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Advantage of a headphone amp vs. a Stereo Receiver with a headphone out?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I just got into this "hobby" and I am trying to educate myself. What I am trying to figure out is what is the advantage of using  a dedicate Headphone amp (non-portable) vs. using a THX certified receiver (i.e. Pioneer, Onkyo) with a headphone out jack?  

post #2 of 4

With some receivers, the headphone out is a side-feature, and is designed as so (notice the SOME receivers). With a dedicated headphone amp, the headphone out is obviously the main feature, where more design thoughts has gone into it (most of the time). But don't take me wrong, some receivers sound glorious where as some headphone amps sound horrible. It's just that, with the experience I have, it's usually the other way around.

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge17 View Post
 

I just got into this "hobby" and I am trying to educate myself. What I am trying to figure out is what is the advantage of using  a dedicate Headphone amp (non-portable) vs. using a THX certified receiver (i.e. Pioneer, Onkyo) with a headphone out jack?  

I think it depends on the headphones.

The headphone output on a receiver works fine with high impedance (100 to 600-Ohm) headphones.

In a receiver, usually the same amplifier that drives the speaker is also used to drive the headphones.

 

There are a few higher priced (premier brand?) pre-amps, amplifiers and A/V receivers that do come with their own solid state dedicated headphone amplifiers. Those built in (dedicated) headphone amplifiers are more likely to drive headphones from 32-Ohm to 600-Ohm

 

A stand alone solid state headphone amplifier (depending on price) is fine for 16 to 300-Ohm

or 32-Ohm to 600-Ohm headphones.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks Purple Angel.

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