Penon Totem Adapter Cable

General Information



  • 2 shares, 334 cores per share
  • Single crystal copper silver-plated Litz type6 & Palladium-plated pure silver & Single crystal copper plated with pure gold
  • Outer diameter:2.5mm
  • Carbon fiber plug shell
  • Gold-plated plug
  • Cable length: about 16cm


Available type

  • 4.4mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
  • 4.4mm Balanced Male to 4.4mm Balanced Female
  • 2.5mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
  • 3.5mm Audio Male to 3.5mm Audio Female
  • 3.5mm Audio Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female


Latest reviews


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Accessibility to a section of Totem Cable sonic resources for 1/10 the cost
Works better than the full-on Totem Cable in some applications
Comes in any configuration you chose, so can become a plug adapter, also works as a filter cable
Takes and adds authority and soundstage at times
Can optimize bass in certain applications
Does not necessarily add warmth or brightness like copper or silver cables
Creates enhanced musicality through realness and vividness
Can create pace and rhythm though diminished bass presence/character
The Adapter can act like a filter to almost EQ a signal to adapt an IEM to warmer or cooler DACs
Magic metals In Metallurgy application
Great synergy with ISN H40 and OS133 cable
Enhanced pace with ISN D10's included $58.90 S4 Hybrid cable
Great pace with ISN SC4 cable and ISN EST50 TOTL flagship IEM
Amazing adding with ORB and stock cable performance
Amazing adding with Globe and stock cable performance
Cons: Heavy with 4.4mm X 4.4mm adapter, weight being 26 grams
Doesn't seem to optimize all planar IEM playback?
Will add authority and warmth to a brighter playback signal but doesn't always work magic
Cumbersome thus maybe only for home use?
Can be slightly bass restrictive upon a few DD Hybrids


The Totem Adapter Cable
Such a cable can be made in basically any configuration you want. Meaning if you desire to get the 2.5mm balanced connection on your IEM cable to fit a 4.4mm balanced amplifier 4.4mm port, there you go. Any configuration can be ordered………

4.4mm Balanced Male to 4.4mm Balanced Female
2.5mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
3.5mm Audio Male to 3.5mm Audio Female
3.5mm Audio Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
4.4mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female

So in this usage there is a basic functional purpose to add a union through different plugs. But what about the top choice? Why would anyone take and added a 16cm addition of cable to join two pieces of essentially the same cable? And that is really what this entire review is about. While maybe going out on a limb here, to try and explain (in detail) the effects encountered, I will probably write my most ridiculous review? And while the cable believers will go on to read with an open mind, seemingly continuing to reinforce their already firm commitment to cable audio changes there will, and there will always be the cable non-believers. This review was a choice on my part. The Totem Adapter was simply included with the Totem cable review package. A $79.90 dollar “extra” which can be used along with the regular $699.00 Totem Cable, or better yet used as a way to first play with Totem technology, at slightly more than a tenth of the cost. In fact you may only want to use the adapter by itself and combined it with a brighter cable? The Totem Adapter (add-on) adds girth, authority and soundstage……….to simply name a few of its attributes, when mixed with a brighter silver/copper Hybrid cable.

As reiterated earlier this whole Totem Adapter review was my choice to do. The Totem Adapter could have been a short add-on to the original Totem cable review. Still my guess is some Head-Fi members would see $699.00 for a cable and stop reading there. Where $79.90 would be much more obtainable. And even more obtainable if you actually had a 2.5mm terminated IEM cable that you wanted to add to the balanced 4.4mm amplifier output. Still you could find an adapter much cheaper than $79.90! So what do you get for your money?

1) Palladium
2) Gold
3) Copper

4) Silver

When in formation in a co-axial placement the elements go-ahead to alter the tone of the passing signal. And while 2 shares at 334 cores per share, equals the standard Totem Cable, the 16cm goes ahead and just slightly affects the tone. Truly, I’m not sure if this cable was first made as only an adapter cable to join different plugs………because the real way to test its effects is relatively easy. That’s right, you use your regular IEM with the regular cable, then in a single moment you switch-in the adapter to hear the resulting difference with the add. Coming in with a coaxial structure the Totem sports two thick cores each containing 334 shares each/per-core. Consisting of Litz 6 Silver plated single crystal copper, palladium plated pure silver and pure gold plated crystal copper. Silver for stage and transparency, copper for warmth and body, and gold for depth and richer tone. Palladium added for imaging and detail.

The surprising part is that while changing the soundstage and imaging, there may be a few times when the Totem effect is more wanted, and other times lesser wanted. What I mean by this is regularly Silver as a cable add increases soundstage and transparency, and copper adds depth and body, but what about a Hybrid cable?

1) Silver
2) Cooper
3) Silver/Copper Hybrid

new chart.jpeg

Not always is a pure silver cable needed. As it turns out, often with just pure silver the results can be too thin. While the soundstage is seemingly increased, there is a lack of body and authority in pure silver use. Remember too, this is an IEM by IEM effect. Meaning some super dark IEMs are going to benefit from a (closer to) pure silver cable. And while pure copper will add robust darker tone, once in a while you need a slight bit of sparkle. Often these traits come about after hours of listening. Meaning upon switching cables, you may think all is well, then after two hours your mind will adapt to the new simulation and you will slowly start to figure out what’s-up. Then and only then you will come to realize the copper was just a touch too smooth, thus needing a mixture of silver and copper to reach your sonic goals. Such Hybrid cables use various amounts of each metal to dial in their personal characteristics. Though it’s a balance meaning, more and more silver added and you still have a hybrid cable on the bright side. And example of a slightly darker (more copper used) hybrid is the OS133 cable.

There is also an OS133 Adapter Module which adds the warmth to an existing signal. Yep, just like the Totem Adapter, you can slip-in just a smidge of warmth into use with an existing set-up.

Though the main character of the Totem is neither bright nor warm. As is you study the build, it’s a combination of everything. Yep, just like you would guess a Smörgåsbord of metals which imply a certain character to the signal. Now this is not with-out its own character though. In fact after more and more testing I have come to even more in-depth understanding of the Totem Adapter. After weeks of continued use, I came to a closer relationship with what end results can be achieved. And while yes, the Totem enhances everything it touches, there are characteristics which turn-out to be personal to the Totem Cable and Totem Adapter. Let’s start out with describing that due to its personality it does slightly better with all balanced armature IEMs. Still that does not totally effect how you can use the Totem. Meaning, often I really like the effect it produces when joined with a Hybrid IEM. So absolutely try the Totem with a DD/BA or DD/BA/EST IEM. As it turns out some characteristics are foreseeable and some are almost random results. But to distill this train of thought, typically DDs get a slight reduction often in authority when used with the Totem. This can absolutely come into a benefit if you are actually seeking better pace and DD attenuation in replay. What a more full midrange in your Hybrid IEM? Add the Totem and get both a soundstage increase, and a midrange and treble focus. Yep…….it seems the energy may be more inline with the needs of the ESTs and BA drivers?

While DDs are still really cool sounding with the Totem, it’s not always drawing the heavy bass performance from DD installations. Due to an increase in itemization and separation through Totem use, the characteristic bass tone may seems almost just as dramatic, still slightly recessed? Yet often with “furry” bass replay, this “clean-up” is what’s wanted and desired. Still there is an unarguable change of bass frequency characteristics and emphasis present with Totem use.



Totem cable now comes with a stylish new modular plug system and dark blue weave jacket!

The HOOK-X and Totem:
Depending on what you want, you may be surprised at the results. The Totem Adapter Cable was incredibly resolving with the HOOK-X. Yep, planar IEMs are also a different story with the Totem cable, though it’s probably not a recommended combination. Gone is much of the normal bass presence with some planar IEMs! Even then tremendous speed takes place with-in the HOOK-X playback, a style of clean-up not maybe wanted? It wasn’t bad, but the Totem is not maybe made for planar IEMs. With that said, it is fun and adventurous to truly find out what’s up. This was one test where the Adapter Cable was very much like a filter in use. Totally noticeable! If anything the HOOK-X will be a sound you never thought possible from the HOOK-X…….tighter bass, tighter lower midrange and a fast tight top-end, awash diminished imaging. This may be fun for an evening or two, but the Totem seems to remove a little of what fuzziness the HOOK-X is kinda known for?

In fact just using the HOOK-X with included cable and Totem Adapter was a totally noticeable change. Meaning really here it’s not for the better, seemingly reducing bass but also riding the HOOK-X of much of its soul. But if someone was a strong disbeliever of cable changes and just wanted to hear a difference when the Adapter was put in place, the stock HOOK-X was that experiment. Where the full-on Totem Cable and Totem Adapter was noticeable, just the Totem Adapter if put in-front of the stock HOOK-X cable set-up was profoundly noticeable, and not in a good way!


The ISN EST50, ISN SC4 Cable and Totem Adapter Cable:
One of the single greatest finds in cable pairing. Here normally the the included ISN S8 gets EST50 Universal IEM an ample amount of warmth, yet pace could be better. Meaning the Totem adapter and ISN SC4 cable is the cats meow. First off, it’s fine with the regular ISN SC4 cable, and it’s totally great with the Totem cable. But if you had the EST50 and the SC4……..and you wanted to add a nice foundation of warmth and three-dimensional space, add the Totem Adapter. Not only that........but after separation occurs, the combination of Totem Adapter and ISN SC4 cable gets an incredible pace going. The ISN SC4 cleans-up the lower-mids….and makes the overall bass cleaner. After that you have a brighter window into the midrange and treble. The Totem then takes that treble and expands it out, making better EST imaging and way-up high-end details. Truly one, if not the best combo in this test is this particular combination.


Next up………


The Penon Globe, ISN SC4 cable and Totem Adapter Cable:
Truth to be told ever since Dsnuts suggested the SC4 and Totem Adapter with the ISN EST50 I have been enjoying it. Yet no one told me about the Globe?


The $18.90 dollar Penon Globe cable can be purchased on its own and comes with any connection you choose. Yet I have to say, the ISN SC4 cable with the Totem Adapter is by far better.

Totem Adapter $79.90

ISN SC4 cable $99.90
Total: $179.80

Of course $179.80 is a far cry from $18.90. But it sounds like it too! Literally no one told me the Penon Globe could sound this good? I had no idea? I hate to sound like this, but it sounds like a whole different IEM. Yep, the Globe at $339.00 has no business sounding this good!

Reason being is that the bass response to totally curtailed. It’s faster, it’s in the pocket and it’s got rhythm. When such tone effect is brought about a couple of other things occur. Here we are dealing with total balance so a back played bass means the treble comes forward as well as the midrange. People that know the Globe know it’s already emphasizing the midrange, yet here there is a next level. Such changes occur due to separation, imaging itemization and expansion of treble elements. There is even a clarity through timbre which becomes accessed through a simply more realistic treble. Yet this may be too bright for some, meaning this is a different way than the Globe was intended to sound from the factory. Where the included cable, while being less forward with midrange and treble elements, offered a more well rounded sound, and possibly a safer to the masses tone, which would bring about a wider reception? Where here I’m almost going out on a limp to enjoy a clearer and faster Globe, maybe a little of what makes the Globe the Globe has been removed in the process? Now we must also never forget of the “new” IEM phenomenon. Such Sonic inquests bring joy just because they are new. Yep, newness is exciting and with this ramped-up treble and midrange, the Globe gets possibly out-of-its comfort zone. Yet the personality is refreshing, and detail at the sake of thinness (in-a-way) is the logical outcome. While this is definitely fun, I’m not sure if long term results would be what is wanted or needed? I ended up using this set-up for a few days in search of such value. And while probably the most exciting thing is the difference from normal Globe/ORB cable playback, with increased detail and pace……….there is no denying many may still long for that deep bass that makes the Globe the Globe in the end.


The Fan 2:
Here I did a few experiments which totally prove Penon know what they are doing when combining cables with their retail IEMs. First off, Penon has a reputation on the line and 98% of the time combine a great cable metallurgy with the IEM as retail unit. I mean why wouldn’t they, why wouldn’t any manufacture combine the cable to optimize their IEM. So just like you and me they try stuff out. Obviously the Globe/SC4/Totem Adapter combination was too pricy of an option to optimize the Globe in use. So they used a moderate priced cable which did some of the effects of the Globe/SC4/Totem Adapter Cable. The $179.80 cable add wasn’t practical for the $339.00 Penon Globe, even though it sounded incredible.

So in testing…….

What would happen if we put the Globe's stock $18.90 dollar cable on the Fan 2 with the Totem Adapter cable?

Would this confirm that Penon aren’t messing around when choosing cables for their new IEMs? The Penon Fan 2 is a departure from the stock/past Penon sound, so much so that for me I not only needed a warm cable but also needed a warm source to begin to perceive splendor. And splendor I did perceive giving the Fan 2 a full-on 5 star review!

And while the Fan 2 comes stock with the warmer OS133 cable, what would happen if we experimented with the Globe cable?

That’s right, even though the OS133 is a hybrid cable, it leans more to the copper side in construction. Such cable is perfect for the money for the Fan 2. Yet more can be found when using the Totem Cable/Totem Adapter Cable/Totem Cable and Totem Adapter Cable. In my use the Totem complete system was a roaring success in use with the Fan 2. What happened was it (combined with the WM1Z) maximized the bass and deep energy potential inherent to the Fan 2. But then I got the idea to try a pure copper cable, also a pure copper cable and Totem Adapter. It seems the copper cable worked well, but you already realize that Penon also already tried this. They must have due to choosing a pure copper cable to come with the ISN 30 sister release with the Fan 2. And sure enough, the pure copper design did not offer the soundstage expansion of the OS133. Even the Adapter Cable added to the pure copper didn’t get as great of soundstage as the OS133 to my ears.


So in a way it’s simple, Penon is always maximizing their IEMs, still relative to cost. So what would happen if we used the low cost Globe IEM cable in addition to the Fan 2? Can you guess what would happen?

Yep…..too bright.

The Globe cable is a Hybrid mixture of silver and copper.

Penon Globe ORB 4 Shares OCC Silver-plated HiFi Audiophile IEMs Cable


OCC silver-plated cable
2Pin 0.78mm/MMCX connector
Length: 1.2m
Plug: gold-plated

So the mixture of Fan 2 and Penon Globe/Orb cable was too intense. It was activating upper-end frequency to the point that even with the Totem Adapter in place, it was a strong no-go.

Much of cable tone play is serendipity, but probably the majority of unions are not random. There are very strict and repeatable changes which take place from altering the included cable in an IEM/DAP playback. While subjectivity takes place here, there are still well known blanket parameters which need to be addressed........One) to fulfill the user groups similar tastes and 2) cater to individual perceptions. When I posted my Totem Cable review on November 27, 2022 I had not tried the Totem with a planar IEMs. It wasn’t something that I felt was needed to be complete in my review. Yet now using the Totem Adapter I have had more time and subsequently more experience with the Totem Cable and Totem Adapter Cable. There is always going to be the fact that the Totem Cable design works slightly better with full balanced armature designs. Still combine the 2X 6MM DDs of the Fan 2 with the Totem Cable, you would go further thinking that the Totem Cable IS the best combination for that IEM. So does it have something to do with the drivability of the DD, if it works or not? This review is not complete, in-fact cable testing is an almost endless endeavor with all the possible combinations available. Yet hopefully here we started to gain an understanding of cable uses and personalities. The Penon Totem Cable Adapter is more than a $79.90 paper weight!

The Adapter 4.4mm X 4.4mm weights 26 grams on its own!



Full Totem Cable Above
Same 2 shares, 334 cores per share in use as cable or adapter cable


The ISN H40 (Penon Sub-Brand) with Sony WM1Z and Totem Cable Adapter for the unexpected win! The combination of ISN H40 PENON OS133 MMCX/Penon Totem Adapter!

But of course if you were in need of a paperweight, the Totem Adapter comes in handy! Throwing $79.90 out the car window would be a pretty silly move, and there is still a chance you may not hear any change. Yet I challenge anyone to not notice the diminishment of tone while combining the Totem Adapter with the HOOK-X! Possibly it’s easer to learn of the negative results of cables as they are more drastic (at times) than the positives in playback? With that said and understood the the Totem is fully a way to maximize some combinations. The Globe with ISN SC4 and Totem Cable Adapter was the very best paced, best toned and clearest midrange I’ve ever heard the Globe sound. Now being the regular Globe always has a maximized midrange from the factory…….that's really saying something. That’s right, the soundstage was even bigger, the pace more articulate and faster, yet the bounce it seems become even more musical? Truly I hope for everyone gets a chance to experience the Globe taken to its final destination.

The time usability window of cables:
Cables in general are way more useful in a way than new IEMs or new DAPs. The reason for this success is the fact that the Totem Adapter can optimize future IEM purchases you haven’t yet made. The Totem Cable Adapter can also maximize older IEMs and release their full potentiality as playback devices. Take the $195.00 ISN H40 for example……reasoning would tell you that its 3 x Balanced Armature + 1 x 9.2mm Diameter Dynamic Driver is not high on the list for Totem Cable Adapter optimizations? But in reality, combined with the $39.60 OS133 Hybrid cable, the H40 also becomes a much better performer with the Totem Adapter in the end!

Yet there was still room for improvement. A perfect example of choosing an IEM you would never guess would respond to the Totem Cable Adapter, when in use the Adapter is the ultimate choice……..and this isn’t even a question of taste. The Totem Adapter goes ahead and sculptures the bass tone, seemingly gaining texture and definition, thus the mids are more forward, and the treble found in a wider more valuable soundstage. So…….the usability of the Totem Adapter proves its worth once more, seemingly owning endless traits to bestow upon unsuspecting IEMs and cable combinations. If you have a few IEMs you're not using due to the bass too boomy, or soundstage too narrow, the Totem Adapter may be just the ticket for success? Or even off into the future, a new IEM purchase may actually be optimized by this little 16cm piece of wire. We all know success is often found in very small changes of tone, be it the DAP, the IEM or the cable, minute changes can make way for broad emotional results in playback. With the Totem Adapter Cable I found just that, ways to filter the sound and bring about changes in musicality and musical involvement. Such changes are perceivable and of value to those who search for them, a simple way to easily get more from the IEMs you already own, or new IEMs you haven’t yet purchased.

Add $10.00 for express shipping if you prefer when ordering.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable


2 shares, 334 cores per share
Single crystal copper silver-plated Litz type6 & Palladium-plated pure silver & Single crystal copper plated with pure gold
Outer diameter:2.5mm
Carbon fiber plug shell
Gold-plated plug
Cable length: about 16cm

Available type :
4.4mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
4.4mm Balanced Male to 4.4mm Balanced Female
2.5mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
3.5mm Audio Male to 3.5mm Audio Female
3.5mm Audio Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female

I want to thank Penon Audio for the love and for the Totem Adapter Cable review sample.

These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

I have spent almost a full month with the Totem Adapter Cable.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 4.4mm and 3.5mm

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1000+ Head-Fier
Between the Divine and the Real
Pros: It provides a perceptible improvement in many aspects of sound: scene, three-dimensionality, texture, detail, clarity, transparency, cleanliness, definition and resolution.
- Because of its benefits on sound, it can even be useful for improving some headphone deficiencies.
Cons: At first glance, this may seem an expensive price for an adapter.

For better or worse, cables are indispensable travelling companions for quality sound flow. As we wait for wireless technology to improve, to keep up with wired headphones, we will continue to use cables. In the meantime, it is becoming increasingly common for cables to try to improve as well. And in a world with such a diversity of connections, it is obvious that adapter cables exist - why not make them of the highest quality? That's the case I'm currently reviewing. This is a high-end adapter cable, made by Penon. It's actually a "short" version of one of their better and also more expensive cables called Totem. It consists of two strands of 334 cores each. Each strand has an eye-catching blue colour and is coated with transparent plastic. The connector housings are made of carbon fibre and all connections are gold-plated.
Admittedly, I have always been a bit sceptical about cables. But until now, I had never tried such a high quality adapter. Let's see how my opinion of them has changed.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 01_r.jpg


  • 2 strands, 334 cores per strand.
  • Litz6-type silver-plated monocrystalline copper, palladium-plated pure silver and pure gold-plated monocrystalline copper.
  • Connector housing made of carbon fibre.
  • Gold plated connectors.
  • Full adapter length: approx. 13cm, for SE 3.5mm male to SE 3.5mm female adapter.
  • Cable length, excluding adapters: approx. 6cm.
  • Diameter of connector housing: 9mm.
  • Connector housing length: 25mm.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 02_r.jpg


The cable came together with other products, in the same package, so I don't have the original packaging. I think that, being a really hard and simple product at the same time, it will come like most cables: inside a little bag well packed with paper and bubble wrap.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 03_r.jpg

Construction and Design

The cable consists of two coiled blue strands, sheathed in transparent plastic. Each strand has a total of 334 cores. The cores are composed of Litz6-type silver-plated monocrystalline copper, palladium-plated pure silver and pure gold-plated monocrystalline copper.
The total cable size, in the revised unit (SE 3.5mm male to SE 3.5mm female adapter) is 61mm of cable, 130mm in total, counting the connectors and their housings. Each housing is approximately 25mm long and has a diameter of 9mm. They are made of carbon fibre and each has a classic checkered and dark pattern. On the male connector housing is written the name of the brand in a rather scrolled lettering in gold ink. The connectors are gold-plated. The wires are protected by a transparent plastic sleeve when they are inserted into the housings, which in turn protects the internal soldering.
The design is notable for the quality of the materials used, but mainly for the intense blue colour of the two large strands of the Totem.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 04_r.jpg


  • 3.5mm Audio SE Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
  • 4.4mm Balanced Male to 4.4mm Balanced Female
  • 3.5mm Audio SE Male to 3.5mm Audio SE Female
  • 2.5mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female
  • 4.4mm Balanced Male to 2.5mm Balanced Female

Influence on Sound

I have used the Totem adapter cable for many hours and with a multitude of sources and IEMS. But most of the time, and at the time of writing this review, I have been using two specific sets: the xDuoo Link BAL2 + Penon Sphere, using my PC as a source, and the Hidizs AP80 PRO-X + Hidizs MM2, for a few days off, away from home.
I insist again that I have always been a cable sceptic. But this adapter has made me rethink my convictions about them.
In a quick change, between using or not using the cable, the differences are already apparent. The first thing I noticed was an improvement in vocals. On a track with female vocals, their presence increased after connecting the adapter. The texture improved, as well as the clarity and spatiality. With this, the three-dimensional effect of it grew, gaining in body, taking on a more physical, larger and closer form. Similarly, these sensations were also transferred to the rest of the voices and instruments. The depth became more pronounced and the separation sharper.
After hours of testing, the feeling is as if a small veil is being pulled back over the music and it can breathe more freely. Another very noticeable feature is that the sound is no longer flat and lifeless. After connecting the Totem adaptor, all the elements grow and become more enhanced, taking on a characteristic of vivacity and greater emphasis. It is as if the elements go from 2D to 3D, from black/white to colour, from low resolution to high resolution. The result is difficult to describe. But after plugging it in on a daily basis, one doesn't want to stop using this adapter, once you have internalised all these improvements, as well as the gain in nuance and micro detail.
I should also mention a greater sense of sweetness and musicality. It is not that the softness is increased, the cable does not shade the sound, but that the details, the edges, the finish, is of better resolution, purer and more beautiful. This vivid perception of improved quality means that the sound can increase in volume, because those deficiencies that were there before have disappeared, resulting in a leaner, cleaner and more crystalline nuance.
Another important gaining aspect, not forgetting the higher level of transparency and the improved perception of a darker background, is texture. The descriptive sensation is increased and the perception of surface roughness becomes simpler and more obvious. The result, in this sense, is that the music is much more enjoyable, because it becomes richer and more pleasurable.
Other aspects that also benefit are the transitional aspects, as they develop in a more fluid, but also more precise and cleaner way. With the extension of technicalities, the layering becomes more apparent and the dynamics grow.
Finally, the Totem adaptor cable can be an improvement on some of the headphones' shortcomings, enriching aspects such as those discussed in this section. Perhaps, before putting those headphones that do not convince us in a drawer, they deserve a second listening connected to a Totem adapter. They may not be so bad.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 05_r.jpg


Believing in cables or not is almost like believing in a religion. I'm an agnostic, and it's the same with cables. As a man of science, I believe in numbers. But sound is not just about numbers. Sometimes it is better to put on a blindfold and listen 100% with your ears. I think that, in a blind test, I would be able to tell when the Totem adapter cable is being used or not. That's how clear its benefits seem to me.
One can try to improve the sources and the headphones, to extend the sound quality. Now, as a piece of advice, I would also tell you to try a quality adapter like this Totem, to get more out of your current system. After using it, you might consider not investing in new items and save money.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 06_r.jpg

Sources and IEMs Used During Analysis

  • xDuoo Link BAL2.
  • Earmen Colibri.
  • TRI TK-2.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X.
  • Penon Sphere.
  • Hidizs MM2.
  • TFZ Tequila Pro.
  • Dunu Titan S.

Penon Totem Adapter Cable 07_r.jpg

Purchase Link
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@ChrisOc Thank you very much for your words!
Thank you for a well written review. Most important is your experience actually using the adapter. I am trying to understand though how an adapter, as compared to a full replacement cable, can improve the sound. Isn't the limiting factor the main cable, which may be the determinant if "weakest link" in the signal transmission chain. So even if the Totem is higher quality than the main cable, it may succeed in assuring no quality loss but unable to do more. What am I missing with my analysis?
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How can a piece of cable improve the sound when I still have the original cable? I didn't expect it either and it took me several weeks to write the review.
I can't say for sure why, and I didn't want to dig too deep either. Perhaps the standard cables offer worse connectors than the Totem? It is also true that the complete Totem cable costs 10 times more than the adapter. And this adapter is not simply cheap, but, in the end, it is cheaper when you can use it with all the SE 3.5mm headphones you already have.
In the end... it's best to check it out for yourself, if you want to, of course.
Thanks for your feedback.


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