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Hong Kong Handmade Cable - Hadou

Rating:
4.5/5,

Recent Reviews

  1. Zelda
    Hong Kong Handmade Cable - Hadou
    Written by Zelda
    Published Feb 6, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build Quality
    Ergonomics
    Aesthetics
    Fine Improvement on the low-end range
    Cons - Fixed earguides for over-ear use
    Microphonics
    Hong Kong Handmade Cable – Hadou

    hadou.jpeg


    Website: Hong Kong Handmade Cable

    Product page: HADOU


    Price: U$D 100~200 (depending on the plug and connectors)



    Design


    The Hadou cable is one of the entry models of the HK Handmade company. Even though, the build quality and overall design is excellent. It’s obviously a handmade cable but the construction and attention to details is superb. It is also not missing in terms of looks as ‘upgrade’ cables should. The Hadou consists of four separated strands in two different inner wire materials which are differentiated by the outer cable coating. It has a mix of OOC pure copper and silver-plated copper. The cables are braided not twisted, which prevents the cable from getting loose after some time and also gives a more stylish look.


    The cable is soft with a very slight rubbery surface, easy to handle and comfortable to carry around. My pair is terminated in L-plug, standard 3.5mm TRS connection, very tough and well assembled; the plug cover is large, while there’s a short plastic tube that acts as a strain relief. The y-split is very plain, made of a simple translucent heatshrink tube and there’s no cable slider on the upper R/L half. At the upper end, the cable has fixed black earguides (made of heatshrink tubes as well). The version I have uses the common MMCX connectors with metal cover and look solid as well, and so far didn’t suffer of any sudden disconnection regardless the IEM used.


    Wearing the Hadou cable can be tricky at first with the fixed guides, but the fit is very comfortable and sit tight enough even when moving around. Apart from the plug, the whole cable is very lightweight, however, despite the strict over-ear style, cable noise (microphonics) is just a bit above average; not too annoying, but nothing as quiet as the Linum or MeeAudio cables, for example.



    Sound Impressions


    Unlike many other upgrade cables manufactures that try to improve various sonic characteristics, Hong Kong Handmade is a small company that focuses more into improving more a single part of the whole music while giving less priority to the other regions. Their idea is using different materials to give extra texture or emphasis on a certain frequency, be it bass, treble, vocals, stage, etc. Obviously, the source and earphone synergy is critical, but the Hadou is a fine example of the company goal.



    Main IEMs used: ADV Model 3, Lear Turbo, Shure SE215, 1216.ears 3RM, MeeAudio P2, M7 Pro, Dunu DK-3001, Westone UM 30.

    Sources: Aune M1s, Xduoo X10, PAW Pico.



    The Hadou cable is described by the manufacturer as “suitable for Bassheads”. While I don’t find a cable being able to affect the earphone signature in its frequency response graph, the cable materials and impedance rate do help to improve the perceived sonic results. Usually, we can get better extension, clarity and texture through the whole frequency, and different cables have different synergy results depending on the earphones used.


    Starting with the more reference tuned IEMs like the 3RM the results were very little noticed. These earphones have a more flat to bright signature, with a very little focus on the lower freq., so the bass cannot be easily changed. However, there is some perceived gain on the upper notes extension along with better and more natural texture towards the midrange with a less artificial treble compared to the respective stock cables.


    Moving to the warmer, more bass focused or lively v-shaped IEM options, the improvements of the Hadou cable are much easier to notice. It starts to make sense the description of the cable being suitable for better bass response. With the slightly v-shaped sounding Mee P2 the low and midrange notes gain a fuller texture with better instruments separation and cleaner upper bass to low mids transition. Vocals are not more emphasized but have less cold texture.

    The most positive results were with both Lear Turbo and Model 3 IEMs. Neither of these earphones really impressed me with their actual tuning, but they have proved to sound better with extra cables, and the Hadou is a good example. The upper bass bleed is not as annoying, and the lower mids are much cleaner and enjoyable. The extension on both ends is improved, sounding more open and airy. Yet, the most fun part is on the bass regions; it’s fuller, more dynamic and very engaging. Sub-bass has a more natural depth and decay. Mid-bass is still as strong but the better texture gives a cleaner less bloated impression making it more enjoyable to listen with sweet vocals and clearer instruments.



    Value



    Usually, giving a score to upgrade cables is not easy. Most of them are expensive and made for higher priced earphones. The Hadou in its basic setup with 3.5mm termination and standard MMCX plugs goes for $100, still not little money for just an earphone accessory, but it packs excellent build quality and good improvements on sound results working as described for better bass response and also bringing higher overall detail and nicer tonality. All-in-all, worth the “upgrade” tag as an entry model, and much better priced than the so higher cables options.

    Many thanks to Hong Kong Handmade Cable for the Hadou cable loan.
      B9Scrambler likes this.

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