Audio Interface with great headphone out?

  • I'm currently using my focusrite saffire for recording and playing my kemper.

    The headphone out makes my kemper sound like ASS. It's night and day compared to the kemper headphone out.


    Listening to music via the focusrite seems fine, but soon as I try and play along it sounds terrible. Kemper is very fizzy.

    1. any suggestions how I can improve my headphone sound on the focusrite?

    2. any suggestions of a suitable home interface with a better headphone out.

  • Where is the music coming from... PC? MP3 player?

    If so, you can plug the PC headphone or MP3 headphone out into the Kemper Return and Alternate input as a stereo pair.

    Then you can go into output settings on the Kemper to mix in the Aux In >Main and/or Aux In >Headphone (Page 6 of 6).

    Start with the PC/MP3 audio very low or it will scare the crap out of you!

    Now you have everything coming out the Kemper instead of using the Saffire to mix.

  • I have recently had an interesting experience about this. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 and so often I read the same about its headphone output. And in my case, ok it's not as good as the Kemper but with the Space effect activated and a good amount of volume it works just right.


    And then... I started trying other pairs of headphones. And oh my God what a difference.

    My previous headphones are not bad at all ( Sennheiser HD 598) but they have a low impedance and a high sensitivity. That means they don't need a powerful amplifier to sound good.

    I have tried the Beyerdynamic DT 880… 770… in 32ohm, 80 ohm, 250 Ohm... Also the Sennheiser HD 600. All of them sound bad through the Focusrite.


    So, yes, maybe the Focusrite has a low powered head phones output and also the quality is not great. But using it with the correct pair of headphones or maybe (didn't try) using a headphone amplifier might do the trick.

  • Oh. I forgot about something.


    The reason to use the Focusrite headphones output is usually to play along some backing track coming from your interface.


    You can do that same thing using the Kemper headphones output but connecting the Focusrite out (right and left) to the auxiliary inputs of your Kemper. You then have to control the auxiliary inputs volume and you're good to go.


    Just saying...

  • A line in to the kemper is a great idea, but feels a bit of a round about way to solve a problem.

    I have Sennheisers HD25 70 ohm, which I was told were great for recording.

    As far as cab enabled, Monitor Cab Off is ticked as I play through a guitar cab. That shouldn't affect the SPIF or analog outs though would it?

    Thanks for the advice so far.

  • Actually I am Using a RME Fireface UCX and an SQ-5. Kemper is connected to the SQ-5 (Main outs) and via SPDIF to my Audio interface. My PC (and the RME) are connected to the console as well. If I have to I can Use the Headphoe out of the RME or the mixing console. Als Well I have an Fischer Amps in Ear Amp monuterd in my Rack. I can use that as well for monitoring purposes.

  • My previous headphones are not bad at all ( Sennheiser HD 598) but they have a low impedance and a high sensitivity. That means they don't need a powerful amplifier to sound good.

    Actually, i would say the opposite.
    High impedance Headphones usually have a volume problem with some amplifiers if you really want to hear them loud (which is probably not a good idea....).

    Low impedance Headphones don't have problem with volume, but are very demanding on the ability of the headphone amp to produce enough current to drive the cans. This can lead to problems with the frequency response.

  • Actually, i would say the opposite.
    High impedance Headphones usually have a volume problem with some amplifiers if you really want to hear them loud (which is probably not a good idea....).

    Low impedance Headphones don't have problem with volume, but are very demanding on the ability of the headphone amp to produce enough current to drive the cans. This can lead to problems with the frequency response.

    I don´t know the technical reasons.


    The fact is that the HD 598 sound better, a lot better, to my ears than the other models when used thru the Focusrite. And it's not a matter only of impedance because for example the Beyerdynamic DT 880 32 Ohm sounded a lot lower in volume, having a lower impedance (the Sennheiser HD 598 are 50 Ohm).

  • DavidAJack , did you level match the KPA's and the Saffire's headphone outputs to the exact same volume? I am asking because I thought the same as you did after switching from the KPA's output to my audio interface's output (M-Audio Profire 2626). The end result was that both sounded equal as soon as I lowered the KPA's headphone volume, because the KPA headphone amp has been way louder than my Profire's.

    And as we all know, louder is better :-).

  • I use a 6i6 with Sennheiser Hd-800. I honestly don't find a big difference between the kemper headphone out and the focusrite.

    I may be getting old..

    Why don't you buy a headphones amp? the "schiit magni 3" is incredible, read some reviews about it, and it costs about 100$, you won't find anything better to drive your headphones unless you are ready to spend over 1000$

    Sorry to highjack the thread.

    Can you share your thoughts on it?


    Cheers.