Gilberd headphone amplifier

G 1 34O

Gilberd headphone amplifier. Riad writes –

I listen to music on headphones a lot at work, and my source is almost always a CD/DVD-A/SACD player (Denon DVD-2910). Since it doesn’t have a headphone driver, I need something to power my various cans (1, 2, 3). In the past, I designed a tube-based headphone amp but frankly while it’s nice for nostalgia’s sake I’m not interested in “tube sound” (a.k.a. “a lot of even-harmonic distortion”), so why go to the trouble and expense? Let’s get more modern, cheaper, and a lot higher performance. (The name Gilberd is after William Gilberd, an early figure in electrical engineering.)

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !


  1. Interesting, I wonder how it compares with something like the TPA6120A2 current more amp from TI. The TI part needs some careful PCB design, but gets some very good reviews from DIY audiophiles.

    For anyone interested:

    I have a couple in my spares box and really should get around to building something.

  2. I have wanted to build a headphone amplifier for quite a while. I just cannot settle on a spec. My best headphones are Sennheiser HD424. They are very comfortable for long sessions and they sound very good to me. Most headphone outputs will not drive them well because they are 2000 ohm impedance. The other issue is that they are open back and don’t provide ambient sound isolation. All the other headphones that I have are ~$20 JVC, Sennheiser, Maxell, Sony, etc. Some are earbuds, which I prefer for working and the others are closed back. They are all lower impedance (some as low as 16 ohms. I have been unable to develop a design that suits me that can drive this range of impedance without running into problem. I also have read that there should be a 120 ohm source impedance.

    "The IEC 61938 international standard specifies that headphones should be driven by a 120 ohm source – regardless of the impedance of the headphones themselves." <; I have not read the standard so I don’t know what the context is.

    This may minimize the impedance range that I need to drive. It also eliminates the need for short circuit protection.

    The other feature that I would like to incorporate is a crossfeed filter module, which is pluggable so that I can experiment with different approaches. <;

    I would like to try class A as the thermal dissipation would be more reasonable in a low power amp.

  3. Interesting project. I was just reading about a different headphone amp project. It’s open source and worth a look, the guy has put a LOT of thought into it:

  4. Is there a way this could be modified to accept a phono (turntable) input?

  5. @Caleb: it probably could, but you’d still have to have a separate active circuit to account for the RIAA curve.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.