Do you have a small budget to buy an amplifier to improve the sound quality of your high-end headphones?
After months of saving, he decided to splurge on a high-end pair of headphones.
Reading: Portable headphone amplifier kit
but, to his disappointment, the sound quality was much worse than he expected.
You did more readings and discovered that your headphones have a high impedance.
Impedance measures how much something resists electrical flow. (often measured in ohms Ω.) the high impedance requires more power to power the headphones at a reasonable volume.
The amp in your laptop or phone won’t have enough power for high-impedance headphones. not only will they be too quiet to enjoy, but they also won’t sound good at different frequencies.
To solve this, you’ll need a pocket-sized, powerful amp: cmoy headphone amp.
cmoy headphone amplifier (cmoy amplifier)
cmoy is a term derived from its inventor, mr. Chu Moy was the founder of the first headphone forum, Headwize (now defunct). it was where he published the famous article: “a pocket headphone amp”. the article was the blueprint for building an affordable portable amplifier.
The steps to build the cmoy amplifier are well documented. the project involves
- assemble the necessary components
- have some basic knowledge of circuits
- assemble the components
The last part will be getting your hands dirty with some electric welding. so if you have some previous experience, it will surely come in handy!
However, if you’re a total newbie, have no fear. You can find the step-by-step tutorial, how to build the cmoy pocket amp, on the tangentsoft cmoy tutorials website. the cmoy amp has a cult following. a quick google search will bring up plenty of results that should be able to answer any questions you have.
Inside of a CMoy amplifier
Key components for the CMoy Headphone Amplifier Kit
The first step to a successful diy how-to amp project is finding all the parts needed to assemble the amp. Here’s a little deep dive into the DIY kit you’ll find, as well as the components you’ll need to choose for the project.
a good DIY how-to kit should
- contain all the parts needed to electrically assemble the amplifier
- instruction manuals on how to assemble the parts.
The components needed to build the cmoy amp can seem overwhelming to beginners. therefore, we have compiled a list of the essential components below.
A complete DIY kit will include the following components:
all parts must be specific types and measurement values for the cmoy amplifier. the best place for this information is the tangentsoft cmoy tutorial parts lists and tips article.
It is important that you review the guidelines in this tutorial down to the last letter, not only for accurate models of the components needed, but also for building instructions.
select the right howy DIY kit
Not all cmoy kits are the same. as such, there are kits that include cheap low-quality parts and circuit boards. So how do you look for an amp kit built with only high-quality components? Follow the usual steps to check online reviews and manufacturer reputations.
a popular place to get a DIY cmy amp kit is jds labs.
ok, this is too much work, where can I buy one?
Not everyone is blessed with good soldering skills or has the time to master it. Fortunately, you can buy a ready-to-use headphone amp online for a reasonably low price. It doesn’t hurt that they also come in attractive enclosures. are available on amazon.
lucid labs is an american company that sells a variety of cmoy amplifiers. It ranges from the classic Altoids red mint tin to the radiant looking bumblebee colored penguin tin. They are capable of working with headphones from 30 ohms to 300 ohms.
Classic CMOY Altoid Red Mint Tin
High impedance headphones, like Beyerdynamic DT-1350-80 and AKG K701, are known to work well with the CMoy amp built by Lucid Labs.
Because each headphone has its own impedance level, there is no one-size-fits-all amplifier. companies like jds labs can help customize the cmoy amp for your headphone needs.
can i use this for low impedance headphones?
If the cmoy amp kit works well with high impedance headphones, it should also work just as well with low impedance headphones, right? wrong.
Within the classic cmy design, we have an op amp running the program. this op amp amplifies the voltage needed by high impedance headphones. but if we send amplified voltage through a low impedance headphone (less than 30 ohms), this increases the amount of current flowing through the connected circuit. this could exceed the current limit of the amplifier, causing sound distortion and an overall decrease in sound quality.
See also: MoonDrop KATO IEMs