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What's the point in getting an Amp if you have a sound card?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This is probably very obvious to some but I don't get it.

 

I've seen people with proper sound cards using an extra amp between their headphones and the soundcard.

I'm not exactly sure why someone would do this, especially considering that most sound cards only have 1 analog output instead of a separate left and right output.

On a Pc you can use equalisation software to change the sound so it confuses me a bit.

 

Why would someone want to use an expensive amp if they already have a high-quality sound card?

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

This is probably very obvious to some but I don't get it.

 

I've seen people with proper sound cards using an extra amp between their headphones and the soundcard.

I'm not exactly sure why someone would do this, especially considering that most sound cards only have 1 analog output instead of a separate left and right output.

On a Pc you can use equalisation software to change the sound so it confuses me a bit.

 

Why would someone want to use an expensive amp if they already have a high-quality sound card?

 

Because not all sound cards have effective built-in amplifiers.  There are people with orthodynamic headphones that require more power than an on-board amplifier on a sound card can deliver.

post #3 of 6

Pretty much exactly what he said. Also even if you have a high quality sound card, amps, especially expensive ones, are built using audiophile grade components and will usually not only provide more power but "better" power as well. 

post #4 of 6

Some headphones are just too demanding to be driven properly through sound card amplifiers.

 

Or, in my case as a Stax/electrostatic user, those type of headphones cannot be driven AT ALL by sound cards. You need a specialized amp (or a transformer box and speaker amp) for them to even work.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amputate View Post

This is probably very obvious to some but I don't get it.

I've seen people with proper sound cards using an extra amp between their headphones and the soundcard.

I'm not exactly sure why someone would do this, especially considering that most sound cards only have 1 analog output instead of a separate left and right output.

On a Pc you can use equalisation software to change the sound so it confuses me a bit.

Why would someone want to use an expensive amp if they already have a high-quality sound card?

On a lot of sound cards (and motherboards), what you plug your headphones into is more like a line-out jack that pretends to be a headphone output (it's cheaper to make it that way).

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

On a lot of sound cards (and motherboards), what you plug your headphones into is more like a line-out jack that pretends to be a headphone output (it's cheaper to make it that way).


This.

Sound cards "headphone out" works with a small range of headphones. 

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