Today we’re excited to check out the all-new Iliad cable by Eletech. It retails for $1,799 USD and promises to elevate the audio experience of your IEMs. Does it though? Let’s find out!
Disclaimer: Eletech supplied the Iliad completely free of charge for this review. Headfonia is not affiliated with Eletech in any way. Eletech is not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity.
Eletech, aka Elementechnology, is a Singaporean boutique cable maker that just launched late 2019. Their team of staff however has a long history in the industry. Co-founder Eric Chong has previously worked over at Effect Audio before he started his new journey.
Since Eletech has just started, it comes without surprise, that their current portfolio is still very comprehensible. They have a line-up of four different products. There’s the entry level Fortitude and Prudence, the high end Plato and of course the flagship Iliad.
As one can see, their naming of the higher end cables goes out to Greek history and ancient literature. As someone who’s been born on Crete, there has always been a special connection to Greece for me. So when I saw Eletech’s product-names, it left me smiling.
Let’s get on with the Iliad review.
The Iliad is a famous book of Homer. I think everyone knows the story of Achilles and the Greek who fought the Trojans. It has been so influential that the expression of a Trojan Horse made it into many languages. Although it isn’t exactly a bed-time story I’d read my kids, it is something the boys sure will have to learn about some day. The Iliad is an all-time classic. Which is probably why Eletech has chosen this name for their flagship cable.
Eletech’s Iliad is a Litz Type 4, 24 AWG sized, four-braid cable that is made of monocrystal silver, Palladium-plated silver and a silver-gold alloy. Each strand of wire is individually enameled and insulated by Eletech’s proprietary insulation called FlexiMax. It’s a PVC based insulation, so beware of them going stiff over time. My collection of IEM cables has grown significantly in the past, and almost all PVC cables have gone stiff. I’m curious to see how Eletech’s insulation holds up after months of use.
The Iliad is cryogenically treated and uses a bespoke silver/gold solder. You can get the Iliad configured to match your IEMs of course. There are options for 2-pin, MMCX, FitEar, qdc/UE and JH Audio 4-pin (without bass control). To match your source you can pick between 3.5 mm unbalanced and 2.5 mm as well as 4.4 mm balanced.
The entire hardware of Iliad is custom made and that shows in the design of the Y-split, the plugs and connectors. The Iliad retails for 1,799 USD with the exception of the JH Audio 4-pin version, which will set you back another 50 USD extra. You can get it through Eletech’s online-shop or from one of their regional dealers.
I know Eletech has spend a considerable amount of time to finalize the packaging of their Iliad cable. Once you get the Iliad you’ll see that. It comes in a black sturdy box, that has a graphic of an ancient Greek helmet on one side and a Trojan horse on the other. Glide out the inner box and flip it open to see an olive green leather case that again holds the same Greek helmet on top of it.
You’ll also notice the golden metal card, which is a nice touch, but doesn’t really hold any specific value of use. I assume it might come with a serial number etched into it for paying customers. Mine is just blank on the back. But I admit, it does look very premium and gives a solid impression.
The case opens and closes with a zipper, so your cables and IEMs are always stored securely. You can also spot the attention to detail in the zipper again, as it holds Eletech’s logo on it. Nice touch.
One thing I’d like to have seen is a cable binder. I’ve been told that Fortitude and Prudence both come with leather cable ties, while Plato and Iliad come equipped with the premium cases.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
I expected a lot from the build quality of Iliad, mostly because their team has been previously involved with Effect Audio. And when the cable arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The attention to detail is very high with the Iliad. Every piece of hardware is made of brushed aluminium and the Y-split and headphone plugs shapes play with the light.
Maybe you can spot it, but the splitter does have three sides that all have different symbols on them. There of course is the helmet, an arrow and a shield. Symbols that pay tribute to the ancient Greek poem. On the plug there’s a pattern of golden triangles worked into the barrels. If you rotate them you can see the reflections of the light. This truly is something else.
On a build quality perspective the cable is done very well. It’s flexible and has a slightly looser braiding compared to other cables. One thing the Iliad misses is a chin-slider. When asked about it, I’ve been told that it was left out intentionally, as the slider has been a source for RMA-issued products in their past. To avoid customers having to send back the cable for repair, they decided to remove the slider completely.
As previously mentioned, the entire hardware is made of aluminium, that includes the 2-pin barrels. Here of note is, that the Eletech logo should always face away from your head when you’re using the cable. Simply for correct left/right connection. There also are L/R marks on the barrels, so you shouldn’t really have any issues here.
The Iliad is a nicely ergonomic cable. Sure, it doesn’t disappear like the Linum or PlusSound’s X-series cables, but it also doesn’t put as much weight on the ear as other cables. On top of that I also don’t get much friction noise from the Iliad when worn.
All about Iliad’s sonic qualities on the next page!