Is my Schiit Asgard 3 defective? Fellow owners, please share your listening volumes!

I’m a long-time lurker, just made an account today because I need some help to determine if my new Asgard 3 might be defective. For reference throughout this post, I do like to listen to my music relatively loud.

The reason I am doubtful is because I have read reviews which said things like “10 o’clock on high gain gets me to more-than-comfortable volume on my Beyerdynamic T1”. The T1 is a 600-ohm headphone as far as I know. However, my DT880 250 ohm needs to be pushed to 12-1 o’clock (high gain) for comfortable listening volume, and beyond 2 o’clock starts to get uncomfortable. This makes me question if my amp could push something like a DT880 600 ohm (which everyone says it definitely can). On low gain, 4 o’clock gets me to comfortable listening and maximum (about 5+ o’clock) gets me close to the threshold of discomfort. On quieter sources (like certain YouTube videos) I need to push my volume higher than indicated above.

I have also tested my SHP9500 (32 ohm, relatively sensitive) and I need to get to to about 9 o’clock on high gain for comfortable listening. My HD579 (50 ohm, also relatively sensitive) needs to get to about 10-11 o’clock on high gain. I did not test these on low gain. Besides these doubts about the volume, I find the sound quality to be good and perceive no issues with the sound.

Additional information about my signal chain: MacBook Pro (sources include Tidal and YouTube played at 100% volume) at 100% volume to Topping D10, coaxial out to Topping E30 (in DAC mode and therefore max volume), RCA out to Asgard 3. I have also tested the RCA out from the D10 and there is no difference.

So, Asgard 3 owners, how likely is it that my Asgard 3 is defective? Is it just me enjoying music a little too loud? Any input would be appreciated!

I don’t think it is defective. On high gain with my T50RPs I listen from anywhere from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock which is relatively hard to drive. For my HD 600s it’s about the same, but maybe a little bit less on the knob.

You say the DT880 600 ohm on low gain gets to 4 o’clock but like, you should most certainly have the AMP on high gain for a headphone with that high of an impedence. I think you just may listen to music a bit louder than most because it doesn’t seem like you are cranking it to max volume with your current headphone selection anyways.

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It’s very unlikely for an amp to be defective in that specific way. Also what is the point of the D10? Why not connect the Macbook straight to the E30? Try that and see if there’s any volume difference.

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@Blu Thanks for that! Your response leads me to agree that I listen louder than most. Your volume levels also don’t differ drastically from mine (comparing your HD600 with my DT880 250 ohm, for example). Also to clarify, I was talking about DT880 250 ohm in my post. I am using high gain between 12-2 o’clock on music, sometimes louder for softer sources. This made me wonder if I could theoretically power a DT880 600 ohm, as I feel I would be maxing out my volume at high gain if I had one. I merely provided volume levels for low gain in case it was helpful to other readers.

@marcgii Thanks! I was also thinking it would odd if it was defective in that specific way. I did try the E30 via USB directly too, and there was no difference. To answer your question, the D10 sends analogue signal to my speaker amp, and also acts as a USB interface for my E30. I realise could have used an RCA splitter on the output of the E30, but did not want to for various reasons.


Ah okay I gotcha… The Asgard could definitely handle the DT880 600 ohm from what I’ve read around the forum, but you would probably be getting close to maxing it out, as would I. As long as it doesn’t distort at high volumes though, that shouldn’t be a problem – might as well make use of the whole knob if you got it!

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Also I can confirm the Asgard 3 can drive the DT880, 600 ohm. You may have to set at 3 o’clock on high gain though.


Thanks! I don’t think I will end up with the DT880 600 ohm since I got the 250 ohm Black Special Edition recently (good price on ebay), but good to know that I have the option if I choose to get it. 600 ohm is probably better, but money’s tight and I want to save up for Sundara and a few other mid-tier phones.

This has mostly has to do with the sensitivity of the headphone. Despite the impedance difference, the dt880 has a lower sensitivity than the T1 so you’ll need a bit more volume to be just as loud.


I just looked it up - you’re right! I was somehow under the impression that the T1 was about as sensitive as the DT880 600 ohm. Seems there is quite a few dB of difference, which would make the DT880 need to go louder. Thanks for that.

Take a look, plug in your numbers…etc.


From this good review:

Note: Asgard 3 easily had the 600-ohm Beyerdynamic T1 into more-than-comfortable listening levels at 9 o’clock on the volume pot. The 300-ohm Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 required a fraction-less volume, landing at around 8:45.