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ASRockZ97 Extreme9 Onboard "Purity Sound??2

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Joined: 04 May 2015
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    Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 1:36am
Headphones and microphones are no longer blindly plug and play since the introduction of portable audio devices like iPods. The impedance of headphones, ear buds, and microphones must be matched to the capabilities (specs) of the audio source device.

Standard home audio equipment is designed to work with relatively high impedance headphones. Portable audio devices are meant to be used with low impedance ear buds and headphones. They don't have enough power to drive a high impedance load, since they use low voltage battery power, and a simple, low power amplifier.

PC audio sources tend to be designed to work with the newer, lower impedance headphones. PC audio is also not as powerful as home audio devices. Consider all that is contained in a dedicated headphone amplifier compared to the audio section of a mother board.

Microphones in general have a wider range of impedance than headphones. A high impedance microphone will produce a lower output signal when used with an input that is designed to work with medium to low impedance. That is usually why a microphone is quiet when used with a PC microphone input, even with the gain boosted 30db.

The Beyerdynamic headphones you mentioned are a perfect example of the need to be matched  with the range of audio sources available.

On the DT-990's product page, there is a drop down list to select the impedance of the model you need for your usage:

You can choose 32, 250, or 600 Ohms, 32 Ohms being low impedance, 600 Ohms being high impedance.

The headphone amplifier in your board has this spec:

TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 ohm headsets)

The Purity Sound 2 is always active, so nothing to activate. The NE5532 headphone amplifier (opamp chip) is great to have on a mother board, but would be standard stuff in a high quality audio amplifier.

So, the 600 Ohm version of the DT-990 should work fine with your board's audio, and will also work fine with a dedicated headphone amplifier.

What model of microphone were you using with your board?

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jhano11 View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jhano11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 10:32pm

I've been using this board with no real issues for months now and it seems great.

However, I've been thinking about getting a decent pair of headphones to upgrade from my 5 year old pc350s.. the mic input seems quiet even while boosted +30dB and using the back panel? The front panel seems the same.

Would the builtin asrock motherboard amp be enough to power say Beyerdynamic DT-990 or should I look for some type of amp/dac ?

Is there some hidden switch or something I need to set to activate the
Purity Sound??2 amp or is it just always on, or maybe marketing hype?

I am using the latest Realtek HD Audio drivers
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