Can headphone drive be tweaked via multi-channel outputs????
Sep 10, 2009 at 3:11 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Apr 15, 2008

With computer sound cards that have multi-channel ability can the extra amps be used to improve the stereo drive for headphone listening?

My motherboard for example has "eight-channel HD audio" via four mini jack outputs allowing eight different 192K/24bit streams. I only listen to headphones ie. two-channel but have hard to drive phones.

Would it be possible for an adaptor plug to be made that allows the eight-channels to drive the headphones in stereo with the authority gained with possibly increased power?

I imagine using Foobar that the channel mix DSP could up-mix stereo to multi-channel and then an adaptor plug could simply combine the output of two, three or even four ports (that each take a stereo mini-jack) thus driving each channel of the headphones in parallel with two, three or four amps. I guess this would boost the current but not the voltage? Would this improve the control and sound quality of current hungry phones?

Then how about using all those amps to mimic a balanced configuration. Could Foobar get set up with a DSP chain that would mimic balanced drive? Im totally guessing now - dont do this at home folks.

How about a DSP chain (software required?) that for stereo tracks does:
1. split stereo to dual mono streams of left channel and right channel
2. then each mono stream gets replicated to eg left a and left b
3. each stream is fed to a different "speaker" eg left a to front, left b to rear and right c to centre, right d to side - then each port is putting out a mono signal (eliminating the common return)
4. if wiring is done in series to a headphone side via a clever cable mod then two outputs can power one headphone driver and bingo - twice the voltage and four times the current perhaps ???
5 or if the cable was wired in parallel then at least the common return is eliminated but voltage would be normal

Might this work or is the theory incorrect??? Would twice the voltage blow the amps?

If it could work are there other dangers like DC or shorts that could damage the amps on the sound card / motherboard or the phones????

Im never going to be bothered doing this as Ive got plenty of gear but for guys into getting the best out of the least (an ethos kinder on the planet the my indulgent ways) might tweaks like this could be useful?

Boffin opinions are very welcome please.

If anyone has done this or has links please post.
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:14 AM Post #2 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Jun 24, 2007

My motherboard for example has "eight-channel HD audio" via four mini jack outputs allowing eight different 192K/24bit streams.

Those would be line outs and I doubt you have more than 1 headphone output.

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