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Old 16th April 2013, 12:43 AM   #1
rebz is offline rebz  United States
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Default A curious Inquiry involving internal headphone amp/powering multiple earbuds?

[As a preface, I am a novice that enjoys meddling in the world of audio]
Mostly out of boredom and excess parts I've come up with a ideal:
  • Issue with speakers seem to be trying to produce multiple frequencies from one speaker
  • Most earbud type speakers [especially cheapo ones] tend to very biased [too bass-y, too tinny, etc.]

What I propose to do is take a regular over the ear headphone enclosure and fit multiple earbud type speakers into it, in a effort to produce a quality[ish], cheap[ish] and unique listening experience from low cost earbuds.
{If this works, I might even go for a high-end model, who knows}

I've already made a proof-of-concept model using 3 earbud speakers and the sound quality is defiantly what I was going for but, as expected, there is a loss of volume.

I'm looking to see if anyone can think of a amplifier that would be ideal for this situation. The Ideal amp would require as little outside voltage as possible...
2 trains of thought here:
If compact, can fit inside the enclosure [seems unfeasible tho]
If not so compact, I can make per the normal pocket amp setup.


Any help is welcome and I will post pics if I can get something working.

p.s. anyone else ever try this?
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Old 16th April 2013, 03:01 AM   #2
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Many desktop heapdone amps have outputs that can handle the current levels no problem, some use output transistors capable of 60W if heatsinked correctly, the big issue will be a messy sound that just won't be worth the bother. Fullsize speakers units with multiple drivers filter the sound by frequency so woofer does bass, tweeter highs etc. So you'd need to tailor those filters to the specific buds, in set positions, in a particular enclosure. Search 'crossover' for endless discussion.

The buds will fire sound out the front and likely through the back or side, so the potential for interference will be very large and a case of the devil in the detail to an extent that you'll likely never get a result you'd want to live with.
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Old 16th April 2013, 05:30 AM   #3
rebz is offline rebz  United States
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a valid point indeed. to effectively get quality sound from this sort of set up, it would most likely take a tremendous amount of research and probably not be very cost efficient. This is more of a experiment on my side since i have a cheap set of cans i dont mind scrapping and lots of cheap earbuds sitting around [and plenty of freetime]. I suppose ill just use a general amp set up and see what happens
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Old 16th April 2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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There are already a number of existing designs that leverage multiple drivers and I'd imagine small passive crossover networks to create a nice smooth frequency response across the audible range. I don't see why they wouldn't work as well as larger designs in that application if the drivers and crossover network is carefully selected but I'm not sure you would get what you are looking for with a bunch of very small ear bud drivers. Ideally you would want larger drivers to handle the lower frequency range efficiently.

There are some headphones that even mount speakers in the headband and use waveguide systems to deliver the sound to the cups to emulate surround setups. I'm not sure how well these work as I've never listened to them but interesting concept anyway
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