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Which cable for headphones? Dynamics Plugins
Old 10th December 2005
Lives for gear
Which cable for headphones?

I need an extension cable for my headphones for vocals, now that I have a 2nd room for tracking. I'll need about 25-30 ft, to run through the wall from the mix room to the tracking room. I have a Grace 901 headphone amplifier, so the cable will be downstream of the amplifier.

The commercial extension cables are expensive..................up to $159 for a 15 ft. DiMarzio!

I assume this is just brand name hype, and I can have the best quality one built for much less cost. Just a high quality cable with a TRS male on one end and a TRS female on the other.

1. Am I right that building one is the way to go, or am I missing something unique about headphone cables?

2. What type cable should I use? Can I use the Canare DA-206 110-ohm digital cable, which I am now using for analog interconnect cables?

Old 10th December 2005
Lives for gear
obostic's Avatar

I built my own using mogami 2944 cable with Neutrik male and female 1/4" connectors! You will come out pretty cheap with a quality extension.
Old 10th December 2005
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orange's Avatar

just about any 3 conductor (2 + shield) cable you have hanging around (mic cable/fst etc etc) will do the job ok.
Old 21st August 2016
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Scoox's Avatar
I need to make a headphone extension cable. I've read in several places that "2+shield" microphone cable will do the job. However, the two unbalanced signal wires would be next to each other, which makes me wonder whether there would be any cross-talk issues? The cable that came with my Sennheiser HD600 headphone has a separate shield for each unbalanced wire, but my Beyerdynamic cans have a 2+Shield cable, so I'm confused. Also, I see most stereo RCA cables, again, have a separate shield for each signal wire. Surely individual shielding is better, but on headphone cables does it make an audible difference?

Headphone cable: (●)(●)
Microphone cable: (●●)

Any resemblance to anything other than cable cross-sections is purely coincidental.
Old 21st August 2016
Lives for gear
Scoox's Avatar
OK I found this article:

Q. Is it normal to get crosstalk appearing on headphones?

This article outlines one reason why a shared ground return path is a bad idea, and recommends the use of separate ground return wires for each channel if possible. The article also highlights the benefit of high impedance headphones over low impedance headphones (high impedance = less crosstalk).

The article however does not take into account capacitive and inductive crosstalk the L and R signal wires.

Other related links:

Balanced Headphone Drive
EMI - induced current on two parallel wire
Copper Cable Transmission Characteristics

Last edited by Scoox; 21st August 2016 at 11:39 PM..
Old 8th February 2017
Gear Maniac

Headphone Extention

I agree with the first reply on building the cable.

If not try

Headphone Extensions | Pro Audio LA
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