600 ohm headphone sanity check 2017-12-01 21:06:02 I need to get myself some headphones, so I started looking at reviews and specs. I ended up finding a lot of information over at another forum I'm sure you all know about. I started looking into the information they were feeding me and after a little bit of research I find out they don't know what they're talking about.So I find some more scientific and reliable sources of info, learn how to read most of the charts and graphs on headphone and amplifier test reports, and find a link to this forum from a nwavguy blog post. I look around a bit and find that people here generally have a better grasp of the science and engineering of sound.Anyway, I'm still days new to this, so I need a little bit of a sanity check on the information I've gathered.I'm interested in the Beyerdynamic DT880s. I don't want to buy an amp for them. 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.Then I used this SPL calculator and plugged in the specs of my sound card and both the 250ohm and 600ohm DT880s because both of those exceed 1:8. This is what I got:250ohm - 110.23dB SPL peak, 99.73dB SPL average600ohm - 106.79dB SPL peak, 96.29dB SPL averageHere's the calculator I used:http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/amp-spl.phpHere's where I got the specs:http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/beyerdynamic-dt-880-pro.phphttp://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/beyerdynamic-dt-990-600.phpI used the specs for the DT990 600ohm because it was the most similar headphone with the lowest measured sensitivity and highest measured impedance, so I could get the most conservative estimate as I could not find the measured specs for the exact headphone I'm interested in.Anyway. It looks like I don't need any kind of additional amplification for either of these two headphones, but I need a sanity check after reading all the conventional "wisdom" over at that other forum. 106dB is hearing damage loud, isn't it? Why would you want to push it higher than that with a more powerful amplifier? So am I correct in thinking that either the 250ohm or the 600ohm version could get too loud with the output of my computer's built in sound card? Is everyone just running their headphones so loud that they're damaging their ears?More to the point: The characteristics of the two versions are pretty much the same. The distortion is all negligible, and the frequency responses are very close, which won't matter anyway after I EQ them as flat as I can get them. So what I really need to know is if that 3.44dB difference in average SPL is really a significant difference. Is 3.44dB a lot? Should I go with the 250ohm because they're significantly louder and so I could keep my system volume lower, or does it not make a difference since I'm going to be keeping the volume relatively low because I'm going to be using them for tracking and mixing over long periods of time?Thanks for your help. I've already learned so much in my couple of days lurking this forum. You guys are the best, this place is awesome.