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Dragon2020
43
Mar 18, 2018
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So, my Sony DAC/amp has both types of balanced outputs 4mm TRRS and XLR. Which one is better? Thanks.
Mar 18, 2018
SherbetRuler
0
Mar 18, 2018
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It’s largely user preference, although most typically use XLR due to it being more common. There’s also the added benefit of having a much thicker connector than 4mm, so you don’t have to worry about damaging anything nearly as much.
Mar 18, 2018
Heefty
1384
Mar 18, 2018
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Generally, the XLR is more safe on your gear because you can short contacts on a TRRS connector while plugging or unplugging it. I doubt there's many amps that you could actually damage by doing so though.
Mar 18, 2018
Metro
21
Mar 18, 2018
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The XLR connector has been used for many decades in professional audio, but it has a huge plug that is unsuitable for portable use. Sony created the 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced connector as a more compact alternative. The Pentaconn connector is new and hasn't been widely adopted in the industry (and it might not catch on). Cables, headphones, and devices with XLR connectors are common because it is an established standard. If you buy a Pentaconn cable, there's a good chance your future amp might not have a 4.4mm output and you'd need an adapter to use the cable.
The 4.4mm Sony Pentaconn is actually TRRRS with 5 wires (TRRS has 4 wires). The idea is that you can use the 5th wire for a microphone, and have a headphone for portable use that is balanced with a microphone. However, nobody is going to make a cellphone with TRRRS connector because the trend is towards wireless and eliminating headphone jacks altogether on cellphones.
Mar 18, 2018
Dragon2020
43
Mar 18, 2018
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Thank you all. My setup is on my nightstand so I am going to get an XLR cable.
Mar 18, 2018
Napostrophe
55
Mar 19, 2018
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If they are both balanced it shouldn't matter, just use whatever your headphones use
Mar 19, 2018
TjPhysicist
29
Jul 8, 2019
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"The XLR connector has been used for many decades in professional audio, but it has a huge plug that is unsuitable for portable use." IS IT THOUGH? I mean sure for compact devices where you're trying to get as small as possible, but generally a lot of balanced outputting stuff is big to begin with (owing to the need for more power, thus more battery and circuitry). I mean really, look at something like A&K DAPs, you could def. add a full XLR in there and it wouldn't make it TOO much more bulky, it's really fat as it is. Maybe i'm alone in my perennial hatred "straight and long" type of connectors, because, at SOME POINT a small object *WILL* get stuck inside the port - something the actual connecter will break off in there. This is esp. a danger with things like 2.5mm which is really tiny, so tiny in fact that you'd be hard pressed to find tweezers small enough to get in there. Or what about Mini XLR? I remember seeing a DAP or Amp somewhere that had a square XLR that was really small - smaller than a USB-C, but square. Why hasn't that caught on? Really, really wish the audiophile industry would stop using "long and straight" connecters..they're all around awful.
(Edited)
Jul 8, 2019
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