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Tools for the Task: Headphone Amps

Ten easy-to-stow—and silent—solutions that’ll keep you practicing when inspired, and keep your family and neighbors happy when they aren’t inspired to listen.

Whether you’re on the go or in your bedroom, each of these 10 headphone amp options represent a quick and easy way to plug in for silent guitar practice—without having to look at that phone you’ve likely been staring at all day.

joyoaudio.com

Headphone Amp

This pedal-sized headphone amp from OBNE will, of course, allow a guitarist to play silently, but also permits a buddy listener thanks to the second 1/4" output jack.

OLD BLOOD NOISE ENDEAVORS
$99

Headphone Amp

This true-bypass amp is enclosed in cast aluminum and features a pro-grade switch for long life, Neutrik jacks, audio-grade active components, and military spec silver-plated wire.

SATURNWORKS PEDALS
$79

amPlug 2 Clean

Boasting a folding mechanism that rotates 180 degrees, this little Vox was designed to deliver fat, boutique-inspired clean sounds, and features effects for delay, chorus, and reverb.

VOX
$39

I-Plug

This little amp with built-in overdrive runs on a pair of AAA batteries, has controls for volume, tone, and gain, and houses an auxiliary in for external devices.

JOYO
$15

Headphone Amp

This plug-and-play amp from EHX is ultra-lightweight and portable, and is built to handle high-gain pedalboard input so you can dial up your favorite tones and let it rip—silently.

ELECTRO-HARMONIX
$45

Rock Bug

This 9V-battery operated rehearsal unit was designed to deliver the audio sensation of playing through a good tube amp. Features include open- or closed-back cab simulation and an XLR out.

CARL MARTIN
$189

AxeHead

Offering up to 15 hours playing time from each USB charge of its lithium-ion battery, this headphone amp houses controls for volume, tone, and drive to dial in clean to dirty.

NADY
$29

Pocket POD

With 32 amp models and 16 cab models onboard, this battery-powered, headphone practice unit (and much more) can serve up tones to feed your inspiration whenever and wherever.

LINE 6
$129

Bighead

Designed for low enders, this amp features a 2-band EQ, has a runtime of eight hours on its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and functions as an interface or analog preamp as well.

PHIL JONES BASS
$249

Guitar Ace

These headphone amps provide built-in compression and an auxiliary stereo input/output, as well as settings for clean and two different flavors of distortion.

ROCKMAN
$69
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown [2024]
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown with Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman & Pete Wentz Guitar & Bass Gear Tour

The string-section trio for the iconic Chicago pop-punk band has gone digital, but Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, and Pete Wentz still aren’t afraid to get weird—and sometimes, downright dangerous.

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Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

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Gibson’s Theodore model

PRS Guitars and Ted McCarty family drop “Theodore” trademark objection, and Gibson agrees to drop opposition to PRS’s “594” and “Silver Sky Nebula” trademarks and trademark applications.

PRS Guitars yesterday announced that it has withdrawn its objection to Gibson’s registration of the “Theodore” trademark. In a press release, PRS stated it continues to hold dear and protect its long-standing agreement with Ted McCarty and the McCarty family regarding the exclusive rights to the “McCarty” trademark and to McCarty’s name and persona, first developed directly with Ted himself more than 25 years ago. After a series of private negotiations, Gibson has also agreed to drop its opposition to PRS’s “594” and “Silver Sky Nebula” trademarks and trademark applications.

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A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

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4.5

The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

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