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$99 for OFC cable, really MD, you gotta be kidding me! Guys, this cable is not better than the one supplied with UE900S or any other pair of IEMs with MMCX connector, for this much money it has to be OCC, make that UPOCC for a Chinese supplier.
You seem to be missing the point. It's balanced and has every connector you could want sans XLR. The cable is thick, not microphonic, and attractive. For $80 you could do a hell of a lot worse.
could you prove it's better than the cable with UE900S ?
Well, it's silver plated 99.99% OFC in a 4-core balanced design with a strong braid that doesn't tangle. It also has 3 balanced options, 2.5mm TRRS, 3.5mm TRRS, and 4.4mm.
What are the specs on the UE900s cable that make it superior? Even checking their site, no specs are listed.
This cable is 99.99% as I stated above so I'm.not sure at the point you're making here. This cable is also balanced unlike the cable you linked to. And as subjective as it is, this cable looks better braided and is quite strong. Throw in the balanced adapters and this is a great deal. I've been using this cable for months with my Shure 535/846 and PX without issue.
For this price I'd expect 6N OFC. Wouldn't call it a real deal because I could build it to that spec or beyond for less than 15 dollars in parts, not to mention custom braid. With rubberized wire it isn't costing them any time/labor to make these cables, so the markup from a deserved 35/40 dollar price is entirely in the fact that it is balanced....
You're essentially shelling 40-45 dollars out just for the fact it is balanced, which (isn't better, imo but thats subjective).
I'd say a handmade one to 6N OFC spec should cost 60-80 dollars depending on level of braid/connector quality use because of labor, but 80 for this? =\
If the cable itself is worth $40 as you state, then the connectors would make up the rest of the cost. Having 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm balanced makes this a very good set. For their normal cables, they charge $20-$30 which I find fair. If you could find another bundle as this one with all the adapters for cheaper I would be all ears. This is the cheapest one I've seen.
They knock off twenty bucks at checkout. Stop complaining about Chinese stuff; resistance is futile.
If all you need is balanced, you can get such from Amazon for $20.
Why would one buy an aftermarket cable? For me, because it is expected to provide higher quality sound, whatever meaning one puts in that. Extra connectors are fine, looks and strength are fine too, I'll put a proposition though that sound is what really counts and all else is superficial.
The only way an aftermarket cable can accomplish this is by incorporating higher quality wire, and there's no indication that this is the case here.
There's more to cables than the supposed "sound" benefits. I posit that is all bupkis. Unless you have poor quality wire that's microphonic or otherwise, there really aren't any audio benefits. Since you claim this, can you objectively prove that since you say it's expected?
Even looking at Amazon, the cheapest balanced MMCX was a Fiio cable at $20. I have one of these and its contruction is quite frankly, shit. The coating is changing colors and the wires internally are oxidizing. But, you get what you pay for.
All the others balanced cables from Chinese makers are in the $30-$60 range. Not a far cry from what's on offer here sans the tensile strength of the braid and adapter set.
Also, the only time I can honestly say I've noticed a difference in cables is via wire material: pure silver vs pure copper. And that was still negligible to not be that big of a difference.
Since you stated the UE900s cable is superior, can you prove as to why? I checked their website and no specs exist for that model. I'm very curious as to why you made that claim.
Many of us don't believe or care in so called perceived "audio" benefits of cables since it's mostly snake oil in a piece of cable that's ~4 feet. We typically buy them for looks, matieral feel, connectors, etc. which is all subjective and just a matter of personal taste.
It's not better or worse, the appeal is the adapters. OFC or whatever is snake oil, copper is copper.
It's objective scientific fact that balanced for headphones is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Unfortunately everyone making audio products these days insists on gimping their SE designs so they can charge more for balanced. So a cable like this with an adapter kit is appealing for those who don't have the knowhow or are too lazy to make a cable like this themselves.
Psst...are those Kool-Aid stains on your t-shirt?
Do you have links for this objective truth? I would love to read them.
At the end of the day, great balanced > great SE but the difference between them is rather small (balanced transmission vs. balanced bridged vs. balanced push-pull vs. SE).
Essentially it boils down to better crosstalk out of balanced and more power on tap (which could attribute to better power/voltage control) and lower noise. How much you care about that is subjective.
It's all about the amp really. Topology should always be one of the last decision factors when choosing gear else you'd miss out on a lot of top-shelf SE gear. Although nowadays, there are a lot of quality balanced amps/DACs these days but they're all pretty pricey for a proper setup.
Yepp, gulped the whole pitcher down in one lifting :)
While not objective, this is an opinion piece. However, even they state balanced topology has benefits: "Please understand that Benchmark strongly encourages the use of balanced line-level interfaces between audio products. All of our products are equipped with fully-balanced XLR analog inputs and outputs. In these box-to-box line-level connections, a balanced interface can provide substantial performance improvements. Balanced line-level interfaces reject hum and noise while providing a higher voltage level. The higher signal levels can improve the SNR (signal to noise ratio) of the audio system."
While they argue the benefit of balanced headphones, it doesn't negate the fact that a balanced system has merit over a SE system. Again, all of which I mentioned above.
So, you're saying YOU can hear the difference?
Between copper and silver? Yes. Between balanced and SE? It varies. Sometimes with the latter they have sounded roughly the same to me sans more power. Really a toss-up as it depended on the headphone. At least, to these old ears. The difference was minuscule between them so it's not as if there was a huge difference. Really a matter of preference IMO.
So, it ain't all snake oil?
I remain dubious--in the extreme ;- )
Opinions vary--depending on how much money a given believer has already spent on Kool-aid.
Or how badly they WANT to believe...
Between various configurations of copper? Yeah, still snake oil. Copper and silver sounded different. Not that one is better than the other, it just sounded different. Enough to make me go, "Hmm." Really not much more to it than that.
Reasonable. I used balanced on an iFi Pro iCAN and the difference was immediately noticeable over their SE output from a detail and soundstage perspective with the HD 800. One of the few times that bright ear-piercer sounded good to my ears. Whereas something like the Schiit Jot, their balanced and SE sounded roughly the same except its balanced got louder. So, like anything in this hobby, implementation is everything. The balanced output on my cheaper iFi of Fiio gear was nothing like the Pro iCAN that is properly balanced and not "psudeo" balanced like most of these budget balanced amps. If the opportunity arises, I definitely think sampling balanced out of something like the Pro iCAN is worth your time. Just my .02 cents.
How is it balanced? I see two connectors per earpiece.
In audio engineering, balanced usually means a hot (+) cold (-) and ground (neutral) connector per each signal. So 3 connectors.
If the idea is that the different earpieces do not share a common ground, that fallacy will be disabused when it reaches the 3 conductor 3.5mm plug which only has the single ground connection for both earpieces.
4 conductor plugs of course do exist, but are commonly used to add microphone functionality.
Will take it under advisement--should the occasion arise!
You can see their diagram here: http://www.meeaudio.com/CMB-BAL-SET. It's a 2.5mm TRRS plug. Or if one is so inclined, the use of a 4-pin XLR or 4.4mm pentaconn adapter can be used depending on amp topology.
The layout is still similar to dual 3-pin XLR but very few amps take that connector layout nowadays.
I noticed you mentioned a 3.5mm plus so I'm assuming you're thinking of this as TRS? In that case, you would be correct since 3.5mm TRS would go to single ended.
I think using a adapter will sacrifice the sound quality.
for extreme example, if you connect 10000 adapter in serial, it do sacrifice the sound quality. so the single one does same but much less.
dismissing something as an opinion piece doesn't make it any less true, this isn't head-fi
When you make the claim like "It's objective scientific fact” and then link to an opinion piece you're being more than misleading. HeadFi has nothing to do with it or anything about this conversation.
You made an outlandish claim that you pulled out of your ass and know good and well there's no basis for it. If it's objective, scientific fact then where's your objective data to back up what you said? Unless, you just made it up on the spot.
So, let me get this straight--you're saying you don't believe in alternative objective scientific facts? My god--you must be a liberal, a progressive, or a Democrat!!!
That's a reasonable thing to be nowadays considering the current state of things...
Ha--exactly as I suspected, brother!
Awesome that you can build a cable for less money and keep the profit to yourself! As you have the skill and time to do this you SHOULD keep the profit / margins, and build the very best, no compromises cable for yourself.
The rest of us, not so much. I will pay someone to build this for me (which means I pay for the materials, their time, and their profit markup), and I will pay a premium for the adapters so I don’t have to buy and carry around multiple cables to suit my two different portable DAC/AMPs that have different balanced jacks (before you ask, I do carry multiple because I do much of my listening on the road and in planes, so just carry around my gear).
Now, if you have a suggestion for a better balanced cable I can buy, and adapters, THAT I would be interested in hearing about.
Agree completely. The set of adapters is why I purchased this on Amazon. So far quite pleased with how this sounds on my SE846 through both my iFi xDSD and Hidizs DH1000. One needs 3.5mm balanced, and the other 2.5mm. And before anyone asks, yes I can tell the difference vs the single ended outputs and balanced outputs :-)
“So a cable like this with an adapter kit is appealing for those who don't have the knowhow or are too lazy to make a cable like this themselves.”
careful, your inner elitist is showing a bit there :-)
When you are using the SE out of a balanced amp, it always has less power, which makes you perceive the SE sounding worse, even at the same volume.
Typical snakey gimmick we see all engineers put into their design. If only one could be honest...
also, picture related...
Power is only one part of it. If it's a low/medium impedance can that doesn't have a wild current or voltage requirement, going balanced still yields better crosstalk, better SNR, and less noise/hum over SE. And to top it all off balanced will yield much higher voltages than SE which is beneficial between amps/preamps/etc. when we're not even factoring in balanced headphones.
Balanced is more than a gimmick depending on how you entire system is setup. Like I said earlier, my psuedo balanced gear from iFi and Fiio fits what you're talking about. But the higher end balanced gear I've listened to is true to being fully balanced in every sense. The setup also cost closer to $4k which is way too rich for my blood so I only get to sample it at my friend's house.
I honestly implore you to have some seat time with a proper balanced setup and listen for yourself. Not out of something like a Fiio Q1 mk2 or some DAP, but a proper desktop system utilizing the proper interconnects and sources.
I'm using 34 year old 600 ohm Sennheisers... they're so black when it comes to background hum, there's absolute zero, and it is bliss. But really even on SE amps, background hum should not be a thing if your amp is half decent, and that's what turning down the gain knob is for. Still can't recommend balanced, because of it's pricing