Jack of all Connectors.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Manufacturer/product website: Effect Audio.
Until end of March, as part of ConX introduction, Effect Audio offering free ConX upgrade to any new cable purchase from Heritage series and above, and also only $30 retermination fee for existing EA cable owners (waiving $50 price of the ConX).
For many audiophiles a premium cable is an investment that shouldn’t get outdated like FOTM IEMs, and you can continue using it for years with your current and future earphones. One way to futureproof and to make this investment more flexible is to have balanced termination and use adapters to cover different sources. It is a lot cheaper and more practical to buy an adapter rather than separate cables terminated 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm. But if you are going between 2pin and mmcx connector IEMs, until now the only solution was to get short adapters which are functional but not always comfortable unless you got big ears.
A have quite a few EA cables and was curious when Effect Audio announced ConX, a modular connector system with exchangeable tips for various IEMs, including 2pin (standard 0.78mm pins), mmcx (universal), a2dc (Audio-Technica connectors), and p-ear (Pentaconn ears connector), with more to come in the future. As a side note, when ConX was announced, some people brought up another manufacturer. I don’t know the details, but did see EA posted the official reply to clear any confusion.
For me personally, 2pin and mmcx are the two most important options, especially now when you see more premium releases from Fir Audio, Campfire Audio, Dunu, iBasso, as well as old school Westone and Shure. So, I decided to give it a go and sent 3 of my favorite EA cables (Code 51, Leo II octa, Horus X) for an upgrade. The new connector is $50 option when ordering EA cables. Also, if you want to upgrade your existing EA cable or even non-EA cable, or just to buy it as a DIY part, it will still cost you $50, though if you want EA to re-connectorize it you have to pay additional $30 labor fee.
I already spend 2 days with these ConX terminated cables, and so far, so good! I just use my fingers to loosen and tighten the threaded connector. It is easier with 2pin since you can get a better grip, and for other round connectors you can use the included lock key to tighten and loosen connectors all of which have 2 little notches for that key. Just please keep in mind, something I missed at first myself, you have to remove the top foam insert with spare connectors to find the key underneath in the middle.
The threaded mechanism is very precise and when tightened, 2pin is perfectly aligned with earhook shape which is very important. I do wish they would add a color-coded dot so you know which one is L/R, otherwise you have to pay attention when picking the correct 2pin connector with a notch in the plastic part of it facing outwards, aligned with EA logo.
I tried 2pin with half a dozen of different IEMs, either recessed or surface socket, and it worked without a problem. Also, tried it with a handful of mmcx connector IEMs, like Fir Audio M4 and M5, Campfire Solaris ’20 and Andro ’20, Dunu LUNA, iBasso IT07, and Westone W80. In every case it clicked in secure and I was able to disconnect the cable without a problem, though in a few cases needed to apply a little bit of force. The only problem was aligning mmcx IEMs with a cable earhook where sometimes I unscrewed the connector by turning counter-clockwise instead of clockwise, that you have to be careful with. But once everything is connected and aligned, I had no issues afterwards.
Obviously, I can’t do A/B comparison between same cables with fixed and ConX connectors, but in theory there shouldn’t be any difference in sound since ConX has a very low impedance. Also, if the majority of your IEMs have 2pin connectors and you do a lot of cable swapping, I would stick to a fixed 2pin cable. But if you have a mix of 2pin and mmcx IEMs and swap cables using 2pin-mmcx adapters, ConX will be a much cleaner and a more practical solution to consider.