Pros - Comfort and portability, Good sound for its price, Beautiful connectors
Cons - Soundstage may be a bit wider
As a well-known cable maker company, Forza AudioWorks is located in Poland. Its CEO and founder Matthew, a good English speaker and known as ‘’Matez’’ on Head-Fi, is a nice guy to do some business with. He has a very friendly and helpful approach.
(Picture from FAW)
Matthew produces cables for both IEMs and full size headphones, such as Noir, Claire, Hybrid and Copper series; as well as extenders, interconnects and line out cables in digital/analogue options. He also offers digital player modification and recabling service. In general Forza’s prices are affordable and their products are easy to reach.
The reviewed cables are Hybrid and Copper series IEM cables. They are terminated with 2 pin and a high quality Viablue jack. Apart from these options, Forza offers many different connectors for every IEM on the market and Matthew has a very wide variety of plugs from Neutrik to American Army choice Switchcraft. I think plug range is very impressive and my favorites are ViaBlue and Switchcraft.
Both cables have 4 conductors with different wire combinations. Copper Forza utilizes 4 copper Litz wires, while Hybrid Forza has 4 semi Litz Hybrid conductors. Even if they each have 4 conductors, they aren’t heavy or rigid. In this regard, Viablue offers very good portability and doesn’t add weight to the cables. Even Switchcraft is one of my favorites, it may be more suitable for indoor use due to its size and weight. There is no memory wire on the cables. I don’t think that we may need a memory wire, since the cables are flexible enough to curl.
The reviewed cables have old type Westone 2 pin connectors which work well on both flush and recessed sockets. There are beautiful FAW logos printed on these connectors. Also, instead of red-blue marks, ‘’A’’ letter of the logo is in green color to show right canal of the cable. I like this kind of connectors specifically belonged to companies themselves.
The reviewed cables are compared to Lear’s stock. There are three sections in this review and Lear LCM-BD4.2 is used during critical listening.
Copper Forza Sound:
Lear’s stock and copper Forza, they have similar amount of sub-bass. Copper Forza has slightly more powerful hits, but difference it isn’t much. On the other hand, copper Forza has a bit cleaner punches with a bit more emotional tone.
Both have the same amount of control on mid bass. Copper Forza is a bit more resolved and has slightly prominent notes. Thanks to the controlled mid bass, copper Forza doesn’t tighten the stage with the halfway setting of Lear’s bass knob.
Lear’s stock has a bit thinner notes, while copper Forza has a cleaner mid presentation with a similar transparency level. Forza also has slightly more refined sound but the detail level is similar. Upper mids of Forza is slightly smoother and also cleaner like the rest of the spectrum.
Lear’s notes are a bit brighter, while copper Forza has smoother ones. Detail levels are similar, but Forza has a bit more resolved, extended and natural presentation. Also, Forza is less fatiguing in accordance with pure copper nature of the cable.
Soundstage and Separation:
Both cables have similar stage width, but copper Forza has a deeper stage with a blacker and more stable background, which results in increasing in instrument separation.
Distance between instruments is deeply longer on copper Forza, while Lear sounds a bit congested. That creates better depth for the stage, and the instrument placement gets better with a more impressive layering.
Hybrid Forza Sound
Hybrid Forza’s sub-bass has similar impact, coming from a medium area of impact like Lear’s stock, but has better texture with a bit tighter presentation. Lear has slightly lesser mid-bass quantity., but hybrid Forza has a mid-bass with slightly better resolution. Additionally, tonality is similar.
Lear stock has slightly brighter presentation with thin notes, hybrid Forza has a bit smoother and thicker notes. Hybrid Forza has slightly better resolution with a bit more detail. Also, midrange notes take more area on the stage with hybrid Forza.
Both have similarity in locating upper mids on stage, but hybrid Forza is a bit smoother in this area, while Lear stock tends to sibilance more by a hair.
Both have similar prominence on highs, but hybrid Forza adds resolution to the presentation with more controlled notes. Hybrid Forza also has better treble extension and more musical/less piercing than Lear stock.
Soundstage and Separation:
Both cables have similar stage width, but hybrid Forza has a better depth with slightly better background blackness; in this regard, hybrid Forza has a slightly better separation.
Hybrid Forza vs Copper Forza; A Comparison:
Both cables have similar sub-bass presentation as amount, but copper Forza has a bit emotional tone, while hybrid Forza has a bit tighter punches. Due to its nature, copper Forza has a warmer tone on mid-bass with a bit more bodied presentation. Also, copper Forza has a bit more prominent mid-bass notes.
Copper Forza recreates slightly thicker notes, while hybrid Forza has a bit more forward upper mids with slightly more clarity. Transparency level is close, but hybrid Forza has a bit more detailed presentation. Copper needs to be used on brighter/thinner earphones, while hybrid fits well with thicker/darker ones.
Copper Forza represents treble note a bit weightier, while hybrid Forza has a slightly more detailed and alive presentation. If we have earphones, which have already extended/prominent treble, copper would be a good choice with its smoother presentation. On the other hand, if we have IEMs that sound darker/full bodied with laid back treble notes, hybrid would be more suitable for the presentation.
Sounstage and Separation:
Both Forza cables have similar stage width dimensions, but copper has a slightly blacker background, while hybrid Forza has a bit deeper stage. Also, copper Forza has a bit blacker background and hybrid Forza has slightly clearer spaces between instruments. That equality makes separation level very close.
Copper and Hybrid series IEM cables from Forza AudioWorks definitely improve sound in positive ways. Additionally, they have very good looks with rich options such as plug, connector, sleeving and length. In general, copper Forza has slightly bolder and warmer presentation in accordance with lower mids and mid-bass notes, while hybrid Forza has more alive and detailed one. So, the choice depends on our earphone; for example, copper would be good for Harmony 8 Pro, Hidition NT6/Pro and hybrid fits well with Spiral Ear SE5 Ref and M-Fidelity SA-43.
Lastly, the price and website information:
Copper Forza is standardly priced at 99 Euro/110 USD and hybrid Forza at 139 Euro/155 USD; with exception of customization options’ fees.