such as Bluetooth audio streaming, audio-over-USB recording, and access to firmware updates, the Fender Mustang Micro is a headphone amp that all guitarists need.
2. NUX GP-1
The next entrée is a beginner-friendly option that does not cost an arm and leg yet is perfect to emulate the British classic rock tone with your guitar.
The NUX GP-1 guitar headphone amp comes with a battery perfect for a quiet practice session and contains two jacks to connect your headphones and AUX. The guitar headphone amp has a simple interface with the knobs to alter the tone, sound level, and gain for customization.
This nifty guitar amp is a superb option to add a distortion effect to your jam. Since it’s a mid-strength amplifier, pairing it with a headphone that has an impedance of up to 50 ohms is recommended.
The BOSS Waza-Air is a wireless guitar headphone amp and is one of the most popular, sought-after options for a reason. This high-quality set comes with studio-grade headphones that feature 50mm drivers and a low-latency wireless transmitter.
There’s so much going on with this set. It features 5 amp types, over 50 customizable effects (derived from BOSS’s Katana amplifiers), and delivers a dynamic 3D sound thanks to innovative algorithms. With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you can enjoy up to 5 hours of continuous performance.
Thanks to the free BOSS Tone Studio App, you have access to a lot of presets as well as the option to store custom-made ones with six memory slots available. This durable headphone amp set is also foldable, however, it does come at a steep price which is only natural.
The VOX amPlug 2 is a pioneering classic guitar headphone amp that continues to evolve and upgrade. An amazing feat on the guitar amp credit is that comes in seven different options to harness various tones and atmospheres with your bass/guitar sounds.
Among the seven variants are; AC 30 which includes different sound effects and adds texture and grit to the sounds; VOX blues, which is tailor-made to emulate a blues vibe; VOX metal which brings a soaring and crashing sound; VOX clean which emulates clear and fat bass sound; VOX classic rock is suitable to add that Marshall style, grunge vibe, followed by VOX lead and bass, for achieving that high-gain and low-frequency sounds respectively.
Extremely space-savvy, with convenient usage such as a foldable plug, 17-hour extended battery life, and easy interface makes VOX amPlug2 a great headphone amp option for an amazing sound.
The NUX Mighty Plug Pro is a close competitor to the Fender Mustang Micro. It’s a guitar and bass modeling headphone amp that is packed with features at a good price point.
With 21 amp models and 43 effects to play around with, this is one of the most versatile options you can go for. You have legendary amp tones from the Marshall stack, Fender Twin Reverb, and Orange AD30 as well as all the best effects like delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, tremolo, distortion, and more.
Like most headphone amps, it has a rechargeable battery with up to 5 hours of playback and features Bluetooth connectivity for easier navigation. Considering all that the Mighty Plug Pro brings to the table, with high-resolution audio in the mix, this is an option worth considering.
This guitar headphone amp is perfect for those who wish to emulate the American and British range of amp sounds. The Blackstar amPlug 2 FLY guitar amp offers 17 hours of extended battery life with amazing sound effects such as reverb, chorus, and delay.
The small-sized portable guitar amp phone allows you to bring three different sound textures such as lead, clean, and crunch. The sound can be customized with adjustable wheels to alter gain and volume. This guitar headphone amp shows potential however, the effect of the chorus is quite underwhelming.
Nevertheless, a huge range of tones and improved functionality make the Blackstar an amazing yet affordable guitar amp.
7. Valeton Rushead Max
While the external interface for the Valeton Rushead Max guitar headphone amp might seem complicated, it is packed with sound effects and features. Similar to the other amps this one also features a plugin for input and output jack to connect your playback devices and guitar.
Additionally, the amp also has knobs to adjust the volume, tone, and gain along with mod and ambient effect intensity. The toggle option on the amp device helps to harness various warm, bright, and hi-gain sounds with customized effects.
The ability to achieve a whole array of sonic possibilities such as heavy metal, crystal clear tone, and overdrive vintage vibe is an outstanding feature of the Valeton Rushead guitar headphone amp.
How to know if you need a Headphone Amp?
A headphone amp is normally required if your headphones have an impedance greater than 50 ohms. If your headphones have an impedance of less than 32 ohms, they can do without headphone amps, however, I recommend you get one for practice sessions.
Guitar headphone amps not only allow you to practice your craft quietly without disturbing others around you, but it is also useful in analyzing the production value and sound outcome. As a beginner, it is recommended to start with more affordable guitar headphone amp options and gradually build and invest in high-end headphones and amp options.
My top pick is the Fender Mustang Micro, an extremely versatile and popular option from a renowned company.
My budget pick is the NUX GP-1, a nifty, inexpensive option with solid battery life for quiet practice sessions.