External CD-ROM turned Class A headphone amp

[Gio] sent in this slick Class A headphone amp. An old CD-ROM case was gutted to hold the goods. The design is fairly simple. Cost can be kept fairly low although the capacitors can add up if you’re a fanatic about quality. If you’ve ever lost any of your headphone gear to sticky fingers, you know that having it blending in to the background can be a great feature.


  1. Liam says:

    What a great idea for a project enclosure. I’ll remember this in future.

  2. Marcin says:

    I will do it for myself.

  3. andrew says:

    now *this* is a hack! bravo

  4. 36chambers says:

    Nice Stealth Factor,

    This can be done for virtually FREE using trash.

    Step 1. Get your old Walkman tape player
    Step 2. Locate and remove the Magnetic tape head
    Step 3. Wire the 3 wires up to a stereo jack of your choice for input.
    Step4. Plug your headphone into the walkman and turn it on/press play etc

    Optionally you can remove the mechanics that deal with the tape.

    -If you dont feel like ruining your walkmen, you can do the same thing with a cassette Tape->1/8″ stereo adapter. Put the tape in the walkmen, press play, and plug the 1/8″ stereo male end into any sound source you wish to amplify.


  5. @4 I love the walkman enclosure idea. I keep looking at the yellow sports walkman I have and wondering why I am keeping it since I have no more tapes!


  6. f00 f00 says:

    Thats one of the neatest headphone amps Ive seen. Low part count too. Is it just me or have we only had one hack today? Could this be a return to the old format?

  7. atrain says:

    The problem is that some high-end headphones need more power than any of these devices can supply. You will either end up with loud distorted music, or having the music still too quiet. A computer plugged in to the wall can’t power these things, why would a tape player off batteries be able to do it reasonably?

  8. PlasmaFire says:

    I see Grado headphones…man, those cans sound great!

    Very cool hack…although, it’d look a little odd since many don’t use the headphone jack on those units, and external drives aren’t as popular as they used to be.

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