Reply To: Is a Headphone Amp Necessary?

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airickess
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Dr. J, read the manual for the Galaxy Audio AS-900 and see if it has a compressor/limiter built in. I think most IEM units have that built in anyway. That would account for the squashed sound you get as you bring up the volume.
As for the volume problem it sounds to me like the channel levels of your mix to your IEMs are not loud enough and you are pushing the volume to make up for that. Push the channel levels louder in the mix you’ve chosen for your IEM mix and see if that gives you the volume you need.