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Balanced Amps and Head / Earphones

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

This may be a silly question, but wondering if someone can explain what you specifically need, and the benefits of, a balanced output amplifier and headphones.

I am looking at new IEM's and a portable amplifier but have only ever had or used standard output in the past. However I have noticed some portable amplifiers like the RSA SR-71B and Protector amongst many others, have a balanced headphone out socket.

I understand as a whole, the benefits of balanced outputs but not sure what you need from the headphone / IEM point of view. Can any headphone / IEM be converted to a balanced output or do you also need special drivers?

I hope someone can shed a bit of light on this for me, as this is a new area of exploration for me and has always confused me.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 3

To be able to use a headphone with a balanced amplifier, you need to have a headphone cable which has either 2 3pin-XLRs or 1 4pin-XLR at the end (and of course the amplifier must have that connection). The headphone cable has to have at least 4 strands, as balanced signal to your headphone means a positive and negative signal to the right drivers and a positive and negative signal to the left drivers.

post #3 of 3

The HifiMan RE-262 has a balanced cable and I notice a difference with my iBasso D10 but it not a huge difference.

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