Audio Does Not Live on Copper Alone
- Immediate increase in clarity, openness and definition of sound.
- Weight of the pin disc.
- It does not have guides over the ear, which for some can be an advantage.
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Once again I ‘m about to analyse one of the indispensable parts of a good IEM: the cable. On many occasions, there is a need to replace the serial cable with another. At that point, you try to buy the best cable at the lowest price, or within the same range as the IEMs, or simply within a budget. The cable I’m analyzing costs less than $16. For this price, one looks for several things, more comfort, better handling, better construction and durability, but, above all, to improve the sound.
As standard, the cable is soft and manageable, silver plated to improve the electrical conductivity. Silver has a better anti-corrosion resistance. In terms of sound, it has been designed to increase the sound field, cohesion between ranges, improve instrumental placement and texture, as well as increase transparency, to provide a more optimal sound experience.
- Cable type: 4 cores, 19 wires per core.
- Cable Material: OFC silver plated cable, TPE on the outside.
- Length: about 1.2m (Y type); main cable: 80cm; cable per channel: 40cm.
- Diameter: main: 2.0mm; per channel: 1.6mm
- Available Connector Types: 2pin 0.78mm / MMCX
- Available jack types: 2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm audio, 4.4mm balanced
The presentation is minimal: the cable comes in a zip plastic bag. It does not have any other type of packaging.
Construction, Design and Ergonomics
The cable has a total weight of 18 grams. It has 4 cores, each core having 19 oxygen-free copper (OFC) wires plated with silver. Each of them is covered with thermo-retractable plastic (TPE: Thermoplastic Elastomer). In the common part, the approximate diameter of the 4 cores is almost 3mm. In the divided part, the diameter oscillates between 1.5mm and almost 2mm.
2 Pin Cable
The pins have a length of approximately 2.8mm, as well as the plastic piece that houses them. The other dimensions of this piece are: 4.6mm by 2.5mm. One of the sides of this piece has a slot in its center, to indicate the placement position: in some IEMs, this slot must point to the nozzles, towards the inside of the capsule. The sleeve of the connectors is cylindrical, diameter 5.9mm and length 12mm. It has a red or blue groove to indicate the channel. The incoming cable is covered with a small piece of transparent protective plastic.
In the divided part, a silver pin disc, diameter 14mm and thickness 6.6mm, allows the adjustment of the cable under the chin. The cables pass smoothly through it, each one through two holes. It should be noted that such a simple mechanism works perfectly, providing a quick glide. In addition, once adjusted, it does not move by itself, but holds the position quite well. The only negative point is that the disc is somewhat heavy; if the cable is used on the ear, it can pull on it, providing some discomfort.
The divider is a silver-plated metal cylinder, the ends of which become conical. Its length is 21mm and its largest diameter is 7.5mm.
Finally, the jacket of the 3.5mm jack connector is another cylinder of 23.6mm and diameter 8.3mm. Inside, there is a band decorated with a pattern of braided black squares. The cable that comes out of it is protected with a long shrink-wrap plastic. The connector is gold-plated and has a plastic sheath to protect it when stored.
The differences between the two cables are: the connection, obviously, MMCX. And that the color indicating the left channel, in the slotted hoop of the connector sleeve, is black, instead of blue. The rest is the same.
The cable has quite good flexibility, it doesn’t take shape, nor is it rigid. It can be used on the ear, although it does not have guides for it. In this sense, there are many people who do not like such ear guides, because they find them uncomfortable. Unlike they, I prefer them to increase comfort. As time goes by, all the unprotected cables end up bothering me when I use them over my ears.
The construction is impeccable for its price, as it could not be otherwise. Although there will surely be others who prefer thicker cables, this cable more than fulfills its conductivity role, since its impedance is less than 0.6Ω per channel.
The improvements in sound, as opposed to a common cable, are initially perceived in the overall clarity. This implies a greater cleanliness in the area of the high mids and in the first highs. This silver-plated cable decongests the sound, providing greater openness and separation. The scene is perceived increased, thanks to these positive sensations. The stereophonic image and the three-dimensionality are therefore enlarged and reconstructed more precisely. In the lower zone, bass improves in texture and detail, increasing the resolution and depth of the range. In general, the sound, in addition, gains in air and nuances.
SPC cables are inexpensive alternatives, allowing you to upgrade any headset that has a serial cable that isn’t up to the task. The first and clearest improvement will undoubtedly be in sound. Then, surely that the comfort, resistance, durability and manageability, will also be increased. This cable is simply better than the standard one, most headphones under $50, or even more expensive models. So your purchase is totally justified, even over thicker, heavier and unwieldy cables. Audio does not live on copper alone.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate
- xDuoo X3II
- BQEYZ K1
- Ourart ACG y TI7
- PaiAudio DR2
- Ikko OH1