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Is there a newsletter or society for people who believe that headphone amplifiers are largely redundant scam products?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by ag8908, Feb 19, 2014.
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  1. Claritas
    OP, is it possible that your O2 is simply defective?
    Edit: I just tested your "no amp needed" conjecture using my laptop, K340 (400 ohms), and the O2. Although I can get sufficient volume straight from my laptop, the sound is markedly different and better with the O2.
    Also, sorry if this sounds like a "you forgot Poland" moment, but I haven't been able to confirm that the LG phones have Wolfson DACs.
  2. jevans2025

    There's probably nothing wrong with the O2. The OP is running his O2 directly out of his headphone jack on his laptop, double amping with his noisy laptop sound card and amp. He's stated too that it's a loud headphone jack with a high power rating, so the O2 probably isn't all that much louder either. So he's amping the same signal again with the O2, meaning it can't sound any better and could only sound worse.

    This is a classic example of someone not knowing how to use a product correctly, then blaming the product for their lack of results and condemning it as a waste of money. What's unique about it is that most people would try something different and follow the advise of others on a thread like this, whereas op. Would rather continue to use he O2 improperly and continue to receive poor results.
  3. Claritas
    Yeah, it did seem as if he was doing that at one point, when someone mentioned amplifying the amplifier. So he just needs to set it up right and get back to me about Poland and he can retire.
  4. ag8908
    I'm actually using the O2 now whenever I'm at my desk. I figured that I can't return it, and since it doesn't affect the sound in any way there's no harm in using it. Who knows maybe one day I'll see it doing something impressive.
  5. ag8908
    I missed your other question. I read somewhere, I can't find the link now, that the Galaxy Note 2 has a Wolfson DAC, and that the Note 3, LG G2 and LG G Flex all have upgraded Wolfson DACs playing audiophile 192khz music. If I see it later I'll link it here.
  6. Rem0o

    Do you still have the Hifimediy DAC? If so, try this, since I've never seen you mention it.

    Laptop with 100% volume --> Hifimediy --> O2 (controle volume here) --> Headphones.
    whitedragem likes this.
  7. ag8908
    Actually I sold it recently and it's packed and ready to ship. I definitely didn't prefer that to my laptop or Note 2 DACs. It wasn't as detailed or "natural" sounding if that makes any sense. Subjective opinion as always. It wasn't bad though, and if I had noise in my laptop or a bad laptop DAC it's worth the money. Also, it was super powerful (db output) relative to what I expected. Easily deserved a five star review since it's only $40-$50 or so.
    Edit: Right now I have three DACs and this is my order of preference for their sound signatures:
    1. Laptop DAC, a realtek 269.
    2. Note 2 DAC, a Wolfson, I'm pretty sure.
    3. LG G Flex DAC, an upgraded Wolfson at 192khz, I think.
    It's all subjective with DACS, but DACs definitely sound differently from one another.
  8. Rem0o
    But did you try Hifimediy -->1/8 to 1/8 cable --> O2 --> headphones ?
  9. ag8908

    Yes of course. No difference for me. I did mostly O2 at 100% volume and laptop at lower volume though, although I tried it the other way as well and didn't notice a difference.
  10. Claritas
    OP, what do you make of the test I did with my laptop, O2, and K340 (400 ohms)?
  11. ag8908

    Not sure. What DB are you listening at ear level? I didn't observe what you observed, listening at 60-65 (very rarely going up a little higher) db ear level.
    I can confirm that on my SRH940s the O2 are very noticeably louder than the headphone plugged into my laptop, but once you equalize the volume I didn't hear any difference. The HD800s weren't louder, in a noteworthy way, on the O2 vs. the laptop. I'm sure there's some physics based explanation.
  12. Claritas

    I easily obtained volume sufficient for listening from the laptop but, without O2, K340 was noticeably brighter with some loss of detail, particularly loss of clarity in background details.
  13. ag8908

    well I don't have that headphone so I can't comment. precisely what laptop DAC and amplifier (including watts) were you using without the O2?
    if you give me the exact model # and make of your laptop I might be able to find that information.
    i was using a realtek 269 w/ 2.3 watts
  14. Claritas

    It's a Lenovo T410. The O2 was on 2.5x at 1 o'clock. I could try it with a different pair later, if you like; whatever's in my profile.
  15. ag8908

    It says it has a connexant cx20585 dac, but i can't find any information on the amplifier's power which is what matters.
    but it seems like we can probably deduce that the T410 has an underpowered laptop amplifier.
    edit: oh here it is
    it states, "ProCoustic headphone driver delivers 50 mW into 32 Ω load with no pop, eliminating the need for an external amplifier and DC-blocking capacitors"
    first it states it can only do a measily 50mW for 32 ohms, that's nothing. but then it also claims to have a 2W amplifier (2000 mW). not sure what to make of that. Perhaps maybe the T410 knows when you've plugged in a headphone as opposed to a speaker, and it turns down the amp power? not sure. a 2w amplifier is pretty powerful as far as I know, but 50mW into 32ohms is very weak.
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