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0.25 watts into 600 ohms Studio Headphones
Old 25th August 2007
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Old 25th August 2007
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Geoff_T's Avatar

It would be twice as loud. The problem is that your question relates to frequency response, headroom, distortion, etc. They are a factor on the performance of the source and the headphones and how they react with one another.

My guess is that it'll sound fine...

Old 25th August 2007
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Geoff_T's Avatar

Originally Posted by RadioMoo View Post
Thanks, Geoff!

I guess to rephrase the question: assuming the source - the PT session - was tracked right and sounds good, I can crank it and not get distortion or too much/too little bass?

It's a question only you or someone with similar equipment can answer. I have no idea what output chip they use and what power rails it runs on.

Headphones are a pain in the ass because there's no control over what someone will plug into the headphone jack. They might be 8 ohm consumer headphones picked up at a sale or high quality 600 ohm phones.

Power is volts (squared) divided by ohms, so the smaller the ohms, the more power will be dissipated. Conversely, the higher the ohms, the less power. The voltage swing coming out of the amplifier when driving a high impedance load (like 600 ohms) could be quite near clipping and not sound deafeningly loud... it depends on the amplifier's headroom and voltage rails.

Driving lower impedance phones will produce a much higher power level into the phones... again limited by the output stage characteristics.

Examples of low impedance phones are :-

Sony MDR-7509 and MDR-V300 are 24 ohms
Fostex T40RP are 50 ohms
AKG K240 are 55 ohms
Sennheiser HD280 are 64 ohms

Mind you, loud is not necessarily good or better... and can permanently damage your ears.

Old 27th August 2007

Good explanation, Geoff.

An easier way to think about it is this:

An amplifier can run out of voltage headroom or current headroom. If the amp has a lot of voltage available but not a lot of current available, then the 600Ω load is easier to get good output from. If the opposite is true, then the lower impedance is easier to get good level from.

I don't think there are many 600Ω headphones made anymore. Why they don't spec it at 600Ω and at 50Ω is a bit of a mystery (or at least just at 50Ω).

And I agree about the power - 1 watt into typical headphones would be deafening.


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