Cable recommendation for AQ Nighthawk Carbons?

Several years ago I purchased my first (and only so far) pair of quality headphones - the Audioquest Nighthawk Carbons. These along with my Dragonfly Red DAC were good enough for me to try and maximize the sound I was able to get out of my source iPhone.

Nowadays I have a few more gadgets, including a Chord Mojo w/Poly streamer, and a new Fiio Q5S (with the THX amp).

I’ve always hated the stock cable that comes with the Nighthawk Carbons. It’s a little short and just not flexible enough. The sound quality is fine, but the form factor is simply annoying.

It’s time to find a suitable replacement, so here’s where I could use some help…

I want to continue using both my Mojo and Q5S amps, so I guess that means I need to stick with a 3.5mm connector. I’m a little confused as to whether I can look at balanced or need to stay with single ended? Also, I’m not exactly sure what type/size connectors fit into each of the ear cups?

I could use a recommendation from you. I see that Moon Audio advertises their “Blue Dragon and Silver Dragon” cables, but they’re also $200+. Not sure if that’s just snake oil or if in fact it might be a good option. I’m hoping there might be a good ChiFi choice out there…

Help a brother out and let me know your thoughts. Links to any recommendations would be appreciated.


So regarding the balanced vs unbalanced, you would want to get balanced cable and then a female balanced to 3.5 unbalanced male, that would let you take advantage of the balanced on the fiio and still use the mojo just fine

The q5s supports 4.4mm balanced and 2.5mm balanced

You would be looking for a cable with 2.5mm jacks that connect into the headphones and a balanced end either being 2.5mm balanced or 4.4mm balanced. You would then get either a female 4.4 mm or 2.5mm depending on what you go well to a unbalanced 3.5mm

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Okay that’s helpful, thank you. My Q5S has the THX amp, so no 2.5mm balanced connection as a result.

Do you have any certain cables you recommend?

Good to know then :+1:

So there are custom cables you can have made from people like brux at hart audio and other makers like that, but for here I will recommend something readily available

What length are you looking for? The stock cable you have is 4 ft

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Just a little longer would be fine… maybe 5’ or 6’? I don’t have a good sense for what is sort of a standard length. Anything that’s just a bit longer than the stock 4’ cable is what I’m after I guess.

This at 6.6 foot is nice and should work just fine

You would then get an adapter like this one

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That looks great, but I think the connectors to the ear cups are the wrong size?

Wow sorry my bad, it must have copied the incorrect link, it showed up a something different to me, one sec

Yeah sorry about that, I copied the wrong link, thanks for catching that

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Sold! Thanks!! I will order this today. Now I just need to track down one of those adapters you mentioned so I can use it with the Mojo too…

Just noticed you linked the adapter above too… thank you thank you !