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I have a pair of Sennheiser 555 semi-professional headphones. These have a 6.3mm jack and a 3.5mm jack adapter. I wish I could buy an USB sound card for my laptop that would have a 6.3mm output not 3.5mm so I could skip this adapter and lose less quality.

Any recommendations?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Are you sure that you're losing quality because of the 3.5mm -> 6.3mm adaptor?

If it's the one that came with the headphones it will be made to the same high quality as the headphones - particularly if it's from a company link Sennheiser.

I don't recall ever seeing a computer sound card with anything other than 3.5mm sockets.

While there are probably sound cards with 6.3mm sockets, you might be better off finding the best quality sound card you can afford regardless of the outputs it has. The quality of the output is going to outweigh any loss due to the extra connection in your headphones.

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Well... it's gold plated just like the connector on the main cord. So you do have a valid point. However the onboard one is not a solution. So if I go to an external one let's have one with a proper connector, right? – Andrei Rinea Apr 22 '10 at 21:33
The Xonar (PCI - so not for laptop) has a 6.3mm socket.. – Andrei Rinea Apr 22 '10 at 21:39
@chrisf: in analog signal paths, especially in sound applications, any extra connectors or adapters adds potential signal degradation. – quack quixote Apr 23 '10 at 8:24
@quack - yes, but that degradation is often slight/not measurable, particular with decent quality equipment - which the OP's headphones are. I have some Ministry of Sound DJs headphones, with the same issue, but I can't detect any problems with a 3.5mm jack. – CJM Apr 23 '10 at 10:14
If these huge multi-millimeter interconnects significantly degrade signals at audio (10's of kHz) bandwidths, it's amazing that HDMI, GbE, and eSATA work as well as they do. Unless you're buying absolute rubbish, I think any degradation occurs between the ears, not on the way to them. – coneslayer Apr 23 '10 at 14:07

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