Hello All,
I just joined the forum, thanks for having me. I'm currently upgrading my old setup (Fiio X1, Fiio A3, Grado SR60) and am wondering if I could get some advice on cables. I'm going with a Sony A55, Ifi Zen Can and Hifiman HE 400SE.
I've already received the HE400s, and the included cable is really not great. My main question is should I look at balanced cables, and if so, both in and out of the amp?
The A55 has a balanced 3.5mm out, and the Zen Can has 4.4mm, RCA and 3.5mm in with 6.3mm and 4.4mm out. What would the best combination of cables be?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Audioholic Field Marshall
Excuse my seeming ignorance, but it would seem you are talking about headphones, headphone amps and a camera? And you'd like cable advice?

If I'm not too far off out in the woods, let me first say greetings and welcome to the AH forum. Great place for lots of advice and help. There are a few landmine topics however that could leave a very bad taste in a newcomers mouth. One of them is cables.

Mostly, questions about questionable "upgrade" cables for system interconnects and power. Those questions are incendiary and often end up in hurt feelings. I think your question is a genuine one about cables most of us don't spend too much time thinking about. But its a safe and sane question.

For my cans, I just try and find the stoutest, yet flexible cable that fits the length I need and I'm done with it.
If you don't like the stock ones, there are oodles to choose from. Just don't get caught up in the exotic "upgrade" cable syndrome. A piece of wire is a piece of wire. Don't let the snake oil guys tell you otherwise.


Audioholic Overlord
I agree with Buck, and just to expound a bit further, expensive exotic cables are a scam and offer zero audible improvements. Those guys are snake oil peddlers who prey on expectation bias and pseudoscience to push their products. Gene has measured a few of them and demonstrated that some were actually inferior on a couple of different metrics than the stock cords, or more reasonably priced alernatives. Competently made with pure copper of the proper gauge, length, and flexibility are really the only things I factor.

I buy most of my cables at Monoprice. They're well made, reasonably priced and tic all the right boxes for me. If you're going to spend a lot for cables elsewhere just know that it's pretty much only audio jewelry with no real performance benefits at all. The cable cake is a lie. :p



Audioholic Jedi
Well, what's not great about the stock cable on the phones? Is it microphonic or something?

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