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Could my sound card damage my headphones?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Right, I've read a little bit about headphones and their potential of being damaged depending on their source (particularly its output voltage and impedance). I have a Sound Blaster Titanium HD, and I need to set my windows volume control within 10-20% to listen at a comfortable level (I never turn it up very loud at all, probably to what I would estimate to be around 75 db). That would already say that the card must be pretty powerful. The question is, is it enough power to damage my new headphones? My new headphones are Fidelio X1's, and they have a low impedance (I believe it was around 30 ohms), and have a maximum power input of 500 mW. The problem is, I can't figure out how much voltage the card can output anywhere, but I know it has a high output impedance (i'm connected to the headphone output directly on the rear of the card; not the front panel). I've also read that when dealing with an amplifier (I've heard that the Titanium HD has some sort of amplifier in it), you should only plug the headphones in after it has been powered on, and unplug them before you turn it off.

This is all very complicated and confusing to me wha-smiley.png, so I guess the question is:

Should I have to worry about damage to my headphones/sound card in this setup/scenario?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Edited by Danevul - 10/23/13 at 9:55pm
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 MSI GTX 670 Power ed. G.Skill Ripjaws X 8 GB kit 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.Skill Ripjaws X 16 GB Kit Spinpoint F3 LITE-ON OEM  CM Hyper 212+ 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 x64 ASUS VG248qe Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Antec HCG 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM HAF 912 Logitech G400 (2nd rev) Gamerzstuff DKT pad Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium HD 
AudioOther
Fidelio X1 Intel PCI-E Network Adapter EXPI9301CTBLK 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 MSI GTX 670 Power ed. G.Skill Ripjaws X 8 GB kit 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.Skill Ripjaws X 16 GB Kit Spinpoint F3 LITE-ON OEM  CM Hyper 212+ 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 x64 ASUS VG248qe Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Antec HCG 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM HAF 912 Logitech G400 (2nd rev) Gamerzstuff DKT pad Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium HD 
AudioOther
Fidelio X1 Intel PCI-E Network Adapter EXPI9301CTBLK 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 3
No, just because your source can produce x amount of power does not mean it will be providing that power at all times. For instance, in card audio, if I have a 1000 watt rms amp and 200 watt speakers, as long as I do not provide it more than 200 watts it'll be fine. (Not the best comparison because you can provide more to a speaker and it be just fine, but you get the point)

If you are hearing distortion, then you are most likely providing too much wattage to the headphones. Just listen to them at a comfortable level to you, which seems to be fairly low comparatively to me. So, you should be just fine and dandy. smile.gif
post #3 of 3
just dont turn the volume up to max that could cause distortion and that's what can cause damage to your headphones. I know on my asus xonar sound card and Sennheiser headphones normal listening levels are around 10/100 just watch your volume should be all good.thumb.gif
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