Amps and sensitive headphones issue.
May 22, 2015 at 7:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Draulius

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Hello, I'm new to Head-Fi and have an issue concerning AMP DACs when paired with sensitive headphones. Currently, I use the Schiit Fulla AMP DAC with Audio-Technica AD700 headphones. It sounds a bit better than the on-board audio, but there's one problem; I can't use 90% of the volume knob because of how sensitive these headphones are (only 32 Ohms). If I turn the volume up more than 10% of the way it will be way too loud. This makes fine tuning quite difficult, especially when I need to do it on the fly. It doesn't help that the knob on the Fulla isn't very good either.
 
Could I live with this problem? Sure. But there are a couple of ways I could deal with it too. The first option is I could replace the AMP DAC with one that has lower gain. I don't know of any good ones for that so this is where recommendations come in. The second option is that I could switch to headphones that require more power ($200 budget), but I don't like this option since I really like these headphones. They're suitable for my purposes which include gaming and music, so the soundstage comes in handy.
 
I am also open to any other suggestions.
 
Thanks!
 
May 22, 2015 at 8:25 AM Post #2 of 7

H20Fidelity

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Have you considered something like this simple cable?
 
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-5mm-M-F-1M-Stereo-Headphone-Audio-Extension-Cord-Cable-with-Volume-Control-New-/251258582811?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3a802db71b
 
It would you allow to adjust the max volume on the Fulla and headphone volume from the provided cable.
 
May 22, 2015 at 8:25 AM Post #3 of 7

SteveHiFi

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I imagine you can find an attenuator which you can plug your headphones into and which will go in your amp's headphone socket.
 
Also the 'Shure EAADPT-KIT Adapter Kit' includes a similar thing with its own volume control to add a bit of resistance and give you a bit of extra control.
 
May 22, 2015 at 8:36 AM Post #4 of 7

Draulius

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  Have you considered something like this simple cable?
 
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-5mm-M-F-1M-Stereo-Headphone-Audio-Extension-Cord-Cable-with-Volume-Control-New-/251258582811?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3a802db71b
 
It would you allow to adjust the max volume on the Fulla and headphone volume from the provided cable.

 
Personally, the last thing I'd want to do is add another volume controller. I don't like having to mess with them much in the first place, so I probably wouldn't be comfortable with that setup. If I really wanted, I could lower the Windows volume to give me more room on the AMP DAC.
 
Regardless, thanks for the advice.
 
May 22, 2015 at 9:17 AM Post #5 of 7

H20Fidelity

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Personally, the last thing I'd want to do is add another volume controller. I don't like having to mess with them much in the first place, so I probably wouldn't be comfortable with that setup. If I really wanted, I could lower the Windows volume to give me more room on the AMP DAC.
 
Regardless, thanks for the advice.

 
No problem. I think what you want deep down is to spend more money on another dac/amp or headphone.
 
For that purpose you're in the right place. 
wink_face.gif

 
If its a dac/amp you want maybe consider the iBasso Dzero MK2.
 
Goodluck friend.
 
May 22, 2015 at 10:51 AM Post #6 of 7

ProtegeManiac

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  I can't use 90% of the volume knob because of how sensitive these headphones are (only 32 Ohms). If I turn the volume up more than 10% of the way it will be way too loud.

 
Just to clarify, "32ohms" is the impedance; its sensitivity is 98db/1mW. 
 
 
 
Could I live with this problem? Sure. But there are a couple of ways I could deal with it too. The first option is I could replace the AMP DAC with one that has lower gain. I don't know of any good ones for that so this is where recommendations come in. The second option is that I could switch to headphones that require more power ($200 budget), but I don't like this option since I really like these headphones. They're suitable for my purposes which include gaming and music, so the soundstage comes in handy.
 
I am also open to any other suggestions.

 
You can also lower the source volume for free (reduce Windows/OSX volume setting to 75%).
 
May 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM Post #7 of 7

FlyingGimp

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As Protege says, you've got a free option to fix this in changing the source volume.  Just make sure to set your dac to 24-bit/44.1kHz mode so you don't lose any information.
 
Here's the dialog on Windows:
http://superuser.com/questions/698522/how-should-i-decide-on-a-default-audio-format 
 
And a thread with details on 24-bit vs. 16-bit:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/671220/effective-number-of-bits-or-why-you-have-to-keep-software-at-full-volume-is-nonsense
 

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