Headphone Amp: TRS now, XLR later?

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Headphone Amp: TRS now, XLR later?
« on: 16 Aug 2015, 01:27 pm »
I am getting ready to order my LIO, and have a question about which headphone connection to specify. I have "ordinary" headphones today (still waiting to be unpacked from a move, unknown brand), but plan to upgrade soon to an Audeze LCD-3. So, should I order the XLR jack on the headphone amp section and use a TRS adapter until I upgrade to the Audeze? Or use a TRS cable for the Audeze (I think it may come with one).

I guess it really boils down to a question of whether the XLR jack has any electrical or sonic advantages over a TRS jack on the headphone amp section of the LIO.


Vinnie R.

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Re: Headphone Amp: TRS now, XLR later?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Aug 2015, 06:38 pm »
Hi jle,

If you configure your LIO with the 4-pin XLR output jack, you cannot use an adapter to convert to 1/4" (signle-ended, TRS).
In other words, you cannot tie the L- and R- terminals together to GND.  This would short out the headphone amp's balanced output stage.

What you can do is order your LIO with the TRS jack, and when you get your LCD-3's later, I can send you the 4-pin XLR jack and cable that plugs into the HPA module.  It is very easy to install (two philips head screws and a plug that plugs onto a header on the HPA module).

The HPA module has BOTH SE and BAL output signals.  So you either tap the SE output, or the BAL output based on the jack that you use.

For LCD3s, I highly recommend the BAL output.  It has more output voltage swing, which I believe you will enjoy with the LCD3.

All the best,