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Headphone Splitter Cable vs. Amp Headphone Amps
Old 7th August 2014
Gear Nut

Headphone Splitter Cable vs. Amp


I'm currently monitoring through an Apogee Duet. When tracking vocals, I will need to connect 2 x headphones in order to monitor as the singer records.

Is a simple splitter-cable acceptable in this situation, bearing in mind that I'm happy to monitor at whatever level the singer requires for her mix?

Or should I buy a separate headphone amp?

I currently have 2 x HD25, 70 Ohm, but I am thinking of selling them and grabbing 2 x ATH-M50X, since the latter are only 40 Ohm. Presumably, this will make life easier for the Duet's amp?

Many thanks!
Old 7th August 2014
Gear Head

If the headphone amp of the Duet can drive the headphones through the Y-cable, I think you are ok. But, are you sure you want the same level with the singer? From a personal experience, most times singers want their voice louder in the mix. This is something that I don't like for my monitor mix because I want to listen the voice (and) in the mix.

For me the right is to have different headphone channels and even better different mixes. If money is the problem, then just buy a cheap headphone amp with a stereo in and two headphone outs. Better than a Y-cable.

I have ath-m50. I tried them with various amps( focusrite, rme, ssl, etc). Never had a problem. I do not have experience with hd25.

Hope it helps.
Old 7th August 2014
Gear Head

I worked with a singer (whose boyfriend changed my mic placement- if one can even begin to think about how to fathom such a sin) and she wanted to monitor so that the mic could hear the track thru the phones. I couldn't listen that loud, I was splitting as well. when i took them off i was afraid the mic would pick up the sound so i had to not listen. thought this might help.
Old 7th August 2014
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

The Rolls RA53b 5 output headphone amp goes for around $100.00

5 separate volume controls, half rack space, has worked well for me.
Old 7th August 2014
I'd say go for a headphone amp! It's always great to be able to control the level of every pair of headphones individually.
Old 20th August 2014
Gear Nut

Thanks for the feedback - it seems a headphone amp is the way to go!

Would this suffice: Lake People G105 Headphone Amp - Thomann UK

It doesn't have independent volume controls, but I'm hoping that the 'balance' option acts as a way to manage levels between headphones. Either that or it simply adjusts the global L/R balance.

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