Ego Audio Gin

General Information

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Ego Audio
Being established in early 2017 and making its way to the market in 2019, Ego Audio is a separate brand powered by PW Audio that aims for a different path as well as an affordable price range. Ego Audio presented five cables as their first product line-up; Beer, Cocktail, Sake, Tequila, and Whiskey. Now followed up with their two new flagship cables; Gin and Brandy.




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

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

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

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

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



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Gin
-Flagship 4 woven braided OCC Pure silver with fiber cores (23AWG)
-Priced for approx. $600

Brandy
-Flagship 4 woven braided OCC Pure silver-gold alloy with fiber cores (23AWG)
-Priced for approx. $770

Latest reviews

Pros: For Gin:
Deep rich bass along with full, transparent upper ranges
Improves the entirety of the sound, from ultra lows to ultra highs

For Brandy:
Even deeper and richer bass along with full, transparent upper ranges
Significant improvements all from ultra lows to ultra highs as well as mids gaining body and power
Cons: No case included
-Could include a better packaging
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Ego Audio Gin Review: Bracing smoothness

Ego Audio impressed us well with its first wave of cable products embraced with reasonable prices and outstanding quality. Now it is time to feature the products that would step up to another level in terms of performance. Ego Audio recently announced two new premium cables, and if you have already read our previous review or seen their cables, these new cables just have to be named after alcohols too, right? Well, you are right. They are each named Gin and Brandy. Let us first take a deep look at Gin's spec and characteristics as well as its sonic performance and matchings.



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Packaging

These cables come in the usual packaging all we are aware of, a small white box which includes a soft pouch along with the cable. The looks are a tad plain as there are no other design elements other than the Ego Audio log on the top along with the names and termination info labeled on the side for identification. The pouch is very soft and quite useful for preventing the cable/IEM from scratches. I usually cover my IEMs with these pouches before storing into another case, so that they won't move around while they are stored. Though I would have wished to see a good quality cable tie and a carrying case included as an accessory, since its premium position and price. No biggie, but I would strongly suggest them to consider that.



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Aesthetics / Features

Gin is like Whiskey done in pure silver. Featuring the same woven-braided structure that is stranded with super-thin fiber cores, resulting in a crystal-like texture to the looks. It is the same spatial and a slightly glittery appearance as Whiskey that makes the IEM fancier without getting burdensome. Gin is made of 4-braid 4N OCC pure silver wires (23awg) with Kevlar core and medical grade PVC shielding.

The shielding is very transparent and soft, not causing any microphonics or oxidation. The weight is around average, not super light but definitely not on the heavy side. Besides, unlike their previous models, Ego Audio included an extra metal part a little higher from the jack with the product name indicated. I believe this is done for easy identification as Gin and Brandy are hard to differentiate by its looks. This does not bother the usage or sound quality - even for storing the device in your pocket.



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Sound impression - Paired with Oriolus Mellianus

Luckily, Mellianus already comes with a high-quality stock cable made with oil-immersed single crystal silver wires. This stock cable alone retails for about $500, so you do not really need to get an upgrade cable - unless you want to take the steps even further. The stock cable delivers beautifully analyzed yet incredibly smooth upper frequencies. Yet the bass could sure use more rigidity and power. That is the point where Gin should kick in.

Finding a good cable for Mellianus is somewhat tricky and easy at the same time. This is because Mellianus tends to blend in well with different cables, yet it is challenging to bring improvements while maintaining the identical characteristics the original setup had. Silver cables would do a fine job presenting the airy atmosphere Mellianus has, yet I have discovered that numbers of them would make the texture particles drier/harsher, making the overall sound quite grainy. Copper would likely not have such a problem, but then again, the upper frequencies would lose its airiness.


It is very interesting to find that Gin opens up the sound without actually getting it "bright". Well, it does get bright, but the approach Gin takes is closer to simply clearing up the stuffy coatings from the upper frequencies, not aggressively forcing the upper frequencies to power up. This allows the overall sound to become to feel purer and analytical yet staying very much intact with the original characteristics the IEM has.
Thanks to that, Mellianus gains a further upgrade in clarity and transparency without the upper frequencies getting wacky or untamed. It also highlights a bit more density and rigidity to the sound, allowing the vocals to have more of a crispy bite.

These changes are all meaningful enough, but the biggest difference comes from the low end. The bass visibly gains more body and depth to it. The bass would form in a bigger shape and darker in color while diving down. It also gains more elasticity and vitality, making a better reveal for itself.



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Sound impression - Paired with Kinera Nanna

You may think the sound change is not as big as imagined, though the more you dig into it, the more you realize the difference - the change was not obvious as other cases because the improvements have been brought so seamlessly. The bass is meatier and very elastic, like a large, heavy rubber ball that is slightly soft as well. It brings a stronger ringing to the bass yet not overdone or causing muddy reverbs.

The tonality on mids are near identical as original, but now with undoubtedly stronger appeal and power. The body is fuller and thicker in density, thoroughly filling the lower ends full of particles while keeping the upper range mildly opened.


The bass quality Gin provides are well proven while matching with Nanna, as Nanna was not particularly emphasized in bass quantity. Very appreciable tuning for those who dig a clean and evenly spread sound, though some may want a bit more bass reproduction while enjoying all other elements just as it is. Matching a bassy copper cable would be the first option that comes up to the mind, yet those often take away the fizz from Nanna's tonality, causing the tone to be rather "flat".

Well, despite its pure-silver nature, Gin is an excellent choice for preserving Nanna's original tone and analyticity, just except the lows and mids swapped with lot stronger engines. Along with a larger sound stage and imaging, the sound stays just as harmonic and well-fitted to each other.



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When Gin stands superior to Brandy

Do not assume Brandy's superiority just by looking at the price tag - Gin and Brandy are more on the competing relationship, having similar DNAs yet with clear differences. If you have not read the Brandy review already, Brandy will apply more body to the sound with slight warmth, mostly on the mids.

This is surely ideal if you would like the sound to get both bolder and airier, but Gin will approach as a better option either if you would like to cool down the temperature of the sound or if you would like to thin out the reverbs from your IEM.


Plus, if you are familiar with how these cable materials usually sound, Gin would also be a better option if you specifically want a silvery scheme and not a gold-silver scheme to the sound. Now do not get me wrong, Brandy does not degrade the transparency and clarity of the sound but only adds a creamy taste to the sound (refer to Brandy review for further details).

Some IEMs would lose their density fairly easy once swapped to a brighter cable (Rhapsodio Orla, Oriolus Reborn, etc) while some are rather stolid about it (Campfire Audio Andromeda, Moondrop A8, etc). For the former, Gin would likely be a better option. For the latter would be Brandy instead.




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Additional thoughts

Gin is by far one of the very best silver cables that not only preserve the bass quantity but actually deepen the depth and color. Silver cables often gain that "silvery tone" to the sound, yet Gin stays surprisingly organic and natural despite the upper ends opening up with smooth airiness. The upper mids and treble gain crispiness and density in terms of hardness, tightening the sound while keeping the lows and lower mids with a relatively gentler amount of relaxation and softness.

Of course, lows are slightly tightened, just enough to trim out the excessive reverbs that would make the atmosphere muddy. Mids are pulled closer, yet also giving this much power to the lows enables all lows/mids/highs to sound crystal clearer. This meaty, deep, and dark bass that stretches all the way down to ultra lows paired with crisp and sparkly upper mids greatly enhances the IEM's performance - not to forget stressing again that the highs gain highlights without any excessive brightness or force, not at all.



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Verdicts

Gin is an ideal choice for crystal-clear focusing all lows/mid/highs for IEMs that sound boomy and large. This one is such a markable cable for its deep, clear, and organic bass - all the way from ultra lows to upper lows. The upper ends are highlighted without breaking the original tone or sound, but most importantly, it never gets harsh or rough but always maintains a gentle, soothing attitude. If you are looking for a pure silver cable that empowers the lower ends just as much as the higher ends, this is the likable solution you should pair up with your premium/flagship IEM.



Below follows the Ego Audio Brandy Review____________________



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Ego Audio Brandy Review: Deep-cleansing aftertaste

Ego Audio impressed us well with its first wave of cable products embraced with reasonable prices and outstanding quality. Now it is time to feature the products that would step up to another level in terms of performance. Ego Audio recently announced two new premium cables, and if you have already read our previous review or seen their cables, these new cables just have to be named after alcohols too, right?

Well, you are right. They are each named Gin and Brandy. We have gone through a review for Gin, co-flagship model, and now follows a review for Brandy - the latest flagship model ever released from Ego Audio. Let us briefly take a look at the specs and move on to detailed sound impressions and comparisons.



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Aesthetics / Features

Brandy gears up from Gin once again, infusing pure gold into pure silver with a ratio of 1:99. Featuring the same woven-braided structure that is stranded with super-thin fiber cores, resulting in a crystal-like texture to the looks. It is the same spatial and a slightly glittery appearance as Whiskey that makes the IEM fancier without getting burdensome. The wires used for Gin are 4-braid 4N OCC pure gold-silver alloy (23awg) covered with Kevlar core and medical grade PVC shielding.

The shielding is very transparent and soft, not causing any microphonics or oxidation. The weight is around average, not super light but definitely not on the heavy side. Besides, unlike their previous models, Ego Audio included an extra metal part a little higher from the jack with the product name indicated. I believe this is done for easy identification as Gin and Brandy are hard to differentiate by its looks. This does not bother the usage or sound quality - even for storing the device in your pocket.



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Sound impression - Paired with Shozy Pola

If Pola feels to be a bit plain on the upper frequencies for your taste, Brandy would be a good option. Brandy neatly opens up the upper frequencies with a lot of air going on, presenting a truly analytical detail from the electrostatic drivers that were somewhat hidden with the stock cable. There are sure other cables that would also open up the upper frequencies for Pola, but not so much as Brandy does.

There are elements that Brandy differentiates from other cables, the first being the texture. While most SPC or pure-silver cables would put a stronger highlight on the high ends, matching with Pola easily resulted in the vocals being dry and quite soulless. Along with that, although those cables would pull up the brightness, the sound loses its dynamics and sound a bit further away.


In contrast, Brandy opens up the treble details and energy without exaggeration and most importantly, the vocals would step in closer with an even fuller and clearer body. The right portion of gold added to the sound appropriately moisturizes the sound, keeping the sound sweet and organic. Speaking of sweetness, vocals would also gain a glimpse of sweetness and creaminess with a micro touch of resonance, making the vocals sound more realistic and refreshing.

Not to forget mentioning that the bass thuds stay just as heavy, deep, and moist. Without killing the bass quality rather makes the bass response faster and tighter, creating a cleaner atmosphere. This is very ideal if your bass feels to be muddy and especially appreciable for Pola. Powered with Brandy, Pola now sounds uncomparably clean, airy, and lively, while carrying the same weighty and full-bodied bass and mids. Matching with these would be a definite way to prove that an IEM could be brought up to the next level by pairing the right cable.



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Sound impression - Paired with Unique Melody Maven

What I appreciate from Brandy is that it adds body to the sound so naturally with delicacy. Matching Maven with Brandy like scratching that itchy spot, to say the very least. The bass gets deepen with the overall sound gaining a fuller body and larger imaging.

The tone stays near exactly identical as original while deepening the color and clarity of the texture. The already large mids are now straight out massive and the highs now floating in the air with liveliness and boldness. I would like to highlight that mids get fuller without loosening with reverbs, staying just as tight and dense. The meaty, dense bass strikes with speed and depth.


If it sounded unfair to contrast a gold-silver cable like Brandy to the silver-based ones, let us also compare Brandy with other gold-silver cables. Although gold-silver cables were easier to find a good match than gold-plated copper ones, I still found gold-silver ones to be a little tricky finding a good match from time to time. The bass would be full in body and rich with good upper frequencies, though the sound often lost its speed and sturdiness - sometimes getting a little too warm.

Of course, making the sound colder isn't always the main purpose of using those silver-based cables, but for me, getting the sound too warm somewhat lost the purpose of using the cables made of such material as gold-plated copper or pure copper would normally bring a similar result.



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When Brandy stands superior to Gin

As already appeared from the sound impressions up there, Brandy applies even stronger enforcement to the IEM. Most importantly, Brandy has a higher chance of forming a superior matching to Gin as it has better compatibility. If you have not read the Gin review already, Gin would be a superior option IF you want to keep the vocals as neat and clean as possible (or just original tone as possible), but unless that Brandy would distinctively enrich the vocals with even larger imaging and stronger appeals.


Let's look at the case of Shozy Pola. If Pola is paired with Gin, the match would still be very nice but missing just about a fraction of percentages from being a perfect combo - the mids. Mids are brighter, but not thick and powerful enough compared to the bass. Definitely an improvement than the stock cable, yet the vocals are still held back a little from filling in the sound with its existence.

Though Brandy adds that extra body to the sound, especially for the mids with very slightly warmer and calmer trebles, making the vocals very much fuller, powerful, and appealing. Although Gin tries to prove its abilities by standing head to head against Brandy, these are the situations where Brandy nail hard proves its definite superiority.



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Additional thoughts

It is surprising how and how much Brandy empowers the bass. Not only it deepens the bass, it blatantly exposes the rumble and texture of the ultra lows. Gin also does a very good job and I rated it its bass performance to be one of the very best among silver cables, though for Brandy I would go even further and say that perhaps this could be THE best.

I would also like to stress that Brandy is unlike other usual gold-silver cables. Typical gold-silver cables do highlight the bass fairly well while boosting the upper frequencies, though they are mainly achieved by increasing the reverbs along with the texture and density going soft or fluffy - or even a bit muddy. Brandy not only dives even deeper towards the ultra lows, but it also expresses the texture and rumbles far better. The strike and decay are tight and up to the pace, not feeling dragged behind at all.


Gin sports a similar characteristic to Brandy, but not as detailed in ultra-low textures. But guess what, the contrasts are bigger on mids rather than lows, for both Gin and other gold-silver cables. Mids on Brandy are larger and thicker, doing a lot better job on carrying out the shouting power from the vocals. But most importantly, what Brandy and Gin destroy other gold-silver cables is how organic the tone stays, despite all those sonic upgrades.



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Verdicts


Brandy is an ideal choice for enlargening the stage and adding body to fast-responsive IEMs. This one holds an especially meaningful spot among numerous custom cables as it suggests a fresh new way of tuning a gold-silver cable. Listening to this deep, detailed bass achieved from a gold-silver cable is quite an eye-opening experience.

If you are looking for a silver-based cable that empowers the lower ends (or all the way from ultra lows to upper mids) just as much as the higher ends, this is the likable solution you should pair up with your premium/flagship IEM.





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RELATED REVIEWS

Ego Beer Review / Ego Cocktail Review / Ego Tequila Review

Ego Sake Review /
Ego Whiskey Review
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Thanks to Ego Audio for providing Gin/Brandy 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.
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