Effect Audio Cleopatra II Octa

Pair up.

Here is how I hear Cleo II cable pairs up with different IEMs. I chose a handful of popular flagship monitors for this testing, to compare the sound between their stock and Cleo II Octa cables.

In this test I was using LPGT as a 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”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.

Also, please keep in mind that I’m describing the sound of IEM paired with a specific cable, driven from LPGT source, and how the sound of that IEM compares when I switch cables. I don’t want to imply that cable will have a drastic EQ-like night’n’day effect on the sound of IEMs. Based on what I’m hearing, cable can 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.

Aroma Jewel, stock vs Cleo II octa – I hear Cleo II to widen the soundstage of Jewel, and it is quite noticeable in this comparison. Also, Cleo II adds more texture and warmth to the bass and more body to the lower mids. Plus, Jewel’s stock cable is microphonic and stiff, while Cleo II octa has hardly any microphonics and noticeably softer in comparison.

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Oriolus Traillii, stock PWA 1960 4w vs Cleo II octa – in this comparison I hear the stock cable to have a little more width with the Bird. They do have similar bass response, but I do hear a noticeable difference in mids where stock PWA cable is brighter while Cleo II octa adds more body in mids and smoothness in treble when compared to the stock cable.

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EE Odin, stock PWA 1960 2w vs Cleo II octa – in this comparison the soundstage is slightly different where stock PWA adds a bit more width while Cleo II adds more depth. Tonality varies as well. Stock cable gives Odin more neutral bass quantity and brighter upper mids and treble. Cleo II gives Odin bass more texture and adds a bit more weight, and gives mids and treble smoother and more organic tonality.

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FirAudio XE6, stock copper vs Cleo II octa – this was actually an impressive transformation with soundstage opening up more in width with Cleo II. Plus, the mids came more forward, and as a result the signature went from L-shaped where the bass was more elevated with stock copper cable to being W-shaped with elevated mids that improved the balance with lows.

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Comparison.

Consistent with my cable testing philosophy, I used the same IEM (Jewel) 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 Jewel sound compares between different cables.

Cleo II octa vs Cleo OG – I hear OG to have a slightly wider soundstage, while II has more holographic imaging in terms of how sounds are positioned in space. II also adds more texture in the bass and scales up low end quantity, just enough to give the sound punchier bass and fuller body in lower mids. II, despite having 2x more conductors, feels softer in comparison to a stiffer OG.

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Cleo II octa vs Leo II octa – I hear a very similar soundstage expansion and imaging. It is remarkable how much similarities I hear between these two cables despite different wire material. From a very similar bass, both sub-bass extension and mid-bass punch, to more natural detailed mids. The only noticeable difference between these two cables is in treble where Leo II octa is smoother and warmer, while Cleo II octa has more sparkle and air.

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Cleo II octa vs PS Silver+ – this comparison is very similar to Cleo OG, where Silver+ has a slightly wider soundstage, while both have a similar imaging. And the same with a tonality, with Silver+ being brighter, in both upper mids and lower/mid treble, while Cleo II octa having a fuller body with more organic mids and better controlled treble. Also, due to Silver+ being a brighter cable, the perception of its bass is more neutral in comparison to Cleo II octa having a more elevated and textured bass. Also, Cleo II octa is a lot softer in comparison to stiff jacket of Silver+ cable.

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Cleo II octa vs PWA Silver Liar – both have a similar soundstage expansion and imaging, maybe with Cleo II octa being just a bit wider. They both also have a similar bass impact and extension, and quite similar tonality of the mids, both in lower and upper mids. The noticeable difference here is in treble where PWA cable makes it bright and crisp, a bit too much for Jewel, while Cleo II octa creates a perfect balance of sparkle, air, and higher definition in upper frequencies.

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Conclusion.

Long time ago when I first started reviewing, I had it embedded in my head about silver cables making the sound “brighter” without realizing that many of those cheaper cables were not pure silver but rather silver-plated copper. It was not until I discovered EA Thor II pure silver cable when I realized that assumption wasn’t true. Instead, in many pair ups it made the sound more natural, even adding some texture to the bass. The DNA of the Thor II was carried over to Cleo and now has been refined in this next gen Cleo II release. In many pair ups I tried, these wires still delivered a clear and detailed sound with a more natural analog tonality. Plus, Cleo II improves the original version by adding more texture to the bass, fuller body in mids, and even smoother treble peaks relative to some of the IEMs I tested.

While the level of the improvement in sound could vary depending on our perception, there is no question about functionality of this cable scaling up in comparison to the original Cleo. The cable now is softer and more pliable which is a big plus when you are on the go. The ability to go between single ended and 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced is another plus, and unlike other modular cables, the TermX plug is more secure. ConX is a huge plus because in addition to having access to 2pin and mmcx IEMs, you can also expand it to a full set covering IPX and Pentaconn Ear connectors which are becoming popular with other IEMs. This is definitely a worthy step up from the original EA Cleopatra with improvements in the sound and the functionality.

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