This Sunday I want to have a little chat about aftermarket headphone cables. A couple of years ago the aftermarket cable sector suddenly started to boom and nowadays you have hundreds of cable companies from small to big offering aftermarket cables in all price ranges from $3USD to a few thousand, there is no limit.
There are so many cable companies out there that it’s impossible to list them all but the recurring cables at Headfonia’s HQ seem to be those of Forza AudioWorks, Effect Audio, PlusSound, Linum, C3Audio and MusicSanctuary. I’m not saying these are the ones you need to buy, as the others certainly offer good quality too.
Why aftermarket cables and why not just buy a $3 one from Ebay?
Every single head- or earphone comes supplied with a stock cable and some obviously are better then others. Some companies just add a generic cheap cable with their inears or headphones while others now are supplying their units with aftermarket cables. The “cheap” cables don’t necessarily sound bad, but a lot of people think a good aftermarket cable simply sounds better. I know a lot of people don’t agree to this and that’s perfectly fine. It also brings us to the second group of people who buy after market cables just because they look a lot prettier (see main pic) and/or offer more comfort. (Pic above is the new Quartette from Music Sanctuary)
And last but not least, after market cable companies can make you adapters so that you can use your favorite cable on other headphones. I tend to buy all my cables terminated in Audeze mini-XLR and then I simply use a short, neutral sounding adapter to go from Audeze to Hifiman old style, to Hifiman 2.5mm, to Sennheiser HD800 etc. You can also get an adapter to go from balanced at the amps’ end to Single ended 6.3 or 3.5mm. Of course there also exist universal cables like the one from C3 Audio which we looked at several months ago. (Picture below are Effect Audio adapters)
My questions are:
Do you believe in after market cables?
If yes, which one do you use and why?
If no, why not?