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Can I use the scarlet solo paired with the DT 770 250 ohms to listen to recordings at sufficient volume and do things like audio monitoring at good volume levels?

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For what it's worth, Focusrite's recommendation is less than 200 ohms for USB-powered interfaces, which includes Scarlet solo. The interface just lacks voltage to drive high impedance headphones at full volume. It's up to you if it's loud enough.

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  • I’ve experienced weak headphone output with beefier cans on USB powered interfaces in general in the past. Better to run the signal into a mixer or a headphone amp. Jul 25 at 19:51
  • I think the “mobile” or “USB” isn’t really the point here. A USB device could have charge pump to provide voltage to drive high impedance headphones, Focusrite engineers just chose to design for lower impedance.
    – ojs
    Jul 26 at 1:03
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In practise, anything with a dedicated ¼" headphone output is going to be designed to drive 250Ω headphones at comfortable listening levels.

You really only need to compromise to lower impedance if you need extra volume - eg a drummer tracking to a click track - would need 80Ω for that extra punch.

Low impedance headphones are for low output devices such as mobile phones etc.

From beyer's own DT 770 page

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  • Could you please elaborate a little on when you said "You really only need to compromise to lower impedance if you need extra volume - eg a drummer tracking to a click track - would need 80Ω for that extra punch.", how does one compromise on lower impedance? I thought lower impedance would drive more volume so wouldn't a drummer technically be more comfortable at a lower impedance? Feb 25 at 9:24
  • Yes, that's why the drummer's cans would be 80Ω rather than 250Ω to get the extra volume.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 25 at 9:30
  • 2
    You've rather contradicted your reference in your advice! The Scarlett Solo, as a USB-powered device, comes into the 'Mobile Devices' category. And why do you say 'compromise on lower impedance' ? Hi (or low) impedance isn't 'good'. The right one is what matches your equipment. Feb 25 at 22:09
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    Mobile == phone etc. A USB interface can get enough power from the USB bus to drive phantom & headphones, My own external USB interface has been happily driving my 250Ω DT 990's for a decade with no issues. Compromise to lower impedance by having to run the headphone out at almost zero volume.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 26 at 7:10

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