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Audioquest Pearl USB Cable Review

Rate this audio cable

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 223 82.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 33 12.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 11 4.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 1.8%

  • Total voters
    272

lc6

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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"

By this logic, Madoff's Ponzi scheme should have remained legal (since there was no shortage of customers who bought into his false claims of outstanding performance of his financial products) and the authorities should have only focused on educating the public. Fortunately, laws are still enforced, so sooner or later such practices come to an end.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Because of the claims, that are just a big lie
Yeah but $40 for a nice gold-plated cable is not exactly daylight robbery!
Everybody boasts - I used to handle three girlfriends at the same time!
But the thing works, at least it is not defective.
You want honesty and truth?
Keep looking, good luck to you. :)
 

Ken Tajalli

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My take on cables are that they should have good fit, be flexible and not giving strain to the device connectors. That excludes many of the ”esoteric” cables.

And… if you have these heavy nonflexible cables giving strain to the connectors, you might have to buy cable lifters not to break the equipment.
This particular cable is thinner than some standard USB cables and more flexible. It does have good jacks and low impedance, a ferrite core wouldn't have gone amiss.
The cable is quite good, functions right, is not defective - but a little overpriced, that's all.
 

AudioSceptic

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I guess my question didn't make sense. But assuming it is a digital audio stream, and let's cap the bit depth at 64 bits. What is the maximum sample rate you could get?
It's so easy to get hugely wrong answers once you get into computer bit-rates (mega, giga, etc.) so you'll need to check my numbers!
3.0 2.5 Gb/s = 2 channels x 64 bits x 19 MHz
3.1 5.0 Gb/s = 2 channels x 64 bits x 39 MHz
Note it's MHz, not kHz. For comparison, CD audio is 2 x 16 x 44.1 kHz = 1.411 Mb/s. The maximum frequency (Nyquist) is ½ the sampling rate

Edit: 2.5 Gb/s could support 3,500 channels of CD audio and 5.0 could support 7,000, assuming you could multiplex them reliably. Alternatively, you could transmit the entire content of a CD in about 2 or 1 seconds, respectively.
 
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Thomas_A

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This particular cable is thinner than some standard USB cables and more flexible. It does have good jacks and low impedance, a ferrite core wouldn't have gone amiss.
The cable is quite good, functions right, is not defective - but a little overpriced, that's all.
I like cables that are thin and flexible. Generally they tend to be the opposite.
 

jtwrace

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but @whovotedgreat who are you? :p

View attachment 223739


JSmith
1660323223295.jpeg
 

Zensō

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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"
I couldn’t disagree more. We have consumer protections in place for most industries. The only thing that makes this snake oil possible is the fact that it only harms the pocketbook, not the physical body.

As for PT Barnum’s quote, there’s also “There’s a huckster born every minute”. There’s really no argument for giving them free reign to prey upon those who don’t research deeply enough to avoid being swindled.
 
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Grooved

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Yeah but $40 for a nice gold-plated cable is not exactly daylight robbery!
Everybody boasts - I used to handle three girlfriends at the same time!
But the thing works, at least it is not defective.
You want honesty and truth?
Keep looking, good luck to you. :)
I was not talking for myself but guessing why you saw so many bad comment ;)
Now, it might be a good cable, yes, it might be strong, yes... but I would not spent $40 on a USB cable, unless I'm sure it's really strong and I need to be using it in a special context with lots of plugging/unplugging.

Since I measured 8 audio streams at the same time in a DA-AD loopback test and got the exact same results with a 3ft good USB cable, and with the same cable and a 15ft extender bought $2 that nobody would trust at first between the USB cable and the device, I'm not worrying about audio loss of a USB cable.
I there's a real loss, it will be huge, and because the cable being defective, not being $5 or $5000

Now, more talking for myself, I would buy it if it was super strong, for a special case, but if they were not lying in the marketing. Knowing that, I prefer another strong one, even if a bit less, but from people not pretending it makes your audio sounding far better
 

fpitas

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DonR

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For me, it's right on the border of piggy bank and not terrible. You could spend a lot more and get the same result but to find a decent USB you could only go down to about $10 so it's only 4x overpriced rather than 400x. At the same time, the claims are ludicrous and should be derided as snake oil.
 

Ken Tajalli

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I was not talking for myself but guessing why you saw so many bad comment ;)
Now, it might be a good cable, yes, it might be strong, yes... but I would not spent $40 on a USB cable, unless I'm sure it's really strong and I need to be using it in a special context with lots of plugging/unplugging.

Since I measured 8 audio streams at the same time in a DA-AD loopback test and got the exact same results with a 3ft good USB cable, and with the same cable and a 15ft extender bought $2 that nobody would trust at first between the USB cable and the device, I'm not worrying about audio loss of a USB cable.
I there's a real loss, it will be huge, and because the cable being defective, not being $5 or $5000

Now, more talking for myself, I would buy it if it was super strong, for a special case, but if they were not lying in the marketing. Knowing that, I prefer another strong one, even if a bit less, but from people not pretending it makes your audio sounding far better
They are strong! and jacks are good too. thinner and flexible.
Build quality is very good.
But I did flog it, because I knew I could get £25 for it.
We are spoilt by Chinese sweat-shop products that cost pennies. manufactured in millions.
 

Hemi-Demon

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@amirm

I know that you are extremely busy, but would it be possible to replicate the test with a smartphone as the source with the Hugo 2 being used a a USB OTG DAC? You can use Neutron, Hiby or USB Audio Player Pro on your phone to see the Chord.

I used to own this device and I experienced varying noise issues (emi and ground) depending on the cable used when attached to a smart phone.

I know that you use Samsung devices, and they have USB audio issues depending on the Android version, so maybe it's not worth your valuable time.

It would be fun to see if you could measure any differences based on the source used.
 

Atanasi

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Technical question for ubernerds - if USB 3.0 was an analog audio format, what frequency range would it encompass at what bit depth?
Do you mean what is the analog bandwidth of USB 3.0 signals and the required signal-to-noise ratio of transmission?
This corresponds more or less to the sample rate and bit depth that could be used to digitize USB 3.0 signals if you wanted to preserve the encoded data in the digital format.
I have heard 5 Gbps transfer of USB 3.0 uses 2.5 GHz of bandwidth. In order to transfer 5 Gbps, the bit depth has to be at least 2, but in practice both the bandwidth and the bit rate have to include a considerable safety margin.
 

formdissolve

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USB 3.0 (now called 3.1, and 3.1 is now called 3.2, with varying types) has one of the worst naming conventions of all time and is super confusing:

"USB 3.0 arrived with the ability to transfer data at 5 gigabits per second, or 5Gbps. But when the USB-IF doubled that to 10Gbps, it renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and called the faster version USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Now we're getting another speed doubling and name change: USB 3.2 Gen 1 is 5Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen 2 is 10Gbps, and USB Gen 2x2 is 20Gbps. The much older USB 2.0, at 480Mbps, hasn't changed names."
 

Atanasi

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USB 3.0 (now called 3.1, and 3.1 is now called 3.2, with varying types) has one of the worst naming conventions of all time and is super confusing:

"USB 3.0 arrived with the ability to transfer data at 5 gigabits per second, or 5Gbps. But when the USB-IF doubled that to 10Gbps, it renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and called the faster version USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Now we're getting another speed doubling and name change: USB 3.2 Gen 1 is 5Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen 2 is 10Gbps, and USB Gen 2x2 is 20Gbps. The much older USB 2.0, at 480Mbps, hasn't changed names."
HDMI has exactly the same convention, and probably many other standards too.
HDMI 2.1, for example, obsoletes HDMI 2.0, such that devices supporting HDMI 2.1 don't have to support any new features of 2.1, they could only have the same features as 2.0, which is an allowed subset of 2.1. The HDMI version is just the version of the standard document, and the customer has to check explicitly which optional features are supported by each device.
 

DonR

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USB 3.0 (now called 3.1, and 3.1 is now called 3.2, with varying types) has one of the worst naming conventions of all time and is super confusing:

"USB 3.0 arrived with the ability to transfer data at 5 gigabits per second, or 5Gbps. But when the USB-IF doubled that to 10Gbps, it renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and called the faster version USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Now we're getting another speed doubling and name change: USB 3.2 Gen 1 is 5Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen 2 is 10Gbps, and USB Gen 2x2 is 20Gbps. The much older USB 2.0, at 480Mbps, hasn't changed names."
It's a dog's breakfast to be sure only rivalled by the HDMI spec.
 

formdissolve

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HDMI has exactly the same convention, and probably many other standards too.
HDMI 2.1, for example, obsoletes HDMI 2.0, such that devices supporting HDMI 2.1 don't have to support any new features of 2.1, they could only have the same features as 2.0, which is an allowed subset of 2.1. The HDMI version is just the version of the standard document, and the customer has to check explicitly which optional features are supported by each device.
Sure, but in the case of HDMI, they aren't actively retconning the naming scheme. There are still TVs that ship with HDMI 2.0 interfaces, and not HDMI 2.1. These are still called HDMI 2.0 spec.

USB 3.0 is no longer the label on motherboards, laptops, etc, it's now all USB 3.1 Gen 1, despite it having the same functionality and spec as USB 3.0 did when it came out. It's confusing for the marketplace IMO.
 

AudioSceptic

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For me, it's right on the border of piggy bank and not terrible. You could spend a lot more and get the same result but to find a decent USB you could only go down to about $10 so it's only 4x overpriced rather than 400x. At the same time, the claims are ludicrous and should be derided as snake oil.
Unless I'm misreading their site, BJC sells 10' USB-2 cables for only $2.50 + delivery. Can that be right?
<https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/data-cables/index.htm>
 

fpitas

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