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Kotori Audio Tungsten IEM Cable – Entry-Level Flight

Kotori Audio Tungsten IEM Cable – Entry-Level Flight

Kotori Audio Tungsten is a $89 USD IEM cable with a flexible design, PVC insulation, 1.2 meters length, and 28 AWG design. It can be configured with any connectors and the number of cores can be improved to 8-Core if you pay a little extra, so today we will explore how it sounds like, what it pairs best with and where it really shines. 



Kotori Audio is a boutique company with a few nifty products under their belt, best known for their Dauntless IEM, a rather successful and popular earphone that I reviewed as well in the past. They are currently mainly available for purchase directly from the Kotori Audio website, and Tungsten is a really affordable, entry-level cable that might make sense for Entry-Level IEMs, Midrange IEMs and Flagships IEMs too. Basically, this is a good option, at least from a price perspective, to offer an upgrade to all your IEMs, regardless of their price point. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases, and using the purchase links in my reviews helps me maintain this website and Youtube channel. 

I’d like to thank Kotori Audio for providing the sample for this review, in exchange for my honest opinion. Audiophile-Heaven has no affiliation with Kotori Audio beyond this review. 


Product Link

You can grab one from Kotori Audio here – https://kotoriaudio.com/products/tungsten

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here – https://amzn.to/49Tx6Jp

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here – https://amzn.to/3Tfne76

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here – https://amzn.to/3wvxjE6


Build Quality/Aesthetics

Kotori Audio tungsten is an entry-level upgrade cable for IEMs, having a PVC insulation, a typical length of 1.2 Meters, and a construction that is based on a 28 AWG, 4 Braid or 8-Braids. It comes with AEC connectors, and a premium Kotori Audio Y-Splitter. 

The whole idea of the cable is to give a deeper, more impactful bass, to have a darker tonality, to thicken and make the midrange a bit darker, and to create a laid-back and smooth sound. This means that it would ideally be paired with brighter, sharper sounding IEMs that are fatiguing, and which don’t have a lot of lows, to enhance those. 

The cable is pretty ergonomic, it has a really good construction quality, and I’ve seen cables that are pricier but have a worse quality, Tungsten being really well welded and put together. The 2-Pin variant should and will work with all the IEMs out there, except for HIFIMAN Svanar, which seems to have a housing that is a bit too tight for all aftermarket cables. 

Although it is an aftermarket cable, it is not fully customisable directly, so from the Kotori Audio website, you will have to order it in the typical 1.2 meters length, to pick an MMCX or 2-Pin connection, and to pick one of the common endings, which are 3.5mm, 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced. I think it is possible to contact Kotori Audio and get those in a different length, and with different options for a price. 

Ergonomically speaking, the cable is slightly springy, it tends to have some memory effect of the way it was winded, and it has no microphonic noise conduction as you’d expect from a cable that winds around the ear, and while some folks tend to be very analytic about the differences between those, most of the cables that wind around your ear will have very little to no microphonic noise. There is a bit of a memory effect, and Tungsten is slightly tangle prone, but it is less tangle prone than the default cable of the vast majority of IEMs out there. 

The IEMs I have tested with the Kotori Audio Tungsten are Oriveti Ov800, ZiiGaat Cincotres, BQEYZ Winter, SIMGOT EW200, Spirit Torino Twin Pulse Beryllium, YanYin Canon II, and Soundz Avant. Tungsten works well with all of them, improving the ergonomics and comfort of all of them, being a better cable than the default cable they come with. 


Sound Quality

As is the case most of the time, what’s promised can be very different from what is delivered, and Tungsten also suffers a bit from this, as although the idea of the cable was to have a stronger bass, we actually get a brighter, more airy sound, with more treble, more sparkle, more air, and a wider soundstage, but the bass is attenuated a bit, and the transient response gets slightly slower, with less attack and a shorter decay, textures getting smoother, almost waxy. This is super welcome with sharper and brighter sounding IEMs, and Kotori Audio got this right, the cable is perfect for keeping the bright, brilliant character in those IEMs and their resolution intact, but it does not add bass, instead to some degree actually decreasing the bass quantity slightly. 

The bass when using the Tungsten gets smoother, leaner in quantity, and slightly more present in the mid bass, as the cable brings in more warmth, and more boom to the mix, but attenuates the sub bass and the mid bass slightly, creating the feeling of weight and presence for instruments, instead of actual bass quantity. The mid bass / upper bass increased presence is not strong enough to veil the sound, but it is strong enough to be noticeable, and for IEMs that have a thin or a shrill sound, it can warm them up just nicely. 

The midrange gets a bit more dry, but also grain-free, which creates the feeling I called waxy earlier on. This kind of sound is interesting, you can feel music is not harsher or more fatiguing, but it is a bit faster and more revealing, Tungsten having a rather concise character to it. The sound is pleasing, most voices become smoother and less shrill, less sharp and less sibilant, all while the treble actually opens up, even starting with the upper midrange, the whole sound becoming shorter in the transient response, quicker to attack and quicker to decay each musical note. The best way to describe the sound is Quick and Snappy. 

The treble has a slightly different character too, it is more airy, but less shouty and less sibilant, less harsh. Tungsten tends to keep a bright tuning bright, or even open up a darker sounding earphone, but also give music a slightly more pleasing sound. The soundstage can be said to sound more open and wider, but this is thanks to the brighter treble, although voices are brought forward, closer to the listener. Basically, Kotori Audio Tungsten brings the lead instruments and voices closer, pushes background instruments farther away, creating a slightly better distinction between the two. 


Value and Conclusion

At the end of the day, if you’re looking to upgrade your listening setup and your IEMs, you already likely know that getting a cable below 50 USD, it wouldn’t be an upgrade or even a side grade, and it would likely be a downgrade. With the Kotori Audio Tungsten, it does something different from what it promised, but it has good ergonomics, and it can be said to be a full scale upgrade over what most IEMs come with from the factory. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a cable with good build quality, good support, and if you just want something to replace what you’re currently using to power your IEMs, Kotori Audio Tungsten is a great option, especially if you need something that will lighten up and give more detail to your IEMs and earphones.  


Product Link

You can grab one from Kotori Audio here – https://kotoriaudio.com/products/tungsten

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here – https://amzn.to/49Tx6Jp

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here – https://amzn.to/3Tfne76

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here – https://amzn.to/3wvxjE6

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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.  I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!




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