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Pro-Ject Head Box S

Headphone amplifier (Black)

25 Reviews | 5 questions - 19 answers

Item # 252HDBXSB

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Pro-Ject Head Box S




Our take on the Pro-Ject Head Box S

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.

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

What's in the Box:

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

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Solved a problem no one could figure out, how to use wireless headphones and still have sound on a surround sound system Great!!'

Teryle, Parkville, MO


Pro-Ject Head Box S Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(25 Reviews)

Wireless headphones

Teryle from Parkville, MO on 10/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Solved a problem no one could figure out, how to use wireless headphones and still have sound on a surround sound system Great!!'

Pros: Easy to install It works

Cons: None

Good value

Anonymous from Lake City, FL on 10/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My 2 tube preamps (Elekit and PAS NG) don't have headphone amplifiers, so I bought this. It does what it claims to do. Construction quality seems high--better than I expected. Drives my older Sennheiser 545 phones adequately from line level source. I didn't hear any hiss, but there was a slight turn off thump. I can't say that it is better than the headphone amp in my old Yamaha integrated, but it is certainly no worse. If you need a headphone amp I would look no further. Received unit in 2 days. Well packed. Impressed with Crutchfield service.



Fantastic Little Box

Bob from San Jose, CA on 10/12/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have this hooked up to my Mac, powering Sennheiser HD 1 headphones. Hugely distinct difference running sound through the Head Box S, vs through the Mac. Greater dynamic range for more spacial resolution - simply amazing sound. Well made elegant little box.

Pros: Boosts the performance of headphones - you don't know what you're missing until you try the Head Box S.

Cons: None.

Pro-Ject Head Box S

Anonymous from New Castle, PA on 10/9/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had new headphones. They are so much better with this amplifier. The amp. Is small in size, but makes my music better. Along with the worry free RCA cable, I now enjoy a great new system. Most of the time I use only 1/3 of the amps power.



Absolutely worth it

Mehmet from New Rochelle, NY on 4/7/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent, Additionally I was concerned that it wouldn't have enough power to drive sennheiser HD600 but I can't even pass the half way mark on the volume dial. It is small and esthetically beautiful

Pros: Excellent, clean sound quality, very good price

Cons: Non

This Pro-Ject Head Box Does the Job Nicely

Gary P from Kew Gardens Hills, NY on 1/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This headphone amp does a perfect job. It took only minutes to hook it up. Completely Satisfied.

Pros: Boosts my sound perfectly.

Cons: None

Solves two problems

David from Birmingham, AL on 10/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Met the need. I got this for my dad who cannot hear well. We connected the unit to the aux audio output on his tv and put the Head Box next to his chair. Now he can use headphones and have complete volume control - and mom can mute the TV completely!

Pros: Great for those with hearing difficulties

Cons: None

Pleased with Pro-ject Head Box X

Matt B from windsor, CT on 3/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am very pleased with the head phone amp. It is very portable, easy to hook up and drives my Sennheiser 800 phones very well. I am quite sure there are much better amps , but this item fills the bill. Thank you for your assistance in pointing the way toward me acquiring this item.

Pros: Small, portable, easy hook up and gives the power needed for the 800 headphones.

Cons: If there are cons, I certainly don't have one.

Heading in the right direction

Steve M from fair lawn, NJ on 2/7/2016

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

Jeff C from Ohio on 1/6/2016

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

rminnehan from Massachusetts on 3/22/2015

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..

Raymond from Georgia on 3/15/2015

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

Anonymous from California on 1/4/2015

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

SteveR from Buffalo on 1/4/2015

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

Anonymous from Massachusetts on 11/20/2014

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

dj from Tucson on 10/11/2014

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

JAW from Valley of the sun Arizona on 9/7/2014

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

JohnH from Massachusetts on 7/16/2014

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

D C from LINCOLN PARK MI. on 11/12/2013

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

Trex from Pittsburgh, PA on 11/12/2013

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!

Edward F from Beaver Dam, Kentucky on 6/21/2013

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

thebadfrog from North Oakland County Michigan on 5/9/2013

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

BillD from Wilkesboro, NC on 8/3/2012

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.

Curt from Chewelah on 7/6/2012

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

John S from Vermont on 5/26/2012

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

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Good price, just wanted a headphone amplifier, to listen to TV. [ THERESA  Apr 27, 2017 ]
Reputation of the Austrian manufacturer plus numerous excellent reviews. [ Rod  Nov 15, 2017 ]
Work component [ Scott  Mar 22, 2017 ]
it's ok. i don't find much difference in headphone amps, to be honest. [ Daren  Jan 16, 2017 ]

5 questions already asked

I'm sure it would help and provide a better source than the standard headphone jack found on most receivers [ Stephen  Jan 17, 2017 ]
This unit only has RCA line-level inputs, so I'm not sure how you would connect your phone to this. It should drive the headphones though. I think you should look to getting an amplified DAC instead. [ Daniel  Jan 07, 2017 ]
You won't need a pre-amp. I've used the Head Box S straight out of a Roku Soundbridge and a Logitech Squeezebox Touch and it works great. Neither of those devices have pre-amps. [ jeffrey  Dec 12, 2016 ]
You will need a preamp. This unit only has line-level inputs. [ Daniel  Dec 03, 2016 ]
Robert...I tested this for you with a pair of Sennheisers 600s. I hooked the amp up to my computer, i phone and ipod. It was close but no cigar. I used the 600s for two reasons..1. they are the closest headphones in existence to your 650s, and the impedance on both is 300 ohms. That's a ton of resistance and it doesn't quite do it for you. You'll need a slightly stronger amp. I posted something very close to this answer originally but never saw it. It appeared as though you thanked me for my next comment which wouldn't have been helpful at all. I noticed someone else said that their m50xs do fine with this amp. He's right, but the impedance on m50xs is very low in comparison. [ William T.  Feb 28, 2016 ]
All I can say is that it makes my Audio-Technica headphones sound like alive show. My laptop sounds like it has 200 watts [ jeffrey  Feb 28, 2016 ]
Plus, You have a pair of fine headphones. A ton of people swear by their sound. Do yourself a favor and really research it. If you don't, you may not get to experience the incredible sound that they produce. [ William T.  Feb 28, 2016 ]
Hi, Robert....My opinion is not quite. I use it a chain with a second amp that are plugged into the audio port on my computer and it gives me what I need, but not with the Head Box S all by itself. When I saw your question, I plugged my I Phone 6s into it and it didn't quite make it. Same thing with my I Pod Nano. I'm using a pair of Sennheiser 600s to test it out. The reason I'm using them is that they're the closest thing I have to your headphones plus the impedence is the same in the 600s and 650s. 300 ohms...That's a lot of resistance. You need to go up one level. It's close, but not quite. Here's part of an article I just googled: "The real number we're concerned with, however, is the HD650's 300 ohms of impedance. As with other Sennheiser open-air headphones, they have a high impedance that requires not only a powerful amp, but a quality amp. To get the most out of these headphones, you'll need something good." [ William T.  Feb 28, 2016 ]
I have Sennheiser HD600's and it does fine. [ Gloria  Feb 28, 2016 ]
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 ]