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Ideal headphone cable length for home setup


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I was wondering what headphone cable length would be ideal for a home setup.

My logic tells me that shorter is better, since it will limit the total cable capacitance. Of course it needs to be long enough to not be inconvenient and flexibility also plays an important role. Let's just assume that I'd use a balanced version of Alex' V3 cable. ;)

Assuming an audio rack setup next to a medium sized desk I would think that a 6' cable would be enough for regular use, and then an extension cable could be used for when you want to sit in the couch and use your cans for nighttime TV watching.

I might've missed some common usage scenarios, but this is what I could think of off the top of my head. What would you recommend and why?

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I'd rather have 3 feet snaked on the floor than have to move my chair 3 inches. Measure the distance between your amp and your listening positions, and then add more to allow for slack and play. Does having a few more feet of cable really make that much difference sonically compared to not having it ergonomically?

I'd want more than 6 feet personally. 8 or 10 is good. Odd given that my speaker cable runs are only 4.

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I'd rather have 3 feet snaked on the floor than have to move my chair 3 inches.

Agreed. 10ft minimum on any recable for me, and I only sit a few feet from my amp. I just toss any extra cable under my desk. This is also so the cable can run straight down my chest and onto the floor in front of me, as opposed as directly to the right where my amp is located. I find when using a shorter cable and having to run it in this fashion, it drags the headphone down on my head all lopsided.

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20 ft only here, I like to have the ability of getting up and walking around without taking the phones off, esp if its a good track playing. With Grados I use extensions of course but the Cardas on the Senn's is 20ft, so is my Cardas for the sensaphonics (home use only cable).

I did a comparo with a few Grados and the extension cable a long time ago, didn't hear shit of a difference.

I would love to buy a set 0f 701's but how the hell am i going to get a stock cord in 20ft length? don't think i am buying them soon..

It depends on your needs and how far off the Rack do you listen to the headphones. i don't believe the greater the length makes a sonic change, unless your running 300 feet lengths maybe. also if your balanced it should not matter one bit no matter the length. as far as hearing the difference between 6 feet and 20ft I would say your smoking something.

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Optimally, headphones would have lemo connectors or something, and you could change the length to suit your needs -- for example, there are times when I am in front of the computer, and don't want to move -- in which case 6 feet is fine -- then there are times when I want to listen in bed, in which case 20' would be more appropriate, and so on.

Because we all know that extensions add additional connections, which are bad, right?

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I go with about 9-10' since that's long enough for me to lie in bed or sit at my workdesk. Unfortunately, the cables on my Grados aren't long enough to reach to the workdesk, but they still reach to the bed so it's not too bad. I haven't decided if I'm going to build an extension cable or build a whole new system near my desk.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The wood and glass rack looks good to me, it's better than mine.

The problem might be the lack of coiling skills.

I've found that aftermarket recables, such as APureSound V3, Moon Audio Black Dragon and Enigma Audio Oracle, coil easily and hold their shape. I usually sit near the audio rack, within reaching distance of the volume knob, but I like an eight or nine foot headphone cable.

Six feet is too short, and over ten becomes more cumbersome, so eight or nine is about right. Some of the cable length is taken up by the section that lies along your body, roughtly the distance from your head to the ground.

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