As I said in the intro, I certainly think that aftermarket cables make a difference one way or another. You can check Linus’ many reviews of cables for that. But it’s not always a positive difference. Some cables work well with your specific IEMs and some don’t. I’ll try to explain the STR7-Ref and how it affects the sound.
What stroke me the most about the STR7 is its cohesiveness and separation. I’ve tried the cable with several IEMs, and each time I heard a consistent, very controlled sound with great technicalities such as stereo imaging, bass texture, resolution and balance. Of course, the technicality topic is directly proportional with your IEM’s capabilities, but the STR7 certainly scales your IEM to the next level when paired with a good source.
It’s simply an excellent reference cable with a slight touch of warmth, and it is one of the best cables that I’ve ever tested.
The STR7 provided a great sense of texture to the M-Fidelity SA50, PEARS SH3, InEarz Nirvana and Fearless Roland through my listening sessions, and it’s easily one of the best cables that you can have in terms of bass. The quality is sublime, the resolution and texture is extremely good, and the decay is great.
Especially the midbass section is very controlled with the STR7, and it gives great punch and kick as well. The quantity is also elevated with all the IEMs I’ve tried, but it doesn’t do that in a fun-oriented fashion. It just gives a beautiful bass response that doesn’t feel overpowering or deficient in any way. If you’re looking for a reference level cable that sounds perfect in bass, then the Brise Audio STR7-Ref is your choice.
In terms of character I didn’t find any noticeable difference in mids in my trials. The difference however lies in technicalities, since the STR7 gives a better depth and separation in this area. The vocals and the instruments are separated more and they have more space and air altogether. Even with the InEarz Nirvana, which is an IEM that sounds too rounded and collected sometimes; the sound has much more separation compared to stock cable and the difference in this area is easily audible.
So overall all of the instruments and vocal sounds have more isolation from the other elements and that plays really well with many genres such as Jazz, Pop, Classic Rock and Classical. So if you would like to have better and sharper separation from your high level IEMs, then the STR7 can give you exactly that.
I also find the tonality excellent with this cable, as the instruments sound very natural and lifelike. You have great texture and body with very organic tones.
This is not a cable that elevates the treble in terms of quantity, but what you have is basically more extension on the top, and once again a better separation. You have slightly better articulation and there’s more resolution in the upper treble area. Presentation-wise you can’t expect an effect like you get from pure silver or SPC cables.
You won’t get more treble, and actually because of the cable’s slight boost in mid-bass, you won’t focus on the treble in your first listening session. It doesn’t make the highs more accentuated or apparent. But from the technical standpoint, you get more extension and articulation, and also a sharper separation. The level of detail is also excellent, despite the cable’s presentation.
The presentation slightly becomes wider with the STR7 and everything simply sound more separated. So the staging dimensions are slightly bigger. You also get great texture and coherency across the spectrum. In fact, when I think about my experience with this cable, the keyword that would come to my minds is coherency. Yes, the bass is slightly elevated here, but everything is in such a good consistency that nothing sounds extra or nothing is tapering.
Normally, the SA50 has a very apparent treble boost for example, especially in the lower treble area which also is slightly present in the upper-mid section. Every upgrade cable I’ve tried gave the same presentation in that particular section regardless of the material, but only the STR7 controlled the boost like the way I wanted. That alone proves that this cable is something special.
So this is the thing that impressed me the most about the STR7. It gives you a better overall sound no matter what IEM you pair it with. My experience with the upgrade cables in the market hadn’t been that perfect. No matter how much quality a cable has, you don’t have a guarantee that ensures you will have a better sound & presentation because it depends on your set of IEMs. But with the STR7 that is not the case. Every IEM in my collection simply sounded better and more cohesive than what they already are. This feature is simply a rare thing to find.
The STR7 does not change the overall presentation apart from that slight supplement of bass. Yet you gain technicalities beyond the price like dynamism, texture, timbre, cohesiveness and separation. The cable is built to last and I think I will use it for many years to come. The Japanese craftsmanship is really something else and the attention to detail in this cable’s structure is simply excellent.
Of course the price is quite high for a cable. But we actually have options in the market with even higher price tags today. Of course I haven’t listened to them all, but I’ve tried many. And based on my experience, this is one of the best cables you can get. It has a fantastic build quality, a very thoughtful design with high quality materials, and most importantly a great sound.
I certainly recommend the Brise Audio STR7, and for that reason it just entered our Accessories Recommendations with it’s incredible performance.