Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › How to know if your amp is good for your headphone?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to know if your amp is good for your headphone?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

hey guys, I recently purchase a Mad Dog along with it I purchase a Nuforce MMP for portable amp (I really need it to be portable) it push the sound to really loud level (I never go pass 50% on my device), but it doesnt sound "full" to me, the bass seems like its holding up ok but its not punchy. so my questions is, what do you look for when your Amp is not giving your headphone enough juice (bass, mids and treble)? how do you look at Amp spec and determine if its good for your headphone, TIA all.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Law87 View Post
 

hey guys, I recently purchase a Mad Dog along with it I purchase a Nuforce MMP for portable amp (I really need it to be portable) it push the sound to really loud level (I never go pass 50% on my device), but it doesnt sound "full" to me, the bass seems like its holding up ok but its not punchy. so my questions is, what do you look for when your Amp is not giving your headphone enough juice (bass, mids and treble)? how do you look at Amp spec and determine if its good for your headphone, TIA all.

 

Purely considering power, you need to look at four specifications:

 

  • Headphone Impedance (ohms)
  • Headphone Sensitivity (dB/mW)
  • Amplifier Output Voltage or Power at your headphone's impedance (V or mW)
  • Amplifier Output Impedance (ohms)

 

 

1) Make sure amplifier output impedance is less than (Headphone Impedance)/8

 

2) Check needed power to reach desired volume. Most agree that 110dB is a painful listening level, and 115dB is thoroughly excessive. Decide the maximum volume level you expect, then insert your headphone's sensitivity into the equation or chart below.

 

Required Amplifier Power = 10^((Volume - Sensitivity)/10)

 

 

...or here's that equation in a convenient lookup table:

 

Headphone Sensitivity
db/mW)
Volume, 110 dB Volume,
112.5 dB
Volume,
115 dB
85 316.2 562.3 1000.0
86 251.2 446.7 794.3
87 199.5 354.8 631.0
88 158.5 281.8 501.2
89 125.9 223.9 398.1
90 100.0 177.8 316.2
91 79.4 141.3 251.2
92 63.1 112.2 199.5
93 50.1 89.1 158.5
94 39.8 70.8 125.9
95 31.6 56.2 100.0
96 25.1 44.7 79.4
97 20.0 35.5 63.1
98 15.8 28.2 50.1
99 12.6 22.4 39.8
100 10.0 17.8 31.6
101 7.9 14.1 25.1
102 6.3 11.2 20.0
103 5.0 8.9 15.8
104 4.0 7.1 12.6
105 3.2 5.6 10.0
106 2.5 4.5 7.9
107 2.0 3.5 6.3
108 1.6 2.8 5.0
109 1.3 2.2 4.0
110 1.0 1.8 3.2
111 0.8 1.4 2.5
112 0.6 1.1 2.0
113 0.5 0.9 1.6
114 0.4 0.7 1.3
115 0.3 0.6 1.0
116 0.3 0.4 0.8
117 0.2 0.4 0.6
118 0.2 0.3 0.5

 

 

 

An amplifier is capable of cleanly driving your headphones as long as its rated power meets or exceeds the above value at the headphone's impedance. Obtaining output power information from a manufacturer is the challenge.

Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post
 

 

Purely considering power, you need to look at four specifications:

 

  • Headphone Impedance (ohms)
  • Headphone Sensitivity (dB/mW)
  • Amplifier Output Voltage or Power at your headphone's impedance (V or mW)
  • Amplifier Output Impedance (ohms)

 

 

1) Make sure amplifier output impedance is less than (Headphone Impedance)/8

 

2) Check needed power to reach desired volume. Most agree that 110dB is a painful listening level, and 115dB is thoroughly excessive. Decide the maximum volume level you expect, then insert your headphone's sensitivity into the equation or chart below.

 

Required Amplifier Power = 10^((Volume - Sensitivity)/10)

 

 

...or here's that equation in a convenient lookup table:

 

Headphone Sensitivity
db/mW)
Volume, 110 dB Volume,
112.5 dB
Volume,
115 dB
85 316.2 562.3 1000.0
86 251.2 446.7 794.3
87 199.5 354.8 631.0
88 158.5 281.8 501.2
89 125.9 223.9 398.1
90 100.0 177.8 316.2
91 79.4 141.3 251.2
92 63.1 112.2 199.5
93 50.1 89.1 158.5
94 39.8 70.8 125.9
95 31.6 56.2 100.0
96 25.1 44.7 79.4
97 20.0 35.5 63.1
98 15.8 28.2 50.1
99 12.6 22.4 39.8
100 10.0 17.8 31.6
101 7.9 14.1 25.1
102 6.3 11.2 20.0
103 5.0 8.9 15.8
104 4.0 7.1 12.6
105 3.2 5.6 10.0
106 2.5 4.5 7.9
107 2.0 3.5 6.3
108 1.6 2.8 5.0
109 1.3 2.2 4.0
110 1.0 1.8 3.2
111 0.8 1.4 2.5
112 0.6 1.1 2.0
113 0.5 0.9 1.6
114 0.4 0.7 1.3
115 0.3 0.6 1.0
116 0.3 0.4 0.8
117 0.2 0.4 0.6
118 0.2 0.3 0.5

 

 

 

An amplifier is capable of cleanly driving your headphones as long as its rated power meets or exceeds the above value at the headphone's impedance. Obtaining output power information from a manufacturer is the challenge.


Thanks for the reply, I'm still trying to figure it all out. When an amp driving a headphone louder but not necessarily better in term of sound quality does that mean the amp is not putting out enough mW?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Law87 View Post
 


Thanks for the reply, I'm still trying to figure it all out. When an amp driving a headphone louder but not necessarily better in term of sound quality does that mean the amp is not putting out enough mW?

 

Your Mad Dogs need a fair amount of power. It's possible for an amp to improve output power compared to your audio source, and still lack sufficient power for your headphones.

 

 

It looks like power of your amp is only published as "80mW @ 16 ohms". Mad Dogs are rated about 50 ohms and 90 dB/mW, so they need roughly 316mW based on the above calculations. So, more power could be useful.

Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post
 

 

Your Mad Dogs need a fair amount of power. It's possible for an amp to improve output power compared to your audio source, and still lack sufficient power for your headphones.

 

 

It looks like power of your amp is only published as "80mW @ 16 ohms". Mad Dogs are rated about 50 ohms and 90 dB/mW, so they need roughly 316mW based on the above calculations. So, more power could be useful.


Thanks again, I looked at the jds cmoy but found no spec regarding power, do you think its enough power to drive the headphone?

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Law87 View Post
 


Thanks again, I looked at the jds cmoy but found no spec regarding power, do you think its enough power to drive the headphone?

 

Power output with the cMoyBB will be no higher than your current amp. You'll need to look at stronger amps.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › How to know if your amp is good for your headphone?