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How can I make my audio louder?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm using Sennheiser HD555, they are pretty good, but I wanted to know if there is a way to make them louder? like louder than the volume produced from itunes on max? or would I have to buy different headphones if I want louder output??

thanks
post #2 of 7
That's what amps are for.

Know what you're looking for?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
no, i thought amps are for electric guitars, etc. how would I connect an amp to headphones????
post #4 of 7
Are you sure you're the Stork? Or what the stock brought? He he... just giving you a hard time.

Head-Fi is a great place to learn. Someone who understands these things better than I do will walk you through the details, and give you all sorts of good amplification options to consider using in conjunction with your computer or with a stand alone PCDP or DAP.
post #5 of 7
Just turn up the volume brotha
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
Someone who understands these things better than I do will walk you through the details, and give you all sorts of good amplification options to consider using in conjunction with your computer or with a stand alone PCDP or DAP.
now I don't wanna answer the thread, because I don't wanna say I know more than you do, because I'm sure I don't





anyways, I'll give it a shot, yes, electric guitars use amplifiers in order to be played back, in that situation, the guitar is producing electrical signals (at the pick-ups) and gain is being applied (here's where the amp comes in), then it is sent to an output stage (another amp), and the speaker(s)/house sound system/whatever-you-like (you get noise, is the point)

now, thats the most basic way I can explain an amp, as something that applies gain to a signal, now lets look at headphones or speakers, they're built to vibrate/move/act-upon air, in order to produce sound (ok, lets just ignore plasma tweeters, and other madness, because thats way out of the scope of this discussion), anyways, you gotta apply some gain to that signal, in order to get these speakers moving air

now lets look at headphones, currently you've got HD-555's being driven off of your computer (by the way, when you get a chance, take down the information on what kind of soundcard you have, and provide us that), which means a little tiny amp in your computer is powering your HD-555's, and probably not doing them justice (to be honest)

here's where a headphone amplifier comes into play, this isn't to say its neccisarily going to make the music louder (not to mention that, in reality, loud is NOT good, the misconception that you have to crank music to enjoy it or listen to it critically is dangerous, because you can majorly destroy your ears, especially with higher end headphones (the HD 555's are lumped into this for purposes of this discussion), which are fairly sensitive and can get some stupid high SPLs going into your noggin), although it will increase fidelity and quality, limited by whatever is on either side of it

for example, if you're listening to 64kbps mp3's from itunes through a Creative AWE32, but you're connected into a Grace m902, which is in turn driving your HD 555's, the m902 will be transparent and wonderful as the m902 is, however you won't see a mind blowing improvement because you're still getting kneecapped by the mp3's (and in the case of the m902, the HD 555's (this is not to say they're bad headphones, the m902 is just designed with a different grade of equipment in mind))

although, if you have a decent quality music collection, like FLAC or high bitrate mp3's (like ~250k or higher, or good VBR recordings), into something reasonable for your HD 555's, you'll be efficiently spending money, and should see a quality increase

so, unless you've got some killer soundcard, or for some reason want/need a killer soundcard, I'd go with the USB DAC/amp solution, for simplicity and a good level of price/performance, this will more properly drive your headphones, and give you a good quality source
post #7 of 7
Something like the emu 0404 usb will get you a better dac than you currently have, and more power in the bargain, for not too many bones.
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