Review: Effect Audio Mars & Leonidas

Effect audio – High End IEM Cables

 

Effect Audio is an aftermarket cable company located in Singapore that over the last few years has grown from a starter to one of the tone setters in the sector. Their “About Us” covers their story.

The cables we will be looking at today are two of their high-end IEM cables: The Mars and The Leonidas.

EDIT – February 8 2018: Leonidas Black Edition added to the review. – By Linus on Page 3 of this review: https://headfonia.com/review-effect-audio-mars-leonidas/3

Mars

The Mars cable has been with me for over a year or so already and it is one of my favorite cables with the Vision Ears VE5 that I reviewed exactly one year ago. It is part of Effect Audio’s Premium Series.

 “The Mars is a gold plated OCC Silver cable and it is designed and built exclusively by Effect Audio. It is made up of UPOCC“GPS” – Gold Plated Silver. The base core used in UPOCC is 5N purity Silver that ensures great smoothness and detail in performance. With the addition of the gold plating, it helps to reduce the skin effect significantly. As the flagship product of Effect Audio, we are maintaining our perfectionist mentality in regards to our craftsmanship, only the best quality MundorfSUPREME(Silver+Gold) solder is used.”

Mars 1

Gold plated silver doesn’t come cheap and the Mars starts at $999USD. It has a gold-like color.




Leonidas

The Leonidas is one of the latest additions to the Effect audio Line-up and it is part of their Heritage series. It seems the Leonidas at this moment still is in pre-order phase.

“Leonidas is the first product in the newly announced Heritage Series. It’s a completely different approach to our usual methods of crafting cables. Using scarce materials and new designs , it’s a cable in pursuit of the ultimate sound quality. Leonidas pairs especially well with warm and full sounding IEMs, taking them into unprecedented heights“.

Leonidas

 Features:

– Custom Made-To-Order Cable Materials*
– Individually isolating enamel stranded**
– Multi Bundles Litz woven**
– Golden ratio of Ultra Purity Gold Silver Hybrid
– Mundorf Supreme Gold Solder
– Reworked Insulation***
– Customized exquisite case

 *Regular UPOCC Cable materials wouldn’t satisfy us anymore, nor can it offer the specific sound that we’re trying to achieve. In the adventure of researching Leonidas, we went from using UPOCC to completely redesigning a unique custom cable make up.

**Using the accredited woven Litz wiring technique and individually enameled strands, along with our works with Mars, we have successfully and significantly reduced and eliminated the dreaded skin effect & proximity effect.

The Leonidas is a little less expensive than the Mars cable and prices start at $799, it has a more silver-like color.

 

Sound and more after the jump:

 NEXT PAGE

Review: Effect Audio Mars & Leonidas
4.1 (82.86%) 21 vote[s]

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

15 Comments

  • Reply June 6, 2016

    Kristian Lindecrantz

    Wow a thousand dollar IEM cable… Insanity…

    • Reply June 6, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Like with all things people can buy, there are extremes. And if you can afford it, why not buy it, right? There are far more expensive cables than these btw. I know people that buy 8000€ power cables… 😀

      • Reply June 6, 2016

        digitldlnkwnt

        i have seen people buy used, pre-soiled underwear on eBay. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

        • Reply June 6, 2016

          Headfonia_L.

          Hahahaha 🙂

          • Reply June 6, 2016

            digitldlnkwnt

            that said if i had such disposable income for the Leonidas i may consider it, as long as it doesn’t get you kicked in the chest, straight into a bottomless pit. Personally i don’t think i would ever need to change my Lyra’s Tinsel cable except for the 2.5 TRRS version on my way to me as we speak.

            • Reply June 6, 2016

              dalethorn

              It likely would make a difference, but not completely predictable what the difference would sound like. You really need to have it for a month or more, then how do you return it?

              • Reply June 6, 2016

                digitldlnkwnt

                Exactly. I am really happy with my setup the way it is so i would just keep that cash in my pocket. I think this where the law of deminishing returns starts to kick in for me.

  • Reply June 6, 2016

    Kenny Lim

    No review for the Ares II+?

    • Reply June 6, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      I haven’t received that request from Effect audio 🙂

  • Reply June 7, 2016

    Barun C

    Nice stuff Lieven. I was getting a bit disappointed when the Super Bax was announced last month at an approximate cost of 250 Euros, considering the other versions are considerably cheaper in price, but the Mars and Leonidas are just way out there. They are stretching beyond my CIEM budget.

    I get that different cables sound different if not better. The first time I found that out was when I heard the Denon Ah-D 950 headphones, which comes with 6N OFC cables by default, as they sounded somehow cleaner and puchier from pretty bad sources, where other headphones with similar efficiency in terms of driving capability sounded muddy and veiled. With proper sources though, the difference was not discernible. .

    BTW, I pulled the trigger on the Harmony 8.2 last night at the pre-order price.

    • Reply June 7, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      I am sending mu H8P back to Poland for the upgrade as well 🙂
      When is your ETA for the 8.2?

      • Reply June 7, 2016

        Barun C

        Yes, you told me a few days back, which lead me to do some research about them.

        So, I read about the extra cross-over and suggested modifications to the original 8/8 Pro in terms of SQ and was hooked. Then, I saw the pre-order price and I jumped on board, cause it seemed like a good discount price. I saved around $230.

        ETA, I don’t know yet. Will be shipping the impressions by tomorrow. Official release is July I guess. My first CIEM, so a bit worried about the fit. Any advice will be helpful.

        BTW are you going to review the Harmony 8.2?

        • Reply June 7, 2016

          Headfonia_L.

          I am indeed. My H8P is in silicone, I actually have no idea if the 8.2 is Acrylic or Silicone.

          Just make sure your ear impressions are deep enough in the canal and that there’s enough goo all over your ear on the outside. Before sending in the impressions, send CA a picture first to check if they are ok. Also use a bite block or one or two fingers when they’re taking the impressions, also swallow a few times

          • Reply June 7, 2016

            Barun C

            That’s great, will wait for your review. I got the silicon version too, they are available in both acrylic and silicon.

            Did the impressions yesterday, they seem to like the impressions, so I’ll ship them tomorrow. In terms of use, how do silicon CIEMs perform with regard to isolation and when it comes to handling care, when compared to acrylic CIEMs. Hope you can shade some light on this.

            • Reply June 7, 2016

              Headfonia_L.

              comfort wise they are a bit softer on the ears but they also are a little more sweaty. there is no difference in isolation or sound. the only difference will be in the long run as the glue used adheres less to the silicon. It’s noticeable already after under a year of use (in examples the canals get loose but it shouldn’t impact the sound).

              Personally I’d go for the Acrylic version but I want one silicone in my collection for reference

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