Purdio (Pure Audio Labs) is a subsidiary of ODOYO International Limited. Odoyo has offices in Hong Kong and California and they carry a range of products dealing mostly with lifestyle gadgets and accessories. But they also have a new line of audio products, including the Purdio Vector 8-core OCC copper cable.
- It’s resistant to tangling
- Is strong yet supple and malleable
- More affordable than many 8-core cables
- Great connector housings
- No option for a 4.4mm plug
- Very basic packaging and sparse accessories
The Vector is currently listed at $259 and is available from the Odoyo website here.
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 Purdio Vector arrived in a small, black box with a white cardboard sleeve. On the front of the sleeve is an image of the cable and a list of some of the features. On the back of the sleeve are some illustrations of the plug and connectors, plus some specifications. Inside the box the cable, stored in a resealable plastic bag. It’s not the most exciting unboxing experience but practical enough.
Build Quality and Design
There are several different configurations available for the Vector. For the plug, you can choose between 3.5mm stereo or a 2.5mm balanced plug. Sadly there is no option for a 4.4mm Pentaconn plug yet but it’s easy and inexpensive to get around this with a simple adapter if you need a 4.4mm connection.
For the connectors, you can choose between MMCX and 0.75mm 2-pin. I went with the 2.5mm balanced plug and 2-pin connectors.
The heart and soul of the Purdio Vector are its 8 woven 7N (99.99999%) OCC copper strands. Each core wire is covered with fluoropolymer resin (FEP) and jacketed in round woven fiber.
Visually the Vector has a salmon-like colour and sparkles like diamonds below the surface as it catches the light. It’s a fairly unassuming cable that only reveals its subtleties when you see it up close.
The Purdio Vector also comes equipped with memory wire, which I’m usually not very partial to. In this case, however, the wire portion is quite short; just enough to mould over the top of your ears. So although it is a rather stiff wire it hasn’t been bothering me at all. But for the most part, I still think of memory wire as being unnecessary and prefer pre-formed guides or nothing at all (purely personal preference).
The 8 tightly-woven cores make the Vector feel reassuringly robust and durable while at the same time being supple and smooth to the touch. With it’s tightly woven, individually sleeved cores, the Vector almost feels more like a narrow rope than an audio cable. It’s quite surprising that 8 cores of 23AWG copper can be this malleable.
Plugs and Connectors
Possibly my favourite thing about this cable is its excellent gold-plated brass 2-pin connectors. The clear plastic housings bend 45° midway to fit naturally over your ears. What I really love about them though is the way they firmly yet effortlessly sort of snap into place when you plug them in. They really felt as if they were designed to fit specifically in every IEM that I tried. They’re also much easier to get a grip on than other smooth, cylindrical connectors, like those on the Ares II cable.
One thing that really frustrates me about the Vector is the Left and Right markings on the connectors. They’re moulded onto the side of the housings and are near impossible to see, even if you know where to look and have good light. There really should be some kind of visual indicator that’s easier to see.
The Y-split is made from a clear solid but flexible plastic. It’s very lightweight and unobtrusive and the very nature of the material it’s made from acts as its own strain relief. There’s a matching chin slider that is easy to slide up and down the cable but stays firmly in place. Finally, the Vector cable terminates in an L-shaped plug (in this case a 2.5mm balanced plug) which is made from the same tough but flexible material as the Y-split.
The Purdio Vector exhibits the inherent warmth and body of copper but also displays wonderful clarity. It has the effect of adding robustness and hint of warmth without sacrificing any transparency. In fact, with its improved treble extension, I’d venture to say that detail is improved and a little more energy in the lower treble adds some clarity.
Bass extension remains unchanged but there is more texture in bass notes, delivering wonderful and palpable definition. This also acts as a catalyst for an improved soundstage; tightening up the low frequencies ever so slightly cleans up the stage, aiding instrument separation and delivering enhanced resolution.
What surprises me most about the Vector is its effect on the higher frequencies. Pairing it with the M-Fidelity SA-50 really highlighted the difference. The SA-50 is already a very detailed IEM with amazing clarity but Paired with the Vector it takes on a more vivid and sharper characteristic. By no means do I mean that in an unpleasant way. The Vector purely enhances the SA-50’s underlying properties, making it even more impressive for its ability to be so clear and detailed but still smooth enough to listen through a couple of entire albums nonstop without causing fatigue.
I found a similar result with the Custom Art FIBAE 3, particularly in the treble where the Vector had an effect of making treble notes more solid and expressive. Unlike the SA-50, the FIBAE 3 gains a little extra fullness in the mid-bass which really helps the overall tonality and realism of this mid-centric CIEM. Listening to We Lost the Sea’s “Challenger part 1 – Flight” and “Challenger part 2 – A Swan Song” with this combination and fed by the Sony ZX300 from its balanced output was unbelievable. It was so mesmerizing that I forgot I was supposed to be doing critical listening and instead found myself sitting here with goosebumps.
The next IEM I hooked up with the Vector was the Empire Ears Bravado. I was expecting this bass-heavy and syrupy warm beast to benefit greatly from the added clarity and soundstage of the Vector and it did not disappoint. A slight reining in of the Bravado’s thundering bass increases the size and quality of the soundstage and at the same time improves separation and resolution in the midrange. What I was hoping for the most was a lift in the Bravado’s lower treble to counterbalance the aforementioned aggressive bass but this didn’t happen. The treble notes did become a hint more solid but were still very relaxed and lacked sparkle.
So how does the Vector compare with other cables? Well, sadly my cable stable is still fairly bare but I can offer a comparison with the Ares II.
Effect Audio Ares II
The Ares II is a very well known and widely adopted cable, thanks in no small part to their ties with Empire Ears. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s a very high-quality cable at an affordable price point either. It has some similarities with the Purdio Vector, most notably in the bass. To me the Ares II seems to be a little more boisterous in the bass, bumping things up just a touch but certainly has just as much control and tightness.
The Ares II has great transparency and resolution in the midrange but I found the Vector to have ever so slightly better separation and space between elements, resulting in a cleaner presentation. This gives the Vector a small edge in stage size but there’s very little to separate them.
The Ares II’s upper midrange and lower treble are a little more aggressive than the Vector which has similar vibrancy and extension but is a hint smoother.
Both cables have excellent build quality. The Ares II looks more premium at a glance with its easily visible separate braided cores and darker, richer colour. However, it is stiffer and less malleable than the Vector which is less springy and easier to handle.
I much prefer the connector housings on the Vector, which as I said earlier seem to fit more snugly and effortlessly into all of the IEMs I tested. Having said that though, I would much rather the preformed moulding of the Ares II than the memory wire on the Vector!
Purdio Vector Conclusion
The Purdio Vector is an interesting addition to the increasingly competitive custom cable market. It has a build quality that’s up there with the best of them but it’s more affordable than a lot of the other 8-core cables available.
Its outstanding transparency and clarity matched with pleasing and comfortable ergonomics make this a great product for the company’s first cable release. The way it presents a smooth, transparent sound and simultaneously conjures an expansive and vivid soundstage demonstrates that Purdio is a serious new contender in the cable space.