If you have a good Headphone, not having a good cable will restrict it from performing at its best. But one might think, there are a lot of cables, plenty of brands to choose from, what is the best cable for my headphone? Many type of cables with variety of materials available in the market, which is the one I need what material I should get to suit my taste the best?
I am not a huge cable guy, I look for cables which are best value for money. Spending a lot on cable doesn’t really make sense to me. One just can’t have a $500 headphone and buy a $500 cables for it, it barely makes any sense.
Most of us might not have heard about Shipibo Audio. Hailing from Poland they have some of the most useful and rare accessories like headbands, ear cup gimbals, ear pads but most of these are targeted towards Grado headphones. What all of us can use are their cables, these cables are not expensive and have very good aesthetics.
As of now they have two cables under their belt. One of them is Anaconda, which is basically an 8 core version of the Yarara cable, which I am reviewing here. Both these cables can be ordered in a few trims, they have options to choose for both Amp and Headphone connectors. One can find most of the popular connectors there but the only popular one missing is the 4.4mm pentaconn.
Priced at just $100 Yarara is a budget offering and should be an upgrade cable to headphones priced under $300. I have the Blon BL-30 to test these cables.
One can be bought from here:
Get in touch with Shipibo here:
P.S. I would like to thanks Shipibo for this sample unit.
Accessories and Packaging:-
Shipibo Yarara comes in an eco friendly cardboard box with wood curls in the package for shock absorption. The package looks good and tidy but guess what, unlike IEM cables, Yarara has no accessories to talk about and I can understand that. Mostly because a IEMs do not cross a standard size while headphones come in various sizes and shapes and making a standard pouch is not possible.
Maybe a cable tie can be included, but not needed either.
QUALITY AND AESTHETICS:
Build quality of this cable is very good. What I like about this cable is their connectors which are not stuck to the cores. If one needs to change a connector for any reason will be able to get it done without any problem. Shipibo uses Litz cables for this cables but it’s the sleeves which gives these the required amount of flex and feel. The cable is visually similar to the Blon stock cable but this has 4 cores and the connector material is more premium and the feel to hand is confidence boosting. It is not made of light or low quality material. Jack at source end do not have any stress reliever but there is some support at the headphone end. The single piece aluminum cable splitter functions as the cable slider too, which is kind of unique.
Another feature is the suppleness of this cable. Most of the stock and even aftermarket cables have bad to horrible memory but the Yarara is supple and winding it is fairly stress free. All of this ca be credited to the slightly less tight braiding.
Conductor: 26 AWG OFC litz wire in PVC insulation
Geometry: 4×1 (4 strand)
Sleeve: 2 mm nylon multifilament
Splitter: handcrafted from exotic wood or aluminum
How does it sounds:-
Its well know that oxygen free copper cables are slightly tilted towards a more bass favoring sound with some warmth and that is what we get out of the Yarara here. It delivers more fun and enjoyable sound. The sub-bass extension is very good with nice rumble and volume. It gives lower end notes slightly more meaty and weightier feeling and its rumbles are more realistic.
The mid range gains a bit of depth and volume making the notes fuller and comforting against BL-30 stock cables. Being copper, it tends to lose the extra bit of sharpness with violins and cymbals. Both male and female vocals have natural and engaging tonality with very good texture. The treble region is more extended but does not entertain sharpness or aggressiveness. Being balanced helps with better separation and layering and the separation of fore and background instruments are superlative.
Yarara is not an accuracy or precision minded cable, it has a more forgiving and soothing effect. The biggest two points of this cable are its Stage and loudness. The stock BL-30 cable has a much more intimate and closed in stage while the Yarara has much better X-axis width and the stage is more rounded. Compared to the Stock cable this 26awg cable has much less resistance and sounds nearly 50% louder.
How does it pair:-
Biggest thing noticeable here is the stage expansion which is more evenly spread and well rounded instead of feeling closed in. Yes, it does not create any instruments 90 degrees to the head, which in its own is kind of annoying with the stock cable (where do you find sounds coming at perpendicular direction? unless its an aerial object or your neighbor on the upper floors making noises). Moving on to the general sound it has slightly bigger mid bass volume. Both mid and treble range feels more airy and spacious.
The only problem I hear with the focal stock cable is its intimate stage. All the instruments are placed around the head without much frontal projection and the top projection makes things unreal, again. The lack of X-axis width is kind of bugging too.
The Yarara do sacrifices a bit of instrumental position at the top of the head but brings out better X-axis width. It brings more even instrumental emphasis too while the Stock cable had the energy a bit messed up. Another improvement is bit more rumble with the lower end. The whole spectrum now feels more balanced without so obvious upper mid emphasis.
In this era of accessories revolution it is obvious to get attracted towards the most obvious upgrade, cables. But the market has a lot of options these days and picking the right one makes the difference. I would not suggest anyone to buy a popular or crowd pleasing cable. Be a bit more precise and pick the one that suits you better and the Yarara from Shipibo does very good with a few things.
It is an upgrade cable on budget which brings better balance while making the mid and treble instruments a bit less tall and sharp. It helps the stage and exhibits better mid bass body. Yarara will fit all of those who want a bit more open stage while wanting to shed some instrumental aggression. If you want to extract a bit more fun sound with a slightly calmer and smoother tonality, Yarara should be the a top option.