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Amp for 16 ohm headphones (MDR-EX71SL)?
Amp for 16 ohm headphones (MDR-EX71SL)?
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Old 7th December 2011, 03:35 PM   #1
AudioLapDance is offline AudioLapDance  Canada
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Default Amp for 16 ohm headphones (MDR-EX71SL)?

Hi all,

I just realized that my Linkwitz recommended Sony MDR-EX71SL headphones are listed as 16 ohm (16.5 ohm measured with DMM)!

Yikes, that's like a, a ... a speaker!

What would you recommend as a DIY amp? (option to add cross-feed later would be a bonus)

I've got a JHL clone on the way and some simple opamp based ones to compare ...

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Old 7th December 2011, 03:51 PM   #2
Rodeodave is offline Rodeodave  Austria
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Amp for 16 ohm headphones (MDR-EX71SL)?
Here's the one I have built, fun little project.
Hybrid headphone amp with 12AU7/ECC82 IRF510 and LM317
Gravity - Making the G since 13.7 billion B.C.
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Old 7th December 2011, 04:13 PM   #3
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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"O2" and "the Wire" are two currently hot designs, either will do fine with a 16 Ohm load. Check the "headphones" section here at DIY audio. Just beware any amp with an output impedance of over a couple Ohms . . . current sourcing headphones changes the frequency response.
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Old 7th December 2011, 04:20 PM   #4
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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Default hold the "you'll go deaf" comments until you appreciate what Dynamic headroom is

the other number you need is 100 dB/mW sensitivity

120 dB SPL is a pretty high dynamic peak music level - requires 100 mWrms into the 16 Ohms - some may accept 110 dB peak as adequte for most listening

so a high estimate of amp capability to avoid clipping would be 1.8 V, 112 mA peak for these headphones

the current requirement can be met with some high output current op amps - but many give up at few 10s of mA so you need to look for those speced for this

paralleling a few op amp outputs could also get you more current but the current sharing R increase amp output Z - not always good with such low Z load

a higher current buffer in a "audio" op amp loop is one of the more common ways to diy a amp for such loads

HeadWize Library - Projects is inactive but archived - THE source for diy headphone amp info
check out the articles, technical papers too
HeadWize - Article: Preventing Hearing Damage When Listening With Headphones (A HeadWize Headphone Guide) is good for safe listening advice - and an appreciation of music dynamic range, required headroom

Last edited by jcx; 7th December 2011 at 04:26 PM.
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