What's the best way to connect my 1/4 (6.35mm) headphone cable to 4.4mm Pentaconn jack

benjaminec

Member
Sep 6, 2021
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1
5
Hi - I have a pair of Audeze LCD-2 and an iFi Hip DAC. My Audeze come with an 1/4 (6.35mm) cable and I want to use them with the iFi 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced jack. What's the best way to connect them? I've looked around and I can't find an adapter that matched the two.

Thank you
 

Xavier2909

Active member
Aug 7, 2021
1
2
25
Hi - I have a pair of Audeze LCD-2 and an iFi Hip DAC. My Audeze come with an 1/4 (6.35mm) cable and I want to use them with the iFi 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced jack. What's the best way to connect them? I've looked around and I can't find an adapter that matched the two.

Thank you
 

Xavier2909

Active member
Aug 7, 2021
1
2
25
Check out Amazon for a 6.35mm to 4.44mm adapter. I bought mine from there for my iFi Zen DAC V2, works a treat.
 

Vincent Kars

Well-known member
Mar 6, 2021
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970
Normally a headphone amp uses 1 amp per channel.
As the 2 amps have a common ground, you can use a 3 wire connection to the headphone, L/R/(common)G

What is called "balanced" in the headphone world , is a headphone amp with 2 amps per channel, 1 pushing and 1 pulling.
So you don't have a "ground" but 2 signal wires.
This means if you use a adapter pentagon > TRS, you shorten the 2 grounds.
Might explain why these type of adapters are rare as you might fry your amp.
Normally if you want to use a headphone "balanced", you need a balanced cable so 2x2 wires terminated with a 4 pin connector.

PS: looks like the S-balanced by iFi is a bit different: https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/iFi-audio-xCAN-S_BAL-Tech-Note.pdf
 

Gray

Well-known member
Hi - I have a pair of Audeze LCD-2 and an iFi Hip DAC. My Audeze come with an 1/4 (6.35mm) cable and I want to use them with the iFi 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced jack. What's the best way to connect them? I've looked around and I can't find an adapter that matched the two.

Thank you
As Vincent explained, there's a good reason why you can't find the adaptor you seek.
And the type of adaptor Xavier2909 mentions above, would not suit your requirement.

You appear to want to be able to connect the 1.9 metre unbalanced / single-ended lead, supplied with your headphones, to a Pentaconn socket.
Even if you could, there would be no advantage to you in doing that.

Presumably a balanced cable is available for your LCD-2.
Alternatively, because you've got all 4 wires available, you could go balanced more cheaply by replacing your 6.35mm plug with one of these:
If you've never soldered, or dealt with Litz cable before - don't even think about it.
In that case, either buy a ready-made balanced cable, or connect your 6.35mm plug to the 6.35mm socket on the Hip DAC.
 

benjaminec

Member
Sep 6, 2021
0
1
5
Normally a headphone amp uses 1 amp per channel.
As the 2 amps have a common ground, you can use a 3 wire connection to the headphone, L/R/(common)G

What is called "balanced" in the headphone world , is a headphone amp with 2 amps per channel, 1 pushing and 1 pulling.
So you don't have a "ground" but 2 signal wires.
This means if you use a adapter pentagon > TRS, you shorten the 2 grounds.
Might explain why these type of adapters are rare as you might fry your amp.
Normally if you want to use a headphone "balanced", you need a balanced cable so 2x2 wires terminated with a 4 pin connector.

PS: looks like the S-balanced by iFi is a bit different: https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/iFi-audio-xCAN-S_BAL-Tech-Note.pdf
Got it, thank you very much! Super helpful. The iFi Hip DAC also has a balanced jack, but I guess that in order to use it you have to have a balance cable that ends in the 4 pin 4.4mm connector and not an adapter. I see a decent cable of these for the Audeze is worth ~$100, do you think it is worth it?
 

benjaminec

Member
Sep 6, 2021
0
1
5
As Vincent explained, there's a good reason why you can't find the adaptor you seek.
And the type of adaptor Xavier2909 mentions above, would not suit your requirement.

You appear to want to be able to connect the 1.9 metre unbalanced / single-ended lead, supplied with your headphones, to a Pentaconn socket.
Even if you could, there would be no advantage to you in doing that.

Presumably a balanced cable is available for your LCD-2.
Alternatively, because you've got all 4 wires available, you could go balanced more cheaply by replacing your 6.35mm plug with one of these:
If you've never soldered, or dealt with Litz cable before - don't even think about it.
In that case, either buy a ready-made balanced cable, or connect your 6.35mm plug to the 6.35mm socket on the Hip DAC.
Thank you, makes sense... what's your opinion on the balanced cable vs. the unbalanced? Is it worth the investment? Do you have a brand and an entry price point that you would recommend?
 

Gray

Well-known member
Thank you, makes sense... what's your opinion on the balanced cable vs. the unbalanced? Is it worth the investment? Do you have a brand and an entry price point that you would recommend?
If only for the increased power output, it would be worthwhile using the balanced output from your Hip DAC. I've got no doubt that you would hear the difference (if not as dramatic a difference as some would have you believe).
Personally though, there's no way on earth that I would pay $100 for any cable. You can get one for half that price on E-bay....but that would still be too much for me.

You didn't say whether you (or someone you know) were OK with a soldering iron.
That's your cheapest option for a good, balanced cable. (You could make your own lead, in your desired length, using cheap (but perfectly adequate), readily available mini-XLR / Pentaconn plugs - and avoid the need to deal with the tricky Litz cable.

Otherwise, you just need to decide how much to spend on a ready-made cable.
Your headphones are good enough to justify the optimised drive option from your amp.
 

benjaminec

Member
Sep 6, 2021
0
1
5
If only for the increased power output, it would be worthwhile using the balanced output from your Hip DAC. I've got no doubt that you would hear the difference (if not as dramatic a difference as some would have you believe).
Personally though, there's no way on earth that I would pay $100 for any cable. You can get one for half that price on E-bay....but that would still be too much for me.

You didn't say whether you (or someone you know) were OK with a soldering iron.
That's your cheapest option for a good, balanced cable. (You could make your own lead, in your desired length, using cheap (but perfectly adequate), readily available mini-XLR / Pentaconn plugs - and avoid the need to deal with the tricky Litz cable.

Otherwise, you just need to decide how much to spend on a ready-made cable.
Your headphones are good enough to justify the optimised drive option from your amp.
Got it, thank you. I asked the Audeze guys for their recommendation and they sent a couple of expensive options, now I get why.

I've never soldered iron, so guess I shouldn't risk it... I guess I'll ask around to see if someone can do it for me. Otherwise, I'll just buy another cable.

Thank you very much! Super helpful
 
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