1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

Can dynamic headphones be damaged by amplification clipping?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by onebigunion, Feb 20, 2015.
  1. onebigunion
    This came up in another thread,and instead of hijacking that one, I though I'd start a new one.  Clipping occurs when the amp is driven beyond its capabilities and sends out a distorted waveform.  You can definitely take out a speaker this way, but what about a headphone?  The consensus on the other thread seemed to be that you can't damage a headphone's driver if this happens.  But it would seem to me that it would be possible.  After all, the driver is still a dynamic transducer, a miniature loudspeaker basically, so would the same process not apply?
     
  2. TMRaven
    Yes, however I don't see too many amplifiers clipping under too much pressure from a headphone.  Most headphones, even most planar magnetics are sensitive enough to be fully driven without clipping and plentiful headroom from even iPhones, iPods etc.  I can't recall once where I've had to push an amp hard enough to the point of clipping, nor have I ever heard an amp clip.  The one exception was when I used the O2 with a DAC whose voltage output was too high for the O2 to handle on high gain.  That was a DAC problem, and not a headphone problem.
     
  3. Mr Rick
    It depends. If you are driving your cans with an under-powered amp and can somehow provide enough drive that it starts to go into clipping than no damage may occur.
     
    On the other hand, if you could somehow drive a powerhouse like the Schiit Lyr into clipping , damage could be done. But, chances are the high levels of power generated by the amp would have damaged the HP before the point of clipping.
     

Share This Page