Pros: Exceptional build
Gold, Palladium and Silver
Spectacular sound performance
Sweet but fast
Cons: Not cheap, but definitely worth the price
Erua Audio Tawa is a high-end upgrade cable made of gold-plated silver & palladium-plated silver. It’s priced at around $1299.
Erua Audio is a cable company of the well-known Aure Audio, which specializes in the IEM market. What’s quite interesting though, is that the TAWA we’re reviewing today is their second most expensive product, with only their flagship IEM “Elixir” costing a bit more.
Continue reading though, and you’ll understand why is it so expensive.
It’s worth noting that the aftermarket IEM cable market has been growing rapidly over the last few years, and the barrier of a “rational price” has been broken a long time ago. Needless to say, the biggest players like Effect Audio, Eletech, Satin Audio, and Cross Lambda all offer screaming-edge flagships for very high prices. Having that in mind, it’s not a surprise when I saw this $1299 beauty, and beautiful…it surely is.
Packaging and build quality
While maybe not at the level of Eletech when it comes to the unboxing experience, the Tawa surely feels like a high-end product from the very first moment. It comes packed in a rather big box for a cable, and after opening it up you’ll be rewarded with such a view.
Basic but elegant.
Except for the cable, there’s a soft carrying pouch included. In terms of the terminations, you can choose between 2pin and MMCX on one end, and 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm Jack on the other.
Let’s talk about the build quality – the Tawa is a true piece of art and 100% a luxury product. 2 pin connectors are both beautiful and functional, as they’re not too big, nor too small to being able to comfortably plug and unplug them. The 4.4mm OFC jack looks spectacular, and it actually has a real wood insert on the outside. It feels very solid and the attention to detail is great.
Finally, the splitter. The most beautiful splitter I’ve ever seen in an IEM cable. Its mesmerizing shape, level of craftsmanship, and the fact that it’s actually very comfortable all make for an absolute joy for both your eyes and hands.
Unique Melody MEST + Erua TAWA.
Erua Tawa is a comfortable cable that I’m able to use all day with no problem. While it is not the thinnest, nor the lightest cable out there, its design and craftsmanship make for a fatigue-free use for many hours. The standoffs go around my ears with no trouble and they do stay there, so I don’t have to readjust them from time to time.
As for the splitter, as I said in the previous paragraph, it’s definitely more comfortable than it looks, thanks to its ergonomic shape. Finally, the 4.4mm plug, while big and solid doesn’t get in the way and it sits very securely in the socket.
No problems here whatsoever, it’s a cable that you will be easily able to use every day.
Tawa is made of Litz Type-6, 22AWG Gold plated Silver and Palladium plated Silver. The isolation is made of SoftFlex PVC, and the 4.4mm Jack is made of OFC copper. Talk about quality components.
Erua Tawa is simply put – the best IEM cable I’ve ever used. It sounds so refined, accurate, and simply beautiful that it actually made my Unique Melody MEST sound better by quite a lot, and I thought that would be impossible.
Starting with thebass, the Tawa makes it a little bit more prominent, better textured, and richer. It’s the best example of how a nice silver cable is able to extend the bass and make it more detailed. While the added gold also gives us a slight boost in warmth, it all makes for a very enjoyable, yet superbly accurate low frequencies response.
Let’s go for the legendary “Hell Freezes Over” live performance by The Eagles as an example. In the sixth track, which is the immortal Hotel California we’ve got a fair amount of drums and bass guitar, and oh…they do sound so sweet with the Tawa. They are both very natural, impactful and well-controlled. Even though the bass response in the UM MEST is one of the best in the business, this cable enhances it even further, to the level which I thought would be almost impossible to achieve.
The Tawa has a specific thing about it, which is present in the whole frequency range, and which is (IMO) a trademark of a top-quality cable. It is the definition of the sound, specifically its contour, which is superbly clean and inherent, but never too harsh or too firm. It’s a feeling that you’re hearing everything in a more clear and textured fashion, but at the same time the outlines of the sounds are so refined, that you’re starting to visualize the shape of the instrument in the most natural way possible. Absolute control over low frequencies with a touch of life and a lifelike thickness – it’s an absolute treat.
The midrange is the best part of the Erua Audio Tawa, and the reason why I just simply fell in love with this cable. While the most prominent aspect that is changed with different cables are the bass and definitely the treble, the midrange is where all the magic with high-end cables happens. It is all about the richness and the timbre, that’s the most important thing. I’m working with Siltech cables on the daily basis, and these are often called as “The Best Audio Cables in the World”, and it is the godlike midrange that you’re getting when you go for the top of the line models.
Just like with the best audio cables I’ve heard in my life (and I’m talking about cables that go for +/- 50 000 euro), the Tawa does its thing to the midrange performance, which I can only describe as “bringing the life to music”. I know how bold this may sound, but that’s just the case here.
So, to be more specific – the vocals became so natural, so sweet and refined, that you simply hear, that you’re dealing with something special. Whether it’s Mariusz Duda, SYML, Mark Knopfler or Neil Young, they do sound alive, romantic and addictive.
What’s impressive is that it does its “thing” while recreating even the slightest details, with absolutely no compromises in terms of the raw performance. All of the sudden the mid section is saturated, lush and rich, but it doesn’t do it by rounding the edges or hiding the micro-details.
The treble is nothing like some cheap silver cables. Instead of going for boosted and brightened presentation, the Tawa actually makes the treble more colorful and gently shimmering. No sign of harshness, over-exposure or that well-known “silvery” shift in the timbre. Actually, it sounds how I would describe the “gold color” before listening to it – thick, smooth and perfectly sparkly, with absolutely no spikes or stiffness.
Let’s take the song “Invincible” by Tool as an example. It has some crazy drum action around the ninth minute, especially the cymbals. If you’ve read my previous reviews you might recognize that I’ve talked about using this specific song for testing the treble energy and if its weight is proper. What can I say…the Tawa once again does its magic, boosting the body of the whole treble and making it thicker, but definitely in a good way.
Don’t expect the Tawa to totally change the characteristics of your treble though. It requires a high-quality IEM when it comes to the treble, and it’ll upgrade it in every single way, but it won’t change it to something that it’s not capable of being. People often buy silver cables to make the sound brighter and to boost treble response, and the Tawa isn’t really about it. It’s a mature sounding cable that has pure magic in it, but it’s not going to alter the tonality that much.
The soundstage is…well, I don’t really know how to start it. Remember that I’m mainly using the Tawa with the UM MEST, which on its own is one of the best (if not THE best) imaging IEM on the market. But this combo is simply something I’ve never heard in the IEM game before, with all seriousness.
The imaging, the separation, the amount of air, black background, the physicality of the instruments, it’s all simply Summit-Fi level. While it’s making the soundstage bigger, it also adds so much refinement and accuracy that it’s really tough to compare to anything else.
What’s worth noting is that the sound sources get a tiny bit bigger and more natural, but the distance between them also grows. It’s like moving the speakers slightly forward in an acoustically perfect room. It enlarges everything, without sacrificing anything. Brilliant.
VS Ego Audio Gin
Ego Audio Gin is a great cable if you’re looking for a clarity boost of your IEM. While it may be a hit or miss when it comes to the upper-midrange presentation, it’s a great example of a fine silver cable, that can boost the resolution, soundstage and definition of the sound.
That being said, it’s not even close to Tawa’s level when it comes to the timbre, overall subtlety, and richness. Gin is a fast, resolving, and “boosting” type of cable, while the Tawa has it all while maintaining to sound superbly natural, thick and romantic. That kind of subtle things differentiate great audio from the high-end level of performance.
VS Unique Melody MEST stock cable
Okay, let me put that as simple as I can – the Tawa completely trashes the stock cable of the MEST. It isn’t even a comparison, as it sounds so much better it would be like comparing a $40 IEM to those screaming-edge, multi-thousand dollars monsters. Simple as that.
Drift into the music.
Erua Audio Tawa is a true gem in the IEM cable market. The build quality is exceptional, the comfort is definitely good enoughand its sound is simply mesmerizing. It would be a great synergy with just about every good IEM on the market, but you truly need a high-end inear to show its full potential.It makes me listen to the music more, and that’s the best recommendation I could ever give.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment: