Firstly I would like to thank Linum for sending me these cables to review, I know cables are a touchy subject in the audio world, but in my very personal and honest opinion I find there are small differences between cables, however they are not night and day differences as some may lead you to believe. I also believe that cables are the last part of the audio chain that sound be upgraded as they bring the least amount of change.
iPod Classic > Linum BAX/Music > Inearz IE-P350
Music: €73.25 - €98.25
BAX: €89.50 - €105.75
Packaging and Build quality:
The linum cable come in very minimalistic packaging, which to be honest I prefer, it makes it smaller and also less impact on the environment. You get a business card, a post card and also a badge with the cable if you order direct from them which is a nice little added bonus. But the cable comes in a small plastic zip lock bag, with a Linum business card inside, that is it. No frills, and you can see what you are buying if you purchase the cable from a shop.
Build quality feels good, again these are marketed as the worlds thinnest and most comfortable in-ear monitor cables, as I would say they are correct. The 3.5mm jack has very minimal heatshrink strain relief, and the 2-pin connectors are plastic moulded with no strain relief. But they do state they should hold up to some abuse:
"- 6 litz conductors made up of 7 individual strands. Each strand is silver plated copper with enamel. It will not corrode or change colour - The strength comes from aramid fibres. Pull strength 60N ~ 13 Lb - The jacket is made from TPA. It is skin-friendly approved and UV stabilized, so it will not turn yellow if exposed to sunlight"
Thus far they have held up well, I find the 2-pin connectors to be very tight in my recessed sockets on my monitors, but this is good as they don't come off easily.
Both have chin sliders which is great even though they don't suffer from cable noise, and the y-split on the BAX is better than the one on the Music in my opinion.
Well these cables are the comfiest cables I have ever used, they disappear when in use and are barely visible, I have no issues with the ergonomics and anyone looking for a comfy cable should check these out. I don't find them to be tangle prone, and they do retain their coil well when stored.
Let's start with the Music cable, with its single cable (BAX uses 2 twisted) the Music manages to produce a very easy to listen to sound but without sacrificing detail. Compared to the BAX I find it to have a little more body overall, which makes it very non-fatiguing over long listening periods. I find the lows to be incredibly articulate and the mids and highs are clean but without any edge or harshness. A very good everyday cable that offers a similar sound to the stock cable but with better overall balance and slightly better detail, along with the ergonomic upgrade.
BAX cable is my personal favourite, as to me it brings out a little more sparkle and air in my monitors, I find the sound to have a wider soundstage and more space between all the instruments. I never find the cable to be overly bright however and again this is not a fatiguing sound, just a little added detail and sparkle, with tight and controlled lows. I find these work better with monitors that are slightly on the warmer side.
Overall I find the linum cables to be a fine upgrade over stock, if not purely for their ergonomics, they feel great and depending on your preference either cable is a good option. BAX is for those who like detail and air, Music for those who want a slightly warmer and more engaging sound without fatigue. The price is also reasonable for a cable of this type, considering it uses silver plated copper and a lot of design has gone in to these cables.
Let's hope they hold up in the long run.
Sound Perfection Rating: 10/10 (great sound and ergonomics on both cables)