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Headphone Amplifier Testing and Measurements

Discussion in 'Speakers, Headphones and Room Acoustics' started by amirm, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    Emotiva has a 30 day no hassle return policy and a 5 year transferable warranty.
    I like this kind of bank end support, todays modern gear should give a long service life.
     
    amirm and Thomas savage like this.
  2. Wombat

    Wombat Active Member

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    That could be an insult to Behringer. ;)
     
  3. beeface

    beeface New Member

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    As mentioned previously, Beats would appear to be the best selling brand. The most oft recommended headphones on online forums however would probably be the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. They might be an interesting reference point. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HVLUR8...bW&pd_rd_r=5D289CQS7FBQ2GYGK96W&pd_rd_w=PaBgA

    Thinking about it, DAC/Headphone amp combos do seem like the most popular choice these days (from Schiit, Fiio, Audioquest etc). The Objective 2 previously mentioned is a good choice. In honour of your DAC measurements, maybe an entry-level Behringer product would be a worthwhile reference point? https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-MA400-BEHRINGER-MICROMON/dp/B000KUCQXY
     
  4. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I ordered the Behringer. Incredible how cheap that is. If it performs well, it will be quite an upset!

    On the AT headphone, I am going to wait a bit until I get my headphone measurement system. For now, how easy is it to drive?
     
  5. beeface

    beeface New Member

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    The ATH-M50X is very easy to drive, which is probably a big factor in why they're so popular - they work just fine from phone or a laptop. In retrospect, maybe not the most interesting suggestion.

    As I was thinking of affordable higher impedance headphones, Beyerdynamic came to mind. There is a comparison between the 32ohm, 250ohm and 600ohm versions of their DT 880 on InnerFidelity:

    https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...-dt-880-250-ohm-and-dt-880-600-ohm-headphones
     
  6. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    I am actually looking for a high-efficiency popular headphone to test channel balance at low amplitude. Any suggestions there?
     
  7. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    I'm not sure how high you refer to but the low cost Grados like the SR80 or 60s are very sensitive. SPL 1mW: 99.8 dB
     
  8. Blumlein 88

    Blumlein 88 Major Contributor

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    Those Grado phones might be a good choice for that purpose.

    The best I think are some on-ear, in-ear phones. Some of those run on nearly nothing. I have some Creative Aurvana's that aren't available anymore, and those babies biggest problem is sometimes you can't get them quiet enough without really dropping volume.

    https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Ult...00U0WUI1O/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

    These are similar to what I have, but not the same thing. They claim these are 110db/mw. I think the ones I have claim 114 db/mw. The ones I have sound pretty good, not great, a bit lightweight. But they are very comfortable, screen out lots of exterior noise, and being so easy to drive work great with a cell phone source.

    There well may be better ones out there for around this price, but I think these types are going to be more efficient for low signal levels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  9. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Thanks guys. What is a more common scenario for usage of a headphone, an IEM or over the ear in desktop applications? I have this picture of many people using traditional headphones as opposed to in-ear monitors for home use.
     
  10. danadam

    danadam Member

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    I've made a mistake of buying Shure SE535, they have 119 dB SPL/mW. If I converted that correctly, that is whooping 133 dB SPL/1Vrms. I could hear the noise of my player very clearly then, I've always dreamed of that ;-)

    I replaced them with Ultrasone IQ, 104 dB SPL/mW (121 dB SPL/1Vrms) and it is much better now.

    (Shure SE315 is a cheaper but similarly very sensitive option)
     
  11. tr1ple6

    tr1ple6 Member

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    I use over the ear open back headphones, Sennheiser HD800 with a SDR mod. It psychologically freaks me out having something in my ear. Even on ear headphones are uncomfortable for me. Perhaps you can do a poll?
     
  12. watchnerd

    watchnerd Major Contributor Beer Hero

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  13. tr1ple6

    tr1ple6 Member

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    Thanks for the future nighmares
     
  14. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    I use only traditional cans. I get enough of having plugs in my ears at the range every week, as I'm anal about noise protection and wear ear plugs and also muffs at the same time. But after a few hours those plugs drive me nuts, don't need to endure that torture to listen to music.
     
  15. Blumlein 88

    Blumlein 88 Major Contributor

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    I think it depends on who you ask. Younger folks aren't going to listen with a desktop. Those who do probably use over the ear. I use and much prefer over the ear (circumaural) phones. On the other hand they just aren't handy for use out and about with a cell phone or portable player.

    I also do a weird thing sometimes when recording if I don't have an isolating room to monitor in. I use some IEMs, high efficiency. Then put a very isolating pair of noise blocking earmuffs over them. I block out the music around me so I can clearly hear the capture going on from the microphones. Not the most transparent musically, but lets me hear any 'issues' with background things in the recording.
     
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