I'm thinking of getting an Axe-FX within the next month, but there are two things I've been wondering about. The first is: how does the Axe-FX sound through headphones? I read that you would need powered headphones, since the Axe-FX alone doesn't have the power for the volume in the headphones. The reason I ask is: I don't own an amp and I have no intention of ever buying an amp (as long as I live in an apartment -- I actually used to own an amp in Japan, but even at 1, it was way too loud). The apartment I live in right now is 4 floors with a lot of families with children, so loud amps are completely out of the question. I was hoping to get something like the Atomic amps, but maybe 1/5th to 1/10th the volume. But I'm guessing headphones would just be the most logical choice.
Which connects to the second question. When you record direct (which I've heard is the number one way people record with the Axe-FX), do the monitor headphones go into the Axe-FX or into the computer? How does that all work?
Sorry for all the questions, but the headphone thing is the main thing I've been wondering about.
Although the Axe-Fx doesn't have a headphone out, the line outs are plenty strong to drive pretty much any headphones (I believe Cliff Chase, the creator of the Axe-Fx, said so on the official forum). You will need an adapter with two mono plugs on one end and whatever is appropriate for your headphones on the other. As for the sound through headphones, for my taste headphones always sound too direct and in your face compared to speakers. Of course you can use the fantastic reverb in the Axe to rectify this. I assume you have a set of speakers at your apartment? You could try it through those as well. The Axe sounds great through good speakers, even at low volumes.
When recording direct you should monitor through your sound card, since you'll only hear the Axe if you plug your headphones into it.