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Audioquest Pearl USB Cable Review

Rate this audio cable

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 220 82.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 32 11.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 11 4.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 1.9%

  • Total voters
    268

SuicideSquid

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Spending $20 million on a yacht is immoral to some too. It is a slippery slope is all I’m saying. I know it’s semantics but I would say unnecessary is a better term than immoral.
At least a yacht does something that a $5,000 speedboat doesn't do.
 

sam_adams

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At least a yacht does something that a $5,000 speedboat doesn't do.

Very true.

yacht.jpg
 

imagidominc

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If ASR was a cult or a private club, I would agree, but is it?
Did you read Amir's reply?
He is trying to provide a public service to non-members, who might just drop in from a search engine.
I agree lol
I don't think you read my post.
 

Hemi-Demon

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I see a big difference between the test/graphs of this test and the original review of the chord Hugo 2 dac.
This was the multitone for the original reviewView attachment 223935
(odd thing, the image is called "Chord Hugo 2 Toslink Measurements Multitone Response Portable DAC Headphone Amplifier.png" in the original review)

View attachment 223937
In my eyes this is quite an improvement, both cleaner and lower. The same can be said for the jitter test:
View attachment 223938View attachment 223939
Much improved also and much closer to the original toslink

The same is visible in the SINAD dashboard
View attachment 223940

The performance over usb was impeded compared to toslink in the original review but now it looks the 5-9 dB improved:
View attachment 223941

I could have inserted the AudioQuest Pearl SINAD dashboard but I do not want to cherry pick graphs and say the AudioQuest Pearl improves the performance of the Chord Hugo. However, it still seems there is a difference in the graph as the blue seems quite a bit lower which does not translate into the numbers.
View attachment 223943


Either the original USB cable was malfunctioning or another measurement error was made in the original review. In any case I think @amirm should correct the original review of the Chord Hugo 2, and maybe change his recommendation for the Chord Hugo 2 also?

At the same time I see differences between graphs that I would like to see investigate further.

Last food for thought; how is it possible that this was not seen/mentioned earlier? We say we understand the effect it has on the readers but is the first impression not the most important? Should we then not be very critical at measurements and double check before leaping to conclusions?


Excellent post. There is clearly a difference due to the cable used from the same reviewer.

The Hugo 2 has a very poor USB input in my experience and will exhibit ground noise during playback; depending on the source, what charger is used, how close your phone is to the base, how long is the usb cable, is the WiFi router near the device/computer or how well the cable is made. It could be that the issue is mainly due to micro usb convention. Over the years many consumers begged the designer to change to either USB B or type c. He still kept micro usb on the Mojo 2.

The amount of background noise varied too much for me to justify keeping the device at the price point.

It's older now, but for a mobile device the Bluetooth implementation is one of the worst that I have used in distance and actual sound quality. It's better with apple devices verus android devices.

When the ground noise is gone, and the conditions are perfect, it sounds great.
 

Ken Tajalli

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The Hugo 2 has a very poor USB input in my experience and will exhibit ground noise during playback; depending on the source, what charger is used, how close your phone is to the base, how long is the usb cable, is the WiFi router near the device/computer or how well the cable is made.
Ground loop noise, only occurs (to my knowledge) when there are at least two grounded devices in the loop. Unless one decides to use Hugo2 with a non-standard charger, i.e. not a standard SMPS wall unit (which are NOT grounded), then the charger is irrelevant.
I have asked Amir if there are any single-ended DACs that are portable that could behave better in such a situation.
Portable DACs do not have isolation on USB (don't need it), balanced output takes care of noise.
It could be that the issue is mainly due to micro usb convention. Over the years many consumers begged the designer to change to either USB B or type c. He still kept micro usb on the Mojo 2.
The amount of background noise varied too much for me to justify keeping the device at the price point.
Absolutely not! Digital audio is limited to USB-2, and as such even with a USB-C connection, it is reverted to USB-2, so apart from physical shape, microusb is identical to USB-C for digital audio.
When the ground noise is gone, and the conditions are perfect, it sounds great.
Yes, the BT side has passed its sell by date.
Use it as a portable, with headphones, even connect it to a super noisy cellphone, blasting RF during a call, and all is fine, no ground noise!
Use a cheap generic USB cable, use it with a tablet or a laptop, even a plugged in laptop, still no issues.
Use a grounded DAP, And connect it to a grounded amplifier (to close the ground loop circuit), then, and only then, if there is noise in the system, it may affect Hugo2!
In the -110dB region.
Indeed, a very poor USB input .

These posts should be in Hugo2 thread, I replied here, because you did, but in reality they are subject unrelated.
 

Abe_W

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They remain in business becuase they are meeting the need for a market. If there were no buyers, there would be nothing to sell (at least in a "free" market economy.
Instead of attacking the AQ (while it is hard), you should be focusing your attention at consumers. Which is exactly what Amir does in trying to educate here.
PT Barnum said it so well "There's a sucker born every minute"
There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different. Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it.
 
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amirm

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There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables.
On what basis do you trust their opinion? You think designing electronics gives you special powers where you don't need to perform listening tests blind?

And how do you know they are being truthful? Fighting their customers on this or similar topics can be really bad for business. Do you know what they say behind your backs than front?
 

muslhead

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There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different. Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it
There are criminals in every business and audio is no different. Caveat emptor
Expecting someone to save you from your own stupidity (not meaning "you "specifically but "you" proverbially) is a rare event and not going to happen unless someone wants to listen. Its an honorable thing Amir is attempting to do.
 
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amirm

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Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference.
How about the null tests I have been posting? You don't trust your own ears either? Seems like you want people to tell you that your imagination is real. Don't look at me for that because that surely would be stupid.
 

fpitas

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There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different. Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it.
That's an interesting attitude. You tend to trust people who haven't bothered to verify their claims over Amir, who posts extensive data. This begins to stray off into "there are things man was not meant to know" territory.

And I'm a design engineer. Oddly, I trust Amir over a bunch of guys that don't want to upset their customers.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it.
If you truly believe that Amir is doing some goober canned measurements, and he has a marketing base agenda, then why are you here?
Seriously, If I honestly believed somebody's words and comments are tainted and biased, I would refuse to listen, wouldn't you?
BTW, I couldn't even Google goober canned ! whatever it means.
 

Jimbob54

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There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different. Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it.
Another day, another troll.......
 

fpitas

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Another day, another troll.......
Maybe. Or, he just can't believe that a lot of people (yes, smart people) in the audio business look the other way when snake oil is discussed.
 

BDWoody

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They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different.

But not the humility to even acknowledge they may be kidding themselves through lack of rigor in their testing.

Maybe they should watch the video our host put together. Have they done much research into the psychoacoustics side? Have you?

 

pkane

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There are many very smart engineers in the audio industry who manufacture speakers, amps, etc. They don't sell cables, but, they acknowledge that they can hear subtle differences in cables. They have the humility to admit that they don't really know why the fk it sounds different. Amir thinks he is smarter than all these engineers out there, makes a couple of goober canned measurements and says there is no difference. It is his "marketing" to his base. Of course, there are criminals in the cable business capitalizing with criminal prices in the midst of it.

How do you think these smart engineers develop their great new designs if "they don't really know why the fk it sounds different"? By guessing until it sounds better? Not how real engineering works, I'm afraid.
 

Mnyb

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How do you think these smart engineers develop their great new designs if "they don't really know why the fk it sounds different"? By guessing until it sounds better? Not how real engineering works, I'm afraid.
That's how a lot of high end hifi is "designed" , maybe it's thoose "enginers" that are refereed to :)

I know it's a bad " no true Scotsman " kind of argument , but it happens to be true in the high end audio segment.
 

pkane

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That's how a lot of high end hifi is "designed" , maybe it's thoose "enginers" that are refereed to :)

I know it's a bad " no true Scotsman " kind of argument , but it happens to be true in the high end audio segment.

I know. That's not engineering if you can't even verify that your design really works when you start producing and selling it.
 
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