A few months ago, Effect Audio released a new series of cables called the “signature series.” The Ares S, Cadmus, and Eros S were all launched together, as part of the same line-up looking to offer a strong set of entry-level cables that still give your IEMs a premium feel. We will be looking at the Ares S first, with the Cadmus and Eros S getting their own separate reviews. Let’s see what the $179 Ares S can deliver.
What You Get
- Carrying case
- Chamber-Ready Oxford Cloth Pouch
- 1680 Oxford Cloth, Diameter 96mm, Thickness：30mm, Mid Night Black
Look and Feel
With this being seen as an upgrade to your usual stock IEM cable, the Ares S should feel like an upgrade. Thankfully, the Ares S has a great build, featuring a Y-splitter made from- polished and brushed aluminum and forged carbon fiber. All these materials help forge a great aesthetic, with a thicker braid for increased durability.
My review uses the 3.5mm Ares S connected to the IBasso DX320. I used a few different IEMs to get a good sense of what this cable could really do, and found a few similarities between each IEM that give the Ares S a certain character. The IEMs I used were the Raptgo Hook X, 64 Audio U18T, and Kinera Imperial Nanna 2.0.
Raptgo Hook X
I cannot get enough of pairing things with the Hook X. It is a great IEM to mix with different terminations, DACs, and especially cables. When I first started listening to the Hook X with the Ares S attached, I started to notice a few differences in the sound. The soundstage is already one of the standouts of the Hook X, and I thought the Ares S added to it by giving it some added air. This increased height and presence slightly enough to notice the layering just enough to enhance its spatial qualities. I also felt like the Ares brought more wrap-around to the sound, further engulfing your headspace.
My only main gripe is the size of the sound elements. The Hook X may appear a bit thinner than the Ares S, lessening the scale of certain tracks, but revealing more clinical details hidden in its timbre. You still get some awesome impact though. The Ares S knows how to handle its bass, especially in the sub-bass region where this cable can offer some significant depth. It adds this texture that gives the low frequencies a stronger foundation that can result in some exquisite smoothness. The mids and highs don’t receive as much flavor but still retain natural detail throughout.
64 Audio U18T
Now to bring out some bigger guns for the Ares S. Like the Hook X, the U18T already has a fantastic soundstage, but I didn’t get as much air here. The U18T already has a ton of dimension and openness to its imaging that I don’t think the Ares is affecting it too strongly. In its frequency response, there is a lot more to chew on. You get a similar sub-bass presence to the Hook X, but with far more weight behind each note. It vibrates more aggressively, but still doesn’t over-extend itself over the lower mids. There’s a smooth balance throughout its timbre, with a touch of added warmth and sparkle to keep the sound signature enticing while never going overboard.
Kinera Imperial Nanna 2.0
The Imperial Nanna probably has some of the subtlest noticeable changes in its response to the Ares S. There is already a lot of coloration present on the Nanna, and the Ares S does it justice by keeping its texture clean. Still wonderfully balanced with a natural tone throughout. The bass is the strongest on the Nanna, and the Ares S gives it the exact amount of impact it needs.
The Ares S is a fine cable from Effect Audio. It adds some great aspects to the sound signature of a variety of IEMs, particularly excellent balance and sub-bass texture. Some of the fullness in some IEMs are reduced to bring in a more clinical response, but it’s a trade-off I can get past for the added coloration that the Ares S can provide. For $179 I can see this cable being a favorite for those looking for the simplest upgrade for their IEMs.
The Effect Audio Ares S is available at Audio46.
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