Question Is balanced audio worth it? Novice setup question

metasoar

Member
hey everybody

i'm a newbie here and a novice when it comes to audio hardware, but ive just invested in my first DAC (fiio k5) and am on the fence about something

basically, i'm tempted to swap it out for an ifi zen dac to pair the zen with a set of fiio fa7's via. balanced audio output (with an upgraded cable)

question is, is it worth the investment and hassle?

i have never heard balanced audio before and am naive to its apparent benefits and would like to have some insight

many thanks
 

N3ptun3m00n

Well-known Member
Balanced basically reduced noise on the audio to minimum. I use a zen can stack with balanced 4.4 cable to my overears and along with more power the sound was much cleaner, tighter and brighter.. (maybe a little too much in some instances)

The balanced cable has two signal cables and a single ground cable, the signals run in reverse polarity to each other and are able to cancel out any interference on the cable = less noise and better sound.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I am confident in a comparison between balanced cables for the FA7 versus buying better headphones, the better headphones will yield more bang for buck.

Check out the Moon drop blessing 2. Not my end of the market anymore but based on impressions and frequency graph versus iem I have heard I can believe it is the 'reasonably priced' IEM to go for, with the caveat about the size of the ear pieces
 

[email protected]

Active Member
Originally balanced wiring was used in studios, because they had lots of cables going significant distances. The big advantage is that it avoids picking up hum. Also, they are lower impedance, and tend not to lose highs over distance as much. If your equipment is within a few feet, there's no advantage. I'm not sure what the limit is, but a typical home setup puts everything in the same or adjacent rack. In that case I wouldn't think there would be any advantage.

Wiring isn't magic. It's completely passive, and if used within design limits has no effect on sound.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Balanced only for very long runs
 

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