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Question on headset signal levels

  1. May 10, 2014 #1
    So I have a pair of headsets, turtle beaches, that require a usb power for the amplifier. Now I thought the amplifier was just to combine the two outputs of game audio and chat audio, but do headsets like turtle beaches need a more powerful signal than just headphone level. I ask this because I don't like the turtle beaches, but want to snip the wire between the little amplifier and the actual headset and solder in a pair of standard earbuds, but I wasn't sure if the signal would be too strong and blow my earbuds. Is there any easy way to measure this with a multimeter?

    The turtle beach specs are:
    Speakers: 50mm diameter speakers with neodymium magnets
    Condenser Microphone Frequency Response: 50Hz - 15kHz
    Weight: 6.4 oz (233g)
    Speaker Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz, >120dB SPL @ 1kHz
    Cable length: 16 ft. (4.87m)

    Thanks a bunch!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2014 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Don't test it next to your ears ;).

    Messing around with analog cables can be problematic. If you don't get a proper connection, this can add noise to the signal.
    If you have some very constant sound sorce (sinus tone?) and use the multimeter in AC voltage mode, maybe. Depends on the multimeter.
  4. May 10, 2014 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I had a quick look at the turtle beach website but they don't seem to specify the impedance of their headsets - and you don't need to know anyway if they are hard-wired into their own amplifier.

    Most headphones and earbuds had similar impedance (except for some expensive audiophile products) so you are unlikely to damage anything except your hearing (that's a serious warning, not a joke!)

    If you want to try this, you would be better getting a connector that matches the plug on the earbuds, rather than trying to solder two pieces of thin flexible cable together without anything to make the joint mechanically stable. The actual soldered joint is usually stronger than the wire, so flexing or pulling on the joint will soon break it at the point where the solder ends. If you use a proper connector, that weak point point is inside the connector where the wire can't flex, and accidentally pulling on the cable just disconnects the plug and socket instead of breaking anything. it also means you don't need to modify the earbuds, so you can use them for something else if you want to.
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