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simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

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simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby Layreen » Sun May 26, 2019 7:18 pm

Hello everyone,

I hope I'm posting at the right spot. I would just really appriciate some short feedback from skilled people. I am not very familiar with sound myself and am therefore asking for help.
I have my Master examination tomorrow and after many different tries of setting up my master project (i study performance art) I seem to be almost there but just want to really go sure, that everything will work out the way I am planning tomorrow morning.

The Setup:
I have 4 different audios, that I would like to play to 4 different headphones. So each pair of headphones listens to a different audio.
I am using this audio interface: https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_umc1820.htm
Today I plugged four headphones into the outputs 3-6
and assigned 4 different tracks to them.
The problem was that I could only hear from one side on each of the headphones.
A friend of mine said that it must have to do with mono/stereo and that i would have to get splitters for the headphones, so I can plug in each headphone into two outputs, in order to make it stereo.

I just want to know: Will that work?
I just have tomorrow morning to get the splitters and make it happen, so I would really like to know if this is the correct solution.

Thanks sooo much!
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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby James Perrett » Sun May 26, 2019 7:53 pm

The outputs on the back are not intended to drive headphones. They may work with high impedance headphones but you run the risk of damaging them if you plug in low impedance headphones. Your best bet is to plug in two of the headphones into the headphone outputs on the front. You would then need 2 headphone amplifiers for the other two pairs of headphones - one plugged into outputs 5 and 6 with the other plugged into outputs 7 and 8. You may actually have something that can be used as a headphone amp lying around - an old cassette deck or something similar. Otherwise you can buy cheap headphone amps from most studio suppliers. I use the Behringer HA400 but that has 4 outputs so you could probably go for something with just a single output.
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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby Layreen » Sun May 26, 2019 8:21 pm

ah, thank you!
Ehm, firs of all, how do I know if the headphones have high or low impedance?

And then: we do actually have a Powerplay proHA4600 around, will that one do what I need?
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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby James Perrett » Sun May 26, 2019 11:25 pm

Yes, the HA4600 looks ideal. If you are happy with mono sounds in the headphones you can just run standard jack cables from the audio interface to the aux inputs on the headphone amplifier and press the mono button on each headphone section. If you want stereo you will need some Y cables with 2 TS jacks at audio interface end and a TRS jack feeding the headphone amp aux inputs.
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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby ef37a » Mon May 27, 2019 12:21 pm

The 4600/4700 are discontinued but there are other Behringer models. There is also a Swisstone multi-out headphone amp at about the same money but I know nothing about it.

The Behringer amps have been around for some time and seem decent enough. I have an HA400 which is quiet and easily loud enough.

N.B. Being diss'ed HAGGLE! Might get a really good price on their "old stock"!

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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 1:02 pm

The OP's master presentation is today.. so it's a bit late to be going out and buying new hardware.

H
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Re: simple question - in search for urgent help! Output several headphones

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 1:15 pm

Layreen wrote:Today I plugged four headphones into the outputs 3-6
and assigned 4 different tracks to them.
The problem was that I could only hear from one side on each of the headphones.

Yes, you would. Those interface outputs are mono, balanced, and line-level intended for feeding line-level equipment. They are NOT stereo, unbalanced outputs designed for feeding headphones (despite using the same type of physical socket).

Consequently, of you plug your headphones in to those balanced line outputs, you will probably find they don't go very loud, they may well tend to distort easily, the sound they make will definitely be 'out-of-phase' (which some people will find extremely unpleasant), and they will only carry one channel and not stereo.

So, all in all, not at all what you were hoping for of require...

A friend of mine said that it must have to do with mono/stereo and that i would have to get splitters for the headphones, so I can plug in each headphone into two outputs, in order to make it stereo.

That might work at a pinch, but only if the splitters are wired up in a non-standard way. What you'd actually need to do is connect outputs 3/4 to one external stereo headphone amp, 5/6 to another, 7/8 to a third, and 9/10 to the fourth -- or to the four stereo input channels of a multi-channel headphone amp like the Behringer device mentioned in the posts above.

I just have tomorrow morning to get the splitters and make it happen, so I would really like to know if this is the correct solution.

It's too late now, but I really hope you've found someone at the college with access to the right gear and knowledge of how to connect it for you. Left it all rather late in the day for a test trial, eh? ;)

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