DIY Building your own headphone amplifier. The basics.

DIY Building your own headphone amplifier. The basics.

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It is somewhat of a challenge and for people who have not dealt with electronics so far it sounds like something almost impossible to do. Most of us are used to the fact that when we need a device, we go to the store and buy it. But it does not have to be this way, because we can make some devices ourselves at home and they do not have to differ in quality from those produced in series, on the contrary in many cases they will be even better. Of course, for those who are completely unfamiliar with electronic components and a soldering iron, I would rather take some knowledge from specialist literature before starting this project. However, all those who are familiar with this topic and already have some experience in electronics are worth taking up the challenge. The assembly itself undoubtedly requires some manual skills and patience, but the most important thing here is knowledge about it. Which components to choose and how to connect them so that everything works properly for us.

Basic information about the headphone amplifier

Headphone outputs can be found in every audio amplifier in most CD and mp3 players. Each laptop, smartphone and telephone are equipped with this output. With good-quality headphones, however, we can see that not all headphone outputs sound equally good. In some devices, such an output provides us with a loud dynamic sound, while others provide us with a weak sound, devoid of bass and dynamics. It depends on the quality of the device to which we connect the headphones. Each such device has a built-in headphone amplifier, so that whatever can be heard, a lot depends on the quality of this amplifier. In the vast majority of amplifiers, the headphone output is realized by connecting the headphones directly to the loudspeaker outputs through protective resistors. In higher-end devices, we have a dedicated headphone amplifier that is independent of the speakers.

Is it worth building an amplifier yourself?

Many people wonder whether it is worth having fun building a headphone amplifier yourself, or whether it is even profitable when there are so many products on the market. It’s hard to say from the financial point of view, because it all depends on how much we do ourselves and what part will be commissioned. We can commission, for example, the production of a tile and assemble only the appropriate components ourselves. In economic terms, the cost may turn out to be similar to how we would go and buy a finished product in a store. However, the experience and satisfaction of making such a device yourself are priceless. In addition, most manufacturers, especially in the budget ones, take shortcuts by using the cheapest components in the simplest configuration. When we build our amplifier ourselves, we can use such components that will give the best possible sound quality. Then such a self-built amplifier is able to match the quality of even the best serial production.

DIY Building your own headphone amplifier. The basics.

Where to start building an amplifier?

First, you need to design a schematic of our amplifier, make printed circuit boards, assemble the appropriate components and then assemble the whole. Of course, you can use ready-made projects that are available on the Internet or books for such a construction, but more creative people will certainly have more satisfaction when they develop such a project on their own.

Features of a good headphone amplifier

A good amplifier should, above all, produce a clean, clear, smooth and dynamic sound, no matter what headphones we connect to it, assuming, of course, that the headphones are of reasonably good quality.


As we wrote at the beginning, this is a challenge, but it must be overcome. First of all, the greatest reward will be the satisfaction of assembling such a device yourself. Of course, let’s not hide that this is a task for those who are interested in electronics and like DIY. Such projects can become a real passion and result in the fact that we start constructing more and more complex devices. In this part of our column, that’s all, I cordially invite you to the next episode in which we will continue the topic of building a headphone amplifier.

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