• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Balanced XLR cable for Sennheiser HD600/650/6xx etc.


Active Member
Forum Donor
Jan 10, 2021
I wanted a balanced cable for my HD600 because the SMSL SH-9 that I use has balanced out.
This is a description how to built a (highend :p) balanced cable. (maybe this has been posted before but I couldn't find a recent post)

Step 1: buy a headphone cable for a Sennheiser HD650
According to the guys on head-fi.org this cable sounds better then the original cable from the HD600 :rolleyes: but because this is ASR the main reason is that a cable for the HD600 = € 24,99 and a cable for the HD650 € 9,99.

Step 2: buy a 4 pin male XLR (prefeable from Neutrik)
I went crazy and ordered the black gold-plated version.

Step 3: cut the headphone cable at the desired length, strip the isolation from the wire (1,5 cm) and apply solder tin to the end of the wires.
This is a double cable and each side contains 2 strands of wires, in this type of cable every strand has been isolated and it's a bit of pain to apply solder tin to the wires. My method is to put the soldering iron in a fixed position and hold the tip of the wire onto the soldering iron, then apply solder tin untill this starts to flow onto the wire. I use solder tin with silver for my audio cables but I guess that's not really necessary. It's important to use solder tin with resin core.

(Sorry the photo is not very sharp)

Step4: solder the wires onto the XLR connector
In this case the green strands are the Left+ = XLR pin 1
The copper strands with the green are Left - = XLR pin 2
The red strands are Right + = XLR pin 3
The copper strands with the red are Right - = XLR pin 4
Don't forget to put the rubber boot of the connector over the headphone cable before you solder the wires!

Step 5: assemble the XLR connector and ready is your balanced cable.

My setup:

One last remark about the HD650 cable, although it is a lot cheaper the the HD600 cable it is a more substantial cable then the HD600 cable. If this is only the isolation or that internal is also different I cannot tell.
Personally I don't like this cables were every strand is isolated but that is just my feeling I don't know if a different cable is better or worse.
Maybe intersting for a follow up cable project but then I first have to find the connectors that attach to the headphone.

BR, Marc
Top Bottom