I’m trying to use my 1/4" headphones with my M15. What is the best interface to use? the 3.5mm, 2.5mm balanced, or 4.4mm balanced?
The 3.5mm will work directly with 1/4" headphones, using just a size adapter. These each have three channels: left, right, and a shared ground.
Both the 2.5 and 4.4 balanced jacks require a set of balanced cables that have independent ground wires (e.g., left, right, left ground, right ground). If your headphones have interchangeable cables then you could buy new balanced cables for either the 2.5 or 4.4 connector.
The balanced connectors will generally deliver better performance than the 3.5mm connector. The 4.4mm is a newer and stronger design than the 2.5mm.
thank you for the info… so if i wanted to use the 4.4mm jack i would have to buy new cables on my headphones instead of an adapter… i own hifiman arya and LCD-X headphones.
Yes, you need new cables for the balanced connectors unless you have the knowledge and skills to do it yourself.
You can adapt a balanced to single ended headphone cable, but not a single ended to balanced headphone cable (on the amp side).
IMO, you don’t need balanced with the LCD-X. They are very easy to drive.