Can the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 power a set of 250 Ohm headphones? We’ll connect a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm headphones to the AudioBox to find out.

Quick Answer: We find that the AudioBox provides just enough power to 250 Ohm headphones for casual music listening. However, it’s 20-40% underpowered for mixing, mastering, and vocal monitoring.

Initial Thoughts

In our opinion, all bus-powered USB audio interfaces struggle to power 250 Ohm headphones, so we would expect the AudioBox to offer the same lackluster performance.

Listening To Music

Playing music is one of the main tasks you’re likely to ask your AudioBox to perform. When we say music, we mean listening to music from a source like iTunes, YouTube, or Spotify. We’re talking finished mastered music where the loudness has been brought up.

We find that even with the headphone volume turned all the way up on the AudioBox, the volume in our DT 990 headphones is 5-10% short of giving us the immersive music experience we crave. The level is, however, acceptable for more casual listening.

Mixing & Mastering

250 Ohm headphones are often used for mixing and mastering unfinished audio. The loudness hasn’t been brought up, so having headphone volume headroom is essential.

Sadly, powered by the AudioBox, the volume from our DT 990s is 20-30% short of where we want it to be to hear what we are doing accurately.

Vocal Monitoring

Another everyday use for 250 Ohm headphones is vocal monitoring. This could be any kind of live vocal audio, think YouTube videos, voiceovers, podcasts, live streaming, etc.

We find the AudioBox comes up really short for this type of work. With the volume knob maxed out, the volume is still 30-40% shy of where we want it to be.

PreSonus AudioBox & 250 Ohm Headphones Options

If you want to use 250 Ohm headphones, like our Beyerdynamic DT 990s, for mixing, mastering, or vocal monitoring, the AudioBox will leave you wanting more volume. What can you do about it?

  • Buy an audio interface with a stronger headphone output
    Self-powered (i.e., non USB powered) interfaces are generally better.
  • Buy an 80 Ohm version of your headphones
  • Buy an external headphone amp 

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 & 250 Ohm Headphones Pricing

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 & 250 Ohm Headphones Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:40 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:52 – Initial Thoughts
  • 1:10 – Music Listening
  • 1:52 – Mixing & Mastering
  • 2:42 – Vocal Monitoring
  • 4:05 – Final Thoughts