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First headphone amp purchase - need advice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hola Head-Fi'ers! 


Question from a pretty green newb here. I need a way to amplify the audio that comes out of my Xbox 360 so I can listen to it with headphones. The signal is very weak when I plug the headphones in directly, I believe because it's an unamplified signal. Right now I have it going into a console amplifier, and from there to headphones. I'd like to get the big console amp out of the room completely. So I guess I need a headphone amp. But I've never bought one before so I could use some advice. 


Here's what I think I need (let me know if you think I'm missing something):

  1. Inexpensive - I don't know what these things cost but I'd like to keep it basic
  2. Does not need to be extremely high-fidelity
  3. Easy to use
  4. Doesn't need to be portable but small and discreet would be good. 
  5. I have electrical power in the place I want to use it


I can't think of any other requirements or circumstances to mention. If anyone knows something special about the audio output on an Xbox 360 I'd love to know if there are special things I should be considering.


Any advice on a unit I should buy?


Much appreciated! I'll be sure to come back and write a review after the purchase. 


Thanks - and my wife thanks you too. Headphones make playing the old Xbox a lot less disruptive to others in the home!





post #2 of 9

Are you going to use the amp soley for the purpose of gaming? If so, you can just buy a pair of Turtle Beaches and plug them directly into the back of your 360. They come with a usb powered amp. Not the best SQ, but they work effectively for gaming purposes and are very cheap.


Alternatively, if you have a stereo system or receiver at home with an aux input you can just connect the xbox to that using a y cable and then plug your headphones into the stereo's headphone out. That's what I'm doing right now and it seems to work fine for games like MW2 and Halo.Depending on the receiver and headphone combo, this option can offer better performance than the Turtle Beaches.






post #3 of 9

If you just need decent amplification, anything would do. A Cmoy, for example. I used to use a Altoids Cmoy, fun little things.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Those Turtle Beach headphones look nice. A little more than I was hoping to spend, perhaps. The cord would also have to be really long to reach from the machine to where I sit. I guess I forgot to mention that. I run the signal through a long miniplug extension cable, around the room to the sofa.


I'm not much good with a soldering iron, though I'm sure the Altoids Cmoy is a fun project. Too many other projects backed up on my list! 


Any suggestions for a basic amp to buy? Probably, as you said, anything would do. I just don't have the first notion what is out there.


Thanks again!

post #5 of 9

well, you can buy a pre-built cmoy off ebay.  there are diy guys on there that sell them for 30 or 40 bucks all the time.


otherwise look at a  Fii0 e5.

post #6 of 9

The Cmoy and Fiio are battery powered, the OP wants to use his electricity, which mean plugged into the mains I am sure.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Probably would like to plug into the wall, yeah. Just to keep down the battery costs and waste.

post #8 of 9

I would look at portable amps such as by Firestone Audio, iBasso, RSA and through the portable amp part of the forum. Many use portable amps as a desktop amp. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

So it turns out my coworker heard me talking about wanting an amp and built me one! Always cool to have a unique DIY job, and he said I should just take him out to lunch in return. Nice resolution!



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