Can the Elgato Wave XLR audio interface power a set of 250 Ohm headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT990s? We ran this setup through three different scenarios to see how well the audio interface performs.

Quick Answer: We think that the Elgato Wave XLR’s headphone preamp is powerful enough to drive a set of 250 Ohm headphones in all everyday scenarios.

Elgato Wave XLR Headphone Test Equipment & Setup

Elgato Wave XLR

We’re testing the Elgato Wave XLR audio interface in three different scenarios; listening to music, editing audio/video, and vocal monitoring.

  • Headphones
    Our Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros are a popular set of hard-to-power 250 Ohm headphones.
  • Microphone
    We’re using the EV RE20 dynamic microphone, with the Wave XLR’s gain set to 60-65% to achieve our standard recording level.

The Wave XLR isn’t the only Elgato product we’ve tested. Click to see if the Elgato Wave 3 can power 250 Ohm headphones.

Listening To Music

Whether you’re listening to music from your collection or an online streaming service, the audio is finished, normalized, compressed, and fully mastered, ready for the end-user.

The Elgato Wave XLR does a great job here; with the crossover and headphone volume set to 50%, the volume was perfect for comfortable, extended listening. At 75%, we enjoyed a full, immersive experience that was so loud you wouldn’t want to listen for longer than 30 minutes.

Editing Video & Unfinished Audio

Editing video and audio, you’ll be working with unfinished audio that hasn’t been normalized or brought up to final production volume. This often means you have to turn your headphones up to hear what you’re doing.

With the crossover set to 50% and the headphone volume set to 100%, we found that we could get where we needed to be for most audio editing work. With really rough audio, we had to cheat the crossover balance to 75% in favor of the computer feed.

Vocal Monitoring & Streaming

If you’re broadcasting a live stream or recording a talking head tutorial video, you may want to monitor how your voice sounds through the microphone.

With the crossover set to 50% and the headphone volume set to 100%, we felt the volume from our DT990s was about 10% too quiet. We were able to work around this by tweaking the crossover towards the live monitoring side of the mix.

Elgato Wave XLR & 250 Ohm Headphones Pricing & Specs

Elgato Wave XLR & 250 Ohm Headphones Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:30 – Equipment Used
  • 0:55 – Pricing & Specs
  • 1:10 – Listening To Music
  • 2:22 – Editing Video & Audio
  • 3:25 – Vocal Monitoring & Streaming
  • 4:19 – Summary
  • 4:38 – Final Thoughts