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What do the volts mean, and if my headphones are 300 ohms which one should I buy?


Aug 9, 2021
Volts (voltage) would be referring to your AC electric that supplies your home. In the United States it’s generally 120 VAC. Overseas, in many places, it’s 240VAC, but it does vary. AC is Alternating Current and is the more effective way to transmit power over long distances, however most electronic devices in your home will use DC or Direct Current. Electrical devices, like appliances and fans use Alternating Current. Basically, if the device is what’s called solid state; meaning having transistors, diodes, ‘chips,’ or the like, it’s going to be considered electronic and use DC. On the other end of the spectrum we have electric devices, think of those as ones with motors or heating elements, air conditioning units too. They need a higher source voltage to operate the electric motors that take advantage of the alternating current. You will also see the abbreviation ‘Hz’ or ‘Hertz’ along with AC, this is the amount of time the current alternates each (per) second. It is transmitted in a sine wave and rapidly goes from positive to negative, and keeps repeating the cycle. In the United States 60Hz is standard. You may see 50Hz elsewhere, usually where voltage is 220VAC. This is of course a very rough and quick summary. You just need to know how voltage is supplied in your country and buy accordingly. We’re a very friendly community on here, most of us don’t bite (though I can’t speak for everyone 😂), so feel free to ask for help if you don’t know. A picture of your wall outlet and what country you reside in would be an excellent starting point! Next up, you mention that your headphones are 300Ω (by the way, ‘Ω’ is the symbol for Ohms). This tells us the impedance value of your headphones, it’s effectively similar to electrical resistance. So, the greater the impedance value, the more power is needed to drive those headphones! I’m glad you mentioned this as it’s the amp that will drive the headphones, so knowing the impedance value is pretty important! In the grand scheme of things 300Ω is on the higher side, and you should likely get the standard gain to ensure adequate signal amplification. Generally, the overall quality of the headphones is better with a higher impedance rating. They’re just built a bit more solid. I did want to mention that you don’t need to know how exactly your headphones work to enjoy them, but having at least a basic knowledge of electronics along with the terms that you will see over and over again on spec sheets does help — a lot, IMHO! This is all the more so if audio is becoming a hobby of yours! I was lucky enough to come into the hobby with such knowledge, but I could certainly appreciate it’s value for those coming in without it. So, there you have it! Now you know what you’ll need to select the right O2 amplifier for yourself! As discussed, you’ll be far better off opting for the standard gain variety. Now, all you need to know is how much voltage supplies your home. You could come back and post a picture of your outlet, your country will generally use the same voltage throughout, so that could also help. You could even call your power company and ask! I hope this helped! Be well and stay safe! ✌️
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