I just purchased Beyerdynamics DT880 32 Ohm version. And hooked it to my Asus P9X79 motherboard. When i keep volume on windows at about 40 % - there are no problems with the sound - everything is clean (although, quiet). However, when i try to max out the volume - some videos on youtube and some audio files begin to produce crackling noises (through both sides) on basses and mid-low frequencies, especially when there are multiple instruments playing. As I am new to quality headphones - I cant really tell where the problem occurs. I tried my other cheap headphones - they work fine - no electric rattling noises at all. Also tried switching OS (Ubuntu 15, Windows 10). No luck. However when i hooked dt880 to my phone - the very same video had no problems at all. (I think it was little less loud).

So my questions is - are headphones damaged? Or maybe i just need an amplifier? To keep the volume low on Windows and boost it with an external amplifier?

Also maybe I should consider the 250 Ohm version (if i need to purchase an amp)


1 Answer 1


32 ohm is a moderately low impedance and fairly easily driveable if your soundcard has a moderately powerful amp. Sounds like it's capable of overdriving the cans, and the drivers aren't able to gracefully handle the high level input without clipping. Do they behave when paired with a matched preamp? Is their frequency response ok?

  • Well i dont have a preamp yet - so i cant tell. Do you think an amplifier will solve this problem? Or maybe I need a sound card (smth like Sound Blaster Z)? Headphones run all of the frequency tests just fine even on louder volume levels. (audiocheck.net/soundtests_headphones.php)
    – Anon
    Dec 29, 2015 at 5:51
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    The onboard sound should be decent quality on your motherboard. Have you checked all the Enhancements in the sound card preferences and disabled them all? (I find they're all useless and just add latency). You don't need a separate soundcard or amp as you'd likely still have the same issue. Have you plugged them into your smartphone and cranked the volume on something loud? What are you listening to that's causing distortion, got any examples? Dec 30, 2015 at 3:09
  • Also have you disabled any/all EQ or bass boost, sound enhancements etc? Dec 30, 2015 at 3:13
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    I wouldn't trust any on-board soundcard very far. In fact, it seems very much like this particular one has difficulties driving low impedances, perhaps because somewhere on the board they didn't make sure enough current can be routed through. I.e., @VisViva: just check out how the headphones behave on a provenly-stable supply! That's the only way you can know. Jan 1, 2016 at 21:22
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    It's a fair point that OP's particular board may be bad, but I use an Asus motherboard and have found when I need to drive low impedance headphones (e.g. my HD 25s) they function perfectly adequately. Though not the absolute finest, and not as good as my audio interface, Asus tend to use fairly decent chipsets. OP needs to try the cans with other low impedance output devices and see if this distortion / crackling is a product of faulty drivers or cable, not just resort to buying more equipment. Jan 1, 2016 at 21:50

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