QED PS3 Controller Cable £10
11th Feb 2010 | 11:00
USB cable offers improvement in audio quality for an affordable price
We wouldn't even have spotted the QED PS3 Controller Cable in the catalogue had we not been directed towards it. Both its description and application appear irrelevant to high-performance audio, and it makes no more claim than being a plain USB cable with Type A to Mini B connectors.
It is available in lengths of up to five metres at attractive prices and, despite its non-audio intentions, it seems to be well made with good materials.
This includes high-purity copper and low-loss dielectric along with some particularly nice plugs fitted at both ends. These are metal-bodied types and the Mini B unit gives by far the most positive engagement of any similar connectors we've tried with its mating receptacle.
The cable is a little thicker than most freebies and slightly less flexible as a result, but unlikely to give trouble even when connected to lightweight components. We used it to feed the iBasso D4 headphone amplifier and DAC.
Once again, the main areas of improvement are the general liveliness of the music, and a boost to clarity. The results don't seem to be huge or profound, yet we found ourselves enjoying the performances more and spotting little details that had escaped our attention previously.
Also, the improvement in bass precision was very distinct, with more tuneful and better controlled sound throughout the lower octaves.
Treble was also just a little sweeter with rather more of a sense of ambience, and acoustics sounding as if they had been made in a recording venue.
Midrange tonality seemed unaltered, which is fine as it was already good.
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