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Assuming the sound is unchanged, the differences seem to just be the black paint job and the new cable.
The new cable being not only black but also braided which does bring some concerns to my mind about microphonics. I think this new cable is what will make or break this version of the KXXS. The braiding will make it more interesting to your general consumers, but if its to stiff and transfers too much noise up the cable it will be an issue for most people who are going to consider this IEM.
Overall it looks good, id love to get one in and check if it does sound the same as the KXXS.
Starfield still looks like the value king, but the looks and the cable (if it is very good) could sway many to spend the extra $70 for this.
fun fact, the reason why we braid cables is to stabilize the magnetic fields that form around the cable when electricity travels through them. In theory, it should change the sound for the better, but practically, i think it might be extremely minimal. You might have not known this before, but now you know.
Considering the power going to IEMs...extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeemly minimal!
Well, a balanced armature driver is so small that i would not believe it's power rating being higher than 15 milliwats anyway, a planar driver technically should have a power rating over 50 times what a BA does. and manifacturers don't twist cables, they might shield them, but manifacturers know that no one is going to use cables longer than 2-3 meters so it has almost no impact on sound. At best they'll wrap them coaxially but that s if you ve got good cable, and even then, it does very little difference even if you re running your headphones at power outputs of over 3 watts.
In this case its a dynamic driver which would be different again, and honestly who cares about the magnetic fields that the cables throw off in comparison to the magnetic field that the voice coil and magnet of the actual drivers will create.
Either way if you are worried about inductance, the main source of that is going to be the voice coil, especially on balanced armature drivers.
Normally you twist cables if you don't have shielded cable if the cables are doing signal runs upstream of an amp. This helps with noise rejection. However, I've never really seen any reasons for why people braid IEM cables apart from keeping the strands together, looking pretty and being more durable than just having single strands. The magnetism thing may hold the tiniest amount of weight though, it does make sense.
Can you link an article to where you found the information about cables being braided for the reasons you stated if you have the time? I'm looking at making my own custom IEM cables for myself so it would be great to have more resources. Thanks :)
I own the Shozy 1.1 with the same cable braid (which is quite stiff as well), and trust me, you won't be hearing anything else whenever the cable does as much as slightly rub against the collar of your shirt.
Sure thing, exact documentation on the subject can be hard to find on google but i really liked this convo on head-fi on the subject.
Of course it is only theorical and as you know, audiophiles are crazy people and will nitpick on anything that might improve sound quality. Braiding cable only reduces noise theoretically, and I believe that manufacturers must have started doing this for this reason, just like when they started using LITZ cables despite the fact that no headphone out there uses AC, or even when they started putting power switches to the back of the amplifier both to reduce electrical noise by not having power cables run through the entire length of the case (I think it might have a slight impact on hum at best) or as a way to discourage people from turning an amp on and off all the time as to reduce thermal stress on components (they expand when they get hot, and shrink when they get cold, and doing this all day is why some resistors change ohm value through time). But nowadays, all manifacturers seem to do these things, despite not understanding why they do them. More as a trend than anything, like the stupid bezel less phone screen thing.
Great, thanks you :) for the link.
But braiding cables only reduces noise if its before an amplification stage which means no noise difference on headphones/IEM's. All headphones and earphones use AC. I'm not sure if you had a typo there or not.
You can buy a replacement cable for $15 that would better than anything packaged with most sets. A Yinyoo 16 Core cable for $15 is a great match.