My cable journey so far has focussed on IEM cables, that’s why I can’t make many comparisons to other cables in this review. One other headphone cable I can compare the Prion4 to though, that’s Nordost’s Heimdall 2. For those who don’t know the brand, they are pretty well regarded in the two channel HiFi scene. Here they are one of the bigger players. In our headphone dominated world they don’t play such a big role.
Nordost – Heimdall 2 (799$)
The Heimdall comes in a whole thousand Dollars cheaper, but it is the only other headphone cable I can compare the Prion4 to, so it has to serve now.
When I first held the Heimdall 2 cable in my hands I was surprised, but not in a good way. The build quality is definitely not up there with its price, with just 32 AWG it uses the smallest wires I have seen in any cable. The red plastic sleeving is utter crap and even with good care it has broken open already. All of those I am not worried about with my Prion4. It looks like I could use it to tow a car, whereas I wouldn’t even use the Nordost to hang up sheets…
The DHC has a darker background and higher resolution. It brings out fine details of information which get overlooked by the Nordost. The Prion4 creates a wider and deeper soundstage with better imaging and layering. It brings out the tones and notes so clean that every instrument sounds lifelike and well pronounced, all of which the Nordost doesn’t achieve as well.
At times the Heimdall can sound a bit squeaky, especially in the upper mids and highs. This is where the Prion4 stays in control with a nicely smoothed out sound. The DHC bests the Nordost in pretty much every aspect. The only thing that the Heimdall brings that the DHC misses out on is the adapter set. Nordost delivers their cables terminated to 4 Pin XLR and ships two adapters to 3.5 and 6.35 mm. Both of which have to be bought optionally from DHC… Other than that the DHC trumps the Nordost.
I loved the Empyrean in its stock configuration, but with the Prion4 it really stepped up to a higher level. The Prion4 adds a sense of space, a deep black background and a certain smoothness in the treble which makes the Empyrean an even bigger delight to listen to.
DHC has made a lasting impression on me with their Clone Fusion last year, and when I got asked to review another cable of theirs with the PEERLESS plug it was a no-brainer for me. After trying out two of their cables, I am confident to say, that they produce some of the very finest cables in the industry.
The Prion4 comes at a hefty price, that’s for sure, but it represents one of the biggest improvements I heard in any cable so far. It is definitely one of the best cables out there and it deserves its spot on our Best Accessories list.
Chapeau Double Helix Cables!