Hiby R3 Pro Portable Bluetooth DAP
Jun 23, 2020 at 8:40 PM Post #842 of 1,375

danz83

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- Is it appropriate to connect HiBy R3 Pro 2.5mm balanced in “line out” mode through unbalanced RCA to Schiit Magni Heresy amplifier?
- Is it going to show the benefits of the balanced output of R3 Pro?
- Will R3 Pro work fine?

Accordingly to HiBy R3 Pro specs, 2.5mm balanced output can work as a lineout with 4Vrms and resistance <1Ohm. Schiit Heresy amp has RCA input only, which stacks ideally with Schiit Modi (modi outputs 2Vrms and has 77Ohms).

I’ve read somewhere that balanced to unbalanced transition is made by shortening “-“ terminal. It, potentially, could be dangerous to the source. Therefore asking this question.
Using, for example, this cable https://www.amazon.com/NewFantasia-Balanced-Compatible-AK100II-XDP-300R/dp/B07K1CY2VT

(Just joined community and this is my first question, apologies if Smith is wrong )

Schiit-support responded:
“I would use the regular line out, it might be a bit dangerous to use the balanced outputs into a single ended source. “
Waiting for an answer from the HiBy-support.
Looks like the Conclusion is:
do not plug HiBy’s balanced line output into single-ended RCA amp, rather get dedicated balanced amp.
 
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Jun 23, 2020 at 10:55 PM Post #843 of 1,375

Sonic-Debris

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When I sold home audio gear I owned a few pairs of balanced headphones and they made sense with home audio gear. But I simply don't understand the appeal on a portable audio device. Balanced makes sense if you have hard to drive high impedance headphones but I would never use high impedance headphones with a DAP. Kind of an oxymoron for me but I certainly understand the appeal for some people. If I didn't have a home system then maybe I would invest in balanced cables when using my DAP at home. The biggest downside to using the balanced output for me is a drop in battery life. When I am traveling with my DAP battery life is at a premium so why would I want to go balanced and sacrifice battery life? Especially in less then Ideal listening environments.

Most DAP's just have a much higher power output via the balanced port, which is always a plus, and often also use both DAC chips from balanced ports, not to mention they generally just sound better
 
Jun 25, 2020 at 4:58 AM Post #847 of 1,375

fish1050

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Most DAP's just have a much higher power output via the balanced port, which is always a plus, and often also use both DAC chips from balanced ports, not to mention they generally just sound better

I am aware that balanced offers more power output but I am barely taxing my M9 (60/120) so I don't really need more power. For me battery life is the priority over maximum power for a portable device. If I want to listen to pristine audio I listen on my home system in an optimal environment. On the go I am not in a position to listen to audio in an ideal environment so going balanced for that little bit extra from a portable device not so much a priority. When I retire in a couple of years Covid-19 permitting and I am not traveling everyday then I will look into getting some balanced cables for my NAD's. Especially if I downsize and need to sell my home system.

My buddy ordered a Kabeldirekt Pro series 3.5mm cable for his headphones, he thought he ordered 10 foot but they are shipping him a 4 foot. He has offered the 4 foot to me since it is to short for him when it arrives from the US sometime after July 6th. Apparently it is compatible with my Viso HP50's and looks to be much better quality than the flat NAD cable that came with my headphones. Reviews indicate it makes an audible difference but I have always been skeptical of higher price cables but its only $9.00 so not a big risk. I sold bi-wire and tri-wire cable rigs for home speaker systems for hundreds of dollars because people were convinced they could hear a difference.

So is your consensus that balanced output sounds better with all headphones or is it headphone dependent (for example iem's vs headphones? Also, if you don't have a dual DAC DAP will you still get that much better sound going balanced output? The premise being as you guys have said that sometimes in a dual DAC DAP both DAC's are only active when using the balanced output. So one could argue I guess that if you don't use balanced headphones it isn't worthwhile paying extra for a dual DAC DAP if both DAC's are only active using the balanced output? Certainly worth looking into when shopping for a new DAP. For example, Shanling M2X has a balanced output but only a single AK4490EN DAC, is it worthwhile going balance output with this DAP if you don't need the extra power? The Shanling M5S has a balanced output and dual AK4490EN DAC's but they are said to sound almost identical except for minor improvements in separation and staging with the M5S. If I was considering going with a balanced headphone setup I would have to demo these balanced output DAP's to see if it is worth the loss in battery life in exchange for any improvements in sound quality. I wouldn't take a flyer on investing in balanced cables unless I knew they would sound better with the DAP I own.
 
Jun 25, 2020 at 4:44 PM Post #849 of 1,375

4nradio

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The setup you describe is exactly what I'm doing with my R3 Pro and Mojo. It works and sounds great! I'm alternating between a USB-C>coaxial connection and the USB-C>USB-Micro...I can't decide which I like best. They certainly sound a bit different to my ears.

R3P_Mojo.jpg
 
Jun 25, 2020 at 6:28 PM Post #850 of 1,375

fish1050

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With all the talk about balanced vs unbalanced cables for unbalanced headphones. I was curious to see if it is worthwhile buying an after market balanced cable for my NAD Viso Hp50's. I decided to go to the source and I called NAD in Pickering Ontario not to far from me.

1. Does NAD offer balanced cables for the HP50's? ANS: No we don't offer balanced cables, our headphones are not designed to be used in balanced mode.
2. Is there any audible benefit to investing in after market balanced cables for the HP50? ANS: No you won't hear any difference with balanced cables with the HP50's headphones as they are not designed to benefit from a balanced setup.
3. Does NAD plan to make any balanced headphones? ANS: Possibly with our iem's but not our headphones the complexity in making true balanced headphones isn't cost effective.

I tried searching on the internet just the same to see if there are any balanced cables out there for the HP50's. Not much luck and I have no interest in a DIY project if there really is no benefit for my HP50's. Just because some headphones can be used balanced does not mean they will sound better than my headphones unbalanced.

Before investing in an aftermarket balanced cable for your headphones do some research and make sure they will benefit audibly from a balanced cable. Some headphones like the Sennheiser HD600's and 800's for example are good candidates but it isn't true for all headphones. Here is a link to a site that specifically sells Balanced headphones and they ain't cheap and not really ideal for portable use. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/headphones/balanced-headphones.html. If I was an iem guy then I might look into getting a balanced pair as they seem like the most cost effective option for true balanced audio.
 
Jun 25, 2020 at 9:21 PM Post #851 of 1,375

Sonic-Debris

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I've done double blind tests with friends and co-workers, and found that balanced usually sounds better, how much better is relative, and its not just that power is usually higher from those outputs, there are many other factors that just make balanced sound better, I also record music at home and my studio monitors and audio gear all uses balanced ports, theres a reason for this. is goooood
 
Jun 25, 2020 at 11:23 PM Post #852 of 1,375

fish1050

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I've done double blind tests with friends and co-workers, and found that balanced usually sounds better, how much better is relative, and its not just that power is usually higher from those outputs, there are many other factors that just make balanced sound better, I also record music at home and my studio monitors and audio gear all uses balanced ports, theres a reason for this. is goooood

Which headphones did you test? It is general statement that may not apply to all headphones. If someone has tested my headphones balanced and make this claim that is different. I don't want to go through hassle of either finding balanced cables that work with my headphones or make my own. There is a reason most headphone makers don't offer their own balanced cables. How many major companies in the headphone space are making balanced cables and why not? This is largely a cottage business for a reason and quality from these DIY guys isn't guaranteed. For every high quality balanced cable there are many more that aren't robust quality.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 7:29 AM Post #853 of 1,375

JuanLuis91

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I too have noticed noticeable changes from the balanced output with all my headphones. I speak for the meze 99neo, dunu falcon c and dunu dk2001. The overall sound becomes more controlled and the details are a little more apparent. This I have noticed since my previous ibasso dx120, I also imagine that it depends on the implementation of each manufacturer.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 11:40 PM Post #854 of 1,375

Sonic-Debris

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Yep, I think it's a conversation that will always pop up from time to time, as the audio world is full of tech that people find hard to comprehend, or things that people thing are snake oil, until you actually do some tests on your own.

I was the same way, Use to think a higher quality cable wouldn't make a difference, but it did.
I use to think What is balanced, cant be better right.... I was wrong, it is.
I once use to think, 320kbps mp3 amazing nothing could possibly sound better, I was wrong.

The list goes on and on, so never dismiss things until you have the funds, time and ears to test things out.

Now thats all said and done, I hope people focus on the R3 models in this chat, and leave other topics to other threads :)
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 12:51 AM Post #855 of 1,375

MrNaturalAZ

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I know this is a headphone forum, but I was going through some old stuff and found this dreamGEAR i.Sound 2x and it's the perfect size for my R3Pro if I ever want to listen through (very tiny) speakers. Doesn't play very loud, but doesn't sound nearly as bad as you'd think.

IMG_20200626_211604059.jpgIMG_20200626_211504327.jpgIMG_20200626_211059890.jpg
 

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