Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Headphone Systems Everything to do with Headphones

Why are headphone cables shielded?
Why are headphone cables shielded?
Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd February 2010, 09:14 PM   #1
jaencer is offline jaencer  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Why are headphone cables shielded?

I don't see the reason why pretty much ALL commercial headphones come with shielded wires (even the economy HPs). I mean, how much EMI or RFI noise would actually be audible? If you took an unshielded headphone cable and put it right next to a transformer, it still probably would move the diaphram enough to be audible...
Speaker cables aren't normall shielded, and headphones are little speakers...
So why are headphone cables shielded? Is it to reduce noise injected back into the circuit (and why would that be a problem? what would that do?)

Thanks for your knowlege
  Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2010, 12:02 AM   #2
Iain McNeill is offline Iain McNeill  United Kingdom
diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
Iain McNeill's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, California
My guess is because shielded 2 conductor cable terminated on a stereo 3.5mm plug is mass produced in China for pennies. The shield does nothing as you say because of the low impedance of the amplifier and transducers.

It may also offer some strength to prevent the thin wires from breaking, but my money is on the cost factor.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2010, 03:00 AM   #3
Jen-B is offline Jen-B  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Iain you are right that it's cheap in quantity, but it would be even cheaper if it was not there. I think the actual answer is that it's a combination of additional strength and crush protection.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2010, 07:19 AM   #4
mjf is offline mjf  Austria
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Austria
i have a headphone connected to my computer soundcard.
with the shielded lengthening cable all is quiet,but with the unshielded cable i can hear a little (modem)noise in the background..........
  Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2010, 05:18 PM   #5
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
diyAudio Member
qusp's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
headphone cables are inherently low power/high sensitivity devices, which are much more susceptible to noise than wires carrying high current. a few microvolts of noise coupled into a headphone cable has a MUCH larger effect on the drivers as a result. that being said I only ever use shielding on home headphone cables (single ended) as they are generally much longer and tend to pass by more sources of interference than the occasional mobile phone tower like with portable. the home is literally full of noise these days with wireless LANs etc.

hope that answers your question
  Reply With Quote


Why are headphone cables shielded?Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shielded cables - success Brit01 Tubes / Valves 10 10th August 2009 04:08 PM
active shielded speaker cables sunrise Solid State 44 11th April 2007 06:28 AM
shielded cables in enclosure MBK Solid State 25 16th March 2004 03:31 AM
Shielded cables? Dxvideo Chip Amps 6 22nd January 2004 06:54 AM
Wiring headphone cables. haffe Headphone Systems 4 20th February 2003 12:58 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:27 AM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.79%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2017 diyAudio