Here is how I hear EA Horus X cable pair up with different IEMs in comparison to their corresponding stock cables. In this test I was using LPGT as neutral reference source, volume matched, and playing the selection of my usual 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”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, Galantis “Hunter”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.
Please keep in mind, I’m describing the sound of IEM paired with a specific cable, driven from LPGT source. I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic EQ-like effect on the sound of IEM. Based on what I’m hearing, cable can certainly finetune the sound, but if you find the original signature of IEM to be not your cup of tea, no cable alone will change that.
Stock SPC vs HX – soundstage width is the first noticeable improvement; the sound being airier and more open creates a perception of a wider soundstage. Overall, HX lifts a veil off the sound, giving it more clarity, making it a little brighter and faster, and giving it more sparkle and airiness. It has been awhile since I used the cliché term “lifting the veil off”, but this is exactly how it sounded in a quick back and forth A/B comparison. I do hear a little more accentuation around “sss”, something you have to be aware of. But to my ears it was sharper but not harsh.
Stock Pure Silver vs HX – I also hear in this pair up soundstage to be a little wider which could be due to an overall brighter and airier tonality. The tonality is brighter in mids and treble. I do hear the bass being a little more articulate as well. But the main change here is mids and treble going from balanced and neutral to being more revealing, more analytical, and with mids being a little more forward. If you ever wanted to add more micro-details to your Mellianus, this would be it.
Empire Ears Legend X
Stock Ares II vs HX – Anybody who disbelieves in cables should try this pair up, comparing stock silver Ares II vs Horus X. While I usually say that cable can’t have a drastic effect on the sound, here I will make an exception because it actually did. Soundstage expansion had a slight improvement in width, but the signature went from L-shaped to a pretty much balanced sound with bass being tighter, more controlled and not as booming, mids coming up in quality and quantity with a more forward presentation and more analytical tonality, and even treble having more sparkle and airiness.
Empire Ears Wraith
Stock Cleo vs HX – I didn’t hear much of a soundstage change here, both are high end premium cables to begin with. The signature and tonality change follows other IEMs with HX cable where mids now have a more forward focus as well as more clarify and better resolution, and treble comes up as well. I still hear a well-defined natural treble tonality, but it has more sparkle, and more airiness, and just overall tonality of Wraith have improved with HX cable, becoming brighter and more revealing.
64 Audio Trio
Stock SPC vs HX – Perhaps a little more width in the soundstage expansion, but it wasn’t as drastic. What I found to be more drastic is how this cable affected mids. Mids/vocals have a more forward presentation now, with more body, and better retrieval of details. Treble has a little more sparkle and definitely more airiness. Bass is similar in quantity as it was before, but it sounds tighter and more controlled now, and due to elevation in mids the overall sound is more balanced now.
64 Audio Fourte Noir
Stock SPC vs HX – Perhaps a little more width in the soundstage expansion, and again, I didn’t find it to be too drastic. But the mids were truly shining with this cable upgrade. I do hear the bass being tighter, more controlled, and even a little faster. The mids is where I hear the most noticeable changes with their presentation being more forward, tonality being more revealing but in a natural way, and the upper mids being more resolving. Treble has a little more airiness and sparkle, but still well controlled. Mids is where I hear the most improvement.
Consistent with my cable testing philosophy, I used the same IEM (64 Audio U18t) and the same source (LPGT), and only changed one variable at a time to note the sound difference I hear while keeping volume matched. Keep in mind, I’m describing how these cables sound with 64 Audio U18t IEM, and the focus of this comparison is on EA flagship cables.
Horus vs Horus X – similar soundstage. Lower treble sounds very similar, perhaps with Horus X having a touch more sparkle and airiness, and also upper mids (with Horus X) being a little smoother. The more noticeable difference is in bass impact and lower mids where bass with Horus sounds relatively more neutral and lower mids are also leaner and more neutral, while with Horus X bass has a little more impact and rumble, and lower mids have more body. As a result, U18t sound sig goes from being more mid-forward with Horus to shifting more toward balanced with Horus X.
Code 51 vs Horus X – similar soundstage. Here, I hear C51 having a deeper sub-bass rumble and a little more mid-bass punch relative to Horus X. Mids/vocals sound very similar, having more body in lower mids and both having upper mids a little smoother relative to original Horus. When it comes to treble, especially lower treble peaks, C51 is a little smoother and more natural relative to Horus X. So, it will come down to your reference if you want more energy and extra sparkle/airiness in treble, then Horus X will be a better choice.
Leo II octa vs Horus X – similar soundstage. Leo II octa has a similar deep sub-bass rumble extension but with more quantity, the same with mid-bass where Leo II octa punches harder. Mids are a little warmer and fuller in Leo II octa; I don’t find Horus X mids to be as lean as original Horus, but it’s not on the same level as Leo II octa. But the most noticeable difference in tonality between these cables is in treble. Leo II octa is smoother, more controlled and well defined but with less pronounced lower treble peaks while Horus X has more sparkle, more airiness, and just overall crisper.
Effect Audio Horus X is a beautifully crafted cable. And again, I will sound like a broken record repeating myself that you have to understand the meaning of diminishing returns when dealing with these kilobuck TOTL IEMs and Cables. Exotic cables with Gold Plated Silver material will have a high price tag, just like your wife’s or girlfriend’s jewelry. Except, while your significant other will wear it to show off when out in public, the same doesn’t apply to cables in audiophile world. Sure, looks are important, but it has to be more than just that.
I find Horus X to fit somewhere between the original Horus and Code 51. Paired up with IEMs, it contributes to a balanced signature with more weight in bass and more resolving body in lower mids similar to C51, and at the same time, more energy and revealing details in treble similar to Horus. If you are after fine-tuning the tonality of your premium IEMs and can afford it, going between Horus, Horus X, Leo II, and Code 51 can get you there. And based on what I heard during my Horus X testing, it can perfect the tuning by adding more analog bass texture, bringing more focus to mids, and adding more treble details. In my opinion, Horus X is one of the EA more resolving, transparent, and micro-detailed cables.