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Review: Beat Audio Orbit Saga

Special thanks once again to  Beat Audio’s Stephen Guo, in association with MusicTeck, for making this review possible.

My first introduction to Beat Audio’s unique visual style and tuning was the pairing of its 8-wire Billow Mk II and Oslo Mk IV cables. 

I encourage you to read that review not only as a background to the company and its cable-making philosophies – which I’ll only briefly skim over here – but also as context to what it’s ambitiously trying to do with Orbit Saga, the undisputed ultra flagship of the range. 

From what I understand, Orbit Saga is the follow-up to Beat’s Astrolabe, an audacious, cost-no-object cable that used world-first cable geometry and metallurgy techniques to create a unique signature.

It was apparently so difficult and costly to build Astrolabe that only ten of these cables were made, and immediately sold, in celebration of Beat’s 10-year anniversary. Rumour has it that Astrolabe’s offcut material was subsequently destroyed so that no repeat cables of the same type could be made again.

At the same time, and because of Astrolabe’s popularity, Beat set out to create a new flagship, using the same techniques pioneered for Astrolabe.

And so, Orbit Saga was born, a cable whose name somewhat lost in translation, but which is unquestionably a direct descendant of Beat’s crowning achievement (the literal translation of Astrolabe is Astral Plate, and Orbit Saga is Star Ring). 

Straight into orbit 

Right off the bat, you can tell that Orbit Saga is made different. Unlike Billow and Oslo’s bold yellow-gold and purple colouring respectively, Orbit’s is a more regal, understated duotone of emerald green and black, using the distinctive gold-hued hardware for contrast, and neatly braided in either 4-wire ($4,999) or 8-wire ($7,299) configurations. 

Those numbers aren’t typos, by the way. Orbit, like Astrolabe before it, is eye-wateringly expensive, especially in its optimal 8-wire configuration. I’m not even going to bother getting into a discussion about value for money or even price-performance. At this level it’s quite simple: if you’re someone who can comfortably afford a cost-no-object cable, then there’s no issue. And if you can’t, then this review will be academic to you anyway. 

But I digress, this is a very different cable to just about anything else I’ve seen on the market. It looks different; it uses a variety of different, exotic materials; and it features a geometry that very few, if any, other cables adopt at any price point. 

This is a cable that, according to Beat, sets out to improve everything about the sound of your IEMs, and “represents the ideal sound that [they] have been trying to reach for the first decade of [their] brand history”. By refining and optimising the signal, end-to-end, it seeks to max out the potential performance of your IEMs, making them the very best they can be.

Now, whether or not it actually achieves these lofty ideals, even in part, remain to be seen. But before we get to that, a brief rundown of the techs and specs. 

Techs and specs

Dual Spiral Design. Beat claims that Astrolabe was the first cable ever made to use a dual spiral design in its construction, and Orbit uses the exact same blueprint. The ‘spirals’ are made up of two separate metals, pure copper and pure silver, flattened into micromillimeter-thin ribbons, and spiralled in a helix-like pattern around the core wires. 

The ribbons act as both surface conductors for tuning, and shielding – though not in the traditional way non-conductive shielding layers are used in other cables. If you look carefully through the translucent cable sheath below, you can see the dual spirals glinting in the light. 

Multi Element Alloys. Unlike many other cable makers that espouse the virtues of high-purity, single-material cables, Beat believes that ‘purity isn’t everything’. As such, they purposefully experiment with different blends of metals and other elements, along with mixtures of various alloys, to reach a certain design and tuning goal for each of their cables. 

This was true of Billow, Oslo, and now Orbit Saga, which takes the complexity up a notch. The base materials – ironically pure copper and silver – are used in the dual spirals detailed above. The core metals, arranged in multiple smaller strands that make up larger strands surrounding a central core, are all made up of multi element alloys, each blended in a way that, together, results in the final tuning. 

Both of these technologies add significant cost to design and manufacturing, but the end result is a cable that’s at the very least unique in its composition and sound profile, regardless of the perceived performance enhancements.     


  • Pure copper, silver, gold, and multi-alloy metallurgy 
  • Unique dual spiral ribbons, multi-strand conductors and coaxial geometry
  • Green and opaque-tinted ultrasoft, hypoallergenic insulating sleeve
  • Pure metal connectors, splitter, chin slider and gold-plated plug

Anecdotally, while I find both Billow and Oslo to be very well made, soft and supple, with zero microphonics, Orbit feels even better to the touch. I get an almost snakeskin-like sensation when handling the cable (yes, I love snakes), and the cable remains cool to the touch even on warmer days. Braiding is tight and precise, and made in a way that’s highly resistant to loosening. It doesn’t kink or bend sharply, and folds up easily without any force.

Overall, I find build quality to be exemplary, even among the other premium branded cables in my collection. 

The only ‘negative’ I can think of would be the choice of colours, specifically the gold hardware, which may be less appealing to some users, and limit aesthetic pairings for those who consider this an important factor when choosing a premium cable. 

Packaging and accessories

Note: I’m told that Beat is currently updating the packaging and accessories for Orbit Saga going forward, so keep that in mind when reading through my description below. 

I’m not sure quite what to make of Orbit’s packaging and accessories, actually. When I was first handed the gigantic delivery box by DHL, I thought ‘this must be the wrong package’. Turns out it wasn’t. 

Orbit’s ‘presentation box’ wouldn’t look out of place in a jewellery auction. The oversized wooden box is lacquered to a high-gloss black finish with copper-hued metal strips for highlights. The entire box is vacuum sealed in a thin plastic skin, which, once removed, exposes the ‘hidden’ lid. Lift the lid, and you’re greeted with three objects: 

  • Orbit, neatly wrapped in on itself; 
  • A small piece of the multi element alloys used to make the Orbit Saga wires; and
  • A large, heavy sculpture, made of either glass or crystal, in the shape of a spiralled cable.

What’s crucially missing, though, is any sort of cable case or container. To be fair, I don’t use the ones that come with other cables, even the really nice ones, so it would have been superfluous for me anyway. Still, given the asking price, it seems appropriate to include either a leather or metal case for those who need it. 

A more eclectic collection of ‘accessories’ you’re unlikely to find in any other cable unboxing anytime soon. All three items take up a small fraction of the display box’s volume, the rest of which is filled with hard foam wrapped in a multicoloured weave material that’s made to look like liquid metal. It’s all very fancy, but whether or not you’ll actually use it for anything is another matter entirely. 

Continue to sound impressions…



Picture of Guy Lerner

Guy Lerner

An avid photographer and writer 'in real life', Guy's passion for music and technology created the perfect storm for his love of portable audio. When he's not playing with the latest and greatest head-fi gear, he prefers to spend time away from the hobby with his two (almost) grown kids and wife in the breathtaking city of Cape Town, and traveling around his native South Africa.


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