NAC 332 Headphone power

With my 252 I made a connection from Rec to a BeyerDynamic A20 headphone amp to power my ZMF Verité headphones.

  • Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: ~97dB/mW

That worked very well and I was also very happy the 252 could do two output jobs at the same time.

In came the 332 with integrated headphone out and only one set of outputs to choose from and 1.5w into 16Ω.

Two questions:

1 - will the 332 suffice for my headphones? Or do I keep my A20 amp hooked up.

2 - If I keep the A20, how to connect it to the 332? I thought it would be a simple matter of interlinks in the RCA outputs of the 332. But then I get no sound. Is there a programming sequence I am missing or am I connecting it wrong?

The A20 specs:

  • Input 25 kΩ
  • Max amp 18 dB
  • Output power 100 mW / 600 Ω, 170 mW / 250 Ω, 150 mW / 30 Ω
  • Output impedance, headphone output 100 Ω

Why do you not just try the 332’s headphone output… :thinking:

I note there is an On/Off switch adjacent to the 332’s Phono Outputs -

There is also the 332’s Manual -

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Tried it, seems to take a lot of amplification for my cans. But still hard to compare the sound as I don’t know how to connect my old method.

on off switch, wow, didn’t notice that, thank you.

Just read up on that, it is to be used for “older” style amps, or subwoofers. Old (252) style Rec out is unavailable, so my guess now is that what I want to test is impossible.

The question is also for the technically apt, as I am not, to what would be ideal, looking at the numbers and what it would bring to the sound quality.

Here’s the crunch - 332 Headphone Output - (from Naim Audio site) -

  • 1 x 6.35mm headphone jack (1.5W into 16Ω)

So… the 332’s headphone output is designed for low impedance headphones.

To drive yours (which are relatively high impedance *), you need to get your Headphone amp working… :thinking:

Numbers… rarely relate to sound quality.

(* - I have ‘vintage’ Sennheiser HD424’s, which are 2000Ω - now thats high impedance…)

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Thank you for that, very educational.
An option might be to connect my A20 to the phono out of the Nd5xs2. Bypassing the 332 altogether.

Why not use the output on the Phono’s of the 332…?

Confused… :thinking:

I would think that wouldn’t work if I want the volume off in my main setup. I might be wrong, will try again tonight with the switch turned on.

You need to connect the headphone amp to the input 8 5-pin DIN, which has line level outputs.

Amazingly, it’s all in the manual, which I’ve just read online and is how I now know what you should do. Hopefully the cable you used with the 252 will work happily.

You don’t want to use the output RCAs as they are post volume control and you’ll only be able to mute the speakers by turning off the power amp/s.

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(from 332 manual)

4.6 Extra DIN input functions

Input 6 (8 pin DIN) is compatible with 5 pin DIN leads and can also directly power a Naim
NVC TT phono stage.

Input 8 (5 pin DIN) has line level outputs mirroring the currently selected source. Note that
when this input is selected the source connected will be mirrored, so beware of feedback
loops if using a recording source.

No Manual will read itself… :expressionless:

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Read it, didn’t understand it with three screaming toddlers around. Now I do, that would be great if this works with the same cable. Thank you!!

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Do let us know how you get on. Fingers crossed.

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Thank you @HungryHalibut . This works very well. Perhaps @Richard.Dane can add this “input 8” part to the faq concerning connecting 3rd party headphone amps.

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Fantastic. As they say, enjoy.

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A short addition to this for whom it may be useful:

  • I received a support message from my headphones manufacturer that the 16 Ω of the 332 is certainly a high enough OHM out that it won’t affect the sound negatively.

  • I found out that the volume level trim setting on the 332 dial can also be adjusted if you plug in the headphones. The manual was not too clear on that for me.

  • I am now going to do a few days with both options trying to decide what I prefer. My first thought is that the class A BeyerDynamic runs the cans with more ease, but this might not be more important than the possibility of lower box count.

Yes I like that it also remembers the volume you last used for headphones, when you plug them in you see the LED move smoothly round to the level, nice :slightly_smiling_face:

Having a good headphone amp built in was another plus point for me, had really missed that with the 282.

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