Crosstalk In Audio Cables -- Or Not??


Novice Member
I recently relocated a stereo system in relation to my PC. The audio card in the PC is an Asus Xonar Essence STX. The original cabling to the stereo system consisted of a RCA to 3.5mm adapter into an 80 inch length of 3.5 mm audio cable with an adapter at the stereo preamp end back to RCA plugs. That worked fine.

After moving the stereo system the 80 inch cable was no longer long enough so I grabbed a 25 foot 3.5mm audio cable I had laying around and used that instead of the 80 inch length. After listening to some audio it sounded OK but it did not seem quite the same as it did with the 80 inch cable.

As a result I hooked up some headphones and what I found is that with the 80 inch cable, the left and right channels are completely isolated, .i.e., using the left and right volume controls in the Xonar Sound Center software you could turn down the left volume and hear nothing in the left earphone and vice versa. When I used the 25 foot cable, and turned down the left side volume all the way, there was still audio from the right side present in the left earphone at about half the volume of what was coming from the right side and vice versa.

This brings up two questions. The first is what is causing this? I am no expert but crosstalk comes to mind that is result of a combination of the length of the cable and the quality of the cable. The 25 foot cable is one I purchased on ebay several years ago for amateur radio use and it was very inexpensive as I recall.

If it is crosstalk, I suspect the quality of the cable is more of a factor than the length, which brings me to my second question. How do you tell the good cables from the bad ones? I am not sure price is always the answer and descriptions seem to tout whether the connections are gold plated or not and say nothing the amount isolation you can expect.

Perhaps however it something else that I am missing and my questions are not even relevant. Any thoughts?


Active Member
Crosstalk could be a problem especially in such a long cable. I presume you don’t need all the 25 feet so how have you got the cable arranged? If the spare length is wound up in a coil you could try rearranging how you tidy this cable.


Well-known Member
It could be crosstalk or just bad soldering on the plugs. or cheap plugs that are not totally isolated.


Novice Member
Thank you both for taking the time to reply and your good thoughts and suggestions. On further reflection I think that although crosstalk is definitely still a possibility, the problem is indeed some kind of problem or incompatibility at either the plug or socket end where it mates to the adapters. The volume to the opposite side to my ears seems a little too loud to be crosstalk. In any case, I daisy chained the 80 inch cable with a 6 foot cable and all is well. I will look around for either a 12 or 15 foot cable and replace the daisy chain at my leisure. Thanks again.


Well-known Member
Not necessarily crosstalk but linked. The line input of the amplifier is a resistance of 47kohm ,the cable is an antenna and can be picking up anything ..even the magnetic field of the current going to the loudspeaker on the active channel. Our ears are very sensitive having a 100 dB range...

Similar threads

Top Bottom