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Han Sound Audio Aegis

Rating:
4.75/5,
  • The Aegis is a cable constructed from a fusion of single-crystal, silver-gold alloy and single-crystal copper Litz strands in a unique, multi-layered, twisting geometry.

    At the core of every wire in the Aegis is a DuPont Kevlar aramid fibre, which provides excellent strength; resistant against pulls and tugs. The insulation is a subtle, translucent-brown, UV-resistant PVC compound. It's soft, supple and ergonomic with a smooth and luxurious touch.

    After numerous experiments with different solders available on the market, Han Sound selected a high-end, audiophile-grade, gold-alloy solder for both connectors and wires.

    The Aegis presents a sound that generally evokes a copper cable’s smooth warmth, but with the gentle silkiness and air of silver-gold-alloy wires.

    The highs and lows of the Aegis extend naturally - a deep bass accompanied by a smooth, airy treble. All these add up towards a cable with a unique, innovative sound.
Erfan Elahi likes this.

Recent Reviews

  1. Watermelon Boi
    Han Sound Aegis 4/8 – Surprise under simplicity
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Sep 18, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - -Rich, vibrant yet organic sound
    -Pleasantly plain design for omnivorous pairing
    -Soft and microphonics-free
    Cons - Could include a soft pouch
    -Lack of distributors
    DSC_1125.jpg

    Han Sound Audio Aegis 4/8 braid - Surprise under the simplicity

    The typical brown color will likely make you assume this to be a pure copper cable, but that isn't the case. This one is a hybrid cable made with OCC silver-gold alloy and OCC copper Litz cables. Just like Agni II did, Aegis includes DuPont Kevlar fibers in the middle of the core for durability. Also, the solderings are done with materials high in gold content to make sure the intended sound continues all the way to IEM sockets. Aegis is retailed for approx. $599, listed as one of the premium cables from Han Sound.



    DSC_1108_3_edited2.jpg

    Matching comparisons (4 braid)

    Campfire Audio Andromeda - Bass dives deeper and clearer while keeping the sound solid with very well-controlled reverbs. Slightly lowered center of gravity makes the mids sound more stable as well as creating better imaging. Highs are clearer and more realistic with much air, allowing more space between the mids and highs. Aegis also creates a larger staging and increased liveliness, overall much more rich and brings a desirable difference.


    Dunu DK-4001 - Darker background yet increased clarity and richness. Mids are greatly improved, showing a fine and whole lot smoother in texture. Bass is another part that improves as much as the mids. The bass extension is deeper with a much clearer, darker presentation yet never dull, loosen, or excessive in quantity. Especially the details from the ultra-lows are much clearer and prominent compared to the stock cable. There are more air and liveliness on the treble which leads to a conclusion that Aegis improves pretty much everything in the perfectly desired way I've been willing to seek.


    JVC Victor FW-10000 - Better depth, deeper bass with a cleaner bass presentation. What I truly appreciate from this cable is that the trebles stay crispy and airy while improving every other frequency. So far, this is the only cable that manages to deepen the lower frequencies without killing the IEM's unique airy and open-field presentation. The atmosphere feels relatively calmer and darker but uncompromising with the treble details.



    DSC_1133.jpg

    Not a typical brown copper cable, but a trendy sounding hybrid cable

    I'm amazed to find how such kind of hybrid cable could create a delicate and organic sound like this. Deeper bass, darker background, mids packed with density, and airy highs. What's there to ask more from the sound? Aegis brings multiple improvements so naturally and inwardly, staying intact with the original style the IEM has. Other Han Sound cables are awesome too, but so far this one is definitely my favorite.



    DSC_1117_2.jpg

    Aegis 8 - Aesthetics

    So far the cables I've presented were all 4 braids though Han Sound provides 8 braids as well. Aegis 8 is the 8 braided version of the original Aegis, having twice the amount of braiding. Aegis 8 is retailed for approx. $999 which is about $400 higher from the original Aegis.



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    Comparison with original Aegis (4 core)

    Campfire Audio Andromeda - I was concerned about matching Andromeda with Aegis 8 as I thought it could be excessive, but turns out it wasn't really overwhelming after all. Mids are thicker and with bold, large, and meaty bass. The ultra-lows also become pretty darn impressive for a full-BA IEM. Depths and headroom size are visibly larger, creating a serious, immersive sound signature.


    Dunu DK-4001 - Even larger and thicker in density. Bass is darker and majestic, but not bloated in reverbs and never gets excessive. The ultra-lows are presented significantly cleaner than the original Aegis and could really feel that "dark force" flooding into the sound. The background is nearly pitch black, resulting in an extremely clean background and clearly focused on the sound itself.


    JVC Victor FW-10000 - If you're absolutely loving FW-10000 only except its somewhat weak bass, Aegis 8 is going to be the very best choice. Aegis 8 perfectly fills up the relatively weak bass power and adds much depth and wideness to it. The mids gain mild thickness to it with a powerful driving force but still stays relatively original in its characteristics. The highs get slightly warmer and thicker too, but still keeps a good amount of air and openness as it originally did.



    DSC_1114_edited3.jpg

    It actually feels twice as better

    I have a handful of experience when it comes to comparing two cables that are same in material but different in braiding amounts - mostly between 4 braids and 8 braids. The more you add the braids, the stronger the characteristics get. Though it usually felt to be more as a matter of preference rather than the performance. If not, it gave me doubts if the sound improvement is justifiable to spend the extra cost for upgrading from 4 braids to 8 braids.

    Well, if we're talking affordable cables then the price gap wouldn't be too big of a deal, but once we start talking about premium cables, the price difference would be a matter of hundreds and thousands of dollars. As I stated up there, Aegis is not an entry-level cable but deserves a solid compliment to justify its price.

    So how's the Aegis 8? It's stellar. While preferences would still apply, the overall sonic improvement is undoubtedly better than the original 4 braided Aegis as well as proving enough to justify its extra cost. The deep, dark, and gigantic bass paired with creamy mids and airy highs work out even better with headphones. I'm very enjoying Aegis 8 and it seems to be working out well with headphones and earphones with different driver types.



    Next Page: Han Sound Audio Kimera (5/5)

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    Thanks to Han Sound Audio for providing the cables in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
    I am not affiliated with Han Sound Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
  2. Deezel177
    HSA Aegis - Rock, Romance N' Rollercoasters
    Written by Deezel177
    Published Feb 16, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Lively, impactful and yet refined signature
    - Vibrant with healthy amounts of body
    - Headroom is maintained despite added energy in the mid-bass, upper-mids and lower-treble
    - Outstanding build quality and hardware
    - Braids are tight with flexibility to match
    Cons - Not ideal if you want a calmer, laid-back sound
    - Transparency and resolution (though admirable for the price) isn't top-class
    - Staging is rather saturated, so not for those looking for an airy, open soundscape
    DISCLAIMER: Music Sanctuary (Han Sound Audio’s official Singaporean dealer) provided me with the Aegis in return for my honest opinion. I am not personally affiliated with the companies in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. I’d like to thank Music Sanctuary and Han Sound Audio for their kindness and support. The review is as follows.

    Han Sound Audio is a Taiwanese cable manufacturer. Despite their relative youth in the public market, the company have been active for years developing a number of proprietary designs. Now, all their conductors and connectors are produced in-house, resulting in their cables being essentially inimitable. Consequently, these innovations have garnered critical acclaim from enthusiasts across the world. My fellow writers ryanjsoo and flinkenick are massive proponents of the Redcore and Venom, respectively, and a recent US tour found the company great success in the West. Today, we’ll be looking at the Aegis: A unique silver-gold/copper fusion capable of excellent energy, musicality and dynamic contrast.

    Aegis-1 (R).jpg

    Han Sound Audio Aegis
    • Wire composition: 23 AWG OCC silver-gold alloy & OCC Litz copper
    • Default configuration: 4-wire
    • Key feature(s) (if any): Fully bespoke design; DuPont Kevlar core
    • Price: S$499
    • Website: www.hansoundaudio.com; www.music-sanctuary.com
    Build and Accessories

    The Aegis comes in a black box with the Han Sound Audio logo embossed on top. Below the lid is a rubbery foam sheet, as well as a foam-lined interior to keep the cable in place during transport. A circular cut-out is where the cable resides, wrapped in an included, faux-leather cable tie. As far as packaging is concerned, this isn’t the most extravagant I’ve seen. But despite the minimal flair, extremely useful features like the foam sheet and the cable tie speak to how well the packaging was thought out. It won’t win points for style, but completion, practicality and safety rank very high.

    Aegis-12 (1).jpg

    Flaunting the company’s experience in the trade, the Aegis is a wonderfully-built cable. It sports one of the most uniform braids I’ve seen yet, and the individual conductors sport a gorgeous semi-matte finish. Although they aren’t as bling-y as the market’s most recent offerings, the brown tint gives the Aegis an undeniably unique look; understated, clean and classy. Han Sound Audio’s cables are also among the most flexible I’ve used. They aren’t as silky-smooth to the touch as PlusSound’s PS Insulation, but they hold zero memory even after tens of coils, and they’re the least stiff in my collection as well. Finally, both the cable’s diminutive wire gauge and tight construction keep weight at a minimum in daily use.

    Aegis-9 (R).jpg

    Completing the look is the company’s in-house hardware. The metallic Y-split and connectors resemble brushed and polished aluminium, respectively; both complementing the carbon-fiber Furutech plug below. The company logo is also engraved into the Y-split for instant recognition. The chin slider – despite its rather loose hold – blends excellently to the Y-split for a coherent, uniform look. Common among them all is great density, so the components feel premium, even if they aren’t vanishing in weight. With an abundance of faux-looking, metal-and-carbon-fibre aesthetics dominating the market, it’s refreshing to see a company with the wherewithal and finesse to pull off the ubiquitous look with style.

    Sound Impressions

    The Han Sound Aegis is an impactful-sounding cable that injects great liveliness to any in-ear it’s paired with. It sports a w-shaped signature with boosts along the mid-bass, upper-midrange and treble, which fuels the dynamic contrasts that its soundscape is absolutely rife with. Thumps follow crashes and vice-versa, but it’s all done in an impressively smooth and mature manner. Despite the Aegis’ punchiness, it maintains stage expansion and headroom remarkably well. Although it doesn’t vastly improve vocal integrity, harmonic detail or stage stability, it doesn’t compromise any of them either, which is a massive achievement in and of itself. Instruments remain rich and well-structured set against a black background, while constant refinement keeps its energy in check. The Aegis truly lets you have your cake and eat it too.

    Aegis-5 (R2).jpg

    The Aegis boasts an addictively impactful mid-bass – meaty in texture, effortlessly detailed and precisely decayed as well. Kick drums feel tight and resonant with a natural tone complementing its physicality. In-ears with a sub-bass bias will reap most from this, as it helps fill out the mid-bass with a natural, fibrous timbre and clarity too. Thankfully, the Aegis positions the low-end behind its upper-mids. So despite the added punch, the focus of the presentation remains the lead melody; an admirable touch that so many similarly-tuned cables miss the mark on. The Aegis also extends bass decay by a hair, which highlights its pleasing tone and enhances the interplay within the low- and high-ends. But, it vanishes before it becomes overtly buttery or congested, maintaining a clean stage and a wealth of headroom to spare.

    The midrange is where the Aegis surprised – and impressed – me most. A lift along the presence region gives vocals vibrancy and energy. But fullness along the lower-mids allows the Aegis to sound wholly coherent and seamlessly linear throughout; unprecedented among cables of this ilk. The mid-bass lift (and resultant decay) bridges the gap between the lower- and upper-mids, resulting in a lively and engaging midrange with realistic amounts of body and density. Further aiding this is excellent smoothness throughout. The treble region may be articulate, but it’s wonderfully refined. So, instruments maintain a lightly warm, clear tone with zero grain or fatigue. In terms of placement, the midrange takes a slight step forward to form a thicker, larger image. This may suggest a slight drop in depth, but vocals and instruments alike maintain strong layering and holography. So, they remain present and vibrant, but harmonically resolved too.

    Aegis-10 (R2).jpg

    The Aegis incites a subtle lift in the treble to complement the mid-bass and upper-mids. There’s now a larger contrast between the top-end and the lower-midrange. This heightens definition, while the mid-bass fills in that gap to preserve coherence. Uniquely, the Aegis doesn’t opt for a crisp, upper-treble-inclined presentation. Instead, it presents an articulate – yet linear – treble where the key highlight is extension and refinement. The top-end in and of itself is clear in tone, but buttery-smooth and graceful in its delivery. It’s reminiscent of Effect Audio’s Thor Silver II, but the Aegis is thicker and more rounded in tone; more pleasing and life-like as well. Excellent extension maintains the cable’s black background, stable stage and headroom. Although you don’t necessarily feel that expanse because the instruments become fuller as well, it’s crucial in guaranteeing the Aegis’s effortlessness and truly sets it apart from the competition.

    Suggested Pairings

    The Aegis’s dynamic-yet-smooth signature makes it relatively easy to pitch. It’s especially ideal for IEMs that sound too laid-back or nonchalant, that you wish to inject some liveliness into. But, as I’ve mentioned numerous times in the review, the Aegis is not a generic SPC-sound-alike cable. Distinguishing it from the crowd are the following key aspects:

    Aegis-16 (1).jpg

    Energy, liveliness and vibrancy without compromise: Dynamic cables tend to introduce a v-shape for contrast – tons of energy up-top and down-low, with little regard for harmonic detail in the mids. The Aegis is capable of unloading excellent energy, but with refinement, headroom and meatiness at the same time as well. This is ideal for calmer IEMs with tons of richness you’d ideally want to keep. For example, the Avara Custom AV2 and the Jomo Audio Haka.

    A fuller, meatier yet dynamic presentation: Because of its mid-bass presentation and the fullness of its midrange, the Aegis carries a fair amount of body as well. As a result, it pairs its vibrancy with healthy amounts of richness. This is ideal for energetic IEMs that suffer from a bit of thinness, which include the Nocturnal Audio Avalon and the AAW A3H 2018.

    Three-dimensionality in the bass: The Aegis adds thump down low, but additionally, it alters timbre and decay. Bass notes are now meatier, better textured and more life-like. And, longer decay endows a physical, authoritative presence. This is ideal for IEMs like the Avara Custom AV2 or the Lime Ears Model X, that are somewhat cloudy and diffuse down low.

    Aegis-17 (1).jpg

    A calm, subdued response: As we’ve strongly established, the Aegis is emphasises liveliness and energy. So naturally, it won’t pair well with bombastic IEMs that require laid-backed-ness and finesse. This would include the Lime Ears Aether.

    Utmost clarity and transparency: In the Aegis’s quest for impact and musicality, it mostly disregards utmost transparency and precision. If what you look for in a cable is superior micro-detail retrieval, a more spacious stage and improved imaging – for IEMs like the Warbler Audio Prelude that need help in those areas – the Aegis will not fulfil your needs.

    An airy, wide open soundstage: Similarly, the Aegis posits a full, rich and lively stage. If your IEMs are similarly rich and full – like Custom Art’s Harmony 8.2 and FIBAE 2 – something like PlusSound’s Exo Silver + Gold would make a better pair.

    Select Comparisons

    Effect Audio Bespoke 8-wire Ares II ($300)

    The Ares II trumps the Aegis in staging and imaging. Instruments are taller, more distantly spread and the air between them is blacker as well. Comparatively, the Aegis is more intimate, engaging and loud. It has a more dynamic low-end with greater clarity and impact. The Bespoke’s is warmer and more relaxed with less upper-bass content. In the midrange, the Ares II portrays stronger resolution. It maintains a brighter upper-midrange with more pep and zing, which is also true of its upper-treble. But, the Bespoke has great headroom to match, so cymbals sound crisp as they shimmer, yet never harsh. The Aegis doesn’t generate as much air, but remains smooth at all times despite its energy.

    Aegis-14 (R).jpg

    Effect Audio Thor Silver II ($399)

    The Thor Silver II’s raised treble region gives it a brighter tone relative to the Aegis. However, it portrays a similar sense of balance and linearity throughout its signature. Stage dimensions are similar between the two, but the the Thor Silver II brings background instruments further forward. This is especially true of stringed instruments, where backing violins sound sweeter and more vibrant. Above all, they’re most similar down low with impactful emphasis along the mid-bass. Conversely, they’re most different up top. The Thor Silver II’s treble is further elevated, but silkier, smoother and more refined. The Aegis’ lower-treble is relatively more raw, punchy and dynamic, yet still far from strident all the same.

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    PlusSound Exo Silver + Gold ($349.99)

    Both the Aegis and the Exo exhibit dynamic presentations by way of w-shaped responses. Staging-wise, the Silver + Gold portrays stronger width, but depth is similar. It also has a more guttural, sub-bass-oriented low-end. The Aegis bumps in the mid-bass, which gives it the edge in timbre. Its throbs are warmer and meatier in texture, while the Silver + Gold’s feel foundational. The Aegis has a lower-midrange bias, so instruments here sound richer, buttery-er and warmer – yet still vibrant as well. Conversely, the Silver + Gold rises at 2-5kHz, which gives it a brighter bite. This is also due to its accentuated upper-treble, while the Aegis articulates around 6kHz; where the Silver + Gold remains subdued.

    Verdict

    The Han Sound Audio Aegis is dynamite done right. In a landscape filled with generic SPC conductors that rob in-ear monitors of harmonic resolution, vocal integrity and tonal accuracy under the guise of impact, it’s utterly refreshing to see a cable with the maturity and know-how to maintain both sides in equal measure. The Aegis utterly thriveson thumps and thwacks, but crucially, it sacrifices nothing in the process. In fact, with that energy comes a warmer, meatier mid-bass, richer, better resolved vocals and top-end headroom to spare. All that plus first-class hardware and build, and you have yourselves one heck of a package. The Aegis is filled to the brim with warm, raw energy, but treats it with the respect and finesse that your 499 Singaporean dollars deserve – TNT in a suit-and-tie; dynamism with class.

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    1. gearofwar
      What would you consider a good cable option for pairing with Aether?
      gearofwar, Sep 30, 2019

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