quiet headphone

  • 24 October 2005
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
i have connected some headphones via a stereo jack socket to the rca output and also a switch on the main speakers so i can disconect them while i use the headphones and all works well exept one thing, and that is, i have to have the volume level up to about 80 percent full to get a decent amount of volume out of the headphones, which does seem to works but the sonos gets warmer than usual, i think this is because the amp is throttled up to 80 percent as well.
is there a better way of connecting headphones that won't stress the sonos as much as i am doing at the moment.

5 replies

Userlevel 2
Feed a dedicated headphone amplifier with the Sonos line output. You'll have two interacting volume controls, which will give you considerable flexibility.

My headphones (Stax) have such a device built into their electrostatic drive unit, but conventional cans are usually compatible with normal headphone amplifiers.

For a range from $149 to $5495 (!), see:

Userlevel 2
many thanks for the reply
i have gone to the site you mention and i see where i went wrong, it's a shame that these amps are a bit on the expensive side, i will have buy one as i don't want to damage my beloved sonos
I'm not concerned that the SONOS is running at 80% volume. Since your speakers are disconnected, the amplifier is not working very hard.

While I don't think you should go to the expense of an amplifier such as that STAX unit, you will get better sound by avoiding use of the Line-out jack on the SONOS.

If you can build small electronic projects, insert a 270 Ohm resistor in series with each channel of your headphones and connect that assembly to the other side of your speaker switch. (the speaker switch will select headphones or speakers)

If the above project does not make sense to you, perhaps a friend can build the simple device. If this is not possible, look for a headphone adaptor that will convert a speaker output to a headphone jack. They are becoming hard to find, but they are out there.
Many cheap speaker switches also have built-in headphone jacks and circuitry.

I would guess somewhere like Radio Shack or Circuit City might sell one of these.

In the UK, Maplins would be the place.

You can just ignore the speaker conections and treat them like a headphone adaptor.


Give a carpenter a problem and he solves it with a hammer and a nail. Give me a problem and I'll solve it with solder.

Sometimes a credit card yields a much simpler solution.