A few days ago I tried to plug my (OneOdio A71) headphones directly into my 9 V cheap mini Kokko overdrive. I was expecting to not hear anything, or almost anything, because it was my understanding that the output of the signal chain normally needs to be amplified to become powerful enough to drive speakers or headphones.
But, much to my surprise, it worked. Again, the following, works, I tried.
Humbuckers --> Overdrive pedal --> Passive mono to stereo adapter --> Stereo headphones
You can hear stuff, and it's pretty loud. But it does not sound great; it seems like the highs are too high, and there is some sort of harshness to it. I don't know exactly how to describe it. It's not necessarily a bad tone, but I don't like it for what I want to play.
So, the questions are:
- Why does it sound so "meh"?
- Is it an impedance problem?
- Would a headphone amplifier improve the sound?