Copper with a twist!
PROS: noticeable improvement in soundstage expansion, improvement in bass extension and impact, lowers the noise floor perception (due to enhanced shielding), comfortable to wear, great workmanship and durable build.
CONS: due to new wire design, the cable is a little stiff; the sound improvement varies depending on pair up.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Manufacturer website: PlusSound.
I’m aware that some people don’t believe in cables and have very strong opinion about it. It’s not my intent to start an argument. Instead, I would like to share what I hear during my testing. Perhaps, I can’t fully explain why there is a change in sound, but I do hear it and don’t believe it’s a placebo effect. What makes sense to me, a metal wire is a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, purity, and unique geometry, all of which put together act as a filter between your source and earphones. Variations of these physical properties can affect the conductivity of analog signal, resulting in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level. Also, the sound change introduced by a specific cable is not universal because it will depend on the design and the synergy between the source and earphones under test.
This year marks 9th anniversary since PlusSound was founded in 2012, and to mark it, PS decided to introduce something new and different by going back to Copper basics with a ‘Plus’ twist in their new Copper+ cable. According to Christian, the man behind the company, “our goal for this wire from the start was to match or exceed performance of Echo+, so we built everything from the ground up: layout, OD thickness, strand count/thickness, etc.”
For those familiar with lineup of PS cables, Apollonian series has extra shielding below the split, Dionysian has extra shielding above the split, and Echo+ has extra shielding top to bottom. The use of this extra shielding material has its benefits, though additional bulk isn’t one of them. The new Copper+ continues design principle of extra shielding along the cable length, but with a different design approach to make this cable less bulky and more supple & portable.
I spent a few months rotating this cable between various IEMs and comparing it to other similar cables, and here is what I found.
Unboxing and Accessories.
Introduced last year with a release of their premium Palladium Plated Hybrid cable, it looks like PS adapted the same new common packaging look for all of their cables. The box it arrived in is compact, and looks more like a premium jewelry giftbox with a gold-printed logo on the cover and the gold inner edges. With the cover off, you will find a clear plastic display cover with a message: Designed and Hand Assembled in Los Angeles, California, USA – a nice custom touch filled with pride.
The cable itself was kept sealed in a clear plastic bag, which you will find with every PS product, even custom addon accessories (like adaptors). The included accessories were also updated. No more amplifier rubber band or IEM cleaning tool. Instead, you will find a pleather storage pouch branded with PS logo, PS branded cleaning microfiber cloth, a cable organizer leather band with a black finish, and a warranty card.
The cable I received came terminated with 4.4mm balanced plug. If you decide to go with 2.5mm balanced plug and need 4.4mm and 3.5mm adaptors, PS also makes their own ultra short or regular ones with pigtail extension, per request and at a reasonable pricing. I’m sure they can make one to go from 4.4mm to 2.5mm or 3.5mm as well.
As the name of the cable suggests, it’s not hard to guess that we are dealing with a pure copper wire, but it is not the same as their typical Type 6 litz variant. Those usually feature bundles of twisted wire stands with fiber material at the core of each bundle and another main core dampener in the middle of the cable to absorb vibrations. With Copper+, in addition to multiple twisted litz bundles, there is also a secondary twisted litz wire bundle used as the core with a more durable dampener to support outer wires. One thing still remains, each copper strand has enamel coating to prevent oxidation and crosstalk.
And in order to keep the overall wire size close to other PS cables, they implemented a new unique shielding using a silver layer between the insulation and wires. This new shielding is two-sided and in addition to protecting the wires from outside interference to eliminate EMI, could also serve as a ground. And the secondary copper wire at the core could be either grounded or conduct a signal separate from the litz bundles around it. In a way, this is like a coax structure with two wires in one, allowing more design flexibility.
Furthermore, PS implemented a new matte black outer insulation, still non-microphonic and comfortable to wear. But as a result of the updated design, the wire is approximately 15% larger in size in comparison to a standard Type 6 litz. And wire is also a little stiffer because of that, where Exo cable (4wire design) I received had wires twisted instead of braided. I wouldn’t say the wire is very stiff, just stiffer than other tradition Type 6 litz cables PS offers.
As far as the design goes, PS offers a ton of customization options where it feels like you are designing CIEM. You have a choice to braid shape, different termination plugs (2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm, USB Type C (with built-in dac/amp), RSA/ALO, and 1/4 “), iem termination connectors (every variation of 2pin, mmcx, and every other available connector), termination end (black, gold, chrome, rose gold, blue, red), Y-splitter (black, silver, chrome, gold, rose gold, carbon fiber, red fiber, silver fiber), Slider (black, silver, chrome, rose gold, none), and even color of left/right indicator (black, gold, chrome, rose gold, blue, red).
As already mentioned, I received Exo series version (4wires), with rhodium plated 2pin, rhodium plated 4.4mm, new matte black outer insulation, and matching all black hardware, connectors and plug housing (black with chrome termination end), and black y-splitter and chin-slider – a beautiful all-black stealth look with a rhodium accent.