Effect Audio Signature Series Review

So I’ll be doing this review/roundup a little differently since I normally don’t do cable reviews. Hopefully this will be a different/fun read versus my normal content.

How this all started

At one point in time I truly used to believe that cable rolling made a difference. This was also off of two IEMs I had at the time and since I only had those, it was easier to attempt to focus on small changes to sound via cables. This was half the reason why I cable rolled. I always understood cables were a subjective thing and yet I loved rolling cables anyways to see if I could hunt down the differences whether it was placebo or not. The other half was simply looks. I was a huge fan of both Labkable and Null Audio cables back then. I still to this day buy Null audio cables. Part of the reason back then was that I was a hardcore “balanced” believer and I always wanted to run 2.5mm and the new at the time 4.4mm pentaconn connector over 3.5mm. There was so much I wanted to chase down back then and the rabbit hole kept getting deeper and deeper. So why did I personally stop cable rolling in general? Let's get into that next.

So what happened?

After I transitioned to reviewing audio gear, I quickly realized I didn’t have time anymore to attempt rolling cables. I attempted to cable roll for the first few months but once I actually started getting companies to let me try IEMs and full size headphones out at a more constant pace, I simply wasn’t able to dedicate a week of rolling cables into my reviews. Like that person at work who would say “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean”, I started following my own “if you have time to cable roll, you have time to review other stuff”. I started caring about the quality of stock cables for everyday use over possible improvements or how they were made artistically. Same thing with running balanced. I still run almost all my final testing off whatever the stock cable is terminated in but all my IEMs I personally own all have 4.4mm balanced plugs. It always comes down to time management and the difference between cable rolling/balanced testing for 3 days vs 3 additional days of listening, I’m always gonna choose listening. 

Why care about cables now?

So what brought me to this long set of impressions/review? Simple, I decided to dedicate some time to cables as I have an abundance of cables whether it's just random cables I bought, or ones I received to review. In this case, Effect Audio asked if I wanted to check out their upcoming Signature series cables though in prototype form and I thought it would be fun to review these and check out the final production units.

How is this gonna work review wise?

Whether or not I do cable reviews down the road is gonna be hard to say. I will mostly be doing cable reviews with one or two IEMs max(in the future) since I still don’t have the time to roll a cable on anything more than that. I don’t think I will be rolling cables or doing balanced vs single ended testing with my normal reviews since I’m always backlogged in general. So now that I got all of that out of the way…

Time for Corgifall to review some cables!! Get on with it already!

So what do I have for this special roundup/review? Well I have three prototype cables and three post release cables from Effect Audio. They are called the Ares S, Cadmus and Eros S. They come from their new Signature series line. Effect audio is one of those boutique cable companies that make absolutely gorgeous cables. While this is meant to be an EA cable review, I will say that my personal favorite cables come from Null Audio and DUNU.

Gear Used

IEMs: Effect Audio Axiom, Thieaudio V16, Moondrop Variations, LETSHUOER S12. 

Source Gear: SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and Feel

So all these cables look and feel amazing. They all feel wonderful with nice texturing on the cables. The cables are a little thicker and they have a bit of weight but both the standard 4 braid cables(Ares S and Cadmus) come in about the same weight as my other 4 braid cables from other companies. The 8 braid Eros S is heavier with some extra thickness that adds a little extra weight on the ears but It never bothered me for long sessions. The Eros S has a nice matte grey color with a rougher finish on the cables which gives it a better quality feel. I think these do look good and I like the rhodium plating the 4.4mm pentaconn plugs use. Both the plug and the y split have a beautiful dark grey finish and the y split has a raw carbon fiber insert on both sides of the split casing. The connectors are Effect Audio’s interchangeable ConX system. The ConX plugs I received are a CIEM 2 pin so they will work with recessed plugs on IEMs. These are wonderful examples of good looking cables though and I love the way they look.

Cable Sound Impressions

Like most things in this hobby, cable rolling to me is super subjective. These impressions will be what each cable sounded like when paired to the specific IEMs I choose. IEM selection, source selection and ear tip selection will possibly add very different results vs what I hear personally. I spent a good amount of time really analyzing everything so take my impressions any way you wish. 

Effect Audio Axiom

The first section will be my original impressions from the pre-release cables I received. The cable material didn’t change so my impressions stay the same here.

Ares S

Starting out with the Ares S! I felt the Ares S really brought out the Axiom’s stock MU tuning when paired with this cable. The lows come in fairly strong and thick. It’s a nice sounding low end. While strong, it still felt well controlled and never bloated. Sub bass hits really come through well with nice impact/slam. The mids are a little recessed sounding but they have good speed and decent detail. Vocals never sound quite loud enough for my personal preference but instruments still make it through just fine. Treble has the same issue of not coming in loud enough to match the Axiom’s boosted bass. The treble was actually really clear though it was missing some of the extra brightness that the Cadmus has. Staging was probably the widest of the three cables but I felt there wasn’t much depth compared to the other cables and this very much felt closer to a wall of sound to my ears. Imaging was fine however and I could pick stuff out without too much effort. This was my least favorite cable for the Axiom but that doesn’t mean this won’t be a nice cable for other IEMs.


The Cadmus goes the polar opposite route of the Ares S and has less bass presence but sounds a little more accurate with better control. Bass impact was still strong but the bass notes didn’t linger which made for a leaner bass overall. In the case of the Axiom(MU module) this was welcome as the Axiom comes in strong with heavy bass. The mids are clear with a bit of energy but they didn’t feel overly fast or detailed. The instruments such as guitars and pianos sounded accurate but with just a hint of artificial sound to them. The treble however was noticeably more intense with a noticeable sharpness that made everything sound more accurate and detailed. Cymbal hits all had an extra zing with no lingering decay which made everything sound very fast and clean. The soundstage was rather average compared to the other cables. It’s not bad but the Ares S is wider with less depth and the Cadmus has a good balance. Imaging in this balanced stage made things easy to pick out.  I liked this cable when paired with the Axiom and this was probably my favorite in terms of cleaning up the bass heavy Axiom.

Eros S

I found the Eros S cable to be the most interesting. The lows still have a slight boost with good impact/slam. There’s a longer decay that gives it a nice full/airy sound down low. The lower mids sound about the same as the Ares S but the rest of the mids are very prominent and focused. Things like guitars and vocals really stand out against the rest of the frequencies. I really liked the extra energy here, though some female vocals did get slightly sibilant at times which I had never experienced with the Axiom to this point. The treble comes in clear but feels a little behind the Cadmus in terms of presence and sharpness. The mids have a bigger focus when I listen so I have to put extra energy into listening for details in the upper frequencies. I would throw the treble somewhere between the Ares S and Cadmus. The soundstage is the most unique part about the cable. After much back and forth swapping, It was very noticeable the stage felt about as wide as the Ares S but it had a bit more depth than the Cadmus. The slightly longer decay within the whole frequency range may be the reason for this but there is a nice echo within the stage and while it's not dramatic, it’s neat and it made for a nice listening experience. The imaging was good and I was able to pick things out fairly easily within the stage and nothing ever got congested. I can’t quite tell if this is the best cable of the bunch or if it's just the most unique sounding cable of the three.

Other IEM Pairings

This will be a quick section of what I thought paired well with some of the IEMs I have on hand. I tried all three cables on each IEM but the ones I chose were the most noticeable vs the standard cable each IEM originally came with. These are quick and simple impressions as such.


While I don’t like the color combo of the S12 and Ares cable, I do like the S12 in general so It was the first IEM I wanted to pair something up with.  The stock cable is a silver cable so I figured the copper Ares would be a good opposite to go with. The low end did feel slightly more impactful with a more authoritative thump. The mids had a more relaxed sound but vocals still had a sharper presence. The treble I wanna say sounded a little more tamed with a slight loss to what makes the S12 special with its intense listen. Though the changes as with all the cables are very slight hints vs big changes.

Moondrop Variations(Cadmus)

The Variations stock cable is a copper cable so I went with the opposite here again and there was a slightly different flavor going on here. The bass is still very intense though it sounded just a hair more controlled. Mids had a little less warmth with a faster and clearer tone. Vocals still lacked a little energy but they sounded accurate still. The treble sounded a bit more energetic with some added sharpness that I rather enjoyed on the Variations. I liked this cable combo and I also loved the way it looked with the Variations color scheme. This is gonna stay on my variations going forward. 

THIEAUDIO V16 Divinity(Eros S)

I don’t like the feel of the stock cable nor the way it sits on my ears for long sessions. The stock cable is a silver plated cable but I wanted to give it a hybrid in general. So while I don’t like the color combo of the pairing, I did notice a more unique sound from the Eros cable on this just like I have with my other IEMs. The bass still stays strong but with a bit more control vs the stock cable. There is a spaciousness for fullness down low that also follows into the mids. The mids have a slightly recessed sound but instruments and vocals feel powerful with more energy and a slight boost in the upper mids. The treble is still relaxed and since the V16 sits just where I want it in terms of treble, I like the way it’s presented here. The V16 didn’t feel very wide or deep but with the Eros, there is just a little extra to make me happy.

Overall Thoughts

So at the end how do I feel about the new EA cables? I like them though I enjoy them more for their looks and feel over anything else. When I do occasionally buy new cables, it’s always important how it looks and will pair with certain IEMs. While I was able to pick out different details from each cable, I have a harder time these days investing time getting deep into cable rolling. For the quality and cosmetic side of things, I can easily recommend the new signature series line of cables. Even at their pricing($180-300). I personally find cables to be an art thing. If it looks good, I can possibly find value in the price. For those looking at changing the sound of their IEMs, I still personally believe cable rolling is subjective though I think it’s totally fine hunting down sound differences and I say go for it and give the new EA cables a shot. Finally I’ll also mention the fact that a lot of other companies do cables as well. Some like Nightjar and Null Audio do really nice premium cables too. DUNU also makes really nice cables but their cables also have their own QD plug system which makes their products interesting in itself. While I won’t be doing many cable reviews in the future, I would like to poke at cable reviews as time allows. Good job to Effect Audio and I look forward to checking out more of their products in the future. Thanks for reading!!