General Information

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Nostalgia Audio Olorin
2-Braided Coaxial Pure Silver cable
Core: 6N OCC Silver cable
Shielding: Silver plated PCUHD Copper
Insulation: PVC
Solder: Audio Note 6% Silver
Superb switching plug with 3.5mm TRS, 2.5mm TRRS, 4.4mm 5-pole
Handcrafted in Japan

Latest reviews

rev92

Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Nostalgia Audio Olorin
Pros: Pure silver, coaxial design
Beautiful
Fantastic value
Interchangeable plug is a life-changer
Brilliant sound quality
Comfortable
Cons: No slider
Jack connector is chunky

Nostalgia Audio Olorin​

Nostalgia Audio Olorin is a pure 6N OCC silver cable with a coaxial design. It uses a superb switching plug system, and its price is set at $519.


PriceConductorPlugConnector
$5196N OCC SilverModular2pin/Mmcx
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Introduction​

Nostalgia Audio is a fresh company, and its core is located in Hong Kong. Its products are being developed and designed in many places around the globe though, including Japan and Poland.

They immediately became rather popular, thanks to the successful launch of their first IEM – the Benbulbin. Currently, they’ve got five aftermarket IEM cables in their offer, including the hero of today’s review – the Olorin.
What’s the most important – you won’t get a feeling, that you’re dealing with a product from a fresh company though. Everything about it is mature, well-executed, and just screaming quality. Actually, their goal is to offer high quality audio gear for a fair price, since Nostalgia Audio has been founded by hifi enthusiasts, so they do have a more customer-like approach to the market. Spoiler alert : they reached the goal.

Packaging​



The Olorin by Nostalgia Audio comes packed well, and it includes great accessories. The box itself is stylish, clean, and protective. The outer box is silver-ish in color and it sports a delicate cable drawing on top. The inner box has a drawer that unveils the whole package. Apart from the cable, you’re getting a great, leather cable clip, a soft pouch, and two additional plugs (1 already installed).
It’s good to see some quality goodies included with a $500 cable. Nostalgia provides you with essentials, that’ll make your experience easier and more enjoyable. Both the cable “strap” and the pouch are a welcome addition, and there will be a lot of customers that will actually use those.
Wait, why are you getting three different plugs?

Switching plugs​



The Olorin uses one of the best (if not THE best) inventions when it comes to the IEM cables in the past few years – the switchable plug system. It all basically means that instead of having multiple cables dedicated to different sound sources, you only need one, and you’re able to switch plugs on the go. How does it work?
The jack plug is rather chunky, and it has a screwing mechanism, which allows you to unscrew the plug you’re currently using and change it to the other one. You’re getting 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm connectors, so you’re basically good to go with every portable device on the market. This is an absolute treat, as everyone is tired of needing a different cable every time they’re changing the DAP or AMP, as they often have different types of outputs. With Olorin, you’re able to use every single DAP on the market, and that is a perfect opportunity. Fantastic feature.

Build quality and comfort​



Let’s proceed to the build quality and comfort. The Olorin is beautifully crafted and very ergonomic. Its coaxial, pure silver design makes it look absolutely gorgeous. The silver wires shimmer delicately, and it looks rich and sophisticated. The MMCX connectors are easy to grab and use, but not too big, which could lead to some problems with comfort. The interchangeable jack plug is big and chunky, but it hides that marvelous switching mechanism, so I don’t mind. It’s not big enough to make it problematic to use, but keep in mind that it packs some weight and is not stealthy. Nonetheless, its build quality is brilliant, and the carbon-fiber insert reminds me of high-end Furutech offerings.
When it comes to actually wearing the thing, it is tangle-free and very playable, so you won’t be having any problems with the comfort. It also isn’t stiff, which tends to kill the ergonomics of many cables.

Sound​



If you thought – oh, it’s a silver cable, it will sound thin and shouty – think again, as the Olorin is actually the opposite.
It adds a subtle richness and body to the sound, without making it too extreme or dull. The bass gets a substantial boost in its presence, but it’s also better controlled and crispier. Don’t expect it to turn your IEMs into bass cannons, as the difference in size is rather subtle. It actually helps the bass to reach deeper and slam harder, which could be helpful with some bass-light options. The CFA Ara is an example of an IEM that benefited a lot from the Olorin, as originally it lacks that body in the low-end. On the other hand, it also boosted the treble a little bit, and as you know, the Ara could sound like a treble cannon, if they are not matched correctly.
The midrange is where the magic happens, as it adds that body and “wetness” to the sound, which makes it sound more natural and rich. It paired well with every IEM I’ve tested it with, as it’s not making the midrange overly warm or thick, which could lead to some problems with synergy. I really like my cables to do that, as it often helps the IEMs in becoming more natural sounding to my ears. Also, having quite an experience with “summit-fi” audio cables like Siltech Triple Crown lineup, I find that this is a feature that I find mostly in the high-end market, and for the Olorin to do this at $519 is very impressive.
The treble is actually a similar story to the bass – it also gets a slight boost in presence and richness. Don’t worry though, it’s not adding any sibilance or harshness because of its fantastic resolution. It generally adds a sense of cleanliness and refinement, and these two are the best aspects of a great cable. Don’t forget that it is silver at the end of the day, so you can obviously expect great insight into the treble, and that is exactly what happens with the Olorin. It does it in a “delicate” way though.

Generally speaking, the Olorin sounds very mature and refined, thanks to its 6N OCC Silver wire and Coaxial design. While it adds a presence to the whole sound, it doesn’t make it too extreme or forced sounding, as its strength lays in that great timbre and accuracy of the sound. I’d call the Olorin a “natural” sounding cable, that will definitely make a difference in the sound of your IEMs, but it’s going to be a welcome change for the better.

Pairing​

Final A8000

The Final A8000 comes with a quality cable to begin with, but I’m happy to report that the Olorin is in a completely different league, compared to the stock one.
You’re getting a more saturated, richer and more colorful sound, without any sacrifices to the resolution or crispiness. Quite the opposite actually, as the Olorin boosts the overall resolution of the sound a little bit, resulting in a cleaner and more natural sounding IEM.
The soundstage changes as well, as the Olorin improves the imaging by quite a margin actually. The separation between the layers is improved, and the amount of air is better. Thanks to that, the overall soundstage gains a sense of cleanliness and accuracy. It’s almost as switching to the higher sampling of the song, where everything becomes a bit more clean, accurate and separated.
Fir Audio M5

Fir Audio flagship, the M5 is a very contrasty and fun sounding IEM, so I was a little skeptical about it pairing with the Olorin. At the end of the day, I didn’t want more bass and presence to the vocals, as the M5 already has a lot of those. Luckily, the Olorin proves to be quite a chameleon when it comes to the IEMs it’s playing with. All I got was better dynamics, better resolution and imaging.
It helped improve the M5 even further, providing a better sense of resolution and a more “lifelike” timbre to the midrange, which always is a win in my book. The technical performance of the M5 is already top-tier, and when paired with the Olorin, it slightly improved, making it a true joy to listen to.
Campfire Audio Solaris 2020

Solaris 2020 is a similar story to the Fir M5. It’s already a rich and bold-sounding IEM, so I didn’t expect it to pair with the Olorin as well as it really does. The biggest win was in an improved resolution, which really helped the Solaris 2020 in sounding better than before. The bass became faster and it slams better, the midrange remained that beautiful, wet timbre, but now with added air and resolution. The treble became even shinier, but not in an unpleasant way. The Olorin once again proves that it’s a mature and technically brilliant sounding cable, that is easy to pair with, no matter what IEMs you’re using.
There’s also a huge difference when it comes to the build quality of both the Olorin and the stock CFA cable. The latter just feels cheap, tangly, and delicate, and it doesn’t look nearly as good as the Nostalgia Olorin.

Comparison​

VS Cross Lambda Future Jr.



The Future Jr. by Cross Lambda is a similarly priced aftermarket cable coming at $420, but it’s a completely different approach than the Olorin.
First things first – the build quality. While both are built beautifully, I’d give a slight edge to the Olorin, mainly to its more comfortable design. The Future Jr. Is thicker, heavier and stiffer in comparison, while the Olorin is a joy to use in terms of comfort.
Secondly, the interchangeable plugs of the latter is a complete win, giving the customer much better flexibility when it comes to portable usage. With the Future Jr. you’re getting one of three plug options, and it’s a sealed deal basically.
When it comes to the sound, I’d describe both as natural sounding, but the Future Jr. is definitely more transparent sounding. It doesn’t affect the tone much, instead, it simply elevates the quality of the whole frequency response. The Olorin on the other hand is richer and more colorful sounding, altering the timbre of your IEMs more. When it comes to the resolution, I’d say it’s a close call, but I’d give a slight edge to the Olorin as well. I suppose it is manly due to the difference of the material, as silver just has a higher conductivity than copper, resulting in a cleaner signal.
You would definitely need to try them both before making your mind though. If you don’t want to alter the timbre of your IEMs in any way, the Future Jr. might be a better pick for you. If you’re okay with added mass and more colorful sound overall, the Olorin should be your pick.

Summary​



Nostalgia Audio Olorin is a brilliant aftermarket cable. Not only it sounds refined, rich, and magical, the build quality and comfort are among the best in the business. Last but not least, the interchangeable plug system is a pure gem. Easy to use, convenient and it’ll save you quite a lot of money, as well as keeping you ready to rock in every scenario. Simply a great product.
Highly recommended.



Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Fir Audio M5 Custom, Final A8000, Campfire Audio Solaris 2020, Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, Campfire Audio Ara
  • Sources– Cayin N3 Pro, iBasso DX220, SMSL SU-9 + SH-9, JDSLabs Atom DAC+ and AMP-

Watermelon Boi

100+ Head-Fier
Nostalgia Audio Olorin: Naturally Silver
Pros: Full and rich / silvery but natural sound
Pure silver cable with stellar bass production
Interchangeable Superb Plugs
Omnivorous for a coaxial/pure-silver cable
Cons: Interchangeable plug is a tad chunky in weight/size
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Nostalgia Audio Olorin Review: Naturally silver

Needless to say, there are small and large portable audio brands coming out every now and then. Most of them are lead by one dedicated team - but what happens when if a brand is created by multiple renowned pre-existing brands? Well, that is the case of Nostalgia Audio - 'the Avengers' brand co-founded by multiple professional brands and personnel around the globe.

Having the spirit of the brand itself is based in Hong Kong, Nostalgia Audio products are actively designed and shepherded by brands from Japan, Poland, and so on. Nostalgia Audio first introduced their first IEM, Benbulbin, as well as two premium custom cables - Olorin and Gandalf. We shall feature more articles and reviews about them, so keep your eyes on this brand and stay tuned for future releases. For today, let us check out one of their premium cable, the Olorin.




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Packaging

Olorin comes in with a nice clean box. The outer silvery box is lightly engraved with cable drawings with a black Nostalgia Audio logo placed at the front. As sliding out the inner box reveals a black package that includes the nicely presented Olorin and its accessories. Other than the cable itself, Olorin comes with a soft pouch, a leather cable tie, a set of modular plugs (3.5mm TRS, 2.5mm TRRS, 4.4mm TRRS), and a warranty card. Apparent as it is, the lower plug is interchangeable which will be elaborated as we proceed with the review. The included brown pouch has a soft, fluffy texture that goes along well with its name (Nostalgia) - whether it was intended or not. The cable tie is quite good in terms of quality and does not feel flimsy or fragile.




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Aesthetics/Details

Olorin is directed in Hong Kong and handcrafted in Japan. It uses a coaxial design, comprised of 6N OCC Pure Silver wires with Silver-Plated PCUHD 4N Copper shielding, and then finished with a PVC insulation. This leads Olorin to have a good thickness for a 2-braided cable. The thickness is nothing close to being chunky, of course. Nostalgia Audio also states that Olorin uses Audio Note 6% silver solders with rhodium-plated connectors.

The strain-relief finishes on both ends are applied accordingly and appropriately. The Y-split component and the IEM connectors are also made of metal that go along well with the overall looks. The wires are quite soft and pliable, not allowing much microphonics to occur while wearing them. I would have liked to see a chin slider to be installed but not a big deal. It is also understandable since it is difficult to make a functional chin slider as Olorin does not have braidings on the upper rest of the cable.




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Superb Switching Plug

Speaking of connectors, Olorin is also applied with the latest trend going on in the cable market - interchangeable plugs. Nostalgia Audio includes three variations of connector choices as default (2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm) that allow immense usability. Olorin's interchangeable Superb Plug uses a screw design that holds sturdy onto the plug. Perhaps this is the most promising looking in terms of durability. The plug has some weight and size but does not particularly affect the comfort while using it. Although Olorin supplies the three most common end terminations by default (what to ask more for a default accessory?), there are several more terminations that are actually compatible with Olorin - such as Type-C, balanced 3.5mm TRRS, or even XLR. The mentioned terminations and the rest have to be purchased from elsewhere, but anyhow, it is a big plus for Olorin to be using a connector that provides the largest plug variation as of now.



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The Pitch

First off, Olorin is an all-rounder that does not shift drastically to power-up a particular element of the sound. The first improvement I could catch is that the sound feels tighter and faster in speed all while not killing the reverbs. This leads the bass strikes to feel more chewy and elastic in texture. Now, the bass. What comes up to your thoughts if thinking of a pure silver cable? If you have experienced a good amount of custom cables, perhaps one of the thoughts that came up to your mind would be the decline of bass quantity. Well, that is not the case in Olorin at all, however.




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General Sound Characteristics

Olorin does not take lightly in bringing out the low-end details by any means, oozing out a deep, thick, and dark bass presence. Interestingly enough, Olorin actually performs better even compared to some pure copper cables. Low-ends tend to get heavier and thicker (darker) in color, which also maintains great cleanliness as the reverbs are not getting bloated. Although the quantity of the bass itself does not make a significant increase, the low-end presence is strengthened noticeably as the density and darkness of the lows are vividly highlighted. That is a good way of gaining bass power without "pumping up" the quantity. Despite all that, Olorin respects its pure-silver nature, keeping the bass controlled and well leveled in its flow.




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Deeper into the sound

Based on my past experiences on coaxial cables, and pure-silver cables, such types of cables generally tend to strongly add richness to the sound where the sound could get overwhelmingly vivid. Olorin, however, takes things a lot calmly and organically. The tonal balance is on the natural side as well as the three bands keeping steady balance. Mids are full-bodied and only garnished with this coaxial richness that enriches the sound only to a gentle extent. Vocals are not only escalated in richness but also in fullness and the "pushing force" of the sound. Hence IEMs with dips in vocals tend to work beautifully well with Olorin.

While I have mentioned that lows gain both clarity and body size, I have also highlighted that Olorin is very balanced in its sound signature. Upper ends are just as strongly and positively affected as the low ends did, getting the treble presence stronger with a fuller body. Olorin does make the mids-highs get clearer but does not in a telling manner - which is pleasant in terms of maintaining the original settings of the sound stage. Trebles get a lot richer, splendid in terms of texture. They also feel to be backed up with stronger pressure that leads treble splashes and instruments to sound even livelier. Olorin does a wonderful job revealing the threadings from the treble's texture that neither feels dry or soggy. Trebles show humidity that is just about neutral, hitting the sweet spot between smoothness and unreservedness.




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Matching impressions - Paired with Campfire Audio Ara

Let us begin these matching impressions starting from a popular full-BA IEM - Campfire Audio Ara. The first difference I could detect happens from the lows. Lows gain a generous amount of meat and body that keeps its presentation neat and clean. The depth of the bass becomes noticeably deeper and better-established, providing more of a grand basis for Ara's bass to be placed in. Alongside, the depth and color of the bass get deeper and thicker that adds weight to the drumming slam. It would be rather common for pure-silver wires to deliver a relatively whiter, brighter background, yet Olorin forms a blacker and calmer background. These effects, overall, lead Ara to bring out noticeably more heaviness and fullness that builds up from the bottom to the top. Also, it was reasonable to find out that the ultra-low presence has also been improved with a clearer extension. The headroom also increases both vertically and horizontally, but the added-up reinforcement on the lows makes the horizontal staging especially show bolder improvements.


Upper ends also experience pleasable differences. While the overall sound signature and tonality stay very similar to the original setting, the layering becomes finer and with extra luster on the texture. Ara's dazzling sibilance area (or the upper mids) was the part that I was questioning how Olorin would sort out. Interestingly enough, Olorin barely affects the sibilance. It does not cause any extra sibilance or spike to the upper mids that could amplify fatigue. Instead, the crispy bites that Ara shows in mids and highs are now increased in density, leading this sibilance section to sound more soothing and pleasantly tickling the ears. This does not kill off the airiness or coolness of the upper ends but only makes the upper ends become more natural and balanced in their tones. For the Ara users - I would surely suggest trying out this combo as lows gain major revamp as described as well as the upper ends sounding even elastic and tastier.




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Matching impressions - Paired with Final Audio A8000

So far I cannot come up with a better cable combo than Olorin for this pure-beryllium IEM, A8000. The earliest element that I appreciate from this pairing is that the staging size and separation show immense improvement. The instrumental as well as the layering becomes better orientated and analyzed. Olorin leads A8000 to pronounce each note in a clearer and bolder manner. Staging-wise, I would like to highlight that A8000's stock cable sure manages to provide a generous amount of size and depth - but it is just that Olorin enables to take another step beyond that. A natural, gentle one.


Let me make a simple portrayal here. If describing the impression from the original pairing (the stock cable), it would be "a large imaging packed into a slightly smaller staging area". Objectively, that is definitely not a small staging as A8000 sounds wide enough as it is. The point is that the pairing with the stock cable leaves a bit of a margin that A8000's staging could be extended even further. Using Olorin would equip A8000 with a stage size that is equivalently large as its imaging size, allowing A8000 to brings out its "unused potential", which brings a noticeable step up to its performance. The overall presentation and sound characteristics stay just as beautiful it used to be - but now added with a meatier, lush touch-up throughout the ranges. The treble splashes and bits of details are also more easy-going in terms of spacing, breathing in extra airiness on the upper ends. Definitely a pleasurable way of highlighting the analyticity to a single driver IEM's inborn accuracy in imaging.




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Matching impressions - Paired with Astrotec Phoenix

Let us start off the matching impressions with Astrotec Phoenix. First, the lows. Once paired with Olorin, Phoenix's lows sound more oily-rich, making the bass feel more elastic and punchy without particularly boosting the bass amount. This is particularly pleasant as I could further immerse myself in feeling the dynamics brought by the large diaphragm from Phoenix. Thoroughly presenting the natural reverbs all while keeping the low-end atmosphere clean and agile.


As I mentioned previously from my Astrotec Phoenix review, the stock cable is not quite enough to bring out the full potentials of Phoenix. Putting aside that the stock cable only comes as a 3.5mm unbalanced termination, Phoenix paired with its stock cable draws a w-shaped sound signature but with a slightly lesser emphasis on the mids. Though once Olorin kicks into the pairing, mids gently elevate in presence and power to even out with the other bands. Hence the transition from the upper lows to the mids is more even and seamless than what it used to do. Alongside, Phoenix shows improvement in density, saturation, and depth while presenting the vocals.


Highs also show benefits. Your attention may be focused on lows and mids as you dig into the difference brought by Olorin - but benefits on the highs started to gradually pop out as I enjoy this matching. Olorin's full-bodied nature aids trebles by adding thickness and meat to the EST tweeter's "thin and fine" characteristics. This way, trebles feel to go along more cohesively with Phoenix's thick and grand low-ends. The treble details are not killed off as it slightly gains in its body but instead showing improved fineness and agileness. Just as Olorin did with lows and mids, highs also mildly gain driving force and power to the sound, overall making Phoenix sound lively and energized.




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Compared to Han Sound Audio Kimera

The difference I first detect is that the center of gravity is set on the lower side for Olorin while it is higher or elevated on Kimera. Hence the thickness, largeness, and "oozing darkness" from the bass are noticeably, but not immensely, more plentiful on Olorin. The bass grooves are thicker but all while presented just as clean and neat as Kimera. But of course, Kimera's depth, extension, and clarity of the low-ends do not come short at all as this is simply a matter of quantity. Kimera hits back Olorin with its strong point which is its tasteful timbre. The tone is very natural with a seamless enhancement that only makes the texture gain richness. Mids are sweeter and cooler with highs that gain a finer layering that gently leads them to sound a bit more EST driver-ish in texture. Both are great all-rounders that are equal in technicality, performance, and richness - it is only the matter of slightly stressing more on either the low-ends (Olorin) or the upper-ends (Kimera).




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Compared to Rhapsodio Hybrid 2

Both are very similar in overall characteristics and sound signature. However, Olorin once again proves its thorough bass quality done with pure-silver by matching up (or even exceeding in some cases) this pure-copper cable in the bass. The sub-bass quantity and color density are a bit more abundant on Hybrid 2 yet the cleanliness and constant linearity are superior on Olorin. Hybrid 2 keeps the upper lows and the lower mids closely intact that makes the transition smooth and continuous. On the other hand, Olorin floats the mids slightly higher from the upper lows, creating an airy space that causes the vocals to sound more elevated and makes a clearer division between the two bands. Of course, this is a mild difference that still keeps the low-mid transition very natural and seamless. On Olorin, mids also carry breeziness that stays mildly apparent throughout the range. This effect also gently adds transparency to the upper ends. Both are great performers and well-leveled in balance, though overall Olorin takes a bit of a lead in this match.




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Verdicts

Natural tone, double the richness, and a cleaner, airier atmosphere. While many think pure silver cables are good mostly in the upper-ends, a truly well-made pure silver cable would produce quality bass. Olorin gives me the confidence to say that this is one of the finest examples that prove pure silver cables are also capable of producing lush bass presence and extension. In fact, its bass response is impressive even without giving it the 'pure silver handicap'. Not to forget mentioning that Olorin sounds highly natural as we consider coaxial cable often tend to sound exaggerated in some cases.


As I recall other pure silver cables with quality bass, Rhapsodio Silver Wizard and Han Sound Audio Agni II come up to mind. However, coaxially designed cables are just mysteriously yet distinctively different in nuance and characteristics. In that sense, Olorin is one unique cable that seamlessly adds vitality and richness to the music like no other. If you are looking for a full-bodied, splendid-sounding cable with interchangeable plugs, look no further.




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Thanks to Nostalgia Audio for providing Olorin in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Nostalgia Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.

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lafeuill
lafeuill
You got me salivating, as I'm really enjoying the A8000. CEMA Tianwaitian is my favorite pairing right now, against stock SPC or Dunu Hulk. Keeping an eye out for a Gandalf review. :innocent:
Xinlisupreme
Xinlisupreme
Thank you @Watermelon Boi for tour review!
I’d improve highs and air on Aroma W6.2 without loose it’s amazing mids and bass, should I chose Kimera over Olorin?

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