Code 50 headphone output low, is this normal?


Code 50 Amplifier.  Recently purchased.

Using the headphone jack, the volume output to headphones is quite low. I have to increase the Code 50 Main control as well as the guitar volume control when I plug in headphones. Is this normal for the Code 50? I use Audio Technica ATH-M30X (47 ohm) studio monitor headphones, as well as AKG (32 ohm) phones.

I do not have this issue using my other amplifier, which is a Fender amp. With that amp, very little volume adjustment is needed when I plug in my phones.

asked 24 Aug 2017 at 03:08 PM

John Pasnik
Answers: 3




Mine acts the same way. I guess it's normal? It keeps us from blowing our ears out:)

answered 24 Aug 2017 at 03:15 PM

joe Pomponio (1)
I, too, have this issue. Is there a way to "amp" the output up higher? - Jim Floyd 13 Aug 2018 at 07:23 PM


edited 13 Aug 2018 at 08:09 PM

John Pasnik

answered 13 Aug 2018 at 07:54 PM

John Pasnik
Thanks John; I was about to do the same re: headphone amp. Thanks for the recommendation. - Jim Floyd 13 Aug 2018 at 08:02 PM


Unfortunately you find the problems only when you  own a CODE (100 Combo in my case). I would have never expected that the headphone volume is at a level that I can hardly hear it (no, my ears are not damaged) ... my phone can drive the headphone 5 times harder (and that is still safe).

If that is something that can be fixed in firmware, I woudl really appreciate it - even if I have to press the OK button 3 times to confirm that I will not hold Marshall responsible for any damage caused by "high" volume.


answered 16 Jun 2019 at 04:12 PM

Werner Moser
Hi Werner,

Thank you for your message, our amp is designed to follow the health and safety regulations for output on headphone on a guitar amplifier, this is different to audio from a mobile device.

Marshall Support
- Marshall 17 Jun 2019 at 08:34 AM
Dear Marshall support,

There is actually an EU standards for personal music players and mobile phones …

All personal music players and mobile phones sold in the EU from February 2013 are suggested to have a sound limit of 85 decibels (dB). The new standards stipulate that all personal music players sold in the EU after February 2013 should have a default set volume level of 85dB. Mobile phones which can play music through headphones are also affected by these recommended sound limitations.

This makes sense as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends 85 dB for eight hours a day.
Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss

Streaming AC/DC Hells Bells to the built in 2x12 speakers of the CODE 100 Combo, the measured noise level is 100-110 dB (that would be definitely unsafe for longer period)
Switching to the headphone, the volume drops to a max. of 75 dB (tested with two different studio headphones – same “quiet” result)

Even +5 dB would be considered “normal volume”.

- Werner Moser 17 Jun 2019 at 12:54 PM
Hello Werner,
With regards to the headphone volume we follow the consumer standards, to achieve a higher volume you would need to purchase and use a headphone amplifier.

Kind Regards
Marshall Support
- Marshall 19 Jun 2019 at 09:24 AM
Personally, if this is the case, I will certainly not buy Marshall products anymore considering that my home use is mainly with headphones.
On the code 100 H it is practically impossible to use them and think that my Akg are just 16ohm but their low impedance can not bring out anything
Goodbye Marshall this is not an mp3 player or smartphone type product I'm sorry but obviously you have very confused ideas.
- Massimo Mele 18 Dec 2020 at 10:41 PM
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