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Power Handling Capacity and Amp Output

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, just hoping you can clarify something for me.

 

So the specs of my headphones say that its power handling capacity is 100mw and I am currently looking at different amps, one of which says that at 300 Ohms, the amp output is 150mW. My headphones are beyerdynamic DT 880 Pros (250 Ohms). Does this mean that if I was to use this amp with the headphones, I could not fully turn up the amp without permenantly damaging the heaphones, as they can only handle roughly 2/3's of the power output by the amp at that Ohm level?

 

Is there an ideal mW output for all headphones, or does it depend on each individually?

 

Thanks for the help in advance!

post #2 of 32

You'll deafen yourself long before you blow the drivers, don't worry about it.

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I guessed that I would definitely not be using the full extent of any amp that I will get, but what I asked about the power handling, is that correct?
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

Thanks for the reply. I guessed that I would definitely not be using the full extent of any amp that I will get, but what I asked about the power handling, is that correct?

Yes, you would probably damage your headphones if used at that level for any extended period.

post #5 of 32
+1 to what tangster said. You'll use less than 1 mW to produce relatively loud levels with those headphones - 150mW would take your face off, and it wouldn't matter *what* happened to the drivers or headphones at that point (honestly you'd probably want to go to the hospital due to the pain, and you would have permanent hearing damage from the event as well). There is no "correct power output" for all headphones - by and large dedicated amplifiers provide many orders of magnitude more power than you will ever need, and there's nothing wrong with that (because it means the amplifier will very likely never approach clipping for normal use), as long as you don't put it up to 11 and blow your ears out.
post #6 of 32

I have an amp - putting out approximately 1.1 watts into my HE-500's. Would it be safe to turn the volume all the way up, since they are orthos? The lcd2 is rated for like 15 watts.

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I have an amp - putting out approximately 1.1 watts into my HE-500's. Would it be safe to turn the volume all the way up, since they are orthos? The lcd2 is rated for like 15 watts.

For the headphones or for you? tongue.gif

For the headphones, probably (but check with HiFiMan's specs first; I've yet to see a PM that has less than a few watts/ch max input though). For you, most definitely not.

I should add, this assumes a pretty much full-scale signal. If you do this with no signal input, or a signal that's 40-50-60 dB down, it shouldn't cause any trouble.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


For the headphones or for you? tongue.gif

For the headphones, probably (but check with HiFiMan's specs first; I've yet to see a PM that has less than a few watts/ch max input though). For you, most definitely not.

I should add, this assumes a pretty much full-scale signal. If you do this with no signal input, or a signal that's 40-50-60 dB down, it shouldn't cause any trouble.

Want to use them as an alternative to desktop speakers :P

The funny thing is, that hifiman does not post any specs regarding max SPL and the like

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Want to use them as an alternative to desktop speakers :P
The funny thing is, that hifiman does not post any specs regarding max SPL and the like

They'll probably sound super tinny as speakers, just because they won't do a good job putting out low bass in a large space given their size. If you're really that desperate (where you can't buy "nice" speakers), I'd just truck down to whatever Denmark's equivalent of Wal-mart is, and get a cheapie pair of computer speakers and use those. Some of them come with small "subwoofers" and don't sound half bad (for the ~$30 they tend to cost) - would probably be more reliable and safe vs using your cans cranked all the way up.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


They'll probably sound super tinny as speakers, just because they won't do a good job putting out low bass in a large space given their size. If you're really that desperate (where you can't buy "nice" speakers), I'd just truck down to whatever Denmark's equivalent of Wal-mart is, and get a cheapie pair of computer speakers and use those. Some of them come with small "subwoofers" and don't sound half bad (for the ~$30 they tend to cost) - would probably be more reliable and safe vs using your cans cranked all the way up.

I do have some bose 2.0 speakers. They are like 5-6 yrs old and they sound rubbish. Thinking about EQ'ing my HE-500's so that they can deliver better bass as 'speakers'. I don't dare to try anyway. These headphones are going to last decades ph34r.gif

post #11 of 32

Actually, they don't sound too bad if you use them as super-near-field speakers (1'-2'), and tilt the cups towards you. Of course, they won't give you the same "room filling" performance as even some crappy desktop speakers, and I doubt you'd get much of a bass boost even with EQ (no rumble, for instance).

 

Long story short, they'll sound x1000 better on your head! ph34r.gif

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestLander View Post

Actually, they don't sound too bad if you use them as super-near-field speakers (1'-2'), and tilt the cups towards you. Of course, they won't give you the same "room filling" performance as even some crappy desktop speakers, and I doubt you'd get much of a bass boost even with EQ (no rumble, for instance).

 

Long story short, they'll sound x1000 better on your head! ph34r.gif

Soooo heavy. I'm getting neck fatigue after 3 hours frown.gif

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks fir all the replies. Can I ask what people mean then when they say an amp isn't powerful enough for a certain set of headphones, or they can't drive them properly? All the talk of mW's confuses me! If all amps provide way more power than needed, what's the point of having amp output details?
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

Thanks fir all the replies. Can I ask what people mean then when they say an amp isn't powerful enough for a certain set of headphones, or they can't drive them properly? All the talk of mW's confuses me! If all amps provide way more power than needed, what's the point of having amp output details?

Depending on the ohms of the headphone the amp can seriously distort when not even turned all the way up. Say a 16 ohm impedance headphone, your amp might only be able to deliver 50mW's (seriously I don't know how much biggrin.gif) without distorting.

There is probably more to it

post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

Thanks fir all the replies. Can I ask what people mean then when they say an amp isn't powerful enough for a certain set of headphones, or they can't drive them properly? All the talk of mW's confuses me! If all amps provide way more power than needed, what's the point of having amp output details?

 

As I understand it, generally the higher the impedance of a headphone, the higher voltage gain and output voltage an amp should provide, the lower the impedance, and especially for orthodynamic headphones the more current it needs.

 

Check out the article here for all the details..

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