This article was born in my head a long time ago, mainly due to repeated questions from time to time, whether I had contact with filtering devices like iSilencer, Jitterbug etc. But since I run my humble blog, I’ve probably got used to most people to a few maxims, which I am guided in total not only in the field of audio equipment, but generally in life…
Just add volume.
Love your music but hate annoying hisses, pops and sudden bursts of noise in your earphones that rock you for all the wrong reasons?
The Ear Buddy is the answer.
Never miss a beat.
The Ear Buddy is a simple adapter that fits between any headphone and audio device with a 3.5mm output, and filters out background hiss and bursts of noise that damage your ears.
The Ear Buddy makes music clearer and allows you to crank up the volume to the max without painful consequences.
Never miss a guitar solo again.
All around the world.
The Ear Buddy is adaptable to any device, including:
- Portable audio devices
- In-flight systems
And with special earplugs, airplane adapter and travel pouch, you can travel the globe with crisp, clean, uninterrupted audio.
Home or abroad…if you love music, you’ll never leave home without it.
Too much power heading into your headphones causes irritating noise, hiss and buzz.
Our solution is to ‘attenuate’ or adjust the signal that cuts out the hiss and puts the enjoyment back into listening.
Turn up the digital volume to restore lost resolution and improve sound quality.
Normal listening levels usually result in a loss of 2-Bits of resolution but increasing the digital volume and using the Ear Buddy to attenuate the volume level, brings these Bits back.
- High-Gain (-16dB) sensitivity adjustment
- 6N copper matrix wiring
- Gold-plated printed circuit board with audiophile components (eg MELF resistors)
- Gold-plated 3.5mm male/female connectors
- Input Impedance: > 16 Ohm
- Output Impedance: < 2.7 Ohms
- Amplifier Loading: ~18 Ohm
- Conditions: 16R headphone/iem connected < 1R Amplifier output impedance
- Compatible Headphone impedance: 16 Ohm to 600 Ohm rated impedance
- 12.5 Ohm minimum impedance
- Weight: 6.0 g
- Total Length: 116mm
- Warranty period: 12 months
Overview of iFi Audio accessories and filters – does filtering matter?
It works, it sounds great, it attenuates
I got the B&W C5 S2 earbuds for my PC, since my Sennheiser HD600’s left an impression on my hair after extended use. Sadly, after bringing my new earbuds home to listen to on my Anthem statement D2 pre-amp, there was a loud static white noise only present in the earbuds. The B&W’s are 18dB more sensitive and 32ohms while the Sennheisers are 300ohms. I never heard any static on my Sennheisers, but after roughly 30dB of gain from my Parasound Halo A21 to my Paradigm Studio 100 v3’s I have a subtle static white noise that you can hear if you get close enough to the tweeter with your ear.
Knowing this is present, I wasn’t sure that even if I got a new headphone amp and used balanced out from my D2, would I still have this unbearably loud static in my earphones? At this point I figured I’d have to get a separate amp/DAC combo for my earphones altogether, and that would cost me more than I was willing to spend. Instead of returning the earbuds or wasting money on those new components, I did some searching around. I came across impedance adapters but people said although they work, they usually ruin the sound. Then I found an article about attenuators that was advertising another company’s products. They wanted $50 for a little wire so I was thinking “yeah that’s not going’s to happen”. So I did a quick search and came across this.
The earbuds you 16dB attenuator. I figured, heck it’s two day shipping and affordable I might as well give it a try. So when I got it, I plugged my earphones in and voila! The static was almost completely gone. Now 16dB if I’m correct is a 40X difference in volume, so I was still hearing 1/40 of what was previously present (which was loud), but it’s low enough to only be really noticeable if I focus on it. Before I had this, I tried my earphones on my phone, my D2 and my Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface. The Scarlett output was awful, a sad excuse of an amplifier for headphones. I already knew this from when trying to power my Sennheisers to directly listen to my microphone but didn’t expect the MUCH easier to power earbuds to sound so horrific.
Anyways, after testing all 3 devices, I determined that the D2 pre-amp had amazing quality and was easy to appreciate, but the static wasn’t worth dealing with. That’s the best part about the EarBuddy, it works AND sustains that quality terrifically. If anything else, I could see it making an improvement on some sources, so long as they are not underpowered. I would certainly recommend this attenuator.
Does Exactly As Advertised
This device worked perfectly to remove all noticeable background hiss when my sensitive IEMs(KZ AS10, 15ohm impedance and 105db/mw sensitivity) are plugged into my phone and PC.
As a small side effect, besides needing higher player volume, the bass is slightly louder and the treble just slightly lower, but the difference is very small, and actually sounds more realistic than before. Feels pretty well put together, but I’m not so sure about the cable’s ruggedness yet since the rubber on the cable doesn’t feel too strong.
Does the job. Excellent attenuator to avoid the evils of digital volume control.
iFi Ear Buddy, Headphone Hissing Be Gone!
Did you know when you’re using your headphones and a digital player there’s a good chance you’re missing out on some of your audio? In fact, not only are you not getting what you paid for, but you’re given a little extra – like unwanted hissing. iFi Ear Buddy is here to rescue us from this all too common issue.
Ear Buddy: iFi’s £20 dongle for better sound
With Ear Buddy, you can turn your device’s digital audio volume right up – so you’re not losing as much audio information – while the analogue dongle reduces the volume. Consequently you can listen to your headphones at a comfortable volume safe in the knowledge your sound quality is being preserved.