- Jun 4, 2014
I've had the exact same experience with balanced connections. In theory, you might gain some additional channel separation too, but what I've found is my Hugo 2's single-ended output sounds (and measures) better in every regard (levels of THD+N, channel separation, noise floor, noise-floor modulation, etc.) than any balanced output device I own. Although I was a bit skeptical initially, I now believe Chord is 100% correct in this regard. If you can do it right with a single-ended connection, you don't need to go balanced.From my experience, balanced does absolutely nothing audibily. The changes are mostly because of the extra power the unit provides. Headroom is nice and all, but with the super-low impedance of the FLC8s, this is something which barely matters. However, the one thing I'd keep an eye on is output impedance. Both ports can have differences in OI, which in the case of the FLC8s can matter greatly. There is no real answer to what you should consider purchasing, electrical implementation is key. I had cases where the Balanced Output caused some wierd jitter and distortion. (mostly because QC was bad or using some unwise resistor/cap values to safe a couple of bucks). I use the Aune M1S, which has been my go-to player. Simple U.I., decent power for most headphones and no issues in terms of reliablity.
@Flcforrestwei what are the specs for new FLC8n, FLC9 and Celeste?
I'm seriously second-guessing the amount of time I spent re-terminating most of my headphone cables with balanced connectors