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How does the headphone power rating work? Is it 500mW for the entire specified frequency range (10Hz-38500Hz) or some given frequency? If i listen to some bass heavy music that goes as low as 30Hz, won't i damage my headphones on high volume using Fiio Q1 MK1 (2.47Vrms)? It can supply 40mW sustained power (80mW peak) into 150ohms. Thanks
edit: I realized the power rating could be more for the max physical exertion of the driver coil movement but I still think 1W of 1k Hz is roughly just damaging as 1W 10Hz. However, 120dB of 1K Hz is less damaging than 120dB of 10 Hz since getting the low frequencies louder takes way more energy than higher frequencies (typically).
I'm just guessing but I think the maximum rating has more to do with power dissipation (heat) so frequency isn't a huge factor. Power (W) is a function of voltage and current. Ex: 1V *1A = 1W. Whether 1K Hz or 10 Hz is playing, 1W is 1W.
Voltage clipping might be more of a concern for your 2.47Vrms amp. beyond 112dB SPL for 58x your amp will start to voltage clip (112dB is loud but not painfully loud meaning you might actually reach max volume when testing- hopefully you don't listen for long periods at that volume level >.>). I know for speakers with tweeters it's very bad to drive the amp into voltage clipping. Voltage clipping will sound like garbage ... just don't turn the volume up beyond what sounds good and you won't be clipping.
So the only concern is basically overheating the voicecoil (excluding amp clipping)?
(I realized I may not actually know as much as I thought I did >.> - take my thoughts with the grain of salt)
Thinking about it a moment longer perhaps the max power rating could be the maximum physical stress that can be applied to the driver before it rips itself apart (well minor tear after over extending ). The max rating of 500mW is often for only 1 -15s. The driver might fail sooner at lower frequencies but I don't think it's significantly different. Certainly 40mW @ 30Hz is completely harmless for 1-15s.
If you are concerned with long term wear and tear I'm not really sure if 40mW @ 30Hz is enough to cause damage. I assume not. If you're trying to push the bass harder and harder and you hear more and more distortion, that might be damaging the driver but I'm no expert. I think of distortion like you're trying to make the headphones do something it doesn't want to do.
-> My conclusion is if it sounds good it isn't being stressed to a breaking point. If you hear distortion it might be a sign of the driver being overly worked or the amp not able to supply enough power (your amp is on the edge of being adequate). I think voltage clipping is still a much larger concern in your case.
They say 500mW in the manual as "long term", so i guess the peaks are even higher.
I never EQ or bass boost the headphone. I listen to my setup the way it came out of the box. Sounds fine to me, so it's OK. I'm gonna get better amp (Aune X1s) soon
Thanks for the help.
Maybe @Sennheiser can clarify this? 500mW for the entire frequency range or for a given frequency? Thanks.