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FiiO E10 Line Out > Headphone Out?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by egaku, Jan 7, 2012.
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  1. Egaku
    I've tested again and again, the sound quality from Line Out flat out beats the Headphone Out; it's as if you lose a lot of bass when you choose Headphone Out.
     
    Can someone shed some light on this?
     
    Setup:
    WMP 11 FLAC -> FiiO E10 -> AKG K240 MKII
     
  2. ClieOS Contributor


    Quote:

    Can't say I hear the same thing. HO on my E10 definitely has a more textured bass and slightly better impact.
     
     
  3. Egaku
    After further listening, the Line Out seems to give more but muddy bass, while the HO gives less but punchier bass.
     
    By the way, what headphones are you using? I read somewhere that says Line Out has a high impedance or something, my headphones are relatively low (55ohms).
     
  4. ClieOS Contributor


    Quote:

    I was using a RE0 when listening earlier. The impedance of line-out is definitely quite high. Around 550ohm if my measurement is correct.
     
     
  5. mikeaj
    Like many headphones, there's a hump in the impedance vs. frequency around the mid-bass.
     
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    Higher output impedance means worse damping factor, so maybe worse control over the drivers.  The difference in bass quantity is easily explained by the headphone impedance graph, since the voltage the headphones see is split between the source impedance and headphone impedance.
     
    V_L = V_s * Z_L / (Z_s + Z_L)
     
    At a given frequency, load voltage is the source voltage multiplied by the ratio of load (headphone) impedance to the sum of the source and load impedances.  If Z_s is mostly constant across frequency, we see that at a particular frequency, Z_L / (Z_s + Z_L) is larger if Z_L is larger.  Thus V_L is relatively high when Z_L is high, which is around the 90 Hz region and also around up to 20 kHz.  If Z_s is small, like with the headphone out, Z_L / (Z_s + Z_L) is close to 1 for all frequencies so there's little frequency shift.  If Z_s is significant compared to Z_L, then you'll get significant shifts, giving you more (mid)bass and highest treble, compared to other frequencies.
     
    Worse control over drivers--or just excessive midbass--can easily make the sound more muddy.  However, the line out furthermore isn't intended to driving headphones, so you can probably also expect significantly increased distortion from that as well, on top of any issues related to worse damping factor and frequency response shift.
     
    Egaku likes this.
  6. Melvins
    does that mean you can't use it with low impedance phones? I just ordered an e10 for my LD and grad set up
     
  7. ClieOS Contributor


    Quote:

    We are talking about the line-out on the above posts. You can use low impedance headphone with the headphone-out without any problem.
     
     
  8. Melvins
    but to just use the DAC of the e10, since i have the LD1+ as my amp, wouldn't i need to use the line out?
     
  9. mikeaj

    Quote:

    No the issue is just if you connect the line out directly to headphones, which is generally just a bad idea.  It's not intended for that.  If you connect the line out to an amp, the amp won't present much of a load to the line out, so it should work properly with none of the issues described.
     
     
  10. Melvins
    iiii seeee
     
  11. Melvins
    It sounds exactly the same if I use the headphone out, just with more bass.....since the bass...well yeah.
     
  12. whoelse
    Can i use headphone with volume control or add an extension cable with volume control? The line-out from my DAP sounds so good.
     
  13. HeyC4
    I got myself a pair of IE 80s. When I plug them into the headphone out, there is VERY noticeable static to the point of being unbearable. There is no static in the line out. for my IE 80s. However, When I use my AKG 7XX on my headphone out, there is no static at all. Also, there is no static when I power my Fiio E10 via another power source. I might try to use an independently powered usb hub later.
     
  14. ProtegeManiac Contributor
     
    If you're using another amplifier hooked up to the Line Out, then either the E10's amp section has distortion that trims the bass, or the amp has distortion that enhances it. Or it could be a little bit of both.
     
    If you just hooked up the headphone to the Line Out, what you're getting is an impedance mismatch and a loss of damping factor that boosts the bass, similar to when you hook up a Grado to an OTL tube amp. Note that impedance-based loss of damping factor can go either way - it will either boost and at time to the point that there it sounds like a mudslide, or it trims it and what is left still lacks definition.
     
  15. nike2000
    Actually, I have the same curiosity. I just bought a tube amp (Nobsound MS-10D), and use both LO and HO of E10 to connect with the tube amp. Kinda strange .... LO has more "hum" than the HO? not sure if this makes sense? should LO provide less distortion ? or the problem is with the tube amp? 
     

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