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Old 18th October 2019
Here for the gear

Zoom F series or SD Mix Pre doubling as audio interface (headphone amp?)

Hi all, I hope I have posted this in the correct sub-forum. I've searched all over but can't find the exact info I'm after.

I am considering either the Zoom F4/F8n or Sound Devices MixPre 6 for use primarily as a foley, SFX and field recorder, but also hoping to use it as an audio interface to replace my Focusrite Saffire Pro24 which is starting to give me some grief.

I'm in the studio every day composing, mixing etc and need to use headphones a lot of the time (Sennheiser HD600, 300ohm). I'm aware that the headphone amps on the F series are not so good, and would like to know if they would have trouble powering the HD600s. Zoom lists the headphone amp as 100mw but I'm not sure how this translates in terms of powering the headphones adequately or not.

I understand the Sound Devices Mix Pre 6 has a much better headphone amp. Is it still better than the upgraded amp in the Zoom F8n? Would it be able to power the 300ohm headphones adequately?

In either case, would it be too ambitious to expect to use the recorder as an interface as well? Would I be disapointed after replacing my Saffire Pro 24? (For reference, it easily powers the headphones) Although I spend way more time in my DAW than field recording, this purchase is primarily to upgrade my recording setup, with the audio interface an added 'bonus' (in the hope of delaying an interface upgrade in the near future)

Thanks in advance!