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AudioQuest Carbon

Lightning-to-USB cable for iPod®/iPhone®/iPad® (1.5 meters/5 feet)

5 Reviews

Item # 70383370

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Expected: 12/12/2017 Reserve risk-free

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Overview

Our take on the AudioQuest Carbon

Millions of us use our Apple devices to listen to music every day — through earbuds or headphones. But lots of home theater receivers and in-dash car stereos include a "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" USB input that lets you move your music outside your head and into your car or living room. All you need to make it happen is the right cable. If you own an Apple device with the Lightning™ dock connector, AudioQuest's Carbon adapter cable is an outstanding high-quality cable choice. With Carbon, music sounds noticeably clearer and more detailed than with the standard cables we've tried.

Listen to your iPhone through your home and car systems

AudioQuest Carbon

Millions of us use our Apple devices to listen to music every day — through earbuds or headphones. But lots of home theater receivers and in-dash car stereos include a "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" USB input that lets you move your music outside your head and into your car or living room. All you need to make it happen is the right cable. If you own an Apple device with the Lightning™ dock connector, AudioQuest's Carbon adapter cable is an outstanding high-quality cable choice. With Carbon, music sounds noticeably clearer and more detailed than with the standard cables we've tried.

Superior engineering and construction

Carbon USB uses solid copper conductors, and each wire is silver-plated — the silver layer is much thicker than on AQ's Cinnamon cable — which benefits high-frequency applications like audio. Signals at these frequencies travel almost exclusively on the surface of the conductor. Because the surface of each conductor is made of high-purity silver, the cable's performance is close to that of a solid silver cable, but priced much closer to a solid copper cable.

Cables with 100% shield coverage can be manufactured pretty easily. Preventing captured RF interference from modulating the equipment's ground reference requires AudioQuest's multi-layer Noise-Dissipation System. Metal and carbon-loaded synthetics prevent most RFI from reaching the equipment's ground plane.

Product Highlights:

  • Lightning-to-USB cable (Type A)
  • works with Apple iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad® with a 30-pin dock connector
  • lets you connect your Apple device to home or car audio components with a "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" USB port
  • silver-plated solid copper conductors for superior sound quality (silver layer is 5% of total conductor)
  • air-filled foamed-polyethylene insulation minimizes energy storage and its associated distortion
  • 100% shield coverage with AQ's carbon-based 3-layer Noise Dissipation System, to resist RF interference
  • silver-plated USB connector
  • blue-and-black braided covering
  • not compatible with Apple devices with the 30-pin connector
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

I use this cable with a Jitter Bug and plug into my receiver's usb to play music from my iPad and the sound is Awesome...

Dunamis, kapolei, HI

What's in the Box:

  • 5' Lighting-to-USB connector cable
Reviews

AudioQuest Carbon Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

great sound

Jeff from Sherman, TX on 4/22/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I compared the Carbon to the only other audiophile lightning to usb cord on the market, the Furutech id8-A, as well as the usb cord that came with the iPhone. First off, the stock cord was easily outperformed by the two audiophile cords. The Furutech represented a significant sonic improvement over the stock cord, and the Carbon was even better than the Furutech. The Carbon was more detailed, dynamic, and extended at the frequency extremes than the Furutech. It also had an inviting character that drew me into the music more than the Furutech. I could listen for long periods of time without listener fatigue. The Carbon had a smooth, almost creamy character to it that didn't have the slightest bit of glare or hardness, yet it wasn't overly smooth so as to rob the music of its excitement. It maintained a nice balance of listenability and excitement. It also had greater tonality top to bottom, with slightly more inner detail and nuance. The Carbon, more than the others, allowed me to enjoy the music. Isn't that what it's all about? For me it is, which is why the Carbon was the clear winner. The stock cord isn't bad, it's just that the other two were significantly better, with the Carbon being the best.

Pros: great sound quality

Cons: none

Are you kidding?

Kc from Florida on 2/18/2016

You people have got to be kidding on the price you charge for a 3 foot cable. I bought every brand there is and they all fail at some point even Apple originals. You really need to rethink your pricing structure a whole dang phone isn't that much more so why would anybody pay over a hundred dollars for a cord

Pros:

Cons:

Awesome Cable

Dunamis from kapolei, HI on 1/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use this cable with a Jitter Bug and plug into my receiver's usb to play music from my iPad and the sound is Awesome...

Pros: Nice smooth sound

Cons: None

AudioQuest Carbon Lightning USB

Jeff42 from California on 5/20/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had just installed a sound system.. 2 sets of JL C2 650'S with a JL 12" W6 High Output Subwoofer Box linked with JL's HD 750 amp. I have had it for a couple of weeks and the sound has been kind of muffled and the bass did not seem as tight as I thought it would be.. I have been using my IPhone 5 with the factory usb cable. I figured if I spent that much on a nice sound system, why would I cheap out on a cable that's transferring the music. So yeah its a bit more to spend but when I tried this Carbon cable my bass tightened up and sound is much cleaner. I'm giving it four stars because one is the price and two I wish there was a better cable like the Vodka to choose from. Maybe there is but I could not find it.. There is always room for improvement but I'm very happy with this purchase.. Its worth the money!

Pros: Great quality and sound

Cons: Price

A must for latest i-device

nedear from San Bruno, CA on 8/7/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I know I am a gadget freak, I like listen to good quality music, I am sure others will do the same and the person reading this review. I know its a LOT more money than a regular ipod cable (apple cable) I am using this cable to connect my iPod touch to the JBL sound system in my Toyota Prius and the results are amazing. There is no question that any Audioquest cable is better than the one that comes in the box with your i-devices. The only question is how good the replacement cable needs to be and how much I have to spend for it. I chose the Carbon and it is a beautiful cable in its superb build quality, the size of the cable is almost the same thickness as the i-device factory cable, I was shock and surprised how can this cable deliver the result compare to my 30pins to USB carbon version, once plug in with my new iPod touch and boy.this is a VERY neutral sounding cable. It is also a VERY quiet cable; letting you bathe in subtle details that you may have never heard before, I can now turn up the volume since the sound quality are so natural and lifelike instrumental playback. Honestly, you have to get one and hear it for yourself, I was impressed by the cable change, I didn't have to WORK at hearing music, it just sort of flowed.

Pros: Natural, lifelike music playback Quiet cable

Cons: Price!

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Apple Lightning to USB Cable: AudioQuest specially designed the Carbon series Apple Lightning to USB cable for select Apple devices with a Lightning-connector. This Apple Lightning to USB cable charges and syncs your Apple device when used with an appropriate charger (sold separately) or when connected to your computer/laptop. Also, use it to connect your compatible Apple device to a home audio or car stereo component which feature's a "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" USB port for high-quality audio playback. It's the perfect high-performance cable for your Lightning-connector Apple device. The cable is compatible with the following iPods, iPhones, and iPads with Lightning-connector (as of 5/28/2014).

iPod iPhone iPad
Nano (7th gen) iPhone 5/5C/5S iPad 4
Touch (6th/5th gen) iPhone 6/6+ iPad mini 1/2/3/4
iPhone 6S/6S+ iPad Air 1/2
Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad devices with the older 30-pin dock connector.

High Quality Construction: AudioQuest's Carbon series Apple Lightning to USB cable minimizes distortion (primarily timing errors) by incorporating a variety of proven design techniques, superior materials, and high-precision construction.

  • Solid 5% Silver Conductors: Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion and reduce jitter. Solid silver-plated conductors are excellent for very high-frequency applications, like USB audio. These signals, being such a high frequency, travel almost exclusively on the surface of the conductor. As the surface is made of high-purity silver, the performance is very close to that of a solid silver cable, but priced much closer to solid copper cable.
  • Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation: The Apple Series Carbon cable uses air-filled Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation because air absorbs next to no energy and Polyethylene is low-loss and has a benign distortion profile. Thanks to all the air in Foamed-PE, it causes much less of the out-of-focus effect common to other materials.
  • Carbon-Based 3-Layer Noise-Dissipation System (NDS): AQ's Noise-Dissipation System with Metal and Carbon-Loaded synthetics prevent most RFI from reaching the equipment's ground plane.
  • AQ Solder Terminations: Precision direct-silver plated pins are carefully attached with the very best solder. Through choice of flux and metallurgy, AQ solder has been optimized to make a low-distortion connection. The difference you hear between solders is a result of connection quality. AQ Solder does not have a high silver content because the more silver there is in solder, the more difficult it is to make a good connection.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

replace my broken cinnamon cable and to move up to a higher quality cable [ JON  Dec 10, 2016 ]
I use this with a JitterBug in my stero system for a much smother and warmer sound when using my iPhone as my music player... [ Aaron  Jul 06, 2016 ]
I hope it will perform and provide an excellent audio experience. Time will tell. [ William  Mar 13, 2016 ]
I want the best performance from my Ipad to the portable amp/dac as well as an improvement in my car when using the USB hook-up. I've previously experienced sonic improvements using a Audioquest Forest Ipad cable so I'm expecting good things from this cable. [ Thomas  Jan 11, 2016 ]

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