I can't tell you the number of times we get this question on a weekly basis. It's a great question actually, but most of the time people are simply misinformed on what can be a fairly complicated topic. Have no fear. Moon Audio is here!
Quick Answer: It depends.
Yeah, I know that sounds like the most disappointing lead-up to a really underwhelming superhero. But the fact remains that there are a lot of details to think about:
- determining what kind of "balance" you are wanting (i.e. cables, amp, headphones), the circuitry/signal path of the amp, how a piece of equipment fits into your overall system, headphone or IEM impedance, A/B testing units cable length, headphone compatibility, connector type, etc.
There are many things to consider before asking a very vague question like: "is balanced audio better than single ended." Guess what? In some cases single ended sounds better than balanced and in other cases balanced sounds better than single ended. Why do people think balanced audio is superior? How does balanced audio even work? What applications are better for balanced and for single-ended?
This page is to help walk you through the steps to help you determine if balanced or single ended solutions are best for you.