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Power Handling Capacity and Amp Output - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

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
Thanks very much, that does make a lot of sense when put like that. So what your saying is, the higher the impedance, the more mW a headphones can take before distorting?
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

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

 

Really? I can hardly feel mine.. biggrin.gif

post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestLander View Post

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..
Thanks for the link, looks like a great read smily_headphones1.gif
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestLander View Post

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..

Yes. Except that Ohm's Law tells us we can't arbitrarily have a lot of current or voltage. So impedance dictates the relationship of current/voltage, and sensitivity tells us how much power we need for a given SPL; now we have power = current/voltage, and Ohm's Law tells us how that's gonna play out. If the amp can deliver it, you're good to go. Simple as that.

These days, most amps can deliver for most headphones. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

Thanks very much, that does make a lot of sense when put like that. So what your saying is, the higher the impedance, the more mW a headphones can take before distorting?

Not at all. Impedance has nothing to do with power input or distortion (at least in the manner you're describing). Power limit is dictated by the motor (thermal and mechanical limits), distortion is a result of that limit as well (mechanical limits and excursion). Impedance has no bearing on that (however motor design will influence impedance - but there is no hard and fast rule about "high impedance is better" or "low impedance is better" - it's just a result of how a driver is designed).

Rated power input specs is what'll tell you where the top-end is. If the cans in question have been measured by Tyll, he will measure them at 90 dB and 100 dB for THD, to give you an idea of power handling (if THD goes way up from 90->100, they don't handle "loud" well, if it goes down, they do).
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post


Thanks very much, that does make a lot of sense when put like that. So what your saying is, the higher the impedance, the more mW a headphones can take before distorting?

NOT necessarily. It depend on amps. This was just a thought example. The higher impedance, the fewer mW. The lower impedance the more mW until some limit where the amp can't deliver the required current, and the amount of mW without distortion starts to drop. 

Because of this, (seen in an article) the O2 amp for example is not capable of driving the HE-500 (very current demanding, 38 ohms) 100% satisfactorily. Can't find the article, though :(

 

Want to add, that im not sure about this phenomenon impairing the sound quality of headphones

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The higher impedance, the fewer mW. The lower impedance the more mW until some limit where the amp can't deliver the required current, and the amount of mW without distortion starts to drop. 

Impedance does not dictate power. It dictates the relationship between current and voltage relative to frequency - it's more or less arbitrary in the context of what you're discussing. Sensitivity will dictate power requirements.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Impedance does not dictate power. It dictates the relationship between current and voltage relative to frequency - it's more or less arbitrary in the context of what you're discussing. Sensitivity will dictate power requirements.

The relationship between current and voltage (eg. impedance) dictates how many mW the amp can put out. And when it has to deliver a lot of current, it might distort before the upper voltage limit is reached.

How much power an amplifier can put out is not only dependent on ohms law...

post #23 of 32

Dual mono speaker Hifiman setup :P

 

 

 

 

 

HE-400 and 500. No distortion and even a bit of bass slam. The sound is a bit too hollow, though, which I don't think I can fix with EQ

post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Dual mono speaker Hifiman setup :P

 

HE-400 and 500. No distortion and even a bit of bass slam. The sound is a bit too hollow, though, which I don't think I can fix with EQ

Wow that looks great! An interesting way to listen to them anyway!

 

One final question to clarify all the great information I have received in this thread! Say my headphones have a max power handling of 100mW, if my amp outputs say 150mWs to the same Ohms as my headphones, does that mean that amp is fully able to drive the headphones at say 2/3s power? Is it always this simple?

 

Thanks!

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaVampire View Post

Wow that looks great! An interesting way to listen to them anyway!

 

One final question to clarify all the great information I have received in this thread! Say my headphones have a max power handling of 100mW, if my amp outputs say 150mWs to the same Ohms as my headphones, does that mean that amp is fully able to drive the headphones at say 2/3s power? Is it always this simple?

 

Thanks!

If you go for 2/3 of the power of the amplifier I would suspect an instant hearing damage. But your amp should be able to drive your headphones to 100mW. I just don't know if it is without distortion. 


Edited by davidsh - 1/20/13 at 1:13pm
post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

If you go for 2/3 of the power of the amplifier I would suspect an instant hearing damage. But your amp should be able to drive your headphones to 100mW. I just don't know if it is without distortion. 

I mean in theory, not that I want to listen to anything that could damage my hearing. I just keep hearing about certain amps not being able to drive certain headphones, and I am trying to understand it using the example I have given. Sorry if I was not clear in my post :)

post #27 of 32

Seriously, I don't really know about all this amp talk. I just know that the fiio e17, for example, is able to drive the HE-500 loud enough, seemingly without any distortion and such. But on the other hand, I still don't find it to drive the HE-500 to sound its best, even though the sound seems technically fine, it just misses some musicality.

post #28 of 32

Ehm. One question. I have an mp3(cowon) and on my earbuds it sounds good but my full-size 32 ohm headphones sounds just bad and quiet(not problem in headphones they sound excellent on notebook). How much power do i need to drive 50mm 35 ohm headphones? Is player with output power 50 mW enough? Or should i get portable amp? Thanks very much.

post #29 of 32
What's their stated sensitivity? Even better if some place like InnerFidelity has measured it to confirm.
post #30 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.


No, over-driving an amp will cause it to clip. This can fry your drivers.

 

KP

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