Question Impedance Difference

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by dragons1ayer, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. dragons1ayer

    dragons1ayer
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    Hi
    I have the M40x headphones and want to get the Sound Blaster Z sound card (I'm currently using onboard audio)
    I don't understand very well the technical terms but the impedance of the headphones is 35 ohms, and I noticed that the sound card has a headphone amplifier rated to handle 600 ohms headphones, is this going to be a problem?
    Thanks

    Headphone specs:
    Frequency Response: 15 - 24,000 Hz
    Maximum Input Power: 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
    Sensitivity: 98 dB
    Impedance: 35 ohm

    Sound card specs:
    Output Level:
    Front Channel Out: 2Vrms
    Headphone (33 ohms): 1.3Vrms
    Headphone (600 ohms): 2Vrms

    Maximum DAC Resolution:
    Front Channel Out : 24-bit, 192kHz
    Headphone (33 ohms): 24-bit, 96kHz
    Headphone (600 ohms): 24-bit, 96kHz

    SNR (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Wgt), @ 24-bit, 96kHz
    Front Channel Out : 116dB
    Headphone (33 ohms): >105dB
    Headphone (600 ohms): >105dB

    Frequency Response @ 96kHz
    Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
    Rear Channel Out : 15Hz to 45kHz
    Center Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
    Headphone (33 ohms): 10Hz to 45kHz

    Frequency Response @ 192kHz(Stereo only)
    Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 88kHz
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    No it will not pose a problem. Your 35 ohm 'phones will be a lot easier to drive than a pair of 600 ohm. When you access the headphone section just make sure your volume is turned down for the initial listening and then just adjust to suit.

    I have three sets of headphones two of which are rated at 32 ohm and one at 46 ohm.
     
  3. dragons1ayer

    dragons1ayer
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    Ok so there is enough power to drive the headphones, but the difference in ohms won't affect the quality of the sound even before or after I turn down the volume?
     
  4. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The quality of the sound comes from the soundcard and the quality of the headphones themselves, plus of course the source quality. I have a pair of 32 ohm 'phones that cost four figures. They will work just as well on a soundcard based system as a high end headphone amp.
     
  5. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Lower impedance headphones require more current to drive, so are actually harder to drive - but perversely will be louder than high impedance headphones. That's basic Ohms law. You will notice from the specs that the voltage is limited at lower impedance, which is probably the limit of the driver circuitry.

    There should be very little discernable difference between a low impedance and high impedance load, as there's very little other circuitry in the output stage to be affected by the different load.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  6. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    As Gibbsy has said no problem..
    The first set of specs you provide says that the maximum power which should ever ever go into headphones is 1.6watts. since the headphones are rated at 35 ohms that means that if a signal voltage above 7.5 volts were ever applied, it would destroy the phones ..as in smoke , diaphragms rupturing, distortion levels through the roof etc . Fortunately your sound card will output a maximum of 1.3 volts. Into a 33 ohm load or or to 2 V into a 600 ohm load.. so no problem!!!.
    I would doubt that you will want to be listening at volumes above 0.5v anyway . The fact that the sound card says 33ohms means that they are a perfect power match to those phones.
     
  7. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    There is nothing wrong with a creative soundcard, but many people (myself included) would suggest that a sound card mounted inside a pc is more noisey than one inside a separate box.. might you look at the USB connected version instead?. The actual chips will be the same, but having it away from the motherboard, will be marginally quieter. .
    Prejudice perhaps,but it is harder to isolate electrical noise inside a computer box.
     
  8. dragons1ayer

    dragons1ayer
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    The sound card has a shroud on it so would that prevent noise?
    Here is the card: Sound Blaster Z
     
  9. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Look those lads and lassies in creative labs have been in this business for a long time, and they will know most of the tricks. So certainly a shroud will improve things,. But dealing with signal noise ratios above 100dB means a noise level ten thousand million less than a wanted signal is significant, .
     
  10. dollag

    dollag
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    Regardless, it's still a pci-e that slots into the mobo and therefore will be susceptible to electrical noise. a stand alone dac/amp will be isolated from the pc and therefore should have less interference.

    what will you be using it for? if it's for gaming then this shouldn't be an issue; however for music, i'd think about sourcing something else. These cards have a lot of dsp functions that can ruin the sound quality imo.
     
  11. dragons1ayer

    dragons1ayer
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    It’s for music, movies and gaming.
    The USB version is priced similar but it looks like it’s inferior to the PCI-e.
    It seems that you can disable audio enhancments through the software, here is a quote from the review:
    "Although purists can still hook up their own high-end equipment and disable audio processing"
    Creative Sound Blaster Z Review
     
  12. dollag

    dollag
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    It will be better than the on board card so that's a benefit.

    I also could not find any information regarding the dac either but CL know there stuff!!

    I use my pc as my music source for my home and have done for over 10 years. I have never liked the pc actually touching the files so I i use external amps/dacs

    watch this, covers my point abot CL

    Z Review - Creative Soundblaster E1
     
  13. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Good headphones can be as unforgiving at poor sources as they can be stunning to high quality recordings. Any bit of interference in the signal path can be unmercifully dealt with from the likes of the Sennheiser reference range and other headphones of the same stature. The less electronics in the audio pathway the better.

    Can't get any simpler than mine, SACD player with it's own DAC and straight to the headphones. If I wanted to play from a computer then it's just a USB connection and let the player do the decoding. There are some really good DAC/Amp combos available now designed for top quality headphone use that may be worth you investigating.
     

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