Disclaimer: I would like to formally thank Geoff Maloney from Aurealis Audio for graciously providing us with the Crystal Earth and Crystal Sky cables for review.
Moreover, a 15% discount from the regular price is kindly being offered to avid readers of our publication. Simply send an email to [email protected] and mention that you’ve read our review.
- Crystal Earth Cables: Heightens sense of natural timbre in the midrange, decay in the sub-bass regions, and heightened imaging capabilities
- Crystal Sky Cables: Strong perceived clarity in the midrange, clearer upper-midrange and sparkle in the presence region, heightened stating and imaging capabilities
- Premium braiding with zero aesthetic faults
- High-quality carbon fibre Y-split with chokers
- Interchangeable/switchable unbalanced and balanced plugs are intuitive and easy to use
- Stiff cable sheathing is not malleable enough to coil without a roadie wrap
- The treaded collar at the switchable end is a touch loose
Swarm, swarm, swarm!
Singapore, or the Lion City, is universally considered the cradle of the portable audio industry by stalwart audiophiles spanning the world: hectares beyond the shores of Southeast Asia. As a Singaporean, I was exposed to the extraordinary machinations of this blossoming hobby at a capricious age.
All it took was a glowing interaction from the jocular Uncle Wilson of Jaben fame to sow the seeds of audiophile yearning. Year after year, the yardstick for what represented my fabled endgame in-ear monitor was constantly shifting like sand leaking from the seams of my palms.
The pursuit of auditory bliss is a persistent itch no IEM, headphone, or digital audio player could ever scratch. If there were a city that could provide permanent relief, it would have to be Singapore, with its myriad of stores stocked to the brim with brands, both bespoke and corporate, from all four corners of the globalised world.
Today, I am domiciled in Brisbane, a sun-soaked city that strikes a delicate balance between the carefree and cosmopolitan. As enticing as the Queensland capital is, the audiophile industry (in the portable audio sector) is non-existent compared to how deeply ingrained it is into Singaporean culture. The impassioned back-and-forths with like-minded audiophiles, the ability to demo an abundance of the latest releases under one roof — the mores of Singaporean life that I find myself yearning for.
Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic to discover that there was, indeed, a boutique audio company based in Brisbane’s backyard called Aurealis Audio. Opening its doors in 2012, Aurealis Audio specialises in speaker cables, interconnects and IEM / headphone cables, each hand-crafted from premium litz wire. Furthermore, the titular company has partner agencies in Singapore and China for the delivery and development of international products. It was a serendipitous encounter founded on mere chance: one that I am grateful for. It is always lovely being able to commiserate with local brands!
Geoff Maloney, the brains behind the brand, has generously provided me with two cables showcasing a pair of Aurealis Audio’s compelling offerings. Moreover, the above cables were based on his expert recommendations for a synergistic pairing with my personal reference IEMs: the Truthears Hexa and IMR Acoustics Dark Matter IEM.
Both Crystal Earth and Crystal Sky are priced respectively at 374 USD and 478 USD (before discount) for the 8-braid variants. Aurealis Audio also offers 12-braid and 16-braid options upon request at a higher asking price. Both cables are available to purchase at Aurealis Audio’s official website.
The Crystal series of cables are fabricated from the purest metals sourced from the world’s most premium wire producers, and strewn accordingly to meet international UP-OCC (Ohno Continuous Casting) standards. As such, the purity of each strand is guaranteed to be at least 99,99997% with minimal impurities from occluding the signal.
Generally, consumers initiated to the cable segment of the audiophile landscape envision a beefy cable upon hearing the descriptor “8-braids”. Here, this is not the case with Aurealis Audio.
Years of experience have demonstrated that better results are achieved with higher multiples of thinner wire.Geoff
Geoff has deliberately chosen a higher braid count than the industry standard of 4 as the base model, followed by thinner intertwining cables for improved sonics and ergonomics. As much as it is a guilty pleasure of mine to pair absurdly THICK cables with comically demure IEMs, I am still more inclined towards what is usable in an external setting away from the confines of my apartment. The Crystal Sky and Crystal Earth permit me to do just that.
Across the board, only cables in 30 AWG bundles are utilised for the entire Crystal catalogue. Different cables in Aurealis Audio’s catalogue are machined from differing metals based on their competing sonic properties. The Crystal Earth utilises pure copper-litz, and the Crystal Sky utilises pure silver. This review is a tale of two different metals with opposing metallurgical characteristics.
Discovering how they individually affect or bolster the sonic performance of my reference IEMs is going to be an illuminating journey (hopefully for my readers too!)
Both “Sky” series cables come packaged in premium gift boxes, with an Art-deco-inspired typeface spelling out “Aurealis Audio” proudly embossed into the centre of the box.
Inside their boxes, you will be pleased to find an oversized genuine leather carrying pouch with an oversized zipper pull. Pull the zips across their teeth, and viola! The twin cables are conveniently stored in individual ziplock bags, with leather roadie wraps preventing their spools from unravelling.
In their default configurations, each cable comes attached with 3.5mm unbalanced terminations; the rest of the balanced (2.5mm and 4.4mm) swappable connectors can be found in the netted compartments of each zipper case. Every peripheral necessary for immediate use has been provided.
The Aurealis Audio unboxing experience is more-than-commensurate with their price points. A gold star well earned thus far.
Onto the next page for the Unboxing, Build and Flexibility…