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Question Is Mackie HM-4 an improvement over Behringer UMC-204HD?

majkinson

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Dec 8, 2017
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Hi,

I recently bought Behringer UMC204HD to use with my guitar and some other stuff. I saw people praising its high sound quality (for the price). But now I've read something about the headphone amplifier being low quality and some recommendations to get a headphone amp if using headphones often. And I use headphones all the time. I am still using my MH752 headphones, so comfortable... Would there be some noticeable improvement in sound quality if I used Mackie HM-4 instead of the headphone amp in the UMC-204HD interface? Or is the Mackie amp too cheap to make a difference? Or maybe the headphones are? I'd love to try it out, hear it for myself, but that's just not possible right now... I am a newbie to all this audio stuff so I am completely clueless if this could work and improve sound quality. I could order it and return it if it doesn't work for me, but I like to avoid returning stuff.

So do you think this should be a noticeable improvement? Or should I just stick to the UMC-204HD until I buy better headphones? Or is Mackie HM-4 even an upgrade over the UMC-204HD?

Thank you for your time.

(This is the thread I read, it claims that: "Despite its excellent line output performance, the Behringer has a very mediocre headphone output. It gets distorted quick, does not have lots of power, ...")
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
I'd say that audio is subjective, much like design/art/aesthetics. Some people will like them while other will say the opposite. If returning products purchased isn't a hassle, then Id suggest trying them out and seeing if there is a difference(blind test). Outside of that, the Behringer's are up there with the Focusrite gear, meaning they're good in quality and I've used them as well. Speaking of audio gear, what headphones are you working with? If financing is a pinch for you, as is the case with other people around the world during this pandemic, you should stick to what you have.

Edit;
just noticed you have CoolerMaster's MH752 headphones. yeah you will need a new pair of headphones, IMHO.
 

majkinson

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Dec 8, 2017
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I know these are "gaming headphones", but they are based on Takstar Pro 82 - a studio monitoring headphones. I bought them based on review by an audiophile "Z Reviews" on youtube. He was recommending them for their amazing sound (and comfort). I can't compare them to any high end headphones myself, but he said they are excellent so I got them. But he was testing them with an expensive dedicated headphone amp. I am using them with an interface where the headphone amp is supposedly crap. That's why I am thinking about buying a "real" headphone amp. I really do like how they sound, I have them for two years or so. And I LOVE how comfortable they are, I wear them all the time. But maybe they could sound better? And I don't like buying stuff just to test it when there is high probability of returning it. But I guess this time I'll have to do that to test if it's worth it.

I'm just not sure if this (Mackie HM-4) even could be an improvement... Is it really a headphone amp, or is it just to split one signal to four and the "amplifier" is there just to keep the volumes the same? So... COULD this, in theory, be an improvement for me? Or is that a nonsense and I should buy some "real" headphone amplifier instead?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I doubt you will be able to hear much difference between the two of those. Aside from reading about the amp, are you actually not happy with how it sounds? If you don't have any issues with it, leave it as it is. It's like going to McDonalds, liking the food but reading how the food is not good and doubting yourself for liking it because of something someone else said. Yes there may be a better sound with another DAC or amp, but if you have no issues with the sound you have now, there is no need to chase after something different.
 

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