Today we’re looking at the new Effect Audio Horus X, their $2,499 USD cable. It’s a new 8-wire version of their popular Horus cable. How does it perform? Let’s find out.
Disclaimer: Effect Audio supplied the Horus X free of charge. I only had to pay for importing the cables. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity. The Horus X will remain Effect Audio’s sole property and can be asked back at any time.
About Effect Audio:
In our corners, Effect Audio doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The boutique cable manufacturer has been around for ten years now and ever since then they have been gaining popularity on a global scale.
Effect Audio is among the most popular cable brands out there, and many enthusiasts trust their products. It’s no surprise that even industry players such as Empire Ears, Jomo Audio or Vision Ears bundle their monitors with Effect Audio cables.
The Ares II is one of their most successful cables, but when it comes to corner stone products, I think the one that has been the most important to Effect Audio is the original Leonidas cable. This one put Effect Audio on the map of all audiophiles.
In 2018 Effect Audio decided to release a new and improved version of the Leonidas cable – the Leonidas II. It is the first ever cable in the audio industry to use Palladium plated silver. We have reviewed the successor of the original Leonidas and were so impressed, that it has been crowned Best Cable 2018.
In 2019 Effect Audio wowed us with their Code 51 flagship cable, which was also awarded with the Best Cable trophy. Now they are back with the Horus X, an eight-wire gold-plated silver cable.
About Horus X:
Horus X is one of Effect Audio’s latest introductions in the Horus line. Just a couple of weeks ago Effect Audio introduced three new cables into that line. The Horus Octa (8-wire version of Horus), the Horus Jumbo (24 AWG version of the regular Horus) and the Horus X. All of these new cables are made to order and come at quite a hefty price. The Horus Octa will put a 2,999 USD dent into your wallet, while the Horus X comes a bit cheaper at 2,499 USD. The Horus Jumbo’s price is upon request.
The Horus X builds upon the regular Horus, but doubles the wire-count with another multi-size stranded, gold-plated silver wire. It’s an eight-wire cable that uses 26 AWG sized strands. When you order a Horus X cable you get to pick between different connectors and terminations. You can get it with MMCX, 2-pin, JH 4-pin, ATH, FitEar and UE/qdc type connections. Depending on your sources output you can get 2.5 mm or 4.4 mm balanced or 3.5 mm single ended. Worth noting here is, that the 2.5 and 3.5 mm plugs support Effect Audio’s PSquared plugs. The 4.4 mm termination is done in collaboration with Pentaconn.
Where the Horus X and the regular Horus differ, is the use of the Ferrite Guard technology. The regular Horus came with a Ferrite bead in the plug’s housing. I checked to see if there was anything under the casing in my Horus X, and there was nothing. It would’ve been surprising, given that the eight wires already use up all the space there is in there.
The Horus X also uses Effect Audio’s EA UltraFlexi Insulation, which makes the cable softer and more flexible. It is a PVC based insulation, which is prone to breaking over time. Especially if you have oily skin this can become a potential problem. I have experienced cables going stiff myself from many different manufacturers.
The Horus X can be bought directly through Effect Audio’s webshop, or via one of their global retail partners.
My Horus X sample arrived in a glossy black box with a golden embossed X on the front. On the back you’ll find a bit of information about the Horus X. Including a false statement about it using the Ferrite Guard Technology. I have informed EA about that mistake prior to publishing the review. Suyang told me that they will make the necessary changes and remove that statement from the packaging.
The cable comes in Effect Audio’s standardized packaging size. When you glide away the glossy layer, you will see a black velvet window. Open that one and you’ll find the Horus X in its leather case. My unit did not come with the leather case, as Effect Audio was not happy with the color of it.
From what I can see, it comes in the same style as the Leonidas II case, but with a different way to open it. It looks like it’s opened like a Zippo. Similar to the case I got with my JH Audio Lola, only in leather. Also in the package you’ll find information about the PSquared plugs and what they are supposed to do, as well as a circular silicone dryer.
For a cable I think the packaging is okay, you don’t need anything else than the cables really. But for the price, I think you could feel even more spoiled. Maybe add a leather cable binder or some sort of nice warranty card.
Build Quality and Ergonomics:
I always considered Effect Audio’s cables to have very high build quality. I like their Carbon infused hardware, the softness of their cables and their craftsmanship in general. The Horus X does things a bit different though. Unlike other EA cables, the hardware of the Horus X is all black. You either like that or you don’t, but personally I really dig it. It’s not my first EA cable to use black plugs, connectors and splits. The Limited Edition Leonidas Black I have also features it. I always wondered why Effect Audio didn’t use the black hardware in more cables and I’m glad to see it return in the Horus X.
My sample arrived in a 4.4 mm termination and 2-pin connectors. Almost all of my IEMs use 2-pin sockets so it only made sense to go for that. When I unpacked my Horus X I was a bit surprised, because somehow the X feels even softer to me than other EA cables. It must be hallucination after almost four weeks of self-isolation during the virus lock-down.
The braid of the Horus X is nicely done. After the plug’s end you’ll see a consistent eight-wire braid going all the way up to the black Y-split. Here the cable separates into two four-wire strands. There also is a small silver aluminum chin slider. This one does go up fairly difficult and for that reason I left it at its original position.
Once the cable runs up to the ear-hooks the traditional braid ends and it continues with a round braiding. The ear-hooks are pre-formed clear heat-shrink and they end with the black aluminum 2-pin barrels. Each side is clearly marked L or R on the inside of the barrels. The EA logo should always face outwards to connect the 2-pins correctly.
I’m usually not a fan of eight-wire cables due to their extra weight, but the Horus X actually is quite nice. Sure it doesn’t disappear, and of course you’ll notice it even more when you’re wearing glasses, but compared to other eight, or even four-wire (HanSound Torfa or PW Audio 1960s) cables, the Horus X is very comfortable.
One thing I want to note here, and that’s the 4.4 mm plug. I have had many cables from Effect Audio in the past, and they all use a screw-able plug design. Most of them open quite easily, but the Horus X seems to use a firmer closed version. It still can be opened easily, but it doesn’t get loose by itself. Something that surprised me a lot however, was the fact that there is no strain relief on the cable. When I asked why, I was informed that the space of the 4.4 mm barrel did not allow for it, and that the casing design would contribute to help here.
The review continues with Sound on the next page.