Effect Audio EVO 1 Series Cable – To The Maximum Cables
Even More Cables should be the title for today’s written review as I take a deeper dive with EVO One from Effect Audio, one of the oldest and most trusted cable makers in the whole world. Today’s cable costs about 440 USD, and it will be compared to Ares Audio Sakeishi, Dunu Hulk, and FiiO LC 2.5D Silver Cable. For pairings, we will be going with Campfire Vega 2020, FiiO FH5S, and Audeze Euclid.
Effect Audio has been in business for many years now, and they have cables for basically everything, from pretty affordable aftermarket cable upgrades for IEMs, all the way to high-end super refined ones. They are reliable, friendly and have all the connectors you can dream of, including very exotic ones, so you’ll never run out of luck with them. I never heard of any of their cables breaking down, and this includes the very first ones they released, so you’re likely to be enjoying their cables long after I may move to doing reviews on other products or other content.
It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Effect Audio. I’d like to thank Effect Audio for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with the Effect Audio Evo 1 Cable. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in Effect Audio EVO 1 find their next music companion.
Official Website: https://www.effectaudio.com/evo-1
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
You probably don’t expect the unboxing experience of a cable to be anything fun, but Effect audio actually has a really fun design where you get a very visual presentation of the Cable’s main feature, a multi-color Y split that also showcases the small litzes inside the cable.
I made a pretty detailed review and talked about the tech of cables in my Sakeishi cables, so I will start by explaining what Evo 1 brings to the table, and that’s a Balanced 4.4mm connector, but with options for other connectors too. We also get 26 AWG 4 Wire Construction, with an EA Ultra Flexi Jacket, and Bundled Litz Enhanced Surlyn Insulation, to make sure that the cable is free from any kind of interference. You usually don’t really get interference from any cable, but this one is especially protected, so if your default cables have trouble, you can totally be at peace with EVO 1.
The construction of Evo 1 is UP-OCC Gold-Plated Copper, UP-OCC Silver-Plated Copper and Oxygen-Free Copper. This should draw the advantages of all copper based cables, and provide a great presentation for voices, along with a good overall technical ability, and resolution.
Effect Audio generally brags about musicality and overall clarity, but the tech inside is less explained compared to other producers. I personally noticed a very flexible, slightly springy cable, with great overall build quality. The connectors are perfect and tight, but won’t break your IEMs. There are some headphones with MMCX connectors made by Ultrasone, but I don’t expect you to be getting this cable for full over-the-ear headphones, so the ear guides most probably won’t get in the way.
Speaking of the ear guides, Effect Audio EVO 1 has soft ear guides that help with the comfort of the cable greatly, and has zero microphonics, basically being able to enhance both the sonics and the actual comfort of most IEMs out there. Although the soft ear guides can seem a bit tight before you put EVO 1 in, the comfort is actually better, because it holds IEMs more securely in your ear.
In the beginning, I was not fully into cables and it took me a while to accept that they can change the sound. If you’re not one to believe in cables and the changes they bring to sound, the best thing you can do is find a store that lets you test and play, so you can judge for yourself. Also ask a friend, most do have an upgraded cable around, and you can get an idea if cable talk is real, or if you don’t hear any differences. I personally think that there are cables that sound really similar to stock ones, and then there are those like EVO 1 that actually do have a signature, and sound very specific, with a more forward signature, more bass, more textures in general, and a good overall presentation for dubstep, electronic and pop music. The whole signature of EVO 1 can be a bit too much for metal, where adding the extra texture of EVO 1 over distorted guitars can be too much. But for music that’s already clear like Rap, EDM, Dubstep, Pop and Industrial, I find Evo 1 to improve my experience quite a bit.
The bass of EVO 1 is really deep, higher than most cables out there, and higher than any stock cable I have on hand. The bass is preseted more textured than stock cables, which can be a bit disorienting at first, as you hear more fine reverberations in the bass, you get more vibrations with each bass note, and they all have a more deep presentation too, with more weight and more overall depth, making sound really deep, more separated with more dynamic, even at low volumes.
The midrange is also presented colored, more forward than with any stock cable, more textured, and this creates the sensation of more detail. Especially as you hear everything closer to you, the music becomes more detailed, but also a bit more narrow, thanks to the more forward presentation. This changes the whole presentation for many songs, and EVO 1 does not sound overly holographic, but it tends to round on the sound of most IEMs as it makes them deeper, taking some width as a side payment for it.
The treble of EVO 1 is smoother and more lean than the default stock cables. This means that if your IEMs are bright, it will turn them 180 degrees and give them more depth, more life, all while calming their treble. The sound is still plenty dynamic and detailed though, so you won’t hear a reduction in resolution, but since the treble is smoother, especially if you got your kick from micro-details in the highs, you may feel like Evo 1 is not quite as open as other competitors at the same price. Don’t get me wrong, it should be a huge improvement over any stock cable regardless of other high-quality cables having a more resolute presentation in the treble.
The main comparisons for today’s review will be with FiiO LC-2.5D Silver Cable, Dunu Hulk and Ares Audio Sakeishi. Those are all great cables, but very different from the Evo 1 we are reviewing today, so let’s see which one should you go for, and which is the most probable to provide a fun experience for you.
Effect Audio EVO 1 vs FiiO LC-2.5D Silver Cable (440 USD vs 110 USD) – We have a cable that actually makes the sound a bit brighter, refining the sound of bassier IEMs, and LC 2.5D is exactly what you need if you have a bass cannon and want it to go lighter with those lows. Evo 1 sounds much deeper, more refined, more textured, more organic, has a deeper stage, with more overall bass and midrange forwardness. LC-2.5D silver sounds brighter, somewhat plasticky at times, and as a friend once told me, Copper generally makes the best audio cable material, along with Gold, but Silver can have some downsides if your IEMs and Headphones aren’t dark to begin with.
Effect Audio EVO 1 vs Dunu Hulk (440 USD vs 300 USD) – Hulk is vastly different from Evo 1, and not just in sound, but physically. Hulk is bulky and impractical, and despite the rather nice sound, I have never seen it anywhere near as practical as Evo 1 which I find really nice, ideal even. The overall sonic presentation is darker, with less treble and less refinement on Hulk, and it sounds more textured, more dynamic, more detailed and more open on Evo 1. Hulk tends to darken the sounds much more, without adding textures or midrange, making the sound fuller, darker and more deep.
Effect Audio EVO 1 vs Ares Audio Sakeishi (440 USD vs 450 USD) – The biggest difference here will be in the sonics, as physically the two cables are more or less similar. Compared to the above comparisons, Sakeishi and EVO 1 are similar, both are ergonomic, both cost about the same, and both are high quality cables. If you’re a fan of purple, you’ll probably enjoy Sakeishi more, while if you don’t want color or flat braiding with your cables, Evo 1 would be your main choice. The sound is more colored on Evo 1 with a more forward midrange, more texture added to the sound, and more warmth added to the sound as well. Sakeishi seems to refine the original signature that an IEM had, while Evo 1 changes that sound adding a timbre and a signature of its own. You always know you’re listening to an IEM powered by Evo 1 while you’re doing so, while with Sakeishi it is a more transparent signature. Ideally, you’d want more transparency, but as I said, if you have an IEM you like, but which is too smoothly textured and which needs more bass and more mids, Evo 1 will pair better with it, adding changes you otherwise desire.
While I had a lot of fun pairing the EVO 1 with many IEMS, I had an exceptional experience with FiiO FH5s, Audeze Euclid, and Campfire Vega 2020, with which we also took photos. You can connect EVO 1 with 2-Pin connector IEMS too, as there is an option to purchase it with 2-Pin connectors, and it is possible to purchase extra short adapters between MMCX and 2-Pin that do not degrade sonic quality. This is also how I was able to test EVO 1 against cables that use a different connector, because I do own adapters that came with IEMs in the past. Those have no impact on sonics, but they are one hundred percent useful for us music lovers. Generally, thanks to its more meaty and deeper sound, with a more forward midrange, I would recommend EVO-1 for more shallow, thin or bright sounding IEMs more, than for darker and bassier IEMs.
Effect Audio EVO 1 + FiiO FH5S (440 USD + 280 USD) – I really like this combination because somehow EVO-1 manages to tame the upper midrange peak of FH5S a bit, without taking away their direct and forward signature, and without toning down on the energetic and hyped sound they have. In fact, I enjoy this combination so much because we’re talking about FH5S and because some folks felt that they are a bit too forward. Otherwise, the sound is deep, full and detailed, with an excellent amount of resolution and clarity, zero distortion, but with a slightly meaty bottom end, and some interesting soundstage that seems to have gotten wider after using EVO-1.
Effect Audio EVO 1 + Audeze Euclid (440 USD + 1300 USD) – Euclid is exactly the type of IEM where EVO-1 has a strong positive impact. Euclid is thinner, more bright and focused on detail alone, also being smooth in textures, so the extra textures from EVO-1 really help, and I also enjoy the bass a bit more, with the added weight and more forward mid presentation that Evo One gives to the Euclid. Overall, the comfort doesn’t seem very different, but I enjoy the overall structure of EVO-1 more than the default cable of Euclid, and I feel like this is one of those cases where an aftermarket cable is a really worthy investment.
Effect Audio EVO 1 + Campfire Vega 2020 (440 USD + 900 USD) – Vega 2020 is the kind of IEM that really doesn’t need EVO-1 but which I paired it with anyways because I’m a bad boy on a warpath today. The sound here becomes even more lush, deeper and more bassy. This plays well because if you’re a basshead who got Vega 2020 for the bass, you’re going to get even more of that, with a deeper, more fun presentation. Vega gets a bit more textured, with more overall personality, and becomes more forward, making them more engaging and more dynamic.
Value and Conclusion
Nowadays it is more and more usual to purchase a cable with a price tag around 500 USD for your IEMs, especially if the IEMs cost around 1000 USD. For less expensive IEMS, the cable will still work and will still improve the sound, but it feels a bit like polishing a less expensive jewel to begin with. I won’t lie to you, and I will be honest, you need some really good IEMs to hear why Effect Audio is so popular, and to justify their prices, but regardless of how justified your purchase is for you, you will be able to enjoy EVO 1 with any IEM, from entry-level to flagship-grade ones.
The build quality and the package are both top notch with EVO-1, and I like the overall interaction with Effect Audio too. They are a great company, with a wide product offer, excellent quality, and reliable support. Experience also helps in this hobby, and more experienced makers can produce some more interesting products, having the knowledge as well as the means to make an interesting product.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a sweet, mid-forward sounding cable, with excellent warmth and impact, good build and reliable comfort, I totally recommend EVO-01 and I do think it is one of the best you could get regardless of the price point.
Official Website: https://www.effectaudio.com/evo-1
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Full Playlist used for this review
We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature. PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!
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