Headphone jack is kinda quite

Hello sorry if there is a existing thread I could have asked this in. When I use my over ear headphones with the pi sound I have to turn the volume all the way up. Even then it’s just a shade quite for me. I don’t have this issue with any other device I listen to music on. Is it possible I’m under powering the board?

Hey, it depends on the kind of headphones you use, especially their impedance parameter, the lower it is, the less amplification is required for them to sound loud. Pisound’s output is at line level which allows it to be connected to a wide range of other devices, but an amplifier may be necessary to use Pisound with high impedance headphones or speakers.

Underpowering Pisound is possible, but in that case, either audio wouldn’t work at all, or you would hear some noise where there shouldn’t be any. Just in case, you can check the output of dmesg and see if there’s any ‘undervoltage’ warnings printed. Some may appear at the time the Raspberry Pi was just powered on, but you shouldn’t see any after the system has fully booted.

And just in case, double check the volume output level of the software you are using, if it’s at 100%. :slight_smile:

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I am using the PiSound with Modep (guitar effects).

I have the Bose QC35’s and they also sound pretty quiet. I have to have my guitar at nearly max volume, gain at 8/10 (more and I can get clipping, indicated via the red hardware light) and volume at 10/10.

Then when I take the same quiet levels on my headphones I plug it into my Pixel 3 to record a sample of it with Google Camera, it is severely clipped.

  1. Has anyone had success with visual level meters in MODEP?

  2. If I do need a headphone amplifier, can you make a recommendation? Or would a standard mixer also be a workable solution?

Here is the spec sheet for the Bose QC35s, can you see if the impedance is okay?

488 Ohm Impedance is a lot. My new Headphones have 32 Ohm. You need an amplifier or new headphones, I‘d say.

Thanks, that spec sheet turns out to be for the Active Mode, which is noise cancelling, so 488 Ohms. And it turns out that the Passive Mode is supposedly* 32 Ohms. And what I don’t get is that the Passive Mode (32ohm) is much quieter than the Active Mode (488 Ohm).

* https://sonarworks.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010041394-Does-the-impedance-of-my-headphones-and-amplifier-matter- (mentions QC35 Passive Mode is 32Ohm, but no source)

Very first thing you should do is run alsamixer and check the output volume for the headphone port.

Thanks for the tip. I opened alsamixer and saw a bcm2835 and a pisound. The former was at 40 and moving to 100 didn’t change output. The latter was at 100 and I couldn’t change the volume. So it appears it is at max output.