Twist this giant knob to make your music sound better

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Twist the night away with this headphone amp's gigantic dial.
Twist the night away with this headphone amp's gigantic dial.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: The Element headphone amplifier by JDS Labs

“Take the conn, Jimmy.”

“Aye aye, Captain.”

Every single time I lay my hands on The Element’s giant, super-precise dial of sonic control, that Star Trek scene rolls through my head. Which is a little weird for me, since Captain Kirk and I have the same name, but I overlook this small snag as I dial in the perfect volume on my JDS Labs headphone amplifier.

Gorgeous headphone amp isn’t just ear candy

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Lust List Oppo Amp
The Oppo headphone amplifier is almost as beautiful as the iPhone you're going to connect it to.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC

What kind of audiophile nerd do you have to be to shell out 300 clams to “improve” your iPhone audio? Well, that’s what it is going to cost you to convert your digital audio into analog goodness with style.

You can find cheaper options than the Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier, but few as elegant and sleek.