Headphone users make up a large segment of music listeners. As headphones have steadily improved in quality - especially in the past 5 years - they will reveal the shortcomings of basic headphone outputs in preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers, receivers, and portable music players.
In addition to providing low distortion and a low noise floor, they provide the power to drive the more demanding higher impedance headphones. Headphone amplifiers are available with high quality DACs - far better sounding than the ones in a laptop - and with volume control and ability to drive power amplifiers without the need of a preamplifier. Sophisticated high-end designs feature balanced outputs. Tube designs offer a slightly different listening experience.
We have headphone amplifiers with the means to sustain output for long haul plane flights.
You can get much better sound with a headphone amplifier with a high performance DAC than directly plugging into your laptop. Bring your current cans along for a demo.