The Xenns Up houses 1 dynamic driver, 4 balanced armatures, and 2 electrostatic drivers. By default, it has a bass boost, forward midrange, and neutral treble presentation. It does not focus too much on the sub-bass but rather on the mid-bass. In stock, it has a warm timbre, wide soundstage, and fantastic imaging capabilities.
Let this be clear: the pairing of the Cadmus and the Mangird Xenns Up is very good. I enjoyed this pairing as much as I did with the Eros S but for slightly different reasons. Paired with the Cadmus, the most noticeable impacts are in relation to the sub-bass and mid-bass quantity and quality.
The sub-bass digs deeper and the mid-bass presence is even more felt. The mid-bass slams harder and becomes bolder, however, it is controlled and well textured.
The Cadmus maintains the same default warm timbre of the Xenns Up and brings the lower midrange forward. The transparency and volume of the midrange increase so female and high-pitched male vocals sound smooth and natural.
The mids feel more tangible and resolving and the treble is slightly above neutral with decent extension and level of detail.
The soundstage is still wide however it becomes slightly narrower compared to its stock setup. As the soundstage is still wide and tall, there is a great level of layering, imaging, and overall coherency in the sound.
Empire Ears Legend EVO
The Empire Ears Legend EVO is “all about that bass”. Housing a Weapon X and two W9+ subwoofer dynamic drivers, it sits comfortably at the top of the bass-focused IEMs summit.
Paired with its stock cable, the Legend EVO has large amounts of sub-bass which produces thunderous amounts of rumble and reverberation. The mid-bass slams hard and it is meticulously textured in every aspect.
Despite all of this, there is little to no bass-bleed in the midrange which manages to stay transparent and highly resolving. The treble on the Legend EVO is where it reins things back and comes off as neutral with adequate levels of detail.
The Cadmus dials back the sub-bass on the Legend EVO and instead focuses on the mid-bass. As a result, the sub-bass has less depth, and the mid-bass is more prominent with more boom and slam.
The mid-bass retains its bold character where its texture and quality are still excellent. The Cadmus maintains the highly resolving and transparent lower midrange on the Legend EVO and there is now a warmer-sounding timbre.
The treble on the Legend EVO comes off as neutral and there is no significant change. The soundstage was still very wide and tall however it did feel narrower compared to the Legend EVO’s stock cable. The imaging and layer were still excellent.
All comparisons made were completed using the Empire Ears EVO and the Mangird Xenns Up paired with the Cayin N8ii DAP as the source.
Effect Audio Ares S
The Effect Audio Ares S is a Premium UP-OCC Pure Copper Litz cable and it is the first of the three cables within the Signature Series. The Ares S does not come with any silver plating and uses pure OCC Pure Copper only.
The Ares S features a 4-wire 24 AWG configuration and houses a dual geometric design which is slightly different from the Cadmus 4-wire, 24 AWG, and 7-core multi-sized core bundle geometry.
Both cables have a similar 4-wire 24 AWG build, however, the Ares S sports a bright copper color whereas the Cadmus has a sparkly silver finish. Both cables have the same feel and touch and are coated with a clear PVC jacket.
Furthermore, the thickness of each cable is similar where the suppleness and flexibility of each wire are the same. The plugs, termination case, splitter, cable slider, and connectors are made from the same materials with no difference.
The Ares S features the same ConX features as the rest of the Signature Series range and is interchangeable with other connector types.
Overall, these two cables differ or a few areas namely the mid-bass control, soundstage, and treble.
The Ares S focuses on coloring the sub-bass, mid-bass, and lower midrange. On both IEMs being tested, the sub-bass digs equally as deep with the same amounts of slam in the mid-bass.
The mid-bass on the Ares S is just as prevalent however it is slower to decay and less controlled compared to the Cadmus. The Ares S’ mid-bass comes off as slightly more “boomy”.
The mid-range on the Ares S has a decent level resolution although the Cadmus has slightly more detail. Both cables focus on bringing more volume and heft to the mid-range and present this in a similar manner.
Timbre on both are similar and depict the same warm signature. Treble is neutral on the Ares S however there is slightly more sparkle, better extension, and detail on the Cadmus.
The soundstage on the Ares S is not as wide and it feels more intimate or closed. As a result, the Cadmus soundstage feels wider and taller. Layering and imaging capabilities on the Cadmus are presented with slightly more space and coherency compared to the Ares S.
Effect Audio Eros S
The Eros S is an Ultra-Pure OCC Pure Silver and Pure Copper Litz cable. It is the only hybrid mix in Effect Audio’s Signature Series lineup and the only cable to include UP OCC Silver as a key element.
The Eros S attempts to enhance and bring the best of both worlds from the Ares S and Cadmus. It follows the trend of Effect Audio’s flagship cable series by using an 8-wire 26 AWG configuration.
The Eros S has a pearl grey appearance which is finished with a matte jacket. It has a softer feeling to it as opposed to the Cadmus’ plastic and shiny finish. Furthermore, the additional thickness for each wire makes the Cadmus less supple and flexible compared to the Eros S, however, it is still very easy and comfortable to use.
The plugs, termination case, splitter, cable slider, and connectors are made from the same materials with no difference. The Eros S features the same ConX features as the Ares S and Cadmus where the connectors are interchangeable.
As I previously mentioned in the Eros S review, I just want to re-emphasize that both are excellent cables for their own reasons. The most distinct differences between them are in relation to the bass, treble, and soundstage performance.
The Cadmus sub-bass extends deeper with more rumble compared to the Eros S which is pulled back. The mid-bass on the Cadmus is like the Ares S where it is bolder and has more slam compared to the Eros S.
Although there is more sub and mid-bass quantity on the Cadmus, the mid-bass texture between both cables is similar, however, the Eros S has slightly better control.
The lower midrange of the Cadmus is more forward compared to the Eros S and is delivered with the same amount of detail and smoothness. The treble is above neutral however it is not as bright as the Eros S. The Eros S treble has better detail and texture.
The soundstage on the Eros S is wider and taller whereas the Cadmus soundstage is still wide and tall but narrower when compared to the Eros S. Imaging and layering are superior on the Eros S where instruments and vocals have better overall placement and spacing. This is due to the extended soundstage on the Eros S.
Satin Audio Chimera III
The Satin Audio Chimera III (“Chimera III”) is a superior pure OCC copper and silver-plated copper cable. The Chimera III features 4 wires and has a gauge thickness of 26AWG.
In relation to geometry, the Chimera III has a Satin Special Structure II which is similar to a Type 4 Litz configuration. Compared to the Cadmus, the materials used are quite similar with the exception being that the Chimera III utilizes pure copper in addition to silver-plated copper.
The Chimera III is a 4-wire cable where each wire has a silver and copper appearance. Each wire is coated in a clear PVC material giving it a shiny and smooth texture.
Both the Cadmus and Chimera III wires are braided with enough tension and do not have any unwanted gaps. The Chimera III comes with standard silver Satin Audio terminations, splitter, connectors, and cable slider.
Both cables color the sound in similar ways with the attention towards the sub-bass, mid-bass, and midrange frequencies. Overall, the Cadmus had the better pairing with the IEMs being tested as it delivered a more refined sound.
There is more sub-bass, better mid-bass texture, attack, and decay along with a more transparent and revealing mid-range. The soundstage feels more 3D on the Cadmus due to better height and width extension.
The sub-bass and mid-bass on the Cadmus have more depth and slam compared to the Chimera III. On the Xenns Up, the sub-bass had more rumble and the mid-bass texture of bass instruments (e.g., drums) was excellent.
Despite the bolder mid-bass, control, attack, and decay favored the Cadmus. The same can be said about the Legend EVO. The sub-bass and mid-bass had more depth and slam compared to the Chimera III pairing.
Within the midrange, the quality and resolution from both cables are very high and vocals and instruments are presently effortlessly. The Cadmus had more body and weight in the lower midrange.
The Xenns Up’s midrange is more forward than the Legend EVO and the Cadmus added even more clarity whilst bringing it further into the forefront of the sound signature. Here, male vocals felt hefty with more volume whilst female vocals were smooth. Both had a similar, warm timbre.
The Chimera III is the brighter of the two cables though both cables do not lead to any sibilance or harshness. The Cadmus was wider in both staging height and width with a more noticeable 3D effect. Layering and imaging were better with the Cadmus which was driven by the increased soundstage height and width.
The Effect Audio Cadmus is an excellent silver-plated copper cable. From its big, bold bass to its hefty and transparent midrange, it delivers an impressive and immersive sound that is sure to deliver that “fun factor” to anyone’s IEM collection.
If you are “all about that bass” whilst striving for a resolving mid-range and wide soundstage, then this cable should be your choice.