Expensive Headphones need more volume! - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 04-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Expensive Headphones need more volume!

Hey, I'm using some Sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones.

They work for gaming/music/videos, but they could definitely use some more volume to actually hear their expensive sound. Games are a bit too quiet to get that "atmospheric" feel - I may as well be wearing some $10 headset from the bargain bin. (these cost me almost $100)

I have no experience with electronics - any software programs that can increase game or Windows volume past its max for headphones?

Thankyou in advance -
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

Is window's speaker volume up high? in your games, can you control sound levels?
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

Yeah, all the volumes are maxed. My external speakers are way louder than the headphones.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

how do you have your headphones plugged in? Did you try connecting directly to the speakers, if has a sound jack on it?
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

just asking, do you have a sound card?
if no, how old is your computer?
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

Okay...sorry, should've posted this before.

On board sound. I've tried plugging directly into the motherboard, as well as going through the speaker system's off-jack. Maximum volume in all games/windows. There's no volume on the headphones themselves. I've tried in other computers and it's the same.

It's not ridiculously quiet - it's not broken or anything. I think the headphones are naturally sound-cancelling, so they're a bit quiet on purpose. I was hoping there was some (non-electrical) way of enhancing sound with software.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

I had the same problem with my Sennheiser HD201's. Only way I found around it was to plug them into my speakers, and blast the volume from there...

The problem is gone now though, as I upgraded to HD555's
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

Hrmph. Plugging 'em into my speakers and blasting the volume does nothing!

I'm considering duct-taping the speakers to my face instead.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

You'll definitely need some sort of amplifier to hear anything. Those headphones (unlike most speaker sets) are unpowered, which means they have no audio amplifier in them.

If you're going to go all out on some headphones, you might as well get some inexpensive studio monitors (speakers), and a decent amplifier ,any sort of 6 or 7 channel 500-1000w audio receiver would work fine, but I suggest something from JVC, JBL, Mackie, Behringer, or any other reputable brand.

You could just use any ol' home theater receiver and get a good crisp sound as long as **it has direct RCA, or fiber optic inputs**. If you want to go the route of 1 cable carrying all the data I highly suggest fiber optic, because a single RCA "digital" cable is going to sound like *** if you have any sort of ear for audio at all.

I personally use my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 (I know it's old, but it still sounds great), with a 6.1 channel Sony receiver, and 4 JBL 5" 2-way studio monitors.

Either way the point is you need an amplifier. Get something from a good brand, not a cheapy brand.


The way you have it set up is with some decent headphones, and a ****ty sound source with no real amplifier. That's why you can't hear much.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expensive Headphones need more volume!

That makes sense, Rich. I've never done that, but it does sound like an option.
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