I plan on buying a Uniti Atom HE and a pair of Focal headphones. I was looking to add a Black Dragon cable as I need some extra cable length, but I am unsure which connection type to choose for the headphones to Atom end. Is there an optimal connection type (Pentaconn, XLR, 1/4")?
There is no “optimal” connection. I have an Atom HE and have cables for my ‘phones using each of the XLR and 1/4”. I like the XLR as it plugs into the back of the Atom HE and can be left in place. If the Atom HE is being used to drive an amp, then you need to switch it between amp and headphone mode using the switch on the front. On the other hand the 1/4” is more common and switches the unit into headphone mode when it is inserted, so if you have other electronics that you want to use with the ‘phones, then it may be a more versatile option. I have not found any difference in sound quality.
I settled on Pentaconn and would recommend the same. That way you benefit from being able to use the same cables on the Naim and across (most) modern day portable players. Pentaconn seems to be where the industry is moving lately.
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