The Luminox cable was paired up with the following in-ear monitors where the cable (i.e., Cable I, II, or III) with the most impact has been analyzed in further detail.
Empire Ears Odin
The Empire Ears Odin is a tri-brid IEM and comes kitted with 11 drivers; 2 dynamic drivers (Weapon 9+), 5 balanced armatures, and 4 electrostatic drivers.
The ODIN is a detail monster and is able to captivate its listeners with its deep sub-bass, mid-bass boost, very forward upper mid-range, and sparkly treble. All of this is supported by a wide, tall, and deep soundstage. The Odin comes with the Stormbreaker as its stock cable which is akin to a PWAudio 1960s 2-wire cable.
Cable II or the Silver-Plated OCC Copper cable was the best match-up with the Odin. The sub-bass digs deep with large amounts of reverb and is supported by a forward mid-bass which comes off with increased slam and improved texture. The quality and resolution of the bass improve from the two dynamic drivers inside the Odin.
Some may find the Odin to have an overly forward upper mid-range and the Luminox helps pull this back a bit although it still might have that extra “spice” from its original stock cable. The upper mid-range is still prevalent although the lower and center mid-range does come more forward in comparison to the Stormbreaker.
The mid-range resolution receives a small improvement where instrumentals and vocals still come off with a high level of detail.
Treble comes off with more sparkle and brightness and there is now improved extension and detail. Cymbals and high hats sound crisp and natural. Soundstage width and depth increases leading to improved imaging and placement of instruments around the stage.
Kinera Imperial LOKI
The Kinera Imperial LOKI is the latest flagship IEM from Kinera Imperial and features 1 bone conduction driver, 1 dynamic driver, 6 balanced armatures, and 4 electrostatic drivers.
The LOKI comes in two versions (Chinese & Standard). The standard version was used for the analysis. The LOKI is pure sonic bliss. It delivers an ultra-detailed mid-range presentation which is backed up by a mid-bass boost, deep sub-bass, and sparkly treble. The soundstage is ultra-wide, tall, and deep giving a holographic aura to it.
The LOKI comes with 2 stock cables. The main one is the Ares S cable with a second Kinera-branded Imperial silver-plated copper cable.
Similar to the ODIN, cable II or the Silver-Plated OCC Copper cable was paired with the LOKI however with different results. The LOKI focuses more on the sub-bass compared to the mid-bass and the Luminox changes this. The sub-bass still digs deep and at similar levels when it is paired with its stock cable.
However, the mid-bass receives a slight boost, gains more slam, and is slower to decay. Mid-bass texture is excellent along with the improved quality and resolution.
The presentation of the mid-range changes slightly as the lower and center mid-range becomes less forward. The upper mid-range remains intact. There is a change in timbre as the LOKI becomes warmer. Vocals and instrumentals sound more organic however with less quality and resolution.
The treble is sparkly with similar extension and quality and less brightness. The soundstage is where the biggest difference can be found.
The soundstage on the Luminox has less width, depth, and height thus removing the holographic finish of the LOKI to make it more of an intimate setting. As a result, imaging and separation are still very good but not superior compared to the stock cable.
For the select comparisons section, we used the Luminox cable’s “Cable II” setting as a benchmark as this resulted in the best average pairing as noted earlier in the article. From this, we compared the Luminox against the other cables noted below.
PLUSSOUND Silver Plated Copper XL
The PLUSSOUND Silver Plated Copper XL (SPC XL) comes with UP-OCC, silver-plated copper as its base material. The base material here is similar to those used by the Luminox cable.
The standout feature is that the SPC XL houses PLUSSOUND’S newest cable technology as it comes in a 6×6 type Litz, 18 AWG gauge, and a 2-wire construction. The SPC XL is thicker than the Luminox’s 21.5 AWG gauge.
The 6×6 Litz construction means that PLUSSOUND was able to significantly increase the number of bundles of each wire to 36. This is significantly higher than the Luminox’s Type 4 Litz configuration.
The SPC XL wire is finished with a threadlike texture and has a sparkly silver finish to represent its silver-plating properties. The color leans more towards a light, grey silver and resembles that closely of the Luminox cable.
The splitter and cable plug feel robust and are made of high-quality materials. The connectors are excellently designed and have a small gold cone that leads into the black barrel or connector itself. On the inside of the connector, a small “PS” or PLUSSOUND logo can be found.
Both the SPC XL and Luminox cable color the sub-bass in a similar way where it is allowed to dig deep and provide a lot of reverb to the sound. There is a difference in the mid-bass coloration as the SPC XL does push forward the mid-bass an extra notch resulting in more slam and slower decay to bass notes.
The Luminox does have a forward mid-bass presentation but instead of having large amounts of slam-like on the SPC XL, it focuses more on the bass texture and quality instead.
With regard to the lower and center mid-range, the SPC XL has a much more forward presentation compared to the Luminox. The Luminox does bring forward the lower and center mid-range but it is not as far forward resulting in a more linear presentation as the upper mid-range is also drawn back.
Mid-range notes come off as thicker and with more volume on the SPC XL. The quality and resolution of the mid-range are similar between the two cables where vocals and instruments sound lush and smooth.
The timbre on both cables comes off as slightly warm. The SPC XL colors the treble with more sparkle and brightness. Treble extension and detail are similar between the two cables. The soundstage on the Luminox cable is a touch wider and deeper compared to the SPC XL. Imaging capabilities are also very similar between the two.
Satin Audio Apollo
The Satin Audio Apollo is part of Satin Audio’s Olympus Series and features a Superior Pure OCC Silver Mix and Palladium-plated Silver-Gold composition. The standard Apollo cable comes with a 26AWG, 4-wire configuration, and a 4.4mm Pentaconn termination.
This is different from the Luminox’s 2.5mm standard plug. The Apollo uses Satin Audio’s advanced “Satin Special Structures II” or modified Type 4 Litz configuration. Compared to the Luminox, the Satin Audio Apollo is a thinner cable with the same Type 4 Litz construction.
The design of the is similar to that of the Luminox cable where the Apollo comes in a shiny silver color which is finished with a plastic or PVC cable jacket.
The splitter on the Apollo is gold-colored, made of aluminum, and depicts the shape of a harp which draws on the Greek God Apollo’s obsession with music.
The connectors on the Apollo have a similar cylindrical shape to the one found on the Luminox however they come in a dark gray color instead of a shiny silver appearance.
The Apollo is the more energetic and engaging cable of the two. There is substantially more sub-bass depth and mid-bass slam from the Apollo when compared to the Luminox. The Luminox does not have as much mid-bass forwardness however it focuses more on bass texture whilst providing a mid-bass elevation.
The lower and center mid-range is presented with more forwardness on the Apollo compared to the Luminox. Coupled with the increased mid-bass, mid-range notes come with more volume and weight on the Apollo.
Mid-range quality and resolution from the Luminox has the edge although both cables exhibit a lush, organic, and smooth mid-range. Timbre from the Apollo comes off with more warmth compared to the Luminox.
Treble is colored with more sparkle and energy from the Apollo however the Luminox does exhibit better extension and overall detail. The soundstage on the Apollo is not as wide, tall, or deep compared to the Luminox which results in a more intimate staging. Imaging is slightly improved from the Luminox given its wider and more expansive soundstage.
At a flick of a switch, quite literally, audiophiles are able to change between 3 different timbres and wire materials to produce a wide range of performance changes with paired IEMs.
The Luminox Audio Luminox exhibits one of the most innovative pieces of engineering the aftermarket cable industry has seen to date and provides an extra layer of versatility to anyone’s audio gear.
Each cable provides its own coloration, and it is bound to capture the interest of all audiophiles alike. If you have not yet had time to check out the Luminox flagship cable, maybe it is time to make the “switch”.