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Does Input Voltage Affect SINAD Of Headphone AMP?

Mar 16, 2019
I have a ASUS xonar u7 usb dac/amp. It has a very weak headphone amp capable of just 1.3 VRMS, so I am considering getting a separate amp like the JDS Labs Atom. On the line out, my u7 is only capable of 1 VRMS. When products are measured here, it is typically done at 2 VRMS. Would the SINAD of the Atom be different at input voltage of 1 VRMS rather than 2? I assume the output of the amp would only be half of what it would be, but does the noise level the amp adds depend on the input voltage?


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Mar 15, 2016
Monument, CO
It can get complicated but generally the noise floor is constant so yes SINAD will drop a little. But, distortion will also drop a little, so unless you have too much hiss (noise) in your system it'll probably be OK. There are a number of threads on headphone amps so you might check them out. Hopefully someone will read this and chime in with experience and/or suggestions (I do not own a headphone amp).

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