What is headphone impedance, and what role it plays in the output of headphone? You may be curious about what should be the impedance of your headphone for using with a smartphone.
Some people buy a high-quality headphone, but it does not produce sound after connecting with their phone. Maybe headphones’ impedance is not compatible with the connecting device’s power driver; this is why people don’t even know what is headphone resistance and its importance.
Here I have completely discussed what is headphone impedance to make choosing headphones easy for people.
What is Headphone Impedance
Impedance is the resistance that sound signals overcome while traveling through the headphone, whether wired or wireless. Components of headphones offer this resistance.
First of all, to completely understand the impedance effects on the quality of sound let have a look at what is headphone impedance, let’s discuss the inner structure of headphone that determines the resistance of the dynamic headphone driver
- Wire coil
The wire coil is coiled around a gap around the magnet that receives the audio signal. Then this magnet magnetizes the wire coil, which triggers the permanent magnet to move forward.
The impedance depends on the wire’s diameter. If the wire is thin, then the electromagnetic field will be strong, and more impedance will be offered to sound signals that will produce a better quality of sound.
As a result, the movement is generated in a diagram which converts the signal in their original form, then we hear and enjoy the music.
Both source device and headphone offer impedance to the sound signals lets discuss them in detail
The impedance offered by a source that includes the headphone jack of smartphones, laptops, etc, is known as source headphone.
The headphones have a very intricated structure consisting of wires and circuits, and the headphone’s internal structure’s resistance is called output impedance.
Difference Between Resistance and Impedance
People always confuse resistance with impedance, and they are almost the same and related to each other, but there are minor differences between them. The impedance is the result of both resistance and reactance.
According to ohm’s law, the resistance is in opposition to the flow of charge through the conductor, depends on current and voltage. Resistance increases with the increase in voltage.
The resistance is known as opposition to direct current flow, which remains constant. The impedance refers to opposition to alternating current flow, which depends on the frequency hence changes with frequency.
Importance of Impedance
Impedance is the spec of all headphones, so before buying must check the impedance of headphone because impedance decides whether your headphones will be compatible and suitable for your device or not.
The range of impedance is from 8-600ohms. Different headphones offer a variable impedance. Let discuss all levels of impedance in detail
Low Impedance Headphones
The headphones that have impedance between 8-32 ohms are considered low impedance headphones. They can be used with devices that operate on batteries like android phones, iPhones, and laptops without any power driver.
Headphones with low impedance may or may not use amplifiers, and the sound quality they produce is sometimes distorted.
Some people like VJs bought low impedance headphones and then connect them with a powerful amplifier because they have to produce a high volume of sound and high quality of sound, but they fail.
High Impedance Headphones
Those headphones are having an impedance greater than 100ohms are called high impedance headphones. They offer very high resistance, so high power drivers and amplifiers are required for such high impedance headphones.
If you connect your high impedance headphone to a device with low power drivers, it will permanently damage your headphone. That why before investing, make sure what should be the impedance of headphone for use with mobile phones
33-39 Ohms Impedance
The impedance of 33-39ohms is neither high nor low impedance. So the headphones having an impedance of this range are sometimes compatible with mobile phones, iPhones and sometimes are not.
We can use amplifiers with them, but they can operate without amplifiers also. This depends fully on the company and the quality of the headphones we are using.
The impedance of headphones should be compatible with the device we are connecting it. The impedance of headphones should always be greater than the impedance of the source device.
However, keep in mind if the impedance of headphones and source devices will be equal, then it will reduce the frequency bandwidth, and the transfer of voltage will not be maximum.
When we connect a headphone with less impedance to the device with a powerful amplifier, it damages the diaphragm and results in stretching, tearing of the diagram. That’s it is so important to have complete awareness about what is headphone impedance.
On the other hand, when we connect a headphone having high impedance to a low power device with less powerful amplifiers, the quality of output is low, and the headphone fails to create high quality.
Then we blame the quality of the headphones, but it is our fault because we don’t have any information about what is headphone impedance and how it affects the quality of sound.
Different Drivers of Headphones and their Impedance
Headphones have different types of drivers, and each has its resistance range. Let discuss each driver and its general impedance for understanding what is headphone impedance.
Moving Coil Dynamic Driver Impedance
Moving oil dynamic driver has a distinct value of resistance, and it resonates with the natural resistance of the coil. This driver’s peak value of impedance lies in between the lower midrange and bass range of frequencies.
Planar Magnetic Driver Impedance
It works on the principle of electromagnetic induction, and it has conductive traces arranged on the diaphragm surfaces. Also, the planar magnetic driver impedance is very less.
Balanced Armature Driver Impedance
These drivers are very small in size and have a narrow bandwidth, used in earbud only, and low power amplifiers can operate them.
Bone Conduction Driver Impedance
Piezoelectricity is the principle on which bone conduction drive impedance works. The impedance of these drivers is very high.
Electrostatic Driver Impedance
This driver works on the principle of electrostatic. Electrostatic driver impedance is very high to make sure there is no stare charge from the system.
Amplifiers and Impedance of Headphones
Amplifiers boost the voltage of the signal and enhance its quality. The amplifiers are mostly present in the headphone jack of mobile devices, and this amplifier is enough for headphones with low impedance.
However, the headphones with high impedance require a good quality amplifier, so the amplifier increases the sound signal’s power and voltage to overcome the headphone’s impedance.
Which Headphone is Better Low impedance or High Impedance Headphone?
Higher the resistance, the better the quality of sound. So prefer high impedance headphones for strong bass, quality soundstage, and clear sound but make sure headphone impedance is compatible with your device.
Nowadays, people use headphones with their portable devices like mobile phones and laptops, so they prefer headphones having battery compatibility and low impedance.
Wireless Headphones and Impedance
Wireless headphones don’t have any physical connection to the device thas why the resistance is low. Also, wireless headphones have Bluetooth protocols for receiving AC signals from the device.
They have an inbuilt impedance that is not very much a problem, and wireless headphones have a built-in amplifier to recreate the original quality of sound.
Frequently Asked Question’s
Do High Impedance Headphones Sound Better
and balanced bass. Yes, the headphones with more impedance produce less distortion, better soundstage, clear sound,
What Is The Advantage of High Impedance Headphones?
High impedance headphones are worth buying because they don’t have a distortion in the sound, while low resistance headphones produce distortion in sound, making listening difficult for the user.
Is 32 Ohm Good For Headphones?
If the headphone has more impedance, more power will be required to drive it and vice versa. All the headphones with impedance between 16-32 ohms are good for mobile phones and laptops.
But the headphones have more resistance than 100 ohms require more powerful devices and amplifiers.
The resistance caused by sound signals while traveling through headphones is called impedance and varies in each headphone. You have to choose the headphones according to your sound source device.
There are different drivers of headphones that specify the resistance of the headphone and bridge right impedance headphones to a compatible device to avoid the problems of blow out and low output.
Amplifiers are also required with high impedance headphones, and some headphones have powerful built-in amplifiers. These are also present in the headphone jack of devices like mobiles phones, laptops
Headphones deliver high quality, clear, balanced bass, and soundstage with high impedance because they use powerful amplifiers, making the quality of sound outstanding and avoid distortion.
Hopse, so the review has cleared all your query on what is headphone impedance and how it affects the quality of sound.