Satin Audio Athena

Pair up.

Here is how I hear various IEMs pair up with Athena cable.

64 Audio U18t – typically U18t has a more balanced signature with a slightly mid-forward presentation. Also, the bass usually doesn’t extend that deep.  With Athena, I can hear noticeably more sub-bass rumble which adds more weight to the bass.  Also, mids sound smoother, more organic, with more body in lower mids, not as reference anymore.  The soundstage is as wide as with other premium cables, but tonality is noticeably lusher, and due to more sub-bass rumble the bass has more “analog” weight.


Oriolus Mellianus – the synergy of Mell and Athena pair up transforms a typically more neutral balanced sound sig of these iems into a more organic fuller body sound with a more powerful bass impact. The change in bass was the first thing I noticed, both in terms of lifted sub-bass rumble and stronger mid-bass punch, making it sound more analog, like a dynamic driver (similar to what I heard with U18t).  Mids also sound richer in tonality, more musical, more organic.


HiFiMAN RE2000 – with Athena, the sound of RE2000 is more v-shaped due to a noticeable lift in bass, all the way down to a deep sub-bass rumble and more rounded slower mid-bass slam.  Mids are neutral and to my surprise sound recessed relative to the bass and treble.  In reality, it’s just a v-shaped perception due to a bass lift which makes RE2000 sound like a hybrid DD/multi-BA iem instead of being single dynamic driver IEM.  Depending on cable and source pair up RE2k can sound harsh and even sibilant, but here it sounds like all the peaks were under control.  I just didn’t expect sound to transform into v-shaped signature.  Fans of deep analog bass and crisp non-fatigue treble will appreciate this transformation.


64 Audio Fourte Noir – in this pair up I hear Noir to sound very balanced and coherent with an impressive holographic soundstage expansion.  Bass is deep and very powerful, not overwhelming, with a velvety smooth elevated rumble adding weight to a more elevated mid-bass punch.  I do hear some low end lift with Athena, but it’s under control.  Mids/vocals are smooth, natural, still resolving and very detailed at the same time.  Treble is crisp, with extra sparkle, and good extension.  This is a type of balanced sound sig where bass, mids, and treble are all sound emphasized.  Very good pair up, especially if you want to enhance the impact of Noir bass.



Unless you are a cable aficionado who has been around premium cables, you probably will be a bit confused with me referring to Athena as “budget” cable or mentioning the price in Pros of this review.  4-wire SA Athena cable with ultra-high purity Palladium plated Silver and Pure Silver wires for $415 is relatively cheap considering precious metal nature of these wires and the price of other similar cables.  And doubling the number of wires will also double the price ($799, 8-wire version I reviewed), the same way as it would when buying precious metal jewelry necklace.

You have to keep in mind that cable is not going to transform your IEM into monitors with a different sound sig.  The cable can enhance and refine the sound, but if you are looking for a more drastic change – start by figuring out if you picked IEM with the right sound sig to begin with.  But if you have been lusting after other premium exotic cables and want to fine tune your IEMs with a more natural smoother tonality without sacrificing resolution details, the new Satin Audio flagship Olympus series cable named after Athena Goddess could be your answer!

14 thoughts on “Satin Audio Athena

  1. Great review as always, Alex. Just wondering, how does the imaging / separation / soundstage depth / overall “holographicness” of Athena compare with that of Leo II Octa? Am using U18t and SP1000 SS. Thanks.


    1. To my ears, Leo II Octa is a little bit better when it comes to imaging and soundstage because of its more transparent tonality (relative to U18t I tested these cables with) which helps open up the sound.


      1. Thanks, Alex. I’ve actually auditioned Leo II Octa yesterday after reading your review of it. The pairing was amazing! I can literally “hear everything”. Now, say that I want to keep the same level of transparency, imaging, and soundstage from U18t (with M15 apex module) but, at the same time, tone down the sound’s brightness a bit. Which cable, if any, would you say could possibly do that?


      2. Leo II octa is a more natural tonality cable (relative to U18t). I tested U18t with a lot of cables in the past, and some could have been a bit warmer in tonality, but at the expense of loosing some transparency and resolution. Leo II Octa is a golden alternative. Btw, have you tried different eartips with U18t? Their foam ones are actually not bad at all, and it can tame down a bit of a lower treble.


    2. Great~ I’ll give the foamies a go. Thanks again. For now, I’m using a pair of DIY hybrids [SpinFit 155 fitted with Howard Leight MAX foams] 🙂


  2. Great review as always, Twister. Thanks! Right now, I’m looking for a hybrid/tribrid for studio recordings and EDM (longing for some DD bass). My current setup is entirely based on your great recommendations, being: AK SP1000 SS w/ Amp+U18t+Leo II Octa (best I’ve heard for live recordings and concerts). I now have my eyes on Nio, Halcyon, Sultan, OG Fourte, and Legend X, with hopes to get well controlled bass, full-bodied, vivid, clear and transparent vocals, coherent tonality, holographic imaging and resolution. I have a single-crystal silver cable and a Brise Audio Yantono 4w cable ready for pair up along with a handful of tips for tip rolling. Would too be willing to invest in a X6 or X8 PPH (or any other similar grade cable) down the road. So out for named iems (or iem+cable+tip combo) would you say could perhaps fit the bill? And, does 64A’s LID tech really limit the effect of cable rolling? Thanks again!


    1. Since you already have U18t, sounds like you want something similar with more bass? Nio might fit the bill, but it’s not as vivid as its big brother. LX bass will make your ears bleed. How about VE Elysium? It ruined U18t for me lol!!! VE guys used BA for bass and DD for mids, and EST for treble. Need to play with eartips to get a good seal which helps with a bass, but those mids are something else… But, I’m also digging Nio a lot lately, especially with fir audio N0 new module (64audio M0 own module attenuates bass too much). Regarding LID tech on cable rolling, LID tech (in a nutshell, just a clever crossover design) only limits the effect of the source output impedance variation, and shouldn’t have anything to do with a cable rolling.


  3. Hi Alex. I want the most amount of subbass possible for my EE Nemesis and LX. Is Athena the best candidate or is there any other cable out their that is better. I am looking to stay under $1000.



    1. The problem with some other cables is that you could boost the bass but at the expense of loosing some resolution and adding more coloring. Satin Audio cables probably have one of the best values for premium wires, and they just updated their connectors with higher quality ones.


      1. Hi Alex, Really do appreciate the reply. Have you come across the ares ii+ by any chance? I am deciding between that (which is locally available in sydney) or the athena.


      2. Ares II is LX stock cable. Don’t have + but it will have thicker wires and a little lower impedance. Shouldn’t yield too much difference, but if you get a chance why don’t you try it?


      3. I do plan on trying out the demo but have been a little cautious to take the train to the shop due to the virus. 🙂


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