Importance of resistance (Ohms) in headphones

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JasonFil, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. JasonFil

    JasonFil Guest

    Dec 15, 2014
    Good afternoon,

    I'm a new bassist and this is my first post on TalkBass, so please bear with me if the thread is posted in an inappropriate subforum. I have a Squier P-bass with the stock pickups and a Peavey MAX110 amplifier, the chief elements of which are the trans-tube and psycho-acoustic effects, which can, in combination, give quite a nice low end for my very basic guitar and pickups.

    In order to not annoy other people in the house, I've been thinking of getting myself a pair of appropriate headphones to plug into my amp. One of my friends has this pair of Beyer Dynamic headphones: which I tried on my amp and was very pleasing to my ears. However, one slight problem was that I had to crank up the gain and the volume really high in order to make the music audible. My friend told me that this is a product of the Ohms in the headphones, and I would most likely want to reduce the Ohms from 250 (which is that model's resistance) to something like 80 (such as these:

    I was wondering whether you guys think that this is necessarily true. Furthermore, let it be known that I'm not tied to BD as a company at all. Browsing through TalkBass forums I've also seen the Grado SR80E and SR80i as being good choices for a pair of headphones with deep low end. What I'm trying to understand here is how much the resistance is a factor that has to do with volume, and whether I should instead be focusing on other factors. Thank you.
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The impedance of the headphones definitely effects the output volume. The lower the impedance for a specific headphone - the higher the volume.

    The Beyerdynamic 770 Pro's also come in a 32 ohm model.
  3. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    There can be exceptions because of the differing efficiencies of different headphones but ignoring that it is true that a lower impedance headphone will absorb more power from the amplifier and produce a louder result. On the other hand if the 250 Ohm headphones are loud enough and distortion free with the volume cranked then there is nothing wrong with using them. For those of you with three hands, on yet another hand headphones more typically range from 8 to 80 Ohms and headphone outputs on audio equipment are often designed with those impedances in mind so if you might use these phones with other audio gear you might want to get a set that are 80 Ohms or less.