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Beyerdynamic A20 Headphone Amplifier


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What are you using as dac into the headphone amp?  If you are using a computer check to see if the volume on the media player you are using is all the way up. If not try increasing it and see if the volume through the phones increase as you do so. 

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It looks to me like the amplifier is underpowered to drive 600-ohm version adequately. The amps maximum output is shown as 170 mW / 250 Ω  

See if you can demo something with a output around  600mW or higher you will often see amplifiers that have adjustable impedance ie a high and low gain setting (normally a switch on the front panel). High gain is normally associated with driving headphones  from 250ohm -600ohm range. OTL valve amps also have a good reputation for working with high ohm headphones.

The amp would probably be fine with the 32 ohm version as they would be much easier to drive.

In a Beyerdynamic DT880 listing on amazon the manufacture says

"Three variants for different playback devices

The current 600-ohm version is suitable for HiFi systems with especially powerful headphone outputs or for use with special headphone amplifiers.

The 32 ohm version is recommended for versatile use including on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones.

The 250 ohm version of the DT 880 Edition was developed for use at home on a stereo system."

https://www.amazon.co.uk/beyerdynamic-880-600-Hi-Fi-Headphone-Silver/dp/B0024NK35S

I've owned both the Beyer Dynamic DT 770 600 ohm and Beyer Dynamic T1 600ohm headphones in the past and they both benefited from matching with suitably capable amplifiers the T1 especially.

 

Edited by JamieMcC
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1 hour ago, JamieMcC said:

It looks to me like the amplifier is underpowered to drive 600-ohm version adequately. The amps maximum output is shown as 170 mW / 250 Ω  

See if you can demo something with a output around  600mW or higher you will often see amplifiers that have adjustable impedance ie a high and low gain setting (normally a switch on the front panel). High gain is normally associated with driving headphones  from 250ohm -600ohm range. OTL valve amps also have a good reputation for working with high ohm headphones.

The amp would probably be fine with the 32 ohm version as they would be much easier to drive.

In a Beyerdynamic DT880 listing on amazon the manufacture says

"Three variants for different playback devices

The current 600-ohm version is suitable for HiFi systems with especially powerful headphone outputs or for use with special headphone amplifiers.

The 32 ohm version is recommended for versatile use including on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones.

The 250 ohm version of the DT 880 Edition was developed for use at home on a stereo system."

https://www.amazon.co.uk/beyerdynamic-880-600-Hi-Fi-Headphone-Silver/dp/B0024NK35S

I've owned both the Beyer Dynamic DT 770 600 ohm and Beyer Dynamic T1 600ohm headphones in the past and they both benefited from matching with suitably capable amplifiers the T1 especially.

 

The DT 880 headphones are connected to the A20 headphone amp not directly to the Arcam Solo Mini. Beyerdynamic sell the two together as a package so I highly doubt the A20 isn't powerful enough to drive the DT 880s.

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You are having to turn the volume up on the A20 further than expected because your using the 600ohm version of the DT880 which are a more difficult load for the A20 to drive. What you are describing in your first post is pretty normal experience if using high ohm headphones.

 If your enjoying the combination and the amp isn't getting hot while doing so then enjoy listening.

Edited by JamieMcC
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  • 9 months later...

I use 600 ohm 990s, and it's the same deal with a Naim Headline 2, however, when plugged into the headphone socket on my integrated amp, the volume control is at nine- ten, roughly where it would be for normal listening on speakers. 

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