Low distortion Class-B circuitry, 6V Battery Operated

Some lovers of High Fidelity headphone listening prefer the use of battery powered headphone amplifiers, not only for portable units but also for home "table" applications. This design is intended to fulfill their needs. An improved output driving capability is gained by making this a push-pull Class-B arrangement. Output power can reach 100mW RMS into a 16 Ohm load at 6V supply with low standing and mean current consumption, allowing long battery duration.

Circuit diagram:
A Hiqh Quality Headphone Amplifier Schematic
High Quality Headphone Amplifier Circuit Diagram


P1 = 22K Potentiometer
R1 = 15K Resistor
R2 = 100K Resistor
R3 = 100K Resistor
R4 = 47K Resistor
R5 = 470R Resistor
R6 = 500R Resistor
R7 = 1K Resistor
R8 = 18K Resistor
R9 = 18K Resistor
R10 = 2.2R Resistor
R11 = 2.2R Resistor
R12 = 33R Resistor
R13 = 4.7K Resistor

C1 = 10uF-25V Capacitors
C2 = 10uF-25V Capacitors
C3 = 100nF-63V (PF)
C4 = 220uF-25V Capacitors
C5 = 100nF-63V (PF)
C6 = 220uF-25V Capacitors

Q1 = BC560C PNP Transistor
Q2 = BC560C PNP Transistor
Q3 = BC550C NPN Transistor
Q4 = BC550C NPN Transistor
Q5 = BC560C PNP Transistor
Q6 = BC327 PNP Transistor
Q7 = BC337 NPN Transistor

J1 = RCA Audio Input Socket
J2 = 3mm Stereo Jack Socket
B1 = 6V Battery Rechargeable
SW1=SPST Slide or Toggle Switch

  • For a Stereo version of this circuit, all parts must be doubled except P1, SW1, J2 and B1.
  • Before setting quiescent current rotate the volume control P1 to the minimum, Trimmer R6 to maximum resistance and Trimmer R3 to about the middle of its travel.
  • Connect a suitable headphone set or, better, a 33 Ohm 1/2W resistor to the amplifier output.
  • Switch on the supply and measure the battery voltage with a Multimeter set to about 10Vdc fsd.
  • Connect the Multimeter across the positive end of C4 and the negative ground.
  • Rotate R3 in order to read on the Multimeter display exactly half of the battery voltage previously measured.
  • Switch off the supply, disconnect the Multimeter and reconnect it, set to measure about 10mA fsd, in series to the positive supply of the amplifier.
  • Switch on the supply and rotate R6 slowly until a reading of about 3mA is displayed.
  • Check again the voltage at the positive end of C4 and readjust R3 if necessary.
  • Wait about 15 minutes, watch if the current is varying and readjust if necessary.
  • Those lucky enough to reach an oscilloscope and a 1 KHz sine wave generator can drive the amplifier to the maximum output power and adjust R3 in order to obtain a symmetrical clipping of the sine wave displayed.

Technical data:

Output power (1 KHz sine wave):
  • 16 Ohm: 100mW RMS
  • 32 Ohm: 60mW RMS
  • 64 Ohm: 35mW RMS
  • 100 Ohm: 22.5mW RMS
  • 300 Ohm: 8.5mW RMS
  • 160mV input for 1V RMS output into 32 Ohm load (31mW)
  • 200mV input for 1.27V RMS output into 32 Ohm load (50mW)
Frequency response @ 1V RMS:
  • Flat from 45Hz to 20 KHz, -1dB @ 35Hz, -2dB @ 24Hz
Total harmonic distortion into 16 Ohm load @ 1 KHz:
  • 1V RMS (62mW) 0.015% 1.27V RMS (onset of clipping, 100mW) 0.04%
Total harmonic distortion into 16 Ohm load @ 10 KHz:
  • 1V RMS (62mW) 0.05% 1.27V RMS (onset of clipping, 100mW) 0.1%
  • Unconditionally stable on capacitive loads

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