Computer power supplies for audio parts?


2016-02-20 4:40 pm
I'm new here, forgive me if this is the tenth thread this week on the subject :)

I've got a stack of PC's, all fully functioning, all with PSU's. I'd like to build a headphone amp and then maybe an RIAA preamp. Ideally they would be battery powered, but if it would be easier to start with a pre-built PSU and focus on building the amp and preamp circuits first then that's what I'll do.

Is there a way to use a PC power supply or laptop power supply for this kind of audio application? And if not, is there a good chance the hardware I have at hand already has most of the parts needed to get started?

I've been having a problem finding a schematic/plans for a simple battery-based headphone amp power supply. Something I can put together myself, not something based on a PCB. Does anyone have a direct link to something simple and clear, a needle in this haystack I find myself in?

Apologies if this topic/question is beat to death, searching keeps showing me OCB and kit-based results.

Thank you all for the help.


Paid Member
2009-02-11 12:58 am
I'd take a look at any of the headphone amplifier ICs or build something with, say, the OPA1611 and the BUF634.

PC power supplies are not the best for audio. They tend to have relatively high ripple voltage and often also requires significant load on the +5 V (or +3.3 V) supply to regulate properly. I suggest looking at Mean Well's lineup of power supplies. The IRM-15-15 or IRM-20-24 should work well for your headphone amp.