Review: Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Package:

As my sample is a non-commercial review unit, it didn’t come with the full packaging the Leonidas II Octa comes with, so I can’t speak for the new accessories found in it. Mine basically is the upgrade version and only arrived in a plastic bag.

Knowing Effect Audio and their attention to details, I am sure the packaging paying customers will get will be a little fancier than mine.

Build Quality and Ergonomics:

EA is known for their very good build quality, and I’ve been a fan of their cables for a long time. They are flexible and comfortable to wear. When we look at the braiding of the Leonidas II Octa, it’s obvious that this brand has been around for a while and knows what they’re doing. The braid is consistent and at the same time not too tight to make the cable stiff.

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

The Y-split of this cable is the same leather-infused splitter they have introduced with the Leonidas II last year. I like this one a lot as it’s a real luxury item. What’s new though, is that they have started engraving the serial number on the metal of the Y-split.

If we go past the leather split, the cable sets apart into two four-wired branches. These of course go to the respective signal side of the connectors on top. The 2-pin connectors have metal barrels and the EA logo engraved on the outer side. Please always connect them with the logo facing out, to ensure correct phasing.

On an ergonomic aspect, I am not a fan of eight wire cables. Due to their nature, they pull down with higher force and weight on my ears. Luckily, I am not wearing glasses, but I couldn’t imagine wearing any with the Leonidas II Octa. I couldn’t with any higher wire count cable though. I prefer the higher comfort levels of the regular four-wired version, especially on the move, which I am a lot.

Effect Audio Leonidas II 8-wire

Effect Audio Leonidas II Octa

Sound:

I have been mighty impressed by the Leonidas II cable last year, so much, that it has become my go-to cable for any monitor when reaching the cable-rolling time. I suggest you read up on the review here. For evaluating the sound of a cable, I usually grab one special monitor, Noble’s Katana. It’s the best when it comes to showing you the changes in the chain, also I am in the fortunate position to own two sets and can compare directly to the stock cable.

Of course, the Leonidas II Octa shares the same DNA in sound as its lighter brother. It has impressive control over the spectrum, brings in heaps of resolution and details while placing all musicians on a deep and dark black background.

Leonidas II Octa constructs a wide and deep sound stage, with excellent imaging and layering abilities. What impresses is especially how clear and clean every note can sound with the Octa Leonidas II. It tickles out fine nuances in the sound, and puts them right between your ears.

There aren’t really any frequency changes with Leonidas II Octa, but you might notice a tighter and better controlled bass, wider extension on both sides and more room for the musicians to perform in. There is higher transparency in the sound coming through to your monitors, feeding them a purer signal.

Leonidas II Octa is neutral in sound, but brings a soft and silky, yet forward and detailed treble to the table. It’s neither a warm nor bright sounding cable, making it easy to find a match.

It continues after the jump.

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

    8 Comments

    • Reply March 21, 2019

      Steven Zore

      I’m wondering how much of a difference there is between the 4 wire and 8 wire versions…

      • Reply March 22, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Steven,
        thanks for your comment.
        There is a difference, but it isn’t exactly huge. A comparison between 4 and 8 wired versions is included in the article.
        Have a great weekend!

        • Reply March 29, 2019

          Steven Zore

          Oh, yes, I see that. But I wonder in general what the 8 wire gives you. I’m torn between Eros II+ 8 wire, or the new Cleopatra…

          • Reply March 29, 2019

            Linus

            In comparison 8-wire cables have a bigger sound stage and better technical performance over their 4-wire siblings. I can’t say anything about the Cleopatra yet, but once it’s here, I’ll share my impressions of course 🙂

            Personally, I am a 4-wire guy, as I prefer the comfort of them, and some also sound splendid – like the Leonidas II 😉

    • Reply March 22, 2019

      Bill

      Hi, great review! It sounds like there isn’t really a lot of difference between the 4 and 8 wire Leo. Have you tried the 8 wire Leo with A12t? Wondering how that sounds.

      I currently use a Thor Bespoke with A12t and wondering if it is worth upgrading to the Leo Octa or just the Leo II?

      • Reply March 22, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Bill,
        thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
        Well, there is a difference, but it’s not huge.
        The Leonidas II is one of my favorites with the A12t. Just this week I did get to enjoy it again for two days straight. Had to take a short me-time-break from the review-queue. 🙂
        I can’t say anything about the bespoke Thor, but the Leonidas II sure is awesome. If you have the chance, go and try it.

    • Reply March 23, 2019

      Bill

      Cool, thanks Linus. Appreciate the reply. I used to have the Leo II but stupidly sold it without giving it a proper chance, so will but again.

      I just picked up a Dita Oslo and waiting for that to come in, should be interesting.

      BTW, it was your review of the A12t that made me want to pick it up and so glad I did, thanks :-).

      • Reply March 23, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Bill,
        no worries, glad to help.
        Leonidas II is an excellent cable.
        Ah yes, the Oslo cable.
        That’s so cool, thanks a lot for telling me! The A12t is one of my personal favorites. 🙂

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