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Review: ddHiFi Nyx Pro

I’ve been using Chinese accessory maker ddHiFi’s excellent adapters and digital cables for several years, and am known to be an admirer of their cases and desktop accessories too. It’s not much of a stretch, then, that the company also makes audio cables for both headphones and IEMs. 

Based on my recent experience with Eletech’s high-end cables, specifically Ode To Laura, I was surprised to discover Eletech’s new Versa modular connector system was co-developed with ddHiFi. That alone piqued my interest in ddHiFi’s audio cables, which until then I assumed were made primarily for the mainstream market. I was wrong. 

The new BC130 Pro – better known as Nyx Pro – is a new and relatively advanced cable created using a number of different technologies, both proprietary to ddHiFi, and in partnership with some of the cable industry’s heavy-hitters (like Eletech). 

It’s the first ddHiFi cable to feature dedicated shielding, for example, made with a silver-coated fabric that sounds suspiciously like Eletech’s ‘silver shielding net’ on its upcoming range of high-end solid-core copper and silver cables. 

It also features ddHiFi’s modular connectors, which it calls Nyx Pin, and which happens to be identical to Eletech’s Versa in design, if not look and feel. Unlike Eletech, however, Nyx Pro also uses a modular system for its plugs, cleverly based on the industry-standard mini-XLR connector used successfully for years in headphone cables. 

All of this adds up to a cable that, as you’ll soon see, is more than just the sum of its parts. Not only is it competitively priced, it’s also more versatile than many competitive cables. 

Packaging and accessories

As you’d probably expect from a ddHiFi ‘flagship’ product, Nyx Pro ships with a rather generous collection of accessories. The plain, or rather, minimalist, white box is quite large for a cable, but that’s only because of the accessories inside. 

The first of these is the recently reviewed CZ180 carry case, which is the first thing you’ll see when opening the lidded box. This is a soft, roomy case with plenty of space for multiple separate accessories, like a cable and IEM carry case, and even a small-to-medium sized music player. 

Inside the CZ180 you’ll find a ddHiFi C90 earphone case (with the Nyx Pro inside), and a smaller zippered pouch with spare connectors: Nyx Pin connectors (mmcx and 3.5mm 2-pin) and two modular right-angle plugs (3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced). An optional straight 4.4mm plug, with slightly different tuning, is also available as an added extra, though I didn’t receive that with my sample.  

The accessories alone probably account for $100 or so of the $500 asking price, which is generous to say the least. Whether or not you use them is a different matter, but there’s no questioning the value of the package as a whole. 

Design and fit

Assembling the cable with its modular connectors is fairly simple. The interface plugs each have an arrow that lines up to a similar arrow on the cable end, though being mini-XLR there’s only one ‘correct’ way for the 5-pin interface to connect. 

Nyx Pin is only slightly more complex, but only if you use the 2-pin connectors, which need to be plugged in the correct orientation to avoid phase issues. Again, the pins are clearly marked for left and right, so it’s not exactly rocket science, but if something sounds ‘off’ when you’re listening, double-check the connectors. 

As with Eletech’s Versa, Nyx Pin promises ‘lossless’ connections with minimal, if any, sound loss. It’s also a tool-less design, significantly easier to use and far more secure than Effect Audio’s competing ConX standard. 

ddHiFi also claims the interface plugs are virtually lossless, with “the internal connection line of the plug [sporting] a customised conductor designed to balance the sound quality deviation caused by solder materials”. Without any way to test this claim or compare termination types, I do find this system preferable to Effect Audio’s TermX, being easier to use and more secure.

The cable itself is made of three separately-sourced components:

  • Taiwanese-made 24.5 AWG Type-2 Litz wire made up of seven high-purity silver inner cores each surrounded by eight monocrystalline copper outer wires in a 1:3 silver-to-copper ratio.
  • Japanese-made NUC High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) inner insulation.
  • US-made high transparency SoftFlex PVC external sheathing.

The central core of the wire is wrapped in silver-coated fibre placed between the inner and outer insulation materials (visible through the transparent sheathing). Unlike traditional metal shielding, this makes Nyx Pro much more flexible and doesn’t add significant bulk while retaining the noise suppression benefits of a dedicated shielding layer.

Indeed, I find the cable itself soft to the touch, very pliable, non-microphonic, and fairly light. It’s not the thinnest cable I’ve used, but far from the thickest either, closer to Eletech’s girthier Ode To Laura flagship (reviewed here) than the entry-level Raphael. 

ddHiFi uses its customary two-tone brushed silver and faded gold finishes on both the plug housing and Y-splitter, which also features a cleverly-embedded chin slider in the squared-off design. Ear guides are also neatly heat-shrunk below the Nyx Pin connectors, though if I have to be picky, I’d like to see them made slightly longer and not quite as tightly curved. 

Overall, Nyx Pro is extremely well made, with precision-machined and anodised hardware, and is also comfortably ergonomic on ear. It has a simple, understated design that should blend in very well with most IEMs, and won’t cause any colour clashes like some flashier cables tend to do. 

Continue to sound impressions…

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ABOUT AUTHOR

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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