Pros: Value, performance
plusSound Exo Series Custom IEM Cable Review
I would like to thank plusSoundAudio for providing me a loaner of the cable for this review. I would also like to thank you, the readers, for taking the time to read this review.
I received the cables in a fairly secured package, sealed in a zip-lock bag, wrapped with the invoice, another wrap of brown paper, and, finally, the USPS box.
BUILD & ERGONOMICS
The Exo Series line is the “budget” line of plusSound, aggressively priced at $84.99. However, do not let the low price fool you – the build and sound is really good, and I suppose that plusSound treats all of their cable lines equally.
The Exo Series cable is made up of 4-wire braids insulated with a polyethylene material. plusSound offers multiple choices in their wires – copper, silver-plated copper, and silver + 1% gold as stranded wires, and copper, silver, silver-plated copper, and gold-plated copper as solid (single-core) wires. plusSound also offers a wide range of options for connector styles – UE, Shure, Westone/Aurisonics, Sennheiser, and many more.
The cable is surprisingly well-built for the price. A little stiffer than stock cables, but that is expected, due to the thickness of the cable. The cable has a reassuring solid look and feel. Comfort is good, but it makes its presence felt. However, it’s not really intruding.
Cable debunkers may say that aftermarket cables make no difference in sound at all, and cable fans may say that aftermarket cables improve the sound dramatically. These two conflicting sides makes it all more confusing, especially for beginners. However, the reality lies somewhere in between. Cables make a difference in sound. Not too large to call it a “necessity”, but just enough to improve what is there, and small enough to be considered as a luxury.
My setup consists of an iPhone 4, with a Matrix Mini-Portable headphone amplifier connected through a FiiO L9 LOD, and the Aurisonics ASG-1 revision 2 with the Silver+1% Gold plusSound Exo Series Cable. My commonly played genres is Classical, Math Rock, Pop Rock, Soul, and Electronic. I did not do a blind A-B test, since that was somewhat impossible in theory, due to the differences in comfort by both cables.
The sound improvements brought by the cables overall made the ASG-1.2 smoother and more enjoyable. The treble is smoother and more present. The mids are less congested, and are clearer. The bass is tighter. The soundstage slightly improves. Music flows through with less effort.
For those who want to try aftermarket cables on a lower budget, plusSound is the way to go. The small improvements are worth it, for me. Aside from the good sound, the build quality is good as well, and the customer service is great. Should something go wrong, never hesitate to contact them!
All plusSound Cables come with a 1-year warranty.