Would someone recommend a headphone amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by The Noof, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. The Noof

    The Noof

    Jun 11, 2022
    Would someone recommend a headphone amp? I am a beginner, so right now I don't want to spend a bunch of money. Just would something that isn't crap.

  2. Little Rock

    Little Rock Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2015
    Montreal, Canada
    I have a Zoom B1on snd love it.
  3. Cafe Walter if you can find one as I'm not sure they are made currently. When they are up for sale it doesn't last long...
    kalanb likes this.
  4. flatrat


    Jul 8, 2017
    I like the Vox amPlug2. Some people here have issues with it. I've used it regularly for 6 years or so.
    Jeff Hughes and Yonni like this.
  5. J Wilson

    J Wilson

    Apr 22, 2022
    An Undisclosed Location
    Any small Yamaha or Mackie mixer is FAR more useful than most 'headphone amps' by a mile, and the small ones can usually be had for around a 100 bucks or less.
  6. iRig has been my go-to for years.

    I think they're still around $35. I'm a Mac user and like the iRig for play-along practice, learning songs and some recording using GarageBand for amp models. I've used it some with phone/tablet for some online group recording stuff.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Fender Mustang Micro is Great. Sounds good, charge lasts a long time. Tons of models. Effects. I use mine on bass and guitar. I’d buy it again.
    Paco Leon and Paradilum like this.
  8. Paradilum

    Paradilum Supporting Member

    May 7, 2021
    Second this!
    Killing Floor likes this.
  9. skygzr


    Feb 23, 2015
    Southeast US
    I’ve been using a Zoom B3 for years. Tons of preamps, effects and cabinets, plus a drum machine, tuner and looper. It runs for months on 4 AA rechargeable batteries. I’m sure there’s many other good options out there. We live in a golden age of affordable microelectronics!
  10. The Noof

    The Noof

    Jun 11, 2022
    Thanks for all the advice. I want to stay away from junkie ones.

  11. taketwo


    Jun 8, 2022
    Toronto, Canada
    Thirded. I used to have an amPlug, but the jacks kept breaking, and the hissing made my ears ache. Replaced it with a Fender Mustang Micro. Pairing that with a Behringer BDI21 makes for a very useful little and fairly cheap setup, described here: One really useful bit of advice for young bassist starting out
    Paradilum and Killing Floor like this.
  12. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Will a mixer accept an instrument signal? I've never tried it, but I've been curious. Some small mixers like the Soundcraft Compact 4 (discontinued)(Soundcraft Compact 4 / 10) and Mackie 402-VLZ3 (discontinued)(Mackie 802 & 402 VLZ3) and 402-VLZ4 (402VLZ4 | VLZ4 Series | Mixers | MACKIE; manual: https://mackie.com/img/file_resources/402VLZ4_OM.pdf) are specifically designed with inputs that are switchable for use with high impedance pickups connected directly, although I don't have any experience with these devices.

    I have used an old Korg Pandora PX4 that was lots of fun and had an output for headphones or an amp, a stereo aux input to play along with mp3s, amps, cabs, effects, and a drum machine. I don't know if Korg still has a Pandora in production, but you can find them on the used market.
  13. I second the Vox. I use rechargeable batteries and it works just fine. I can practice in my apt and my neighbors will never hear anything. It weighs practically nothing, and can stow away in a small corner of your desk drawer. You can get it from Sweetwater or GC for about $65. Spend another $10-$12 on a Rayovac battery charger that you can pickup at the local Walmart and you are good to go. :D
  14. If you're starting with nothing there are heaps of choices if you don't have an amp and want to hear yourself play.
    I'd suggest spending a little extra and saving up for a looper - most include drum rhythms and can act as a headphone amp, metronome (basic rhythm section) and recorder. I have the Nux Loopcore which has a stereo Aux in jack so you can record yourself playing along to your favourite songs.
    I say all this because I still have headphone amps I got as a newbie that I no longer use (when you get an amp it will likely have a headphone jack) however I do use the looper all the time.
    Most recently I've been using the stereo function to record the band on one track and my isolated bass line on the other. Great tool for hearing what you're doing right and wrong. (...Ironically, I'm yet to use its looper function with the band :laugh:)
    Also, welcome to TB - enjoy the ride!
    taketwo likes this.
  15. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    I modded my Vox Amplug with a bluetooth receiver that sticks to the battery door on the Vox. Now I don’t have to fuss with aux cords to listen and practice with tracks.

    The tone on the Vox is great. The drums are a nice feature too.

    Importantly, the Vox does work best with a bass with a top mount jack like a typical P bass. Otherwise, it will be hanging off the bottom of your bass.
  16. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    mackie mix5 is the best, most versatile, and simple headphone amp I've used. I have the behringer version as well, and the both function well. The Mic preamp in the mackie is silent and the connections make it to where you will find dozens of uses for it. Those micro mixers are awesome.
  17. DanGroove


    Apr 27, 2017
    Unless you want something you can clip to your belt / strap
    Jeff Hughes likes this.
  18. taketwo


    Jun 8, 2022
    Toronto, Canada
    This. I had a similar hack with the amPlug. Having a second cord gets really cumbersome.
  19. JC BASS 91

    JC BASS 91

    Oct 22, 2021
    SW Missouri
    Call me old school, but I still have, still use, and still love my Rockman Bass Ace. Yes, it is much larger than anything currently out there, yes it uses a 9-volt battery, but it sounds fantastic.
  20. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    I have both the $40 Vox and the $200 Ashdown Tone Pocket. Use and like them both.

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