Cables are a part of the earphone experience that is often overlooked. Some people (including me) use in-ear monitors every day so having a cable that not only sounds great but is comfortable aesthetically pleasing can make a big difference. So today I’ve got an awesome accessory from the folks at Better Audio, the HifiHear 16 Core Silver-Plated upgrade cable.
This cable is available in multiple configurations and you can choose the plug and connectors that suit your needs. This is a great and affordable way to upgrade your existing headphones today.
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.
Package and Accessories
The cable arrived in a resealable plastic bag, along with a warranty card and that’s about the extent of it! Like a lot of the recent budget audio gear, this cable skips on superfluous packaging and instead delivers top value for money instead.
Build Quality and Design
The HifiHear 16 core silver-plated cable has 8 cores each for the left and right channels. Its coppery-brown coloured strands are handmade using professional weaving techniques.
At the heart of this cable is a high-purity oxygen-free copper-plated silver wire. The benefits of a wire like this are a rapid transmission of electrical signals and stability with low distortion.
The cable is available in a bunch of different configurations so you can customize it to suit the monitors you intend to use it with. There are 3 plug options: 2.5 mm balanced, 3.5 mm single-ended and 4.4 mm balanced. You also get a choice of 2 connectors: 2-pin and MMCX. This time around I went with a balanced 2.5 mm plug and MMCX connectors.
Recently I was impressed by the malleability of the Yinyoo 6-core copper cable (review here) but I gotta tell you, the HifiHear takes it to another level. This was unexpected for a 16-core wire but it is what it is. The cable is thick and feels robust but is silken and impossibly soft. It kind of feels like a thick shoelace or woven rope.
There’s no memory wire or pre-formed ear guides present on this cable, meaning it can be worn over-ear or straight down which makes it compatible with just about any IEM you can imagine.
The black aluminium MMCX connectors have a pair of engraved rings around the bottom end to provide some grip. There’s also a red ring on the right side and a clear one on the left for easy identification.
There is a chin slider present in the form of a black plastic ball with a hollowed out core. It slides up and down the cable easily and makes the cable feel almost like a piece of jewellery rather than a purely utilitarian audio tool.
The Y-split is a cylindrical black metal with HifiHear branding in white print on one side. The cable terminates in a straight, black metal plug that also has the HifiHear branding on one side.
Strain reliefs are good from top to bottom and the cable feels very well-built and durable. Overall this is a really gorgeous cable visually and physically; it’s certainly the most pliable audio cable I’ve ever used.
Comfort and Microphonics (cable noise)
When it comes to comfort this cable is off the charts. Despite its modest price it has become one of my favourite cables mainly because of its pliability. It’s just such a well behaved cable and that with its softness makes it easy to forget (which is a good thing).
There are no awkward twists, kinks or memory and it simply conforms to any surface it lays over. Some people may actually find it too supple but for me it’s perfect.
The other reason I like the HifiHear 16 core silver-plated cable is that it has virtually no microphonics whatsoever, even when worn straight down.
When using the HifiHear I noticed improved separation and vividness. The DMG already has separation out the wazoo but it was clearly noticeable when listening to the Tin Audio T2. In fact, with this the T2 has never sounded so good.
Bass gets a little bump but at the same time, it gets an improved definition. The lower midrange fills out and gains some extra body too, which is precisely why I love the pairing with the T2 so much.
The treble is presented smoothly and retains its extension. Soundstage doesn’t gain any width but there is some improvement in depth and layering.
I was a little wary about this cable at first. After all, 16-cores sounds a bit over the top and it sounded like a marketing gimmick more than anything else. After spending several weeks with the cable however, it has become one of my favourite accessories.
Not only do you get improved sound quality but physically this cable is just superb. It looks good, feels amazing and is one of the most comfortable cable I’ve ever used for over-ear use.
At $48 the HifiHear 16 core silver-plated cable is affordable and can be used with any compatible in-ear monitors. As a bonus, if you buy from the Better Audio storefront on Amazon (link here) you’ll get a 12-month warranty. If you’re after an upgrade in sound and ergonomics I highly recommend giving this cable a try.