I really never used the stock SE846 cable hardly at all. I had modded my SE425 cable to be the right length to reach a Clip+ or ES100 clipped to my shirt, and its memory wire was bent to perfectly fit my ears, so I used that when I got my SE846. (Note: This is the original SE425 cable. It's fatter than the SE846 cable and doesn't have the ledge at the end of the plug the newer design added to let it fit into the holes many phone cases have for the headphone jack.) Then a while later I decided to give balanced a try. I got the Brainwavz balanced 2.5 mm cable off Amazon for like $17. It's a silver plated copper litz wire. I heard very little to no difference vs my old SE425 cable, maybe a little added clarity, I'm not really sure. Now I'm using a Fiio LC-2.5D cable, the pure monocrystaline silver litz one. The difference is subtle but it definitely adds detail to the highs. I also noticed it brought out a certain character in the sound of guitars that I don't think I'd ever really heard except in person.Well I was thinking about getting one of the Fiio mmcx balanced cables to see whether this hiss issue occurs with them too (I am using the Fiio M11 DAP). But then again should someone expect any SQ improvement with the se846 on balanced cable and what is the technical background for this? So would you recommend going for any of the Fiio balanced cables?
Also, have you noticed any difference with the stock Shure cables coming with the other Shure IEMs (eg with the 215s, 315s, 535s), if they r used with the se846s?
If you're trying to get rid of a hiss, balanced will only help if your player outputs less noise on its balanced output than on its single-ended output. I don't have the M11 so I don't know if this is the case. If you want to give it a shot, the Brainwavz cable seems to be nice enough quality and is very cheap. If you want a more surefire option, get an attenuator -- all it does is reduce the volume, then you turn up the output volume which will usually raise the volume of the music and not the hiss. I'm not sure whether the plain old cheap "in-line volume control" ones would work here, or if that would effectively raise the output impedance.