80 Ohm vs 250 Ohm Headphones | Knowing the Difference

Music listening and monitoring are two different things; we need different headphones to deal with them. You can not use lower ohm headphones to mix or monitor in the studio; it will not bring clarity and crispiness. It requires higher Ohm headphones like 80 and 250 to mix, record, and monitor the sound quality professionally. I was confused when choosing between 80 Ohm vs 250 Ohm Headphones for my studio projects. As an audiophile, isn’t it a big concern?

I did my research and used both models of Beyerdynamic DT 990 for recording and now present you with my own experience and findings. I tested them with my smartphone, MacBook, USB interface, and audio mixers to learn about the difference between 80 and 250 ohms. In addition, I did play games and also noted the difference between both headphones related to gaming. 

What is Impedance?

It measures how difficult it is for an electric current to flow through a material. The impedance measurement is used to determine the resistance to electrical current flow. The resistance is measured in ohms, denoted by a Ω. 

The higher the impedance, the greater the resistance to current flow. Practically, impedance determines the size of electrical components, such as amplifiers, and controls the flow of electricity.

Role of Impedance/ Ohm Rating in Headphones

When it comes to sound quality, the resistance of a headphone’s wires can make a big difference. Headphones with low resistance wire produce more transparent sound with less distortion, while headphones with high resistance wire produce louder sounds with more distortion. 

Headphones with an 80-ohm rating typically produce better sound quality than headphones with a 250-ohm rating because they use less power and therefore require less amplification. It means that the audio signal travels through the headphone wires more smoothly, producing a clearer and more precise sound. 

Some people also prefer headphones with lower resistance because they believe it gives them a more natural listening experience. Choosing headphones with an 80-ohm rating or higher is essential for people who want the most transparent possible audio reproduction.


What’s the difference between 80 Ohm and 250 Ohm headphones? 

80 Ohm Headphones

There is a significant difference in impedance between 80 Ohm and 250 Ohm headphones. The main rule is that the lower the impedance, the higher the sensitivity. Lower impedance headphones are also less likely to cause interference with other electronic devices. 

The 80 Ohm headphones have a lower impedance, making them better for listening to Record devices, like smartphones and tablets. The lower impedance headphones provide a more balanced and accurate sound, meaning that the bass and treble levels are more accurately reproduced. 

They also have a shorter cable which is perfect for portable devices. Additionally, 80-ohm headphones use less power when transmitting sound, so they tend to be more efficient and last longer than higher impedance headphones.

Downside: The downside to the 80 Ohm headphones is that they are not as good at delivering sound quality as the 250 Ohm headphones. 

250 Ohm Headphones

The headphones Beyerdynamic DT 990, rated at 250 ohms, can handle more powerful audio signals without distortion. Higher impedance headphones generally require a higher input voltage to work. 

They can reproduce sound with incredible accuracy and detail, which has led to a boom in high-end audio productions. For those who need a little extra oomph in their audio experience, 250-ohm headphones are the perfect option. 

They are typically used for higher resolution audio or gaming where a higher impedance is needed to avoid distortion. These headphones can handle more voltage and current than regular headphones, produce less noise and are better for people with sensitive ears. 

Downside: The 250-ohm headphones are not compatible with devices that only accept lower impedance headphones like smartphones and tablets. I had to buy the audio mixers to record and mix different music projects. 

80 ohm vs 32 Ohm | Key Difference?

The critical difference between these headphones is how much power they need to produce sound. Headphones with a 32-ohm impedance require three times as much power as headphones with an 80-ohm impedance to produce the same sound level. 

It means that headphones with a 32-ohm impedance are used with devices with limited power, such as smartphones or tablets. Headphones with an 80-ohm impedance are used with devices with more power, such as computers or home stereo systems.

Is 80 Ohm good for gaming?

As a gamer, I believe that 80 Ohm headphones are the best for gaming. The lower impedance means that your audio will be transmitted more clearly without distortion. Many gaming headsets come with an 80 Ohm impedance rating like Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro 80 Ohm, which I used for gaming.

Is 250 Ohm good for gaming?

While many different types and brands of headphones are available on the market, it can be tough to decide which ones are best for your needs. For one, they tend to provide a more immersive experience when playing video games because they reduce outside noise. 

Additionally, these headphones typically have a higher impedance, meaning they can handle more power before becoming distorted. But you need a particular setup that includes audio, mixers, or any audio interface that will cost you some bucks.


We discussed the Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro 80 Ohm vs 250 Ohm that I used for recording, mixing, and gaming. Both headphones are exceptional in their domains, but I prefer the 80-ohm headphones because of their compatibility with smartphones and other devices like a tab. On the other hand, when it comes to my professional mixing and monitoring, I always prefer 250-ohm headphones. 

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