WHAT ARE BALANCED CABLES/CONNECTORS?
Most of our range of handmade cables have balanced connector options, providing the headphone end is able to take a balanced connection with 4 unconnected contacts. In a standard stereo connection, such as single 3.5mm or 6.35mm jack there are 3 pins, the tip, ring and sleeve - hence TRS. The tip is for the left positive signal L+, the ring is for the right positive signal R+ and the sleeve is for the ground return signal for both L and R. Sharing the ground between channels like this can increase crosstalk between L and R. To reduce this, there are now many connectors that use a separate return path for both L and R. Examples include 4-pin XLR's, dual 3-pin XLR's, dual 3.5mm TRS jacks, and TRRS/TRRRS jacks. A TRRS has an extra ring that the TRS does not have, allowing L- and R- to stay unconnected and take a balanced connection. Below is some more information on wiring, as some balanced connectors have competing wiring standards, but are also different from non-balanced 4 contact connectors - for example TRRS jacks designed for mics are not balanced compatible as the extra contact is for the mic signal not separate ground. We do not sell any mic cables, but you can still purchase TRRS jacks from our DIY section to make your own and wire how you need.
HOW ARE YOUR balanced connections WIRED?
At OIDIO SOUND we wire balanced connectors for maximum compatibility with the current market, unless stated otherwise in the source/connector select drop-down.
For 4-pin Male XLR this is P1 L+, P2 L-, P3, R+, P4 RI, and as far as we know every standard 4-pin XLR output designed for audio/headphones is wired this way.
For 2x 3-pin Male/Female XLR, this is P2 +, P3, -, P1 (either unconnected for headphone cables, or ground for fully balanced interconnects), and as far as we know every standard dual 3-pin XLR output designed for audio/headphones is wired this way.
For 2x 3.5mm Male Jack for Pono and PHA-3, this is Left Tip L+, Left Ring L-, Right Tip R+, Right Ring R-, and Sleeves unconnected.
For 2x 6.35mm Male Jack, there are two competing wiring standards that we know of. For Mytek this is Red Side Tip L+, Red Side Ring R+, Black Side Tip L-, Black Side Ring R-, Red and Black Sleeve unconnected/ground. For RME ADI-2 this is Left Tip L+, Left Ring L-, Right Tip R+, Right Ring R-, and Sleeves unconnected.
For 2.5mm TRRS jacks this is R-R+L+L- and includes: Astell&Kern AK70, AK240, AK300, AK320, AK380, AK100ii, AK120ii, KANN and many other A&K 2.5mm players, Fiio X5 3rd Gen, FiiO Q1, X7 (with AM3), Onkyo DP-X1, Pioneer XDP-300R, Cayin N5, The Bit Opus #1 DAC, Luxury and Precision L3 DAC, and many others.
For 3.5mm TRRS jacks this is L+R+L-R- and includes: Sony NW-ZX2, Hifiman HM-801, HM-901, LH Labs Geek Out V2, iFi Nano iDSD BL and some others.
For 4.4mm TRRRS jacks this is L+L-R+R- GND and includes: Sony NW-WM1Z, NW-WM1A, PHA-2A and TA-ZH1ES, Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA, and any other 4.4mm outputs as there is no other standard of wiring.
If your chosen source is not listed above and you unsure if it is wired as we have stated above how our cables are wired, please contact us first to ensure compatibility, else you may have to pay for a re-wiring service.