Review: plusSound Apollonian+
Firstly I would like to thank plusSound for sending me this cable to review, I know cables are a source of arguments in the audio world, personally I think there are small changes between cables, not night and day as some people say, but small differences. I also think cables should be the last part of a system to upgrade as they bring the least change.
Many also buy aftermarket cables for aesthetic and also durability reasons, which makes sense as it makes each individual rig more personal.
I do not believe in cable burn-in but I did use this cable for over 50hrs. I will try and write an honest review.
iPod Classic > Apollonian+ > InearZ IE-P350
iPod Classic > Oppo HA-2 > Apollonian+ > InearZ IE-P350
Dell XPS15 > Oppo HA-2 > Apollonian+ > InearZ IE-P350
Packaging and Build Quality:
The cable comes very neatly packaged in a small card box with plusSound printed on it, the cable comes in a sealed bag and included in the packaging is a plusSound branded amp strap which is a nice little accessory. I don't think much needs to be said about the packaging, it does its job of protecting the cable during shipping and looks good.
Build quality is what a lot of people buy aftermarket cables for, and this is no exception. The cable is superbly built with a sturdy Rhodium plated 3.5mm jack (with suitable strain relief) which will fit most phone cases too. The y-split is aluminium which is nice and lightweight, below the y-split the cable is sheathed in very soft sheathing. The IEM connectors are covered in branded heat-shrink (the logo faces outside to differentiate between L and R) and expertly finished, the top part of the cable is un-sheathed and has no memory wire (which I prefer) it does have a heat-shrink chin slider which is good. Everything feels built to last, and I cannot see failure of any part of this cable being a problem.
This cable is quite thick and heavy, but it is still usable for portable usage. I find the weight helps keep the bare cable behind your ears, and there isn't too much weight as to cause any discomfort, but for everyday commuting I would pick maybe a lighter cable. I really like to look and feel of this cable though, just not the most practical if you move about a lot. Depends on your usage really.
I know some people will not trust a reviewer who believes in cable differences, but a/b testing between stock and this cable reveals small differences which depending on your views, warrant the price or not.
Well this cable is already a lot better built than most stock cables, and let's see how it stacks up vs stock in the sound department.
The first thing I notice with the compared to stock is slightly warmer lows, but they are also slightly more articulate and separate. It gives a subtle boost and makes my monitors sound a little fuller which depending on your IEM's is a good thing. I think my monitors don't need the boost in the lows, but bass guitars really shine on them now with the little boost, you can really distinguish them easily with this cable.
Next difference would be a slight boost in the treble extension, It's not as noticeable as the lows, but the highs sound a little better now as they have a little bit more sparkle. Also improved is the soundstage, they are still intimate sounding (the nature of the IEM's I have) but everything sounds a little more separate without being detached, they actually sound even more coherent with a slightly wider soundstage.
Conclusion: Well this cable is not cheap, and not the most ergonomic but it offers excellent build quality and also a SQ upgrade or downgrade depending on your IEM's.
The cable works well with my monitors, it adds a little more realism making them sound a little more coherent and natural. It gives them a fuller tone with a slightly wider soundstage. So for monitors that are neutral/slightly bright I can see this cable working very well. And just look at the pictures of it, a very nice cable indeed.
It was built to be the ultimate IEM cable, so if you need better ergonomics there are better models, so I cannot really fault it in that area as such.
Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (excellent build and sound, ergonomics could be better)