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How does one create a system for both Headphones and Speakers?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am currently thinking about the setup I want to create in my bedroom and need help deciding how its all going to work.

Right now my setup is computer > Behringer UCA202 DAC > Lepai LP 2020A T-class AMP > Dayton B652 speaker pair.

Now, I've got a few pairs of headphones lying around that I want to be able to integrate into this system (Sony MDR-V6, Audio Technica ATH-M50, and potentially AKG K702) Is there a way I can have an AMP/DAC combo that can accommodate both headphones and speakers? I am open to buying new gear, but not really sure what I would need for it all to work. I want to prevent having to swap cables and components to switch from speakers to headphones. Right now my current setup makes it difficult to switch to headphones.

Would Matrix M-Stage Headphone Amplifier work well with both headphones and speakers (it seems highly recommended for AKG K701s)? Anyways, and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
Did you come here from Head-Fi? If so, that might explain your question.

Otherwise, if you haven't been brainwashed by the prevailing views over there, a simple inexpensive modern AVR would serve your purposes just fine.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I did come here from Head-Fi smile.gif

In general, do generic AVRs have basically two outputs (one for headphones and one for receivers) and is it possible to have one where you can ideally toggle between the two outputs?
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Did you come here from Head-Fi? If so, that might explain your question.

Otherwise, if you haven't been brainwashed by the prevailing views over there, a simple inexpensive modern AVR would serve your purposes just fine.
While there's a lot of misinformation over at Head-Fi, most AVRs still have a very high output impedance on their headphone jack. Output impedance must be 1/8 the headphone impedance (or less) for them to sound as intended.

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/discuss/feedback/newsletter/2011/12/2/0-ohm-headphone-amplifier-sonic-advantages-low-impedance-headphone-amp
http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html

It's also been my experience that most AVRs will mute the speakers when headphones are connected, rather than letting you keep them connected and hit a button to switch between headphones/speakers. My old stereo amp did this, and I wouldn't buy anything without this feature. The jack was on the back too, which kept things nice and clean looking.
post #5 of 8
Some AVR's such as my Denon, when you plug in the headphone jack, the output to the speakers is shut off. On other AVR's both outputs are used and you can simply hit the mute button on the AVR or select speaker 'B' if that is an option. Either way it's a pretty simple work around.

You could also incorporate a small heaphone amp into the system. Myself, I have the headphone amp coming directly from the Oppo and use that for movies and music. For television (and netflix) I use the AVR.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by weekendtoy View Post

You could also incorporate a small heaphone amp into the system. Myself, I have the headphone amp coming directly from the Oppo and use that for movies and music. For television (and netflix) I use the AVR.

How would you incorporate two amps into a system? Would you be able to 'Toggle' between them? Sorry I don't know a whole lot about how audio systems work.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitepeach View Post

I did come here from Head-Fi smile.gif

In general, do generic AVRs have basically two outputs (one for headphones and one for receivers) and is it possible to have one where you can ideally toggle between the two outputs?

You don't need an output for a receiver with an AVR. AVR stands for Audio Video Receiver, so it is your receiver if you have an AVR in the chain. Most of the ones I've seen have a headphone output, usually on the front or face of the AVR.

They generally work one of two possible ways. One, you plug the headphone jack into the output socket, and doing so toggles it on and the speaker output off. Two, you plug the headphones in, and you have output to both headphones and speakers. The latter usually have a switch of some sort to switch off the output to the speakers. Of the AVRs I have owned, most were of the first variety.

Most of mine have been Marantz and Yamaha AVRs. None has ever had trouble driving high impedance headphones. I own, among others, Sennheiser HD-600s, among the highest impedance headphones out there. None of my three Marantz AVRs has any trouble driving them properly. I also have a few headphone amps. Never heard an audible difference between them and the AVRs. I think the concern over impedance mismatch at Head-Fi and elsewhere is wildly overstated and exaggerated. There is such a thing, but it's much less common than seems to be believed.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
So it sounds like I basically need an AMP/DAC combo that at least has a low output impedance headphone output, but also has another output for desktop speakers. Sounds like as long as the AMP / AVR has those two outputs I'll be set.

To power simple bookshelf speakers, is there anything I need to know about the speaker outputs?
Finally, any recommendations on an AVR / AMP DAC combo I could get. Most AVR's seem rather large, and I've been looking for something smaller for my desktop.

Thanks again for all the input, its greatly appreciated.
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