Originally Posted by Vidya
I've been looking into some Beyerdynamic 880s and 990s but I'm not sure about if you NEED an amp for them since I'm a noob to audiophillia. I would probably eventually get an amp but not in the near future, would I be able to use them straight into a Z77 ASUS Sabertooth motherboard and be able to hear audio reasonably?
(I know there are 32 etc ohm versions but I am planning on getting an amp in a few months time)
Well, simple calculation can give you a ball park number. For example, Beyerdynamic DT880 250 ohm has a sensitivity of 96. A computer sound card typically outputs 0.5-2v. So your maximum sound from DT880 is anywhere between 96-107 dB.
How loud is 107dB? It is about as loud as timpani & bass drum rolling. So it is loud enough to be heard if you dial your pc volume to the max.
However, if you play classical music which has wide dynamic range, 107dB is not high enough. You will most likely experience some sound peak clip-off. That is when you need a headphone amp.