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Pro-Ject Head Box S

Headphone amplifier (Silver)

Item #: 252HDBXSS

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17 Reviews | 2 questions - 10 answers

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Give your headphones the power they deserve

Top-notch headphones are a great way to experience reference-quality sound for a fraction of the price of a high-end loudspeaker system. But if you're plugging your 'phones straight into the headphone jack on your stereo or PC, you could be missing out on the subtle differences that separate great recordings from the merely good ones. That's because a lot of manufacturers use low-cost, low-fi circuitry to drive their headphone jacks — leaving you with uninvolving, one-dimensional sound.

Headbox s back

Enjoy a big sonic upgrade

Pro-Ject's Head Box S headphone amp delivers the power you need to bring out the best in your headphones and your tunes. Connect it between your music source and your 'phones to experience richer, deeper bass, clearer highs, and gobs more detail. You'll also hear farther into your favorite recordings for that "you are there" feeling.

Product Highlights:

  • low-distortion headphone amplifier
  • front-panel on/off switch
  • full-metal housing protects against interference
  • recommended headphone impedance: greater than 30 ohms
  • THD: 0.003%
  • frequency response: 30Hz to 20kHz at -0.05dB (10Hz to 120kHz at -1dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 95dB at full output (A weighted)
  • gain: 11dB
  • connections:
    • 1 pair line-level RCA stereo audio inputs
    • 1 pair line-level RCA stereo audio outputs
    • full-size 1/4" stereo headphone output
  • outboard power supply with 5' DC cord included
  • weight: 21 ounces (without power supply)
  • 4-1/16"W x 1-7/16"H x 5-7/8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Why buy a headphone amp?

High-performance headphones need high-quality amplification to perform up to their full potential. If you connect them directly to the headphone jack on your computer, iPod®, or stereo receiver, you may be disappointed. A separate headphone amplifier sends a stronger, cleaner signal to your headphones.

Pro-Ject Head Box S Reviews

Average Customer Review:

17 Reviews

Heading in the right direction

Written by: Steve M from fair lawn, NJ on February 7, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Using with Yamaha integrated amp and Sennheiser HD 598 headphones. Definite boost in sound and headphone performance. The unit itself is small and simple to use- just push in button and connect to record out on back of amp or receiver. Like it a lot.

Pros: Great sound and easy to use

Cons: None

Pro-Ject is per-fect

Written by: Jeff C from Ohio on January 6, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just received this unit today, and I'm already compelled to write a review. The 5 star ratings are justified. I'm hearing nuances in my music I never heard before. Clarity and separation have all been noticeably improved. I'm using this with a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x's and a Creative Zen 30gb music player. The bulk of my music files are WMA files running at 320 kbps. Really looking fwd. to getting into lossless and Hi-Res in the future with this combo. Buy the Pro-Ject, you won't be disappointed. Also, a shoutout to Crutchfield for their excellent service and fast delivery times.

Pros: - Attractive unit - Well built, heavy

Cons: - Slight popping noise in headphones when powering off as others have noted

Works great

Written by: rminnehan from Massachusetts on March 22, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for an elderly gentleman who is very hard of hearing. I hooked it up through the headphone jack of his stereo receiver and ran an extension cable so I could place it next to his chair so he could control the volume as needed. I used a higher end set of headphones. It sounds great and is very convenient for him to use. He can once again hear the music he loves.

Pros: Easy hook-up, sounds great, convenient volume control.

Cons: None

Just what I was looking for..

Written by: Raymond from Georgia on March 15, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My second headphone amp.....first one was returned...different brand...Pro-Jet better tha the first one also less $$$$.....outstanding value......

Pros: Well made sounds great.....

Cons: None.....

Installed for Father In Law

Written by: Anonymous from California on January 4, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Based on reviews by other people, I felt this was the best way to bring sound to a headset. I wanted a wireless but none had inputs via RCA jacks and plugs. They pretty much went with a miniplug. The TV set I had does not have a miniplug outlet. I left it with my father in law for his TV set. He is hard of hearing. The unit worked was tested by him. We tried it too and it is easier to hear the dialogues which are a bit unclear no matter how loud the TV is turned up - and he has it turned up quite loud. My father in law has been ill and not continued to use it. I got Sony ear buds not headphones, thinking to progress in stages, making an upgrade if he uses it more. Because it will get hot in the summer I don't know if he would want to have headphones could become uncomfortably warm in the summer. I did appreciate the Free 2 -day UPS delivery by Crutchfield by air to Hawaii. It arrived in time, on Christmas Eve.

The unit feels solid and has a simple front panel: On/Off, an LED that lights up when it is on, and a smooth feeling volume control. We could not get it to work off the Samsung LED TV RCA outlets and following someone else's review, hooked it up to the Cable incoming box. The sound on the TV can work at the same time and shutting it off does not affect the sound through the headset. Oddly, the Cable box sound is a tiny bit earlier than the sound coming from the TV set. Overall happy with unit and its performance. Hopefully my Father in Law will find it useful.

Pros: Compact size, simple front panel interface. Connection to RCA inputs on back easily done. Like the weight of the unit as it won't be pulled off the shelf.

Cons: None so far.

Pro-Ject Head Box S

Written by: SteveR from Buffalo on January 4, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Without dropping $500+ on a tube preamp, the Pro-Ject Head Box is an economical way to boost up the audio on your cans. Works great, recommended!

Pros: works great! Solid increase in sound quality in my headphones. Economical.

Cons: None.

Pro-Ject Head Box S

Written by: Anonymous from Massachusetts on November 20, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

High quality product. Reliable, distortion free sound from the lowest to the highest setting. Metal housing and rubber feet keep product in place. Simple to use. My 86 year old mother was having trouble distinguishing the dialog while watching tv. After I connected this product to her tv cable box and to a pair of headphones she says she can now hear the dialog clearly.



Nice Little Product

Written by: dj from Tucson on October 11, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was searching for a means to enjoy better sound quality without spending a great deal of money, and this headphone amplifier has been a great solution. It's compact, sturdy, has an on/off switch (which is very necessary, despite what others may claim), and is simplicity itself to set up and operate. I have it connected directly to a CD player on my desk, and use it with a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones. The sound quality is far better than anything one can achieve by plugging headphones into a computer or iPod.

Pros: Takes up little space, works very well, has on/off switch.

Cons: No cons that I can see.

I had a need and Crutchfield had the product

Written by: JAW from Valley of the sun Arizona on September 7, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was in the process of creating a personal sound system for TV viewing, I needed a method of controlling the volume and feed the output to headphones. I told my product advisor all the component parts I was using and he told me about the Pro-Ject Head Box S. My advisor and I connected via Crutchfield's internet system and immedily sent me a link telling me about his recommendation. The rest is history, I received the unit in a couple of days and it works great. I will be expanding the system soon and ordering another.

Pros: I was and am so pleased with the results of this purchase.

Cons: I see no downside.

Fantastic product

Written by: JohnH from Massachusetts on July 16, 2014

Sounds great! Rich and detailed. Hearing nuances I haven't heard before. A great product. Plug any device in to it (e.g., IPhone, laptop, CD player) and it dramatically enhances the quality of the audio.

Pros: Simple to set up and use. Versatile.

Cons: None.

sound amplifier

Written by: D C from LINCOLN PARK MI. on November 12, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

nice compact size great sound. best thing i have gotten in years!

Pros: easy to use and hookup compact size

Cons: none

Great Headphone Amp for the money

Written by: Trex from Pittsburgh, PA on November 12, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

No need to spend a ton on a headphone amp, in my opinion. This unit works great!I I have it hooked-up through my additional RCA Output jacks on my Mark Levinson 38S Preamp and it sounds fantastic. Crutchfield's service is 2nd to none........highly recommended for speed of shipment and no questions asked returns.

Pros: Price.......looks......ease of hook-up.....performance

Cons: N/A

Excellent sounding amp!

Written by: Edward F from Beaver Dam, Kentucky on June 21, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This headphones amplifier is absolutely the Best Bang For Your Bucks! I've been using headphones amps for about 15 yrs, and this is the Best performing amp right out lf the box I've ever used.

Pros: Plenty of head room which allows the amp to handle dynamic range in any kind of music or movie. The amp delivers clean smooth sound with no distortion. You can't ask for anything more from an amp in this price range.

Cons: none so far

Excellent headphone amplifier

Written by: thebadfrog from North Oakland County Michigan on May 9, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have a set of those Bose super-dupper noise cancelling headphones. I want to listen/watch my "blood-guts-monster" movies that my wife can't stand. This amplifier is fantastic. Simple to use. Great sound reproduction. I plug into my aux out RCA jacks [no head phone jack] on the HDTV and turn down the sound on the HDTV speakers. Nobody can hear my movie but ME ..... Yahoooooo'ey .. my wife can watch the movie [ if she chooses] but can't listen to it LOL LOL LOL .....! Perfect selection to get great sound out of great headphones and watch great "blood-guts-monster" movies.

Pros: It works as advertised and sounds even better !

Cons: None ..

Works Great

Written by: BillD from Wilkesboro, NC on August 3, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I hooked this this little amp up to the component output of an older portable CD player and was very impressed with the results. It brought the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 headphones I was plugging directly into the CD player into their own. Crisper, highs, clearer bass that was not over emphasized, and a more natural sound stage. It put the quality of my vintage Kenwood Basic home system on my desk. As another reviewer stated, the unit out of the box was good but a little rough; after a couple hours it sounded nothing short of great.

Pros: Compact size, simple hook up, great sound

Cons: I should have bought one a long time ago

It works.

Written by: Curt from Chewelah on July 6, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Hooked this up to an old NAD CD player and Sennheiser HD 555's. Previously (over the years) used headphones plugged into Marantz, Sony, Denon receivers or integrated amps.

The amp sounded harsh at first. I left it running for a while, listened to it some more, it got broke in, I got used to it. Now, it sounds great. Made a significant difference in the sound.

I always thought the sound depended more on the source and the headphones than the amp. Now, I think it might be about even among the three.

Pros: Works, sounds good.

Cons: Costing me more money. Shopping for closed headphones now, for more isolation for when it's noisy around here.

Great little unit

Written by: John S from Vermont on May 26, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This little unit sounds great. I am not using it conventionally though. I have it hooked up to the variable pre-amp output of a TV. I have the headphone output hooked to a Cambridge Soundworks powered stereo speakers and sub set up. Great clean sound from this mini headphone amp.

Pros: Easy to set up, small size, great sound.

Cons: Zilch.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Headphone amplifier
  • AC power supply (with attached 5' DC cord)
  • Instructions For Use

Product Research



Overview: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier is a compact audio amplifier designed particularly to drive headphones. The external headphone amplifier allows for higher possible volumes and greater audio clarity than the smaller, inexpensive integrated headphone amplifiers that are used in most of today's home receivers or audio players. The Pro-Ject headphone amplifier connects to a line-level (RCA-type) input & output of your AV receiver or directly to the line-level (RCA-type) output of your audio source.

Note: Available with a black or silver front-panel.

Construction: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier employs a metal case to shields the circuitry from vibration and electromagnetic interference.

RCA Input/Output: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier features gold-plated stereo input and output RCA phono jacks. The headphone amplifier's connects to your AV receiver's Tape monitor or CD-R/DVR inputs & outputs. It can also connect directly to your audio source's (CD player, Tape, Turntable) audio output.

Headphone Output: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier is equipped with a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack to plug in your headphones.

Volume Control: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier features a front-panel rotary volume knob to control the volume level of your connected headphones.

Power Requirements: The Pro-Ject Head Box S headphone amplifier operates off of standard household current using the included oversized outboard power supply.


Headphone Jack: 3-pole, 1/4"

Gain: 11dB

Power Output: 330mV/30-ohms, 60mV/300-ohms

Headphone Connection: >30-ohms

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 95 ref. full output (112dB-A weighted)

Frequency Response: 30Hz-20kHz (+/-0.05dB), 10Hz-120kHz (-1dB)

THD: 0.003%

Power Supply: Input = 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, max. 0.6A / Output = 15V - 500mA (18V)

Power Consumption: 18V/100mA

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Customer Q&A

2 questions already asked

I'm sorry but I don't know the answer to your question. [ Maurice  Jan 26, 2015 ]
I have never used the RCA output jacks. I would also assume that the unit must be powered on for the signal to pass through. I would also guess the RCA output is non-variable, but don't know for sure. [ Edward  Jan 25, 2015 ]
Not sure, I haven't hooked it up or tested it in that configuration. [ Patrick  Jan 25, 2015 ]
I have a signal coming from a optical source which I needed to control the volume, the Crutchfield tech service suggested the Pro-Ject Head Box. I am feeding the signal into the input side on the rear of the Head Box and have a large stereo adapter on the front output where I connect the 3.5 mini stereo ear bud. In order to answer your question I connected the RCA to 3.5 cord to an earbud which I receive where I receive the non controlled volume feed. Hope thats helpful. My name is JackW. [ JACK  Dec 22, 2014 ]
No they are not automatically muted when you plug in the headphones. [ LINCOLN  Dec 10, 2014 ]
Sorry, but I don't exactly know what you're asking. In the setup I have, when the headphones are plugged into the amplifier which is connected to the RCA output of the cable box, it has no effect on the sound coming from the t.v. because the t.v receives the sound from the cable box via an hdmi cable, not from the RCA output. They are two separate functions that do not effect each other. [ Maurice  Dec 10, 2014 ]
Thank you Patrick. It looks like this will fit the bill as I am trying to get the headphones off line from the other gear. [ Keith  Dec 10, 2014 ]
No. Also the rca output is at a standard volume, the adjustment knob doesn't change it. [ PATRICK  Dec 10, 2014 ]
Sorry Keith but I only use it for the headphone jack. But it does make sense since head phone jacks usually over ride outputs [ BERNARD  Dec 10, 2014 ]
Don't know, haven't used it in that configuration. Sound output is really good using Grado SR225 phones, could use a remote for volume control though. [ Patrick  Dec 10, 2014 ]