I have been doing podcasts for a long time and desperately need a device that can demolish the noisy hiss from headphones. The only solution that seems suitable to me is using a headphone amplifier while recording. An amp and audio interface is best for recording music, podcasting, and improving sound quality. But the question is: How To Connect Headphone Amp To The Audio Interface?
You should determine the cables used to connect the headphone amp to the audio interface. Compatible cables link the devices with easy access and produce better quality versions of sound signals.
In this article, I will mention how you can connect a headphone amplifier to the audio interface to generate better quality sound outputs and make your recording much more manageable.
Get a detailed differentiation: 4 Pole VS 3 Pole Headphone Jack
Can You Connect A Headphone Amp To An Audio Interface?
Do you hear that a headphone amplifier improves sound quality? Well, in my opinion, you must give it a try. A headphone amp is used to amplify the audio signal and help in better sound production.
At the same time, the audio interface is a device that allows other devices to connect to the computer, which further sends and receives the sound signals to be heard on headphones.
In this section, I will describe basic and easy methods by which you can connect the headphone splitter to the audio interface.
You can also get an insight on How to Connect Sony Headphones to Mac?
Connect The Headphone Jack to a Headphone Amp
In the first method, you will connect the headphone output of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface to the input of the Mackie HM-4 Amplifier Splitter by using a balanced cable. The primary factor that makes this method more straightforward is as it requires a single cable to set up a connection between two devices.
Piece of information: balance cable is also known as TRS cable as it has a tip, ring, and sleeve that carries the balanced stereo signal and enhances volume in headphones.
- Insert the ¼- inches balanced cable into the headphone output of the audio interface.
- The other end of the cable will plug in the input of the headphone amp.
- Connect the headphones to the headphone amplifier
Moreover, it is typical for a headphone amp in an audio interface to get noisy when you approach 60-75% volume, but you don’t have to worry as this noise is not noticeable in the recording. Instead, it’s the production of only a headphone amp.
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You can check the point at which the sound is visible from the interface jack and play with the buttons either from the interface preamp or the amplifier to reduce it to the least amount. The headphone amp has 1 input and 4 outputs so that equal sound is distributed to all, but at the same time, you can also manage the volume level.
Left Line Output to a Headphone Amp
The second method is connecting the TRS cable to the monitor outputs from the back of the audio interface in the input of the headphone amp.
- Insert the balanced TRS cable in the left line output at the back of the audio interface
- Connect the other end of the cable to the input of the headphone amp
- Connect headphones to the headphone amplifier
You can connect your devices with this method, but you will notice that the signal traveling from these line outputs to the headphone amp is a balanced mono signal which is heard on one side of the ear.
The left line output sends two signals, but the amp expects a stereo signal and thus cannot manage to convert it into a stereo one and does not boost the volume on headphones.
Both Lines Output to a Headphone Amp
The third and dual cable setup is significant in connecting the devices to produce better sound effects. I like to mention the cable used in the audio interface’s left and right outputs. I follow the step-by-step guide in this regard.
Tidbits: unbalanced cable is also known as TS cable as it contains a tip and a sleeve and carries a mono signal, although a pair of these cables merge to produce a stereo signal.
- Insert the ¼-inches black colored TS cable into the left output of the audio interface
- Plug the ¼-inches red colored TS cable into the right output of the audio interface
- Connect the TRS balanced cable to the input of the headphone amp
According to me, you can use the double TS cable with a stereo TRS cable to listen to the audio signals in both ears. On the other hand, it is difficult to operate this system as it is controlled by software, and you cannot adjust the volume knobs to manage the volume level.
Reasons To Connect Headphones Amp To An Audio Interface
Headphone amplifiers increase the volume levels in the headphones. When you connect it with an audio interface, it improves the sound quality along with providing two main benefits for the composers.
Many audio interfaces have built-in amps but are not efficient in boosting the audio signals to the requirement. Connecting with good quality separate amplifiers also raises the levels in headphones and makes the audio signal strong and louder.
Monitoring the Signal
When you work in groups, the amplifiers and audio interface inspect the signals so everyone can hear what is happening around them.
Does interface affect sound quality?
An audio interface is a device that allows other devices to connect with the computer so that it can convert the analog signal into digital. The interface sends the signal from the computer to headphones and ensures a better quality of sound signal to be heard in the ears. Overall, the interface boosts the input signal and does not change the sound quality.
When should you use a headphone amp?
A headphone amp is necessary when the headphones alone do not make up the required sound level. Connecting it with amplifiers increases the volume twice or thrice.
Does balanced sound better?
As mentioned above, balanced cables carry the balanced signal and cancel the outside noise. Unbalanced cables are likely to integrate with noise and affect signal quality.
An amp and audio interface is best for recording music, podcasting, and improving sound quality. Moreover, you can listen to noise-free sounds. You must know how to connect the headphone amp with the audio interface. In this section, I have described the three basic methods of connecting that you can follow to make the best use of your headphones.