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Windows 7: Will a soundcard boost volume

04 Aug 2015   #11
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

As much as you could benefit from quality headphones, do not believe they will increase the output volume of a Youtube video (or any media for that matter). It is little more complicated than that.

The Impedance of the majority of cheap consumer grade headphones (not saying what you currently own is cheap) is actually pretty low. They also employ a somewhat high sensitivity. This allows them to be compatible with multiple devices such as smart phones, ipods and laptops that have a poorly implemented headphone amplifier (for simple terms). Here is an example…

Apple ear buds has an impedance of ~25ohms and a sensitivity of 109db per 1mv. A somewhat high end In Ear Monitor (IEM) which costs 3x that of the Apple has a impedance of 13ohms and a sensitivity of 92db per 1mv. Despite having lower impedance, the high end IEM also has a lower sensitivity rating therefore will not play as loud as the Apple ear buds.

Also when dealing with low impedance headphones you have the possibility of an impedance mismatch with your headphone output which could result in a constant hiss. But I will save that techie talk for another conversation.

If you are disappointed with the output volume of your current headphone jack, the simplest solution is to buy a headphone amplifier. I can’t comment on that Creative Labs you pointed out above. But given its cost and extremely vague specs I would be skeptical about its quality.

Countzero hit the nail on the head by stating the best way to save money is to buy the right gear ONCE and never upgrade. It’s unfortunate but this usually means paying a little more than anticipated.


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05 Aug 2015   #12
kenmtb

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Thanks guys. Sorry if I sound a bit frustrated. Loosing volume after upgrading windows stinks. The sound quality of my cheap Teknmotion phones is good enough for now. Guess Ill check out headphone amps at my local electronics store.
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05 Aug 2015   #13
countzero

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

yeah, but a headphone amp will only solve your current problem, might be useless on your next machine.
dis first maybe: if your store has headphones on display, bribe the salesclerk with 10.- to borrow you headphones while depositing double the value of what you borrow.
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05 Aug 2015   #14
scr

1. Windows 7 Home Premium sp1 - 64bit 2. Windows 7 Pro sp1 - 64bit
 
 

If you have powered speakers, barring any impedance issues, do your speaker by chance have a headphone jack? Even rather cheap powered speakers generally have one. I use my powered speaker jack simply to adjust the volume and rarely ever use the speakers at all just because the headphones sound so much better and I don't annoy my wife who is a avid reader.

Powered speakers are much cheaper then a amp if they would work for you.
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05 Aug 2015   #15
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

As mentioned a good sound card will cost a bit of money. $100+

IMHO, the cheap sound cards are not worth getting as they often are not much better than onboard. (There may be exceptions, Im just speaking in general)

A good card may not give more volume, but will give more clarity/detail. However, this detail may not be noticed.
The number one thing will be your speakers/headphones. If they aren't up to the job then no sound card will help them much.
And then there the fact some people simply can't tell the difference. To their ears, theres no difference. And others can.


If you are just looking for a volume boost, a small Headphone amplifier or a good set of amplified speakers would be the best bet. I have the Klipsch 2.1 THX set and they are great. But there are many other good choices.

And as already mentioned, on headphone watch the Ohm rating. In general, higher ohm rated speakers/headphones will sound better but need more power to drive.

For example:
I have some Sennheiser 558s headphones , 50 Ohm.
They sound good through my Phone and my PCs Sound Card, but I can tell they are missing something. They are acceptable, but seem to be lacking. More so on the phone.

But on my big amp(Home Sound System) , they flat out rock and sound truly amazing. Hands down one of the best set of headphones Ive personally ever owned.

If I use my 32Ohm earbuds in my Phone, they actually sound better and louder than the 558s. But they do not sound better than the 558s properly amped.

Id say (without any amp) stay under 35/32 Ohm. 50 will be acceptable, but you will notice they don't sound as they should, or could sound.

No amp, low ohm. With amp, you have a lot more options.

Amazon has a lot of little headphone/speaker amps pretty cheap.
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05 Aug 2015   #16
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

If you value your hearing, and want to hear well when you're older, do not use headphones!
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05 Aug 2015   #17
scr

1. Windows 7 Home Premium sp1 - 64bit 2. Windows 7 Pro sp1 - 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
If you value your hearing, and want to hear well when you're older, do not use headphones!
There is nothing wrong with using headphones. It's the volume level that causes the harm. Keep it reasonable and your hearing will be fine. On the other hand if you play music excessivly loud then you will hurt your ears. The same can be said about chain saws, leaf blowers, weed eaters, lawn mowers and anything else that is excessively loud.
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05 Aug 2015   #18
countzero

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scr View Post
If you have powered speakers, barring any impedance issues, do your speaker by chance have a headphone jack? Even rather cheap powered speakers generally have one.

Powered speakers are much cheaper then a amp if they would work for you.
now, you are a bloody genius!
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06 Aug 2015   #19
kenmtb

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scr View Post
If you have powered speakers, barring any impedance issues, do your speaker by chance have a headphone jack? Even rather cheap powered speakers generally have one. I use my powered speaker jack simply to adjust the volume and rarely ever use the speakers at all just because the headphones sound so much better and I don't annoy my wife who is a avid reader.

Powered speakers are much cheaper then a amp if they would work for you.
Hey that sounds like a great idea. I dont have speakers but I can get some. That may be the way to go. I don't listen to a lot of loud music even when I had win xp and could hear things.
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06 Aug 2015   #20
scr

1. Windows 7 Home Premium sp1 - 64bit 2. Windows 7 Pro sp1 - 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kenmtb View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scr View Post
If you have powered speakers, barring any impedance issues, do your speaker by chance have a headphone jack? Even rather cheap powered speakers generally have one. I use my powered speaker jack simply to adjust the volume and rarely ever use the speakers at all just because the headphones sound so much better and I don't annoy my wife who is a avid reader.

Powered speakers are much cheaper then a amp if they would work for you.
Hey that sounds like a great idea. I dont have speakers but I can get some. That may be the way to go. I don't listen to a lot of loud music even when I had win xp and could hear things.
Make sure the speakers have a volume control and the headphone jack. It would be wise to purchase them at a location that you can return them to in case they don't accomplish your desired effect.
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