Shortly after I purchased my IEM-R4 cable a while back, SilverFi announced a new flagship: the IEM-R5. As engulfed as I was with my IEM-R4, most of us are all too familiar with that creeping curiosity towards a new flagship model; that beckoning call, haunting our thoughts – especially if it’s from a company we have a certain affinity with. Luckily, Sezai managed to arrange the IEM-R5 for me to review in a later stadium. The IEM-R5 is last in line, following my prior experience with a few of their products: the entry-level IEM2, and top-tier offerings IEM-R2 and IEM-R4. The crown jewel of what already seems to be a royal product line – for each cable flaunts a Persian flair due to its cotton-sleeved design, while delivering a satin-smooth sound.
The audio world is a peculiar one; you can rarely have your cake, and eat it too – there always seems to be some downside to every upside, and vice versa. The SilverFi cables boast a uniquely natural sound, but are matched with an equally unique build: each individual wire is cotton-sleeved, and requires special connectors. As such, the R5 comes with a few practical concerns. For starters, the cotton-sleeving makes the individual wires thicker. As there are 12 wires woven together in a flat braid, the end result is a somewhat broad, flat cable, which impacts its flexibility and ergonomics. Accordingly, the cable is mostly suitable for indoor use, although one isn’t easily tempted to take such an expensive offering outside in the first place. Not an issue for headphone cables, but purchasing a top-tier SilverFi IEM cable requires some form of dedication from the audio enthusiast – a ritual of proof as it were, that sound comes before all. But for those that decide to power through, there’s something extraordinary waiting down the line.
Many words have been written on the uniqueness of the SilverFi sound: despite the increasing cable options out there, none will sound like a SilverFi. And for practical reasons, because SilverFi is probably the only boutique manufacturer to draw their own wire – creating the cable from the ground up, in contrast to other manufacturers. The properties of the wire, in combination with the cotton-sleeving and particular solder treatment, result in a special type of signature – the unique SilverFi naturalness. Importantly, drawing their own wire doesn’t mean the SilverFi cables can’t match the competition when it comes to performance – the wires maintain a high level of purity. Accordingly, the R5 boasts excellent resolution.