Originally Posted by bigshot
Is that Westone Star Tips? And impedance mismatch isn't the fault of the amp. With the proper impedance amps are clean.
I'm not quite following what you're asking and saying (probably is my bad), so I'll just throw stuff out there and hope it clears things up for at least somebody that's reading? Maybe?
The OP is using Shure SE535. These in-ear monitors:
with some kind of aftermarket tips (ear flanges that go on the nozzle and stick into the ear when listening). Westone is another company making IEMs, so I guess they have some so-called star tips. Because the size, shape, and materials of the tips impact how IEMs seal into the ear canal, they affect the sound quality and comfort somewhat.
Impedance isn't a problem with mismatches or damaging anything or anything like that. It's just that the SE535, like most balanced armature models (especially those with multiple drivers and crossovers), have funky impedance curves, so you end up with frequency response changes when the amp's output impedance isn't practically close enough to zero. For whatever reasons, it's often not a design emphasis to make sure even portable solid-state headphone amps have output impedance under an ohm or two. With some IEMs, you end up with damping factors in lower single digits or worse, and it actually can make a difference.
Anyway, why is the impedance an issue? What's the mismatch? With respect to picking up audible hiss from the electronics, the problem is mostly the high sensitivity. Though really, this may just be a tangent.