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A Low-Voltage Low-Power Output Stage for Class-G Headphone Amplifiers

This paper proposes a new headphone amplifier circuit architecture, which output stage can be powered with very low supply rails from ±1.8 V to ±0.2 V. When used inside a Class-G amplifier, with the switched mode power supply powering the output stage, the power consumption can be significantly reduced. For a typical listening level of 2x100µW, the increase in power consumption compared to idle is only 0.7mW, instead of 2.5mW to 3mW for existing amplifiers. In battery-powered devices like smartphones or portable music players, this can increase the battery life of more than 15% during audio playback. Theory of operation, electrical performance and a comparison with the actual state of the art will be detailed.

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