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One headphone cord vs two?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Not sure what the proper name is, but why do some headphones (like the HD 650) have one wire going into each speaker, while others (HD 595) only have a single cable going into one of the ear cups?

 

What are the pros and cons, if any, of each style? 

post #2 of 2

The main difference: A single cable contains only three wires: left, right and the ground which is shared by both channels.  In a double cable, each channel has two wires.

 

This won't make a difference if the cable terminates in a single ¼" or 1/8" plug because the two grounds of the double cable are joined together at that point, resulting in the same wiring scheme.

 

For balanced output, however, only the double cable will work.  Each channel must have its own ground.  This is why you aren't likely to see a single cable on high-end, home listening cans.

 

The rest is all about looks, convenience, portability, etc.

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