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Can a stereo amplifier be used as a headphone amplifier?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by beamthegreat, Feb 21, 2010.
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  1. beamthegreat
    If its possible, then are there any consequences or is it totally fine to use an stereo (speaker) amplifier to drive a headphone.
     
  2. kunalraiker
    There must be a headphone out port, then it could be used.
     
  3. krmathis Contributor
    Sure! I do so myself and really like the result. [​IMG]
     
  4. dorkvader
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Sure! I do so myself and really like the result. [​IMG]



    Yes, I believe that's a common method of driving the K1000 headphones. As far as I know it should be okay if you turn the volume down low and/or get a big resistor if you want to use a stereo amplifier for normal headphones.
     
  5. MaZa
    Sure. Often their headphone amplifier part is quite cheap though (either basic Cmoy or transformed from speaker-amp to headphone friendly) and not very good sounding, but there are very good implementations too.
     
  6. Currawong Contributor
    No problem doing so. Quite often the built-in headphone socket in hi-fi amps is just connected to the speaker output via a resistor. The only downside is, speakers are low-voltage and high current, whereas headphones are high voltage and low current, so the result is usually not optimal.
     
  7. wavoman Contributor
    I do this all the time, running HPs off amp speaker terminals, and in fact have had voltage divider / resistor networks built for specific amp / HP combinations. This is a lot of fun. (You don't need this for K1000s of course, which were designed for speaker terminal connections -- I use a big speaker amp for my K1000s and it's great).

    See:

    Headphone driving circuit

    and

    Headphone Adaptor for Power Amplifiers

    Now some amps (integrated, pre, and even some power) have HP jacks that use a resistor network off the speaker outputs built in, then this is not needed, but unfortunately many have a totally separate cheap-o IC device / opamp as a standalone HP "amp" driving the HP output jack. I believe this unfortunate trend helped fuel the market for good dedicated HP amps. Lots of posts on this topic here. Easy to tell with one look inside (sometimes a flashlight is enough when the top has enough vent cuts).

    Added: Oh, I see other posters beat me with most of this, sorry hadn't refreshed my browser in a while. Left this post for the links above, which are useful.
     
  8. pp312
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wavoman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Now some amps (integrated, pre, and even some power) have HP jacks that use a resistor network off the speaker outputs built in, then this is not needed, but unfortunately many have a totally separate cheap-o IC device / opamp as a standalone HP "amp" driving the HP output jack. I believe this unfortunate trend helped fuel the market for good dedicated HP amps. Lots of posts on this topic here. Easy to tell with one look inside (sometimes a flashlight is enough when the top has enough vent cuts).



    There have been threads about this before and the anecdotal evidence of owners is that 95% of integrated amps and receivers use a resistor off the speaker outlets. In fact the only ones that don't seem to be in the higher price bracket, so there's not much fear of those mythical 50c op amps behind your typical headphone jack.

    I've opened a lot of amps and they all used a resistor off the speaker outs. However, we're talking stereo amps here, not AV receivers. I have no experience of those and can give no guarantees. The anecdotal evidence there suggests they're extremely variable at best.
     
  9. tribestros
    I usually run my Grado SR60i off of my Pioneer 5.1...sounds freaking incredible. The bass is so much thicker on the amp than off my iPod...
     
  10. tdogzthmn
    I just sold my NAD C325BEE which is a stereo amp that I used for powering my headphones. It had a surprising amount of detail.
     
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  11. iponderous
    Yep. Before headphone amplifiers came along, you would simply plug your headphones into the headphone jack of your stereo amplifier for personal listening.
     
  12. z50j
    I do this but I dont here much of a difference

    maybe it's because the amp I'm using isn't really for music [​IMG]
     
  13. pp312
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tdogzthmn /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I just sold my NAD C325BEE which is a stereo amp that I used for powering my headphones. It had a surprising amount of detail.



    So why did you sell it?
     
  14. pp312
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iponderous /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Yep. Before headphone amplifiers came along, you would simply plug your headphones into the headphone jack of your stereo amplifier for personal listening.



    I still do.
     
  15. beamthegreat
    so if the output is in rca and I converted it to 1/8 and plug my headphones in it, will it work??
     
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