Pros: Cable build quality
Cons: Microphonic, prone to memory
I would like to greatly thank Fiio for giving me the chance to try out their new cables.
Personally, I found it quite interesting when I heard Fiio, who I had always thought of as an amp and DAC company, was making cables. I received both the RC-MH1 for the Phillips X1, Sony 1R series, and V-Moda headphones and the RC-UX1, a 3.5mm extension cable.
While I don’t any of the abovementioned headphones that the RC-MH1 was made for, I do own multiple V-Moda cables for my modified Fostex T50RP headphone and I was curious to see how the RC-UX1 worked with my T50RP, and how it compared to the V-Moda cables I own.
Both the RC-MH1 and RC-UX1 both share the same Furutech cable and aluminum connector on the end that connects to your music player or amp. The cable material itself is soft and flexible, but highly prone to memory, as I demonstrate in the picture below:
(This is what happened after I wound the cable around my hand and placed it on my bed.)
The connectors are a nice brushed aluminum though, and the textured portion makes it easy to unplug from devices. The strain relief is good without being excessive. While it doesn’t bend very much when the cable is pulled at an angle, it seems like it will do a good job keeping the cable from being pulled out of the connector.
The female end of the RC-UX1 is plastic, but it’s a durable feeling plastic. Unlike some of the cheaper 3.5mm extension cables I’ve had before. Although you can see the molding where the two pieces of the connector were fused, it is much less noticeable than some of the other female 3.5mm connectors I’ve seen in the past.
If I had one complaint about the connectors, it would be the headphone connector for the RC-MH1 and how excessively long it seems. I’ve used the V-Moda M-100 before, and seen @miceblue's set using the RC-MH1 cable; the connector seems excessively long even for that. So much so that you could bump it with your shoulder while wearing them without much effort.
Comparing the RC-MH1 to the V-Moda audio only cable, the V-Moda is softer and more flexible, but to be honest, I’ve never liked 45-degree angled connectors that much, which is what one end of the V-Moda cable is. To me, it’s just a compromise between a straight connector and a 90-degree connector that feels awkward no matter how you use it. I much prefer the Fiio’s straight connector over the V-Moda. The V-Moda cable is also much less prone to microphonics, but that is because the cable is covered in a material I can only closely describe as shoelace material, which some people may find annoying.
I will go into sonic impressions later when I have all of my reference gear available. While I haven’t heard a night and day difference with my T50RPs, and I don’t think I will when I do compare them, any headphones that sound better with a lower output impedance may improve with the RC-MH1. When I measured the RC-MH1’s impedance in comparison to the V-Moda audio only cable, the impedance was about half (~4 ohms for the V-Moda, ~2 for the MC1). Don’t quote me though, because I don’t have my multimeter with me to verify.
In closing, I think Fiio did a nice job with the cables overall, despite the microphonics and wire memory. If the stock cable on your headphones break, or you need a nice extension cable, these fit the bill. I also think Fiio may want to consider making a version of this cable with a right angle connector that could be used with the Fostex T50RP, since most people dislike the stock cable, and the closest replacement available is the V-Moda audio cable, which is not idea since it has a 45 degree connector, as mentioned above.