DITA Audio OSLO cable

Sound Analysis.

In my opinion, cable doesn’t have a “sound” which you can describe by itself like IEMs in terms of lows, mids, treble. Cable is a medium that could shape up and fine-tune the sound signature or expand the soundstage perception, something you can describe relative to IEM under the test or relative to another cable you compare it to. What you hear is a synergy between 3 elements in the sound chain: the source, the cable, and IEMs. Thus, it’s easier to describe the sound when you replace one of these elements and note the change associated with it.

In this sound analysis I used 64 Audio U18t with Lotoo’s LPGT, A&K SP1000 SS, and iBasso DX200Ti w/amp8, playing a selection of the test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.

Relative to U18t, I hear OSLO pushing soundstage nearly to the limit of holographic expansion. In theory, you can’t expect improvement of soundstage if the monitor is not capable to support it. As they say, you can’t polish a turd. But some cables can limit the soundstage, especially if it’s a “warmer” cable, or they can expand it to a level where it becomes unrealistic. Here, the perception of soundstage expansion, in both width and depth, sounds realistic, expanded, and natural.

In terms of tonality, it enhances U18t to sound more organic, more natural, more balanced without sacrificing the retrieval of details or the resolution. There is some compromise in sound transparency because lower mids get a little fuller with more body, giving the mids more warmth and smoothness, but this coloring doesn’t muddy the sound or take away from its resolution. It gives U18t a more musical tonality and the change will vary depending on what you are comparing it to. For example, it will be subtler when comparing OSLO to EA Leo II, but a lot more noticeable when comparing OSLO to a brighter EA Horus.

U18t with OSLO gives its sub-bass a deep rich velvety extension, more typical of analog performance, while mid-bass feels faster which makes it sound tighter and more controlled. As already mentioned, lower mids have more body, while upper mids are still detailed and resolving and sound more natural and smoother. No surprising peaks in treble either, upper end of U18t with OSLO is natural and still well defined.

Again, keep in mind, I’m describing the sound of U18t and how OSLO cable fine-tunes its performance. In the following sections I will go over comparison to other cables, and pair up with other IEMs.

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Comparison.

Consistent with my cable testing philosophy, I used the same IEM (U18t), the same source (LPGT), and only changed one variable at a time to note the sound difference I hear. Please keep in mind, when I’m describing the sound, in terms of soundstage/lows/mids/high, I’m referring to the sound of U18t as I hear it.

OSLO vs EA Leo II – I hear the soundstage with Oslo to be as holographic as Octa (8wire) version of Leo, maybe even with a touch more width noticeable when listening closer to mids/vocals; definitely more staging depth in comparison to 4wire version of Leo. With bass, I hear Leo to have a little more (higher in quantity) sub-bass rumble while Oslo brings more of a faster mid-bass punch, and this difference is very noticeable. With either of the cables, I hear U18t to have similar smoother, fuller body lower mids, but upper mids are slightly different. With Leo they are a little smoother and slightly pulled back (more intimate), while with Oslo they are a little brighter and more forward, a bit out of your head. Treble also has a little more sparkle with Oslo, while a touch smoother with Leo.

OSLO vs EA Lionheart – with U18t while the soundstage depth is very similar, I can clearly hear Oslo to be wider in soundstage, giving the sound a more holographic perception. When it comes to the sound, there is a clear difference in the lower end where Oslo has a deeper and higher quantity sub-bass rumble and faster and harder hitting mid-bass, while Lionheart makes U18t bass a little slower and has less quantity in comparison to Oslo. Lower mids are also a bit more neutral with Lion, while have a touch fuller body with Oslo. The rest, upper mids and treble, I hear to be nearly identical with U18t between these cables.

OSLO vs HSA Redcore – while soundstage depth here with U18t is similar, soundstage width difference is quite noticeable with Redcore being narrower and Oslo expanding wider. With bass, again, I hear more sub-bass rumble and punchier mid-bass impact with Oslo in comparison to Redcore, Oslo definitely tightens the bass, makes it more articulate, faster, and punching harder through the mix, while Redcore bass rendition with U18t sounds a little slower and softer. Lower mids are a touch more neutral with Redcore, while Oslo has a little more body. Upper mids and treble between these two with U18t have the same tonality, but a difference in presentation. With Redcore and U18t I hear mids/vocals to be more forward in comparison to Oslo and U18t where upper mids/vocals are more balanced.

OSLO vs PS Tri-Copper – didn’t expect to hear this level of similarities in tonality when tested with U18t, but there are a few differences as well. Oslo soundstage expands wider and a little more out of your head, making U18t to sound more holographic. With bass, these two have a lot of similarities when paired up with U18t, nearly the same level of sub-bass rumble and mid-bass impact. Also, lower mids are quite similar, with a fuller body in each pair up. In upper mids, I hear U18t to be a little brighter with Oslo while Tri-Copper sounds smoother. Treble is very similar. Aside from a soundstage difference, and obvious advantage of Awesome-cable connectors, the overall tonality and balance is quite similar.

OSLO vs PS Tri-Silver – here the soundstage expansion with U18t is nearly identical, in both width and depth. Bass is very similar too, maybe with Oslo punching a little harder in mid-bass, similar to how Tri-Copper compares to Tri-Silver. With U18t, lower mids are a little more neutral relative to fuller body lower mids with Oslo. Upper mids are very similar in tonality and presentation, and treble has a touch more sparkle with Tri-Silver. When it comes to tonality and presentation while paired up with U18t, Oslo is closer to PlusSound, taking the best of Tri-Copper and Tri-Silver and adding Awesome-plug into the mix.

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Page 3 – Pair up and Conclusion.

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19 thoughts on “DITA Audio OSLO cable

    1. Of course, I still have products manufacturers send me for review (one of the reasons why they send me these products), unless if it’s a short term loaner. With Trio, going from stock SPC to OSLO 2pin the sound is tighter, I can hear a blacker background, faster transient of notes on/off, but the most noticeable difference is wider soundstage and more transparent and slightly brighter upper mids. Especially noticeable in vocals where there is more transparency and less coloring, making it a little more revealing, less warmer.

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    2. to add to twister6’s impressions… oslo makes the trio more nuanced, the bass is tighter with less rumble and the upper mids are more present while the lower mids becomes more neutral. Personally, i preferred the Trio with the dita truth spc as it retains the bodied bass and lower mids better than than the oslo whilst improving the soundstage and airiness of the trio.

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      1. Good to know, thanks! Is the Truth cable pretty bad for you ergonomically? Seems to be the consensus, but the awesome plug looks great

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  1. it’s very springy so it doesn’t really “drape” around your body. however, i found it less microphonic than, say, alo’s ref 8. overall, i found it more non ergonomic than microphonic.

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  2. Hi, I have a pair of Custom Legend X and want to upgrade the cable to one that tightens the bass, lifts the mids and highs and expands the soundstage (perhaps I might need a different IEM altogether haha), I’m looking at the OSLO vs the EA Leonidas II. Any suggestions on what way to go? perhaps there might be another cable that would help me accomplish that? I’m trying to stay within $1000 USD. Thanks.

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    1. Oslo probably will be better, plus it’s cheaper than Cleo and has awesome plug so you get all 3 types of termination 😉 The only problem, Oslo 2pin connector barely fits my Legend X and someone else with Phantom mentioned the same problem 😦

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      1. yea but is the uni 2pin legend x less recessed than the customs ?and is it a big issue.? currently have dx200 going to upgrade to a ak player so the awesome plug would be perfect

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      2. I wouldn’t know since I don’t have custom. Why don’t you post this question on head-fi in LX thread, see if anybody else has this combo?

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  3. I just got Khan and looking for a cable with clarity and soundstage because most of the time I listen instrumental and classical. Do you guys have any recommendations for me? OSLO is the good one?

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    1. I only had a brief listening to Khan at Canjam NYC, and don’t exactly remember its signature. In order for me to recommend you a good pair up with that IEM, I need to test it. With cables, just because it yields a specific result in one pair up, it doesn’t guarantee it will be the same in another one. OSLO is a fantastic cable, but I recall Khan treble was a bit too harsh to my ears (just going by memory). So, while Oslo might enhance its low end and could improve the soundstage, it could also push the treble brighter (but only testing this pair will give you the answer).

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  4. Hi, first of all, I’ve been reading and loving your reviews for years so thanks for this one and all the others. I have a follow up question about ergonomics. Currently, I’m using U18t + Lionheart (with 4.4mm termination) + WM1A. I do use 3.5mm occasionally and have a Plussound adapter that, frankly, isn’t well constructed and cuts out a lot. The awesome plug sounds, well, awesome, and I might have picked up a truth cable at one point except for what I had read about the ergonomics.

    I love the feel of my Lionheart, but with the awesome plug and how you’ve described its sound signature vs. Lionheart, it seems like it might be a nice incremental upgrade for me. How would you compare the ergonomics of the OSLO vs. Lionheart? Would you say they’re comparable? I love the braided look of the Lionheart, but could come around to the single cable of the OSLO as long as it is just as comfortable.

    Thank you!

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    1. Tbh, the comfort level is not going to be the same, but OSLO is a big step up from their original stiff/microphonic Truth cable. It (OSLO) is still very comfortable and has its own unique look, but Lionheart will be a little softer. But you also have to think about other pros, like Dita’s 2pin connector is very durable and Awesome plug is very convenient. You futureproof your cable to use with any DAP or smartphone/tablet/laptop. Gives you a peace of mind 😉

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      1. Thanks for the reply. The Lionheart is so comfortable. I feel no pressure behind my ears and can wear my u18 all day. I’ll think on it a little, but the OSLO is very tempting for the reasons you give. 🙂

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