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250 ohm or 80 Ohm for scarlett 2i2
Old 1st December 2017
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250 ohm or 80 Ohm for scarlett 2i2

Hello ,
I Have focusrite scarlett 2i2 audio interface I have Roland Rh-200 headphones I want to upgrade to Beyerdynamic 770 (closed back) or 990(open back) , but the problem is I don't if the 2i2 would drive the 250 ohms version , So should i just safely stick wtih the 80 Ohms version ?

Another side question if I have acoustic treatment and mix and master some of my tracks late at night , will open back headphones be better for me than closed headphones ??

Thanks in advance
Old 1st December 2017
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
If you look at that units specs here > Scarlett 2i2 | Focusrite
Its headphone impedance of that interface is only 10 ohms.

If you know anything about amps at all, you'd know you get the best power transfer and maximum frequency response when the ohms are matched.

With solid state you shouldn't be able to hurt the headphone amp by running headphones with a higher impedance but the signal is likely to be weaker with impedances that higher. This may force you to turn up both the headphone levels and the input levels in order to hear the signal with adequate volume. If the preamp is turned up to compensate for the lack of headphone volume it can have negative effects on the tracking quality. Cranking a preamp can raise the noise floor up once you start maxing it out.

Some of this will also depend on the SPL level of the headphones and their ability to convert power to sound. If the headphones are highly efficient you may get away with running a high impedance but its been my experience that headphones begin to sound thin when the impedance is too high for the source. Its not that that matters much tracking. All you need is to be able to hear the pitches when tracking but when it comes to mixing you may have issues with accuracy hearing frequencies.

Also, most headphone amps built into interfaces are dreadfully weak. I have several interfaces and most suffer from a weak output - and I do have decent headphones which are within the impedance limits. While shopping for headphones you may also want to shop for a better headphone amp. Pro headphones are usually designed for a pro headphone distribution amp so take the time to look for the impedance specifications to get the closest match you can. you'll find your gain staging when tracking will be far superior because you're hearing things at levels the manufacturer intended them to be heard.
Old 1st December 2017
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I asked focusrite tech support , that was his reply

“Many thanks for getting in touch. Hopefully we can get this sorted out as quickly as possible.

Both the 80ohm or 250ohm headphones will be OK. 250 ohm headphones are really at the limit of what we would recommend you use with the bus powered Scarlett interfaces - any higher and a headphone may be needed. You will probably just find that the headphone volume dial needs to be turned up slightly higher than normal when using the 250 ohm headphones.

Please do let me know if you require any further information on this and we can take things from there. ”

So I think that means its ok to get the 250 ohm on the 2i2 usb interface without amplifier i guess...
I hope its not a risk for me lol
Old 17th January 2018 | Show parent
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Hello Mike,

i have also scarlet 2i2 and interested in beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (250 ohm). can you express your experience in volume levels if your purchased 250 ohm version?

Old 7th April 2018
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Hey, Mike, how was your experience with the 250 version?
Old 8th April 2018
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🎧 5 years
Hi, Interesting to hear the replies to your question regarding headphones and the Scarlett is 2i2.

My daughter is 18 and writing her own material. She has started tackling the 2i2 interface using the Ableton Live software for recording and is struggling a little to understand the facilities of the software and was wondering if someone as new to recording as she would be able to tap in to an information source to guide her through a kind of beginners tutorial. The Youtube demonstrations start by taking the interface from the packaging then wander off in to self indulgent spiel whereby they presume everyone looking must already know plenty a bout the interface and the software! I am a great believer in trying everything and see but she is 18 and feels she needs to understand more about tghe process before doing.
Any help would be much appreciated,
Thank you.
Old 19th August 2019
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In case anyone stumbles upon this after the fact, I own a pair of DT 880s 250 ohms and they have no problem being driven by my Samsung S8+ and really now shine on my Focusrite 2i2.
Old 12th February 2020
10 ohms output on the Scarlett? That means you should use headphones which are at LEAST 80 ohms or more.

See this video for a perfect explanation of headphone output:

Old 4th September 2020
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İt should work

As far as i know beyerdynamic dt770 pro 250 ohm requires up to 1,3 volt rms which should be equivalent to 3.7 volts p-p and even scarlet solo should be able to provide up to 4.6 volts pp and probably enough current
Old 2nd December 2020 | Show parent
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Originally Posted by cyrus101 ➡️
In case anyone stumbles upon this after the fact, I own a pair of DT 880s 250 ohms and they have no problem being driven by my Samsung S8+ and really now shine on my Focusrite 2i2.
Thank you for saying! I got the 250 ohms - because I had told all my VO friends about the $119 BF deal at ProAudioStar (which is still running fyi) -- and then took too long to buy them myself, and the 80 ohms I wanted to get were wold out. D'oh!

So I got the 250 ohms, figuring that if they're not good with my 2i4 I'd fight to exchange them, but was -not- looking forward to it.

Your post is giving me hope that if the 250s sound good with my interface when they get here, I can consider trusting it
Old 31st December 2020
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itshsilva's Avatar
I have a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd gen, and I was looking if 250ohms headphones would work with it, and then I found this page:


Basically, it says:

- For all 1st Gen, 2nd Gen, and 3rd Gen Bus-Powered Scarlett interfaces (Solo, 2i2, 2i4, and 4i4), iTrack Solo and Saffire 6 USB look for headphones with a maximum impedance of 200 ohms.

- For all 1st Gen, 2nd Gen, and 3rd Gen mains powered Scarlett interfaces (6i6, 8i6, 18i6, 18i8 and 18i20) look for headphones with a maximum impedance of 250 ohms.

- For all Clarett (USB and Thunderbolt variants) and Red (Thunderbolt) interfaces, headphones with impedances of up to 600 ohms will be fine.
Old 31st December 2020 | Show parent
Originally Posted by wrgkmc ➡️
If you know anything about amps at all, you'd know you get the best power transfer and maximum frequency response when the ohms are matched.
Maximum power transfer, broadly yes.

Wide, flat frequency response, definitely not.

This engineering principle comes from power systems electronics and also radio systems engineering and is useful in certain cases. It has been misunderstood and misrepresented frequently.

You want your headphones to have an impedance that is a least several times the headphone amp output impedance.
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