Help me understand balanced cables

  1. Mhog55
    I am still very new to most of this audio stuff. Thus far, I've been under the impression that a balanced cable needs to be a dual entry cable, ie Meze 99, Hifiman, etc.
    This morning I came across a single ended cable on ebay. It's 2.5mm to 3.5mm trrs balanced. I have an Opus #1s that I'd like to take advantage of the balanced circuit, but always thought it would only work with my 58X and 99 Classics.
    After some research, I did find some information regarding single channel balanced cables. The cable is inexpensive, so that's good, but I just want to make sure this is an actual, accurate thing before I buy and try. The last thing I want is to mess up any of my equipment. 2core-sh.jpg
     
  2. JohnSD
    The Opus #1 has a 2.5mm balanced TRRS output right? So you should be able to get a cable that goes 2.5mm balanced to your HD58x and another type of cable for the Meze 99 classic's. The cable needs 4 conductors, (L in phase, L out of phase, R in phase R out of phase, sometimes called L+ L- R+ R-). Anway that cable you have pictured has 3 conductors so is not balanced. It is shielded however. (edit- it would be balanced for a single channel, but not two channels L and R)
    A single cable balanced system is like the Oppo PM-3 or Sennheiser HD598, which have TRRS connectors in the earpiece that accept 4 conductor cables.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. Mhog55
    Yes, I already have balanced cables for those cans. The picture I provided isn't the cable I'm looking at. The cable I'm looking at states it has 4 conductors, L L- R R. I just didn't think it was possible with a single ended cable
     
  4. JohnSD
    Lots of single ended cables have 4 or more conductors, they sometimes double them up for example. Like Kimber or cut open a Grado single ended cable and you will find 8 wires.
     
  5. Mhog55
    Alright, it seems legit, so I'm going to grab one. It will be nice having the option to go balanced with all my other cans
     
  6. JohnSD
    Even though the cable is balanced, has 4 conductors, when you put the tips on the end you will most likely be destroying the balanced connection, undoing the balanced nature of it if you will. Like if you hook up a 3.5mm TRS you will double up a set of conductors for ground and no longer have a balanced connection. There are only a couple of headphones that can be driven balanced by 1 non-split cable like Oppo and Sennheiser listed above.
     
  7. Mhog55
    Do you know off hand which headphones those are? I'll post a link to the cable in a bit. Maybe you can tell me your thoughts
     
  8. Mhog55
  9. JohnSD
    That cable pinout seems completely wrong. Might be ok for a newer 4.4mm Sony penta type. Hard to tell, it must be made to be useful but I don't see it.
     

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