USB Cable

I'm considering upgrading a generic 5 meter USB from pc to DAC.   Opinions please on DH Labs Mirage vs Transparent Audio.  Has anyone had an opportunity to compare  in a quality system?


So what is a quality system (very subjective) 

I have the DH Labs Mirage and they replace Supra Excaliber USB  but I could hear zero diffence. I have an Innuos Zenith and Less Loss DAC with a Wyrded 4 Sound ISO USB Recovery in line to my DAC.  No PC in the chain other than a tablet running the Innuos application. 

Ditch the PC and get a good streamer — the PC is killing your sound.  Also, you can run the streamer to a Wi-Fi extender or Mesh node to an outlet near your system and not have to buy a 5m USB cable AND have much better sound.  Upgrading a USB cable from a PC is basically putting lipstick on a pig.  Sorry, but it’s true. 



I agree. While both the DHLabs and Transparent USB cables are really good ones… I use both… Transparent on my main system and DHLabs on my headphone system… they are connected to wall wart wifi extenders and first class streamers on the other end. I would recommend not wasting money on USB interconnects until you get the PC out of the picture.

I ran all sorts of PC configurations for years… different software, CODEX, cables… and none of that mattered until I got a dedicated streamer. The huge jump in performance made a better cable worth it.

Not quite. USB cables do make some difference even with those piece of junk computers. I prefer Supra $55 cable to Wywires $300 cable and they are both much better in every respect than no name in the box cables. Try Supra first, they are sold on ebay, Good streamers are very expensive. USB cables require burn in time too, give it 100 hours or so. Power cord for DAC is also very important and can make a hell of a difference.

Now this comes from someone who hates digital but has to a degree deal with it. I have a modest Burson Preamp/DAC/Headphone amp in the second system.

1s and 0s don't care and no cable you use will objectively change the sound. 

P.T. Barnum was so very prescient. 

+2 @soix , @ghdprentice 

using any PC in lieu of a quality dedicated server/streamer is a significant downgrade and compromise in audio performance, that no USB cable upgrade can fix.

Choose wisely 


I cannot argue with anyone's experience, but my experience with USB cables is that they make a very big difference. I suggest you get the best one you can find on Used Cables. com.  Wireworld's best (the red ones) from one generation ago sould do very well. I'm using a Zafino (spelling approximate - I'm away from home) from Canada which is the best i've found. Happy listening!

First of all you said nothing about the quality of your system ,or dac 

being an ex Audio dealer how can I recommend anything without needed information. To budget to match your system 

cables  can go over $2k. , stock Ethernet ,cables and usb like Pangea, or Beldon 

are starting points , for in the under $250 range Wireworld starlight both usb,and Ethernet is very respectable ,and very good for the money if your dac is $1k or less.

My system is ARC Ref 6 SE preamp, ARC Ref 80s amplifier, ARC Ref CD9/DAC, Quad 2812 esl speakers, Transparent Audio cables for all



Holy cow! Definitely get a streamer of that caliber… I recommend an Aurender W20SE given the rest of your system.

Our systems are very similar… Audio Research REF 6SE, REF CD9SE DAC, and for me ref 160s and m. You definitely want the Aurender W20SE… I have had a host of lessor streamers (including PCs, MacBooks.. etc) and an Aurlic Aries G2, Aurender N100, N10, and W20SE, and a Grimm. Each of these steps was a big upgrade. The W20SE moved the sound up to the level of my outstanding analog end… Audio Research Ref 3 / 3SE Phonostage and my near Klimax Linn LP12 with Koetsu Rosewood Signature.

OP, a system like yours deserves a high quality streamer like Aurender N20 or Innuos Pulsar (if you prefer ROON). I just concluded a head to head comparison between N30SA and W20SE and chose to go with N30SA over W20SE. I used to own N20 and IMHO, N20 holds the sweet spot in Aurender line up. For half the price of N30SA or W20SE, it’s capable of ringing 85%-90% performance of the aforementioned top tier models.

You gotta love our forum…you must be scratching your head. How the hell this discussion morphed into  $100-$200 USB cable recommendations to spending $12K to $25K streamers….lol!

Worse yet, where is just looking at the actual problem?  What is wrong with your current USB cable?  If a dime store cable, probably poor shielding and it can introduce noise into the ground of your DAC.  A "decent" cable, say one from Belden 8733 series cable. Do be sure it meets USB2.0 spec. Cone cheap cables are not. In theory, if both ends are USB C, then it should meet USB 3.0 standards.   Then does your DAC have galvanic isolation? Most better newer ones do but not all.  An external transformer, about $12, will break that ground and shield so it won't inject noise.  Maybe that is all you need. 5M is vary long so quality of the cable does matter, but price and quality have almost  no correlation when the word "audiophile" comes into play.  

You could always grab several off Amazon and see if they have any positive sonic effect before going down the "audiophile" rout.  I used to trust Monoprice, but not sure now. Belkin cables should be to spec. There is also the USB to fiber/tranceiver game for a cable that long as 5M is the max length by USB2.0 spec. 

I believe using a PC is vastly better than a streamer as it gives me the opportunity to manage buffer and digital gain so as not to introduce digital filter clipping. A few DACs take care of that themselves, but few. Host based, I have some control over what is happening to my bits. I also like my 20 inch touch screen as the interface, not some stupid phone ap.   A quality streamer will hopefully have better digital processing than a cheap one, but I'm keeping my PS and not paying ROON to access my local FLAC library!  The DAC is where those bits become music. Not in the PC or streamer though the software in both can screw things up. Good streamers I hope have better processing software. 

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I believe using a PC is vastly better than a streamer as it gives me the opportunity to manage buffer and digital gain so as not to introduce digital filter clipping.

This is, to say the least, a controversial statement.  I’ll take the other side of this one and choose a good streamer over a PC any day.  Anyone else wanna chime in here?


No further affirmations needed! There are several folks here, who took the initiative to audition a high quality streamer over PC; heard the obvious improvements and couldn’t go back to PC as their prime source for streaming.

The 1’s and 0’s and bits are bits believers won’t understand the value proposition of a well designed streamer. Just leave them be.

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Audiotroy- you don’t know what you don’t know! You call people dumb when all you do is try to sell someone gear that you carry. Everybody can see this.

If you call us all dumb, I’m going to say you can’t hear. If you think usb sounds good, then you need new ears. USB sucks for a dac interface. Why do you think people spend hundreds/thousands of dollars on usb tweaks/gimmicks to try to get better sound? I’m sure you sell some of these gimmicks too. I’ve been down the dedicated streamer/usb dac route with over thousand $$$ of usb tweaks/gimmicks while using a $1000 usb cable and sold all of that crap and got the best dac that uses a better interface than usb and went with Roon and audirvana. 
I have my eye on a couple of streamers now that don’t even provide an usb output, so I might try 1 of them, but I really don’t want a streamer/computer (all streamers are computers) in my dedicated listening room.

I find Audiotroy‘s comment offensive and unwarranted. USB is a fraught interface, at a minimum requiring separation of the 5V and signal lines, better even using a galvanic isolator and in high resolution systems more likely requiring re-clocking than not as well. His relentless shilling of product is tiresome.

No further affirmations needed! There are several folks here, who took the initiative to audition a high quality streamer over PC; heard the obvious improvements and couldn’t go back to PC as their prime source for streaming.

The 1’s and 0’s and bits are bits believers won’t understand the value proposition of a well-designed streamer. Just leave them be.

I am curious how many of these people used a fibre optic cable for the final feet just before the DAC. Something like a Sonore OpticalRendu or better yet a Lumin X1 with direct fibre into the DAC. Compare that to a million-dollar music server/streamer (or also called a computer).

The reviewer offers a more objective assessment of Supra, Wireworld, and Oyaide USB cables. I encourage you to watch the video for a comprehensive evaluation if desired. In essence, the reviewer concludes that, in his opinion, Supra provides the best sonic quality with a slightly richer and warmer sound, possibly due to its better EMI/RFI rejection capabilities. He notes that Oyaide is less bright and harsh compared to Wireworld. I also looked into their impedance specifications; both Supra and Wireworld are rated at the standard 90 ohms, but I couldn’t find the impedance rating for Oyaide.




+1 Very true. PCs cannot compete.

I played with PCs for a number of years. I used different software, striped down the background jobs, Changed cables, added noice reduction… did the same on a MAC, ran it on batteries. Still my first stand alone streamer was completely blew away the PCs… the noise floor dropped precipitously, the treble improved enormously, imaging vastly increases… etc.


If you are using very inexpensive audio gear that itself is very noisy and low fidelity… then there may not be a difference. But as soon as you have a good system, there is no comparison. I am sure this line varies from system to system.



“I am curious how many of these people used a fibre optic cable for the final feet just before the DAC.”


I honestly do not know, you can start a new thread and conduct a poll. Million dollar or inexpensive music streamer/server…they all have a processor at heart. The premise here is, a general purpose PC is not optimized or optimal for audio streaming. You can add fiber or filters as alluded by @antigrunge2 ahead of a DAC to reduce noise but a general purpose PC will never sound as good as dedicated streamer designed specifically to stream audio. Fortunately, there are plenty of decent choices out there at all price points. 

Forget USB cable. Get a streamer instead. PC doesn’t compete with a dedicated streamer. But if you insist on a cable, the Mirage is very good for the money. 

mrskeptic needs to join the circus-

When I decided to get back into Hifi, I bought a DAC-it. While hooking it up I realized the DAC did not come with a cable, so I ran to the local Micro Center and bought a $15.00 USB printer cable. It was the most God awful thing I ever heard. Luckily there was a Home stereo/Car Audio shop that sold Audioquest. 

In highly resolving horn systems almost every change you make has an audible difference.

The ones and zeros crowd really need to give it a rest. (maybe more hifi experience or a trip to the audiologist)


You've got enough recommendations to add a dedicated streamer, so I'll echo that.....your system deserves a component in the same league......base recommendation would be an Aurender N200. Entry level cable would be a Supra Excalibur for about $140. From there DHLabs, Zavfino, Cullen Cables, Lavri Cables, etc.

@soix   Yes, the vast mojoriity know you've got it right.  TVgeek is joining the ranks of jason bourne; nobody needs to hear them repeat the same controverial comments on every thread just begging for attention.

I have tried a number of modestly-priced USB cables - including Transparent - and the one I kept is the DH Labs Mirage.  It is1.5m and I am currently using it in my modest computer-based system at my office for near field listening.  For a 15’ run, another cable may work better, dunno. I do know I am getting remarkably engaging sound with the DH Labs cable in the loop.  FWIW, I also like the Audioquest Carbon USB cable and currently use one to connect the external hard drive to my dedicated (non-computer) server in my main system.  I have not tried the Supra cable others have mention in this thread.

As for computer audio versus a good streamer, I have this to say. The computer you are using matters a lot.  Over the last ten years I have tried using Dell, Lenovo and Microsoft Surface laptops running mostly different versions of JRiver.  I would rank the sound quality as Surface 4 > Dell Latitude > Surface 3 > Lenovo.  I also think that the performance of JRiver has improved with version updates over time.  I am currently oversample all files in software before feeding an old Chord Qute HD DAC because that sounds best to me.  For context, I am using decent cables, a Rega Brio amp, small Wharfdale speakers and a Monitor Audio sub in this system.  Everything is plugged into power conditioners, one for digital components and one for the amps.  

This system sounds better than it has any right to for the investment, but it’s clearly not up to the level of the OP’s gear.  If the OP has $15,000 to drop on a Aurender A20, sure, that would make a bigger difference than $360 for a new 15’ USB cable. But, the cable will help, and it is possible to get decent sound from a computer audio system if you able to spend time optimizing the power, cabling and software.  And in my case I can also create presentations, work on spreadsheets and send emails while listening, although it really doesn’t do much for the audio on Zoom meetings.  YMMV



Please, do not spend high $ for the USB cable.

Well-made basic, cheap works same as expensive ones!

I'm thinking of going on Rennlist, 992forum, and posting:

"Please don't spend high $ for a Porsche. Well made cheap Honda's work the same!" 

I honestly do not know, you can start a new thread and conduct a poll. Million dollar or inexpensive music streamer/server…they all have a processor at heart. The premise here is, a general purpose PC is not optimized or optimal for audio streaming. You can add fiber or filters as alluded by @antigrunge2 ahead of a DAC to reduce noise but a general purpose PC will never sound as good as dedicated streamer designed specifically to stream audio. Fortunately, there are plenty of decent choices out there at all price points.

What is a computer or streamer doing? It gets the bits from one end to the other. If it is using a guaranteed network delivery protocol, then we are not losing bits.

So, all streamers should sound the same, no they do not. The streamer device connected to the DAC does add some sonic flavor to the sound. However, my argument is that the optimization of a computer for streaming is doing a couple of things. It is lowering the noisy internals found in a computer and it is adding some flavor to this clean sound.

In my case, I say spending on an optimized streamer to reduce noise is an expensive way to this. A simple fibre optic cable just before the DAC (which is all that matters) will also kill the noise. A simple test with Ethernet vs Fibre on most DACs will show the difference. Now adding an expensive streamer after the Ethernet input and then output AES, USB, et al into the DAC should be as clean as the fibre I advocate for.

You spend much more money to do this but gain some convenience. That convenience will be very important for most, but I am very comfortable with this type of things.

I recently had 3 streamers that got the stream from a cheap DELL computer (placed in another room) that I compared side by side and they sounded different. This is the cream of the crop streamers:

  • Sonore OpticalRendu
  • Lumin X1 (sold it)
  • PlayBack Designs Streamer-IF

The sound was great on all. The Lumin was louder, the Sonore was quieter, and the PBD was shocking to me. I have not been able to use the PBD with fibre yet because I do not have the PlayBack Designs Dream DAC yet.

I have been using the PDB with a Benchmark DAC3B via SPDIF input. That also sounds great. What I think is happening is that there must be some fibre inside the PBD streamer. The guy who makes the PDB is considered a digital genius. Using fibre would be a genius move.

PDB designs has now come out with a very expensive streamer. Let’s assume I am mega rich and can afford it. I would not buy it over the demo $2K Streamer-IF I now own,

@yyzsantabarbara streaming is not bit perfect.  File transfer is.  but music can't use bit perfect FTP.

Let me start with a disclaimer: my system is modest in comparison to those of others who have responded to this question. A move to a smaller home 10 years ago forced me from my multi-component tube based Counterpoint system, fully upgraded by Mike Eliot, to the single box solution offered by Devialet. Since then, I have been using the DAC built into the Devialet.

RE: recommendation that you consider going to a dedicated streamer: I streamed digital files through computers for 15 years. I built each of my music server computers - all small form desktops, operating from a position on the stereo stand, that I controlled using a remote keyboard. I payed careful attention to power supplies (always linear), removal of all extraneous OS features and background functions, etc. I believed, undoubtedly mistakenly as there always is work to be done in the garden, I was as close to an optimal dedicated streamer as one could get, at the time I built each of them. A couple years ago, for reasons unrelated to sound quality and system performance, I replaced the computer with an Aurender N200. In my system and to my ear, the Aurender was an upgrade well worth its price. 

RE: cables. I’ve owned and enjoyed several sets of Transparent analog ICs, but I can’t speak to the performance of their digital cables. I’m a long-standing fan of DHLabs, who offer, I think, tremendous bang for the buck. So, when I decided to upgrade my usb cable, theirs was the obvious first step. In my system and to my ear, compared to the Pangea it replaced, the cable significantly tightened the bass presentation and sound stage, and improved tonal qualities at the top. 

One final note. I agree with the recommendation that you try to shorten the length of your USB cable. About 40 years ago, I read a review of Von Gaylord chinchilla ICs published in International Audio Review by Peter Moncrieff. In the course of his review, Moncrieff observed that the 2m cables sounded better than the shorter or longer lengths. Now, at the time and from anyone else, I would’ve dismissed such a suggestion as nonsensical. But, I had had quite a bit of experience with Moncrieff by then and had come to respect even his most unlikely observations, of which there were many. So, a couple of friends of mine and I contacted Von Gaylord and asked that they send lengths of their chinchilla cable ranging from 1-3.5 meters. After extensive listening, we came to the same conclusion as had Moncrieff. Still today, all my analog and SPDIF cables are 2m. So, when I decided to experiment with usb, I naturally started with several lengths to compare. In my system and to my ear, the 1m DHLabs usb sounds better than the 1.5m and 2m.

Good luck with your project and have fun with the process.

A really crappy, like the free ones can, and I have measured them, introduce measurable noise in a system. Audible or not is subjective. BUT, a well designed client USB receiver is immune to that kind of problem.  If you are running USB mode 1 then varying cable parameters in off-spec crap cables may cause jitter issues as you are using the source clock.  Run USB mode 2 asynchronous, and no more problem.  Data is buffered and ALL timing is in the client side. 

A lot of even expensive boutique DACs have crap USB receivers, so a "correct to spec" USB cable may well improve the sound.  Band-aid for an old  client.  Boutique companies do not always have the time and budget to stay up on fast moving technology. Some of the USB issues were not well understood 10 years ago. 

A USB-1 spec cable should be more than enough bandwidth for audio, but most cables meet at least level 2 spec. If USB-c on BOTH ends, it will need to meet the level 3 spec for reliable data rate.   Look them up.  A to C who knows. 

 If you have a DAC without galvanic isolation and you believe some garbage is getting in, you can get a perfectly good AMD Galvanic isolator board from Amazon or E-bay for $12. You can get the same transformer in a boutique box for $400 and every price in between. No ground loops. No source ground or power noise injected into the client. 

An exception is if the client is powered from the host USB.  In some cables the 5 and gd are not shielded so noise pickup is possible but probably trivial compared to the crap a PC puts on the line. Isolators are designed so you can inject high quality power on the client side. Again problem solved with science.  I do not know all cables, but Belden stock is two pairs shielded with an overall.  Monoprice may not be. China Inc?  Your guess is as good as mine. 

The USB interface is well defined and respectable companies like Belden make cable certified to the spec. I keep mentioning them because I know them. That does not exclude the hundreds of other raw cable manufacturers.   No magic needed.

Using asynchronous mode,  It can't effect timing, resolution, space, air, attack, presence, blackness, or any of the "your system is not resolving enough" excuses.  Against the laws of physics.  

You can pick up and inject noise over the 5th connection. The outer shield. Again, a well designed receiver will reject this, but so will a 49 cent ferrite on the cable. 

There is a maximum spec on USB cable length but not a minimum. Some have suggested ring-back on a short cable can cause jitter of the bits.  The physics are correct and you can measure this, but it has not been shown that a correctly designed receiver has any issue with bit to bit accuracy into the buffer. 

So, to "deniers"  there are situations where it can or could have caused a problem.  To "believers" you may be hearing the difference between crap and correct, may be hearing a band-aid for a different problem, or may be hearing because your brain said if you spend more it has to be better.   Whatever makes you happy.  If that multi-color braid over Chinese bulk cable for $400 makes you happy, go for it.  Maybe they were nice enough to use 8723 as their stock so you do get a good cable. 

FWIW, a steamer is just a smaller PC with fewer applications running. Maybe it has a cleaner power supply, and maybe a cleaner USB port.    If you are using the PCM ports, then better hope it has a much better clock, but I notice the newer DACS are also buffering and relocking PCM so even that becomes moot.   Or is that mute :) Go streamer because you want the user interface which is configured for media. Not for magic.  I use a PC because I am old and don't have a phone attached.  I also like being able to adjust the OS and player parameters where in a streamer, they make it easier by doing that for you. Hopefully the best choices. Some of these parameters can make a big sonic difference. Bits are bits but what you do with them matters. 

Summary. Using USB mode 2, it's nothing but a transport to move bits from one memory buffer to another. There are ways to mess that up. Engineering helps. magic and money don't. The spec is reliable. 

@carlsbad2 Current high end streaming is supposed to be TCP from discussion on A’gon. I have no time to Google this to show proof. In the past I believe music streaming was UDP.

I have ChatGPT open and asked it the question.



Music streaming services typically use a combination of protocols for delivering audio content to users, and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is one of them. However, it’s important to understand that the architecture of music streaming services can involve multiple layers of communication, and TCP may not be the only protocol in use. Here’s how it generally works:

  1. HTTP(S) for Control and Metadata: Music streaming services often use HTTP or HTTPS (secure HTTP) for transmitting control commands, metadata (track information, album art, etc.), and user interactions. These protocols are based on TCP.

  2. Media Streaming Protocols for Audio: The actual audio content is usually streamed using specialized protocols designed for efficient media delivery. While TCP can be used for this purpose, some music streaming services may use UDP (User Datagram Protocol) instead. UDP is preferred for real-time multimedia applications because it provides lower latency and faster data transfer, which is crucial for a smooth audio playback experience.

    • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS): HLS is a popular streaming protocol used by services like Apple Music. It segments audio files into small chunks and serves them over HTTP(S).

    • Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH): DASH is another HTTP-based streaming protocol used by some music services. Like HLS, it segments content into chunks and adapts the quality based on network conditions.

    • UDP-Based Protocols: Some music streaming services use UDP-based protocols for live streaming, which can provide even lower latency than HTTP-based protocols. These may include RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol) and WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication).

In summary, music streaming services use a combination of TCP, HTTP(S), and potentially UDP-based protocols for delivering audio content. While control and metadata often rely on TCP, the actual audio streaming may use protocols designed for efficient real-time multimedia delivery, which can include both TCP and UDP, depending on the service and its specific requirements. The choice of protocol may also depend on factors like network conditions, device capabilities, and the streaming service’s architecture.

Well if you read it on Audiogon and confirmed it with ChatGPT, it must be true.

Well I have not confirmed anything, I just posted some data that seems to support what I am saying. You were making a definite claim that streaming is lossy (and thus  UDP), such as watching a live sporting event on streaming video.

I used to think that way too for music but I have started to think that streaming music (at least Qobuz and Tidal level) are TCP based, and thus guarantied delivery.

Anyways, I got to get back to work.

@tvrgeek interesting discussion of how the USB interface could become noisy and why.  Seems from your discussion that you lay more blame for any differences in performance on deficiencies in equipment design rather than the cables.  I am wondering if you've done any listening tests yourself to see if you hear a difference in different USB cables in application with different gear and in different settings/electrical environments?  Have you, for example, done listening tests comparing a "premium" USB cable with an off the shelf Belden and/or generic Chinese USB cable in different settings?  If so, what did you learn?

It seems to me that you focused most of your discussion on the relationship between digital cables and the immediate gear they connect.  But things can get very complicated in actual user set ups, often with multiple pieces of gear and their cabling creating multiple electrical fields in the neighborhood of your computer/streamer and DAC, not to mention all the other electronic devices operating in your vicinity.  This along with variables like the different physical proximity of devices to one another and differing levels of power conditioning and noise suppression in different set-ups would seem to make empirical testing of different cables in different applications a must.

Your mileage in terms of performance and what helps or degrades performance of digital front ends in the context of cabling may in fact really vary, and it may be in part dependent on factors that are beyond the relationship or designs of the sending and receiving devices in a single USB connection.


It is the complex environment of what you speak. This is why USB and Ethernet cables are twisted pairs and shielded.  The designers knew this. Partly for the spec of 11 feet. USB was not intended to exist in a vacuum. 

Yes, I blame shortcomings on the end points not implementing good practice.  In a $100 DAC, it is cost driven so some slack is given. But in a $500? Nope. $5,000?  Pure incompetence. 

I did loopback tests between free cables and correctly designed USB cables.  Big difference and it shows up in a spectrum analyzer. Added an isolator, and presto, no problem.  Two piles, good and bad. You can add a braided sheath and a fancy box, but it won't transfer bits any better. 

Remember, it is not the digital waveform that matters. It is how it is detected, PE, NRZ,  windowed, etc and then gated into a shift register to be accessed by the DSP section. Even DSD is re-generated.  No place for magical properties to hide. 

FWIW, I just ordered a D400es and it does NOT have a galvanic isolator.  Bad design for that price point considering how much they spent on the cabinet. I will test  both with an analyzer and my ears if ones needed in my cabinet.  I pay attention to cable dress  and common power so It probably is not. I have dead silence through my speakers with no active signal. 

Thanks for the reply @tvrgeek. In addition to testing with a spectrum analyzer, have you done blind listening tests to different digital cables? 

Between good cables, no I heard no difference. I am not positive I heard a difference with the bad cables. Knowing they are bad etc.  I had my Grado's then which were more revealing than my Yamahas.  If it measures bad and measures good is cheap, why not? 

There is actually no such thing as a true blind test because you know it is a test. Your brain will make up answers.   So, we get larger groups trying to take guess averages out, double blind and all that. Guess what?  When there is no difference, we get answers that are positive they heard a difference, and when a difference, sometimes large, some claim there is none.  Do enough trials to where statics start to matter and fatigue sets in and your brain makes up even more stories.  Some studies may be as close as 60% and claim that is proof.  If you know stats, you know far that is off!  That is the problem with subjective tests. They are only valid for you and may or may not reflect reality.  Your perception is all that matters though. Being human. 

When we make a change, we usually jump in and do "critical listening"  and hear details we had not before. Were they really revealed, or were you just listening to music before and not noticed them?   I know I have fallen for this.  The more your invested in the change, the more likely you can switch back and those details get blocked.   Sometimes we put something and because it first seems different, maybe yes, maybe no, but a week later we claim it is "burned in" . More likely, we have just reprogramed our expectations and there was no change.   Speakers, yea I buy that.    We are a funny species.