Josh, the Cable Guru: Satin Audio Perseus (P)Review
Satin Audio - Perseus in detail - test report
The Satin Audio Perseus marks the beginning of a new line of cables from Satin Audio called the "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 is EXCELLENT value for money and should add to anyone's IEM collection!
I've tested many cables in the past, but none caught my attention as quickly as the Perseus. But what does Perseus do? Overall, it brings more ENERGY to your music - it brings more musicality and engagement.
Its strengths lie in
(1) the increase in sub-bass depth and bass quality
(2) the smooth and detailed bass and
(3) the expansive sound staging.
Bass structure is a focus and the Perseus is very good in this area. The low bass is boosted, 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-thinking and come with a high level of detail.
The highs are not exaggerated, but not too relaxed either.
The combination of fantastic sub-bass, bass structure and detailed mids makes the Perseus an absolute insider tip and a cable that captivates the listener and captivates him with his music.
Many IEM manufacturers like Empire Ears create their own custom cables for their IEMs which they extensively test and refine. 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 their custom cables. For example, it has a positive effect on the ODIN - an incredible achievement!
The following information is based solely on my thoughts, opinions and experiences 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, earbuds and most importantly "one's own perception of sound" and sensitivity to certain frequencies. The purpose of my review is to share my own impressions and findings with to share with you.
Summary in a minute
Below is the overall effect of the Perseus on the IEMs I've paired it with versus their stock cables. For example, the performance of the ODIN was compared to that of the Stormbreaker cable. Note the following legend:
- Green arrows indicate an increase, either in quality or quantity
- Orange arrows indicate a decrease in either quality or quantity
- Blue bars indicate no change
- The plus/triangle sign indicates a significant increase or decrease.
Depending on your sonic preferences and desired results, boosts and cuts of specific frequencies can be positive or negative. For example, reducing the treble has no negative effect if you want a more relaxed treble response.
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. As earplugs I used the Stock earplugs (e.g. Final E) and Spinfit CP155 plugs. My favorite combo 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 from Tidal. I listened to the following tracks to gather 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 - Zeit [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 packaged in a hockey puck-like case. The case is made of leather and the cover is embossed with the Satin Audio logo. The case has a convenient and compact size, big enough to carry your IEMs on the go.
The cable comes 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 usability
The Perseus is a pure copper cable and comes 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 I think looks pretty extraordinary. The cable is quite stiff and not as pliable as other Satin Audio cables like the Athena. During use, the cord almost stays in a "state" because it's only half-wrapped. This has advantages and disadvantages.
For one, it means the cable is quiet and there is generally no cable noise. However, it also means that the cable does not sit gently over the earlobes during use. The Y split ring is therefore essential to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. The standard cable has a Y-split and plug in dark silver and rose gold, which goes well with the overall theme.
The cable ring is a dark gray metal tab that provides a modicum of support . The cable connectors are dark silver with a Satin Audio logo and black and red left and right markings.
In terms of usability, the cable performs very well with IEMs and headphones. While it's not as supple as other IEM cables or what I'd prefer, it's not overly stiff either. The cable is also quite light and can therefore be used for hours. The braid is quite compact and the overall cable feels and looks premium.
Satin Audio offers the ability to customize the cables you purchase , so also the Perseus. Connectors are available in a variety of styles including 2-pin and MMCX, and connectors range from 2.5mm to 4.4mm configurations. There is also an option to use standard satin audio connectors, standard Pentaconn or Pentaconn OFC connectors. OFC stands for Oxygen Free Copper and is used in high quality cables.
Value for money
The Perseus is available for CHF 739 at the time of writing. Compared to other cables on the market, this is excellent value for money considering the high sound quality it offers for certain IEMs. In my opinion, the Satin Audio Perseus offers excellent value for money for anyone looking to improve on slightly v-shaped IEMs.
Cable Sound Impressions & IEM Pairings
What kind of music does Perseus go with?
To begin this section, let's discuss what kind of music the Perseus would go well with. The Perseus is a copper cable that brings power to an IEM. The Perseus is a copper cable that brings energy to an IEM by adding sub-bass 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 listen to lighter music with an emphasis on vocals or softer instruments (e.g. jazz) this is also a very good cable for that type of music, although you may find the bass presence a little overpowering.
Overall sonic signature of the Odin using the Satin Audio Perseus cable
The stock cable on the ODIN is the Stormbreaker, which I believe is a 1960's 2-wire cable made by PWAudio. This is pure copper cable. The Perseus cable boosts the sub-bass, maintains the bass structure and pushes the mids slightly forward. There is no significant change in treble or soundstage. I found the Perseus on the ODIN very enjoyable and it definitely gave the sub bass and mids that extra "kick" that I prefer in my music.
Comparison with the Odin with the Stormbreaker cable
The Stormbreaker allows the ODIN to maintain its balanced yet detailed sound signature. In addition, it offers fantastic bass structure and sub-bass depth when needed. Compared to the ODIN's Stormbreaker, the Perseus adds even more energy to the music I listen to and suits my sonic preferences perfectly. 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 up front. 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 a better choice. However, if you want an "extra" sub-bass and mid-range kick, without neglecting the ODIN's other qualities, then the Perseus is better suited.
Sub-Bass & 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 structuring as the Stormbreaker. Overall there is still a strong bass punch and boom, but it was evident that the sub-bass was deeper compared to the Stormbreaker. The Perseus will not turn the ODIN into a bass gun and that is not the goal 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 continue to drop compared to the Stormbreaker shifted to the front, which suits people who prefer to put their instruments and voices in the foreground.The mids are still very detailed and clear, and the overall sound is more engaging. I really liked the ODIN's effect of the Perseus on the mids.
There is no significant change in the highs, tending more towards a slightly sparkling side. For my taste this is perfect as I like the sparkling nature of the ODIN and thus the energy that the Perseus brings to the overall sound. For those who found the ODIN heights on the Stormbreaker harsh, the same "problems" might still exist. I didn't notice any sibilance either.
The soundstage is just as wide and high as the Stormbreaker. In my experience, this pairs perfectly with the Perseus' added sub-bass and mids.
BONUS - Music Title: On "Hans Zimmer - Why So Serious?" and "Joel Adams - Please Don't Go" you can feel more sub-bass and just as much bass structure compared to the ODIN. On "Please Don't Go", the initial bass drop from the drum has great depth and texture. Similarly on "Why so Serious" the bass reverberate heavily in the middle of the song. The sub-bass depth is exquisite and pleasing on both tracks. However, in "Andrea Moti - I Didn't Tell Them", a jazz piece, the lightness of the trumpet and female vocals is somewhat reduced by the presence of the sub-bass. In this case I would prefer the ODIN, but only very slightly. The mids are up front, which is evident in "Please Don't Go" where the piano and male vocals are placed up front. The mids of "ONE OK ROCK - Listen" sound fantastic and are very detailed, especially with the electric guitar in the first verse. You can hear that the vocals and instruments are well placed. The guitar texturing on "Illenium - Good Things Fall Apart" is super detailed and fun to listen to from the first few seconds. Vocals in pop, rock, and EDM tracks sound amazing with no sibilance. In all the tracks I 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 you can the Valkyrie MK II retained its V-shaped sound signature. The biggest effect, however, is the improvement in detail and mid-range quality. The Perseus pushes the sub-bass a little deeper without affecting the bass structure. The highs are still as sparkling as before with the standard cable. I really enjoyed the effect of the Perseus 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 sub-bass, preserves bass structure, adds more detail to the mids and increases the soundstage width. The treble remains the same compared to the Alpha IV Hybrid cable and gives off a more lively sound.
Deep Bass & Bass
The deep bass increases and gives the Valkyrie MK II even more depth. The bass is more or less the same and the Perseus was able to keep the same bass structure as well. The Perseus turns the Valkyrie into a bigger bass gun perfect for those who want to push those IEMs even further.
Mids are compared to the Alpha IV Hybrid moved up a bit, which is a nice upgrade. They are even more detailed and can be heard more clearly in the low end of the mid-range, where most instrumentals reside.
There are no significant changes in the treble and they are more on the sparkly side. This matches my preferences and the overall signature of the Valkyrie MK IIs. I could not detect any sibilance.
Soundstage: The soundstage 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 had no significant impact on the overall sound of the Legend EVO. Just like the Genesis cable, the sub-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.
Comparison to the Legend EVO with the Genesis cable
The EVO's stock cable is the PWAudio Genesis cable , a pure copper cable. As previously mentioned, there are no significant changes at all sound frequencies with the Legend EVO, allowing the Legend EVO to retain its original sound signature. The fact that not much changes should be viewed from two different angles: first, it might not compel you to upgrade the Genesis cable, and second, it shows that the Perseus has excellent sound quality to rival the Genesis which is a custom cable for the Legend EVO.
Sub-Bass & Bass
There are no significant changes to the sub-bass and bass. The sub-bass is still very deep and part of the overall sound. The bass structure is of very high quality.
The mids are still forward facing and carry the high level of detail to instruments and voices.
The highs haven't changed much and still seem relaxed. I didn't notice any sibilance.
Soundstage: There is no significant change in the soundstage. In that regard, the soundstage is still wide and tall like 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 sub-bass is deep and the bass structure is fantastic. The mids are forward and come with great detail. The highs are still relaxed but bordering on the sparkling range. The soundstage is about average.
Compared to the Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro standard cable
The Kinera Nanna 2.0 Pro comes with a silver-plated copper cable. The Kinera Nanna 2.0's sound is a mild V-shape with front mids and relaxed highs. The Perseus retains the overall sonic signature of the Nanna 2.0, slightly increasing the sub-bass depth and soundstage. Regarding the midrange, there is more detail and clarity.
Deep Bass & Bass: The deep bass is a little deeper and the bass is the same as the standard cable. The bass structure is still of high quality.
The mids are forward-biased and the Perseus adds more detail and clarity.
The highs have not changed significantly and still seem relaxed. However, with some titles, they leaned toward the sparkly side. I didn't notice any sibilance.
With the Perseus, the soundstage felt a bit wider but was the same height as the standard cable.
Cable upgrade points
Physically, the cable is quite stiff and not very flexible, which means it doesn't bend or shape well when in use. In fact, the cable remains partially coiled during use. It appears that the cable has and maintains only one "state". This is due to the fact that, unlike other cables, the cable has an extra shield that encloses the conductors.
Perhaps this could be improved by changing the braiding or the structure of the sheath to make it more flexible. 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 a positive. Because the cable is more or less in one "state" and stays in one place, there is hardly any cable noise. Also, the cable doesn't coil easily and requires a zip tie to keep it in place.
The cable ring is on the thin side, and while it does its job, it could be thicker or have more weight to better hold the cable. This is especially important as the cable is not very flexible and does not wrap gently around the ears when using IEMS, so the cable ring is an important part of a good fit. In addition, a thicker cable ring would enhance the overall appearance of the cable.
The connectors on the end of the cable that connect it to the IEMs look rather generic and are the same 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 cable's overall theme. However, the quality of the connectors is very good.
All in all, the Satin Audio Perseus cable is a fantastic cable and sets a new standard for sub-$1000 cable sound quality.
It made a great impression on my IEMs and Certain frequencies, especially in the sub-bass and mid-range, have been positively changed/improved.
Satin Audio has developed a truly remarkable cable. If you can overcome the lack of flexibility, this is a cable for anyone's IEM collection that shouldn't be missed!
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