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Hi-Fi Headphones w/ an Amp Good or Worse for Hearing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My relatively conservative Grado SR80 headphones have served me well over the years. I've been interested in buying something new, primarily the Sennheiser HD 650. 

 

If I buy the HD 650, I also want to run it through a desktop amp. My question is, will having a hi-fi headphone powered by an amp be detrimental to my hearing versus a simpler, non-amped headphone? I am always keen on preserving hearing and I don't listen to music overly loud. 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by RENOWN View Post

My relatively conservative Grado SR80 headphones have served me well over the years. I've been interested in buying something new, primarily the Sennheiser HD 650. 

 

If I buy the HD 650, I also want to run it through a desktop amp. My question is, will having a hi-fi headphone powered by an amp be detrimental to my hearing versus a simpler, non-amped headphone? I am always keen on preserving hearing and I don't listen to music overly loud. 

 

Thanks


Volume is all that matters for the hearing loss issue. Amped or not, doesn't matter. The sound pressure is what matters. Louder means more pressure. Simple as that.

 

Very best,

 

post #3 of 6

Does the distance of the source matter? Like iem vs circumaural headphones vs speakers. Or is volume the only factor?

post #4 of 6

Two sides to the argument.

 

On one end, if amping increases sound quality, you'll need a lower volume to achieve the ideal amount of details, so it's better for your hearing.

 

On the other hand, if amping increases sound quality, you'll fall in love with the music and intrinsically crank it up to immerse yourself in your music, thus damaging your hearing.

post #5 of 6

 

wink_face.gif Not to be overlooked is length of time to exposure. And isn't limited to when you're in-session.   

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by semmio View Post

Does the distance of the source matter? Like iem vs circumaural headphones vs speakers. Or is volume the only factor?


Volume (sound intensity) falls off as the inverse square of the distance.

 

This means that there will be less leeway when you are turning up the intensity of music played through your headphones compared with your speakers.

 

Another way to look at it is listening to music in front of speakers at a normal distance, at a comfortable volume, and then having the same volume, but listening to the speakers at the distance you would listen to music with headphones...

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