I’m Looking to get a good new pair of headphones to use with my sprout. I currently have Sennheiser 589’s and a pair of Audeze LCD1’s. The 589 sounds pretty good but the LCD1 just lacks any bass for me.
While looking into new headphones I was wondering what is the max impedance that the Sprout could drive comfortably. I’m looking at headphones that are 600 ohms. Does the sprout have enough in it to power that?
I believe it does, yes. And, to be a nerd engineer on you, when the impedance goes higher it’s voltage you need not power.
Welcome! As Paul mentioned, the Sprout’s headphone stage shouldn’t have any problem driving these.
For what it’s worth, I have a pair of HiFiman Arya planar headphones rated at 35 ohms and the Sprout100 will run them, but I found adding a headphone amp (Schiit Valhalla) to be a huge difference in bass and presentation.
A number of 600 ohm headphones also come in lower impedances as well. The Sprout would not be my first choice for a 600 ohm headphone. I would look for something with a lower impedance.
While a 600 ohm headphone takes very little power to drive, as Paul mentions the headphone amp must deliver a good deal of voltage (think of this as water pressure trying to push water through a small opening).
The Audeze LCD1 is very easy to drive with the typical near bottomless bass of planers. You should get plenty of bass with these even powering them with a cell phone (which will easily do the job). I suspect you need a basshead headphone.
Wait. Elk, how can a 600Ω headphone come in lower impedance? That’s confusing to me.
It is a strange development in the headphone world, selling the same headphone with multiple impedances.
For example, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 is available in 600 Ohm, 250 Ohm, 80 Ohm, and 32 Ohm.
Beyerdynamic explains for its high impedance headphones it employs thinner wire to create the voice coil. This means less weight, beneficial as less moved mass is easier to accelerate in the magnetic field at the cost of higher resistance. It claims this sounds more natural.
In summary, the 32 Ohm is for use with a portable player of cell phone; 600 Ohm, home systems.