Do Audio Interfaces Have Headphone Amps? (Beginners Guide)

If you have an audio interface or trying to get one yourself, you might have seen a headphone pin with a headphone picture in them and wondered if audio interfaces have headphone amps built in them. In this, article we will talk about in detail if audio interfaces have headphone amps and what are the differences between them.

Do Audio Interfaces Have Headphone Amps

Do Audio Interfaces Have Headphone Amps?

Most audio interfaces come with in-built headphone amps. This means that you can plug your headphones directly into the audio interface and get better sound quality than you would if you plugged them into your computer or phone.

It’s important to have a headphone amp if you’re using high impedance headphones, like the ones needed for professional mixing and recording. Without a headphone amp, you wouldn’t be able to provide sufficient power to these types of headphones, which would result in lower sound quality.

In most cases, an audio interface will have an in-built headphone amp, which will allow you to directly monitor the signal that’s being recorded. However, some lower-end audio interfaces may not have this feature, so you’ll need to purchase a separate headphone amp if you want to use headphones.

What Are The Differences Between Audio Interface And Headphone Amp?

Audio Interface

An audio interface is an all-in-one device that allows you to record and playback audio from a computer. This can be particularly helpful for musicians who want to use their laptop as their main music production tool but need access to headphones or microphones in order to hear themselves while they play.

Audio interfaces are also capable of supplying 48V phantom power, which powers a microphone’s capsule more efficiently than any other type of digital source (PCM) signal on the market today–even if it has been converted when inputting into the computer via a USB headphone jack, analog line inputs and/or mic preamps with gain control–which is why most sound cards do not supply this form of power by default.

Audio interfaces are good enough for home studio recording and small other small music productions. But when you need more quality sound or when you have powerful headphones, the built-in headphone amp from an audio interface might not be enough for you.

You should remember that a $500 audio interface with a built-in headphone amp can never match a $500 stand-alone headphone amplifier.

Headphone Amp

Although headphone amps might be small, their capabilities are significant. These devices can amplify an audio signal from low voltage to a sufficient voltage for headphones so that more than one pair of headphones may be connected

simultaneously. A headphone amp is designed to drive only specific types of headphones; they are usually not able to power speakers or headsets such as the ones used in smartphones and car stereos because these do not require as much power as regular earbuds and headsets.

A notable application for this device is with musicians who use them during recording sessions where a click track or talkback microphone would provide feedback without requiring each musician’s ability to hear themselves play through studio monitors.

This typically takes up too much space on stage and could also cause noise complaints from nearby venues while playing music at night time hours when business slows down but people still want entertainment provided by live performers like bands (or just someone banging out tunes).

Why Do I Need a Headphone Amp?

If you are using an audio interface to record your music, and the output of that interface is not loud enough, you will need a headphone amp. A headphone amp boosts the signal from the audio interface and increases the sound pressure level or SPL. This allows you to use headphones to monitor your recordings at a higher volume, which is necessary for accurate mixing and monitoring.

Audio interfaces typically have headphone outputs, which allow users to listen to the audio they are recording or monitoring. However, these headphone outputs can often times produce low-quality sound, especially when there is noise or distortion present. In order to improve the quality of the audio being heard through headphones, it is often necessary to use a headphone amp.

By using a headphone amp with an audio interface, you can improve the quality of your setup and save money on high-quality equipment. A headphone amp will allow you to use better headphones and protect your audio interface from damage.

Simply put, adding a headphone amp can provide an audibly significant improvement in the clarity, dynamics, and detail of the sound you are listening to. This is because a good headphone amp will amplify the signal without introducing noise or distortion into the mix. As a result, you can enjoy your music and movies with significantly improved sound quality.

In addition, using a headphone amp allows the distribution of amplified and extremely high-quality audio signals from your audio interface to multiple headphone listeners in your home studio. This is a great way to avoid disturbing others in your household while you’re recording or mixing music.

My Favourite Headphone Amp

iFi Zen DAC V2

The iFi Zen DAC V2 is a high-resolution audio interface that has a number of features that make it unique. It has 4mm balanced connections, a Burr Brown True Native digital to analog converter, and variable analog volume control. Additionally, it has the PowerMatch adjustment for in-ear monitors (iEMs) and over-ear headphones.

iFi Zen DAC V2 comes with TrueBass to add bass impact to in-ear monitors (iEMs) as well as a new low jitter clock for a smoother sound. The curves and edges on the device are specially designed for a sense of peace and tranquility, making it easier to relax and enjoy your music.

If you want a quality headphone Amp, this is the one to get!

[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”” apilink=” Zen DAC V2&qid=1646295680&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=audioover00-20&linkId=11bf0e760ca2a92e3f69b7374357e429&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” new-window=”false” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”false” sc-id=”4″ img-sizes=”0:0″ imgs=”!important%3B%20margin%3A0px%20!important%3B%22%20%2F%3E” link-imgs=”false” specs=”HI-RES DAC~~~TRUEBASS~~~SE HP 6.3mm~~~Balance HP 4.4mm~~~USB Input” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”CHECK PRICE” alignment=”alignnone” hide-prime=”0″ hide-image=”0″ hide-price=”0″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]iFi Zen DAC V2[/amalinkspro]


In this blog post, I have outlined that most audio interfaces have a built-in headphone amp. However, sometimes these amps are not enough and you might need a stand-alone headphone amp.

An audio interface with a good headphone amp will give you a better overall sound experience. My hope is that this blog post was helpful in deciding whether to go for an audio interface with or without a headphone amp.

Jacob Miller

Hi, I'm Jacob Miller, and welcome to AudioOver, a platform designed to help aspiring music producers create music from home. With a musical background inspired by my award-winning father, I've been passionate about music since I was young.

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