Headphone impedance do they matter in quality?
Jul 28, 2008 at 8:21 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Zerox Millienium

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I just bought a beyerdynamic DT880 just two weeks ago. I must say I love the sound coming out of the cans. However, I would like to be more informed about the choice I made. The DT880 seems to have 32 ohms (rare), 250 ohms, and 600 ohms (rare) impedance editions. I bought the 32 ohms so that my iRiver E10 DAP could drive it. I'm just wonder if the impedance matter to quality or not, in other words higher the impedance means better sound quality? I bought the 32 ohms instead of the 250 ohms or the 600 one. Am I an idiot for making the 32 ohms choice over the higher ones? It's an expensive pair of cans and the store clerk told me they had little difference in other technical properties. Is that true?
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 9:42 AM Post #2 of 6

HFat

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I don't know about any differences between the various versions of that headphone but I would have avoided the 32 ohms version myself because, in general, low-impedance headphones are pickier when it comes to less-than-ideal amps. In that sense, more impedance may well mean better sound.

In any case, I doubt Beyer would sell a bad headphone for that much money so I would simply enjoy my new toy rather than obsess about technical details.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 10:15 AM Post #3 of 6

StanleyB1

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When it comes to headphones, impedance choice is largely governed by available output voltage from your source, and the current behind it. Low impedance needs more current for better bass, high impedance needs higher voltage for higher sound levels.

The K701 is of course the odd one out that does not conform to the rules. It acts more like a high impedance headphone in terms of voltage required to get it going, but needs extra current to get the bass going. It quotes 64 ohms as its impedance.

If you had bought a high impedance headphone, then you would have found yourself in need of a headamp if you wanted your headphone output to be higher. As far a the sound quality of things versus the impedance: they are not related, and the K701 (64) and HD650 (300) are good examples of what I mean.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 7:51 AM Post #4 of 6

Zerox Millienium

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HFat /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't know about any differences between the various versions of that headphone but I would have avoided the 32 ohms version myself because, in general, low-impedance headphones are pickier when it comes to less-than-ideal amps. In that sense, more impedance may well mean better sound.

In any case, I doubt Beyer would sell a bad headphone for that much money so I would simply enjoy my new toy rather than obsess about technical details.



Gee, thanks for reassuring me of fundamental aspect of it. "Enjoy the new toy over obsessing with technical details". And yeah, you're darn right about beyerdynamic, their cans are quality stuff, I enjoyed listening music with them. Then again, I'd take your tip as a noteworthy factor when choosing newer or other cans. But seriously, 600 ohms, is really something powerful needed to drive it. Probably no DAPs will be able to drive it well.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 7:59 AM Post #5 of 6

Zerox Millienium

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Quote:

Originally Posted by StanleyB1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As far a the sound quality of things versus the impedance: they are not related, and the K701 (64) and HD650 (300) are good examples of what I mean.


Alright, got it, thanks for your valuable insight to my question, really appreciate that. Cheers
biggrin.gif
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 10:28 AM Post #6 of 6

HFat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zerox Millienium /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But seriously, 600 ohms, is really something powerful needed to drive it. Probably no DAPs will be able to drive it well.


Why not? As always, it depends on the details. DAPs are different and so are 600 ohms headphones. Impendance isn't the most important factor actually... the sheep have somehow taken a liking to that myth but that doesn't make it true.
Impedance has nothing whatsoever to do with the required power by the way. What's most likely to be a problem is that some devices seem to have been voltage-crippled in order to protect your ears from very loud noises. I don't think 600 ohms headphones are typically taken into consideration by the people who design hearing protection on portable devices...
 

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