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adamrobertshaw's picture
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2.5mm TRRS balanced
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I've been looking at the A&K120 mkii and specifically trying to fathom out the balanced output.

This is a 4 pole balanced 2.5mm TRRS socket, right next to the standard 3.5mm socket.

All I can fathom out is that by adding an extra ring on a 2.5mm plug, separate fully balanced left-right signals can be passed into compatable gear.

Has anyone had experience of fully balanced in-ear headphones? The only ones I've seen are JH Audio Roxanne at £ totally laughable and some modified Sennheiser IE800 that are still £ laughable.

The cynic in me says that it's just marketing waffle to brainwash consumers that they won't get the best sound unless they listen down the 2.5mm jack.

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The balanced output is 3.5mm

The balanced output is 3.5mm on the AK120, but I have seen references to a 2.5mm socket on the AK240 (which makes little sense). There could be a hint of snake oil with in-ear wearers 'enjoying' balanced sound on the street where any benefit is drowned out, but full-size headphones certainly benefit from balanced cables.

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Something like the technology

Something like the technology in the AK240 feeding down into the second editions of the "lesser" models.

It does sound like a means of saying you can have mini balanced headphone leads into IEMs. I own on ear HD800 and don't feel the need to get a balanced headphone amp and upgrade the cables.

Just checked the specs on the new AK 120 outputs. Just seems like a hole for collecting dust.

PHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

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Doh! I have the AK120 Mk 1

Doh! I have the AK120 Mk 1 here, confusion over!

Astell and Kern have to add something 'future-like' I guess!

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adamrobertshaw wrote:

adamrobertshaw wrote:

I've been looking at the A&K120 mkii and specifically trying to fathom out the balanced output.

This is a 4 pole balanced 2.5mm TRRS socket, right next to the standard 3.5mm socket.

All I can fathom out is that by adding an extra ring on a 2.5mm plug, separate fully balanced left-right signals can be passed into compatable gear.

Has anyone had experience of fully balanced in-ear headphones? The only ones I've seen are JH Audio Roxanne at £ totally laughable and some modified Sennheiser IE800 that are still £ laughable.

The cynic in me says that it's just marketing waffle to brainwash consumers that they won't get the best sound unless they listen down the 2.5mm jack.

You could be quite correct in assuming this is marketing ploy to get you to use yet-to-be-revealed Astell&Kern headphones as hardly anyone else makes use of this facility, and unless you really know what you are doing with a soldering iron then i don't see many people attempting to make use of it either.

 

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I read up on some headphone

I read up on some headphone nut site where the reviewer had tested the AK240.

He soldered a 2.5mm plug to the four wires from what looked like a 4 pin XLR. He then plugged into the xlr with some quality over ear headphones with balanced headphone leads.

I'm prepared to wire up speaker cables to my plugs but the above just seemed ludicrous.

There appears to be a couple of companies in the USA that make the necessary cables. Doesn't seem to be a demand in UK / Europe though.

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

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