3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables

Fed up talking videogames? Why?
pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

Post3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:24 am

Does anyone know if there is much advantage to buying expensive 3.5mm headphone/auxiliary cables for portable speakers? Just bought a decent portable speaker and would like to get the best sound out of it. I'll be playing WAV format music through it via mobile phone or tablet. And sometimes through CD player.

Are they pretty much like HDMI leads, and the quality is nearly the same? Thoughts?

EDIT: I bought one off Amazon for £6 but it seems a bit flimsy and thin, although it's braided cable. I'm sure there are better quality ones, in terms of sound.

User avatar
Preezy
Skeletor
Joined in 2009

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Preezy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:27 am

I'm sure Denster would tell you that you're better off getting £1,000 cables dipped in the sweet honey of a virgin's peachy pocket, but to the rest of us mortals the quality difference is imperceptible.

User avatar
Nibble
Member
Joined in 2008
Location: Big Tuna

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Nibble » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:44 am

It's debatable that, even, with high-end speakers you would notice any difference. With portable speakers, however, even "decent" ones, you'd have been absolutely wasting your time (and potentially money) to start worrying about any difference in audio quality resulting from different 3.5mm cables.

User avatar
Cheeky Devlin
Member
Joined in 2008
Location: The Dark And Lonely Regions, Where Nobody Goes.
Contact:

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Cheeky Devlin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:47 am

Certainly they send an analogue signal, rather than the digital one something like HDMI would use, and cheaper cables are more likely to be affected by interference and crosstalk from radio signals and other wires due to poor (Or no) shielding. But as Preezy said, unless you spend literal pennies on it, you're not likely to really notice too much of a difference.

Check out some of our stuff!
Image Image Image

JOIN OUR MINECRAFT REALM HERE!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:52 am

Preezy wrote:I'm sure Denster would tell you that you're better off getting £1,000 cables dipped in the sweet honey of a virgin's peachy pocket, but to the rest of us mortals the quality difference is imperceptible.


:slol:

pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:22 am

Cheeky Devlin wrote:Certainly they send an analogue signal, rather than the digital one something like HDMI would use, and cheaper cables are more likely to be affected by interference and crosstalk from radio signals and other wires due to poor (Or no) shielding. But as Preezy said, unless you spend literal pennies on it, you're not likely to really notice too much of a difference.


Yeah, you're probably right. I've bought one for £6 that seems to have good reviews and looks more substantial than the basic ones. I'll report back if it makes a difference :D


This one:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

User avatar
Squinty
Member
Joined in 2009
Location: Norn Oirland

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Squinty » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:11 pm

I don't hear any difference in them. But then I'm deaf as a post, so don't listen to me :toot:

pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:21 pm

Squinty wrote:I don't hear any difference in them. But then I'm deaf as a post, so don't listen to me :toot:


Yeah, probably need to be a sound engineer to tell the difference.

User avatar
Sandy
Member
Joined in 2018
AKA: Akuma / Dormin
Location: Surrey, darling

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Sandy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:39 pm

I can't imagine you hearing much of a difference on a portable speaker setup.

Squinty wrote:I don't hear any difference in them. But then I'm deaf as a post, so don't listen to me :toot:


And you're called Squinty...how's your touch, taste and smell?

User avatar
Chocolate-Milk
Member
Joined in 2015

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Chocolate-Milk » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:21 pm

Sandy wrote:
Squinty wrote:I don't hear any difference in them. But then I'm deaf as a post, so don't listen to me :toot:


And you're called Squinty...how's your touch, taste and smell?

Superhuman, if TV has taught me anything.

Image
User avatar
OrangeRKN
SONM & Cake Sec.
SONM & Cake Sec.
Joined in 2015
Location: Reading, UK
Contact:

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by OrangeRKN » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:38 pm

They call him the Devil of GRcade

User avatar
ignition
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by ignition » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:51 pm

I got a generic aux cable to link my echo to my soundbar, but the sound quality was far inferior to using Bluetooth. Don't really understand why though, and not sure if a 'higher quaility' cable would've made any difference.

Image
User avatar
Squinty
Member
Joined in 2009
Location: Norn Oirland

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Squinty » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:00 pm

Sandy wrote:I can't imagine you hearing much of a difference on a portable speaker setup.

Squinty wrote:I don't hear any difference in them. But then I'm deaf as a post, so don't listen to me :toot:


And you're called Squinty...how's your touch, taste and smell?


Heightened.

I can't eat super spicy food.

User avatar
Sandy
Member
Joined in 2018
AKA: Akuma / Dormin
Location: Surrey, darling

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Sandy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:50 pm

ignition wrote:I got a generic aux cable to link my echo to my soundbar, but the sound quality was far inferior to using Bluetooth. Don't really understand why though, and not sure if a 'higher quaility' cable would've made any difference.


It's to do with the different signal types. The echo itself is a digital machine and will output a digital signal. Audio from the 3.5 jack is analouge. So the Echo passes the digital signal that it creates through a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and then you plug your analogue aux cable into the 3.5 jack. With the bluetooth signal it just stays digital.

The reason for the difference is that digital is binary (0s&1s) and therefore either is or isn't. So if your digital signal isn't being picked up by the audio equipment you just won't hear anything (you might but it will be broken up). Analogue sends the signal in a wave form and the wave form is subject to all kinds of interferences, just like when you tune your radio to the correct wavelength. You can tune it in to somewhere around the correct frequency and you'll hear something but it won't be perfect untill you get the wavelength perfect. All kinds of silly things can make a difference with analogue audio. The quality of the hardware, the shielding of component parts and cable from electical noise, the quality of the cable used, the solder or weld quality and resistance between the connecting electrical components etc.

It's trial and error finding out where your weak link is but the first port of call for most people is the cable as this is the cheapest and easiest to replace without buying new output or receiving hardware. If possible I would just connect over bluetooth the whole time if you're happy with the audio quality and it does what you need it to do.

Last edited by Sandy on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Cheeky Devlin
Member
Joined in 2008
Location: The Dark And Lonely Regions, Where Nobody Goes.
Contact:

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Cheeky Devlin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:03 pm

Sandy wrote:
ignition wrote:I got a generic aux cable to link my echo to my soundbar, but the sound quality was far inferior to using Bluetooth. Don't really understand why though, and not sure if a 'higher quaility' cable would've made any difference.


It's to do with the different signal types. The echo itself is a digital machine and will output a digital signal. Audio from the 3.5 jack is analouge. So the Echo passes the digital signal that it creates through a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and then you plug your analogue aux cable into the 3.5 jack. With the bluetooth signal it just stays digital.

The reason for the difference is that digital is binary (0s&1s) and therefore either is or isn't. So if you digital signal isn't being picked up by the audio equipment you just won't hear anything (you might but it will be broken up). Analogue sends the signal in a wave form and the wave form is subject to all kinds of interferences, just like when you tune your radio to the correct wavelength. You can tune it in to somewhere around the correct frequency and you'll hear something but it won't be perfect untill you get the wavelength perfect. All kinds of silly things can make a difference with analogue audio. The quality of the hardware, the shielding of component parts and cable from electical noise, the quality of the cable used, the solder or weld quality and resistance between the connecting electrical components etc.

It's trial and error finding out where your weak link is but the first port of call for most people is the cable as this is the cheapest and easiest to replace without buying new output or receiving hardware. If possible I would just connect over bluetooth the whole time if you're happy with the audio quality and it does what you need it to do.


It's the same with broadcast TV signals. It's the reason you could still watch a shitty analogue TV signal in poor weather, but the Digital signal equivalent is unwatchable as the information just isn't there. Analogue at least gives you "something".

EDIT: Nice post btw Sandy. :D

Check out some of our stuff!
Image Image Image

JOIN OUR MINECRAFT REALM HERE!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
User avatar
ignition
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by ignition » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:49 am

Sandy wrote:
ignition wrote:I got a generic aux cable to link my echo to my soundbar, but the sound quality was far inferior to using Bluetooth. Don't really understand why though, and not sure if a 'higher quaility' cable would've made any difference.


It's to do with the different signal types. The echo itself is a digital machine and will output a digital signal. Audio from the 3.5 jack is analouge. So the Echo passes the digital signal that it creates through a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and then you plug your analogue aux cable into the 3.5 jack. With the bluetooth signal it just stays digital.

The reason for the difference is that digital is binary (0s&1s) and therefore either is or isn't. So if your digital signal isn't being picked up by the audio equipment you just won't hear anything (you might but it will be broken up). Analogue sends the signal in a wave form and the wave form is subject to all kinds of interferences, just like when you tune your radio to the correct wavelength. You can tune it in to somewhere around the correct frequency and you'll hear something but it won't be perfect untill you get the wavelength perfect. All kinds of silly things can make a difference with analogue audio. The quality of the hardware, the shielding of component parts and cable from electical noise, the quality of the cable used, the solder or weld quality and resistance between the connecting electrical components etc.

It's trial and error finding out where your weak link is but the first port of call for most people is the cable as this is the cheapest and easiest to replace without buying new output or receiving hardware. If possible I would just connect over bluetooth the whole time if you're happy with the audio quality and it does what you need it to do.


Huh, so simple! Thanks so much for the great explanation.

As an aside, I have my sky box and games consoles each linked direct to my soundbar by generic optical cables via a switcher (I don't use the TV's ARC as this introduced audio lag for some reason). The sound quality is superb. Is the reason why this analogue signal gives great quality because the device itself is outputting the signal in native analogue and not via an internal DAC?

Image
pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:54 am

Sandy wrote:
ignition wrote:I got a generic aux cable to link my echo to my soundbar, but the sound quality was far inferior to using Bluetooth. Don't really understand why though, and not sure if a 'higher quaility' cable would've made any difference.


It's to do with the different signal types. The echo itself is a digital machine and will output a digital signal. Audio from the 3.5 jack is analouge. So the Echo passes the digital signal that it creates through a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and then you plug your analogue aux cable into the 3.5 jack. With the bluetooth signal it just stays digital.

The reason for the difference is that digital is binary (0s&1s) and therefore either is or isn't. So if your digital signal isn't being picked up by the audio equipment you just won't hear anything (you might but it will be broken up). Analogue sends the signal in a wave form and the wave form is subject to all kinds of interferences, just like when you tune your radio to the correct wavelength. You can tune it in to somewhere around the correct frequency and you'll hear something but it won't be perfect untill you get the wavelength perfect. All kinds of silly things can make a difference with analogue audio. The quality of the hardware, the shielding of component parts and cable from electical noise, the quality of the cable used, the solder or weld quality and resistance between the connecting electrical components etc.

It's trial and error finding out where your weak link is but the first port of call for most people is the cable as this is the cheapest and easiest to replace without buying new output or receiving hardware. If possible I would just connect over bluetooth the whole time if you're happy with the audio quality and it does what you need it to do.


Thanks for that Sandy. So, I'm assuming that my portable speaker (https://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-PK5-XBOOM-B ... B07CKTG5NR) is digital only? I can connect via BT (obviously digital) and also with an Aux cable to use a phone or CD player (I'm assuming that's digital too). Would analogue only be via something like a record player?

BTW, seriously impressive sound out of this little box. Highly recommended.

User avatar
Sandy
Member
Joined in 2018
AKA: Akuma / Dormin
Location: Surrey, darling

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Sandy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:04 pm

ignition wrote:Huh, so simple! Thanks so much for the great explanation.

As an aside, I have my sky box and games consoles each linked direct to my soundbar by generic optical cables via a switcher (I don't use the TV's ARC as this introduced audio lag for some reason). The sound quality is superb. Is the reason why this analogue signal gives great quality because the device itself is outputting the signal in native analogue and not via an internal DAC?


Optical is a digital cable so it will still be a digital signal for that.

pjbetman wrote:Thanks for that Sandy. So, I'm assuming that my portable speaker (https://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-PK5-XBOOM-B ... B07CKTG5NR) is digital only? I can connect via BT (obviously digital) and also with an Aux cable to use a phone or CD player (I'm assuming that's digital too). Would analogue only be via something like a record player?

BTW, seriously impressive sound out of this little box. Highly recommended.


Anything that goes over an aux cable will be analogue. The hardware with the 3.5 jack will have a DAC incorporated into the motherboard that converts it before it leaves the device via the 3.5 jack.

In this instance the Bluetooth receiver in your speaker will convert whatever it receives to analogue before shoving it through onboard amp and then the speakers. The cable you run from your phone will go straight to the amp and then through to the speakers. This will be the case with all consumer audio equipment that's made like this.

Lithium batteries have seriously improved the quality of portable speaker that you can get in the last 10 years. The output of some of these tiny machine is seriously impressive.

pjbetman
Member
Joined in 2017

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by pjbetman » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:15 pm

Sandy wrote:
ignition wrote:Huh, so simple! Thanks so much for the great explanation.

As an aside, I have my sky box and games consoles each linked direct to my soundbar by generic optical cables via a switcher (I don't use the TV's ARC as this introduced audio lag for some reason). The sound quality is superb. Is the reason why this analogue signal gives great quality because the device itself is outputting the signal in native analogue and not via an internal DAC?


Optical is a digital cable so it will still be a digital signal for that.

pjbetman wrote:Thanks for that Sandy. So, I'm assuming that my portable speaker (https://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-PK5-XBOOM-B ... B07CKTG5NR) is digital only? I can connect via BT (obviously digital) and also with an Aux cable to use a phone or CD player (I'm assuming that's digital too). Would analogue only be via something like a record player?

BTW, seriously impressive sound out of this little box. Highly recommended.


Anything that goes over an aux cable will be analogue. The hardware with the 3.5 jack will have a DAC incorporated into the motherboard that converts it before it leaves the device via the 3.5 jack.

In this instance the Bluetooth receiver in your speaker will convert whatever it receives to analogue before shoving it through onboard amp and then the speakers. The cable you run from your phone will go straight to the amp and then through to the speakers. This will be the case with all consumer audio equipment that's made like this.

Lithium batteries have seriously improved the quality of portable speaker that you can get in the last 10 years. The output of some of these tiny machine is seriously impressive.


Thanks Sandy, very informative.

So, theoretically, AUX cables will vary significantly, as it's an analogue signal?

User avatar
Sandy
Member
Joined in 2018
AKA: Akuma / Dormin
Location: Surrey, darling

PostRe: 3.5mm headphone/auxilliary cables
by Sandy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:18 pm

pjbetman wrote:Thanks Sandy, very informative.

So, theoretically, AUX cables will vary significantly, as it's an analogue signal?


Yes but the law of diminishing returns applies. I don't think there's any point spending hundreds of pounds on cables but some people will swear they can hear the difference.

As long as the copper quality is not complete rubbish and the cable has decent shielding I can't imagine most people being able to tell the difference. If people get to the point where they're so hung up on hearing impurities in the audio then they're probably missing the point of listening to music in the first place.


Return to “Stuff”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andretmzt, Benzin, Bunni, Cuttooth, Dowbocop, kerr9000, mic, Monkey Man, OrangeRKN, Photek, Preezy, Qikz, Rax, Return_of_the_STAR, Sandy, SandyCoin, wensleydale and 68 guests