I've got my B&W P7 headphones recently and am using them with my iDevices. I noticed that one a particular track I have (256kbps AAC from iTunes), there seems to be a slight distortion. This is a movie soundtrack which has a 10s section with lots of sub-bass and rumbling, and I noticed that at the "bassiest" parts, I can hear slight crackling through my headphones. Note that my volume is set at about 75%. I have been reading up about how an underpowered amp can produce clipping and how clipping can be damaging to drivers, and I'm wondering if the distortion is caused by the iDevice internal amp. I've tried listening to the same track in my computer, and the distortion at the rumbling section seems even worse.
With the scenario above, I'm hoping someone would be able to help answer my questions below:
- Is it possible that my iDevice amp is clipping the bass? Personally I feel that this is quite unlikely as my volume is only set at 75%, maybe 80% maximum.
- If this is not an amp issue, is it possible for clipping to be "recorded" into the track, and thus my new headphones are picking up the distortion from the poor quality recording/mastering?
- If it's a track issue, will the distortion be damaging to my headphones?