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.
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.
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.