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Headphone Buying Guide: What Is Headphone Impedance?

Guide To Headphone Impedance

Headphone Impedance

What Is Headphone Impedance?

  • Impedance is very technical measurement that is hard to explain without equations and scientific jargon. We'll simplify it and break it down in terms of headphones with low and high impedance.
  • Most headphones with low impedance (less than 25 ohms, approximately) require little power to deliver high audio levels. For example, low impedance headphones will work well with equipment with weak amplification like portable music players, phones, and other portable devices.
    • Headphones with higher impedance (25 ohms and over, approximately) demand more power to deliver high audio levels. As a result, they are protected from damage caused by overloading. They can also be used with a wider range of audio equipment.
    •  DJ headphones generally range from 25 to 70 ohms
    • Headphones with low impedance are more susceptible to "blow outs" when using more powerful amplifiers. For example, connect a lower-priced pair of ear buds with low impedance (for example, 18 ohms) to a DJ mixer, turn it up to the max, and you'll probably blow them out.
    • Note: if you're buying very high impedance  headphones (for example, the 250 ohms you'll find on the Beyerdynamic DT-880-Pro's), you should do more research on the equipment you'll be using it with.

    if you're curious for what you're missing with the technical breakdown:

    Further Reading On Headphones