Review: Linum Cables

A Linum Day

Starts early, keeps me chasing around Tokyo on various long-sit errands: queueing at city hall, riding city-to-city trains, writing reviews, shooting shitty street photography. It’s the sort of day that doesn’t mind long sits, and which rarely requires the removal of earphones.

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It’s a study day, a walking day, a stand-and-chew kebab day that has me knocking around the city, but neither shaking hands nor otherwise protractedly interacting with people.

Linum cables’s scragginess is all feature, and very little fuss. Linum cables disappear enough that even if you wear thick-armed glasses, they never cant your specs to the left, the right, or pitch them forward or back. If you wear thin t-shirts, threading Linum between fabric and skin won’t bulge our your garment. If you’re on an evening jog, sweaty and icky, Linum cables make next to no touch noise, and they stay in their earphones, and never, ever, hook themselves on grasping trees, handles, or pull when the wind blows.

They are perfect for the active person. I’d imagine that they’re great for the stage, where usually, CIEM cables are spotted jangling out of the ear at angry angles.

What they are not perfect for is the audio festival where you unplug your earphones, dangle them around your neck, leaving your player, or amp plugged in.

Why?

Linum cables are so light that they can’t even keep the welterweight Ultrasone IQ from immediately drooping to your belly button. If you’re heading to a festival, or casual business meeting, your options are: drop the earphones in a shirt pocket, or put them in a case. Linum cables present loads of talking points, but next to no support for the person that wears earphones like a necktie. At recent festivals, I sat twice on my earphones, thrice caught them swinging away from me as Sean Chan pointed at something behind that I _must check out_.

Which is why when I sat at Linum’s booth, I met Allan plugged into something more substantial. Something from PlusSound.

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And if you’re out with a bunch of earphone nerds and are jumped by speaker guys, the sprightly Linum’s won’t do much damage in a scrap. PlusSound cables are better for whipping. ALO cables are better for garrotting.

But if you’re like me: a bespectacled lover; if you don’t have a lot of chairs into which you must plop after handing over a business card and saying your name in accented Japanese, Linum’s cables are the bee’s knees. They are so comfy they nearly disappear, making them the best option for great-fitting custom earphones.

Finally, their prices, while not chump change, are, like their marketing, reasonable, and as easy to understand as their cables are to wear. Well done.

Editors Note (Lieven): As most of you know I’m an avid fan of the Linum cables as well. It was Cosmic Ears who introduced me to them and I’ve been hooked ever since. Sure I still use other IEM cables but none of them are as comfortable as the Linum ones. I do think it even was Cosmic Ears who developed that AB Testing box Nathan likes so much. If you’re an IEM user and haven’t listened or used a Linum cable yet you are missing out on a lot. You really have to try one, but be warned, you’ll be hooked just like us.

 

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

9 Comments

  • Reply July 2, 2015

    George Lai

    I love my Linums too, the only concern being that if they get caught on something with no give, they’re going to slice off my ears. Just kidding of course. Some users’ feedback is that they tangle easily but to me, no more or less than others. If you wrap them around say two fingers and use a short Velcro strap to secure them, then they don’t tangle. One added benefit then is that when you use them, they have a slight coiled effect.

  • Reply July 9, 2015

    digitldlnkwnt

    I would like to know more about how they influence sound. Maybe an A/B comparison between Linum and some more conventional copper-braided based cables?

    • Reply July 9, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      I find the BaX to have the most copperlike sound but more refined and with a little less body (as compared to the Effect Audio thor Copper in example)

      • Reply July 9, 2015

        digitldlnkwnt

        OK that makes sense – I’m not sure i’m cool with losing any body in my music, especially around the low end, but it looks a lot nicer especially when your running around NYC – or Tokyo, Munich etc..
        My current 4-braid is like walking around wearing a garden hose.

        • Reply July 9, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          yes, my Thor and Applonian+ from PlusSound are so cool and good, but a 4 braid is just so uncomfortable when on the go

  • Reply December 3, 2018

    Banchongsan Charoensook

    Hi, Nathan. I am using Ultrasone IQ too (my favorite actually. I love its extreme tuning). Which model of Linum do you think would be suitable for IQ? I have in mind either SuperBax (the most expensive version) or G2Music. While G2 Music is much cheaper, it might be more suitable for IQ since IQ itself has very high resolution to begin with, so adding more resolution through SuperBax cable may not be necessary (and indeed make IQ more unforgiving when it comes to file quality). On the other hand G2Music is design for easy listening and tighter bass, so the G2Music might have a good synergy with IQ, making easy to listen to for a long period experience.

  • Reply April 8, 2019

    dennis

    Between linum superbax or bax balanced should I get for my shure se535

  • Reply March 11, 2020

    Adrian

    Not worth 96 euros. These are very bad quality cables. Ordered mine back in 2018, had to send it back 3 times in the past 2 years. There is no protection/tubing on the jack end of the cable and is very weak. Any pulling will damage the cable and cause bad contact. Also the contact of the jack wore out very quickly and became oxidised and corroded. Now my warranty is over and I can’t do anything with it. Far too fragile for a 96euro cable.

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