Jaben Audio W16 Cable Review: Wireless with Wires

Jaben W16 Cable Review: Wireless with Wires

One of the biggest drawbacks of using in-ear monitors nowadays is the cable. True wireless earphones are just far more convenient, so such a trend is more than reasonable. Using Bluetooth receivers would be a great solution, though what if there was a cable that is too light and thin that virtually makes you feel like there’s no wire hanging around? Today we’re reviewing Jaben W16, a smartphone Type-C custom cable with exceptionally thin wires.


About Jaben Audio

Before moving on, let me first give a brief introduction to the Jaben Audio itself. Jaben is an IEM manufacturer as well as an international audio product distributor brand from China and has branches in multiple regions. They’re also well-known for practically being “Oriolus China”. As we unbox the paper packaging box reveals a bright yellow Pelican-style carrying case. The case is relatively smaller and lighter and the foam paddings on the inside well do their duty as a practical IEM case.       



Options & Variants

The W16 cable is available in 4 different variants, depending on cable materials and connector terminations. The wires are available in either pure copper or silver-plated copper, and the termination is available in 2pin or MMCX. The player connector is fixed as Type-C, hence the cable is meant to be played straight out of modern smartphones that don’t have a 3.5mm output. 


The IEM connectors and Y-split are finished with rubber and plastic for an even lighter weight. However, do note that the 2pin connectors are designed for flush 2pin IEMs and may not fit with some of those with recessed 2pins. The Type-C connector is well-built with a black metal casing that is light and durable. There isn’t much strain relief near the plug which might make the cable a bit vulnerable to breaking, though shouldn’t be a major problem as long as you take some care in handling it.   


Thickness comparison with an average 4-braid stock cable with equivalent sound quality.

How slim is it?  

Jaben doesn’t specify much about the wire specs, though what I can say is the quality is very promising – in both sound and build quality. The cable is extremely light and soft, pretty much causing no “touch noise” or microphonics. Another feature of the W16 is its thinness, measuring only 2mm in outer thickness. Using the W16 gives a near-wireless experience as there isn’t much opportunity for sensing the cable being worn due to its light and thin cable.  




Sound Impressions: Upgrading from Campfire Audio’s Stock Cable

Litz, Super Litz, and Time Stream cables are all decent cables from Campfire that are practical and convenient enough to use. Though inevitably, you will still constantly feel the cable hanging down as well as some microphonics. The W16 pairs beautifully with my Bonneville and Solaris SH, in both sound and usability.


While the W16 doesn’t alter or give noticeable performance boosts, it retrieves most sonic quality of the stock Campfire cables while making the user experience as comfortable as using a wireless IEM. Getting the cables significantly thinner than the stock cables was a concern in sound also getting thinner in body, yet the W16 serves surprisingly well despite the form factor. The two Campfire IEMs are encapsulated with natural timbre and tight sound.           


Pairing with Binary Chopin (based on W16 SPC)

The overall sound separation is clearer and clearer. Vocals are better divided from the lows along with the treble notes. W16 brings out better detail, especially for the vocals. The trebles also slightly improve in cleanliness and crispness. The overall sound signature and characteristics remain similar but with noticeable improvement in resolution and separation.


W16 Pure Copper vs. Silver-Plated Copper

The W16 reflects our common perceptions of the difference between pure copper and SPC (silver-plated copper) wires. The Pure Copper version is more warm, full, and generous in bass quantity, whereas the SPC version focuses on the tightness of the sound, upper-end clarity, and clearer separation. Choosing between which W16 versions is fully up to your IEM and preference. If you’d like to preserve your IEM’s original sound signature, I suggest choosing the version that better resembles or matches your IEM’s default cable.


Let’s say – you’ve been using a pure-silver cable such as Eletech Plato, choosing the SPC version would bring out the sound that stays closer to the original. The pure copper version would fit better if using a warm-based cable or a copper cable such as PW Audio No.5. Though from a different perspective if you’re looking to tweak the sound to be tighter and cleaner, the SPC version would be ideal. On the other hand, the pure copper version will be a better alternative if you want to add some more warmth and bass presence.


Just like going wireless with a wire

The W16 cable is an exceptional accessory that nearly brings wireless-level comfort to your wired IEMs while minimizing the loss of performance and sound signature. Compared to its competing Linum BAX cables, Jaben W16 cables approach even closer to the true wireless experience as the plug is terminated in type-C, bringing maximum portability by playing through smartphones without the need to attach a separate DAC dongle.



Jaben Audio W16
Extremely thin and light cable
A wireless-like convenience; could barely feel the presence of the cable
Type-C plug for direct smartphone connection
Comes with a sturdy carrying case
Available in OFC or SPC for different sound preferences
Not available for Apple products with Lightning ports
Not easily available if purchasing outside of China
Retail Price: ~$95