Are modular cables possible other way around (headphone end)?

As we have seen, modular cables exist in the IEM world. You can change the amp end to be a 3.5mm, 4.4mm, 2.5mm connector. However, my little brain wondered: But would it be possible to manufacture a modular cable with the headphone end being the modular part?

I’m asking more from a technical point of view, because it’s clearly possible to manufacture a cable that can accept both balanced and single ended connectors, so why is/isn’t it possible to do the same on the headphone end?

There are soooo many different connectors for the headphone end of the cable. I mean, usually you buy a cable for a particular headphone, but what if you want to switch it up and use it on your other headphone… which uses a different connector?

Doable or not?

Yeah the interconnect systems @brux makes have the option for both ends to be modular. I have an interconnect from another company and it’s basically the same thing. Mini XLR on both ends so you can attach whatever style your headphone takes. Simplifies things pretty well.

When I say modular, I don’t mean adapters that go on an existing male end. Take a look at this example:

The whole purpose of modular cables is that they aren’t as bulky as the usual adapter system (e.g. 3.5mm stock non-removable connectors with add-on adapters) and they are easy to switch out.

Would it be possible to do the same for the headphone end of the cable?

I think I’m taking about what you’re thinking. It’s basically a dual sided mini XLR and on one side you can attach the amp side like 4.4, XLR, etc and on the other side think of it like the split on a normal headphone cable but the split is detachable. So you plug in a cable that works for whatever headphone termination you’re using.

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I make my own cables in a similar way.

I have “center” parts that are miniXLR at bothe ends (of varying lengths) and at the amp end, different terminations to miniXLRs, at the headphone end miniXLR to multiple types (2.5, 3.5, Sennheiser, etc.).

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Alright, I think I got the answer: it’s possible, but bulky. At least from what I’ve seen

I’m genuinely wondering how bulky the Hart Audio (the one you are talking about) is.

With IEMs it can actually be quite small and slim, and I think there’s a good reason behind that

effect audio connX

The question is are you willing to pay the premium

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That’s the idea, but that’s for IEMs.

I think the biggest disadvantage of today’s modular cables is that we don’t have more options (e.g. 6.35mm). The manufacturer makes a modular cable with the standard 3.5mm, 2.5mm, and 4.4mm adapters and that’s it.

I think pretty much all of them do custom orders. If you can figure out what that tiny plug style is I’m sure they can all make it but for headphones I honestly don’t have a problem with the size. I wouldn’t want it that big for IEMs but it seems fine for headphones having the mini XLR as the interconnect and they’re readily available so all you’d need is just the terminations for either side and a mini XLR extension for the center.

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Tbh I hate big connectors, I wish more headphones implemented tiny connectors like the 2-pin ones Sennheiser uses for the HD600 series…

But then there are people who find chunkier and bigger connectors more attractive.

Preferences, I guess :wink: