Satin Audio - Perseus in detail - test report
The Satin Audio Perseus marks the beginning of a new cable series from Satin Audio called "Warrior Series". The cable is expected to be officially available in January 2022. We'd like to thank Satin Audio for the opportunity to pre-test the cable!
The Perseus is a really impressive copper cable. In terms of sound, it not only exceeded my expectations, it also represents the new quality standard for copper cables in the USD / CHF 500 to 1,000 price range.
The Perseus cable has an EXCELLENT price-performance ratio and should complement everyone's IEM collection!
I've tested many cables in the past, but none caught my attention as quickly as the Perseus. But what is Perseus doing? Overall, it brings more ENERGY into your music - it brings more musicality and engagement.
Its strengths lie in
(1) the increase of the sub-bass depth and the bass quality
(2) the smooth and detailed bass and
(3) the expansive sound production.
The bass structure is a focus, and the Perseus is very good at that. The deep bass is amplified, but not to the extent that the IEM becomes a bass cannon, which was not the original intention.
As for the mids, they are still forward looking and come with a high level of detail.
The highs are not excessive, but neither are they too relaxed.
The combination of fantastic subbass, bass structure and detailed mids makes the Perseus an absolute insider tip and a cable that pulls the listener under its spell and captivates him with its music.
Many IEM manufacturers such as Empire Ears create their own, bespoke cables for their IEMs, which they test and refine extensively. I have tested many Empire Ears IEMs like the ODIN and I can tell you that the Perseus is the first cable that really challenges your bespoke cables. For example, it has a positive effect on the ODIN - an unbelievable achievement!
The following information is based solely on my thoughts, opinions, and experiences while listening to my IEMs with specific cables. I didn't take any measurements. In addition, the effect of cables varies from IEM to IEM due to their components, various factors such as source, earplugs and most importantly, their own perception of sound "and sensitivity to certain frequencies. The purpose of my review is to share my own impressions and findings with you To share with you.
Summary in a minute
Below is the overall effect the Perseus had on the IEMs I paired it with compared to their standard cables. For example, the effect of the ODIN was compared to that of the Stormbreaker cable. Note the following legend:
- Green arrows indicate an increase, either in quality or in quantity
- Orange arrows indicate a decrease, either in quality or in quantity
- Blue bars indicate no change
- The plus / triangle symbol indicates a significant increase or decrease.
Depending on your tonal preferences and the desired results, increases and decreases of certain frequencies can be positive or negative. For example, reducing the treble has no negative effects if you want to achieve a more relaxed treble reproduction.
source and earplugs
For my tests I used the Cayin N6ii Ti with the R01 board as DAP and source.For music playback I used the Cayin Music App and the USB Audio Player APP with the integrated Tidal function with Bit Perfect mode. I used the Stock earplugs (e.g. Final E) and Spinfit CP155 plugs as earplugs. My favorite combination was:
- Empire Ears ODIN + SPINFIT CP 155s + Cayin N6ii Ti w / R01 + Satin Audio Perseus cable
I used a combination of local FLAC files and music streamed by Tidal. I listened to the following tracks to collect my impressions:
- Joel Adams - Please Don't Go [Pop]
- Illenium - Good things fall apart [Pop / EDM]
- Petit Biscuit - Drivin 'Thru the Night (Jai Wolf Remix) [Pop / EDM]
- ONE OK ROCK - Listen [Pop / Rock]
- ONE OK ROCK - I was King [Pop / Rock]
- ONE OK ROCK - Stand Out Fit In [Pop / Rock]
- Shawn Mendes - Senorita [Pop]
- Shawn Mendes - Lost in Japan [Pop]
- Hans Zimmer - Time [Orchestral]
- Hans Zimmer - Why so serious? [Orchestral]
- Andrea Moti - I didn't tell you why [Jazz]
Packaging and presentation of the cable
The Perseus comes in a bombastic wooden box and is securely packed in a hockey puck-like case. The case is made of leather and the lid is embossed with the Satin Audio logo. The case has a comfortable and compact size, big enough to carry your IEMs on the go.
The cable is supplied with a leather cable tie and an authenticity card. Overall, the cable is very well made and the packaging matches the high-quality impression of the cable.
Materials, craftsmanship and ease of use
The Perseus is a pure copper cable and is supplied with a special shield. The copper is "woven" in a way that gives the cable a unique sound. It is similar to how a coaxial audio cable is made.
The color theme of the cable is rose gold which looks pretty extraordinary in my opinion. The cable is quite stiff and not as flexible as other Satin Audio cables like the Athena. During use, the cable remains almost in "state" as it is only half-wrapped. This has advantages and disadvantages.
For one, it means that the cable is quiet and there is generally no cable noise. But it also means that the cord does not sit gently over the earlobe during use. The Y-split ring is therefore important to ensure a comfortable and comfortable fit. The standard cable has a Y-split and a plug in dark silver and rose gold, which goes well with the overall theme.
The cable ring is a dark gray metal tab that offers a minimum of support . The cable connectors are dark silver with a Satin Audio logo and black and red markings for left and right.
In terms of ease of use, the cable is very suitable for IEMs and headphones. While it's not as pliable as other IEM cables, or as I would prefer, it's not overly stiff either. The cable is also quite light, so it can be used for hours. The braid is quite compact, and the overall feel and appearance of the cable are high quality.
Satin Audio offers the ability to customize the cables that you purchase so did Perseus. The connectors come in a variety of styles, including 2-pin and MMCX, and the connectors range from 2.5mm to 4.4mm configurations. There is also the option of using standard satin audio plugs, standard Pentaconn or Pentaconn OFC plugs. OFC stands for Oxygen Free Copper and is used in high-quality cables.
Price / performance ratio
The Perseus is available for CHF 739 at the time of this writing. This is great value for money compared to other cables on the market considering the high quality sound it offers for certain IEMs. In my opinion, the Satin Audio Perseus is great value for money for anyone looking to upgrade slightly V-shaped IEMs.
Cable sound impressions & IEM pairings
What kind of music does the Perseus go with?
At the beginning of this section we want to discuss what kind of music the Perseus would go well with. The Perseus is a copper cable that brings energy into an IEM. The Perseus is a copper cable that energizes an IEM by adding subbass and bass structure. Therefore, this cable is suitable for those who listen to music with average to above average bass presence and a focus on instruments. For example, Pop, EDM, RnB, Classical and Rock are the perfect genres to combine with the Perseus. If you're listening to lighter music with an emphasis on vocals or softer instruments (e.g. jazz) this is also a very good cable for this type of music, although you may find the bass presence a bit overwhelming.
Overall sound signature of the Odin with the Satin Audio Perseus cable
The standard cable of the ODIN is the Stormbreaker, which in my opinion is a 2-wire cable from PWAudio from the 1960s. This is a pure copper cable. The Perseus cable amplifies the sub-bass, maintains the bass structure and brings the mids slightly forward. There is no significant change in treble or soundstage. I found the Perseus on the ODIN very pleasant and it definitely gave the subbass and mids the additional "kick" that I prefer in my music.
Comparison with the Odin with the Stormbreaker cable
With the Stormbreaker, the ODIN can maintain its balanced yet detailed sound signature. In addition, it offers fantastic bass structure and deep bass depth when needed. Compared to the Stormbreaker of the ODIN, the Perseus gives the music I hear even more energy and fits perfectly with my sound preferences. Compared to the Stormbreaker, the Perseus adds more sub-bass while keeping the overall bass structure the same. The mids are just as detailed and smooth, but further forward. There is no significant change in the heights. Is the Perseus or the Stormbreaker better for the ODIN? It's a matter of personal preference. If you prefer a more balanced sound, the Stormbreaker is more suitable. However, if you want an "additional" subbass and a kick in the middle frequency range without neglecting the other qualities of the ODIN, then the Perseus is more suitable.
Subbass & Bass
The sub bass increases so the ODIN has a little more depth. The bass is more or less the same and the Perseus was able to keep the same bass structure as the Stormbreaker. Overall there is still strong bass punch and roar, but it was evident that the subbass was deeper compared to the Stormbreaker. The Perseus is not going to turn the ODIN into a bass cannon, and that is not the goal either, as the ODIN was not built for that. Instead, the Perseus adds the perfect amount of extra sub-bass for my preferences and was a welcome effect of the cable.
The mids get further down compared to the Stormbreaker shifted up front what suits people who prefer to put their instruments and voices in the foreground.The mids are still very detailed and clear, and overall the sound is more engaging. I really liked the effect of Perseus on the mids with the ODIN.
There are no significant changes in the highs, they tend to be on the slightly sparkling side. This is perfect for my taste, because I like the sparkling nature of the ODIN and thus the energy that the Perseus brings into the overall sound. For those who found the ODIN highs on the Stormbreaker tough, the same "problems" might still exist. I didn't notice any sibilants either.
The sound stage is just as wide and high as the Stormbreaker. In my experience, this fits perfectly with the additional sub-bass and mid-range of the Perseus.
BONUS - Music title: For "Hans Zimmer - Why So Serious?" and "Joel Adams - Please Don't Go" you can feel more subbass and just as much bass structure compared to the ODIN. On "Please Don't Go" the drum's initial bass drop has great depth and texture. It is similar with "Why So Serious", where the bass reverberates very strongly in the middle of the song. The sub-bass depth is exquisite and pleasant on both tracks. In "Andrea Moti - I Didn't Tell Them", a jazz piece, the lightness of the trumpet and the female vocals are somewhat reduced by the presence of the sub-bass. In this case I would prefer the ODIN, but only very slightly. The mids are further forward, which becomes clear in "Please Don't Go", where the piano and the male vocals are placed further forward. The mids of "ONE OK ROCK - Listen" sound fantastic and are very detailed, especially on the electric guitar in the first verse. You can hear that the vocals and instruments are well placed. The guitar texturing of "Illenium - Good Things Fall Apart" is super detailed and fun to listen to from the first few seconds. The vocals in pop, rock and EDM tracks sound fantastic and without sibilants. In all of the tracks I've listened to, the highs were particularly present and bright, but not too harsh or overdone. The soundstage was wide.
Empire Ears Valkyrie MK II
Overall sound of the Valkyrie MK II with the Satin Audio Perseus cable
With the Perseus can the Valkyrie MK II retained its V-shaped sound signature. The biggest effect, however, is the improvement in the details and the quality of the mids. The Perseus pushes the sub-bass a little deeper without affecting the bass structure. The highs are still as sparkling as they were before with the standard cable. I really enjoyed the effect the Perseus had on the Valkyrie MK II.
Comparison with the Valkyrie MK II with the Audio Alpha IV hybrid cable
The standard cable of the Valkyrie MK II is the Effect Audio Alpha IV Hybrid, a copper and silver cable. The Perseus cable increases the sub-bass, maintains the bass structure, adds more detail to the mid-range and increases the width of the soundstage. The highs remain the same compared to the Alpha IV hybrid cable and give off a livelier sound.
Deep bass & bass
The deep bass increases and gives the Valkyrie MK II even more depth. The bass remained more or less the same and the Perseus was able to keep the same bass structure. The Perseus transforms the Valkyrie into a larger bass cannon perfect for those looking to push these IEMs even further.
The mids are compared to the Alpha IV Hybrid moved a little further forward, which is a nice upgrade. They are even more detailed and can be heard more clearly at the lower end of the midrange, where most of the instrumentals are located.
There are no significant changes in the heights and they are more on the sparkling side. This corresponds to my preferences and the overall signature of the Valkyrie MK IIs. I couldn't detect any sibilants.
Sound stage: The sound stage is wider and has the same height. This was also a welcome change from the Alpha IV hybrid cable.
Empire Ears Legend EVO
Overall sound of the Legend EVO with the satin Audio Perseus Cable
The Perseus cable did not have a significant impact on the overall sound of the Legend EVO. Just like the Genesis cable, the deep bass is still very deep and the bass structure is excellent. The mids are still slightly forward and the highs are a little relaxed. The Perseus is a great alternative to the Genesis cable.
Compared to the Legend EVO with the Genesis cable
The standard cable of the EVO is the PWAudio Genesis cable , a pure copper cable. As mentioned earlier, the Legend EVO has not made any significant changes to any of the sound frequencies, so the Legend EVO retains its original sound signature. The fact that not much is changing should be viewed from two different angles: first, it may not force you to upgrade the Genesis cable, and second, it shows that the Perseus has excellent sound quality to compete with the Genesis that is a tailor-made cable for the Legend EVO.
Subbass & Bass
There are no significant changes to the subbass and bass. The sub-bass is still very deep and part of the overall sound. The bass structure is of a very high quality.
The mids are still directed forward and carry the high degree of details about instruments and voices.
The heights haven't changed much and still seem relaxed. I didn't notice any sibilants.
Soundstage: There is no significant change in the soundstage. In this respect, the soundstage is still wide and high as with the Genesis.
Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro
Overall sound of the Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro with the Satin Audio Perseus cable
The Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro (Nanna 2.0) sounds slightly V-shaped with the Perseus cable. The deep bass is deep and the bass structure is fantastic. The mids are forward facing and come with great details. The highs are still relaxed but border the sparkling area. The soundstage is about average.
Comparison with the Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro standard cable
The Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro comes with a silver-plated copper cable. The sound of the Kinera Nanna 2.0 is a mild V-shape with front mids and relaxed highs. The Perseus retains the general sound signature of the Nanna 2.0 and slightly increases the deep bass depth and soundstage. There is more detail and clarity in relation to the mid-range.
Deep Bass & Bass: The deep bass is a little deeper and the bass is the same as with the standard cable. The bass structure is still of high quality.
The mids are directed forward and the Perseus adds more detail and clarity.
The heights haven't changed much and still seem relaxed. For some titles, however, they leaned towards the sparkling side. I didn't notice any sibilants.
With the Perseus, the sound stage felt a little wider, but it was the same height as with the standard cable.
Cable improvement points
From a physical point of view, the cable is quite stiff and not very flexible.This means that it does not bend or shape well when in use. In fact, the cable remains partially coiled during use. It appears that the cable has only one "state" and it maintains that state. This is due to the fact that, unlike other cables, the cable has an extra shielding that covers the conductors.
Perhaps this could be improved by changing the braiding or the structure of the sheath to make it more pliable. In addition, the cable does not always sit on the ears when in use, but this can be easily remedied by using the cable ring correctly. However, this could also be seen as positive. Because the cable is more or less in a "state" and remains in one place, there is hardly any cable noise. In addition, the cable is not so easy to wrap and needs a zip tie to hold it in place.
The cable ring is on the thin side and while it does its job, it could be thicker or heavier to help hold the cable better. This is especially important because the cable is not very flexible and does not wrap gently around your ears when using IEMS, which is why the cable ring is an important part of a good fit. In addition, a thicker cable ring would visually enhance the overall appearance of the cable.
The connectors at the end of the cable that connect it to the IEMs look more generic and are the same as those used on all Satin Audio cables. This could be enhanced with different colors (e.g. rose gold) or finishes (shiny metal) to better match the overall theme of the cable. However, the quality of the connectors is very good.
All in all, the Satin Audio Perseus cable is a fantastic cable and represents a new standard for the sound quality of cables in the price range below 1000 CHF / USD.
It made a great impression on my IEMs and certain frequencies, especially in the sub-bass and midrange, positively changed / improved.
Satin Audio really made a remarkable cable. If its lack of flexibility can be overcome, this is a cable for anyone's IEM collection not to be missed!
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