Planar Magnetic IEMS - An emerging segment?


I see, I am in the process of trying different combinations out now. I do hear some differences subjectively but I wonder if that would be the same if I were to do a blind test. I have yet to find any cable combination that has a very drastic difference in sound presentation. What I did find so far, in terms of measurements, is that seems that due to the lower resistance of silver cables in particular (or even the particularly shorter cables), the signal amplitude and thus loudness seems to be increased (albeit only slightly at about 2 to 5 db based on my measurements).

@pennstac I do own a set of Stax SR-001 MKIIs (fat cat modded). I found there was a significant difference in terms of bass after the mod than before. In my opinion, it seemed that the electronics on the amplifier was the limiting factor rather than it being an “electrostatic IEM”, that was preventing it from producing more bass. Even when I just switched the battery supply from the AA 1.5v series Alkaline batteries to parallel 3.7v Lithium Ion Cells (before starting the Fat Cat mod), there was already a noticeable increase in bass. I guess there were some limitations back then when Stax was first designing the SR-001s and these were addressed with the many mods that we see around.

Anyways, wishing you guys a happy 2019 and another great year of listening! :grin:


Happy New Year @DanicoLabs. You definately wont find a cable that makes a drastic difference anywhere IMHO. Cables will only bring very small differences. And it is a point of debate that they change sound at all. I am a believer but it won’t change much. Many will say it’s placeno and it may well be. But to my ears I hear subtle differences. Though I won’t pay huge amounts for cables.

You may find that in the end you don’t hear any change in sound for you personally. And that’s fine. At least you’ve remained open minded enough to try it. Also your point about resistance change may indeed be the cause of subtle sound differences. For me personally using a balanced cable made more of a difference than materials it was constructed from. As always it just my personal opinion. :grin:.


I agree wholeheartedly. IMO, cables make a difference up to the point of electrical functionality with a safety margin, but then (at best) they may slightly change the color one way or another. I strongly advocate buying low priced balanced cables, and spending more money on better headphones, balanced amps, and balanced DACs. In that order.

Recently I’ve been testing the resistance (ohms) on a whole lot of cables with my multimeter. With probe-to-probe contact it reads 0.2 or 0.3 ohms. With any cable I’ve tried it reads 0.4 to 0.9 ohms.

Regarding balanced cables, their potential impact can be demonstrated very simply with a multimeter. For example, I tested a TRS connector on one set of headphones – ground to left ~75 ohms, ground to right ~75 ohms. Left to right ~150 ohms. So, the common ground doubles the resistance and clearly can carry a signal to the other channel. With a balanced TRRS cable there’s no way to directly connect the left to right grounds, and no way to cause substantial interference with the other channel [barring shielding issues and cable damage.]


I’ll be getting a loaner of the RHA CL2 soon from RHA. Excited to hear what the polarizing fuss is all about. The measurements show some crazy upper-mid spike that seems to be very polarizing. I tried to EQ my UM ME1 to have the same measurement response and it was weird, but I’m excited to hear it for real now.


Wow nice! Will you be posting any review of it? :grin:


I’ll probably post some impressions for sure


I this the RHA iem with Ceramic driver? I should probably look this up myself. :grin:. Anyway it’ll be good to hear your impressions.