HC1 High Current Headphone Amp


  • Partial Kit
  • Documentation
  • Intermediate

The HC1 is an expandable, high-powered headphone amp designed specifically for critical studio monitoring.

The HC1's circuit employs parallel amp stages for greater power and lower distortion. This parallel-opamp concept has been known in theory for decades and was put to practical use in Douglas Self's "5532 OpAmplifier" power amplifier. As a result, the HC1 sounds clean and clear even at high gain and when driving low-impedance headphones.

Because everyone's monitoring needs are different, the HC1 is designed to be customized. The power and audio input connectors are screw terminals, so you can attach whichever jacks you need without soldering. You can also daisy chain multiple HC1s to make a multi-channel headphone amp.

The HC1 is a great project for intermediate builders who enjoy the challenge of choosing their own chassis and inputs.


  • High-current, dual-amp design
  • Screw terminals for power and audio input
  • Stereo, unbalanced audio input
  • Accepts 9v battery or DC wall-wart power input
  • Mounting holes for case mounting
  • Runs about 50 hours on a single 9V battery
  • Does not include power or audio input jacks

Partial Kit Includes

  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
  • 2x NE5532 opamps
  • All resistors and capacitors required
  • TRS 1/4" headphone jack
  • Volume potentiometer and knob
  • Screw terminals for power and audio input

Source Your Own

  • Power supply or batteries
  • Chassis
  • Input jacks



  • Input Impedance: 20kΩ
  • Current Draw: 10-20mA
  • Gain: 0-10dB (customizable)
  • Power Supply: 9 to 44VDC

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
Michael Crouch
Sounds great

Super clean and great dynamics. I am running it at 19 volts off an old laptop supply. The sound rivals my schitt magni ii. Super easy build and fits in a pedal enclosure so extra points for that.

Marcos Falo-Villanueva
Not only for headphones

For driving two spring tank reverbs with 200 ohm impedance input but connected in paralell for pseudo stereo out.

Isnt 8 ohm input with 15 w amp.. dont jump the springs, but the HC1 at 18vdc drive de coils outstanding!

Very easy for beginners and sound pro.


Awesome Headphone Amp

I was looking for a really simple headphone amp for a project and this one just so happens to be one of the best DIY Kits I have came across. Very simple to build and the PCB is really good quality. I will definitely be getting more.

It is basically CMoy but with output buffer...

...and therefore it sounds great. The offset voltage could be set with a trimmer for more precise headroom though.

Supertuesday Productions

Great beginner project and solid sounding headphone amp!

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