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Amp/Headphone distortion

post #1 of 2
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What is the relationship between amp and headphone distortion?  For amps we know that, as you push the amp more you start noticing harmonic distortions.  Could this be more so with weaker amps than the higher power amps?  Although, you can get a headphone to a loudness based on specs, but distortion is another, correct?  

 

Is it true that SS amps only distort significantly at the point at when it starts clipping?  Isn't there a non-linear zone as you push the amp?

post #2 of 2
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Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

What is the relationship between amp and headphone distortion?  For amps we know that, as you push the amp more you start noticing harmonic distortions.  Could this be more so with weaker amps than the higher power amps?  Although, you can get a headphone to a loudness based on specs, but distortion is another, correct?  

 

Is it true that SS amps only distort significantly at the point at when it starts clipping?  Isn't there a non-linear zone as you push the amp?

There is indeed a non-linear zone as you push the amp. The O2 for example: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelity-headphone-amp-measurement-program-update-july-2012

Look at this image:

 

 

Headphones do indeed introduce distortion as they are turned up high. Look at sennheiser hd800 for example, that one is a good example: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD800.pdf

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