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Is there likely to be a difference in audio quality between these two balanced-to-unbalanced adapters?

heita0

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To use my Sony IER-Z1R with plain 3.5mm sources when I need to, for convenience, I am getting a 4.4mm female to 3.5mm male adapter.
Between option 1 and option 2, is there likely to be any difference in audio quality? I obviously don't expect an adapter to add to the quality, but I am concerned the cheap one could degrade the signal. The price difference is significant, and it's a high-quality headphone. Any suggestions?
 
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NTK

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Hard to tell from just looking at pictures to judge the quality of the plating, surface finish, mechanical precision (straightness, tolerances on the diameters, concentricity of the tip/ring/sleeve, etc.), construction rigidity, strength, etc.

From a purely mechanical strength point of view, I'd strongly prefer the right angle adapter. It will put less bending stress on the connection to your DAP/phone/amp. A straight adapter will add a few cm of rigid length to the lever arm, and will therefore induce a significantly higher bending stress (bending moment) on the connection from any side loads.
 

srkbear

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To use my Sony IER-Z1R with plain 3.5mm sources when I need to, for convenience, I am getting a 4.4mm female to 3.5mm male adapter.
Between option 1 and option 2, is there likely to be any difference in audio quality? I obviously don't expect an adapter to add to the quality, but I am concerned the cheap one could degrade the signal. The price difference is significant, and it's a high-quality headphone. Any suggestions?
Could I ask for elaboration? Are you going from dual single-ended TRS connectors currently? I’m a bit confused because the Sony IER-Z1Rs come with both a conventional single ended 3.5mm cable and a 4.4mm balanced pentaconn option, and the differences between the two are considerable—the pentaconn’s are true-balanced with separate positive and negative poles from each IEM and a discrete ground, and when connecting two IEMs in parallel like this it drops the resistance to your amp in half and substantially increases power and clean headroom.

Just adding a TRS to pentaconn adapter to the headphone jack itself will not provide a balanced output and will not provide these benefits—there will be no separate transmission of positive and negative poles from each IEM and in some cases could short out the ground.

Since the IER-Z1Rs come stock with the pentaconn now, if you never got one you should be able to purchase one aftermarket and completely replace the cables from the IEM connector to the amp-side jack. This is a much-preferred and safer way to go. If you can’t find an original OEM Sony version, GUCraftsman makes a superb version you can find on Amazon for $138 dollars.
 
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heita0

heita0

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Could I ask for elaboration? Are you going from dual single-ended TRS connectors currently? I’m a bit confused because the Sony IER-Z1Rs come with both a conventional single ended 3.5mm cable and a 4.4mm balanced pentaconn option, and the differences between the two are considerable—the pentaconn’s are true-balanced with separate positive and negative poles from each IEM and a discrete ground, and when connecting two IEMs in parallel like this it drops the resistance to your amp in half and substantially increases power and clean headroom.

Just adding a TRS to pentaconn adapter to the headphone jack itself will not provide a balanced output and will not provide these benefits—there will be no separate transmission of positive and negative poles from each IEM and in some cases could short out the ground.

Since the IER-Z1Rs come stock with the pentaconn now, if you never got one you should be able to purchase one aftermarket and completely replace the cables from the IEM connector to the amp-side jack. This is a much-preferred and safer way to go. If you can’t find an original OEM Sony version, GUCraftsman makes a superb version you can find on Amazon for $138 dollars.
I am using the pentaconn cable, with a headphone amplifier that has a balanced 4.4mm out. However, there are times when I need to use the headphones with a 3.5mm jack: like when I am attending a Zoom meeting from my phone. For these situations, I want a 4.4 female to 3.5 unbalanced male adapter. Using the adapter is much more convenient than changing cables when I need the unbalanced option.
 

srkbear

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I am using the pentaconn cable, with a headphone amplifier that has a balanced 4.4mm out. However, there are times when I need to use the headphones with a 3.5mm jack: like when I am attending a Zoom meeting from my phone. For these situations, I want a 4.4 female to 3.5 unbalanced male adapter. Using the adapter is much more convenient than changing cables when I need the unbalanced option.
I see. think it’s fine to go from balanced to unbalanced, but iffy with the reverse. You can get such an adapter by Youkamoo or Geekria on Amazon and they are very affordable and well-built. I have several that I use without issues.
 
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