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Okay so I find my self using my head phones more and more while I watch movies or play games. I'd like to know what is happening inside my receiver. So lets say I have some 5.1 being feed to my receiver and i plug in my headphones i take it it just "mixes" all 6 channels into a 2 channel output? Is there not some quality lost?
 

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It probably throws away the bass info in the ".1" channel completely, but the rest of the sound is most likely just combined into two channels for the headphones. It would be combined the same way if you only had a stereo pair of speakers hooked up to the receiver.
 

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Depends on the receiver. Yamaha, for example, has long had a cinema mode for headphone (silent cinema.) I could not tell you exactly how it works, though.
 

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I'm no expert, but even with it condensing the sound into a two channel, some headphones still have an amazing soundstage. I chose the AD700s and couldn't be happier for movie watching and gaming.


Because it condenses the sound, I find that playing on Dolby Pro Logic just muddles the sound a lot and I actually prefer the regular 5 channel sound ouput. The best benefit of using a receiver to get my sound output is that I can adjust the treble and bass. The AD700s are a little weak on the bass, although they are tight and punchy. It's nice to be able to crank it up a tiny bit more for added punch.
 
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