Would you believe that different audio cables can affect the audio quality? The general rationale behind this “theory” is that the different material and thickness can somewhat affect the sound and the cleanliness. For instance, thinner cable strands deliver faster signal while thicker cables work better for lower frequencies. The audio cables can also come in numerous wires braided together to further improve the signal. There are a lot of art and science put into this area by audio enthusiasts, and I have personally experienced the difference when using different audio cables.
I was holding to the Beyerdynamic Xelento Wireless earphones for a few months as well as the Sony Premium Walkman NW-WM1Z. The Xelento Wireless offers wireless convenience, but the wired cable sound quality felt somewhat lacking, with sharp highs that do not do justice to the earphones. Sony WM1Z supports balanced audio cable which I have none. I needed to experience the full potential of Xelento, so I browsed AliExpress and Taobao and found this OURART brand audio upgrade cables which is meant for their in-house Ti7 earphones. This model was reviewed by several audiophile sites, which meant they are somewhat legit, so I ordered one set from Taobao, costing about a little over S$60 after shipping. Here’s the link if you are interested. Here is another site with English description of the specs.
The package came and it turned out to be more than I expected. OURART official Taobao store included plenty of eartips, an egg-shaped glass container to protect the cables, behind-ear silicone hooks, and a pair of MMCX earbuds made of metal casing.
The star of the deal is obviously the cables. They are separately wired from the 4.4mm connector instead of Y-split. The cons is that I have double the cable to manage, but the thickness meant they won’t tangle like normal earphone cables.
Benefits of Balanced Audio Cable
To explain simply, balanced audio cable comes with 2 audio signal wires that sends identical audio signal, but the audio device inverts one of the signal to detect distortion and removes them. Other potential advantages include:
- better signal to noise ratio
- lower impedance signals
- zero external noise or distortion
Without a doubt, the OURART balanced cables deliver a much smoother sound. The harsh treble heard on the original Xelento 3.5mm silver-plated cable is no longer present, the musical impact fills the ears without significant rough edges. Taken from the NocturnaL Audio (Singapore company) website:
- Copper: Balanced yet warm and natural sounding with slight emphasis on highs and mids, more bass sound.
- Copper+Silver Hybrid: It will have both the benefits of a silver wire and copper wire, overall a balanced sound.
- Silver: Best sound staging in terms of transparency. Highs are refined and does not cause fatigue. Bright emphasis on highs and mids.
- Gold+Silver Hybrid: Silver strands improves details & soundstaging to achieve the best imaging abilities. Gold strands provides lush bass response & textured midrange.
Cable manufacturers play around the metal properties to create outstanding audio experience. The Sony WM1Z also plays a critical part in achieving more expansive and full sound compared to standard audio players. I was unable to compare my experience with other cables as I only have one pair of MMCX earphones, and the KEF Motion One MMCX female connectors are too recessed to insert the OURART male connector securely.
Compared to other premium audiophile cables that could cost hundreds of dollars (check out NocturnaL Audio, a Singapore company), this OURART balanced audio cable is considered “entry-level”, yet it can already transform and improve the headphones. With quality audio players and headphone drivers, all the more one should explore getting quality cables to bring out the best. This is a high-value buy that I recommend if you have similar audio setup.