Oh boy. One of these threads again..
I use a Wireworld Starlight 7 USB cable not because I think / hear a difference but because I can and want to.
I also use other premium "boutique" cables because I want to.
I seem to hear slight differences with some cables but I fully acknowledge that it could all simply be in my bead and even if that was the case, I would buy the cables again, if for nothing, for purely aesthetics.
Based on your comment, you might be misunderstanding the conversation.
The USB cable in your setup is transmitting a digital signal in binary made up of 0s and 1s. Your headphone cable is transmitting an analog signal to your headphone that was converted from digital bu your DAC (digital to Analog converter).
Those two singal types and the way they function are very different.
As long as the USB correctly delivers the 0s and 1s at the require specs, there will be no change. A faulty cable that isn't transmitting within the bandwidth requirements will result in a degraded signal or nothing at all.
When the signal arrives it is the converted. That is why a DAC can play such a large role in SQ. It has an important job to do.
Now, the Analog signal transmitted through your headphone cable is another matter.
The changes you might hear have a basis. It will follow Ohms law. By changing materials like copper, silver and gold, you are simply changing the values of conductance and impedance. So expensive =/= better, just possibly different.
Digital and Analog signals work different. Your $10 properly functioning and shielded USB cable will not changed the SQ anymore than your $1000 one.
Your headphone cables of different materials transmitting an Analog signal will be affected according to Ohms law based on conductance and impedance. So they could sound different but better or worse will depend on other equipment and personal preferences, not on the rarity of the precious metal being used or the the number of 0s in the price tag.
(edited for cellphones shortcomings)
Edited by Kamakahah - 10/18/13 at 11:40pm