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How Do I Start Measuring Headphone Amps?


New Member
Sep 14, 2022
Hey Guys,

Would like to take some measurements for myself, namely, "how much is this amp putting out when I play x track at x volume".
I often find there are statements such as "you only need x amount of milliwatts to play at deafening levels", but as a basshead, I get the feeling this number would go up significantly (potentially in orders of magnitude) if I add +20db (negative pre-amp and sub bass frequency boosts) and I have content with frequencies around 30hz instead of 1Khz. On the other hand, it'd be dynamic music instead of sine waves (I think they're far more strenuous than music).

The goal is to be able to say something like, if I play the song "0742" by "Dillard" through my iFi iDSD Micro Black Label connected to an LCD-X 2021, the iFi gives up at x volts (i.e. audible distortion) whereas if I play it on a Burson Conductor 3R GT, for the same volume, it's drawing x volts at x ohms and there's no distortion.

So, I'm looking for a kit list. Unfortunately, its been hinted that, equipment used to measure devices is...prohibitively expensive. But I thought I'd try in case all I need is a multimeter and an oscilloscope or something. But perhaps all I'd need is a 6.3mm jack that connects to some kind of measuring equipment that comes with handy software?

Advice in the right direction is appreciated, as well as "Sorry, it's likely this really is cost prohibitive and it's best to leave it to those who have the gear" so I can end the journey before finding this out down the line, or even "it's not that simple" as seems to often be the case with electrical engineering :)

This seemed to be a good place to start as there's a few images of what to measure, but perhaps a little confusing regarding whether it's OK to use a DMM to measure this kind of stuff.


I just realised you'd need something in the middle between the headphones and the amp to measure it. Definitely more research needed on my part and guessing the answer will just end up being "it's cost prohibitive, sorry".
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