You are here

High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Belinea2010 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:55 pm

I have put this question in this section of the forum as it is related closely to mixing and mastering but if it is wrong, please feel free to move it.

I would like to ask for advice with reference to an appropriate audio cable that fits my needs.

I have a Steinberg UR22C audio interface and a S.M.S.L headphone amp which drives a pair of DT 880 Edition headphones.

The audio output from the UR22C is 2 x 1/4" mono jack sockets and the input to my headphone amp is 2 x RCA phono sockets.

With this setup there is no induced noise or colouration of the signal and I wish to maintain this with my choice of audio cable.

There are so many different brands of cable and no real means of knowing just how they perform as the internet is full of opinions from anyone who believes that they are right. It is my experience that most of them are utterly wrong so I am seeking a professional opinion from the good folks here who actually knows what they are talking about.

I am looking for either a hi-quality (and I guess very well shielded) pre-made pair of 1/4" mono jack to mono RCA jack cables or just the cable and components (the plugs).

As my UR22C and the headphone amp sit side by side on a rack shelf the cables would have to be as close to 16 inches in length as possible to avoid unnecessary cable length and the possibility of noise being introduced (and strain on the sockets).

I quite like Sommer but I am more than open to suggestions.

What do you guys n gals use?
Belinea2010
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:13 pm

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:09 pm

Any reasonable quality cable with decent connectors will get the job done. The advantage of more 'professional' cables is mostly durability and handling rather than audio quality. If you are planning to make your own then Neutrik connectors and Sommer cable will be as good as anything.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15715
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Belinea2010 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:16 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Any reasonable quality cable with decent connectors will get the job done. The advantage of more 'professional' cables is mostly durability and handling rather than audio quality. If you are planning to make your own then Neutrik connectors and Sommer cable will be as good as anything.

Hi Sam and thank you for your reply.

Would you recomend balanced or unbalanced as there are differing opinions on this for mono audio leads?
Belinea2010
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:13 pm

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:45 pm

Belinea2010 wrote:Would you recomend balanced or unbalanced as there are differing opinions on this for mono audio leads?

If the inputs are on RCA-phonos you have no choice as they are inherently unbalanced.

But if the headphone amp has separate balanced inputs it is always better to use balanced connections where possible as there's less chance of suffering ground-loop noises.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30702
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Belinea2010 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Belinea2010 wrote:Would you recomend balanced or unbalanced as there are differing opinions on this for mono audio leads?

If the inputs are on RCA-phonos you have no choice as they are inherently unbalanced.

But if the headphone amp has separate balanced inputs it is always better to use balanced connections where possible as there's less chance of suffering ground-loop noises.

Hi Hugh

Thank you for your reply.

Thats as good point re: RCA phonos.

Well on this amp there are two RCA's on the rear which is nice and tidy of two XLR on the front which could provide an accident by being caughy on clothing as one brushes past it however if there is a gain in sound quality then I would consider using the XLR socket?
Belinea2010
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:13 pm

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:39 pm

You might be able to use right-angle XLRs to reduce the plug projection... But if you're happy with the quality using the unbalanced hook up then I'd stick with that.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30702
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: High quality (short) audio interface to headphone amp cable suggestions?

Postby Belinea2010 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:18 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:You might be able to use right-angle XLRs to reduce the plug projection... But if you're happy with the quality using the unbalanced hook up then I'd stick with that.
Thanks Hugh.
Belinea2010
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:13 pm