Okay fellas (and ladies) who are X1 owners, the Zu is worth it! Core things you hear right away:
- Greater clarity and weight on vocals
- Better imaging and instrument separation
- Deeper cleaner bass (which I've noticed to be a consistent trait with all silver cables I've owned)
- Additional weight on strings, which makes them sound more natural and realistic
- An overall fuller and faster sound
Now, soundstage is cut a bit (which is also a characteristic of silver cables), but the music is much fuller, so that's a good tradeoff for me. I mean you are still getting a good soundstage from the open headphone. And all this before any burn-in, so I expect to get even better. My other silver 100 percent silver over high grade copper have gotten better with burn-in. What's interesting is that the ground wire is done with silver too. The bass is crazy good with this cable!!!
You want lighter bass, much brighter sound and wider soundstage, go with the inaukustik cable. A good solid cheap performing cable is the MediaBridge. But for that extra umph in the X1's sound, you can hear it and feel it with the Zu.
Ironically, the Zu is the thinnest of the three cables too, but the best made of the three. Great sheath covering and arrows that tells you which end should receive the sound from the amp/DAP source and send the powerful music flow into your headphone. Can't beat this cable for $35 on ebay. Now, the $35 only gives you a cable a little bit over 3 feet long, which I find is long enough (you don't need anything any shorter or longer). I think the next cable jumps to 9feet, which I think is too much unless you're doing some long distance connecting. There is a sheet on the ebay site that you can download and it will give you ever spec you could possibly want to know about this cable. You even get business card from the specific engineer who built your cable (in my case, a woman) who you can call if you have any questions or issues with the cable. Another great American company with great customer service.