Linum BaX IEM Cable Review
January 18, 2016 Luckbad 0
Aftermarket cables for IEMs and headphones have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Most seem to be either poor quality or extremely expensive. I got my hands on a Linum BaX cable with MMCX connectors. It’s reasonably priced and well-regarded, so I had to try the cable out for myself.
First, let’s take a quick look at some of the claims:
- High Tensile Strength
- Robust Design
- Low Mass
- Best Possible Materials
- Microphonics are practically nonexistent.
- No corrosion – never turns green.
- Extremely thin and flexible.
- Minimalistic in design and therefore very discrete.
- TangleLess – the cable automatically coils back into its preformed shaped to minimize tangling. Watch demonstration.
- Cable weight is reduced to 2.7 g ~ 0.095 Oz so you will hardly notice that you are wearing it.
- Transparent cable jacket makes the Linum® cables almost invisible in appearance.
- Skin-friendly and UV stabilized, so your cable will not turn yellow if exposed to sunlight.
The BaX is just a member of the line of cables available to you. The brand new Super BaX, BaX (which I’m reviewing here), Music, and Vocal.
Here’s a comparison of the cables and their intended use:
And measurements (note that these are not normalized to show the differences super accurately, but you can see that there are slight differences in frequency response).
The colors represent:
Red: Linum Bax (the cable I have)
Blue: Linum Music
Green: Linum Vocal
Linux BaX Impressions
I’m going to stay fairly objective here, because my hearing isn’t sensitive enough to really perceive differences between well-manufactured cables. I tried the Linum BaX on both the JVC HA-FX1100 and Aurisonics Kicker. In both cases, if I hooked up both the Linum BaX cable and stock cable to one earpiece each via a splitter, I could hear a slight volume boost from the BaX side. This is likely a function of the super low impedance on the cable, and makes comparing them directly nearly impossible. Yeah, it sounded better, but louder always sounds better!
To discuss some of the claims, they are indeed ultra light and super thin. They’re thinner and lighter than any IEM cable I’ve ever used, and I’ve used quite a few. Despite this, they’ve somehow made them supple and comfortable. The texture of the cable is like a super flexible silicone–I was expecting something like a razor wire when I saw how thin it was, but it’s actually some sort of magical faerie land material that is more comfy than it could possibly be.
How do they feel when you’re wearing them? They don’t. They disappear. Comfort on both the JVC HA-FX1100 and Aurisonics Kicker was improved over the stock cable. Wearing cable-down or over-the-ear felt like perfection. There isn’t anything to support the cable for over-the-ear wear, but it’s completely unnecessary because it’s so light. In fact, this was my favorite thing about the Linum BaX. Normally, I get frustrated with over-the-ear IEMs because I can never seem to perfect the bend on the ear hook, but the BaX sits right every time.
Microphonics are nearly non-existent. Flick the cable or pull on it, and you won’t hear it in your ears. If your stock cable is microphonic at all, this would be a definite upgrade for you. Quick note: If you don’t know what microphonics are, it’s basically like listening to a stethoscope. Noise from rubbing or touching the cable gets translated to the earphone on most cables, but not the Linum BaX.
As for durability, they put up with everything I threw at them. Normal wear as well as pulling on them, hanging them from lamp switches, doing my best Crocodile Dundee impression and swinging it in a circle. The Linum BaX withstood punishment and didn’t even flinch, nor did it deform in any way.
Finally, use is quite straightforward. There’s a red dot on the neck slider that indicates which side is right. You can slide that piece up and down as desired, though I tend to always leave mine all the way down because I’m not moving terribly much during use.
Truthfully, there’s not much more to say. My only minor complaint is that the cable is so thin that it likes to coil itself back up and can stay tangled if you manage to tangle it in the first place. It’s a small price to pay for such an excellent piece of kit.
The Linum BaX is a great value in the world of high end cables and is almost certainly an ergonomic and stylistic upgrade to any stock IEM cable you might have. It’s incredibly well-made and does nothing to harm the musical signal on the way to your ears. If you’ve ever considered a cable upgrade for your earphones, try the Linum BaX. You won’t be disappointed.
Linum BaX Specifications
- Full Spec Sheet: linum_mmcx___v2_1
- Bend Test Report: bukketest_6csf_behandlede_data___packed
- Connector: MMCX, 2Pin, T2
- Length: 127cm/50″ or 162cm/64″ (2Pin only)
- Termination: 3.5 TRS, or 2.5 TRRS (Note that this is known as Linum Balanced)
- Weight: 2.7 g ~ 0.095 Oz
- Impedance: 1.5 Ohms
- Pull Strength: 60N/13lbs
- 6 litz conductors made up of 7 individual strands. Each strand is silver plated copper with enamel.
- Price: 62 – 75 Euro
And I don’t know what the point of this image is, but it’s totally cool looking so I’m putting it here.