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Brise AUDIO Shirogane: The Silver Dragon

The fist pure silver IEM cable from Brise Audio, the final production version of the much hyped Silver Concept. Carving a new path for pure silver cables, with a vast soundstage, top notch extension and fabulously smooth tonality.


- Amazing sonics

- Best treble extension I've ever heard

- Vast 3D holographic stage

- Beautiful and unique look

- Extremely durable build quality

- Brise is listening to its customer base


- Price

- Heavy and thick

- Nothing soundwise

Greetings dear fellow Head-fiers, Gear Junkies and Sonic Aficionados, I bid you welcome to my full review of the brand new pure silver cable from Brise Audio, the Shirogane! I have always loved the Brise house sound, their no holes-barred approach to sonics and amazingly detailed yet natural/neutral sounding cables is legend. Truly, Brise needs no introduction in the forums, the little custom cable maker from Japan is considered one of the best in the world, and I can second that notion with full confidence. So when I heard they were making a pure silver cable I was very intrigued to say the least. I wondered until late in the night what could the good folks at Brise possibly come up with that was sonically better than their very impressive Yatano Ultimate? And how would silver play into it - would it be bright or cold, too fatiguing or overly technical, or simply out of this world? Well, as luck would have it, to tide me over, I was able to purchase their Silver Concept 8W, a Shiro prototype Brise made publicly available in small quantities to tease the coming Shiro. Right out of the box I knew I was in for a treat. This was something else entirely, that much was clear. The best treble extension imaginable, and then some. Smooth yet amazingly detailed. Nothing like what I had imagined pure silver would, or could, sound like. A vast stage, huge instruments and space, rumbling deep bass and floating open highs that seemed to continue off into space forever. Something struck me, there was something familiar with what I was hearing. Then it hit me, it sounds a lot like the Tsuranagi! That sense of refinement, class and natural realism coupled with a deeply resolving nature hit me straight in the chest. A more relaxed and classy sound, I was in love immediately. (Truth be told, it sounds a lot like the Yatano Ultimate 8W too, with a noticeable step up in refinement, resolution etc, but more on that later) So I patiently(ish) waited for the official release of the Shiro, paid the moment it was announced, and after receiving it a few days later was overjoyed that find that everything about the Silver Concept I fell in love with was there, but even better. It wasn’t night and day, the tuning was basically the same, but it was indeed a full step up, more refined, more resolving, and a bit more big-and-punchy too. Well done Brise, well done indeed.

While I have immense love for Brise’s sonic prowess, I was always quite transparent about my dislike of their ergonomics and overwhelming use of shrink wrap on very expensive TOTL line cables. It looked cheap, felt heavy and super stiff, and while I dig the utilitarian vibe, (especially the all-black-murdrd-out look) I had a hard time enjoying myself using it. Now, my use use case may very well be different than most; I use my IEMs out and about a lot, so a setup that forces one to sit at a desk isn’t going to last for me. I am happy to report that the Shirogane has been totally redesigned from the cosmetic and ergo side, a brand new product. It is not only the prettiest and most complete visual offering Brise has made, it’s also the softest and most enjoyable cable they’ve ever made, by a hefty margin. Gone is the matte black and electrical tape look, replaced with a beautiful charcoal jacket that looks top class and fittingly expensive. Matte silver (titanium?) hardware adorn the Shiro, replacing the traditional gold to which I am not such a fan. I like understated gear, what can I say? Comparing the feel of Shiro and Yatano (or any other Brise cable for that matter) is a no-contest win; it’s supple, soft and pliable. The jacket is totally different, it actually bounces in my hands. It drapes like a fine piece of jewelry, and looks the part too. But that’s not the best part! Finally the endless layers of shrink on the 4.4mm plug and crawling up the cable have been minimized! You can see it for yourself in the photos, it’s a welcome transformation. This feels like a turning point for Brise Audio, proving they are listening to their customers and addressing something that has been an issue for many. Adjusting a building block of their company’s long standing mission statement; that cables can be pretty and feel amazing without sacrificing sonics and build quality. In many ways the Shiro even feels like a step up in build quality and durability too, it is super solid. And as expected the sonics are off the chain. This cable sounds pretty amazing!

I’ve now waxed poetic for long enough, it’s time to get into the details. Before I do let me quickly do my usual testing gear rundown and disclaimer in favor of transparency:

-I purchased the Shiro myself, though I did receive a discount from MusicTeck in exchange. As always, there was no pressure or requirements of me to provide a positive review in any way, I was simply asked to share my views, experiences and thoughts with the community. I let the cable burn-in for 175+ hours before doing any critical listening.

-To be clear, I review because I love doing so, it’s a great source of joy for me. I don’t do this for work, I spend an enormous amount of time on these. I take it very seriously, as I know people rely on reviews before they shell out enormous amount of cash, just like I do myself. For that reason I only review things that interest me, things I would maybe buy for myself. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews you will know that I usually choose very expensive gear. This here is a very expensive cable, clocking in around $3500, which for many is simple insanity. I agree. The pricing of gear is totally nuts and we’re headed for Armageddon if this continues. That being said, for people like me, who do believe in cables and the potential they can unlock, this kind of gear bears reviewing, contemplating, and perhaps even buying. If you’re not a cable believer that’s totally fine - you’re far luckier than I, since you find deep enjoyment for less, but perhaps this review won’t be interesting for you. That all being said, I won’t be commenting much on price from this point on, and I won’t even begin to open the can of worms that is the “snake oil” theory on cables. Considering the company we’re in here, all this stuff is stupid expensive and we’re all totally off our rockers. ‘Nuff said, moving on.

-I used a very varied playlist of testing tracks to form my initial thoughts, and then spent several weeks simply listening to whatever inspired me like I normally would. I love all kinds of music, and to form an honest opinion for any piece of gear I think it absolutely necessary to test with lots of different kinds of music. If you’re taking a reviewer’s word about a piece of gear you want to spend your hard earned cash on, in my opinion you absolutely should take how their musical tastes match or differ from your own. A few excepts from my latest listening roster:

Jazz: Snarky Puppy, GoGo Penguin, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Hunter, Avishai Cohen, Kandace Springs, Chris Potter, John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Julian Lage, Funky Knuckles, Ghost Note, Aaron Parks.

Rock: Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Talking Heads, Rage Against The Machine, Eric Johnson, Michael Landau, Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Petty, Jackson Brown, Jethro Tull.

Modern Music: Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Lianne La Havas, Asgeir, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Glass Animals, Jacob Collier, Moonchild, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Coyote.

Heavy Music: Animals as Leaders, Tool, Gojira, Polyphia, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Hacktivits, Trivium, Sevendust, Periphery, Sepultura, Intervals, Plini, Polyphia.

Electronic: Om Unit, Emancipator, Kryptic Minds, Bonobo, FKJ.

- As my source I used my LP6 Ti AE and Sony WM1ZM2. For IEMs I used Jewel, Traillii and A18t, along with a Rhapsodio Supreme V3 which I am currently reviewing. For shorter listening periods I also tried it on Ragnar Prestige, Mason FS, and UM Amber Pearl. For cables I was able to compare it directly to Orpheus Shielding, 1950s Shielding, Lavricables Grand Silver, plus the Rhapsodio Copper Fantasies cable I am also reviewing now. The Grand sits in a completely different price (and abilities) bracket, but is a very good example of pure silver, especially for the money, so I choose to include it. I will include other TOTL cables I have reviewed recently (FTS, Yatano, OTL) since those comparisons are surely valuable to the community. Keeping in mind those thoughts are from memory and my extensive notes, not from direct AB at this time. While I don’t plan to focus on the Yatano, the similarities are clear, these are both Brise cables with similar DNA and spirit. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Ergo and Cosmetics

As I mentioned in the rather lengthy prologue, the Shirogane is a gorgeous piece of art, as well as an example of the pinnacle of audio gear it occupies. The Shiro exudes class and refinement. It is silky and sexy, the built quality is top notch, it just feels nice and solid. It is HEAVY, noticeably more so than even Orpheus Shielding. It is without a doubt the heaviest cable I own, perhaps the heaviest I have used in fact. But I find that it does wear well, and can be comfortable for longer listening sessions once you get it situated and draped on your neck. It feels robust and solid, durable as hell. One of the best “quality and abuse resistant” experiences I have had with a cable. It feels like it could get caught in the car door or run over by a bike and never miss a beat. (Please don’t do that on purpose, all stunts in this review were done by professionals on a closed course). But it is a beast indeed. Part of the comfort it manages is due to the titanium memory wire Brise uses for the ear-hooks, allowing the cable to sort of “float” above your ears if adjusted properly. The Shiro floats less than previous Brise offerings because the (memory) wire is thinner, there is less shrink, and the ear hooks are less obtrusive and stiff than before. In use I found the ear hooks far more comfortable, easier to bend into the desired shape and sitting closer to the ear curves, thus more low profile and sleek. The hardware for Shiro is their Ultimate grade in a different color scheme, with the slider emblazoned with the Shirogane name in Japanese which is a nice touch. The Y split is still a piece of logo’d shrink, but it somehow looks nicer contrasting the charcoal grey wires. The feel and tightness of the 2-pin connectors has also been greatly improved, now with a tighter fit into my IEMs, and a more secure feeling than before. I was always a bit nervous with the previous 2-pins, the shrink and memory wire was so stiff I thought I might actually break my IEMs, or the cable itself, from the tension they created, especially IEMs without recessed jacks. This feeling is solved thankfully. The biggest upgrade is to the 4.4mm stress relief, where before it was 4 or 5 layers of black shrink covering the connector and at least 6 inches of the cable itself. Shiro solves this nicely, the shrink on the connector has a simple white Brise logo, a single visible layer carries over to the harmonic dampener which is nice and sturdy, but only sticks out a bit from the connector now. After that is single piece of transparent flexible shrink similar to what is commonly used on ear hooks, which bends nicely and looks very classy. Suffice to say the 4.4mm plug feels more solid than before, looks very clean, and the cable itself is flexible immediately beyond the plug to allow for easier coiling, easier use with DAPs in pockets, and just less stiff and unruly.


Funny enough the Orpheus feels almost light and “flimsy” compared to Shiro, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about such things. Shiro is thicker and definitely heavier feeling while remaining elegant. Orphy is a bit dark/industrial/studio looking with its black shielding, and the dash of dark blue accent is gorgeous. It is lighter, more flexible and “softer”. PW Cables have very low profile ear hooks and 2-pins which I love, Shiro’s are bulkier. Orphy is nicer to wear for longer periods, and in general is less noticeable, which is a hilarious statement to make with a straight face. FTS is identical to Orphy, 50s Shielding has the same vibe albeit with a thinner profile and the matte grey bare wires which contribute to its unique look. Eletech is by far the fanciest offering, one could easily award them the title of most gorgeous. As I have said in all my reviews, OTL, and all of Eletech’s cables, are thinner, much softer and generally easier to use and wear than any of the other TOTLs, no contest. The Lavricables Grand has a similar size and feel to Eletech’s, albeit not as reined or supple. It is more DIY looking as I mentioned in my review. The Rhapsodio Copper Fantasies (RSD CF) has a very recognizable look, with that RSD chrome and carbon fiber rhodium plated hardware, sporting stiff and rubbery purple wires that have a mind of their own in terms of how they cooperate (or lack thereof). The 2 wire is however nice and light, the same could not be said for the 4 wire which is supposedly insane to wear. They sound utterly amazing, so all is forgiven.

These are all very pretty cables, but Shiro might be the first cable I’ve tried since Orpheus that is as cool looking for my tastes. Dark and moody. As always, our incredibly varied tastes make this all relatively moot, but this is just my opinion, feel free to disregard it immediately


I am (in)famously not interested in the unboxing experience, the Brise doesn’t disappoint there. Coming in the standard black cardboard Brise box with gold logo, the cable is just there, wrapped around the circular box insert. There is a metal warranty card and cable smoother bottle, along with their catalog and warranty card. I appreciate this kind of packaging, simple and without pretense. Box went into my storage closet, though I did keep the smoother bottle out since it works really well. Anytime your Brise cable begins to feel a bit stiff and cumbersome, spray a bit on the cable, work it in with your hands and you’ll find it transformed into a silky, soft and slightly shiny version of your cable, looking, and most importantly, feeling brand new.


How to describe the Shiro sound? Big, spacious, huge. Endless. Smooth and relaxed, far from what one might expect from a “pure-silver” cable. The treble extension is incredible, best I’ve ever heard. Staging is very large, and is one of the most holographic cables I have heard as well. It’s not as wide as Orphy, but depth, and especially height are unmatched in my opinion. In fact, coupled with the Traillii I got about as close to an electrostatic headphone experience as I've ever had with IEMs. The Shiro is neutral, natural, and very detailed. Mids slightly forward, deep sub bass, expanded and endless highs. Not a shred or hint of ugly brightness. Very detailed but the attack and edges are smooth, resulting in a very relaxed and classy listen without a melting your eyes kind of experience. Endlessly clear and open while remaining smooth and very enjoyable. It has good note weight, but not thick or fat sounding like Orphy. Lively but not overly energetic. All of the FR feels very even, from the deepest sub bass rumble to the highest air and space. It’s light on its feet, nimble and quick. Just wow, very very impressive.

When I was speaking with Brise about the sonics of Shiro, I wanted to know their thought process for this, their first silver cable. While they weren’t at liberty to tell me exactly what was going on inside, I was able to pry some fundamental core values they planned to instill. One of their technical designers told me they wanted this cable to be different from a traditional “Silver identity” cable. Breaking free from treble leaning cables that focused too much on high end. Instead they would build a sound based on a pyramid foundation he told me. On a solid foundation of bold bass and weighty powerful mids on which to place their lust-worthy high end. Not like a big fat bottom and thin top, simply that the tuning identity would be lead in part from the bottom up. It’s very clear they at least started with an interest in a more prevalent and refined top end, they just added in the flushed out mids and bottom to balance it out perfectly. But the end result is much more than that. An interesting prospect to begin a project with, thinking outside the box. I think for this they have succeeded greatly, and for that reason the Shiro is truly something special. Combining that massive sound with the most airy and effervescent top end that lifts off to the heavens, all while being super resolving and fatigue free.

This is not your father’s silver cable.

For those of you with experience with the Yatano, as I mentioned earlier, the Shiro isn’t so different. Yes, it’s a silver cable, and yes there are differences, but I was surprised to hear how “copper” the Shiro sounds. It’s like someone took the Yatano up a few notches in abilities, deepened the bass, gave the treble a face-lift and took off the roof to let it fly free. Enhanced the resolution, made it a touch more accentuated on the high end instead of the thick lows. More refined instead of thick. That’s kind of what we’re working with here. Interestingly, I was recently able to hear the EA Chiron 8W, and Shiro has a lot in common there too. I didn’t have enough time to make a full comparison, and I was using the Silver Concept at the time, but it was quite clear to myself and the Chiron’s lovely owner, these were quite similar in tuning style.

Let’s get into the sonic details shall we?

***The BASS/MID/TREBLE comparisons at the end of each section have been copy and pasted from my previous reviews, and then updated as needed. This is done to maintain cohesion between previous reviews, and to maintain transparency from my impressions as things may change over time***


The Shiro bass is fabulous. It reaches very deep, and has great texture and control. It’s punchy and fast, but it’s not aggressively so. Everything about the Shiro is clean and clear, but with a sense of elegance to it. The bass has that vibe, reaching to the depths and physically shaking my chest, but never being so punchy and tight that it gets fatiguing or overbearing across other frequencies. You can already hear the Shiro’s massive staging in the bass regions, I have yet to hear the decay of bass kicks and rumbly tom thwacks the way the Shiro does. I can hear them fade away completely into nothing all around me, even when there is plenty of other things occupying the same space. There is a physicality to the bass, where it holds you tight. It’s laid out in front, and all around you, it’s felt and heard, but it’s not spanky or overtly slamming unless called for. I was testing with Traillii and Jewel, both are great bass machines, but not the most punchy or extreme rumble canons to begin with. So I think what the Shiro is doing here is being transparent, like the rest of the Brise line-up. Letting your gear shine, uninhibited. If there is a huge bass to begin with it’s most certainly not going to remove any, and if your IEM is bass shy it won’t add any. Either way it will tighten it up, deepen it, adding a great sense of control and depth. If there is slam required it will slam, but it can also get out of the way when called for as well. This is a linear presentation of sub-bass vs mid bass, no bloat or shelving here. Bass heads beware, this is not a thump cable, this is tight but relatively relaxed bass. EDM sounds fantastic, but if you crave only quantity and punch this might not be your bag. Other cables do bump harder.


Orphy has more punch and authority, reaches a bit deeper, with a noticeable bump in mid bass making it sound bigger and more thunderous. Orphy bass is amazingly, controlled and punchy, albeit a bit slower than others. Shiro reaches deep but is less thunderous, and has more subtlety, more transparency, making the bass less about the cable, and more about what it’s plugged into. Yatano has more mid bass, Shiro is deeper and perhaps a bit more neutral in quantity. I prefer the bass of Shiro over Yatano, though they are very similar in tuning. I find the Shiro more nimble and subtle, giving extra inflection and delay clarity, and a bit more extension. Yatano is a bit more punchy, but lacks the finesse. FTS has similar bass to Shiro, both are well controlled with more or less neutral quantity. FTS punches a bit more, is generally tighter and faster, featuring the sub-bass with a slight pullback of mid bass, while Shiro is even between the two. 50s Shielding is also fast and punchy, with great depth and texture, I really love this bass. OTL is even punchier and more tight, the most guttural of the bunch, also favoring mid bass slightly. OTL has some of the best bass I have ever heard, stunning really. Lavri Grand has great bass, I noticed the texture more so than the slam. Evenly distributed, tight and punchy, just not quite at the level of the other TOTLs. The Copper Fantasies (RSD CF for short) has amazing bass too, it’s fast and punchy with lots of control and tightness. So much texture, geez. It focuses slightly more on mid bass than sub, though it does reach low and rumbles super nicely. Its punch and drive is very addictive, creating toe tapping and head banging sensations in my body I wasn’t necessarily aware existed. It’s not quite as punchy as OTL, but more so than the rest here. I don’t have nearly as much time with this cable as the others, but suffice to say the bass is extremely impressive so far.

In order of punchiest bass > OTL - RSD CF - FTS/50s Shielding - Shiro/Orpheus/Yatano/L Grand

In order of reach (or sub bass) > Shiro/Orphy - Yatano/FTS/RSD CF - OTL/50s Shielding/L Grand

In order of texture > OTL/RSD CF - Yatano/Shiro/50s Shielding/FTS/Orpheus/L Grand

In order of bigness and perceived weight: Orpheus - OTL/RSD CF - Yatano/Shiro/FTS/50S/L Grand


I’m not shy in saying that mids are the star of the show for me, if they aren’t right it’s game over (for me). That’s not to say I don’t care about the rest of the spectrum, far from it. I just need the mids to sound natural, accurate, very resolving and with great timbre and realism. I like maximum resolution but don’t care for overly spicy or harshened transients. If something has been pushed out of wack to make more space, add clarity, or modify how instruments “should” sound, I notice right away and it’s kind of hard to come back from that. Shiro has great, natural, realistic mids. They are exquisitely detailed, and sit ever so slightly forward in the mix which I enjoy. Vocals don’t sit right up in your face, there is some space there, as they float nicely above your head. Instruments are big, bold, and nicely weighted. Again, not thick, just big. Drums sound lifelike and banging, I can clearly hear how the drums were mixed and where the engineer wanted to place each part of the kit. During drum fills it feels like I am behind the kit myself, as the fills go from right to left, but also closer and further from me. Male and female vocals sound lifelike and natural. Guitars, pianos, trumpets, sax, all analog instruments sound real and faithfully presented. I don’t hear the usual odd frequencies tilting things one way or the other, it’s very even. There is a great sense of detail being presented, it’s actually rather staggering the level of resolution, but the vibe is more relaxed and smooth than overly crisp. Transients are clear and clean, but this is not a flashy, spicy, edgy sound at all. Things like electric guitars and drums sound huge, but they are slightly on the smoother side. There isn’t a sharp edge so much as simply refined. That’s a word I could use all over the page with this cable, it is just so mature and refined. It sounds like a fine red wine, or even champagne, in a fancy crystal glass, being lit from behind by LEDs so you can see all the bubbles sparkling before your eyes. Texture and timbre are very realistic. You’d be hard pressed to find a complaint here. I was quite surprised to find this pure silver cable was more groovy and analog than I expected, it was a joy to listen for long periods of time, never fatiguing which can be an issue with overly technical sounds.


For mids I always compare directly to the Orpheus, since I find its mids to be unmatched. Orphy’s are wider, and slightly more resolving in the micro details. They are thicker and meatier, just huge sounding. Shiro mids are wide, but Orphy is just wider, that spread is crazy. But Shiro mids spread out all over, just not wide but up and down, deep and way behind you too. Shiro mids are nicely weighted but not thick, they don’t rumble your guts the way that Orphy does. There is this sense of micro-detail and clarity the Orphy has in the mids that’s hard to explain - Orphy is very smooth itself, but I do hear a noticeable increase in clarity and presence in the midrange over the Shiro, over everything really. King of mids indeed. Shiro mids are clear and very highly resolving, but when AB’ing against Orphy I did miss that slight edge of clarity there, especially when listening to heavy guitars. FTS also has forward mids, and a similar level of resolution and presence to Orpheus, just not quite as musical. FTS is a technical marvel, thought for mids I do prefer the Orphy or 50s Shielding. 50S is super clean, amazingly resolving mids, almost clinical sense of clarity that never feels fatiguing. It lacks any sense of color, and for anyone looking for the most reference set of mids out there, this is a great choice. OTL has wonderful mids, while the lower mids have great weight and power they do thin out a bit in the upper mids creating an ethereal tonality which is amazing for some types of music, and less so for others. But very revealing and musical. Once again the Lav Grand performance is amazing for its cost, it has great mids. A different kind of silver mids compared to Shiro, it’s a bit more energetic but retaining the smoothness. So less refined, but very smooth. I will have to say the RSD CF has some of the best mids I have ever heard. Extraordinarily detailed, crisp but not fatiguing, hugely vast yet powerful and weighty. The positioning and space are simply breathtaking, it almost sounds like a BCD driver has been added, the physical attack of instruments seems to have been injected with turbo sauce. This is not the most relaxing cable, thought I never felt the analytically to overwhelm the musicality. As I mentioned earlier, my time with this cable has been very limited, so I can only give early impressions, but it’s right up there with the big dogs. (This one could very well be new top dog soon enough )

In order of resolution in mids >Orphy/RSD CF - Yatano/Shiro/FTS/50S/OTL/L Grand

In order of mids quality (naturalness and realism) > Orphy/RSD CF - Yatano/Shiro/50S/FTS/OTL/L Grand

In order of note weight > Orphy - Yatano/RSD CF - 50S/Shiro/FTS/L Grand - OTL

In order of transient speed and energy > OTL/RSD CF - FTS - Yatano/Shiro - 50S - Orphy/L Grand

In order of analog/warmth/smoothness > Orphy - Shiro/Yatano - 50S/FTS - RSD CF/OTL/L Grand


Here is where the Shiro really takes the cake, and gives me something I had never really heard before. I used to think treble sparkle could be painful when in abundance, and synonymous with brightness. That extra air and space could only be achieved with pushed/peaked upper frequencies resulting in overly crisp and intense sparkly vibes that made me uncomfortable. Not so with the Shiro, this is treble as well done as I have heard. Where little whispers of gold and silver flecks softly parade around your head, and far above. Weightless. Effortless. Superbly natural and without a single iota of pressure. Imagine hearing things up above your head you never knew were there, in recordings you know by heart from 10,000+ listens. Now imagine those highlighted, shown clearly as thought backlit by LEDs so the tiniest details are shown, while you gape in awe. This is treble that is present, even highlighted, but never fatiguing. I use a track by Jordan Rakei for treble testing, called Clouds on his newest LP, and it has this crazy breathing atmospheric stuff at the beginning. I referenced this in my Orheus review as well, where Orphy has this great spread the Shiro has oodles more space above, and I hear things I simply didn’t know where there, despite hearing this track alllll the time.

This is what I am talking about, that is the Shiro top end.

I spoke earlier about Brise’s design methodology for the Shiro, the pyramid. A sound built on bass and mid weight, a powerful sound, with a lighter top end. In that way one might imagine the Shiro top end would be lighter and thinner, but in fact only just so in the highest regions. The lower treble still has plenty of beef on it. When things get way up top then the lightness and space take over. Now, I am a self professed naturalist, as I stated earlier if things don’t sound real then I lose interest. The Shiro has that effortless extension and space above, but with a more natural weight to the treble notes, so things like cymbals, screaming guitar solos, synth pads and even falsetto voices all have weight to them. Above that the space takes over, things thin out and you’re greeted with that illustrious aforementioned air and gorgeous flecks of light and sound. Something like the crossover from BA highs to EST when it’s done super well.

With Shiro the sparkle is well controlled and evenly laid out as you transfer from lower treble to upper, sparkle to air, air to space and beyond. Here the word refined comes into play again. In fact, this might be the most refined and simultaneously relaxed treble I have heard. It does the impossible, making treble so beautiful without a hint of glare, shrillness, brightness or painful peaks. Now, for those treble heads worrying that this isn’t right for you, I think you’d be pleased greatly. It’s not overly done, not exceedingly bright in any way, but the treble quality is just outstanding. The quantity is also great, this is not a treble shy cable in any way. With something like Jewel which has a more relaxed top end, it’s top end is glorious, more prominent, and far more extended and open. Even Traillii’s sometimes overly sparkly side feels well in check here, without losing any of its quantity, the quality is improved, more silky. The extension is nuts. I thought that was going to be a bright combo, but not at all. Shiro nails that finesse, clarity, air and space without bordering into ouch territory. Remember the champagne? The LEDs? Here is where that comes in spades. Reverbs in all directions, swirling sensations that clearly emanate from far above my head, or directly behind it. Like in the mids, transients and edges are smoother rather than overly crisp. Remember, this is a refined and relaxed cable, although capable of extremely technical abilities, it never shines the light too harshly on overly accentuated sparkle. There is of course plenty of sparkle, there is plenty of treble, but it’s no more than what sounds balanced.


I would have thought Shiro would be sparkle city, for that you may want to go with OTL as it’s available in abundance. FTS too, a bit of extra bite giving some clarity but also being a bit less forgiving. Both of those have great extension, OTL being taller, very similar to Shiro, FTS less so but a bit more revealing and sharp. 50s Shielding is more rolled off, Orpheus even more so. Both have great airy treble, but the vertical staging and sparkle are far more controlled. Yatano is similar to Shiro, but less refined and extended. Lavra Grand has a nice even top end with good sparkle. It’s smooth but not as refined as Shiro. Edges are a bit more sharp than something like 50S, but less so than FTS. The RSD CF is extremely extended, wide open and with a touch of crispness and faster transients. There is a small lift around 8-10k that gives a sense of bite and energy that can be addictive in the right pairings. It has equal depth and height to the Shiro, but in a different presentation. RSD CF is energetic and sprightly, Shiro is more relaxed and elegant.

In order of treble quantity > OTL - FTS/Shiro/L Grand - /RSD CF/Yatano - 50S - Orphy

In order of treble quality > Shiro/RSD CF - Yatano/OTL - FTS - 50S/Orphy/L Grand

In order of treble extension > Shiro/ RSD CF/OTL - FTS/Yatano - 50S/L Grand - Orphy

In order of note weight in treble > Orphy/Brise 8W/50S/ - RSD CF/Shiro/FTS/L Grand - OTL


As always, stage size is hard to quantify and explain. Let’s look at the root of the term “soundstage” for a moment. To me we’re talking about the space around you- in front of you, above and behind you, to the sides- where music is emanating from one central area and the surrounding environment is portraying, affecting, or mirroring this sound into a 3D environmental experience for your ears. There is clearly a stage, with performers, and you the listener are positioned somewhere in the space. You may be in front row center, or “rows” back, like a concert or 2 Channel speakers at home. You could be placed inside the band, like they’re sitting next to you, or even all around you. I have been privy to hear some drool-worthy, insanely expensive 2 channel systems, and let me tell you, they all sound like you’re INSIDE the studio with the band. I’ve also clocked more than my fair share of live concerts, and in that live scenario the band is clearly in front of you, and the music comes from one huge source in that direction. Some may prefer sitting in the middle of a crowd at a festival, moshing or swaying back and forth to the beat, subs shaking your chest with giant vocals floating above your head and a light show emblazoning the sky. Or you’re in a smaller club, smaller system, but the band feels like you can reach out and touch them, emotions flying to your sheer proximity as you can brave their cigarette smoke. Or, like a Snarky Puppy live album, the crowd is literally inside the space, fist bumping along to the crazy inspired jams as one tries desperately not to touch all their amazing gear. So which is bigger? Which is better? Thankfully we don’t have to choose, everyone can enjoy whichever makes them happy, hooray for choices!

The Shiro sits firmly in the middle, with great width and space but leaving the instruments closer to you, more “reachable”. What it does have, is one of the largest environments around you, filling it with all the extra air and space one would enjoy at the largest festival style concerts. The air above you really does feel limitless. Sounds emanate from far behind you, thuds underneath you, or whispers in your ear. That sense of being outside, sounds bouncing off the walls or the smelly shirtless guy behind you dancing far too wildly for his girlfriend’s comfort. Or at Yoshi’s in San Fransisco, where you can hear the musicians breathing and sweating, while also hearing the waiter get the order wrong at the table behind you. All this = Shirogane.


The “widest” stage of any cable I have heard is still the Orpheus, nothing else comes close. But it does in fact stretch the mids out and push some of the instruments further away and off to the sides, which can be amazing for some things, and less so for others. It can sound unnatural at times, and the upper extension is not the greatest. Nothing is perfect, but the Orphy stage is as close as any. The Shiro doesn’t have the stretch of the Orpheus, but it is perhaps the most holographic stage I have heard. When going back and forth between the two, for the first brief moment the Orphy sounds almost flat, missing that space above. After your ears adjust you do hear it being wider and bigger, but that Shiro sense of height is indeed addictive. Shiro is similar to 50s Shielding, but more so, bigger, taller and wider. FTS is also quite tall, but Shiro beats it by some, while FTS mids are closer and more forward I hear Shiro spreading a bit wider. OTL height is very impressive, the rest of the spectrum is more intimate and physical. Lavri Grand has a very holographic stage, despite not being really huge in any one direction. Very good placement, great environment feel. RSD CF has an extremely big stage, all around you and yet also very wide. Very tall too. (It’s too early to tell but this may very well be the new King of the Stage).

As I said in previous reviews, if I had to try and describe the stages in terms of physical dimensions I would say this:

-Shiro would be a huge 3D oval, with sounds emanating from all around you, especially vertically.

-Orpheus would be like an oval, hugely circular, but with the midrange stretching out at the widest edges.

- 50S and Yatano would be a lovely circular stage in all directions, though not as big or wide as Orphy/Shiro.

- FTS would be a narrower oval, with the high and low end stretching a bit further but keeping the mids more intimate.

- OTL would be a reverse pyramid, the high end having the largest and most space and getting smaller and more intimate as it goes downwards.

- L Grand has a very holographic stage, but less spread than others. Perhaps around the 50S size.

- RSD CF is also hugely 3D, circular, with perhaps the most depth of any IEM stage I have ever heard. Height is less, but width, depth and even sub bass depth are rather astounding.

Stage Width > Orpheus - Shiro/Yatano/RSD CF - FTS/50s Shielding/OTL/L Grand

Stage Height > Shiro/OTL - RSD CF - FTS - 50s Shielding/Yatano, Orpheus/L Grand

Stage Depth > RSD CF - Shiro - Yatano/FTS/Orpheus, OTL/50s Shielding/L Grand

Stage Holography > Shiro/Orpheus/RSD CF/L Grand - Yatano/FTS/50s/OTL


I firmly believe that synergy is everything in audio. How two pieces of gear work together makes more difference than any amount of hard earned cash could ever hope to buy. Sometimes the simplest, even cheapest is the missing link between you and that sound in your head you’ve been searching and yearning for all these years. It always makes me think of Eric Johnson’s guitar rig; to bridge his Marshall amps he absolutely swears by this little plastic Y split from Radio Shack. Costs $8, I know ‘cause I bought one myself and it’s amazing. So, better isn’t always more expensive. Though one must admit that great + great = ~ best chance of success. So, that being said, here are the pair-ups that I enjoyed the most during my testing. Keep in mind that these are based on my personal tastes. What I wanted to get out of each IEM, or what I wanted to change about it with a certain cable choice are what I wanted, not some universally accepted truth.

Aroma Jewel - For a year or so I had the Orphy basically superglued to my Jewel, I loved that combo. But, I eventually found the top end to be too rolled off, too relaxed, and I wanted something with more extension. Shiro is my personal favorite, followed up by 50s Shielding. Both of these are fantastic cables for Jewel and receive my highest recommendations. I also liked the Yatano 8W, but found the slight uptick around 6k, mixed with the Jewel’s already prominent 4k peak to be a bit fatiguing. For a more budget offering I spent a two month tour with the L Grand on Jewel and it was fabulous. For me the Jewel has great tonality and technical abilities, but is a bit thin without the right cable. I preferred copper to thicken it up, thought not too rolled off like Orpheus. Shiro is fantastic as it opens the top end considerably, while giving more weight and power without sounding overly technical.

Traillii - We know from legend and lore, Traillii + Orpheus is a magical combo. I had it a few years ago, but eventually sold the Bird for Jewel in custom form. A few weeks ago I actually rebought Traillii after hearing it with Orpheus again, this time with my LP6 Ti AE, my jaw was on the floor. This is an amazing combo, holy shnikees! The stage spread is crazy, and it helps to slightly smooth out the Bird’s top end that can be occasionally overly sparkly for my tastes. Shiro I found fantastic as well. As I mentioned earlier, it's a very electrostatic-full-sized-headphones kind of experience - notes "float" around you unlike any other IEM and the Shiro emphasizes that fully. It did lack the weight that Orphy gave me, but in exchange you get more airiness and much more stage height without sounding at all thin. Big fat sound with super stereo spread? Orpheus. Huge but light on its feet electrostatic vibe? Shiro. 50s Shielding is great too, but it looses some of the vastness, instead refocusing the sound in a bit more of a reference tuning. The only other cable I liked as much is the RSD CF, it somehow has the same vastness as Orphy, the punch and growl of the OTL, the extension of Shiro, the crisp mids of 50s Shielding, and the energy of FTS, all wrapped up in a funny purple jacket that sounds as otherworldly as it looks. Traillii + RSD is a revelation and might actually directly compete, or even topple Orphy, maybe. I need more time to say such a thing with full confidence.

UM Amber Pearl - I have had the AP for only a week or so, but it’s already rocketed to the top 5 of all time for me. An amazing technical IEM that oozes musicality and fun too, not a simple feat. It has a fairly healthy bass lift, centered around the midbass, warm gorgeous mids and expansive treble that is well extended and easy to listen to. The best BCD I’ve ever heard by far. A gem really. I found the Orpheus great, effortlessly detailed and oh-so-wide, but the added midbass bump made the combo extremely bass heavy for most things. EDM hell yeah, rock less so. Shiro made the whole combo more balanced, more extended and featuring the top end more which I loved as it took some of the weight and focus away from the bass. But the edges of Shiro are a bit more smooth, and I would have preferred a slightly more edgy sound to the mids which are nicely relaxed to begin with. I found the EA Chiron 8W to be fantastic, as well as, yes again, the RSD CF. This cable just makes everything sound amazing with it. AP was brought up a few levels in technical abilities, punch, clarity and openness, while adding a taught and energetic nature. I didn’t get a chance to hear it myself with the FTS or OTL.

UM Mason FS - I owned this glorious IEM once, and got a chance to demo it for an extended period a few weeks ago. While Orpheus was great, it was too thick and warm for my tastes, especially given my DAP choices. Shiro was awesome, bringing the FS to new heights, and bringing the sub-bass up and evening out FS’s mid bass bump. Great mids, more extension, a fantastic choice. Myself and a few others I’m aware of love the FS with 50s Shielding, tilting it more into the reference vibe without losing the musicality. I also saw someone selling a L Grand paired with the FS saying it was the best combo available, so there’s that. I didn’t get a chance to hear it myself with the FTS, OTL or RSD CF.

Rhapsodio V3 - in my brief experience with this monster of an IEM I found it to be hugely resolving, very energetic and lively, with positioning and extension up there with the best, if not more so. I have a review coming of this copper dragon soon enough, so I will keep most of my thoughts for later when they’re more clear, but I can say that it is very susceptible to cable changes. I tried all my cables with it, and while they all sounded great, nothing compared to the RSD CF. And no surprise, the CF was specifically designed for the V3, they are a match made in heaven. Actually much of what makes the V3 so impressive lives in the CF too, they sold like each other if that can be understood. Similarly to how Shiro makes me think of the Tsuranagi, so does the RSD CF conjure memories of the Brass Supreme V3, that Rhap secret sauce is in there. Orphy and Shiro were great too, but that magic pairing just couldn’t be beat.

As always, personal preferences, feelings on a certain day, your mood, cost, tired or fresh ears all play a crucial role in choosing what synergy you prefer. Ive had days where one cables blew my mind and the next it was something else. When you find yourself coming back to the same combo over and over again, then you know you’ve found something really special. Something I really enjoy is to sit down with some cables, my favorite IEM, and a new album. Just hang out, getting to know the music with one pairing, and then revisiting certain tracks with different cables to see how it changes. I’ve spent a lot of time lately doing this, and it has gotten me emotionally familiar with many of the greatest TOTLs available now. This is fun stuff, I’m such a nerd, I know. My wife walks by as I am on the couch in “my spot”, I see her eyes gaze over all the colorful nonsense I have laid out before me and she smiles understandingly. She’s sweet to pretend she cares.

But what really makes me feel complete is simply grabbing my favorite combo, taking a walk with a hoodie on, and just consuming the music, letting it engulf my senses and take me on a journey of sound and joy. As I walk the music moves me, and all my hard work to find that perfect combo pays off in spades. Isn’t that the whole idea of all this anyway? There is certainly something to the chase and hunt, I do literally salivate at the idea of new gear. My G.A.S and the search for new and better is scary at times, but let’s all not forget why we’re here in the first place - to enjoy music!


And so, we arrive at the conclusion of this review, you all made it this far, congrats! I’m sorry for the length, but as you can see, I am very thorough and need to explain my thoughts at length, especially for a cable this expensive. So, what are my final thoughts? I think that the very first paragraph of this review sums it up quite perfectly, I love this cable! I could have probably just stopped there. It’s the best Brise has come up with so far; the best looking, the best build and feel, with sonics to match. It’s wonderfully even, neutral and clean, with the best top end extension I have heard in a cable. It has a present but perfectly balanced treble, giving me a top end I never knew how much I could love. For a self professed treble sensitivity guy, this has moved the goal posts for sure. It has a “reference” tuning that allows it to pair nicely with basically any IEM out there. It’s more relaxed but also energetic enough to be punchy and engaging. It’s smooth enough to avoid fatigue, but plenty of pop and sizzle when called for. If you liked the Yatano, you’ll love the Shiro. If you liked the FTS, OTL, 50s Shielding you’ll love the Shiro. It’s hard not to love. And, for the first time I could say that a cable has approached my endless love for the Orpheus. It’s not better, but different enough, it has its own special sauce that is addictive and very impressive. With certain IEMs I do prefer it over Orphy, but that’s based on a given IEM’s need for adjustment. I know, that’s a heavy statement, but I do believe it. The Shiro really is something very special, that much is certain. It’s also super awesome looking, I mean how cool is that charcoal and matte black look!

What else could anyone ask for? For those in the market for a summit-fi upgrade cable, the Shiro receives my highest recommendations. This is not your father’s silver cable, and it should be regarded as such. Forget it’s silver, forget what you know about silver, and just let the Shirogane reel you in for hours, weeks and years of pure audio enjoyment.

If you want to get one for yourself you can do some here: I am in no way affiliated with MusicTeck, I simply want to pass on my recommendation, Andrew is the best and he’s always willing to go the extra mile for someone who needs it.

Thanks for reading!


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