Zen micro volume with non creative headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by AOD, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. AOD

    AOD
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    This is a question for any other Zen Micro owners out there.

    Have you tried using your player with headphones other than the supplied ones and have you noticed that you need to almost triple the volume to get a similar volume level?

    I first noticed this on a flight when trying to use my noise cancelling 'phones, a pair of Sennheiser 485's. Ok so an aircraft isn't exactly a "quiet" environment, but having to set the volume to 21 rather than 6 to hear something seemed a bit extreme to me.

    Back on terra firma, I tried my trusty old HD450's with the same result and checked out a colleagues pair of "in ear" Sony's (don't recall the model number). Same story, with the Creative headphones 6 or 7 is a nice comfortable level, any other headphones and you need 20 or above.

    This seems a little bit naughty of Creative, I'm guessing here but it's almost as though they've supplied a truly "hyper sensitive" pair of 'phones so that under normal listening, the Zen will use less juice. I'd be interested to know what the specs for the 'phones are, am I right in thinking that generally most 'phones are 32ohms impedance (not sure about the sensitivity)??

    On the plus side, with only WMA files and the player not quite fully charged, I did manage to get over 11hrs out of one battery. This was a random play all with the lock engaged, based on this I'm very happy with the battery life (the fact that mine was one of the limited edition models with an extra battery didn't hurt either).
     
  2. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Noise cancelling phones tend to have a very high impedance since they'll be plugged into aircraft systems. It's not as strange as it seems.


    The Micro doesn't have a stellar amp, and an efficient phone is required to make the most of it. Isolated phones will also increase the apparent loudness of the music compared to the background sound.


    You might like to consider Shure earphones if this is proving a problem for you. Not only do they offer outstanding efficiency, they also offer among the highest level of passive isolation available.
     
  3. AOD

    AOD
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    Hmm, I would have thought that would be a little short sighted as they'll also be popular for commuters as well, typically connecting to personal stereos etc. However, I take the point.
    Okay, but this was the same with all the other 'phones I tried. Only one pair was supposedly "high impedance" (actually they are HDC 451's and the manual says they have an impedance of 160 ohms). With the 450's and the "in ear" Sony's, I couldn't imagine them as needing to be high impedance.
    Any models in particular that you would recommend looking at?

    I'm happy with the sound of the supplied 'phones for now, but would like to see if any others would make a significant difference. Plus the fact that the Zen micro headphones also come in white means they're not exactly low key. :(
     
  4. Reepicheep

    Reepicheep
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    I have noticed the same thing with my Zen Micro. The creative earphones supplied hurt my eyes after a while so I got a pair of Sennheiser (very posh foldable ones in their own carrying case :) ), and I noticed that I had to turn the volume right up (my hearing is not too good anyway and I usually have the volume on about 14/15). Thinking it was because they were on-the-ear phones and not in-the-ear type, I tried some JVC in-the-ear ones, the they were the same. I checked that all the headphones are 32 Ohm impedance.
     
  5. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    As I said, it's the efficiency that matters for volume, and not particularly the impedance. You'll find the low impedance PX100/200 (if by 'in a posh case' you mean these phones) very low volume on on the Zen Micro, because neither phone is particularly efficient.


    The Shure E2c is obviously a good place to start since it's the cheapest Shure (UK - £70ish). It is a bit of a pain to press into the ear as it has a bore diameter that's pretty close to the ear canal sizes of some smaller-eared people. HOwever, if it fits you well it's got a non-fatiguing, accurate sound (with a bit of treble cut) and offers very high isolation. The Zen's EQ can compensate for the high-end loss if this bothers you, and all in all it's a good combination.
     

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