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  1. Dsnuts
    ISN C4-Crystal Copper iem cables
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Nov 26, 2019
    Pros - Nicely resolving copper cable with excellent pure copper abilities in sonic character. Not so heavy, fairly pliable but does have some memory. Good looking. Affordable at $59 Solid connectors and in any termination you want. Good solid value.
    Cons - Retains some memory so not as soft as it could be. Not as resolving as higher end copper.
    ISN C4

    First I would like to thank Penon for the review sample. The ISN C4 was provided for my take on them. These are my thoughts about a product they sell on their web site here.

    With the ever increase in personal audio. Earphone enthusiasts know the advantages of balanced out sound from your DAPs considering most earphones provides a single out cable and not a very good one we are left to shop the web for an aftermarket cable.

    ISN C4 is marketed at a 4 weave wire single crystal copper cable braided with 63 cores per wire, Cable comes in a box with no case or extras. For folks that are cable connoisseurs and experienced in the cable world the C4 is relatively not too expensive but for folks that are budget conscience the C4 being just a cable is most definitely not cheap.

    I do cable reviews by connecting said cable to earphones that represent several price ranges. My testers include Penons own Sphere which is a single BA iem. My Ibasso IT04 and then finally my CA Andromeda S. All 3 earphones has a good level of resolution therefore are good testers for cables. My own parameters for testing cables requires that at whatever level of cable bought at the price point. Should not degrade any of the stock sonics. Meaning if the stock cable turns out to have a higher quality of sonic reproduction than what is the point of spending the money for an aftermarket cable right? Testing was all done in single ended configuration due to the the stock cables of the earphones minus the IT04 which comes with a nice 2.5mm balanced cable as standard.

    First there is the Spheres.
    Penon Sphere is a very balanced tuned iem from Penon that you can read more about here. This one was easy since included cable for the Penon while standard and functional actually gives the leanest sound for the Sphere sound design, while it sounds good enough. The change in cables gives you an immediate jolt of SQ that was not evident on the stock configuration. With the use of the C4, the sound has a fuller richer tone, better distinction of instruments, Bass has more impact and rumble. Better expansion of stage both in depth and width. Also due to better efficiency, the C4 on same volume jumps up a few dbs in sound vs the stock cable. Mids have better emotion/ musicality due to the copper of the C4. I mentioned on the review of the Sphere that the Sphere's benefits from copper cables. The C4 is an excellent match. In fact so much so it will be difficult to use the stock cable once hearing the Spheres using the C4.

    Generally if you own an earphone that does not include an optimized balanced cable the C4 from my testing will do exactly what you want it to. It does not degrade the original sound tuning of your earphones and in that regard that is a win. I usually get my cables in balanced and then use an adapter to run in single end if need be.


    Now onto a bigger challenge in the earphone realm. The IT04 is Ibasso’s current flagship hybrid iem utilizing 3 high end BAs plus a graphene dynamic for the bass duties. The included cable for the IT04 is no wimp when it comes to cables. In fact you can actually purchase the cable on Penon web site which goes for $99 called the IBasso CB12. It is a more expensive cable so how does it fair?

    Lets find out, Going from the sound of the stock cable to the C4. While tonally slightly smoother, timbre and tone of the phone remains similar. Loses a touch of shimmer up top but actually gains more body to the mids. Bass sounds identical here so the give and take is that while decreasing a slight bit of treble extension up top, the mid bands seems to benefit the most with the C4. So this is actually a good compromise since some might find the stock IT04 tuning to have a leaner mid section sonically. Stage seems unchanged yet sounds bit deeper and fuller in presentation. This is a good trade off here. C4 does what good copper cables do in that they add body to the mid range and on the IT04 smooths out the treble end a touch. I don’t feel the sound being worse using the C4. Just a different flavor. Some might actually see it as a plus. So in that regard I will put it as a tie. Overall clarity remains very comparable while giving a bit more body to the overall sonics to the IT04.


    Finally the Andromeda S. One of my favorite iems has a very balanced full bodied sound and has great imaging. The stock cable happens to be a highly regarded Alo litz SPC cable and in comparison the C4 gives a more robust sound in the way of bass to mids fullness. Treble once again is not as extended as the stock litz cable but I don’t feel I am missing out on the treble detail of the sound. Sound is engaging with a slightly warmer fullness tilt to the sound. Again I don’t feel the C4 degrades the sound in any way but adds a bit of warmth with a fuller bass note and a smoother take on the mids. Bass if feel is excellent on the Andromedas and the C4 brings out the best in the Bass BA of the Andromeda S. So the trade off here is bigger fuller bass end with a deeper stage perception and a slight smoothing of the treble region. Much like the sound on the IT04 I don't feel the cable actually loses out where it counts but more so injects a bit of immersion.

    In the end the C4 is made very well, Has a good transparent sound that injects a touch of fullness warmth and dynamics while retaining excellent detail of the given sound design of the earphone it is attached to. Compared to cables in the price range I feel it is a good purchase and will give many years of use out of it. While the C4 does not have the resolving nature of higher end copper cables it does a stellar job injecting a bit of musicality to your earphones and while that may not be your first reasoning to get a good solid copper cable It is always a bonus. As always thanks for reading and happy listening.
      Krissdevalnor, jant71 and subwoof3r like this.