BM-3 featured

Braid Magic BM-3 Review – Glamorous

Tested at $178 ($1400 HKD)

Hey there fam. In today’s review, we look at the Braid Magic BM-3 6N Litz OCC + Litz SPOCC upgrade cable. I paired this cable with some of my favourite CIEMs and I’m ready to share the results here with you. Whether you’re a believer of cables improving sound or not, you have to admit this is one very attractive accessory. Let’s do this.

The Company

Braid Magic Audio is based in Hong Kong and was founded by 2 audiophile engineers who shared a common goal to help people enhance their earphone experience by providing upgrade cables at an affordable price. The company name refers to the braiding process that forms the backbone of the cable.

They believe that even with the same cable materials the actual braiding pattern can lead to subtle differences in sound and this is where the ‘magic’ comes in. By trialing countless materials in the manufacturing process, Braid Magic strives to provide the optimal balance between cost, sound quality and user experience.

Braid Magic Audio official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Braid.Magic.HK/

This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.

Braid Magic BM-3 Review

Pros
  • High quality components
  • Visually gorgeous
  • Good handling with minimal microphonics
  • Rich and smooth tonality
Cons
  • N/A

Technical Details

The BM-3 is constructed with 4 OCC Cu and 4 silver plated OCC Cu. The purity of this wiring is 6N, which, I’m told is the highest quality that testing equipment can detect.

It’s a type 1 Litz cable with a wire gauge of 26AWG. One feature which I find very interesting is that the wires are cryogenically treated. That’s cool (pun intended!) Seriously though, it’s not all mumbo jumbo as there are measurable benefits of this type of treatment.

It enhances stress relief and wear resistance and can also improve corrosion resistance by precipitating micro-fine eta carbides (source: Wikipedia). Whether this has any effect on the audio quality is more subjective but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that.

The wires are sheathed in PVC sleeves and a blend of premium solder is used on all interconnects. All of the gold-plated audio jacks (even standard ones) and gold-plated TeCu connectors (CM/MMCX) are cryogenically treated too. Taking all this into consideration the price of this cable starts to look even better.

Build Quality, Design and Handling

The BM-3 is a cable that is sure to get noticed. It’s not exactly flashy but it does have the look of a premium cable and is reasonably chunky too. Physically it reminds me of the Effect Audio Ares II, mainly because of the way the PVC sleeve feels but they share other similarities as well. However, the Ares II only has 4 strands where the BM-3 has 8.

As you would expect with a company name like Braid Magic, the cable’s braiding is very nicely done. It’s even and consistent from top to bottom with a kind of dual helical braid. Despite its 8 strands, the BM-3 is still quite pliable and it drapes nicely without holding shape.

BM-3 wound

It has a really gorgeous blend of silver and rich rose gold colours intertwined that gleams under the light. There is very little microphonics present as well as being designed for over ear wear which reduces cable noise even more.

At the bottom end is the straight, gold-plated 4.4 mm plug which is actually identical to the one on the EA Ares II, albeit without the EA logo. Where the wires exit the plug there’s a very sturdy strain relief in the form of a black heat-shrink material.

BM-3 plug closeup

Further up there is a cylindrical Y-split that has a black heat-shrink plastic with an attractive gold-coloured Braid Magic logo on one side. Just above the Y-split is a piece of clear plastic tubing which acts as a cable cinch.

At the top end are the cryogenically treated CM connectors. Each one has a colour-coded braid pattern on one side and y’all know how I love coloured connectors! These connectors have extended plastic housing so they are also suitable for IEMs with recessed sockets.

Finally, just below the CM connectors is a short length of memory wire with a heat-shrink cover. Normally I do not like memory wire and find it bothersome but this time around I don’t mind it at all. I think it’s because the wires are quite short and act much like regular pre-formed ear guides.

Comfort

As I mentioned before, the BM-3 drapes nicely and is reasonably pliable. It doesn’t have any kinks or severe memory. Microphonics are minimal and the Y-split is unobtrusive. My main concern was the memory wire but it turns out I actually really like it (I may have to rethink my stance on memory wire!)

The memory wire provides a very stable fit but because the length of it is quite short it doesn’t feel cumbersome or distracting in the least. It’s quite rigid and once it’s bent into a certain shape it stays that way unless you consciously adjust it. Overall the ergonomics of the BM-3 are excellent.

Sound

*All testing was done on my Sony NW-ZX300 DAP using the 4.4 mm balanced output.

I find the Braid Magic BM-3 to have a rich, smooth signature that is relaxed yet doesn’t compromise on detail. Bass gets just a little bump while vocals come to the forefront conveying all the nuances textures. Treble gets the silken treatment and let’s you feel the liquid mids even more.

There is a richness and warmth that feel cosy and inviting and draws you in. Soundstage is a little more on the intimate side, creating a comfortable, stable space that feels solid and reassuring. The BM-3 is a cable that is perfect for brighter and more energetic IEMs as it will add more control and a touch of warmth.

BM-3 with SA-50 top down

Pairing

Custom Art FIBAE 2 (review here)

Powerful, textured bass with an intimate but well-defined stage. Midrange is more forward making vocals emotive and engaging. Treble notes are smoother and overall the signature is less V-shaped and more balanced.

Tansio Mirai (TSMR) 3 Pro

This is a triple balanced armature IEM I’ve been testing at the same time as the BM-3. When the manufacturer (of TSMR) suggested I try the earphones with an upgraded cable it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hook them up to the BM-3. The difference was stark and wholly positive. The bass gained more body and the upper midrange and lower treble slightly attenuated making the 3 Pro sound fuller, more earthy and noticeably better than it did with the stock cable.

M-Fidelity SA-50 (review here)

Naturally I had to try the BM-3 with what is still my current favourite CIEM, the SA-50. Bass gets a small bump. Vocals are more forward and distinct with good control. Treble is smoother and slightly attenuated, reducing the soundstage but adding stability.

Empire Ears Bravado (review here)

I was not expecting this to be a good match due to the Bravado’s dominant bass and subdued treble. However, somehow this actually works really well. The midrange and vocals are more forward and less under the shadow of the bass. Treble notes are very smooth but have great timbre and airiness. The soundstage is fairly intimate but the imaging and positioning are superb.

BM-3 2-pin connectors and memory wire

Comparisons

Effect Audio Ares II

The Ares II has more energy, especially in the treble. It’s effect on the bass is greater too, it’s a more aggressive sounding cable. It has more clarity but mids and vocals sit further back behind the bass and treble. The BM-3 is warmer and smoother and midrange notes are larger.

Physically these cables have a similar style and build but the BM-3 is more supple and pliable even though it has 8 braided strands compared to the Ares II which has 4 strands. Also the Ares II uses pre-formed ear guides and the BM-3 has memory wire.

Both cables have an identical plug (4.4 mm in my case) and I prefer 2-pin connectors on the BM-3 because with their respective colours it’s much easier to identify the left and right sides.

BTG-Audio Starlight (review here)

The Starlight is sort of like a reversal of the BM-3. It attenuates the bass plus it has more transparency and resolution. In contrast, the BM-3 is more smooth and has an inviting richness. The Starlight’s stage is larger and has more width.

Physically these 2 cables are very different. The Starlight has a braided nylon sleeve and the LLDPE insulation above the Y-split is thinner. It has more of a low-key appearance with its black and white shades compared to the flashy, gleaming BM-3.

BM-3 with DAP and CIEM

Conclusion

The Braid Magic BM-3 is a luxurious, visually appealing cable that works great with any earphone. It really shines when paired with brighter or more aggressive sounding monitors but also works well with more balanced IEMs, such as the SA-50 or FIBAE 3. I’m still puzzled as to why it works so well with the EE Bravado but I’m not complaining that’s for sure!

This cable uses quality materials that have been handpicked to offer the best balance between performance and affordability. It has made me a fan of the company and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do in the future. Oh, and if you’re looking for an upgrade cable I heartily recommend the BM-3.

Check out Braid Magic’s Facebook page HERE.

Founder of Prime Audio

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