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Ego Audio cables (Beer/Cocktail/Sake/Tequila/Whiskey)

Rating:
5/5,
  1. Watermelon Boi
    Ego Audio Cables Review: Challenger approaching
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Aug 7, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - PW-level quality cables
    -Reasonable price
    -Solid build quality and premium looks
    -Includes a soft pouch
    Cons - Lacks brand info/website
    -Could include a cable tie
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    Ego Audio Cables Review: Challenger approaching

    There are some brands that I believe be a real 'hidden gem' in the IEM cable industry, which is Satin Audio and Ego Audio. While these two brands are yet to be well-known, they serve high-quality cables and keep the price either affordable or reasonable. I first did a review for Satin Audio, now here comes for Ego Audio.

    Ego Audio is a very new firm from China and I'm pretty sure even most IEM cable enthusiasts barely (or never) heard about this brand. I also got to know Ego Audio by chance while hanging around on Facebook until reading a Chinese post introducing these cables. I thought this to be a typical and numerous cable manufacturer from China and almost scrolled away until I read the word "PW Audio".

    Though available information about this brand was very limited even after research. No websites, yet to have many distributors, barely know anybody who ever tried these cables.

    Here's what I know - Ego Audio was established in early 2017 and eventually made its way to the market in 2019. Ego Audio is a separate brand powered by PW Audio, though aiming for a different path and keeping the price much more affordable. Ego Audio has 5 cables as their first line-up, so let's talk about the characteristics of each cable and see how they work with various IEMs.





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    Packaging

    All Ego Audio cables come in with a small white box including a soft pouch, packed with the cable. Product and termination info are labeled on the outer box. The pouches are very soft and could be pretty useful when it comes to protecting your IEMs and cables from scratches. I usually put my IEMs into these bags before packing them into a case, so that they won't wiggle around or bump into each other.





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    Ego Audio Beer

    -8 braided OCC Copper (27.5 AWG)
    -Priced for approx. $215

    Beer is an extremely well-balanced cable that could fill the missing 2% from your setup. Although it's the cheapest from Ego family, Beer is likely the most neutral sounding one among them. Beer would be a perfect choice for those who are looking to upgrade their cables while maintaining the original characters from the sound.

    It's very easy to think that copper cables would raise the lows and reduce the highs, though that's not always the case. Beer tends to keep the quantities, colors, and sound signatures stay unaltered, including the default tonality and textures. It reminds me of a sweeter and well-balanced version of the Effect Audio Ares II.





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    Matching comparisons

    HIFIMAN RE2000 Silver: The sound gets more coherent with better ultra-low / mid-bass representation. The tonality becomes more focused and sweeter. Along with that, the background would get darker and calmer, making the vocals to get more vivid or "pop-out" with a clearer presentation.

    BGVP DMS: Had a gut feeling that copper cable would easily make the bass overwhelming with veiled mids, though Beer proves itself to be called an all-rounder. The sound gets sweeter with the same bass quantity, however with cleaner presentation throughout the low frequencies. It goes for a natural, organic tonality but never sounds boring. The best improvement would be the overall sound becoming cleaner.

    Fearless Audio S5H: The sound shows quite a significant amount of improvement. It's just like adjusting the wrong focal point from a blurred image. Compared to Beer, the stock cable sounds blurred and lacks depth and clarity. The dynamics would get bold yet in a precise manner and overall much more enjoyable listening to the details.





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    Comments for Beer

    Everything seems to feel very neutral and original. Along with that, only a pinch of a grain of salt and sugar has been applied, just slightly smoothening out the surface of the texture. This won't kill the details but rather adds a glimpse of sweetness to the tonality. Beer would match very well with almost any IEMs. If you ever wanted to make your sound a bit sweeter from your bassy IEM, Beer will do without overdoing the bass.

    Beer would also be a great match if you're looking to sweeten your plain, flat sounding IEM without mudding the sound. This sure is a coherent sounding cable. It's going to be hard to find a bad match for Beer as it blends in very well with almost all kinds of IEMs. It naturally deepens the sound while keeping all the sweet and the sound gets much deeper on BA IEMs than DD IEMs.





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    Ego Audio Whiskey

    -4 woven braided OCC Copper with fiber cores (23AWG)
    -Priced for approx. $315

    Whiskey is the only 4-braided cable from the family however with the thickest cores. Each braid is woven with multiple super-thin fiber cores, resulting in a crystal-like texture to the cable. While all Ego cables have small price gaps, Whiskey still is the big brother from the current line-up as well as a direct upgrade from Beer.

    It thoroughly respects the original state of the sound just like Beer does, though this one knows very well how to pull out all those depths and hidden low-end details out from your IEMs. This would slightly increase the bass quantity but nothing drastic. Starting from the ultra-lows, the bass would get visibly darker and thicker in density. This change happens without breaking the overall balance or mudding the upper frequencies, making Whiskey a good method to boost your IEM's bass performance.





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    Matching comparisons

    HIFIMAN RE2000 Gold: Bolder sound ray as well as noticeable differences in stage size and clarity. Depth and texture details gain large improvement. Bass also shows much darker and deeper reproduction while mids stay almost identical in tonality as the default cable. The treble details get much crispier with clearer sparkles. I'm very happy with RE2000's improvement as it gets paired with Whiskey. The depth and soundstage are uncomparably better compared to the stock cable.

    IMR R1 Zenith: While Zenith's two different drivers blend in nicely, the hybrid drivers occasionally show "sense of difference" on some tracks in tonality. This usually happens on the upper mids and Whiskey makes these two drivers have a seamless combination, making the overall sound more harmonic. The bass saturation also feels to be increased with a clearer presentation.

    FAudio Major: Whiskey perfectly follows the same signature and characteristics Major originally had with its stock cable (Black Sprite), but now much sweeter and clearer on the mids. Mids also get slightly closer to the ears with the bass showing clearer presentation, making the sound more exciting and engaging. The trebles get slightly crunchier and the dynamics also feel more lively and realistic. I'm confident enough to call that it feels like peeling off a thin sheet of fabric that has been covering the sound.





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    Comments for Whiskey

    I'd say Whiskey's biggest difference from Beer would be the background presentation. Beer barely alters anything from the background while Whiskey makes the background pitch-black and makes me focus more on the sound itself. Whiskey works great with almost all kinds and types of IEMs.

    It works fine with DD, BA, and many others and my best recommendation would be to match these with DD IEMs. BA IEMs match well just as good, though I personally think these to show the sweetest matching when paired with DD IEMs. Whiskey can handle bass-heavy IEMs too as it doesn't sacrifice the upper-frequency sparkles and details.





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    Ego Audio Tequila

    -8 braided Ultra Purity OCC Copper (27.5 AWG)
    -Priced for approx. $265

    Tequila is such a gorgeous looking cable. It has an alluring color scheme, a purple-ish navy blue color and makes your IEM look fascinating. Probably one of the most attractive looking cables I've seen in a while. While Tequila much improves the aesthetics of your setup, the sound is what truly makes Tequila more attractive even more than its looks.

    I was mildly surprised to find out Tequila to be a pure copper cable instead of SPC or other hybrids. Tequila tends not to alter with the quantity from a specific frequency or the tonality but enriches the sound in a way that it would feel more neat and organized. It shows a smoother sound flow while mildly adding crispy and crunchy bits to the sound.





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    Matching comparisons

    Dita Audio Fidelity: Vocals take a small step forward with a soothing taste applied to it. Lows and highs approach in a calmer manner while keeping all original characteristics intact. Along with that, the background gets slightly darker and shines the spotlight on the vocals. I'd say it's a very natural way to highlight the mids without sacrificing either quantities or qualities from lows/highs.

    Kinera Odin: Provides cleaner, darker background with a crispier treble. Not a huge change, but the overall atmosphere sounds more organized with calmer textures on lows and highs. Worth to call it a direct upgrade from the stock cable as it barely alters the original sound Odin has. Also, the staging is mildly improved due to the darker backgrounded.

    Aroma Audio Yao: The overall sound becomes more coherent with refined mids. Lows and highs feel to be increased in concentration, making the sound more vivid and clearer without getting the sound muddy. The treble snares sound calmer and even, resulting in a cleaner sound.





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    Comments for Tequila

    Nothing close to making the sound dry or harsh, but actually makes the sound more revealing without increasing the brightness. Also, a tiny amount of coloration seems to be added to the sound to enrich the sound within the boundary of keeping the tonality neutral. Tequila brings a sound effect which is similar to adding a pinch of salt to a steak it feels like.





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    Ego Audio Cocktail

    -8 braided OCC Copper & SPC OCC Copper hybrid
    -Priced for approx. $240

    Tequila for the crispy taste, Cocktail for the soothing sweetness. The copper cable and the SPC cable show a nice synergy and blend in well with the sound. Looking back at my previous experiences with OCC & SPC hybrid cables, they were generally able to achieve similar characteristics as the Cocktail but instead, making the overall thickness of the sound a bit thinner.

    Though Cocktail manages to bring out the same characteristics without thinning out the sound ray and keeps a bold presentation. Could be because they were mostly 4 braided ones (Effect Audio Eros II, Satin Audio Kraken, etc.) but hey, Cocktail comes in as 8 braids as default and keeps the same price range with most 4 braid cables out there.





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    Matching comparisons

    AZLA 01R: 01R is mildly tricky when it comes to pairing cable and once of the best solutions is to go for SPC+OCC hybrid ones - which is the same combo as the stock cable (Labkable Silver Galaxy Mix II) and Ego Audio Cocktail. Cocktail has a fuller body with richer details than the SG Mix II. The overall texture is more refined with better smoothness and sweetness on the mids.

    Moondrop KXXS: It possesses more energy and musicality compared to the stock SPC cable. I personally don't like using hybrid cables on single driver IEMs, though KXXS works very well with Cocktail. The bass shows better clarity with upper frequencies gaining power and liveliness. Especially the depth and staging show visibly better stability and wideness. It's overall much more lively and pleasant to listen.

    Acoustune HS1551: Mids approaches closer with a clearer tonality. Reverbs are better controlled, resulting in a cleaner background. Pretty much obvious from this point, though the sweetness is a characteristic that Cocktail consistently shows. This added sweetness on the mids makes the HS1551 so enjoyable. It also makes the mids prominent without thinning out its meaty, soothing vocals.





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    Comments for Cocktail

    Cocktail possesses both characteristics from Beer and Sake, resulting in an exciting sound while keeping all the balance. Bold and solid bass, sweet mids, clear highs, and a mildly brighter background. I'm sure this would be a lovable cable for most as well as showing a reliable matching with various IEMs.





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    Ego Audio Sake

    -8 braided SPC OCC Copper (27.5 AWG)
    -Priced for approx. $240

    If you're more into brighter sounding cables with shiny textures, Sake is a good one to look for. This one has the brightest signature among all five however still keeps a good balance with moist textures. This one suits well with warm, bass-heavy IEMs and will brighten up the upper-frequency details in a careful manner.

    The all-white look on the cable gives a classic yet a very premium look to the IEM setup. Reminds me of Effect Audio Cleopatra that recently came up. I have said that Sake is the brightest sounding cable among the family, though Sake isn't just all into brightness. All Ego cables keep their boundaries and Sake is no exception. This change in brightness is brought in a natural, mild manner which would suit many IEM types and sound signatures.





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    Matching comparisons

    Rhapsodio Orla: Due to its dark and bass-heavy nature, Orla requires either SPC or PS cables for achieving a pleasant sound. Probably the most cable-demanding one among the IEMs referred in this article. The strikes and decays get faster with denser reverbs. The mids will also brighter with clearer, stronger sparkles and snares. The treble shows improvement in clarity with more air on the upper-ends.

    Moondrop A8: Sake brings a very natural improvement on the A8. Mids take a small step forward with a clearer presentation. Trebles visibly show improvement in resolution with strikes that are faster and harder. What I really like with this combination is that A8 won't lose any bass quantity or detail while achieving these improvements.

    Shozy Pola: Pola is a deep sounding IEM requiring balanced output and bright cables to achieve the best sound. I've tried several pure silver and SPC cables to brighten the sound, though I've noticed the upper mids would be overdone, sharpening the sibilance section a bit too much or make the lower ends lack body. Sake maintains the overall characteristics but with cleaner bass, clearer mids, and crisper highs. Vocals show better separation from the bass and overall much more pleasant to listen. Going for a 2.5mm balanced out instead of 3.5mm unbalanced definitely helps the vocals to gain more dynamics too, of course.





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    Comments for Sake

    Sake is a versatile cable as much as Beer, working nicely with IEMs with any driver types - BA, DD, planar, etc. It pulls out the upper-frequency details and clarity while keeping the sound characteristics all familiar and original - which I think it's the best part of this cable. Tonality, staging, and bass quantity all stays intact with the IEM's original sound. Sake would be a great solution when you're looking for a bright sounding cable but found pure silver cables to be altering the bass and tonality a bit too much.



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    Verdicts

    PW Audio cables are mostly into staging-centric, weight-centric sound while Ego Audio is more into a speedy, brighter signature. These cables are very well made and definitely one of my most favorite brands that I'm looking forward to their future. I'm confident enough to say that should be a matter of time until Ego Audio goes popular just like any other major cable brands.



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    Thanks to Ego Audio for providing the cables in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
    I am not affiliated with Ego Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.