Strauss & Wagner Rome Review

Strauss & Wagner Rome balanced headphone cable

Audiophiles have long debated the benefits of balanced audio systems, known for providing more power and cleaner power. In simpler terms, balanced designs enable efficient driving of demanding headphones without introducing noise into the signal. Although balanced designs have become more affordable, like the new iFi ZEN CAN 3, many headphones still lack balanced cables. For those unaware, cables are crucial in delivering a balanced signal from your DAC to your amp and finally to your headphones. This is where Strauss & Wagner aim to lower the entry barrier with their new Rome cable. Strauss & Wagner designed the Rome as an affordable yet high-end option for any headphone using 3.5mm stereo male connectors. But can the Rome cable make your favorite mid-fi and high-end headphones balanced compatible? Let’s find out.

What You Get

  • Strauss & Wagner Rome cable

Strauss & Wagner Rome Balanced Cable Logo

Build Quality

Strauss & Wagner meticulously crafted the Rome cable from 6N OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) Silver. This exemplifies premium construction aimed at delivering pristine sound quality. The high-purity silver material is renowned for its exceptional conductivity. This ensures that every subtle detail and nuance in your music is captured with utmost fidelity. The cable’s sleek white design not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also signifies its superior build quality. To be sure, it’s a stylish and reliable choice for audiophiles.

Measuring 150cm (~4.9ft) in length, the cable offers ample reach for various listening setups, providing users with the flexibility to connect their headphones to different audio sources without compromising comfort or convenience.

Strauss & Wagner Rome Balanced Cable Design and Compatibility

Design and Compatibility

The technical design of the Rome cable is versatile and robust, featuring dual 3.5mm stereo male connectors paired with a 4.4mm balanced termination. This configuration allows seamless compatibility with a wide array of high-end headphones, ensuring optimal audio performance regardless of the model. The cable supports various headphones from renowned brands, including HIFIMAN, Meze, Focal, Denon, Kennerton, Sony, and Sivga. For instance, it is compatible with popular models such as the HIFIMAN Susvara 3.5 (latest version), Sundara/V2, Arya series, and the HE1000 series, as well as the Meze LIRIC/II and 99 Classics. Additionally, it fits Focal models like the Celestee, Clear, Clear Mg, and Stellia, among others.

Strauss & Wagner Rome Balanced Cable Sound Impressions

Sound Impressions

So, how does the Rome cable sound? In a sense, it’s totally transparent. There’s no artificiality or distortion from the cable, allowing pure, unadulterated sound from your amp of choice. To test this cable out, I used various headphones from HifiMan, Meze, and Focal. I had great results from all of them, but I’ll break things down into more specifics below.

I started my listening with the HifiMan Arya Organic Edition. With the Rome hooked up, I got an incredible performance from the Aryas. There was a great presentation of open space and soundstage, while sounds had a really nice tactile feel. Bass was appropriately linear, mids sang quite well, and top-end notes had the type of attack and decay I’ve come to love from HifiMan. What I noticed was that the Rome can take the qualities I love in these headphones without distorting them or coloring them in any way. That’s what makes a high quality cable: the ability to present as much detail as possible and preserve the characteristics of the rest of the equipment being used.

To provide some contrast, I took the Focal Clear MG for a spin with the Rome cable. I got a much different listening experience here, and that’s all because of the different characteristics between the Arya Organic and the Clear MG. Where I was basking in the glory of the musical presentation of the Hifimans, the Clear MG gave me a more intimate presentation with excellent detail retrieval and dynamics. What stood out to me regarding the Rome was how it could take two different headphones and help them reproduce sound faithfully to their natural characteristics.

In general, there was no sign of noise with any configurations of headphones and amps I used. I was able to drive each headphone to its full capabilities properly.

Final Thoughts

What can we glean from all of this? Simply put, a great cable should maximize detail and sound quality while staying truthful to the original characteristics of the headphones and equipment being used. The Rome cable does this excellently, while offering an affordable entry into balanced audio.

The Strauss & Wagner Rome is available at Audio46.

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