You have your headphones, your MP3 player, or smartphone. You love how it all sounds right now but, like me, you’re on a journey to constantly improve the sound of whatever you listen to. This is where a portable headphone amplifier can offer a solution to your problem.
You’ve heard the term “amplifier“ before, but maybe you haven’t heard of a headphone amplifier. If you’re already familiar with them, you know how important a piece of personal audio equipment they can be.
The FiiO A3 is a portable, personal, highly compact audio enhancement device that can be used with any headphones and any device that has a headphone jack (although the recommended range is for headphones from 16 to 150 ohms).
Continue reading the review to learn more about one of my favorite portable headphone amplifiers.
The FiiO A3 Is A Perfect Fit
- Approx. 16 hours run time on a single charge
- 1400 mAh rechargeable battery
- Gain switch (match output to specific headphone power needs)
- Bass boost switch
- Utilizes OPA1642 preamp (ultra low distortion/superior sound quality
- AD8397 amp section (low distortion/high output current)
- Body made of aluminum
- Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.58 x 0.51 in.
- Weight: 3.2 oz
The Fit and Feel In Your Hand
One question I’m sure you’re considering is “how will this device fit and feel when I hold it?” Although the amp won’t be the only device being held by your hand, it fits extremely well with your favorite MP3 player. It is a little bit slimmer than an iPod Classic and about 1/2 an inch shorter. Once you pair it with the 2 rubber elastic bands, it sits securely in place so you can use the click wheel for navigation.
Popular smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are a quite a bit wider than the iPod Classic or one of the older iPhone models and the touch screen isn’t ideal with use of the elastic bands.
For Use With A Smartphone – Consider This
While you can still get away with pairing this amp with your smartphone, the fit could be better. I would recommend using the A3 without the elastic bands for phone listening. The bands will get in the way of swiping on your touchscreen and it can get pretty annoying to deal with.
For use without the bands, simply plug everything in the right place and listen away. You can put the whole setup in your pocket and not have to worry about it moving around too much. Personally, I think it’s easier to use this setup at home or somewhere you won’t be moving around too much (unless you have it paired with an MP3 player or iPod).
Adaptable Design For Your Needs – Pocket or At-Home Use
With this in mind, depending on how you plan to use your new portable amplifier, the FiiO A3 is very adaptable.
I usually choose to hold my iPod or phone in my hand when I’m listening to music so it’ll be easier to browse through the music library or change the song.
I haven’t taken a run with the amplifier yet and don’t really plan on ever doing so. If you’re the active type don’t worry, it comes with strong elastic bands to hold it in place on the back of your preferred device. (We don’t really want to take gear like this on a run with us though, right?)
As I mentioned above, most smartphones are a little bit on the wide side of handheld electronics, as you all know. If you enjoy reclining back in your favorite chair and listening to music, the width of your phone won’t be much of a problem at all.
If you want to use the included elastic bands with your iPhone, that’ll be a little more inconvenient as they will get in the way of you using your touch screen to navigate your music library.
Don’t Be Embarrassed if Your Eyes Tear Up
I know this sounds like a joke, but trust me, it’s no joking matter. Well, maybe it is… a little.
I’ve experienced countless transcendent moments while listening to my favorite music over the years and I would have to say that using a headphone amplifier rivals live music. We all love getting the chills during “that one part”, as it shakes us to our core.
As we all know, the journey of sonic elevation is about finding new ways to step up and elevate your audio. Adding a simple device like the A3 is a great step to take towards achieving that goal.
I Can’t Live Without It Now
The reason I’m convinced that I can’t live without the FiiO A3 is because once you’ve heard music like this, it becomes a lot harder to listen to music any other way. It sets the bar almost TOO high. Just kidding, just high enough.
The Best Way To Listen To Music
Don’t get me wrong, listening to music in the car with a nice set of speakers and the whole system set up can be pretty unbelievable. Most of us don’t spend the majority of our lives in a car, unless you’re a professional driver of course.
This is why I’m so happy with my small investment in this device. I’m happy because I don’t have to buy concert tickets. I don’t have to hop in my car and drain the gas tank because music sounds better that way. I can sit down, get comfortable, and press play. Again and again and again.
As far as enhancing the quality of your favorite band’s latest single or full-length, you have absolutely NOTHING to stress about.
This Headphone Amplifier Is Almost Too Easy To Use
The FiiO A3 transforms audio into a personal experience that you can have WHENEVER YOU WANT to. All you have to do is charge the amp via the included USB cable, plug it into your MP3 player or phone and connect your headphones. It’s really that simple.
You Control What You Hear – Gain and Bass Boost Switches
This little gem allows you to control the gain and volume, as well as the strength of the bass. All this can be done from the bottom of the amplifier. This is shown in the picture below. Depending on the power output (frequency response) of your headphones, you can choose to have the gain off or on. The same goes for the bass boost switch.
FiiO recommends this device for use with headphones that have a power output ranging from 16 to 150 ohms. Keep in mind that you can use this with headphones that don’t exactly fit that range, but for optimum audio reproduction try to aim for that.
Those basic audio manipulations can make a world of difference, especially if you have any understanding of using the EQ to tailor your adjustments to the sound by genre or artist.
A Brief Visual Explanation:
Elevate Your Listening Experience! Join The Ranks of Happy Ears!
If you’re ready to take the next step towards sonic elevation, hopefully this FiiO A3 review helped you make a more informed decision. The price tag on one of these bad boys won’t break your bank, and offers to provide countless hours of personal enjoyment. There are many other satisfied customers and you can read their reviews here.
Among the competitive array of portable amplifiers, this device will give you the extra boost you need at a value that balances quality and premium performance. Starting at under $100 (eligible for Prime benefits), the FiiO A3 is a tough competitor.
I hope you get as much as enjoyment out of this awesome device as I have and if you have any further questions you’d like answered, feel free to ask! I always do my best to respond as quickly as I can.
Do you own any portable headphone amplifiers? Will this be your first time using a headphone amp? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.