Cable Upgrade Guide: Strauss & Wagner Sion and Effect Audio Eros S

The Strauss & Wagner Sion and Effect Audio Eros S cables

Jumping into the world of cables can be daunting. Knowing which ones to get or how performance will scale is tough. Add the varying price points of cables to the mix and things can get really confusing really fast. So today testing different levels of cables to see just what difference they make at different levels of cost. We’ll listen to the new Campfire Audio Fathom with its stock cable, a Strauss & Wagner Sion cable, and the Effect Audio Eros S cable. With these, we’ll break down the sound quality, different features, and build quality that can be achieved on more premium cables. 

Campfire Audio Fathom Stock Cable

We won’t spend too much time talking about the stock cable because most of this information can be found in our full review of the Fathom. That said, we can learn a lot about basic cables from this IEM, as Campfire is known to provide excellent stock cables for their IEMs. In fact, if you wanted to buy the cable that comes with the Fathom, the Time Stream, for another pair of IEMs, that would run you back about $99. 

I should note that the Fathom actually comes with two of these cables. One with a balanced 4.4mm termination and one with a 3.5mm single ended termination. As far as functionality goes, the stock cable is pretty straightforward. It has two MMCX connectors on one end, and the headphone termination on the other. 

Build quality is quite good for a stock cable, though it should be for an IEM at this price. It feels premium and durable and is made with a flat design to prevent tangling. The Time Stream cable is made from eight silver-plated copper conductors to offer better ergonomics and low microphonics. 

With regards to sound, this is how I imagine Campfire initially intended the IEM to sound. It’s a warm and intimate listening experience. Midbass is quite prominent, with a soft low end and smooth top end. While I find the Fathom to be an excellent IEM, it can sound a little dull and close at times. So while the Time Stream cable is transparent and high quality, there is room for sonic and functional improvement. Enter the Strauss & Wagner Sion.

Strauss & Wagner Sion

Strauss & Wagner Sion cable

Also coming in at $99, the Sion is an aftermarket cable from Strauss & Wagner, a headphone and cable manufacturer that we’ve been known to love here at Major Hifi. While the price is technically the same as the Fathom’s stock cable, there are some key differences that make the Sion a unique upgrade. 

Let’s start with build. The build of the Sion is about on par with the Time Stream cable, though they are built differently. Whereas the Time Stream cable goes for a flat and bulkier design, the Sion stays a little thinner with a more lightweight, braided look. To be sure, I don’t think that makes the Sion any less durable than the Time Stream. In fact, I find it equally as durable while reducing the weight of the cable and making it even more ergonomic. 

Then there’s the design of the cable. Like the Time Stream, the Sion uses silver in its wiring. But what’s really cool about the Sion is that it comes with an interchanging termination system. The interchangeable system comes with 3.5mm, 2.5mm, and 4.4mm termination options. Simply pull off the attached termination and replace it with the termination of choice, and voila! It’s incredibly convenient when switching between my laptop’s built-in headphone jack to a balanced dongle. Of course, this use case may not be important for everyone. But it’s an impressive and convenient addition that gives a taste of what’s possible as you continue up the cable upgrade ladder. 

As for changes to the sound, I found the Sion to widen the soundstage a bit more and punch up the dynamics of the IEM. The midbass transition area becomes a bit better defined and mids get snappier overall. The high end becomes a bit more exciting and the bass gets deeper and faster. 

I should note that these sonic changes aren’t night and day. The original characteristics of Fathom are still there. This doesn’t turn your IEM into a different IEM. It just adds subtle nuances and improvements that take your listening to the next level. And speaking of next level, let’s move on to the Effect Audio Eros S. 

Effect Audio Eros S

Effect Audio Eros S cable

The Eros S is a whole other beast entirely. It has its own unique design language, extremely convenient featureset, and impressive sound quality. this is where you start to see the benefits of a premium audio cable. 

Build quality is top notch. The striking gray, braided cable feels extremely durable. It’s lightweight and flexible while still feeling robust and luxurious. It takes the already great quality of the cables we already discussed, and brings it up to an even higher level. I also find that the cable is not prone to tangling. It’s just an overall very well-built cable that feels like it should at its price point. 

When it comes to the design of this cable, Effect Audio steps up the components they use to make the cable. The Eros S uses a proprietary hybrid system that uses both pure silver and pure copper Litz. 

Like the Sion, the Eros S also has some tricks up its sleeve. However, unlike the interchangeable terminations on the Sion, the Eros S opts for interchangeable connectors. That means you can use this cable with MMCX and 2-pin. So if you have multiple IEMs that have different connector types, you won’t need two separate cables to get the best sound out of them. While I like the convenience of the switchable terminations on the Sion, I could actually see the interchangeable connectors being more useful to listeners in the long run. 

When it comes to sound, the Eros S is hands down a major upgrade. Bass was indeed punchier and the mids were cleaner while staying very present. The biggest difference in sound quality, though, is the soundstage. Not only did the Eros S open up the lateral space on the Fathom, but it also creates a top to bottom effect that is really engaging. The cable improves depth and the Fathom’s imaging capabilities really shine. 


So what do we make of all of this? I think the main takeaway is that cables do definitely matter and can affect the listening experience in many ways. Stepping up from each level of cable showed new technological features as well as sonic improvements. But what’s most important is that you don’t have to spend top of the line money to get a cable that brings these improvements. It was great to see Strauss & Wagner provide a great feature set and improved sound at a great price. However, the Eros S is that much more of an improvement, earning its price. This ultimately means the you can trust that cable upgrades can level up your listening experience, no matter what your budget.

The Strauss & Wagner Sion and Effect Audio Eros S are available at Audio46.

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