For some reason the audiophile electronics market is full of vendors selling wares with dubious claims supported with pseudo-scientific technobabble, in a way other expensive hobbies like photography are spared from. It’s one thing to charge a premium for overbuilt metal chassis that look good in a rack but do little for sound quality, another altogether to claim improvements in sound quality from tweaks that simply can’t make a difference.

“Audiophile” power cables are an example – somehow a $500 IEC power cord blessed with pixie dust will make up for the miles of bog-standard copper or aluminium power lines from the utility. Peter Aczel has made a convenient list of the top frauds perpetrated by the so-called industry. Of course, it would be unfair to tar an entire industry with a monster brush – there are ethical cable manufacturers like Blue Jeans Cables.

Audophiles who buy into those scams also tend to become rabid supporters (cognitive dissonance in action) and will get quite upset if you point out basic high-school science makes those claims unsupportable.

Usually these shady practices are limited to the ghetto of cable manufacturers, but when a supposedly reputable firm like Chord gets into the act with their “Indigo Plus Digital” digital S/PDIF coaxial digital interconnects, the only sane approach is to boycott the company altogether. I had considered their Chordette USB/Bluetooth DAC, but you’ve got to doubt any claim made by a company that will stoop to a transparent fraud like purportedly premium digital cables.