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How to find specs on power output from my desktop?

  1. Pluggedin
    I was wondering if there is a way to look up the hardware or the specs of my PCs 3.5mm headphone out. Thank-you for any help!
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    It might help to know the make and model of the motherboard or model number of computer?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 1:13 PM
  3. Pluggedin
    It is an ASUS P7H55-M pro
  4. tomb
    Well, I looked up everything I could on the Asus website, including downloading the manual for this motherboard. The power specs on the imbedded sound do not exist.

    You can get in the ball park, if you have a scope. Play a 1kHz tone through the sound output, adjust the volume to 100% and measure the voltage between one of the signals and ground. On a scope, you adjust until you can see the wave tops and bottoms, then count the divisions on the screen. You might be able to do this with a DMM, but I'm not sure that even a Fluke can measure accurately at music frequencies. Maybe you could use a 60Hz tone and it would be accurate if the DMM can measure true RMS from AC voltage.
  5. Pluggedin
    Thank-you for your help tomb! I don't have any of those tools but perhaps my friend can assist me. I'll post any results back to this thread if I find them.
  6. PurpleAngel Contributor
    It might help to know what your end goal is?
    Like are you trying to figure out what headphones would work best, plugged into the motherboard?
  7. Pluggedin
    I am looking at getting a portable amplifier. Using my ex800st and Kanas Pro, the sound out of my desktop is much more engaging and enjoyable than on my portable sources. Knowing the power output from my desktop will help me in determining which amp to buy, and is also something I would just like to know.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 1:53 PM
  8. PurpleAngel Contributor
    As your looking for a headphone amplifier to daisy chain off portable audio device(s), knowing the output of the motherboard's jack, will not tell you the power output of your portable device's headphone jack.
    I'm assuming your portable audio device has a weaker output, then the motherboard's.
    Just about any portable headphone amplifier should work decently plugged into the headphone jack of your portable audio device.
    I would suggest checking out the FiiO A3 portable headphone amplifier.
    Or just buy a DAP (Digital Audio Player), chances are a DAP would have a better DAC and more powerful headphone amplifier, then whatever portable device you use now.
  9. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Power isn't the only factor there. It's not always anything along the lines of "enough torque for throttle steer corrections mid-corner/while trying to get the inside line vs the lead car/bike."

    In terms of music it can also mean distortion, and more likely due to a high output impedance resulting in reduced damping factor that basically lets the low end cut loose so that what is supposed to be a "thud, thud, thud-thud-thud" getting obscured by ambient noise (like from not using a custom loop or BeQuiet/Noctua cooling) comes out as "THWUUUD, THWUUUUD, THWWWUUUUWUUUUWUUUD" that sounds good compared to having the first obscured by ambient noise effectively sounding like it isn't even there.

    That gets more likely in the case of an older motherboard that doesn't have all the advertised low THD+N figures of modern boards, what you have might in automotive terms be closer to "putting a 3.0L flat 6 engine behind the rear axle allows for the 911's arse to swing out with even the gentlest change of throttle angle, " except in this case it's not necessarily something great provided you have a good driver with a well-controlled foot who knows that old car pretty well, but more along the lines of "using an imprecise distortion pattern as a substitute for precise EQ like WW2 carpet-combing or Cold War MAD instead of modern smart munitions."
  10. baskingshark
    +1 to the Fiio A3 amp. I use it both for my desktop and with smartphones and it is quite an affordable entry level amp that can power most IEMs (save for headphones with super huge impedance). It is no frills and good battery life of 16 hours, has a bass boost and gain switch.
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
    My FiiO E11 (Older version of the FiiO A3), could near max volume knob, give half-way decent volume to my 600-Ohm DT880 or DT990.
    baskingshark likes this.
  12. Pluggedin
    Thanks PurpleAngel, My LG G7, according to what I've read is 2 volts rms and somewhere between 200-300mw into 32 ohm so the A3 would only be a marginal boost in power. Given how quickly many DAPs become antiquated, I'm looking for an amp as my phone has a very good DAC already. Knowing the power coming from my PC would help me make my selection. Thanks for taking time to help.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 9:36 AM
  13. Pluggedin

    Thank-you ProtegeManiac, I'm going to do some reading on sensitivity and impedances. I suspect that the additional power is however a big factor in the bigger sound as both of my main IEMs are dynamic driver that many agree benefit from additional power. You clearly know much more than I on this and I'm motivated to learn more. I'm sure those analogies make sense to the well-informed but I clearly have a lot to learn about source paring. Thank-you for your help.
  14. Pluggedin
    Seams to be a solid amp. I'm willing to pay more for a FiiO Q5s, A5, Topping NX4, or Oppo Ha-2se if it gives me more fun engaging sound. I'll keep the A3 on my radar though because of the cost and support in this thread. Thanks for the recommendation.
    baskingshark likes this.
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I'm lost, your phone is going to feed the same signal, from it's headphone jack, into any line-input on whatever portable headphone amplifier you get.
    So knowing the voltage output on the motherboard's headphone jack, will not effect whatever signal comes out of your LG G7 phone's headphone jack.
    I doubt your motherboard's headphone jack is more powerful then the FiiO A3's headphone jack.
    But if you want a more powerful headphone amplifier, check out the FiiO A5.

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