If you really want to make your music come alive while listening with headphones, the MMP from NuForce ($59) might be your solution. MMP stands for Mobile Music Pump. This little gadget is designed to work with over-ear headphones and gives them the juice to amplify the sound.
This little guy measures only 2 x 1 3/4 x 3/8 inches and weighs about as much as a hummingbird beak. It has a connector for a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck.
In the package, you get a double-ended male 3.5 mm cable to connect to audio output sources such as iPhones, iPods, and iPads. You also get a micro-USB cord for charging. Audio playback time is about eight hours on a full charge.
On the unit there is a power on/off switch, a 3.5 mm audio-in port, and two 3.5 mm audio out ports. That means two people can listen to your tunes with two different earphones. An LED light indicates battery level: red means the battery is low; green equals fully charged; orange indicates battery is being charged. A gain switched toggles between 3x and 5x gain. It has a micro USB port for charging.
The MMP comes in your choice of black or white. You can pick one up on Amazon here. I was a little skeptical, and I tried it out on several earphones. The difference it makes is surprising. My headphones never sounded so good.
I just wish it were Bluetooth equipped so you could get rid of the wires, which I detest. But I suppose some purists would warn against denigration of quality when wireless. It wouldn’t bother me though.