Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Can the Xonar U3 drive headphones which have serious sub bass?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Can the Xonar U3 drive headphones which have serious sub bass?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Because the frequency response of the U3 is 20 hz - 20.000 khz, and the M Audio Q40's can do some serious sub bass, which even can be heard at 10 hz. So since it's lower than the frequency response of the U3, will it be able to drive it well?


Edited by dakanao - 5/9/13 at 2:02am
post #2 of 7

The frequency response specs of most headphones can generally be ignored, since it is not known how (if at all) they were measured, and the +/- dB tolerance for the range is not specified either. So, the manufacturer can basically make up whatever numbers it wants for marketing purposes. The frequency response of the Xonar might only be specified for 20-20000 Hz, but that does not mean that it will not be able to reproduce 19 or 20001 Hz. In fact, it is very likely that in practice the headphone will be the limiting factor.

The main limitations of the headphone output of the Xonar U3 are its relatively high output impedance, and low maximum current output (it uses an IC designed for use as a line output buffer, rather than driving headphones). Still, most of the distortion and frequency response error will probably come from the Q40, except perhaps at high frequencies the "headphone amplifier" in the Xonar may distort more than some headphones.


Edited by stv014 - 5/9/13 at 4:04am
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

The frequency response specs of most headphones can generally be ignored, since it is not known how (if at all) they were measured, and the +/- dB tolerance for the range is not specified either. So, the manufacturer can basically make up whatever numbers it wants for marketing purposes. The frequency response of the Xonar might only be specified for 20-20000 Hz, but that does not mean that it will not be able to reproduce 19 or 20001 Hz. In fact, it is very likely that in practice the headphone will be the limiting factor.

The main limitations of the headphone output of the Xonar U3 are its relatively high output impedance, and low maximum current output (it uses an IC designed for use as a line output buffer, rather than driving headphones). Still, most of the distortion and frequency response error will probably come from the Q40, except perhaps at high frequencies the "headphone amplifier" in the Xonar may distort more than some headphones.

So do you know any better headphone amplifiers with the same price for the laptop?

post #4 of 7

Since the Q40 has relatively high impedance but good efficiency, it will work reasonably well with the U3. At the same price, the X-Fi Go could be an alternative, but it would not really be much of an improvement overall.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

Since the Q40 has relatively high impedance but good efficiency, it will work reasonably well with the U3. At the same price, the X-Fi Go could be an alternative, but it would not really be much of an improvement overall.

What about the FiiO E6?

post #6 of 7

It would be OK if you do not mind using the built-in DAC of the laptop.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

It would be OK if you do not mind using the built-in DAC of the laptop.

Alright I guess I'll get the U3 then.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Can the Xonar U3 drive headphones which have serious sub bass?