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The loudest Headphone

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hello guys continuing with the newbie questions,

 

Over the years of listening to music, and maybe because of being a drummer for over 10 years, I realized that I appreciate my music powerful, clear and loud. Listening to amazing detail in the mid range, enjoying soft highs and detecting that hint of just right bass at mediocre and low volumes are not for me. I want some really loud headphones. I have loud speakers but it is not an option to turn them loud enough for my taste.

 

Well so far the loudest headphones I have ever listened to was my AH-D 2000's through a Maverick D1 amp/DAC. The combo was less than $500 to build and it was decent, however it got distorted on the highest volume settings. I am not sure if it was the amp that could not drive the speakers or the headphones were just maxed out, but I want something louder. I do not mind if I miss a hz here and a detail there.

Please give me your suggestions. I was thinking that the most expensive headphone may not necessarily be the loudest so I want to get some opinions.

 

Also I would appreciate it if somebody could explain me the difference in noise when the speakers are maxed out versus the distortion you get because of a weak amp.


Edited by Andyk5 - 11/13/11 at 12:50pm
post #2 of 42

Are you sure you haven't simply realized that you've damaged your hearing over the years? That's what it sounds like. Any headphones can be loud with an amp. Look for low impedance and headphones with a narrow soundstage and small dynamic range; Grado comes to mind.

post #3 of 42

Heya,

 

This is like the one place I would think the HD650 would suit someone, lol.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 42

You being a drummer as you say, you should understand "Loud" doesn't equate to good/best... Clean sound at natural levels are the most appealing, this has been proven over and over again.. Your speakers will start to break up when your amplifier "Clips" or runs out of power.. This is why matching equipment is so important.. If you want loud dynamics you could go with really efficient horn loaded speakers like Edgar Horns and you will pay some good money for a pair and horn speakers are usually very large.. Everything is a trade off,  even with the headphones you're talking about the amplifier will make the difference not the headphones for being able to play loud...... I don't know how old you are but you better take care of your hearing or you won't be enjoying music and no one wants a drummer who can't hear the count.... JMO I've been a drummer and been into music most of my 59 yrs of life and you will learn that being able to hear is almost as important as being able to see.

post #5 of 42

Well the loudest headphone I've heard would be XB500. Paired with a ZO amp, listening to 11% volume is enough for "normal" listening volume. Your hearing would be severely damaged very fast with max volume for sure. I bet at max volume it would work nicely as a speaker too. I've been very interested in trying exactly how loud it gets and see if it can make out the vocals if I'm downstairs while it's playing upstairs if played at max but since I occasionally use them still I haven't really given it a try. I think it would easily pass this test.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/13/11 at 4:36pm
post #6 of 42
Get a more powerful amp, you're clipping the one you have. Pretty much every headphone will get loud enough to destroy your hearing.

Or you might want to get a pair of hearing aids to use with your current setup. I think you're going to need them.

You're on track for tinnitus and/or deafness.

You probably won't take seriously an opinion from a stranger on a forum. So go see an audiologist. Take your rig along and get a professional opinion on the volume you're listening at and take a hearing test, too. See if you've lost any range yet.

Call me a wet blanket trying to ruin all the fun. But try falling to sleep when there's a loud ringing in your ears. Or having to wear hearing aids in your late thirties. Don't take it from me, go see an audiologist and hear it face-to-face from a professional.
post #7 of 42

Sounds like you've experienced hearing loss.  I'm a fellow musician and I've already partially considered hearing aids.  

post #8 of 42

Chiming in to say that I think you've definitely damaged your hearing, and finding "louder" headphones could be one of the worst things you do to yourself. Please see an audiologist asap.

post #9 of 42
The Klipsch Image ONE, Dr. Dre Beats, Grado 325i, HD555, SR850, Bose on ear, Pro900, HFI550 and Jays.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 

I am not sure how most of you come to the conclusion of that I have damaged ears without any tests. I mean yeah I could potentially damage my hearing listening to loud music I am aware of that but saying that it already happened, is the same thing as saying If someone likes very shiny sparkly things than this means he is going blind. Anyway, I do not know if my hearing is damaged or not, but one thing I know is that I can hear up to 19kHz ( I can't hear 19) on the internet based hearing tests. I am not sure if they mean anything.

 

So lets go back to my question and talk a bit hypothetically. I am asking this because i truly do not know and never really got the answer in the past.

How loud a driver in a can can get depends more on the amp than the driver itself? When I hear the muddy, scratchy hard to understand noise which sounds like a very loud am radio, at the end of the Volume knob, this is the amp not being sufficient for the drivers? If I had a better amp for my AH-D 2000's instead of the Maverick D1, could I get louder cleaner sound out of them? The reason I am asking is that I also had a set of PC360's (Sennheiser headset with Hd595 drivers) to the same amp and they would get distorted a couple decibels before the Denon's did, so I assumed that the amp was plenty and I was hitting a wall with the abilities of the headphones. But now come to think of it, maybe it takes more power to drive the headset( I doubt it it is made for pc gaming etc..) which is why it would distort before the Denon's did. I am not sure.

 

Also thank you guys for being considerate of others health. No sarcasm, I felt like you guys care :)

 


Edited by Andyk5 - 11/13/11 at 5:18pm
post #11 of 42

Most of us are coming to that conclusion because it's likely true. It's natural to be defensive, but the idea of looking for a "loud headphone" never comes up for 95% of buyers -- any headphone will do. If you're actively seeking something that a very loud headphone WITH an amp can't deliver, you've obviously damaged your hearing. Especially being a drummer? It's a classic case of partial deafness. I'm sorry it has happened but you need to get help to protect what you have left ASAP.

 

Internet hearing tests are 100% meaningless. Different encoders invariably add harmonics at lower frequencies as distortion when encoding audio for web app use, and on top of that many popular audio containers on the web don't even have the capability to hold information above 16KHz. I repeat, they are totally meaningless. And even if they were accurate, which they aren't, simply being able to hear a certain frequency is also nearly meaningless when it comes to hearing loss; what matters is the lowest decibel level you can hear it. If you're turning up the volume to hear this unrealistically-accurate hypothetical internet test, you're nullifying the meaning again.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyk5 View Post

I am not sure how most of you come to the conclusion of that I have damaged ears without any tests. I mean yeah I could potentially damage my hearing listening to loud music I am aware of that but saying that it already happened, is the same thing as saying If someone likes very shiny sparkly things than this means he is going blind. Anyway, I do not know if my hearing is damaged or not, but one thing I know is that I can hear up to 19kHz ( I can't hear 19) on the internet based hearing tests. I am not sure if they mean anything.

 

So lets go back to my question and talk a bit hypothetically. I am asking this because i truly do not know and never really got the answer in the past.

How loud a driver in a can can get depends more on the amp than the driver itself? When I hear the muddy, scratchy hard to understand noise which sounds like a very loud am radio, at the end of the Volume knob, this is the amp not being sufficient for the drivers? If I had a better amp for my AH-D 2000's instead of the Maverick D1, could I get louder cleaner sound out of them? The reason I am asking is that I also had a set of PC360's (Sennheiser headset with Hd595 drivers) to the same amp and they would get distorted a couple decibels before the Denon's did, so I assumed that the amp was plenty and I was hitting a wall with the abilities of the headphones. But now come to think of it, maybe it takes more power to drive the headset( I doubt it it is made for pc gaming etc..) which is why it would distort before the Denon's did. I am not sure.

 

Also thank you guys for being considerate of others health. No sarcasm, I felt like you guys care :)

 



 


Edited by soundstige - 11/13/11 at 5:26pm
post #12 of 42

My (very basic) understanding is that how loud and cleanly a headphone can be driven would depend on both the headphone and the amp--it's likely one or the other will be the bottleneck, but both play a part.

 

The amp needs to handle the electrical load properly, otherwise we will hear clipping or distortion. However, there must be a limit as to how hard a headphone can be pushed, which I think is dependent on the durability of the headphone's speaker coil to all the flexing necessary to achieve high volume.

 

Surely, though, there is a breaking limit. We see this when drivers are blown: often the case when there are unintended spikes in volume (e.g. the power on/off 'thud'). I believe Uncle Erik once mentioned a speaker that was so difficult to drive that it would make lesser amps melt (literally, mind you).

 

Back to the point on hearing: 

You're maxing the D1. I've had that amp for a short period, used it with my Beyer DT 880 (250 ohms version). The headphone's not too hard to drive, but it can use a little amping... I think I have some idea of how unhealthy the D1 could be when cranked to its full volume.

post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Well the loudest headphone I've heard would be XB500. Paired with a ZO amp, listening to 11% volume is enough for "normal" listening volume. Your hearing would be severely damaged very fast with max volume for sure. I bet at max volume it would work nicely as a speaker too. I've been very interested in trying exactly how loud it gets and see if it can make out the vocals if I'm downstairs while it's playing upstairs if played at max but since I occasionally use them still I haven't really given it a try. I think it would easily pass this test.

Ya I've pushed a hell of a lot of watts in to those, i they wont ever blow out. Although the XB1000 would probably be able to handle a lot more with its 70mm driver vs. XB500 40mm. I think thats more than triple the surface area.
post #14 of 42
post #15 of 42

This is a bit dated, but last time I looked, the Sennheiser HD25 has just about the highest dB level available in headphones (146 dB):

http://gilmore2.chem.northwestern.edu/tech/dbohn1_table.htm

 

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