Sometimes we might lack a deeper listening experience even with good quality headphones. You need an extra boost with a simple amplifier which helps in pleasurable listening.
If you would like to split the output into two or more headphones you need an audio interface. Also, the audio interface helps you to connect devices to the computer which then can be recorded directly. Here is how to use headphone amp with audio interface.
How to use Headphone Amp with Audio Interface?
Music is often listened to using headphones, but they’re not always the best way. Headphone amps and audio interfaces can improve the sound quality of headphones. The amp boosts the volume and bass of your music, while an audio interface can record and mix multiple tracks at once.
There are three methods to connect the amp to the audio interface. But before that, you need to know about balanced and unbalanced cables so that you can choose the right method.
Cables for Headphone Amp
Cables are an essential part of your headphone amp. They allow you to connect to the audio interface and provide clear sound quality. There are many different cables for headphone amps, but there are only two types that you need to know about.
# Balanced Cable
If you look at the connecting part of this cable, you can see a tip, a ring, and a sleeve. This setup is known as TRS cable or Tip Ring Sleeve cable. This TRS cable is said to be a balanced cable.
A TRS cable can carry either an unbalanced stereo signal for 15 feet or a balanced mono signal further than 15 feet.
# Unbalanced Cable
If you look at the connecting part of this cable, you will be able to see only a tip and a sleeve. This setup is known as TS cable. This TS cable is known as an unbalanced cable.
A TS cable cannot carry a stereo signal rather it can carry only a mono signal to a maximum distance of 15 feet or less.
Methods to connect a headphone amp to an audio interface
As we mentioned earlier, there are two ways in which you can perform this. Each has its own pros and cons. You can choose whichever method is required for you.
# Connecting Headphone Jack to Headphone Amp
This is the easiest way to connect the headphone amp to the audio interface. With this method, you will be able to connect both of them with a simple balanced cable.
- Find the headphone jack in the audio interface. Every audio interface has a separate headphone jack.
- Take a TRS cable and connect it to the jack present in the audio interface.
- Now take the other end of the cable and insert it into the headphone amp input.
- The headphone amp has a single input and multiple outputs to connect several headphones simultaneously.
- You can connect your headphones to the headphone amp output.
- Now adjust the volume in the audio interface and the headphone amp to get the required audio quality.
- Noise is expected while doing like this and it is probably from the audio interface. But this will not be reflected in your recording.
- You can reduce the volume in your audio interface and increase it in the headphone amp for best results.
# Connecting Dual Line output to Headphone Amp
This method involves the use of both TS and TRS cables. The audio interface has a left and right line output in it. This can be used to connect the headphone amp using the cables.
- You need a TS cable with left and right line connectors and on the other end of the cable, you need a TRS connector.
- In the audio interface, connect the TS cable left and the right line input appropriately.
- Now take the TRS to the other end and connect it to the headphone amp.
- Now connect your headphones to the amp and enjoy the stereo amplified output.
- The major disadvantage of this method is that you will not be able to adjust the volume in the audio interface manually.
- You require software that works with the interface and is connected to a PC.
# Connecting Left or Right line output with Headphone amp
This method is usually not desired because it involves the use of a TRS cable to a single line output from the audio interface to the headphone amp. Because of the single line output, you will not be able to hear the stereo sound, that is, you can only hear the output in only one ear.
Using the same TRS cable, connect the left or right line output and connect the other end to the headphone amp. You will now be able to hear balanced mono output which gives sound only on one side of the headphone.
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Benefits of using Headphone amp with Audio Interface
- Headphone amp enables you to split the audio output from the source to multiple headphones. This is very useful in professional music production.
- If you are an audiophile, the headphone amp provides you with high-quality sound and you can get a more immersive experience with it.
- The type of headphones you are using also plays an important role. If you are using the best headphones available, you can get louder audio output with a headphone amp.
- With lower-quality headphones, you cannot see a significant change in the overall audio quality. But the loudness will be increased.
- Anyways, using a headphone amp with the audio interface is a good choice if you want to hear the audio louder with a nice audio quality.
Does an Audio Interface damage headphones?
No, audio interfaces don’t damage the headphones. Rather the headphone amp might cause damage to the headphone when used at very high volumes. You can avoid this problem by properly adjusting the output volume in both the audio interface and the amp appropriately.
What is the average cost of Audio Interface?
An audio interface is a device that transforms analog signals into digital signals from microphones, musical instruments, and other audio sources into digital signals that computers can use.
Audio interfaces can range in price from $100 to $2000. The price depends on the number of inputs and outputs, the number of channels, and the features included.
The price also depends on your budget, what you’re looking for in an audio interface, and what you need it for. For example, if you’re a podcaster who doesn’t need many inputs or outputs, then a lower-priced audio interface will be just fine for your needs.
Using a headphone amp with an audio interface is useful for professional musicians and audiophiles. They can easily increase the loudness and audio quality with the help of these devices. Also, they can split the audio output into different headphones and everyone can hear the same output.