I thought I might take some time to more clearly compare the Effect Audio Ares ll and Ares ll+ cables, as someone asked for a more direct comparison. Please keep in mind that this comparison is based on using the cables with an Astell&Ultima SP1000SS and a Zeus XR set to X. Also, the ll is a single-ended 3.5 and the ll+ is a balanced 2.5. I listen to 60’s and 70’s rock, for the most part, so factor that in as well. The Ares ll is very transparent. It’s possible to hear where all instruments/voices are in the soundstage at all times, and they never seem to be over or under each other as you listen. Everything is distinct. Even though the Ares ll is copper, it has quite a bit of detail, especially in the upper end, which is really well-presented by the Zeus. Everything is clear, with no sibilance or flaring. Mids and upper mids are very clear, especially with acoustic guitars. You can hear all of the strings being strummed, and also hear the squeaking of flesh across fret boards. The upper bass is strong and clean, and individual notes are easy to pick out. Lower bass is quite apparent when the source music has it, but is fairly absent when not there. Sub-bass can be heard when presented, but it’s not going to shake you out of your chair. You won’t hear the “thump” physically, the way some bass-centric IEMs present bass. The word I would use for the Ares ll is “neutral.” While not reference, it seems to present all frequencies with equal clarity. Sound stage is quite wide (I hear it at the “rear” of my ears), but it certainly doesn’t wrap all the way around me. I find the cable sound signature bright and lively, very analytical, crisp and clean. The cable itself is rather thin (when compared to the ll+) but quite beautiful. Ergonomically, it’s a joy. I walk with it with no problems. I bought the Ares ll+ hoping to gain a bit more lower end and timbre. Well, it does that in spades. There is now a bass floor present in the music pretty much all of the time. It doesn’t rumble like bass-centric IEMs do, but the bass is there! Always. It adds timbre across bass and mids (and to a degree, upper mids as well). When I first plugged it in, I had to turn down the volume of my Astell from 60 to 50, as it is perceptually louder. The sound stage is very slightly less wide. Upper end still comes across the way is does with the ll, but everything below it is fuller. Instead of being transparent, the music now is more solid. Everything being played can still be heard, but the sense of lightness and, to a degree, air is replaced with a thicker wave of music. I would describe it as darker and warmer in comparison with the ll. Some folks here use the terms “smooth” and “musical,” and that seems to be what is happening here. I could make the poor simile that the ll is like floating in air, and the ll+ is like floating in water. The cable is considerably thicker, a bit darker in color, and somewhat stiffer than the ll. However, when walking with it there were no problems with cable noise. It’s just a heavier, more robust cable. While I like the ll+, I found that it took away what, to me, was so special about the Zeus/Astell combo. I realize that to others it might be exactly what they are looking for. We all seem to have different ideas of the “right sound,” which is of course what makes this hobby so much fun, so aggravating and so expensive. I hope this mini-review helps others who are perhaps looking to buy one of these cables.