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Can you balance my 3.5mm headphone cable connection?

marcoxD95

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In the past I had issues with noise and interference and read that this shouldn't be a issue with 2.5mm or 4.4mm connections.

The thing is my FiiO Q3 does support both 2.5mm and 4.4mm but my headphone is 3.5mm only. It is a V-Moda M100 Master if that matters. I did notice it seems to have a TRRS 3.5mm connector at the DAC male input side but the one that goes inside my headphone earcup is just standard TRS.

Another thing I should probably mention is that BOTH my left and right earcup side can be connected via 3.5mm but connecting one side is enough. I do not know if there is a advantage of using a cord that has both sides connected at once or if that is even possible.

I just wonder how I can connect my M100 Master balanced to my DAC or if that is even possible. I just wanted to buy a 4.4mm male to 3.5mm female adapter for it but I am not sure if that is how it works. I do not want to do something wrong or even damage my hardware since I am a total noob at this topic obviously.
 

Jimbob54

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In the past I had issues with noise and interference and read that this shouldn't be a issue with 2.5mm or 4.4mm connections.

The thing is my FiiO Q3 does support both 2.5mm and 4.4mm but my headphone is 3.5mm only. It is a V-Moda M100 Master if that matters. I did notice it seems to have a TRRS 3.5mm connector at the DAC male input side but the one that goes inside my headphone earcup is just standard TRS.

Another thing I should probably mention is that BOTH my left and right earcup side can be connected via 3.5mm but connecting one side is enough. I do not know if there is a advantage of using a cord that has both sides connected at once or if that is even possible.

I just wonder how I can connect my M100 Master balanced to my DAC or if that is even possible. I just wanted to buy a 4.4mm male to 3.5mm female adapter for it but I am not sure if that is how it works. I do not want to do something wrong or even damage my hardware since I am a total noob at this topic obviously.

Dont adapt single ended cables to balanced amps. But a properly wired balanced cable should work eg https://www.ebay.com/itm/293676247136
 
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marcoxD95

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Dont adapt single ended cables to balanced amps. But a properly wired balanced cable should work eg https://www.ebay.com/itm/293676247136

Interesting. I thought you would actually need a cable that connects both earcups dedicated. Guess I was wrong. Then again this link you gave is the only seller that seems to sell such cables for V-Moda since I was googling extensively. Do I need one that is optimized for my headphones or does generally any like the one you sent work? Even one which says its for Sennheiser? Or is there a reason these are for specific models?
 

Jimbob54

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Interesting. I thought you would actually need a cable that connects both earcups dedicated. Guess I was wrong. Then again this link you gave is the only seller that seems to sell such cables for V-Moda since I was googling extensively. Do I need one that is optimized for my headphones or does generally any like the one you sent work? Even one which says its for Sennheiser? Or is there a reason these are for specific models?
I'll caveat all that with I don't own vmoda. I do have some headphones with only one wire into one cup that run balanced.
 
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marcoxD95

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Hm. Well guess I will just have to try that cable out and hope that it works. Still didnt find any other seller that offers such. Guess such a cable specifically made for V-Modas is exotic.
 

Jimbob54

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Hm. Well guess I will just have to try that cable out and hope that it works. Still didnt find any other seller that offers such. Guess such a cable specifically made for V-Modas is exotic.
Not really. It's just trrs at both ends. I'm not sure why there is a socket on the other cup, maybe so you can choose a y split cable
 

Jimbob54

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Jimbob54

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OK, so here's a thing (can you tell stuff like this bothers me....

The m200 big brother has an optional balanced cable to only 1 cup. https://www.v-moda.com/us/en/products/m-200

So the question is. Is the m100 wired the same internally as the m200? I don't know.
 
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marcoxD95

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I do sometimes have issues with noise and interference and so far wasnt able to fix it, which is why I wanted to see if a balanced connection makes any difference.

I do not know if the M100 Master and M200 are wired the same internally and whether that M200 cable would work on mine. Though I do not even see it sold seperately to begin with. Maybe I should try reaching out to V-Moda directly about this topic...
 

Jimbob54

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I do sometimes have issues with noise and interference and so far wasnt able to fix it, which is why I wanted to see if a balanced connection makes any difference.

I do not know if the M100 Master and M200 are wired the same internally and whether that M200 cable would work on mine. Though I do not even see it sold seperately to begin with. Maybe I should try reaching out to V-Moda directly about this topic...
I would
 
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marcoxD95

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Well the support wasnt that helpful. Couldnt tell me about whether they are compatible and have the same wiring. Also they only sell that cable with the M200. Even they recommended just looking the web for a compatible one. Guess I will just buy that one you posted on Ebay before. I do not seem to be able to find any other seller with such a cable that states its compatible with my V-Moda.
 

AnalogSteph

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In the past I had issues with noise and interference and read that this shouldn't be a issue with 2.5mm or 4.4mm connections.
This premise is actually incorrect. While it is conceivable that there may be a difference WRT the reaction to RF ingress, this is not a super common problem these days. And while BTL driving can double maximum output voltage, that has nothing to do with interference either. Headphones can be driven unbalanced just fine, even the matter of crosstalk through shared ground return resistance is mainly a matter of cable construction (a stock Sennheiser HD600 cable is perfectly adequate).

The main advantage of balanced connections is being able to deal with differences in ground potential on both sides of an interconnect. Headphones are floating transducers without any extra ground connections of their own, so are not affected by ground loops to begin with. Whatever issues you may have had in the past are very likely to have been at interconnect level, probably some sort of ground loop.
 
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marcoxD95

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This premise is actually incorrect. While it is conceivable that there may be a difference WRT the reaction to RF ingress, this is not a super common problem these days. And while BTL driving can double maximum output voltage, that has nothing to do with interference either. Headphones can be driven unbalanced just fine, even the matter of crosstalk through shared ground return resistance is mainly a matter of cable construction (a stock Sennheiser HD600 cable is perfectly adequate).

The main advantage of balanced connections is being able to deal with differences in ground potential on both sides of an interconnect. Headphones are floating transducers without any extra ground connections of their own, so are not affected by ground loops to begin with. Whatever issues you may have had in the past are very likely to have been at interconnect level, probably some sort of ground loop.

Good to know. Well, I actually was able to fix the problem by using my front USB panel and changing to ASIO. So either the backpanel USB caused the noise and interference problem or the WASAPI mode just isnt that good. All my DACs are USB ground powered btw. Weirdly enough I even feel like that I can perceive a audio difference between WASAPI and ASIO and later one sounds better to my ears. Though I know this shouldn't be perceivable... Maybe that Windows 10 WASAPI is just borked. Oh and yes, I did have exclusive mode checked in the Windows sound settings. Whatever the case, I am happy now. My setup never sounded better. I still decided to buy that balanced cable just because I am curious now and wanna try it out. Gonna take at least a month until its here though since its shipped from China.
 
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