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How do I know if my headphones are being properly driven?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've got a pair of Grado 60i's that I'm using with my Sansa Clip+ (RockBoxed) and would like to know if they are being properly driven. I'm relatively new to the headfi scene so it would be great to get some other questions answered as well such as, what audible difference does impedance of a certain pair of cans make?

Cheers from Orange county.
post #2 of 7

Welcome! As far as your first question, SR60i's can be properly driven from most anything that has a 3.5mm audio jack. As for the second question, I am still relatively new as well, so I can't make many comparisons; probably best to leave that to the experienced audiophiles. 

post #3 of 7
Impedance by itself doesn't make any audible difference. High impedance headphones need more voltage and less current from an amp, and low impedance headphones need less voltage and more current. Portable devices like the Sansa Clip+ are usually better at delivering current than voltage, so you're fine with the Grados. The only indication that they aren't properly driven would be if you get distortion at high volumes, or can't get them loud enough for your liking.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

Impedance by itself doesn't make any audible difference. High impedance headphones need more voltage and less current from an amp, and low impedance headphones need less voltage and more current. Portable devices like the Sansa Clip+ are usually better at delivering current than voltage, so you're fine with the Grados. The only indication that they aren't properly driven would be if you get distortion at high volumes, or can't get them loud enough for your liking.

Good old V=IR then huh? Should have seen that one coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThickGlasses View Post

Welcome! As far as your first question, SR60i's can be properly driven from most anything that has a 3.5mm audio jack. As for the second question, I am still relatively new as well, so I can't make many comparisons; probably best to leave that to the experienced audiophiles. 


Good to know thank you. They sound phenomenal.

Sent from my potato using EMF
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

Impedance by itself doesn't make any audible difference. High impedance headphones need more voltage and less current from an amp, and low impedance headphones need less voltage and more current. Portable devices like the Sansa Clip+ are usually better at delivering current than voltage, so you're fine with the Grados. The only indication that they aren't properly driven would be if you get distortion at high volumes, or can't get them loud enough for your liking.


Actually, "better at delivering current than voltage" contradicts the entire premise.  There can be huge differences in sound signature, depending on what the amp is designed to deliver.  It's true that most solid-state amps with extremely low output impedances are going to sound similar - either all OK or all cr*p, depending on the headphone.  Once output impedances go beyond fractional digits, however, there can be big differences.  Grados, in particular, do not respond that well to super-low output impedances.  It's one reason that they get tagged with being "harsh" or "tizzy" - because of the prevalence of super-low-output-impedance solid-state amps.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post


Actually, "better at delivering current than voltage" contradicts the entire premise.  There can be huge differences in sound signature, depending on what the amp is designed to deliver.  It's true that most solid-state amps with extremely low output impedances are going to sound similar - either all OK or all cr*p, depending on the headphone.  Once output impedances go beyond fractional digits, however, there can be big differences.  Grados, in particular, do not respond that well to super-low output impedances.  It's one reason that they get tagged with being "harsh" or "tizzy" - because of the prevalence of super-low-output-impedance solid-state amps.


Interesting. I was not aware that having a really high damping factor could affect negatively sound quality. What is the mechanism here? 

post #7 of 7
I love reading something here that makes me head over to google and learn something.
http://www.soundandvision.com/content/output-impedance-show-and-tell

I have never before considered the headphones as a filter. Cool beans! Thanks tomb!

BTW, if I wasn't such a ham-fisted orangutan with a soldering iron, I would most definitely be building a Torpedo. The parafeed amp is such a cool design. smily_headphones1.gif
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