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Could interface headphone jack damage headphone drivers?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Reticuli2, Sep 26, 2018.
  1. Reticuli2
    Anyone ever heard of or experience headphone jacks of USB audio interfaces seeming to over time degrade or damage one driver or the other when it's left plugged in? I'm wondering if there could be DC leaking from a jack. Every headphone left plugged into my two interfaces eventually seems to get imbalanced. I just had one driver actually completely blink out. There are certain headphones I never plug into those jacks and I use outboard headphone amps plugged into the rear of the interfaces, and those headphones are perfectly fine. I'm not sure if it's the Emu or the Tascam interface that's doing it, as I sort of alternate between them. I'm also not sure what DC might do to a driver at a low level or how I would test for it, but I'm trying to figure out what this might be.
  2. NA Blur
    I could see DC getting thru, but most likely the damage is coming from unplugging them while a signal / voltage is still being sent to the driver.

    Do you ever do that and if so do you hear a loud pop each time?

    One easy test is if you can access the driver watch and see if it distorts in an unnatural manner. DC terribly distorts the driver into sharp edges. You may not be able to easily access the driver tho.
  3. Reticuli2
    I might have done that (unplugged or plugged in with volume up some) with those headphones, but I just as likely am to do that on external headphone amps and the headphones I've only ever used on external amps don't seem to have become unbalanced. None of the headphone amps or either interface produces especially loud pops when disconnecting the jack if I don't turn it down, but I never have it up particularly loud. It's possible the interface turning on or off if I boot up or shut down the computer might be causing some kind of pop or surge.

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