What's the best way to drive high-end headphones on a gaming console?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by puffthemagicdragon, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. puffthemagicdragon

    puffthemagicdragon n00b

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    Jan 30, 2015
    What would be the best and most economical way to drive my audiophile-grade headphones on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 console for a novice? Most 'gaming' headsets seem so underwhelming in performance and any that have a mix amp or base station typically have a few presets on the EQ which is why I opted for higher end headphones.

    I'd like to get more customization with the sound for each console and game if possible. Would a 7.1 home theater receiver be the best option to drive my headphones? Or would some type of audio interface be more ideal? Perhaps something else? Budget around $140. Any suggestions would be helpful!
     
  2. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

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    Jan 26, 2015
    I use an Emotiva DC-1 DAC to drive Sennheiser HD-650 cans as well as handling digital and analog audio sources ( using an SP-1 break-out box for 2 or more analog sources + turntable. ) The DC-1 is way out of your price range at $500, but I doubt ANY receiver under that price will be able to drive a decent pair of cans. In order to fully answer your question, we will at least need the make and model of your cans so we can look up the power-handling on them.

    The DC-1 headphone amp ( you get two amps ) power-handling are...
    • Headphone Amplifier Output Power (from digital sources):
      2.5 VRMS max into 10 Ohms @ < 0.01% THD (625 mW)
      7.1 VRMS max into 47 Ohms @ < 0.02% THD (1070 mW)
      7.26 VRMS max into 100 Ohms @ < 0.02% THD (525 mW)
      7.32 VRMS max into 300 Ohms @ < 0.02% THD (175 mW)
      7.35 VRMS max into 600 Ohms @ < 0.02% THD (90 mW)
    • Headphone Amplifier Output Power (from analog input):
      (note: 2.5 VRMS analog input required for full output into 47 ohms or higher)
      2.5 VRMS max into 10 Ohms @ < 0.003% THD (625 mW)
      7.1 VRMS max into 47 Ohms @ < 0.003% THD (1070 mW)
      7.2 VRMS max into 100 Ohms @ < 0.006% THD (510 mW)
      9.23 VRMS max into 300 Ohms @ < 0.004% THD (280 mW)
      9.27 VRMS max into 600 Ohms @ < 0.007% THD (140 mW)
    Emotiva does have a regular 2-channel amplifier that can also be used as a headphone amp called the BasX A-100 for $230. Its specs for driving headphones are as follows...

    Headphone output power (normal mode):
    8 Ohms: 60 mW / channel
    33 Ohms: 200 mW / channel
    47 Ohms: 250 mW / channel
    150 Ohms: 430 mW / channel
    300 Ohms: 440 mW / channel
    600 Ohms: 350 mW / channel

    Headphone output power (direct drive mode):
    (requires internal jumper; USE WITH CAUTION)
    8 Ohms: 50 watts / channel
    33 Ohms: 12 watts / channel
    47 Ohms: 8.5 watts / channel
    150 Ohms: 2.6 watts / channel
    300 Ohms: 1.3 watts / channel
    600 Ohms: 0.6 watts / channel
     
  3. Nirvana2112

    Nirvana2112 n00b

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    Dec 11, 2017
    If you want a cheaper option you could use the creative soundblasterx g1 it is 41.95 and it says it can drive up to 300 ohms