Originally Posted by davidsh
Looking at amp measurements on some site I don't remember that looks a lot like innerfidelity, it seems amps with a good noise floor is pretty rare, but generally lower wattage equals lower noise floor as I remember. Here at head-fi we still need the ultimate budget speaker amp with low noise floor..
It probably has something do with internal impedance of the amp to match with the speaker load. It will heat up when the load is less impedance as lots of current is rushed though the amp to the load which creates heat. Heat translates to noise. For example, 4ohm amps to 4ohms speakers you need a good amp that is capable that don't crap out because it needs to push out lots of current. Headphones are much greater impedance loads comparatively to the amps impedance.
These speaker amps, the headphones stage is used correct? That means it will have impedance characteristic of the headphone stage. And the headphone stage will be less wattage. For example the Pionear vintage of 100Watts, the headphone stage is only 10watts.
So in the end the headphone stage is what is being used is fraction of the speaker amplifier. In essensce you are not really using the full capability of the speaker amp, but the headphone amp section that limits the wattage. So, it's not necessary or "better" because it's a "speaker amp."
Edited by SilverEars - 7/20/14 at 4:07pm