There’s a world of aftermarket cables out there, and it’s made of different materials, looks and properties. The recent surge of the so-called Chi-fi movement also brought about a slew of interesting cables at an affordable price. The Kinboofi 8-core SPC cable sits in the entry-level bracket while offering good quality overall.
Disclaimer: I got this unit in exchange for the review from AK Audio, who sells the cable for $26.90.
|Good materials and assembly
Good value for the price
|No chin slider
Packaging & Accessories
The cable comes in a plastic bag – that’s it.
Build & Materials
The Kinboofi 8-core SPC cable is made of eight different cores that are twisted and braided, splitting in two groups of four braided cores after the Y-split. The cores are made of copper and, despite the name, I don’t see the silver plating – so it is kind of odd that they named it “SPC” (silver-plated copper). Each core is individually coated in transparent plastic. Aesthetically, the Kinboofi 8-core SPC cable is pretty standard and has no distinctive features.
The cable is really, really soft, and this is both a pro and a con: the softness makes it comfortable and malleable, but it also makes it impossible to give it any shape and make it stay in place.
The Y-split, jack connector and MMCX connectors cylinders are made of machined aluminium. There are strain reliefs made of rubbery plastic on the jack and the earpiece connectors, so that excessive bending is avoided – though it has to be said they would be much more effective if they were longer and tighter.
There is no moulded plastic where the cable lies on the ear; it could be seen as a pro as the cable could be used with a larger variety of earphones that goes beyond the classic IEM (e.g. the Monoprice M300, the Audeze iSine or the Venture Electronics Zen 2.0 Omega Edition). The cable lacks a chin slider entirely, so there’s no practical way to keep the two ends together.
The last two facts gave an impact on comfort, but it’s limited; all in all the Kinboofi 8-core SPC cable is comfortable enough and does not cause much fatigue in long listening sessions. Microphonics is present and while it is not excessive, it is however an issue that needs a clip to be fixed.
It is possible to select a few different alternatives when it comes to connector: the jack can be 2.5 mm TRRS (balanced), 3.5 mm (unbalanced) and 4.4 mm, while the connectors on the earphones side can be either MMCX (which is the case of the pictured cable) or 2-pin connector.
I’m going to be as concise as possible: I can’t hear any differences in sound, no matter the sources and the headphones used. That’s it, I’m sorry!
The Kinboofi 8-core SPC cable hits the sweet spot in may aspects – build quality, softness, appearance, comfort – and proves to be worth the ~$20 price. It also seems fairly durable, thanks to the good quality of the materials used. At less than $30, this cable is still fairly affordable and its price appears justified by its qualities – it is in fact a good upgrade over many stock cables, including that of the Tin Audio T2 pictured.