I suspect the headphone jack on my yamaha AVR is poor quality. Can I fix this with an external device that sits between the avr and my headphones?


Novice Member
Before, with my older avr (onkyo rt390, from around 2012), my Sennheiser 599SEs sounded fantastic when connected to the 6.35mm headphone jack. However, the onkyo ran into power/overheating issues and I had to replace it. I got a yamaha rx-v585 (2018) and have been mostly satisfied with it in a 5.1.2 atmos setup. However, for whatever reason, the headphones sounded nothing as good on the yanaha as they used to with the onkyo. They sound strangely muddy, ie it feels as if there isn't much separation between instruments. The small details I use to hear in some Pink Floyd songs (what I listen to the most) with the Sennheisers + onkyo are gone with the yamaha. (note that my music files are high bitrate FLACs that are sent directly to the receiver for decoding via optical or hdmi from my pc)

I initially attributed it to some weird issue with how the avr decodes the music. But just recently, I read that headphone jacks and the way they're powered in AVRs are of poor quality compared to a dedicated headphone amp. It seems this is particularly true of yamaha AVRs. I didn't really understand the technical details though.

So is there any setting I could adjust on the avr that could help fix this issue? I know theres a speaker impedance option but I can't see this affecting the headphone jack system.

Alternatively, is there some sort of device that would sit between the headphones and the avr that might make my headphones sound better? I want it to be downstream of the avr because I'd like to use the headphones with a number of devices that are connected to the avr via hdmi (Xbox, pc, shield).


Active Member
I was thinking that you could maybe use a hdmi audio extractor, connected to an external headphone amp/optical dac, between your avr & tv. Not sure your amp would pass the audio to the hdmi out though & it might affect hdmi arc.
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Distinguished Member
Headphone amp connected to zone 2 pre outs or stereo downmix outputs

That's if you amp outputs digital sources to analogue out some are like for like


Distinguished Member
If you always use your PC as a source maybe something connected via USB would be a better option, there's no real reason in my mind to involve the Yamaha at all.

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