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Headphone & Amp Impedance Questions? Find the answers here!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by proton007, Apr 25, 2012.
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  1. E1DA
    Ideas made us a human.
  2. maziarshaghaghi
    do you know that the impedance sometimes matter but sometimes not?
    because the lowest headphone impedance is 8 ohms & the highest headphone impedance is 600 ohms and if you calculate them u can see that the difference is 75 in ohms or mW, so the voltage is more than 8 and less than 9 V rms

    8^2=64, 9^2=81

    so don't worry about the high impedance, i know that the higher impedance decreases the volume and needs more voltages but the highest impedance will decreases less than 19 dB volume

    if u have no problem with the highest impedance u can find some noise cancellation headphones that have more than 600 ohms active impedance & u can measure what the difference is.
  3. FourT6and2
    Informative thread. So how does one intelligently demo headphones? For example in a store. Let's say I'm comparing 3 different headphones in a store to decide which one to buy. But I'm using the same amp with all three. Amp's output impedance is... oh let's say 16ohms. Headphone 1 is 300ohm, Headphone 2 is 80ohm, and Headphone 3 is 36ohm. I would be better off using an amp with as low of an impedance as possible it seems. Let's through one more monkey wrench in there: amp power. amp with 16ohm output impedance can pump out 5 watts and is powered by mains/wall. There's another amp available, but it's battery powered and only puts out (35mW at 600ohm), but its output impedance is less than 1ohm. It's a fraction of an ohm.

    So... what do?

    Also, let's say I want to buy a quality planar magnetic headphone with a listed impedance of like 30-50ohms. And let's say my requirements for an amp are built-in DAC, balanced output (either 4-pin XLR or 4.4mm Pentaconn), and enough wattage to really get the job done. There aren't a lot of options out there it seems. Many headphone amp with DACs just don't have the wattage or their impedances are too high.
  4. bigshot
    The best way to compare headphones is with the proper impedance matching. You find the cans with the sound you want, and you build your system around that. However, that might not apply to portable rigs. You need to balance sound with convenience. People don't value convenience as much as they should. Hauling around a pile of black boxes and maintaining battery power in all of them is a pain. It might be better to sacrifice a tiny bit of sound quality in favor of simplicity.
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