Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › testing headphones power handling?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

testing headphones power handling?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anyone here knows how to test the power handling of a full size headphones? Pioneer HDJ-2000 claims to handle 2000mW. I wonder if this is true? Also, who makes an amp that outputs that much power? My Musical Fidelity M1 HPA looks to have the most power at 1,100 mW from my understanding.
Reply
post #2 of 15
Tube amps can have enough power, and SS amps such as the Beta22 should have enough power as well. Otherwise you can use the speaker tabs on a power amp.

But I general I would strongly advice against testing power handling. The manufacturer has set those limits for a reason, if you go above them there is a good chance you're going to damage the headphones in the process.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can't under powering have higher chance of damaging drivers because of clipping? That's my understanding coming from home audio speakers.
Reply
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Can't under powering have higher chance of damaging drivers because of clipping? That's my understanding coming from home audio speakers.

 

With headphones and amplifiers that behave well on clipping (i.e. clip reasonably symmetrically, do not swing to the other power rail, and do not oscillate), I would guess "under powering" is more likely to simply sound bad than damage the drivers. If any clipping was dangerous, people listening to modern popular music would have rather short lived headphones and speakers normal_smile%20.gif

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Can't under powering have higher chance of damaging drivers because of clipping? That's my understanding coming from home audio speakers.
No. Clipping is still limited in volume, and volume is the main thing that could damage the headphones.
If you're talking about the high frequency content of clipping, then it should really have an effect either since most headphones are bandwidth limited to not far above and below the audible range. That is, the high frequency content will simply be attenuated and not cause any harm.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Can't under powering have higher chance of damaging drivers because of clipping? That's my understanding coming from home audio speakers.
Not that it matters, and I am not recommending tube amps (or not), but the JBL White Paper that was the genesis of that warning was authored when bipolar transistor amps were taking over from tubes in the market.

When bipolar transistor output clips the waveforms are destructive to voice coils. Tube and Mosfet outputs tend to be benign in that respect. If there is no voice coil - electrostatic phones - distortion may still be a problem, but not heat buildup as far as I can see.

The high frequency products of distortion are another issue, I agree. One mitigating fact is that higher frequency waveforms have far less energy than low frequency; they tend to create less heat in big voice coils. The bad news, smaller voice coils don't need much heat to fail. Clipping fries the tweeters first in speakers.
Edited by Clarkmc2 - 7/10/12 at 10:56am
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

When bipolar transistor output clips the waveforms are destructive to voice coils. Tube and Mosfet outputs tend to be benign in that respect. If there is no voice coil - electrostatic phones - distortion may still be a problem, but not heat buildup as far as I can see.
The high frequency products of distortion are another issue, I agree. One mitigating fact is that higher frequency waveforms have far less energy than low frequency; they tend to create less heat in big voice coils. The bad news, smaller voice coils don't need much heat to fail. Clipping fries the tweeters first in speakers.

 

Fortunately, headphones usually do not have separate tweeters with lower power handling. Also, only poorly designed amplifiers have "destructive" output (oscillation etc.) on clipping.

o2%252520clipped%25252010%252520Khz%252520sinewave%252520max%252520output%252520600%252520ohms_thumb.png?imgmax=800


Edited by stv014 - 7/10/12 at 11:04am
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
What's the real point in have a headphones with a power handling of 2w?
Reply
post #9 of 15
Sorry to have been confusing. The destructive element I was referring to was heat generated by the transducer attempting to reproduce the clipped waveform. Not new frequencies generated by distortion. There was a good bit of apples and oranges back and forth in my badly organized post. Appologies.
Edited by Clarkmc2 - 7/10/12 at 11:19am
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

Sorry to have been confusing. The destructive element I was referring to was heat generated by the transducer attempting to reproduce the clipped waveform. Not new frequencies generated by distortion. There was a good bit of apples and oranges back and forth in my badly organized post. Appologies.

Thank you for the clarification.
Reply
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

Sorry to have been confusing. The destructive element I was referring to was heat generated by the transducer attempting to reproduce the clipped waveform. Not new frequencies generated by distortion. There was a good bit of apples and oranges back and forth in my badly organized post. Appologies.

Thank you for the clarification.
Reply
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

Sorry to have been confusing. The destructive element I was referring to was heat generated by the transducer attempting to reproduce the clipped waveform.

 

Heat is also generated without clipping, though, it is mainly a function of the input power.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

Heat is also generated without clipping, though, it is mainly a function of the input power.

Will burning in a headphones by playing continuously for more than 8 hrs. at slightly above normal listening level cause heat to build up and damage the voice coil/driver?
Reply
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post


Will burning in a headphones by playing continuously for more than 8 hrs. at slightly above normal listening level cause heat to build up and damage the voice coil/driver?

 

Nope.  

As long as you don't exceed their rated power, they will never overheat.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by iZMXi View Post

 

Nope.  

As long as you don't exceed their rated power, they will never overheat.

While this is true at normal to slightly above normal lisening levels you can damage the earphones with highly compressed music played back just slightly below rated power.Just like you can't run an engine at full power indefinately without possible damage same applies to earphones & speakers. Some commercial engins can output thier full rated power for long periods but you have to undestand these engines also tend to have lower power for a given displacement than non commercial engines & are running fuels that have some lubricity as well as cooling properties in them so I'm not speaking of these engines.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › testing headphones power handling?