Which headphone amp?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by gnarr, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    Those are the amps I can choose from in my local store:

    PreSonus HP4 for 130$
    Behringer PowerPlay PRO-XL HA4700 for 140$
    Behringer PowerPlay PRO-8 HA8000 for 180$

    It will only be use for monitoring while tracking (rock and metal mostly). Will anyone notice a difference whil tracking?

    The PRO-8 HA8000 looks very attractive because of the ability to have two input sources, the four "extra" channels are also a nice bonus :)
  2. itaboray

    itaboray Guest

    Well... I have a Behringer Powerplay HA 4400 (discontinued member of Powerplay family) and Im glad with him.
  3. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    I needed a headphone amp, so I did some research recently. I didn't need (nor want to pay for) anything high-end, but I wanted to get reasonable quality without spending a lot. Of the units you mention, the HA8000 has the worst reputation for audio quality and for S/N ratio. It's reported to be very noisy. The 4700 has a much better reputation, as does the Presonus, but they are both limited in features. There are countless others on the market - if they're not in your local stores, they're certainly available via mail. Behringer has a new inexpensive one coming out, but I don't have much hope for its quality either:


    Here's the one I wound up buying:


    It was under $100, offered five channels with ten outputs, and has good power and excellent audio. Many sites offered it in the $90 to $100 price range, but only Full Compass seemed to have it in stock when I was shopping, so I bought it from them.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    My pick would be the Presonus HP-4 We have three of them and find them to be the best. Another really good one is the Peavey HB-1 http://www.peavey.com/products/browse.cfm/action/detail/cat/120/item/89029/number/18017850/HB(TM)-1withPowerSupply.cfm

    Stay away from the Behinger CRAP~!!!!

    They sound like (insert normal swear word)

    You could also build your own but it would take some time and maybe you don't want to take this approach but here is a good website with lots of info http://www.headwize.com/ and here http://www.headwize.com/projects/index.htm and here

    Hope this helps!
  5. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I had the Behringer 4700 - finally got tired of listening to all the noise. I sent it away via eBAY. I replaced it with this:
    Not as many features, but it sounds fine to me and is still affordable. I get a little hum if I feed it with the stereo headphone input, but it's quiet with the balanced inputs - can't blame that on the amp.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    I build my own studio headphone systems by utilizing just about any 40 W per channel stereo amplifier I have laying around wired to a multiple 1/4" breakout box. Then I make separate " headphone boxes" out of little Radio Shaft project boxes with Radio Shaft switches and Radio Shaft 1/4" jacks. That along with a few resistors will give you a great 2 Channel or split mono two Channel system where each performer has their own volume box with separate level control. It makes so much more sense than these ridiculous 4 output rackmount blah blah boxes that are stupid and inconvenient to use when you have musicians all over the studio. A distributed headphone system is the only smart way to go for your musicians in the studio.

    I have posted this before and you may be able to find the thread?? If you can't, I am happy to go into more detail as how to build a distributed headphone system.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    unless your studio is the size of mine. It's hard to get more than an arm's length away from anything at my place. :oops:
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Well Mr. lead zemlin , most of the studios I've worked in are at least 20 x 20 and larger and then you still have a control room further away. One doesn't need anything more than a Crown 75 and a bunch of wires and boxes to come up with something much better. I was actually even considering a 8 track mixer oriented headphone system where each musician would have a small mixer so they could balance a set of subs fed from the control room. That would have been an ideal system that I never got around to. Of course with numerous mixers, the cost shoots up exponentially.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I can certainly see that in a "big-boy" (or girl) studio, a rackmount headphone amp would be a pain. In a more compact setting - it works out OK.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    You are quite wrong in your assumptions as the amplifier can reside in the studio or in the control room with just a breakout box in the studio that is a distribution point for the multiple headphone feeds required for an entire band. The rest of those so-called headphone amplifiers ARE designed to be mounted within a rack and so what does the entire band do? Huddle around the rack? Put 20 foot headphone cables on with no volume controls and have to keep jumping up to go to the controls to the unit in the rack, to adjust their individual volume? That is just so freaking impractical. This is what I built for my studios and others, over the years including the famous Media Sound in NYC when I worked there as a technician/engineer A 2. This design even makes sense for a small studio. The headphone boxes themselves are super simple and are from off-the-shelf Radio Shaft parts. Everybody has an old Lower powered stereo amplifier lying around that doesn't quite have enough power to really be utilized with any decent speakers and makes the absolute perfect choice for distributed headphone system.

    Pretty and practical
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I bought an OZ off of e-Bay last year. These guys sold out to Mackie a while back. The box is great, sound quality is top-notch, very flexible routing/mixing, plenty of outs and balls. You might see if you can find a used one, too....
  12. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Member


    Thats how we did it 30 years ago!!! Duct tape those little boxes to the mic stand, and the performer just reaches for the volume!!!
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Thank you
  14. mud5150

    mud5150 Guest

    I was planning on the samson s phones, they can power a bunch of head phones and it has the ability to sub mix, for individual volume control I'm going to pick up some of those cheap extension cables with the volume attenuator. Thats my plan anyway.
  15. shredz

    shredz Active Member

    Home Page:
    hey remy nice solution...
    Id much rather DIY also...all my cables are that way, why not?
    If u dont mind I'd like to hear the details on ur build or maybe u can email...thanks.
  16. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Well I own the 8 channel berhi and I'm very satisfied with it. But then again I don't ever track or do my own music so I never, ever, put headphones on my head. Therefore to me sound quality isn't that important. I've had the unit for a year and a half and have had no problems and never had a musician complain about s/n ration(yeah I know it's pretty bad). Also one thing I noticed was I had the unit set up in mono for the longest time and just recently decided to go stereo. It was pretty damn amazing how much the sound actually cleared up, not to mention it jumped a couple db's with no more noticeable noise.
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Basically, you want an amplifier like a Crown 35/45/60 that has good output protection and will not fail from an open or a short.

    You can basically use low-power Radio Shaft off-the-shelf components. Generally do not want to feed a headphone more than 1 Watt in power. So generally if you use one half watt resistor at 50 ohms and a simple one half watt volume control, it will offer a certain amount of protection. That is to say, if you blow out any of the components, you have saved somebody's hearing!

    I also think it is a good idea to put on the output of an amplifier a series/parallel resistor combination to provide a consistent load of approximately 8 ohms for the amplifier while being able to plug in as many headphone boxes that could virtually short out the amplifier if it does not have an additional 8 ohm series a resistor as well. This will all limit the output capabilities of the amplifier while making sure there is proper protection for the listener and for the amplifier. Volume controls are simple. There are only 3 connections. 1 is for the input. 2 feeds the high side of the headphones. 3 is the common ground of the amplifier and the headphones. You can make this a mono or stereo system. If you make it a stereo system you can also include a double pull double pole switch that would allow you to have a dual mono mix or a single stereo mix.

    It's really quite simple but make sure that you do not start building the system with headphones on your head! And never put on your headphones before you have sound coming out.

    What did you say!?!?!?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
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