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Truthear Zero with computer audio. Impedance concerns, as well as ways to increase usable volume range?

Adamant11746

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I've been using IEMs with my motherboard audio for years, and I've always had the volume set very low (6 for UE900s, 8 for Letshouer S12, don't remember the others). Ironically the less sensitive Truthear Zero is the one that is giving me problems, because my preferred listening level is somewhere between 10 and 12 (the volume keys on my keyboard adjust in increments of 2).

I also had another concern, spurred by a post in the Truthear Zero thread mentioning high output impedance on a phone leading to extra bass. This led me to look up my motherboard audio, and while I couldn't find any mention of output impedance I did see that the recommended headphone impedance is no lower than 32 ohms.

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on something like an attenuator to give me a wider usable volume range. I'm having trouble finding information, and what I did find was the iFi IEMatch+ (which might work but is expensive) and the iFi Ear Buddy (which seems to be discontinued, at least on amazon, and has too high an output impedance). Very few companies seem to make attenuators. I also came across something suggesting that attenuators might mess with frequency response on multi-driver IEMs, but I don't know if I can trust that. I am also open to a separate headphone amp if that would be a better solution, but would prefer to keep costs down as much as possible.
 

GaryH

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I'd just get a USB DAC/amp dongle.
 

staticV3

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Here's my recommendation:
Buy an Apple A2155 Type-C to 3.5mm Headphone adapter.
It has very low noise, very low output impedance, is limited to just 0.5Vrms output, and costs just $9. Basically the perfect candidate for what you need!
If you live in a country maked blue in the map below, then you can simply order one from the Apple website or Amazon (or visit a local Apple store).
If you live in another country, then you can buy an A2155 from eBay.
Apple Lightning to 3,5mm Headphone Adapter (1).png

If your PC doesn't have USB Type-C ports, then you can connect the dongle via an adapter like this:
s-l1600.jpg
or my favorite, the Steelseries USB-C to USB-A Cable:
buyimg_arctis1-usbc-cable.png__1920x1080_crop-fit_optimize_subsampling-2.jpg

And another trick for improving volume control:
By following this guide, you can make it so that the volume keys on your keyboard adjust in increments of just 1.
 
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Adamant11746

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Here's my recommendation:
Buy an Apple A2155 Type-C to 3.5mm Headphone adapter.
It has very low noise, very low output impedance, is limited to just 0.5Vrms output, and costs just $9. Basically the perfect candidate for what you need!
If you live in a country maked blue in the map below, then you can simply order one from the Apple website or Amazon (or visit a local Apple store).
If you live in another country, then you can buy an A2155 from eBay.
Thanks for the dongle idea! It turns out I already had a cheap one (not apple, but I can't hear anything obviously wrong with it) that I was using with my phone since the headphone jack broke. No specs available for it, but it partially solved the volume problem. I'm still only listening at 14 though. I was going to order an apple dongle anyway just so I don't have to keep moving this one around, but while there are plenty of people selling the US version in Europe I can't seem to find anyone selling the EU version here in the US. I'm thinking I might get the US version just because it's the only one I can find.
 
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staticV3

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@Adamant11746 if you can wait a few hours, I can test a bunch of inexpensive dongles for which one gives you better volume control in Windows.
 
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Adamant11746

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Unfortunately that Ugreen is $40, which I just can't justify, but I finally found a European apple dongle on ebay. With shipping from France it's half the price, so unless you have more dongles you can test I think I'll get that.
 
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Adamant11746

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On second thought, I took another look at that graph and realized that according to this calculator I found it might not solve the problem. It looks like I get .02v at 14 on the volume slider with the apple dongle, which translates to 85db. I think my current dongle might be the same power.
1668702293659.png
 

staticV3

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On second thought, I took another look at that graph and realized that according to this calculator I found it might not solve the problem.
In that case, my recommendation is to install Equalizer APO and set like a -10dB preamp, and also to follow this trick to make your keyboard's volume buttons adjust in increments of 1.
 
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Adamant11746

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In that case, my recommendation is to install Equalizer APO and set like a -10dB preamp, and also to follow this trick to make your keyboard's volume buttons adjust in increments of 1.
Thanks! Equalizer APO works great, using a -15db preamp I now have a much more usable volume range. Plus I can experiment with equalization if I ever want to.
 
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