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Reference Design For A High Fidelity Headphone Amplifier

Reference design for an audiophile quality headphone amplifier providing high-power high-fidelity amplification for current output audio DACs (digital to analog converters)

Audio amplifier reference desgin on PCB (Source: TI)

Are you an audiophile or music lover who notices all the beats, all the instruments, all the little nuances in an artist’s voice? Do you also feel that the quality of the song deteriorates when you plug in your expensive, high-quality headphones, and speakers from your smartphones or laptops? Then this reference design is for you! This reference design from Texas Instruments (TI) is for a high-quality audio amplifier that can improve the quality of sounds and enhance the volume too.

The TIPD177 is a reference design for a high-quality headphone amplifier. It provides a complete solution for driving headphones with high audio quality and low distortion. The IC integrates all necessary functions, including level-shifting, gate drive, and protection, making it a convenient and cost-effective choice for headphone amplifier design.

This reference design provides a cleaner, more accurate and more dynamic sound, with less distortion and noise. It can also enhance the volume and drive headphones to higher volumes, improving the listening experience. The amplifier reference design is compatible with a wide range of headphones, ensuring compatibility with various types of headphones. Moreover, it can be used with different types of audio sources, making them a versatile choice for different listening scenarios.

The circuit is designed to convert the differential output current of an audio digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) into a single-ended voltage capable of driving low-impedance headphones. Two op amps are used as trans-impedance amplifiers which convert the DAC output current to a differential voltage. A difference amplifier then converts the differential voltage to single-ended. A high-power, the high-fidelity two-channel audio op-amp is used in the difference amplifier to directly drive stereo headphone loads at output powers > 100 mW. The block diagram of this circuit is given below:

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Simplified Schematic of DAC Output Circuit (Source: TI)

The reference design is suitable for use in Hi-Fi smartphones, headphone amplifiers, USB DAC, notebooks and gaming motherboards for PC and laptops, tablets, etc.

This reference design has been tested by TI. It comes with BoM, schematics, calculations for components, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design click here.


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