Review - Hidizs S8 Pro Robin

Magtame "Interesting cables" (and a chat about USB)

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As any follower of Acho Reviews will know, my reviews are usually, not always but usually, are of headphones and related equipment. I have spoken about cables now and again but I don’t think I have ever discussed USB cables. But I guess there is a first time for everything!

Before getting on with it, let me point out that these cables were sent to me directly by the brand, Magtame. They reached out to me one day asking if I would like to try out their cables and I had actually been looking at them not long before, so I was curious to try them out.

As always, I am not affiliated with the brand (or any other brand or store) and I share my opinions based on being as unbiased as possible. If you want to check out their cables, you can find their website here: https://magtame.com/

They are also available on Amazon.


Anyways, on with the discussion…

I have always made my opinions on cables in the audio world quite clear. If a cable uses good quality cable that meets the specifications and uses connectors of good quality, then the defining factor for choosing a cable, for me, are the aesthetics and the comfort of said cable. By comfort, I mean if it is too stiff, too loose, too springy, etc.

In the case of USB cables, or any digital cable to be honest, my opinions stay the same. If the cable meets the specs that are required and is well built, then it is down to personal preferences on how a cable performs. By that I don’t mean all digital cables are built the same, there are differences between specifications and different cables are built to meet different specifications.

So, with that out of the way, what is special about this USB cable that I am writing about today?

Well, first let’s get the specs out of the way. Looking at data transfer in a simplified way, there are the following specs:

USB 1.1 has a max transfer speed of 12 Mbps or 0.125 MBps

USB 2.0 has a max of 480Mbps or 60MBps

USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 max out at 5 Gbps or 625 MBps

USB 3.1 Gen 2 has a maximum transfer speed of 10 Gbps or 1250 MBps

USB 3.2 Gen 1 (or 1x1) has a max speed of 5 Gbps or 625 MBps

USB 3.2 Gen 2 (or 2x2) has a max speed of 20 Gbps or 2500 MBps

USB 4.0 has a max speed of 40 Gbps or 5000 MBps

With USB 3.2 and above, the connectors are limited to USB-C connectors only, with the typical USB-A style connector maxing out at 10 Gbps and USB 3.1.

All very confusing, I know. Let's just say that the bigger number the better :)

We then have Thunderbolt 3 and 4, which also use the same USB-C connector style and were mostly found on Macs, although Thunderbolt 4 is now starting to work better on Windows also.

Thunderbolt 3 and 4 (ignoring 1 and 2 ever existed) also have a max transfer speed of 40 Gbps or 5000 MBps. I am not going to go into depth on Thunderbolt Vs USB but let’s just say that there are other factors included, not just maximum transfer speed.

Then, if we forget about the data transfer speeds, we have maximum power specs. Now, USB was never really about giving much power, with even multi-lane USB-C not offering more than 15W maximum. That is until PD (Power Delivery) came along and things started getting much more interesting.

We started higher voltage and higher currents on USB-C cables, along with higher power. PD 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 could offer up to 100W, with voltages up to 20V, making things charge a lot faster. Then we got PD 3.1 which can now offer up to 240W at 48v, allowing us to charge even powerful laptops via a single USB-C cable (while sending data down the same cable at once).

Now, I had no intention of putting together a class in USB but, as usual, I start rambling on and things get out of hand! So let’s talk about Magtame and where their cable fit into all of this.


The cables…

When Magtame reached out to me, they offered to send me a USB-A to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-C cable, which I was happy to try out. Somewhere in the email chain, this turned into a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to Lightning and I totally missed it.

As I don’t own any iOS devices, I passed the lightning cable on to an iPhone user (who knows absolutely nothing about cables) and put the USB-C to USB-C in my tech pouch.

So, I guess I can share both points of view here. My experience as someone more focused on tech, using one cable, and the experience of a normal user with the Lightning cable.

In my case, a business trip proved to be the perfect opportunity as I just took the Magtame cable along with my PD charger that outputs up to 160W from USB-C (to charge my laptop) and up to 60W from the other output to charge my phones and other gadgets.

As far as power is concerned, the Magtame cable is specified up to 240W. I have had other cables with similar ratings that proved to not be the case, yet the Magtame had absolutely no issues with the 160W PD to my laptop. Doing a comparison of charging from automatic shutdown (due to low battery) to full, between the stock charger of my laptop and the Magtame cable with the PD charger, there was a difference of around 10 minutes, which could easily be due to the difference in battery level when the PC switched itself off.

As far as data, with any external drives, there was no noticeable difference between the Magtame and other high spec USB cables that I already have. Data transfer speeds were much more dependent on the “mood” that my PC was in than the cable.

Moving over to my Mac, which I use for editing, there was a noticeable difference between the Magtame and a Thunderbolt cable but that is to be expected, as the Magtame is not specified as being a Thunderbolt cable. With a USB external drive, again there was no real difference between the Magtame and other reputable cables I have on hand. In fact, there was even less of a difference here than on Windows, as the Mac is less temperamental.

So, if the speed and power ratings are the same as the ones I already have, what makes the Magtame special?

Well, as the name would suggest, it is magnetic and it “tames” the cable. By this I don’t mean that it does any voodoo magic to the data, I mean that it stops it from tangling ad being “all over the place”. The magnetic part of the cable makes it keep the shape it is rolled up in without the need for any additional velcro strips or other ways of “controlling” a stray cable.

Pulling it out of my tech pouch, using it and then putting it back, without the need for any time spent rolling or untangling is great. Especially when you have 2 minutes to move from one meeting room to the next.

The only negative I would say is that the cable is rather beefy and stiff. This is not really an issue most of the time but it will pull smaller devices around and, due to the weight of the cable, it will put strain on the connectors if the cable is left dangling in a horizontal manner.


Opinions of a general user…

After letting her use the Magtame cable for around 3 weeks, I asked her opinion on using the cable and what her thoughts were.

Remember that she has no idea about any of the specs I mentioned above, nor is she heavily involved in tech, so these are certainly “general user” opinions.

In general she really liked the cable, said that it charged fast (as fast at the stock Apple cable I guess) and that she had absolutely no problem with transferring data from the phone.

She also really liked the fact that the cable is magnetic and rolls up into a shape and keeps it. She is quite insistent on keeping things tidy, so this was probably the thing that she most liked about the cable.

One thing she did say is that she would not pay 40€ for a cable, no matter what the brand, however, she would much rather buy the Magtame cable over an Apple cable at a similar price.


Conclusion...

So, would I buy the Magtame cables, personall I would have to say yes. I wouldn't buy the for all of my devices, for cables that are permanantly installed (such as with desktop audio equipment etc.) but for portable cables, without a doubt. I really like the cable I have been using and it has been the best cable for travel that I have had (and I have had a lot of cables over the years!).

Magtame also carry all kinds of types and lengths, so, if you are interested, I would suggest you check out their website. As always, I have no affiliation with the brand (or any other brand) but I do like what I have experienced.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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