Music with a wide dynamic range is the most challenging to play loud because the peaks are much louder than the average level. Such music may not seem loud but the peaks can be seriously challenging for your audio hardware. For such music to approach live levels, you need to cleanly reproduce peaks of 110 dB SPL. If you want to know where that number comes from, see More Power?
Beyer DT880-600 – These need 43 mW at 600 ohms to hit 110 dB which is 5 V RMS. This is way beyond what most portable amps can manage.
I looked up the specs for my computer's sound card and it outputs 2VRMS at <24ohms. So for the sake of my calculations I assumed it would be operating at 24ohms. That's way more than 1:8 when compared to the 32ohms DT880s, so those are out.
Innerfidelity has measurements on the DT 880 600 Ohm:https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT880600ohm.pdfThey say 0.514 Vrms required to reach 90dB SPL.
60hz sine691mv loaded699mv unloaded101.9 ohms dummy loadAN8008 True-RMS multimeter
1kHz sine (prepared in audacity, amplitude 1.0), unloaded, 100% volume: 1.394 Vrms60Hz sine (prepared in audacity, amplitude 1.0), unloaded, 100% volume: 1.397 Vrms
That means that 5.14 volts Vrms would be required to hit 110 dB, presuming that the headphones are linear at those SPLs.I seriously doubt that there are a lot of consumer computer sound cards that can provide 5+ volts rms into a headphone load. It would have to run off of a +/- 8 volt or 16 volt or higher power supply.
Peak-to-Peak Output Voltage Swing 26 V Typ With VCC± = ±15 V and RL = 600 Ω...Number of Channels (#) 2 Total Supply Voltage (Min) (+5V=5, +/-5V=10) 10 Total Supply Voltage (Max) (+5V=5, +/-5V=10) 30
Audible, a 5532 connected properly will easily drive 600 ohms. Be aware that you may need rails at +/- 15 to 18 volts to get enough output level for many professional uses. I've noticed that almost all USB powered audio boxes don't provide input or output clip points anywhere near the +22 to +24 dBu needed for true professional installations. Apparently they can't suck enough juice out of the USB power to power the boxes to produce those levels.