Pros: Ergonomics, fit & finish, value
Cons: Other similarly priced cables can offer better SQ improvements, although not with the same great ergonomics.
From my multi-custom IEM cable review thread.
Effect Studio [Apollo] Advanced upgrade Cable for UE/Shure ($88)
Effect Studio packaging; Y-split, plug, and shell connectors; free form; with old Effect Studio Crystal cable
I reviewed two Effect Studio cables previously, and while they looked amazing in photos and great in person, they didn’t score high primarily due to ergonomics. Effect Studio revamped their lineup and contacted me to see if I was interested in trying their new cables. The Apollo cable I received has connectors that fit Shure, Sensaphonics, and the Ultimate Ears UE900, among others. The Apollo is the least flashy of the three cables I received from Effect Studio, but it still looks nice. The wire used is Silver plated .99999 OFC with 8 braided wires that have a clear jacket. The 3.5mm jack is made by Yarbo and give a sense of quality, especially when the strain relief consisting of several staggered layers of heat shrink is taken into account. The Y-split is hard plastic with a design that doesn’t create any strain points, and the right and left cables consist of 4 wires braided and in a clear cable jacket. Molded heat shrink forms flexible ear hooks just before the over molded, high quality shell connectors. The size should be fine for just about any ear size, and it took me less time and stayed in place better than the stock UE900 cable which uses memory wire. The cable is very thin, about half the thickness of the stock UE900 cable.
Ergonomically, the cable performance is excellent. It doesn’t have memory, microphonics are minimal and lower than the stock UE900 cable, and the cable is super light-weight and thin, yet since it is very well made I didn’t get a sense that the cable would break or wear out faster than other cables. There is a slight amount of memory as the cable retains some “waves,” although this doesn’t affect performance. Once rolled up, the cable is springy and does not tangle very easily, and when it does it is usually because the over-the-ear molded area catches. Overall, the Apollo is a joy to use.
Paired with the UE900: The connector is a bit tighter than the stock UE900 connector, which holds the shell in place better than stock. It is harder to install and remove. I had two UE900s so I could easily perform A/Bing. Comparing the two, vocals are slightly more forward with the stock cable in comparison with the slightly more spacious presentation with the Apollo. Detail levels are also a hair higher with the Apollo due in part to better instrument separation; however the stock cable has a more coherent presentation. The Apollo cable is a nice alternative if you want less microphonics and/or a bit more spacious and laid back sound.
Summary: The Apollo is an ergonomic dream; thin, light, flexible, tangle resistant, all resulting in excellent performance. Looks are good and fit and finish is top notch. Changes to the sound with the UE900 were small but palpable. I can recommend the Apollo cable as a nice choice for those looking for a very ergonomic, well-built cable that is very small, and considering the price, it is also a great value.
Tangle Resistance: 9.5
Memory Effect: 9.5
Build Quality: 10
Works with recessed sockets: N/A
Options: 3.5mm jack options - Pailiccs, Sennheiser Silver, Sennheiser Black, Yarbo, Neutrik RA, Oyaide (+$10), Oyaide RA (+$10); shell connectors – TF10 (UE5Pro/ TF10/ Universal two pin connector), custom IEMs (Westone ES4, ES3, JH Audio, UE Custom), Shure (Shure SE215/315/425/535, UE900, Sensaphonics)