Burson Audio Cable+

General Information

Your music is suffering!

With today’s multi-core high power CPU in our phones, tablets, and laptops, the devices able to process high-resolution music is already in your hands.

However, when connecting these devices to an audio amplifier, the resulting music quality is guaranteed to disappoint, lacking dynamic and soundstage with a blurry vocal and harsh high notes.

Burson understands the capability of today’s mobile devices, and we know they can become high-end media players once their performance bottlenecks are removed.

The bottlenecks

There are two bottlenecks preventing your phones, tablets, and laptops, from sounding hi-end. They are the low voltage output of these devices and the 1940 era audio cable connecting them to the audio amplifier.

If we undersupply voltage to a light globe. It will light up, but it will be dim, and far from ideal. The same happens when an audio signal from a low power source component is fed to a high power amplifier, there will still be sound but weak, blurry and distorted.

Specifically, 5 Volt USB powers all mobile devices and laptops. On the other hand, audio components such as your headphone or speaker amplifier are powered by 240 Volt or 110 Volt AC. The output from such low power devices is undersupplying to the high power amplifier, significantly degrading audio performance.

The conventional audio cable was designed in the 1940s and has not changed since. They were meant to transfer audio signal between high voltage devices. Using such cables to transfer today’s typical low voltage audio signal from mobile devices and laptops results in signal loss and distortion.

This resulting mismatch is the reason why you have to turn up the volume of your amplifier and yet music playback sounds strained, lacking clarity and impact.

Hear Everything

The Burson Cable +, utilises our V5i audio module, the most popular upgrade for audiophiles around the world, it raises the signal level from 5 Volt mobile devices to the standard RCA line level, ensuring a perfect match with any audio amplifiers and active speakers.

The Burson Cable + instantly turns any portable device into a high-end media player. Its improvement to sound quality is instant, significant and provides improvement across the entire audio spectrum. Soundstage becomes wider and deeper. Bass notes carry weight, texture, and impact while vocal and high notes are crisp and transparent; the way music should be.

With Cable+, your mobile device and laptop become truly hi-end media players.

Latest reviews

Pros: If it fixes a miss-match between components you will get a livelier, more vibrant and more energetic sound with more details and more natural tonality
Cons: Needs another USB cable for power
Needs a linear USB power supply to really shine
If you are into this hobby for a few years now, I am sure that you have heard about equipment matching on lots of occasions. Between dacs and amps, between amps and speakers, etc.

And indeed, I have noticed a lot of situations when for example a pair of speakers sounded great with an amplifier and dull with another amplifier. In this situation it's mostly related to the needs of the speakers. One reason can be that some speakers might have impedance peaks/dips that need more current on some parts of the frequencies. Some people would now say that you need a stronger amplifier or an amplifier that can handler bigger current loads. Indeed, but more powerful doesn't necessarily mean better in all cases. It might solve your immediate problem related to dynamics, energy and even tonality, but maybe it won't be as transparent or clean as your less powerful amplifier that sounded wonderful with your previous speakers.

Besides the situation from above you can also get a mismatch between your DAC and your amplifier/pre. Now let's say that it could also be a miss-match in tonality, both being on the bright side for example, or both being on the warm side. I think this is still possible, but it seems that some of these situations are also generated by the impedance miss-match between your dac and your amplifier. Looking at the specs in general, you will see that there is no standard in dac impedance output or amp impedance input. Most companies have different philosophies / approaches to this matter.

This is where Burson comes in with the Cable Plus Pro which is actually an audio buffer that eliminates the impedance miss-match between your components. This is not a normal cable as it becomes an active component in your system.



Presentation and Specs
There are a few version of these cables that can be used in your system depending on your input/output needs.



This is what Burson claims the cable with do in your system if you have a missmatch:

Once the Cable+ is in place, sonic details once lost, will be fully reproduced to create a complete experience. Play familiar – very familiar – material, and you will hear the finest details fully resolved, while the fundamentals take on a new level of life and solidity. That “harsh digital sound” replaced by a wider and more three-dimensional soundstage.

Specs

Measurement Package Content
Input impedance: 250 KOhms 1 x Cable+ / PRO AUX to RCA / AUX to AUX /RCA to RCA
Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 55Khz 1 x USB Power Cable
THD: <0.005% 1 x USB Power Supply
Output impedance 3 Ohm General
Signal to Noise Ratio >118dB at 6dB gain Weight: app. 200 (net)
Power Dissipation 5W (1VA USB Power) Cable Length: Appx 120cm / 47.2in

Tests & Listening Impressions

I have tested this cable in two sound systems:

  • MSB Analog Dac9 (53 Ohms on RCA Output, 106 on XLR) , Audio GD Master 10 (47K @RCA, 94K @ XLR) , Martin Logan Impressions ESL-11A Speakers
  • Chord Mojo(75 Ohms Output) , Indiana Line Puro 800 Amplifier (47 K ohms input), Piega Coax 30.2 Speakers
This cable is active and needs an usb connection for power. What I observed here is that the sound improved if I used a linear usb power supply, in this case Ifi Audio Micro USB 3.0.

In the first system I have noticed differences, but in it's case, all components are quite strong and even the interconnects I have are not bad at all. I am talking about a pair of Audioquest Sky which I manage to get at 25% of the original asking price. While overall, the Cable Pro infused a little more energy into the system, the clarity, extension & details were better on the sky. However, considering the price difference, I can tell you for sure that the differences were not that big and it didn't justify the price of the Sky compared to Cable Plus.

Now, in the second system, where the amplifier is not the best option for Piega Coax 30.2 and it shows it it's struggling, putting the cable plus between Chord Mojo and Indiana Line Puro 800 was more obvious, improving the dynamics & energy in the sound.

One thing to note in both cases is that with cable plus, the sound was louder at the same volume, so I had to lower the volume to match the db for tests. In the first seconds you might have the feeling that the energy & dynamics are much much better, however this might be because you didn't match the db in your tests.

Now, even after I matched the volumes, I still felt improvement in dynamics, energy & details. The description from below is for the second system.

Bass

The punch became stronger and and more engaging. Didn't notice any big changes in the depth department.

Midrange

The midrange seem to have more vibrant & detailed textures, being a little more forward and lively.

Treble

I have noticed a little more air in the scenes and this is also because of a more focused and detailed treble.

Soundstage

The soundstage expanded, showing more air and bigger width.

Details

With Cable Plus, the details were more apparent & vibrant. The guitar plucks and strings in general are more lively and seem to displace more air around them.

Energy, Dynamics & Prat

This is maybe the area that is the most obvious in terms of improvement. The sound overall had better prat, energy and macro dynamics.

Transients

What I noticed here is that the attack was stronger, but I haven't noticed big differences in the decay section.



Conclusion
While it didn't solve the problem of the amplifier in my second system, it sure improved the sound to a degree where I am not so anxious to change it. Is this cable worth it? Personally I was impressed by it.

If you test a lot of equipment, if you think that there is something wrong in your sound after a current amp/dac upgrade, or if you just think your sound might need some improvement in terms of tonality/energy, I definitely think the Cable Plus Pro deserves a chance and comes in handy to have in your house. It might not fix your problem if there is a mismatch between your amp and your speakers/headphones, but it definitely has a chance to fix the problem between your dac and your amp/pre-amp.

Pros

  • Punchier and more energetic bass
  • More vibrant and livelier midrange
  • Better focused treble with more air
  • Expanded and more airy soundstage
  • More apparent details
  • Better energy and macro dynamics
  • More powerful transients
Cons

  • It needs another usb cable for power
  • You will get better sound with a linear usb power supply to power up the cable plus (fortunately I already had one with one free output)
Pros: Better sound
Cons: Requires to be plugged into USB outlet.
*Disclaimer: I received this as a free review sample and did not pay for it

I have been testing the Burson Cable+ PRO A2R 3.5mm to RCA cable.

I used it between my iphone and my imac (both standard 3.5mm outputs on these devices) and my schiit magni 2 amp. First I listened using a standard 3.5mm to RCA cable, then I listened using the Burson Cable+ PRO A2R. I used Oppo PM3 headphones.

These are my thoughts.

I listened to a variety of different types of music, streaming lossless files from TIDAL. I tried to listen to as many genres of music as possible to get a feel for the improvement that the cable delivered, if any.

I listened to the following:

Eagles-Hotel California (rock)
ZZ-Top-Legs (rock/pop)
Paul Simon-Baby in the bubble (80s folk pop)
Motley Crue- Girls, girls, girls (80s hair rock)
The Weeknd- Can't feel my face (hip hop)
All that she wants- Ace of Base (90's pop/dance)
Ice Ice Baby (re-recorded)-Vanilla Ice (90's dance/hip hop)
Vivaldi-Four Seasons (entire album) (classical)
Jogging- YELLE (francophone pop)

These are my thoughts. Overall, the Burson cable seemed to somehow deliver what I perceived as a more punchy and powerful sound. I was actually surprised that this sound was coming from my iPhone 6, and my mac. The sound quality from which I have never been impressed by in the past. There seemed to be more clarity and detail, and overall the sound was more precise and warm. It almost sounded like I was using a decent DAC, rather than an iPhone.

The following are my thoughts on the individual songs I listened to, and my feelings about the burson cable+ versus a standard cable for each:

Eagles-Hotel California (rock)
Immediately when the drums kick in at the beginning of the song I noticed a greater sense of power and presence. The entire song was clearer sounding, and it sounded like I was using a higher quality source than I was. Vocals were more rounded, and the overall sound was more analog than with the standard cable, by which I mean that it didn't sound paper thin the way most digital files normally do.

ZZ-Top-Legs (rock/pop)
The looping guitar riff in this song sounded so much more detailed with the burson cable than it did with the standard cable. I have normally found the vocals in this song to sound rather muddy if not using a high quality source, but in this case they seemed more defined. So far, I was impressed with the Cable+.

Paul Simon-Baby in the bubble (80s folk pop)
I was impressed by the increased punch of the organ and powerful drums at the beginning of this song. The rest of the song for some reason I was not able to discern a major difference between the cables I tested. The Burson cable did sound a bit better but the difference was minor and I'm unable to quantify it in words. The intro section definitely sounded better on the cable+ though.

Motley Crue- Girls, girls, girls (80s hair rock)
This is one of my favorite songs. It sounded "louder" to me with the cable+ which is not a good description, I know, but it definitely sounded punchier and "bigger" somehow with the burson. Sort of like listening on an 80s over the shoulder boom box versus listening on a decent entry level HIFI system. The overall sound with the burson cable was larger and more impressive.

The Weeknd- Can't feel my face (hip hop)
Unfortunately I could not discern any sort of difference with this particular track. Perhaps that is due to the fact that it is "loud" as heck to begin with in the way it is recorded. Certainly, the burson didn't sound any worse, but overall I found both cables too similar sounding to tell a difference. Not to my ears, anyways.

All that she wants- Ace of Base (90's pop/dance)
The vocals in this track, which usually sound flaky and recessed with a cheaper source, actually sounded very good. More "forward" than usual. This is an effect I have found with this song when using a good DAC but I was able to accomplish the same difference using the burson cable+ which certainly impressed me. The rest of the track sounded very similar. There was slightly more depth and a bit more of an analog (not too thin sounding) sound with the cable+.

Ice Ice Baby (re-recorded)-Vanilla Ice (90's dance/hip hop)
The re-recorded version of this song has a digital "hi hat" that hits extremely hard. Almost ear-splitting hard, actually. There was definitely a difference with the burson cable in that it sounded less ear splitting. It was certainly still there and certainly just as loud, but it was somehow less harsh, wider, and better rounded sounding than with the cheap cable. A definite improvement and another point for the cable+

Vivaldi-Four Seasons (entire album) (classical)
Being a classical piece, and an analog (old) recording transferred to digital, there really isn't a lot of dynamics or loudness to this album in the way that there is with a lot of modern music, and certainly there was no difference in this department. I did however notice an improved level of detail and I was perceiving sounds in the background with the cable+ that I did not detect with the normal cable.

Jogging- YELLE (francophone pop)
This is an extremely loud song. The recording engineer had everything at 11, for sure. I did not notice a difference with this song, perhaps because it is so loud to begin with and it's just attacking the ears all the way through.

Conclusions:

Overall I feel that, with the sources I used (iphone 6, imac 2017) and the amp I used (Schiit Magni 2) and the headphones (Oppo PM3) there is definite improvement to be had using the cable+ from Burson. I did not pay out of pocket to test this cable so I can't express whether I would have any sort of buyers remorse or not given the relatively high cost of this cable (at least to a broke audiophile like myself) but it definitely improves the sound quality when using mis-matched devices. I kind of wish I had asked for the RCA>RCA version so I could test it with the schiit Magni and modi stack. However as I understand it, this product (cable+) is intended to be used with mis-matched HIFI devices that are from different mfgs and from different product ranges, and it somehow normalizes the signal between the two devices that are interconnected with it.

Did it make a difference? Yes. Was the difference desirable and positive? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. The only knock I have for this product is that the "business" section (a bulge in the middle with the electronics inside) requires power via USB (Usb cable and wall wart come in the box) and I feel like, maybe that's one cable too many? But I'm not complaining.

10/10.
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Pros: Increase volume
Improved bass
slight improvement of sound-stage
improves certain amp/volume pot's channel imbalance or hiss at certain volume.
Cons: Requires power
Fixed Length
lacking mobility.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Bhav from Burson Audio. I'm not affiliated to Burson Audio in anyway. Burson shipped me the RCA to RCA configuration. However I do not have any source with RCA output on hand so I had to purchase RCA to aux adapters in order to use this cable. This review is done by using these rca to aux adapters. It may or may not reflect the true performance of the cable.



I'm not a technical person, so please refer to the official link for all the technical details and pricing. https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/cable-plus-a2r/



I was skeptical at the beginning as I always try to keep the audio gears chain minimum, fearing the added components will increase interference but I have not detect any noise switching from a regular mini to mini to the Cable+.



On the cable itself...



The cable is very well built over all. It has a fix length with the module part being closer to the output end of the cable. The cable+ is directional. It cannot be reversed. This is printed on the back of the audio module. I'm little bit too paranoid to leave the power connect to the cable when im not listening. This has yet to cause me problems because I'm mainly using this cable with a pseudo portable setup right now but I'm sure it would be pretty troublesome to reach to the back of a desktop/fullsize amp(because the power is located closer to the output side of the cable) and disconnect the power from the cable.





Set up:



Onkyo Dp-X1 → Cable+ → RSA SR71B → Final Audio Piano Forte IX



When I was invited to review the cable+, this set up is the first thing that comes into my mind. The RSA SR71B was a 7~8 years old amp with older volume pots. Although those volume pots had great quality, however, it still causes hiss when the pot is past 1 o'clock and that is the volume I listen to.

Hiss doesn't sit well with me, there were many occasions I returned or stopped using certain amps/daps because of the hiss. I really dig the sr71b → piano forte IX combo for that it pushes the vocal even more forward while making the piano forte's flat but wide soundstage more 3D'ish. but the hiss was getting unbearable.

With cable+ acting as a pre-amp, I was able to listen at the same volume with the pot sitting at 12 o'clock. This time, without the hiss! The slow jazz that were ruined by the hiss are getting more playtime these days.

Although the cable+ solved the hiss problem of this combo, but due to the lack of mobility this set up has been relegated to a bedroom setup. Even though I can no longer carry this setup around my house(not that the piano forte sits tight in my ears while on the move). It is still my current favorite setup.

Thanks the the extreme colored piano forte, the change of performance by the Cable+ is not that apparent. There is a slight position shift of instruments around the lows in the overall sound-stage. The drums has little more impact although it is much harder to tell with the piano forte.


Conclusion:

This is by no mean the end of my review. I will be updating this with my full size set up very soon. I feel like the sound improvement will be much more apparently with my full size headphones (Fostex TH-X00 PH, Beyerdynamic T1) and the WA7 firefly amp.

here the sneak peek:


if you have amps with channel balancing issue or hissing at higher volume. This cable+/pro would be one of the easiest solution out there that doesn't break your bank.



P.S

I had to go on a business trip for a month and did not bring the cable+ with me because it is pretty clumsy. Thanks to that i didn't spend much time on the cable after burning it for 60 hours. In hindsight, the packing box it came with could've made carrying the cable much easier.

Comments

Hello All, This is my short review on the Burson Audio Cable +.

Pros: A cable that actually improves the sound quality
Cons: External power supply adds some distortion, Price.

This cable was provided by Bhavneet from Burson Audio to give my honest opinion. I’m in no way affliated to Burson audio.

Packaging: The cable comes with a well boxed packaging. The cable comes with a charging adapter and the usb cable which are neatly packed inside a box. The cable material used is very supple and nice to hold. They do not tangle. The connectors are good and the box is made of aluminium.


Function: The cable should be connected to the provided wall wart, it just turns on when you plug it in. There is a nice blue led display indicating the same.

Setup:
Amp
: Schiit Ragnarok
DAC: Schiit Yggdrasil
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 800/Audeze LCD 3/Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen
Source: PC with Tidal Hifi and Apple music through a Schiit PYST usb cable
Interconnects: XLR – Schiit PYST XLR




Sound impressions: I’m not a believer of cables as I have tried many high end cables (hybrid, silver and pure copper). They all “change” the sound but do not “improve” the sound quality, until I heard this cable.

Bass: This is the first thing you will notice. More quantity and quality.
Mids: Are forward and sounds very beautiful. A very good companion to the LCD 3.
Treble: Neutral cable. I found the sound stage to be a bit more extended.

Conclusion: Overall, I think this cable simply improves your already good sounding setup by a noticeable measure. Some people might find the wall wart and the price to be a let down. But if you only look for improvements in your music then this is a no-brainer improvement in your sound.
 
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