When you want the best audio on the go, you still can’t beat a wired connection. And being that many of the best earphones on the market have a removable cable design, the doors are open to third-party audio manufacturers to come up with compelling reasons for you to drop your stock cable. The fact of the matter is, while headphone manufacturers make the stellar sounding earphones that we know and love, that same greatness isn’t necessarily transferred to the cable design. Most times, it can get you by (it has to), but dedicated cable manufacturers often come up with something not just ergonomically superior, but can also release out a bit more of your earphone’s sonic potential.
One cable manufacturer that has garnered some attention due to its ultra thin cable designs is the Danish company estron a/s. Its Linum cables support the several earphone connector standards out there. This synopsis sums up what you can expect from the company’s latest SuperBax Generation 2 (G2) cable with the MMCX connector (that work with Shure, Westone, etc.)
Because of how incredibly thin the original Linum BaX cable was, it had a not so ideal impedance of 1.5 ohm. The SuperBaX was created to cut that spec in half to 0.75 ohm. But it did add an extra strand to do so. The cable is still extremely thin. We paired it with the Shure SE846 earphones, which have a very low 9 ohm impedance. Check out our Shure SE846 Synopsis for more details on this earphone (and its inferior stock cable).
- Incredibly thin and lightweight (barely feels like there’s anything the ears)
- Solidly built through-and-through
- MMCX connectors fit perfectly
- No noticeable microphonics
- Silver-plated cooper litz material
- Different connector options when buying (MMCX, 2-Pin, T2), with 2.5mm Balanced termination option coming in the future.
- Sounds great
- Light weight can make the setup earphone-heavy
- Thinness makes it feel fragile
- Plastic connectors all around don’t look premium
- Naturally prone to tangles
- Not the cheapest third-party cable, at $222
- No options to customize the looks or connector material when buying
What it’s like to use
- The included carrying case is nicely made, but it’s much bigger than it should be for a cable this small.
- Cable is made of four tightly-wound strands (splits to thinner two-strand winding from the Y-connector to each earpiece), each with its own thin shrink-wrapping.
- Because the two-strand portion of the cable is so thin, the setup can be heavy at the earpieces (depending the earphone) – just something you have to get used to when handling it.
- All the connectors (including the chin slider) are all small black plastic pieces. They don’t look so premium, but feel a little better with a soft-touch finish.
- The MMCX connections are firm and secure (fit the SE846 perfectly) and have a visual blue and red dot for left and right earpieces, respectively.
- There is no around-ear memory wire. Therefore, when donning the earphones, the cable likes to spring up and out at first (because of how thin it is) but stay in place thereafter. Once it’s on, you barely feel the cable.
- The cable easily becomes a tangled mess – just the nature of a super thin cable.
- The chin slider isn’t the firmest, but it functions adequately.
- Cable is a decent 50″ length.
- Sound from this cable is very clean and sharp. This makes nice for articulation and separation. Great for analytical listeners.
- There’s a detectable improvement to airyness versus from the stock cable. This makes the soundstage seem larger. That said, soundstage isn’t the widest.
- Great tone, balance (no frequency range is elevated), and dynamics.
- No notable sound quality disadvantage versus the stock cable.
We’ve ended up very satisfied with Linum’s latest SuperBaX G2 cable. Any gripes we’ve noted are minor for the most part. Some things are unavoidable when you make the thinnest and most comfortable cable. Probably the biggest con is the +$200 price tag. But in the grand scheme of things, this is a mid-range price for a premium cable, which the SuperBaX is. That said, it doesn’t do premium with flair, but with sturdy construction.
We were glad that the ultra thin cable design did not sacrifice sound quality. And this SuperBax version is friendly with sensitive earphones and low output impedance sources. One last great thing is you can finally pick it up on Amazon. For the longest time, the small company only sold it on its website’s online store.