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Headphone Cables item created by effect audio, Apr 9, 2013
Pros - Value, Comfort, good fit and finish.
Cons - None
Build Quality: For something hand built, the overall build quality is quite good. Of course, it isn’t nearly as perfect as something from a plastic molding machine but it is far ahead from the early days of DIY cable with ugly and stiff heat shrink. The actual cable itself is surprisingly slim and flexible, almost looks fragile in a way but thankfully it is quite strong in the hand. The transparent sleeve showcases the rather delicate braiding of 8 silver plated 5N OFC wires. Yet because of the slimness of the individual wires, the whole cable is still extremely soft and thin. The pins termination as well as the Y-splitter section are all pre-molded plastic parts glued together to cover up the splitting and solder joints. The Yarbo 3.5mm plug is slightly on the heavy side but rather good in build quality. Inside, the solder joints has been hot glued to improve durability and strain relief is created by layering multiple heat shrink together. Again, not as good looking as actual molded strain relief but it is functional to say the least.
Ergonomics: Instead of memory wire, the ear loops are pre-molded using heat shrink. Due to the great flexibility and thinness of the cable, the overall ergonomics is excellent. Probably one of the best I have even seen among removable cable, stock or custom.
Tangle + Memory Effect: While the cable is soft, it does have a little springiness inside and tends to want to straighten itself instead of trying to curve up even after long storage time inside tight space. So basically it is quite a tangle- and memory-free cable
Microphonics: Fairly low in microphonics, almost as low as the stock UE cable for TF10 and much less than the stock cable on Lear LCM-5.
Overall: The cable itself has good build quality and excellent ergonomics. The price is also pretty good – well worth the asking price in my opinion because it almost disappears during use. I don’t think you can ask more than that.
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)