Hapa Audio Dreddz C/S In Ear Monitor Cable

General Information

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Let’s face it, designing a portable headphone cable is hard. A good portable headphone cable needs to be lightweight, easy to manage, protected from the elements and rugged enough to survive your life. Last but certainly not least, you need something that will transfer signal as pristine as possible.

Enter Dreddz C, Hapa Audio’s tour de force solution to all of these problems.

Lightweight​

Everything about Dreddz C was designed with weight in mind. Utilizing the ultralight weight military spec Nylon Paracord for the spacer, this material has a tensile strength of 275 pounds giving it superior durability. It is resistant to rot, mold, mildew and UV damage and serves as the backbone to the geometry of of cable.

Connectors and all other parts are made of lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber, some of the lightest, most durable materials available.

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Easy to Manage​

No one wants to untangle cables every time they reach into their pocket. Dreddz C solves this issue once and for all. Due to both clever geometry and springy materials, Dreddz C are highly tangle resistant. Merely pull the in-line cable cinch all the way up, wrap the cable around your hand, and put it in your pocket or carrying case. When you pull it back out they are ready to go without the headache involved in untangling a knotted mess.

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Pristine Sound Quality​

Dreddz C is quiet both electrically and mechanically. Utilizing our proprietary geometry that prevents inductive crosstalk between all four channels (Left +/- Right +/-). The geometry also inherently rejects EM interferences. High purity ‘angel hair’ litz copper is used. It has internal ultra fine nylon strands to reduce internal vibration for nearly ideal power and signal transfer.

All connectors utilize Beryillium-copper alloy for all signal path rather than brass or other lesser options. The Result: Clean, powerful, inviting, and lively sound.

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Mechanically silent​

Dreddz C uses our ultra soft, ultra quiet, ultra durable, polymer dielectric. The result: You hear less of the microphonics of the cable through your IEMs/headphones and more detail in your music.

Put a little color in your life!​

Military spec nylon doesn’t have to be camo grey! Dreddz C comes in a variety of color options that compliment the Copper braid for you to choose from.

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Latest reviews

Beautiful IEM cable
Pros: Beautiful cable and craftmanship
Improved details and resolution (vs. stock Westone W80 cable)
Cons: Price (reasonable IMHO but some will find it too expensive)
Does not work with Etymotic ER2/3/4 (not the cable's fault)
Improvement is not huge with the Westone W80 (but definitely there)
First, let me thank Jason and Sebastian from Hapa Audio for giving me the opportunity to review this gorgeous looking cable! The cable was provided free of charge, as a loan, and regardless of Jason and Sebastien being awesome dudes – the opinions in this review are purely mine without any influence by either of them!

Now, let’s get to the review 😊

Hapa Audio is a new bespoke cable company, owned and operated by Jason Wong, and based of Aurora, CO (in the US). You can read more about Jason and his vision here: https://hapaaudio.com/vision/

Being an IEM cable, I opted for a length of 1.2m (approx. 4ft). I think that is the perfect length for using IEMs with a portable source such as a DAP. Other length options are offered, and if you have special needs for shorter or longer “non-standard” length – contact Jason.

I went with 4.4mm balanced plug, and MMCX connectors. Which brings me to the next part…

Warning to Etymotic ER2/3/4 IEM users:
The standard MMCX connectors will NOT work with your ER2/3/4 IEMs. The initial intent was to test this cable with my ER4SR and/or ER4XR, but since Etymotic uses a non-standard MMCX connector with a key and a notch – many MMCX cables (including Hapa’s) won’t connect securely. See:
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Mind you, Jason told me he could use MMCX connectors with long narrow barrel, but that may look weird, especially combined with the shape and size of ER2/3/4.

So, off to plan B: test the Hapa cable with my Westone W80-v3 IEMs 😊

Back to the look and feel of the cable:
6 different colors are offered for the core, and the color I got is the "Sky Blue" which is my personal favorite of the color options available.
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Jason’s workmanship is top notch. The braiding is accurate and consistent, and the materials feel very high quality. The MMCX connectors, splitter and 4.4mm plug – all look very good. No complaints here!

In terms of the feel and usability, the cable is very soft and tangle-free. It is obviously on the thick and heavy side, compared to the stock W80 cable, but that is not a problem. Even looped around my ears and wearing reading glasses – it felt natural and comfortable. In comparison, the Campfire Audio cable is easily tangling and developed kinks. Here are the 2 cables next to each other:
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Here is a close-up on the Hapa Dreddz C cable, for your viewing pleasure:
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Price? The Dreddz C cable starts at $399 for 1 meter (3.2 feet). For more info on price and options, see: https://hapaaudio.com/shop/analog-cables/iem-headphones/dreddz-c-headphone-iem-cable-copper/

OK – it looks awesome, priced (IMHO) reasonably, but how does it sound?

To answer that question, I will actually compare it to 2 other cables that I have:
  • Westone’s stock cable that came with my W80-v3 (silver, terminated 3.5mm)
  • Campfire Audio Tinsel balanced cable – terminated 2.5mm and is either silver or silver plated copper (unfortunately I am not sure which).

Now… I know there is a long lasting debate (more like an all-out war) between the camp of cable believers (“cable makes a huge difference”) and cable skeptics (“all cables sound exactly the same!”). Those who find themselves in the cable skeptics camp – you will appreciate the looks and feel of the Hapa cable. You can just stop reading, and prevent elevated blood pressure and anger 😉

For the cable believers:
Source used is my FiiO M11 DAP, which has 4.4mm and 2.5mm balanced headphones jacks as well as 3.5mm SE jack. Only the stock Westone cable is SE. Both the Hapa Audio cable and the Campfire Audio cable are balanced. Now, mind you the following comparison is the way I hear it, specifically using the Westone W80-v3 IEMs and the FiiO M11 DAP.

Westone stock cable: Smooth! That is the first thing that comes to mind. Especially the treble, and no loss of details or resolution. At least that is what I thought…

Campfire Audio Tinsel balanced cable: Hot treble! Sharp notes! This is a really bad pairing with the W80. Electric guitars are too piercing. Cymbals are offending my eardrums. On the plus side, remember I said the stock cable is smooth without losing resolution and details? well, there are more details now. But, to my ears, the price you pay with the sharp notes is too high (for my taste). I prefer smooth treble (and high-mids). To be fair, this cable was NOT intended to be used with the Westone W80. I only chose it because that was the only MMCX cable (other than stock) that I have on hand. In fact, with the Campfire Audio Lyra II IEMs – the synergy was good, and the cable performed well. Synergy / pairing is everything with audio gear!

Hapa Audio Dreddz C cable: Initially, I auditioned the Dreddz cable straight out of the box without any burn-in. My initial thoughts were: this cable is the Goldilocks cable. What do I mean by that? This cable is positioned between the Westone stock cable, and Campfire Audio Tinsel cable. More details than stock, but not as sharp as Campfire. Do some tracks get too hot in the upper-mids (for my taste)? Yes, but not nearly as much as the Campfire Audio cable.
Sharing my initial impressions with Hapa’s Jason, his response was: “It’s super important to put at least 200 hours on prior to full evaluation. The character of any cable will change within the first 150 hours.”
So, I put aside my mild skepticism (regarding cable burn-in), and proceeded with burning in the cable for 150-160 hours. How did my impressions change after the cable was properly burned-in? Let’s just say that I am not a cable burn-in skeptic any longer!! No more hint of hot upper-mids in ANY of my test tracks. The Dreddz C cable maintained ALL the details and resolution while getting rid of the mildly offensive upper-mids sharpness.

Summary and closing thoughts:
The Hapa Audio Dreddz C cable is a very nice upgrade to the Westone W80 stock cable. After a proper burn-in, the Dreddz C improves on the detail and resolution of the stock cable without introducing any sibilance or offensive sharpness. For the asking price of $399 – I truly recommend this cable for the Westone W80 IEMs.
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RentedEars
I just received my Dreddz-S and at first listen, WOW. I am breaking them in and will do a fill review shortly. Jason was an absolute pleasure to deal with, too!

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