Han Sound Audio is a fast-growing Taiwanese cable brand that provides unique sound signature and characteristics. We have previously covered a majority of their products, down from their entry products all the way up to their flagships. Kimera has been their iconic flagship featuring a special tribrid design, gaining a great amount of positive feedback for quite a while. Not so long ago, Han Sound announced its new co-flagship model, named Torfa. While HSA offers either 2-wire or 4-wire version, today we will be covering the 2-wire version. Let us now take a deeper look at how it sounds and matches up with various IEMs.
Aesthetics / Features – specs
Just as other Han Sound premium cables are, Torfa wires are comprised of a special tribrid combination. Gold-silver alloy wires, copper Litz wires, and OCC high purity copper wires are combined as well as multiple layers of fiber shielding. For your interest, PW Audio and Rhapsodio are also well known for using fiber shielding to tune their sound, though let me provide a brief explanation of the reason why these companies are using additional shieldings. There are a number of reasons behind it, but the biggest is that the background of the sound would get cleaner as the background noise decreases even further. This makes the background quieter and deeper, providing a visibly better presentation of the sound itself.
Along with that, applying additional shieldings usually affect multiple elements from the sound – such as sound stage, extension, timbre, and so on. These shieldings are usually done with not only the fiber jacket but with many wires as well as ranging in materials. Han Sound have applied multiple layers of such shieldings and claimed to be using different wire materials for each of the layers, such as copper or pure silver. The black fabrics are very refined in texture and stranded flawlessly. Decorated with small silver nuggets to mildly spice up the looks.
Torfa comes with all-new packaging and accessories. Once the outer white box is removed, there sits a black leather packaging which also serves as a carrying case for an IEM. The quality of the case is one of the best. The case can be opened by sliding out the side of the case, which has appropriate firmness enough to keep the case shut at all times but could be opened without any hassle. The case safely protects both the cable and the earpieces as the cable relaxedly coils up while the earpieces are stored in a small pocket in the middle. The case is capable of storing very thick cables without stressing any part of the cable and also possible to store large earpieces.
Sound impression – For Dunu DK-4001
I enjoy bringing up Dunu DK4001 to the table when I find a good cable combo for several reasons. First, although the stock cable is very high in quality, it sonically does not match very well with the IEM itself. Second, This IEM is extremely cable-dependent and very tricky to find a cable that works out well. Lastly yet most importantly, this IEM shines with a monstrous improvement once u nail the cable matching. I own a series of aftermarket cables yet just a few cables would match throughout the price range, and Torfa provides the far best matching with DK4001 so far.
The colorful tone is the highlight from DK-4001 but easily gets overpowering. The great thing is that Torfa would retain DK4001’s original vibrancy and color while reducing the energy of the sound as well as the brightness. It is almost like those aggressive mids and highs have willfully calmed their selves down as this change has been made so seamlessly and naturally. Another reason for feeling such was is because of how it expresses the brightness without actually making the sound “bright”. This is possible because although the sound (or the sound ray) itself has been darkened and deepened, the background of the sound stands out to have a whitish color. In short, the sound itself gets thick and deep while the background provides an ambient openness and airiness.
Sound impression – For BGVP EST8
I have now matched with one of BGVP’s flagship models, the EST8. Torfa keeps the texture crisps and highly explicit, making the sound even clearer without actually overpowering the brightness or the quantity. The tonality stays almost identical as before yet the vocals are a lot creamier and full of soul. I would also like to point out the layering details on these. Putting the imaging accurate and natural, Torfa gently spreads the sound and blow in relaxing air between the layers. This makes the EST8 to step up with its staging as it widens the sound not only sideways but also for front and back.
Lows deliver a darker, deeper punch but would never reach the point of getting boomy or loosen. Due to its monitoring nature, EST8’s default sound and stock cable have not provided much moisture into the texture, presenting the sound a tad plain. I very much enjoy the EST8-Torfa combo as the sound gets decked out with sentimental sweetness, and after all, done in a highly natural way that sticks close to the IEM’s original sound. So matching with Torfa does not kill the monitoring characteristics EST8 used to have, but rather spices up with loads of beauty charm and enhancing it. What I have found very interesting is that the sound strikes lightning fast but still brings out a mild resonance and reverbs. The atmosphere (or the background) are kept super clear without making the sound soulless.
Now would also be a good time to compare with two other premium cables from HS. Aegis is not just a hybrid but a “hybrid inside a hybrid”, having OCC silver-gold alloy stranded with OCC Litz copper. There is a bit of a gap in terms of price, yet Aegis is far enough to be stood up against Torfa since the outstanding performance and popularity. Besides, Aegis has been a good datum point for HS as it represented their ideal tuning direction for a while now – perhaps until Torfa appeared.
Compared to Aegis, Torfa presents darker and deeper ultra lows as well as a clearer background that goes pitch black. The tonality is pretty similar if looking at the big picture, except Torfa’s tonality being more seamlessly infused with those various wire materials, making the vocals sound more coherent and natural. Highs have more air and reverb that spread out calmly and smoothly. These differences eventually cause a wider, deeper, and higher headroom. Although Torfa outdoes Aegis in performance, Aegis once again impresses me with how good it is for its asking price – especially if you would like to experience the “Torfa effect” for a lot lower price. No wonder Aegis was considered as the face of Han Sound Audio.
Torfa sure definitely needs to be put up to the test against Kimera, the pre-flagship or perhaps a co-flagship cable from HS. Looking at a net base, both feature tribrid formulas yet with different ingredients and treatings. Kimera uses the same type of materials as Aegis until the gold-silver alloy and OCC copper, though OCC silver is added for Kimera, making it a triple combination of wire materials. Now for Torfa, it is formulated with gold-silver alloy stranded with two different types OCC Litz copper, and then applied with multiple layers of extra shielding to finish its sound tuning.
These two are going neck to neck in performance and mainly differ in characteristics. First, the background. Both create a very clean and organized staging and background, but Kimera sporting a white-themed background while Torfa sports a black-themed background. A clear white and a pitch black. Kimera presents a more vibrant, colorful layering and texture details while Torfa aims for a more condensed, calmed tone that sprinkles with magical-like tones and floating with beautiful, airy textures. In short, Kimera shows active liveliness while Torfa brings a calm, absorbing-like concentration to the sound.
Experiencing the way how Torfa enriches the sound truly makes it worthy to be called a masterpiece. It gently sweeps over the sound so seamlessly with undeniable, beautiful improvements to the IEM. Han Sound thoroughly impressed me with their previous flagship cable, Kimera, yet Torfa amazes me once again. Torfa holds a strong position among all other flagship cables out there with its superiorly natural richness and tonality that goes along very well with nearly all kinds of matching. If you are looking for one of the most unique materials that deliver one of the most universal matchings, Torfa should be marked as one of your ultimate choices.
Thanks to Han Sound Audio for providing Torfa in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Han Sound Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
Han Sound Audio Torfa
Magical, rich yet organic tone
Dark and clean background
Wider staging and both ends stretch longer
Highly adaptable for variety of IEMs/headphones
Not many dealers available
Fabric sleeves require requires attention while treating