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Headphone amps with more than one output: do they dilute their power?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm not well clued with electronic circuit theory.

 

With amps that have outputs for more than one headphone, if you drive more than one difficult-to-drive headphone simultaneously - does that weaken the amp's power into both loads?

 

Or is it like connecting things in series vs parallel where if it is in parallel, you can connect as many things as you like to it and there won't be any drop in power?

 

How does it work?

post #2 of 6

If your amp has sufficient power it should sound the same.  However, at max load if your amp only has enough power for one there will be a decrease in performance if you use both at the same time. This only applies to amps with circuitry that combines both outputs opposed as to having seperate power supplies for each output. Also you have to be careful as some amps with two outputs the intention is not to provide you with dual outputs but to provide you with two ouputs for headphones with different impedences (one for low impedence and one for high impedence). So the idea is that you can run some high sensitivity IEMS on the low impedence output without any kind of hiss or hum or static and then you can put your hard to drive headphones on the high impdence output for more power.  Although you possibly could use both outputs at the same time that is not what the amp was designed for (IE Burson HA-160).  Hopefully this helps.

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus_farmer View Post

I'm not well clued with electronic circuit theory.

 

With amps that have outputs for more than one headphone, if you drive more than one difficult-to-drive headphone simultaneously - does that weaken the amp's power into both loads?

 

Or is it like connecting things in series vs parallel where if it is in parallel, you can connect as many things as you like to it and there won't be any drop in power?

 

How does it work?

 

By "drop in power" I assume you mean "drop in Volume". Yes, the volume will drop when you plug in more than one headphone.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, what are the dual outputs in the V200 designed for?

 

Is one for high impedance and one for low impedance loads?

 

Also, is there a formula for working it out?

 

Like if I were to plug two HE-6's into a V200 and play them at the same time, would they both only be able to achieve 50% volume as what they would achieve if only one were plugged in?


Edited by cactus_farmer - 8/22/12 at 1:25am
post #5 of 6

How the dual outputs will behave is highly dependant on how they are wired up, and/or whether there is separate circuitry for each output. 

 

If they're wired in series, then your amp will effectively be seeing a higher impedance load and the headphone will be sharing the voltage swing.

 

If wired in parallel, then this drops the apparent impedance load which might be an issue if the amp has a high output impedance. The amp will also have to supply more current in this config and you will likely clip current before voltage. 

 

For the amps that have a low Z and high Z output, it once again is highly dependent on how that was implemented. If it's a separate circuit for each, no problem. In a simpler case, one output might simply have some resistors wired up in series. Or something else entirely.

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

Thanks, what are the dual outputs in the V200 designed for?

 

Is one for high impedance and one for low impedance loads?

 

Also, is there a formula for working it out?

 

Like if I were to plug two HE-6's into a V200 and play them at the same time, would they both only be able to achieve 50% volume as what they would achieve if only one were plugged in?

I would like to know the same thing. What is the actual purpose of dual outputs? If one of them it is to be able to compare 2 different pairs of headphones more easily then I am definitely interested in this feature. 

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