Need More Slack

Something that has plagued custom in-ear monitor (CIEM) users since their adoption in the live music performance world is wired connectivity. Typically earphones, whether the cable is detachable or not, have a nominal length of about four feet. Similar to other CIEM manufactures, we go to great lengths to ensure that our standard cables don’t have any destructive sonic properties and are extremely low electrical resistance; referred to as impedance measured in ohms (Ω). Our standard supplied cables are usually under 1Ω which is low enough to not reduce the sensitivity of the CIEMs and not alter the frequency response of any CIEM that doesn’t have a linear impedance (our patented LID™ tech).

Although our LID™ technology ensures that our CIEMs’ frequency response (excluding A18t) stay unaffected by changes in impedance, it is still important what plug your IEMs into. The effectiveness of your source (along with dozens of other factors) will determine the quality of your mix. For live musical performances you’ve always had the option of either a wireless body pack or the less expensive wired solution using a cheap extension cable. The problem with any sub-par equipment in your signal chain is that any one thing can be destructive to your sound, and together with multiple weak-links can have a negative compounding effect.

Since we go to such great lengths to ensure our silver-plated copper cables are of the highest quality, we wanted to build an extension solution that had the same level of attention to detail; for those who want to use a wired live-monitoring system. It is somewhat of a shame that the components we use are of such high quality and all of that work can be undermined by a low quality extension cable that will add a lot of resistance and inductance.

The Solution

We’ve come up with an excellent product that eliminates that issue; our Hi-Res Headphone Extension Cable. We call it a “headphone cable” understanding that we build CIEMs. This sort of product has existed for a while under that recognizable name so we stuck with it to make sure it’s easily searchable. We also encourage people using any other products like headphones, earphones, earbuds and competitor CIEMs to give it a try. Our extension cable gives you an extra 10 feet of slack, giving most live music performers more than enough room for movement without sound quality loss.

Quality Components

So how do we achieve this. The $99 price point reflects the reality of building a quality cable of this length. The 10 foot wire consists of 3 cores with 44 22AWG pure copper wires, which allows for such a low-resistance electrical pathway. The wire is contained in a tactile braided nylon jacketing.

On the “male” end of the cable we’ve chosen to go with a 1/4″ connector made by one of the most reputable names in cable connectors, Neutrik. The NP3RX-B ¼” TRS Plug was chosen because of it’s robust build and high-quality control standards; the cost of which is higher than the total price of some low-quality extension cables. On the “female” end we’re using a Rean (by Neutrik) NYS240BG ⅛” (3.5mm) TRS Jack, which is similarly robustly built. Both ends are fitted with multiple layers of strain relief to increase the reliability of the solder points over time.

As an aside, we chose to go with a 1/4″ male end rather than an 1/8″ (3.5mm) because most pro-audio components have a 1/4″ output for the built-in headphone amplifiers and the larger connectors have far better tolerances; you can always get a small converter if you absolutely need the smaller connector for the male end.

Multiple Uses

This can be a valuable tool for all kinds of headphone/IEM users. The most obvious being live musical performers, especially those who use personal monitoring mixers in their venues. If you have questions about different Pro-Audio monitoring setups, checkout this blog post which goes into extraordinary detail on some of the more popular ones.

Audiophiles can enjoy their favorite headphones, earphones, earbuds, and IEMs without having to be glued next to their high-end headphone amplifier. You can plug in and relax with up to 10 feet separating you and the headphone amplifier without losing audio quality.

Studio professionals like recording engineers, mixing engineers, and mastering engineers often have to keep their headphone amplifiers at desktop level since it has to live within four feet of the headphones themselves. With the additional 10 feet you can get much more flexibility.

Even gamers can benefit from the headphone extension. Although much of those users have wireless solutions, the gamers choosing higher end audio options are sticking with quality components which are typically wired. Whatever you use for your headphone source, it doesn’t have to live right next to you.

Whatever your potential use may be, if you need the extra room and you care about sound quality then this is something you need.