Top 10 Balanced Headphones
for May 2022

Recommendations are independently chosen by MOOZ’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

1
9.8
SCORE
Fostex USA Fostex Desktop Headphone Amplifier with DAC Balanced Output (HP-A4BL)

Fostex USA Fostex Desktop Headphone Amplifier with DAC Balanced Output (HP-A4BL)

by American Music and Sound
What We like

HI/LO gain selection (10dB) for wider selection of headphones; digital filter selecting roll-off characteristics and cut-off frequencies

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Product Features

  • Newly developed audio-grade capacitors; highly precise crystal with low phase noise
  • Asynchronous transfer up to 192kHz/24bit compatible with USB Audio 2.0
  • Playback 24bit/192kHz PCM and 11.2MHz DSD audio; high performance DAC (Barrbrown PCM1792A)
  • Equipped with 4-pin XLR balanced output; 1/4-inch unbalanced output

Playback 24bit/192khz pcm and 11.2mhz dsd audio; high performance dac (barrbrown pcm1792a) Newly developed audio-grade capacitors; highly precise crystal with low phase noise Equipped with 4-pin xlr balanced output; 1/4-inch unbalanced output Asynchronous transfer up to 192khz/24bit compatible with usb audio 2.0

2
9.8
SCORE
iFi Hip-dac2 - Portable Balanced DAC Headphone Amplifier for Android, iPhone with USB Input Only/Outputs: 3.5mm Unbalanced / 4.4mm Balanced – MQA Decoder

iFi Audio iFi Hip-dac2

Portable Balanced DAC Headphone Amplifier for Android, iPhone with USB Input Only/Outputs: 3.5mm Unbalanced / 4.4mm Balanced – MQA Decoder

by Abbingdon Music Research
What We like

PORTABLE DESIGN - Your music will never stop with 6-8 hrs of battery life (depending on use) and a slim, lightweight design perfect for carrying in your pocket wherever life takes you.

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Product Features

  • POWERFUL AMPLIFIER - Suited to your style, listen to in ear monitors or drive over the ear headphones with 400 mW max power output from the on-board amplifier
  • EASY CONNECTIVITY Connects directly to your smartphone with the USB Input, and works with balanced 4.4mm or S-Bal 3.5mm headphone plugs for ultimate convenience and versatility
  • HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO - From Spotify to Tidal MQA to MP3 and beyond, play any high res audio format with native digital to analog conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended
  • UPGRADED - The hip-dac2 has been upgraded to give you an even more pleasurable portable audio experience, it now is a full MQA decoder and has an upgraded GMT Clock.

Upgraded - the hip-dac2 has been upgraded to give you an even more pleasurable portable audio experience, it now is a full mqa decoder and has an upgraded gmt clock. Powerful amplifier - suited to your style, listen to in ear monitors or drive over the ear headphones with 400 mw max power output from the on-board amplifier Easy connectivity connects directly to your smartphone with the usb input, and works with balanced 4.4mm or s-bal 3.5mm headphone plugs for ultimate convenience and versatility High resolution audio - from spotify to tidal mqa to mp3 and beyond, play any high res audio format with native digital to analog conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended

3
9.5
SCORE
Sennheiser IE 800 S In-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Sound Isolating Ear-Canal Fit With XWB Transducers and D2CA Technology, Detachable Cable, Includes Balanced Cables, 2-Year Warranty (Black)

Sennheiser Consumer Audio Sennheiser IE 800 S In-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones

Sound Isolating Ear-Canal Fit With XWB Transducers and D2CA Technology, Detachable Cable, Includes Balanced Cables, 2-Year Warranty (Black)

by Sennheiser
What We like

The IE 800 S provides breathtaking reference-grade audiophile sound you can fit in a pocket

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Product Features

  • Made in Germany with proprietary 7mm Extra Wide Band transducers in a rugged ceramic body that sounds like a full-size headphone
  • A specially developed Dual Chamber Absorber system prevents frequency crowding to reveal subtle details buried in your music
  • Sealed ear canal fit isolates the listener from their environment for giant-sized sound anywhere (wide assortment of eartips are included for a seamless fit)

A specially developed dual chamber absorber system prevents frequency crowding to reveal subtle details buried in your music Made in germany with proprietary 7mm extra wide band transducers in a rugged ceramic body that sounds like a full-size headphone Sealed ear canal fit isolates the listener from their environment for giant-sized sound anywhere (wide assortment of eartips are included for a seamless fit)

4
9.2
SCORE
Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier - Designed by Alex Cavalli | 3.6 Watts Per Channel, Fully Balanced Amp

Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier - Designed by Alex Cavalli

3.6 Watts Per Channel, Fully Balanced Amp

by Monoprice
What We like

SINGLE ENDED and BALANCED INPUTS and OUTPUTS: With multiple inputs and outputs for balanced and single ended operation and easy front panel input selection, the Liquid Platinum is compatible with just about everything.

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Product Features

  • YOU'RE PROTECTED.The Liquid Platinum has a built-in, slow power on. It warms up the heaters first and then, after a short delay, brings up the SS rails and tube HV, protecting the internal circuitry during startup.
  • KEEPS ITS COOL. The Platinum is ventilated with two long, screened slots on either side of the top and large screens on the bottom to ensure that it is well cooled. Ensure your amplifier has enough space around the vents and is not in a sealed enclosure.
  • It also includes a connection delay to the headphones and an active offset detector, just in case an internal fault or source fault applies too much DC voltage to the output, it immediately disconnects your headphones
  • LUMINOUS TUBES. THE POWER OF SOLID STATE. SPECTACULAR SOUND. As an embedded tube/hybrid amplifier (DC coupled in to out, no coupling caps), the Liquid Platinum gives you the beautiful sound of tubes together with the grunt of solid state circuitry to drive the headphones. It uses two 6922 tubes or exact equivalents, such as 6DJ8s.

Luminous tubes. the power of solid state. spectacular sound. as an embedded tube/hybrid amplifier (dc coupled in to out, no coupling caps), the liquid platinum gives you the beautiful sound of tubes together with the grunt of solid state circuitry to drive the headphones. it uses two 6922 tubes or exact equivalents, such as 6dj8s. Keeps its cool. the platinum is ventilated with two long, screened slots on either side of the top and large screens on the bottom to ensure that it is well cooled. ensure your amplifier has enough space around the vents and is not in a sealed enclosure. It also includes a connection delay to the headphones and an active offset detector, just in case an internal fault or source fault applies too much dc voltage to the output, it immediately disconnects your headphones You're protected.the liquid platinum has a built-in, slow power on. it warms up the heaters first and then, after a short delay, brings up the ss rails and tube hv, protecting the internal circuitry during startup.

5
8.7
SCORE
Monolith M1060C Closed Back Planar Magnetic Over-Ear Headphones, Low Distortion And Perfectly Balanced Sound

Monolith M1060C Closed Back Planar Magnetic Over-Ear Headphones

Low Distortion And Perfectly Balanced Sound

by Monoprice
What We like

Comfort: The Monolith M1060C has been engineered to be comfortable for extended listening sessions. Large, comfy earpads made of faux leather and a padded headband are designed to keep you comfortable as you listen.

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Product Features

  • Planar Drivers: Not your typical headphone driver! The planar driver in the M1060C has been completely redesigned and engineered versus the driver found in the M1060.
  • This makes the M1060C the perfect audiophile choice for those that may need to listen in less than silent environments.
  • Closed Back Design: Outside noise stays out and only the music stays in! The 1060C delivers excellent audio isolation, allowing the sonic landscape to not be disturbed by the outside world, and the outside to not be disturbed by your music.
  • Several enhancements have been made, including a new symmetrical magnet structure that allows the planar driver to be much more efficient in a closed back enclosure.

Several enhancements have been made, including a new symmetrical magnet structure that allows the planar driver to be much more efficient in a closed back enclosure. This makes the m1060c the perfect audiophile choice for those that may need to listen in less than silent environments. Closed back design: outside noise stays out and only the music stays in! the 1060c delivers excellent audio isolation, allowing the sonic landscape to not be disturbed by the outside world, and the outside to not be disturbed by your music. Planar drivers: not your typical headphone driver! the planar driver in the m1060c has been completely redesigned and engineered versus the driver found in the m1060.

6
8.7
SCORE
Monolith THX AAA Balanced Headphone Amplifier Featuring THX AAA 887 Technology, Balanced and Single-Ended Inputs

Monolith THX AAA Balanced Headphone Amplifier Featuring THX AAA 887 Technology

Balanced and Single-Ended Inputs

by Monoprice
What We like

Balanced and single-ended inputs: The amplifier features an XLR balanced input, plus 1/4in and 3.5mm single ended inputs to eliminate the need for adapters.

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Product Features

  • 50 kilohms input impedance.
  • Three gain settings: The amplifier features three different gain settings for optimal compatibility with all headphones. The lowest gain setting is the most appropriate for sensitive IEMs.
  • High grade CNC-milled aluminum with black anodized finish chassis material.
  • The THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA) ensures the ultimate no compromise headphone audio experience by delivering the fidelity audio with infinitesimally low levels of noise, distortion, and power consumption.
  • Connector type: 4-Pin Mini DIN

High grade cnc-milled aluminum with black anodized finish chassis material. Three gain settings: the amplifier features three different gain settings for optimal compatibility with all headphones. the lowest gain setting is the most appropriate for sensitive iems. 50 kilohms input impedance. Connector type: 4-pin mini din The thx achromatic audio amplifier (thx aaa) ensures the ultimate no compromise headphone audio experience by delivering the fidelity audio with infinitesimally low levels of noise, distortion, and power consumption.

7
8.2
SCORE
Drop + THX AAA 789 Linear Headphone Amplifier - Desktop Amp with Balanced XLR and Single-Ended RCA Inputs

Drop + THX AAA 789 Linear Headphone Amplifier

Desktop Amp with Balanced XLR and Single-Ended RCA Inputs

by DROP
What We like

Additional Features Each Channel Of The Thx Aaa 789 Amp Is Equipped With A Low-Bias Class-Ab Main Amplifier And An Auxiliary Error-Correction Amplifier, The Former Providing The Majority Of The Power And The Latter Providing A Realtime Low-Power Error-Correction Signal.

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Product Features

  • The WorldS Most Linear Amplifier Announced At Ces 2018, The Drop + Thx Achromatic Audio Amplifier (Thx Aaa) 789 Is A Linear Bipolar Amplifier With Feed-Forward Error Correction
  • Fatigue-Free Listening Made In Collaboration With Thx Ltd , It Features The CompanyS Groundbreaking Thx Aaa And Feed-Forward Topology, Which Reduce Distortion By 20 To 40 Db For Realistic, Fatigue-Free Listening.
  • Thx Aaa Technology Capable Of Driving Any Headphones, Including High-Impedance, High-Current, And High-Sensitivity Types, The Thx Aaa 789 Amp Transmits The Original Audio In Its Purest Possible Form.

Fatigue-free listening made in collaboration with thx ltd , it features the companys groundbreaking thx aaa and feed-forward topology, which reduce distortion by 20 to 40 db for realistic, fatigue-free listening. Thx aaa technology capable of driving any headphones, including high-impedance, high-current, and high-sensitivity types, the thx aaa 789 amp transmits the original audio in its purest possible form. The worlds most linear amplifier announced at ces 2018, the DROP + thx achromatic audio amplifier (thx aaa) 789 is a linear bipolar amplifier with feed-forward error correction

8
7.3
SCORE
CARDAS AUDIO CLEAR Upgrade Audiophile Balanced Headphone Cable for FOCAL UTOPIA with 4-Pin Male XLR Plug, 9ft (2.75m) cord

CARDAS AUDIO CLEAR Upgrade Audiophile Balanced Headphone Cable for FOCAL UTOPIA with 4-Pin Male XLR Plug

9ft (2.75m) cord

by CARDAS
What We like

The two parallel cables have a black & white fabric braid over the Alcryn jacket, and are kept together with several anodized aluminum joiners, with a custom machined Delron splitter.

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Product Features

  • Cardas finest headphone cable, Clear is actually two separate cables, one going to each side
  • Length 9ft (2.75m) with Cardas 4-Pin Male balanced plug (will fit Headphone amplifiers with 4-Pin XLR Jack)
  • With concentric conductors, Clear Headphone is a miniaturized version of our top-of-the-line Clear Speaker Cable.

Length 9ft (2.75m) with CARDAS 4-pin male balanced plug (will fit headphone amplifiers with 4-pin xlr jack) With concentric conductors, clear headphone is a miniaturized version of our top-of-the-line clear speaker cable. CARDAS finest headphone cable, clear is actually two separate cables, one going to each side

9
7.3
SCORE
Topping A90 Headphone Amplifier 4.4mm XLR Desktop HiFi Full Balanced Amplifier Pre-Amplifier Black

Fanmusic Topping A90 Headphone Amplifier 4.4mm XLR Desktop HiFi Full Balanced Amplifier Pre-Amplifier Black

by TOPPING
What We like

A90 is equipped with three gain settings of -9.5dB/ 0dB / 9.5dB for SE and -35dB / 6.0dB / 15.5dB for balanced. The noise of merely 0. 2uVrms makes A90 easily adapt to all types of headphones from extremely sensitive IEMs to most power demanding full sized over-ears.

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Product Features

  • A90 is provided with a wide range of adaptation to headphones.---The SE 25Vpp / balanced 49Vpp high output voltage along with high output current & less than 0.1 Ohm output impedance,
  • DAC + Pre-amp appplication
  • It's a great companion of active monitors stacked with D90 DAC when A90 work as pre-amp application.
  • Full balanced + SE headphone output---A90 has three output headphone jacks of 4-pin-XLR4.4 balanced and 6.35 SE to meet different usages.

It's a great companion of active monitors stacked with d90 dac when a90 work as pre-amp application. Full balanced + se headphone output---a90 has three output headphone jacks of 4-pin-xlr4.4 balanced and 6.35 se to meet different usages. Dac + pre-amp appplication A90 is provided with a wide range of adaptation to headphones.---the se 25vpp / balanced 49vpp high output voltage along with high output current & less than 0.1 ohm output impedance,

10
7.3
SCORE
S.M.S.L SP200 Headphone Amp THX AAA 888 Technology XLR RCA Balanced Headphone Amplifier

Fanmusic S.M.S.L SP200 Headphone Amp THX AAA 888 Technology XLR RCA Balanced Headphone Amplifier

by SMSL
What We like

The SP200 has a balanced stereo headphone output, a balanced stereo line input, comes with high precision resistors for temperature stability, and a high-efficiency ultra-low noise power supply.

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Product Features

  • Toggle switch for operation, input selection, and gain control
  • This amplifier is versatile and can be used to drive a variety of headsets including those that have high impedance, require high current, or need high sensitivity.
  • The SP200 Headphone Amp comes with an included AC power supply and is equipped with XLR and RCA inputs.
  • Full protection with DC, over-voltage, over-current, and short-circuit

The sp200 headphone amp comes with an included ac power supply and is equipped with xlr and rca inputs. Toggle switch for operation, input selection, and gain control This amplifier is versatile and can be used to drive a variety of headsets including those that have high impedance, require high current, or need high sensitivity. Full protection with dc, over-voltage, over-current, and short-circuit

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