This is a question I’m asked quite frequently and the answer is, it really depends on the amplifier and the headphones. In a perfect world, NO, an amplifier would not make your headphones sound better because the job of the amplifier is to provide more power to drive your headphones – Period, end of story. HOWEVER, most amplifiers introduce their own characteristics to the sound being amplified. It could be that the amp slightly boosts the bass region, or amplifies the midrange slightly, etc. There are some amplifiers that are extremely neutral, so in that regard your headphones won’t sound any better, but they’ll be able to get louder with the amplification. And that’s why it’s not so cut and dry when picking an amplifier to pair with your headphones. All headphones and all amps have their own sound quality characteristics and a pairing that might work wonderfully for one set may not be so great with another.
To wrap up here, YES, it is possible for an amplifier to make your headphones sound better, but it’s highly dependent on the amplifier you choose to pair with your headphones. In my opinion though, the best solution is to get a set of headphones that sounds wonderful out of the box and go from there.
Posted in: Amplifiers