Frequently Asked Question

Current delivery, is there any loss?
Last Updated 2 years ago

Question: I'm listening on eco mode at about 12 o'clock with IEMatch is off. I was just wondering if the current available is restricted in some way in Eco, compared with Normal mode?

Answer: The short answer is no, you do not loose current delivery.

For a longer answer, the main current restriction is the actual amplifier, which allows 700mA peak current. This applies in all modes, from Eco to Turbo.

A second restriction is the power supply and the waste heat generated by the amplifier. The maximum power supply load is around 12,000mW. At this point the power supply and the amplifier are close to protective shutdown due to overload.

The power mode sets both headphone amplifier gain and nominal headphone amplifier voltage (from +/-5V to +/-16V). If the same maximum power is applied to higher voltage (e.g. Normal or Turbo mode) the maximum current drops as the product of voltage and current is constant.

The power supply has some further "smart" up it's sleeve. If there is more current demanded by the headphone, the power supply voltage will be lowered automatically to increase current.

The upshot, in Eco mode the amplifier is the limiting factor for current delivery, in Normal and Turbo mode the power supply is the limiting factor.

However, within the power "envelope" of the power supply and the current limit of the amplifier the system will always reconfigure itself dynamically to deliver the maximum current and/or power possible and/or demanded under a given set of conditions (volume settings, signal, headphone current demand).

This is at least part of the "secret" that allows a relatively small portable device to take on (and in many cases to win against) full size stationary headphone amplifiers with difficult to drive headphones.

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