Skip to content


Close this search box.

Can Amplifiers Damage Headphones?

Can Amplifiers Damage Headphones?

Headphone amplifiers can harm them. A too-powerful amplifier will supply much more power to the headphones than it can manage if you connect them in and turn up the volume. Moreover, that might harm the headphones. Additionally, you can easily damage a speaker amplifier by putting your headphones into the output.

In general, turning up the volume while using headphones that are connected to an overly strong amplifier increases the risk of injury. The amp will overload the headphones by supplying them with more power than they can handle, which will cause damage. You’ll significantly reduce the danger of damage if you choose an amp that can power your headphones. This requires examining the headphones’ impedance level, which is listed in the specifications. The power needed to drive headphones at loud volumes increases with increasing impedance.

How Amps Can Damage Headphones?

An amp can harm headphones in a variety of ways, but a power imbalance between the two is by far the most frequent. You run the danger of damaging the internal electronics and components of the headphones, possibly permanently, if you use them with an amp that is too powerful.

There are a huge number of identical products on the headphone market, which is very saturated. Examining the impedance of different headphones is one of the simplest ways to distinguish between them. Impedance describes the headphones’ resistance to the electrical current that is passed through them. This is an ohm measurement, which is typically represented by the Greek letter, or omega.

Impedance is of utmost significance when evaluating how an amp may potentially harm headphones. This characteristic essentially regulates how much power the headphones require to play audio. Smaller electronics like earbuds typically have a low impedance rating. These earbuds typically range from 10 to 50 ohms in impedance. These and similar-sized gadgets don’t need a lot of power to reproduce sounds.

Since a phone, MP3 player, laptop, or other sound source already has an amp built in, they don’t need an additional headphone amplifier to drive them. Instead, the amp is more than capable of providing the necessary power.

Although most larger, bulkier gadgets have high impedance, certain larger headphones have low impedance. In order for these to function at their peak, more electricity is needed. A high-power amplifier must be used in conjunction with headphones that have a greater impedance. The audio is likely to be compromised and, in some circumstances, hardly audible if the amp is unable to deliver the required amount of power.

Therefore, the impedance of the headphones directly correlates to the power needed from the amplifier. To reduce the chance of damage or subpar performance, it is vital to evaluate the impedance of your headphones before choosing the appropriate amp.