- May 19, 2016
DO NOT use a balanced adapter. You will/could damage your player. You need a balanced cable to your headphones/IEMs to use the balanced output.
If unbalanced is well designed (and on A&K players it is), it will be similar in quality to balanced. It may sound slightly different. Whether it's better or not wiil depend on your preferences. However, if you're having a problem driving your headphones with enough power, using a balanced cable to the balanced output could/should improve sound quality significantly.
Does that then mean that for situations where more power is needed the balanced output is better, but if volume and sound quality are already good, balanced effect is minimal and mainly offers a difference in SQ that is different not necessarily better?