I have a Steinberg UR22 MKII audio interface to use with my e-drums and a VST. A few months ago I bought new IEM's and found them to be quite harsh when listening through the interface. I had a Fiio E06 lying around and found that if I used that it somehow fixed the sibilance. I'm not sure what's the issue with the interface, but I would like to upgrade to over the ear headphones and I would probably have to get a better amp for it.

Is there something inherently wrong about plugging an amp after my interface, double-amping wise? I would be open to just getting a different interface if it could give me better hardware and lower latency, but maybe that's a different question alltogether.

On the other hand, I couldn't find a way to have my VST send the audio to something other than my interface when using ASIO, in which case I could just use the amp independently.

  • Bus-powered audio interfaces cannot drive headphones as well as dedicated heaphone amplifiers can. There's simply not enough power available from the USB bus, and the UR22 MKII has many other things to do with the few watts it's getting. Did you try an EQ plugin in your DAW's master bus to tame down the sibilance? Nov 16 '20 at 20:47
  • ASIO drivers are generally restricted to one device (your audio interface) or inefficient for low-latency (ASIO4All). If you're sending MIDI to your PC rather than audio then this might not be a concern.
    – Edward
    Nov 16 '20 at 21:51

The Steinberg UR22 MKII has line outputs, you can attach a headphone amp to those.

  • Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm not asking if it's possible, mostly if it's recommended or if getting another interface with better internals would be most ideal.
    – Exci
    Feb 20 '20 at 11:18
  • There are no technical reasons to choose one or the other. You already have a usable combination, I'd just keep using that until this combo no longer meets your needs.
    – Hobbes
    Mar 22 '20 at 10:12

You should check to ensure that the sending and receiving units are using line-out, but long as you use the phones out, and a headphone amp, I think that this is the same issue you would have with chaining mixers etc.: it is more an issue of ensuring the first (sending) amp is at unity or below. If they have visual meters, ensure your levels are not peaking.

In some cases, a re-amp device for impedance matching is desirable, such as when taking from audio interface back to a guitar amplifier instrument input that expects guitar hi-Z. Even this shouldn't cause damage, but sans-reamp can result in altered sound. In fact, input gain and treble loss or treble overemphasis are symptoms of impedance mismatch which might be described as sibilance.

  • The OP isn't talking about "re-amping" but using a separate headphone ampifier to drive his headphones. :) Nov 16 '20 at 20:42

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