Hardware Reviews

Helios and Eros Titans of power

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cables

To assist with my assessment of the Titan Ares 6-way mains distribution block, Titan Audio kindly sent me samples of the cables I am reviewing here. As you may have read, I feel the Ares represents outstanding value for money at its price point, which, as you will read in the following paragraphs, is not the only product in Titan Audio’s range to do so. These cables are competitively priced at £225 for the 1.5m Helios, rising to £325 for the same length of Helios Signature and £450 for the Eros. They are the first from Titan Audio to feature connections for the company’s new FFT (force field technology) module. This module feeds a small charge into the cable’s shield which is said to effectively prevent EMI and RFI from entering it, resulting in a dramatic lowering of the noise floor. I understand that the FFT module is currently in the final stages of production, so I haven’t been able to try it. All three cables can be supplied and fitted with 13-amp UK plugs, European Schuko plugs, or US 2-pin plugs, with the latter two fitted with gold-plated pins.

What’s so good about these cables?

Let us start with the Helios, which uses three-core, 2.5mm OFC (oxygen free copper) conductors inside a heavy-duty extruded PVC dielectric. The screen is made from braided steel with a connection point for the FFT device mentioned above. The UK plug is fitted with a Bussmann fuse, and both it and the Wattgate IEC connector are cryogenically treated. The cable has a rated current capacity of 20 amps. In addition to the £225 1.5m length tested here, a 3m length can be supplied for £350. This cable is said to be ideal for use with source components.

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Let’s now look at the Helios Signature cable, which is quite a beast. This cable is designed for higher current devices, such as power amps and large integrated amps and would be the ideal choice for feeding a mains distribution block, such as the Ares. This cable uses a four-core, 4mm OFC cable; the extra core is connected to the earth pin and wrapped around the cable’s exterior sheath. The Helios Signature’s thicker core cable is rated for up to 25 amps and both the UK plug and IEC socket are the same as fitted to the base Helios, as are the cable’s screen and FFT connection point. Prices for the UK versions are £325 for the 1.5m and £525 for the 3m length tested here.

Finally, we have the Eros – Titan Audio clearly love their Greek Gods. This one is built using a three-core, 5mm OCC (oxygen free continuous cast copper) cable, which makes it quite stiff to handle. This beefy gauge cable is rated at 30 amps. Here, the dielectric is made from a heavy-duty extruded PTFE. The UK plug is from MK and is described as medical grade and is notably chunkier than the plug fitted to the other two cables. Naturally, as with the Helios range of cables, both the plug and the red copper IEC plug are cryogenically treated. Prices are £450 for the 1.5m length tested here and £750 for the 3m version. Titan Audio states that the OCC cable fitted to the Eros is the best copper conductor available.

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Do these cables deliver?

Before testing the cables individually, I replaced some entry-level but well-regarded cables, which I will refer to as control cables, that I have been using for a few weeks with the three Titan Audio cables. The control cables, whilst great value for money and great performers, retail for around £70 each. Despite the Titan Audio cables being fresh out of the box, there was a significant uplift in my system’s performance, particularly in areas such as detail retrieval, apparent noise floor and bass quality.

To give readers some idea of the level of performance each cable offers, once they had a few weeks of use under their belts, so to speak, I removed them from the system, replacing them with the control cables. I also removed the Titan Ares block that I was using one of the review cables to feed and was replaced with a Chord Powerhaus M6 with its dedicated Epic cable. Once I had acclimatised to the sound of my system with the control cables feeding the system, I began by replacing the one feeding my Moon 600i amplifier with the Titan Helios cable, followed by the Helios Signature and finally the Eros.

Helios

This cable impressed me immediately, and vocals were projected further forward and better articulated, which made it easier to understand both words and phrasing. Drums were better defined and delivered with more weight and body. Cymbals sounded crisper and had a more natural decay. A track I recently discovered at the Ascot Show, Melanie De Biasio’s The Flow, enjoyed here via Qobuz at 24/48, benefited from a deeper soundstage, a better sense of acoustic, and her flute sounded both sweeter and like the vocals, was projected towards the front of the soundstage, but without a hint of unnatural brightness.

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Helios Signature

This one brought the most significant jump in performance for me and created a bit of a wow moment, especially in terms of weight, dynamics and, in particular, the timing. Guitars now sounded more natural and freer and were given more space. Vocals were now easier to follow and sounded more human, bringing to my attention how singers controlled their vocal delivery. Drums and percussion instruments are delivered with even greater weight and solidity than the standard Helios. Cymbals are even cleaner. The low frequencies are produced with more weight, depth and texture via this cable. Again, there was no sense of added brightness or accentuated leading edges. This cable makes music sound like your favourite tracks being played by better musicians on better quality instruments.

Eros

Compared to the Helios Signature, this cable sounds more brightly lit but in no way harsh or unnatural. Indeed, recorded cymbals were extremely well-resolved and natural sounding. It is clearly higher in resolution and is sweet tonally. It brings more texture to the lower frequencies, but the enhanced higher frequencies mean you focus on the music as a whole rather than marvel at the sense of power and weight as I did with the Helios Signature. The soundstage is a little more open and three-dimensional and presents the music in a more natural sense of acoustic. Studio effects are easier to discern, and instrumental texture is better resolved. With the Eros feeding my Moon 600i amp, I found its charms were most convincing with good recordings. There were times when I felt that this combination’s more spot lit balance told me a little too much about lesser recordings. To clarify, things never got out of hand, but perhaps aspects of the recording, such as compression, became a little too obvious. To be fair to Titan Audio, this is something I have previously experienced with my Moon amp when using other high-end cables, so I suspect that the cable’s balance pushes things outside my personal tastes with this amplifier. Swapping the Eros to feed my Moon 780D DAC worked an absolute treat, delivering more detail and increased resolution over the Helios Signature, but the overall effect was less analytical and more musical than when this cable was used to feed my amplifier.

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Three’s a party

Having experimented with each cable feeding a different component, I settled with the Helios feeding my Melco NA1/2 server, the Eros feeding my Moon 780D DAC and the Helios Signature feeding the 600i amp. This combination seemed to give me the best of everything, the Eros lowering the noise floor of the digital side and the Helios Signature allowing my amplifier to thrill with its delivery of the music’s weight and drama. Listeners whose tastes veer towards a more revealing balance may prefer to add a second Eros to feed the amp. Still, the combination above was undoubtedly capable of delivering a satisfying musical experience. Titan suggested the signature cables work best with high-current devices, so my inquisitive nature makes me wonder whether the Eros Signature feeding my amp, with the vanilla Eros on the DAC, could be the ultimate combination in my setup.

Titan Audio Helios, Helios Signature and Eros power cable review https://the-ear.net

Wrapping up

In the past I have reviewed some costly and exotic mains cables, which I immensely enjoyed. These cables brought great enjoyment at a much more affordable price and, from a musical perspective, delivered the goods with aplomb. I would go as far as saying that this loom from Titan is the best I have tried at home from a price vs performance perspective and by quite some margin. I give them my full recommendation with one proviso: if your system is positioned close to boundaries such as walls or furniture, both the Helios Signature and Eros cables are very stiff and resistant to bending. If you can accommodate them, you owe it to your system to give them a try. I am confident that buyers will be unlikely to take advantage of Titan Audio’s 30-day exchange scheme. I cannot wait to hear these cables with Titan Audio’s FFT Module, it could be a game changer.

Specifications:

Titan Helios
Type: UK 13A to IEC mains cable
IEC terminator: Wattgate cryogenically treated
13A mains plug: cryogenically treated
Screen: braided steel
Conductor material: 3 core OFC
Dielectric: PVC
Length: 1.5m, 3m
Warranty: lifetime

Titan Helios Signature
Type: UK 13A to IEC mains cable
IEC terminator: Wattgate cryogenically treated
13A mains plug: cryogenically treated
Screen: braided steel
Conductor material: 4 core OCC copper
Dielectric: extruded PTFE
Length: 1.5m, 3m
Warranty: lifetime

Titan Eros
Type: UK 13A to IEC mains cable
IEC terminator: Wattgate cryogenically treated
13A mains plug: medical grade MK cryogenically treated
Screen: braided steel
Conductor material: 3 core OCC copper
Dielectric: extruded PTFE
Length: 1.5m, 3m
Warranty: lifetime

Price when tested:
Titan Audio Helios £225/1.5m, £350/3m
Titan Audio Helios Signature £325/1.5m, £525/3m
Titan Audio Eros £450/1.5m, £750/3m
Manufacturer Details:

Titan Audio
https://titanaudio.co.uk

Type:

power cables

Author:

Chris Baillie

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