I periodically struggle with the inconsistent output when I use different headphones on my PC. Variations in impedance and design make it a pain to switch headphones when I am working on my computer. Recently I ran across some YouTube videos where people were using headphone amplifiers or mixers to get better output to their headphones. This triggered my interest and I began to consider different options.
I examined the possibility of using a mixer but that had some limitations such as cost as well as support for only one headphone at a time. I also started looking at headphone amps and found that the price range was all over the place and it was hard to tell if one was better than the other in terms of sound quality. I really did not want to spend a ton of money on something I only use a couple of times a week so I was trying to keep the price down without giving up to much quality. I wanted to start with some low-end amplifiers and work my way up as necessary based on the results. As it turned out the first purchase impressed me so much and satisfied the basic requirement that I ended up keeping it.
The Behringer HA400 Headphone Amplifier at $24 has 4 amplified stereo outputs and a single input. With this I can leave all 3 of headphones that I use regularly plugged in all the times, each adjusted to the right level for the particular device. At first, I thought the sound was bit brighter than I like, but after numerous tests, it turned out extremely hard to tell the difference in terms of sound quality as compared to the native output of the sound board.
Given the price point of this device, if you use more than one headphone/earphone on your computer, or suffer from low output, this is a great option for very little money. It is hard to believe you can get a device like this for so little money and the build quality is actually pretty good. This is not an audiophile device designed to run very high-end headphones but rather a device for us regular users. It a bit annoying that you have to purchase and use 1/4 inch adapters but given what it does it is a small price to pay. Overall I really like this device and I am glad I found a low-cost solution to the problem.