I tried removing most variables to keep the tests simple, easy and clean. Here is what I chose and did,
- 2 IEMs as reference – BGVP EST12 and ItsFit Fusion
- Testing first with their respective stock cables.
- Same source – Hiby R6 Pro
- Volume levels matched by ear precisely in order to remove the effects of volume mismatch (Read how volume boosts change perception of sound signature).
- Same ear tips.
- Tested with fresh ears early in the day.
In my opinion, cables do not have a sound themselves but rather act as a medium between the source and transducer where their impedance, geometry and conductivity play a role, which in the overall picture might be more minute than substantial but it is the synergy between all three; source, cable and transducer, which when perfected, makes a good combo – a great one. The obsession to perfect this combo completely lies in the ears (patience and budget) of the beholder and a lot of times, you don’t even need to spend the biggest bucks to make a great combo! I’m all for finding great value for money products but value proposition of cables is tough to judge because there are some cables available for as less as $10 and then there are cables that are priced upwards of $2k too. So, it is highly subjective as per one’s idea of VFM (value for money), especially when it comes to cables, and totally depends on what one is willing to spend for an upgrade in sound quality, however big or small.
With that said, I tested these cables with Hiby R6 Pro as my source and multiple IEMs from my arsenal but the sound impact and perception was primarily written with BGVP EST12 and ItsFit Fusion as the reference IEMs, with rest of the IEMs included in the pair-up suggestions.
To be honest, all these cables are quite versatile and the sound differences between the 5 of them in the overall picture weren’t as substantial as I was expecting. They all have nice low impedances and so conduct sound much much better than cheaper stock cables of the IEMs I had in testing, with the exception of the DUNU DK-3001 Pro’s stock cable, which is pretty great as a stock and upgrade cable itself.
It has 8 cores of OCC Litz copper wire and with EST12 and Fusion as reference, it has nice true natural, clean and transparent sound conduction compared to stock and other silver or SPC cables in general. In the overall picture, it brings out the natural character of the IEM without adding or taking away too much from its side. Soundstage sounded cleaner with a nicer black background when compared with the stock cables.
It pairs perfectly in the scenario where one primarily just wants a natural and smooth conduction of sound compared to cheaper stock cables without changing the original sound signature much. I also loved pairing this with Moondrop A8, Craft Ears CE6 and CE4.
This is a hybrid cable with a Silver-plated OCC Litz copper wire mixed in with Beer’s OCC Litz copper. Compared to the Beer, I mainly perceived the bass and lower mids having a slightly cleaner character, adding a slight sheen, cleanliness and polish to the lower end of the spectrum with Fusion as reference primarily. I felt the same with EST12 too but not as pronounced as I did with Fusion. Soundstage was perceived slightly wider and deeper with a blacker background compared to their respective stock cables.
I love pairing the Cocktail with IEMs where I wanted to liven up the dynamics of bass and/or clean up the lower mids just a tad bit. I particularly liked it with Fearless S6Rui and DUNU-DK-3001 Pro.
This is a full-on silver-plated OCC copper Litz cable. It enables livening of the signature with a more vivid and rich effect relatively when compared to the stock cable and even the other 4 Ego Audio cables, with EST12 as the primary reference. It is the brighter cable of the lot but the effect it injects into a warmer signature makes for an enriching experience. It doesn’t make the signature bright per say but adds a little bit of dynamism and vividness that I quite liked. Also, doesn’t hurt that it is a looker too! Soundstage perceived was one of the widest and deepest of all the cables. I loved it most with IEMs like Moondrop S8 and Dunu DK-3001 Pro, where I wanted to liven up their warmer signatures.
What a beautiful cable this one is! Aesthetically, it pairs great with everything. What is even cooler is that it is an UP-OCC Litz copper cable (my favourite kind) and pairs really well with most of the IEMs I have. I hear it conducting the signal very cleanly and transparently in EST12 and Fusion but somehow enriching them with a bit more perception of resolution, cleanliness, dynamics and a slightly wider soundstage compared to the stock cable.
If I had to recommend a single ‘versatile-jack of all trades’ upgrade cable for your IEM out of the Ego Audio lot, I’d definitely recommend this one or the Whiskey. +1 to Tequila for the looks even though Whiskey is no slouch! Haha.
I love it most with EST12, Moondrop A8, Fusion, Lime Ears Aether R and Craft Ears CE4.
This is an OCC cable with a fibre core with 23AWG wire. It conducts sound very transparently and efficiently without adding too much from its own side, even more cleanly and naturally than Beer somehow. What it enables is a representation of the sound signature to its full potential with a wider and deeper soundstage with a blacker background than the other 3 cables and is on a similar level as Sake but with a more natural smooth sound. Compared to Beer, I perceived slightly better resolution in EST12 and slightly tighter bass and better dynamics in Fusion with both IEM’s sound becoming slightly cleaner overall.
It pairs really well with most of the IEMs in my collection but I like it paired most with 64 Audio U12t, BGVP EST12, Aether R and ItsFit Fusion.
I think Ego Audio is a brand every cable enthusiast should definitely consider when looking for a cable upgrade over their cheaper stock cables. I can see that Kong, the founder of the brand, has put in a lot of thought and planning, not just into workmanship, quality and manufacturing these cables, but also the naming scheme (love it), overall looks and design. These are definitely a step up from cheaper Litz cables in the $75-200 range when it comes to build quality, looks and workmanship. These cables not only look great but help greatly in conducting clean sound too and are quite easy to pair with multiple IEMs as they are rather versatile than niche. Most of the cables come in 8 core versions only and I highly recommend Ego Audio start offering these cables as 4 core versions with a cheaper price tag to make them even more accessible and attractive value for money proposition. Sadly, they don’t have a full-fledged independent website/store yet and you can only purchase their cables either through their Facebook page directly, an online retail store like Audeos Audio or physical stores that carry the brand (majorly in Asian countries). If Ego Audio wants to cater to international customers properly, they definitely need to make purchasing and choosing options easier. Till then, check them out on Facebook and send them a PM if you’re interested in purchasing or discussing all the customisation options they offer.