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Thread: Balanced cable for Hifiman 400i headphones

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 2,335
    I'm Geoff.

    Default Balanced cable for Hifiman 400i headphones

    I am contemplating buying a new DAC/headphone amp that has balanced headphone outputs alongside the standard unbalanced outputs.

    Has anyone here tried out a balanced cable with the Hifiman 400i (or similar) headphones, and was there much of an improvement?

    Also, which cable did you use? I have located some cables on the internet, but the prices vary hugely.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Near Oxford

    Posts: 944
    I'm Bill.

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    I'm not familiar with your headphones and never used balanced. However, I have had a couple of excellent cables for my Sennheiser HD600's from Forza Audioworks. If you can hang on until Black Friday they usually do a 30% off offer.
    Allo Boss Player / NJC Audio Reference Headphone Amp / Sennheiser HD600

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 3,443
    I'm Lawrence.

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    I think the 400i's came in 2 versions of connectors, the earlier screw on mini coax and the later plug in mini jack.

    I've had both, I can supply an official silver plated OFC Hifiman branded mini coax with bare ends for you to add on the balanced plug of your choice. The mini coax plugs are known to be a pain to fix so it's good to have an original one pre made at the headphone end.

    If it's the mini jacks, I bought a Sennheiser HD700 (or 800?) cable off eBay that also fits these but best to double check first.

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 3,443
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Just checked it's only the HD700 cables that fit, the 800 seem to have some sort of mini XLR type connector.

    I've only gone and got myself another pair of 400i's after seeing this thread...
    Last edited by Lawrence001; 23-10-2019 at 20:04.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 2,335
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    Just checked it's only the HD700 cables that fit, the 800 send to have some sort of mini XLR type connector.

    I've only gone and got myself another pair of 400i's after seeing this thread...
    I finally sourced a reasonably priced balanced cable for my 400i headphones. Depending upon your headphone amp output these look decent:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07M64NP...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balanced-Co...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 3,443
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Looks like great value! Let me know how it sounds and I might get one.

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Lawrence001; 23-10-2019 at 20:57.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

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    I'm Lawrence.

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    I bought this one, cheap but looks similar to a momentum cable I bought and liked
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F372663714899

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 2,335
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    I bought this one, cheap but looks similar to a momentum cable I bought and liked
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F372663714899

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk
    It is a standard unbalanced cable though not a balanced cable.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 3,443
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Oh yes my amp isn't balanced.

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Ok.... I did not expect to post this endorsement but here goes. I recently bought an Ifi ZEN DAC. The first unit had many problems and despite a lengthy phone call with Ifi tech support I could not get it to work. I sent it back and now have a replacement unit which worked out of the box. My reason for buying the ZEN was twofold: it was DSD 256 and MQA compliant and it had a balanced output.h I bought a balanced cable for my Hifiman 400i headphones and the SQ is much improved. Deeper bass, finer texture and timbre and hugely better fine detail and dynamics. I have yet to try the XEN DAC in my main hifi, but it had transformed my headphone listening experience.

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