This is a review of Lunashops silver plated OCC wire replacement cable with a standard MMCX connector. http://www.lunashops.com/goods.php?id=4456
People have polarized opinion about headphone replacement cables. Some consider these as a "snake oil" and a waste of money, others are too vocal about it being a miracle in transforming headphones into something new. When I approach testing of replacement cables, I try to be more realistic and tested a variety of budget cables with my W40, UE900, and ATH-IM03 IEMs. One thing I found in common, going from a standard copper to OFC cable doesn't yield too much of an improvement, but stepping up to a silver-plated OFC cable indeed produces an audible difference. Doesn't matter if you are a skeptic or an optimist, you are dealing with a higher purity and a higher conductivity replacement which in comparison to a standard copper wire will not introduce as much loss or filtering effect to your audio signal. As a result, you are not really improving a sound from your original audio source, but rather bringing it closer to its original signature without degradation effect introduced by lower purity wires.
Is this a must have upgrade? If you are dealing with a high quality hardware audio source, like a dedicated DAP and/or external amp, and high quality IEMs in $400-$500 and up to $1000+ range, I think it's a must have investment. Once we get IEMs out of the box, the first thing we do is start with a tip rolling to find the best fitment to fine tune the sound. If you have more expensive IEMs, sometime you have an option to change filters. Going for a replacement cable with a higher purity wires is taking it one step further in sound improvement. In the past year I was very impressed with replacement cables from Lunashops, especially their silver-plated cables. Here, I would like to look at their new silver-plated 5N OCC (with OCC having an even higher purity than OFC) replacement cable with a standard MMCX connector which you can use with Westone W- or UM Pro- series, Shure SE- series, Logitech Ultimate Ears UE- series, and other IEMs that use a standard replacement cables with MMCX connector. Keep in mind, VSonic VSD3/3S series does NOT use standard mmcx connector. Here is what I found.
Arrived in a small flat tin box with a clear display, it was packed inside of a small ziploc bag and stored between foam inserts to make sure it doesn't get crashed or damaged during shipment. Out of the box, the cable looks very impressive with a quality workmanship of the assembly. You have 4 separate wires in individual clear thin shielding. Left/Right sides of the wires are twisted in pairs and separated inside of another soft clear shielding until the y-splitter where all 4 wires are twisted together and inside of a common soft clear shielding as well. Y-splitter is also clear with a chin slider (cable cinch) next to it. 3.5mm headphone connector is straight, slim, gold plated, and can be taken apart by unscrewing the cap for a quick access to fix it, if required. At the other end of the cable, you have mmcx gold plated connectors inside of a slim mold. The whole assembly looks clean and professionally done.
As I mentioned before, the cable shielding is very soft, not springy, which keeps the cable tangle free and perfect for either wired down or over the ear fitment. For additional comfort when used over the ear, sliding cable cinch up helps keep the wires together. Furthermore, with a soft nature of the cable, you can use it over your ears without a need for a memory wire or bulky wire guides. The extra clear/soft shielding over the twisted wires also helps significantly with reduction of microphonics effect when cable is brushing against your cloth. This is a very important factor because previously I was using FiiO RC-SE1 similar cable, and microphonics effect was next to unbeareable, not too mention springy effect of wires. This Lunashops cable design solves this problem down to a very minimum cable noise, still present but at a minimum level. So the big question, how does it sounds? I tested it with my W40 and UE900 and found similar results.
With UE900 fitment was perfect, they snap right in and form a solid connection. Connector housing has a good grip to attach the cable to earpieces and also to pull apart when disconnecting. Since you don't have a memory wire anymore, I demonstrated below how it could be worn with both wire up and wire down, though for wire down you might want to swap L/R pieces for a slicker look. Regarding the sound improvement, don't expect your quad-driver to sound like 6-BA driver, but the sound definitely gets brighter, slightly more detailed in upper mids and lower treble, and due to a brighter sound the perception of soundstage opens up as well. The level of improvement will vary depending on source you are using where your return on investment is better using higher quality DAP in comparison to HO from your smartphone. I do have to note that clear/silver color of the cable might not be the perfect color match for blue/black UE900 earpieces which makes cable stand out, but overall with a sound improvement, functionality improvement, and higher durability in comparison to a stock braided cable - this is a great value.
Overall, YMMV but in my personal opinion this is one worthy upgrade to try out with your headphones to push the performance of your multi-driver IEMs even further. This will not make a sound improvement like night'n'day, but it will definitely improve your sound signature making it brighter across entire frequency range and opening up soundstange perception (I use 'perception' because you are not really changing soundstage). This cable has an excellent build quality, feels very durable, and uses high quality wires which an improvement over any stock copper or even OFC cable. This is not a pure silver, but silver-plated cable and it also has a higher purity of copper than OFC (OCC uses a different manufacturing process). For $40 shipped it's a great value which is still a fraction of the price in comparison to $500-$1000 multi-drive IEMs you can use it with. Definitely gets my recommendation!
Here are the pictures (click on pictures to expand).