Beat Audio Orbit Saga Flagship Cable Copper/Silver/Gold (2024)

Orbit Saga: Stratospheric Sound

Pros: Highly resolving, expansive sound with an unusual, fascinating tonal balance
Improves and refines almost everything about the sound of an IEM
Excellent build quality with high-quality hardware

Cons: Price...if you have to ask, you can't afford it
Improvements vary in intensity, and may not be improvements for everyone
Colourway of cable and hardware may not be a match for many IEMs

Special thanks to Beat Audio’s Stephen Guo, in association with MusicTeck, for making this review possible.

My first introduction to Beat Audio’s unique visual style and tuning was the pairing of its 8-wire Billow Mk II and Oslo Mk IV cables.

I encourage you to read that review not only as a background to the company and its cable-making philosophies – which I’ll only briefly skim over here – but also as context to what it’s ambitiously trying to do with Orbit Saga, the undisputed ultra flagship of the range.

From what I understand, Orbit Saga is the follow-up to Beat’s Astrolabe, an audacious, cost-no-object cable that used world-first cable geometry and metallurgy techniques to create a unique signature.

It was apparently so difficult and costly to build Astrolabe that only ten of these cables were made, and immediately sold, in celebration of Beat’s 10-year anniversary. Rumour has it that Astrolabe’s offcut material was subsequently destroyed so that no repeat cables of the same type could be made again.

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At the same time, and because of Astrolabe’s popularity, Beat set out to create a new flagship, using the same techniques pioneered for Astrolabe.

And so, Orbit Saga was born, a cable whose name somewhat lost in translation, but which is unquestionably a direct descendant of Beat’s crowning achievement (the literal translation of Astrolabe is Astral Plate, and Orbit Saga is Star Ring).

Straight into orbit

“Perhaps, we can outdo ourselves in creating a better cable, but I do not see that happening anytime soon.”Stephen Guo, Beat Audio

Right off the bat, you can tell that Orbit Saga is made different. Unlike Billow and Oslo’s bold yellow-gold and purple colouring respectively, Orbit’s is a more regal, understated duotone of emerald green and black, using the distinctive gold-hued hardware for contrast, and neatly braided in either 4-wire ($4,999) or 8-wire ($7,299) configurations.

Those numbers aren’t typos, by the way. Orbit, like Astrolabe before it, is eye-wateringly expensive, especially in its optimal 8-wire configuration. I’m not even going to bother getting into a discussion about value for money or even price-performance. At this level it’s quite simple: if you’re someone who can comfortably afford a cost-no-object cable, then there’s no issue. And if you can’t, then this review will be academic to you anyway.

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But I digress, this is a very different cable to just about anything else I’ve seen on the market. It looks different; it uses a variety of different, exotic materials; and it features a geometry that very few, if any, other cables adopt at any price point.

This is a cable that, according to Beat, sets out to improve everything about the sound of your IEMs, and “represents the ideal sound that [they] have been trying to reach for the first decade of [their] brand history”. By refining and optimising the signal, end-to-end, it seeks to max out the potential performance of your IEMs, making them the very best they can be.

Now, whether or not it actually achieves these lofty ideals, even in part, remain to be seen. But before we get to that, a brief rundown of the techs and specs.

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Techs and specs

Dual Spiral Design

. Beat claims that Astrolabe was the first cable ever made to use a dual spiral design in its construction, and Orbit uses the exact same blueprint. The ‘spirals’ are made up of two separate metals, pure copper and pure silver, flattened into micromillimeter-thin ribbons, and spiralled in a helix-like pattern around the core wires.

The ribbons act as both surface conductors for tuning, and shielding – though not in the traditional way non-conductive shielding layers are used in other cables. If you look carefully through the translucent cable sheath below, you can see the dual spirals glinting in the light.

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Multi Element Alloys. Unlike many other cable makers that espouse the virtues of high-purity, single-material cables, Beat believes that ‘purity isn’t everything’. As such, they purposefully experiment with different blends of metals and other elements, along with mixtures of various alloys, to reach a certain design and tuning goal for each of their cables.

This was true of Billow, Oslo, and now Orbit Saga, which takes the complexity up a notch. The base materials – ironically pure copper and silver – are used in the dual spirals detailed above. The core metals, arranged in multiple smaller strands that make up larger strands surrounding a central core, are all made up of multi element alloys, each blended in a way that, together, results in the final tuning.

Both of these technologies add significant cost to design and manufacturing, but the end result is a cable that’s at the very least unique in its composition and sound profile, regardless of the perceived performance enhancements.


  • Pure copper, silver, gold, and multi-alloy metallurgy
  • Unique dual spiral ribbons, multi-strand conductors and coaxial geometry
  • Green and opaque-tinted ultrasoft, hypoallergenic insulating sleeve
  • Pure metal connectors, splitter, chin slider and gold-plated plug

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Anecdotally, while I find both Billow and Oslo to be very well made, soft and supple, with zero microphonics, Orbit feels even better to the touch. I get an almost snakeskin-like sensation when handling the cable (yes, I love snakes), and the cable remains cool to the touch even on warmer days. Braiding is tight and precise, and made in a way that’s highly resistant to loosening. It doesn’t kink or bend sharply, and folds up easily without any force.

Overall, I find build quality to be exemplary, even among the other premium branded cables in my collection.

The only ‘negative’ I can think of would be the choice of colours, specifically the gold hardware, which may be less appealing to some users, and limit aesthetic pairings for those who consider this an important factor when choosing a premium cable.

Packaging and accessories


I’m told that Beat is currently updating the packaging and accessories for Orbit Saga going forward, so keep that in mind when reading through my description below.

I’m not sure quite what to make of Orbit’s packaging and accessories, actually. When I was first handed the gigantic delivery box by DHL, I thought ‘this must be the wrong package’. Turns out it wasn’t.

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Orbit’s ‘presentation box’ wouldn’t look out of place in a jewellery auction. The oversized wooden box is lacquered to a high-gloss black finish with copper-hued metal strips for highlights. The entire box is vacuum sealed in a thin plastic skin, which, once removed, exposes the ‘hidden’ lid. Lift the lid, and you’re greeted with three objects:

  • Orbit, neatly wrapped in on itself;
  • A small piece of the multi element alloys used to make the Orbit Saga wires; and
  • A large, heavy sculpture, made of either glass or crystal, in the shape of a spiralled cable.

What’s crucially missing, though, is any sort of cable case or container. To be fair, I don’t use the ones that come with other cables, even the really nice ones, so it would have been superfluous for me anyway. Still, given the asking price, it seems appropriate to include either a leather or metal case for those who need it.

A more eclectic collection of ‘accessories’ you’re unlikely to find in any other cable unboxing anytime soon. All three items take up a small fraction of the display box’s volume, the rest of which is filled with hard foam wrapped in a multicoloured weave material that’s made to look like liquid metal. It’s all very fancy, but whether or not you’ll actually use it for anything is another matter entirely.

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Sound impressions

My usual preface before any cable sound impressions

: cables don’t have a sound. They can only influence the sound of an IEM you’re listening to, in conjunction with the source you’re connecting to. From a sound quality and performance perspective, that’s literally all they do.

With that said, I primarily used FIR Audio’s Rn6 (reviewed here) to get a sense of Orbit’s sound characteristics. I did this by comparing it to various cables (the stock cable, along with several other high-end cables), and also with other IEMs, to see if the same characteristics carried over.

As I generally do for testing, I used a high-end neutral source (HiBy R8 II, reviewed here) to maximise sound performance for both IEMs and cables, with as little colouration as possible.

Test tracks span multiple genres, with a leaning towards female vocal indie pop, synth pop, singer-songwriter, movie soundtracks and classic rock. Occasionally I’ll break out a classical or jazz track or two for comparative purposes, and I don’t listen to anything heavy like hard rock or metal.

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I’ve debated with myself whether I hear Orbit as neutral or balanced, and after much listening I’ve concluded it’s the latter.

Orbit is definitely elevating, or at least extending, the very lowest and very highest frequencies, with outstanding sub-bass weight and rumble and plenty of upper end air in equal measure. This tonal character helps stretch out the stage for most IEMs, and in-between, Orbit’s added note density, achieved with a slight lower-mid lift and slightly relaxed upper-mid to lower-treble emphasis, helps maintain (and in some cases improve) stage depth too.

For all its resolving power (more on this later), Orbit doesn’t increase brightness. If anything, it manages to relax lower-to-mid treble, yet still retains sparkle and clarity in equal measure. Listening to Ilan Bluestone’s Will We Remain, a bright, energetic recording full of high-speed treble effects, I’m left free to wander the soundscapes created on this wonderfully vibrant track without ever reaching for the volume dial to tone down the occasional treble peak.

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This probably won’t go down well with treble heads who seek a bright burst of sunshine up top, with maximum extension right through the treble range, but for anyone who doesn’t need details rammed through their eyeballs, it’s a refined, elegant take on what I consider an almost perfect treble response.

Jumping back to the midrange, Orbit’s fuller, ever-so-slightly warmer notes lend themselves to lovers of seductive female vocals, while maintaining the chestiness of male vocals lower down the range. There’s plenty of detail here too, and not just detail, nuanced detail.

Slight inflections in Lana Del Rey’s vocal artistry in tracks as diverse as It’s Dark But Just A Game (from Chemtrails Over The Country Club) and Arcadia (from Blue Bannisters) unearth subtle inflections that I swear I’ve never heard before, even with highly-resolving IEMs. Meanwhile Neil Diamond’s trademark ginger-biscuits-with-honey vocals in Hello Again (from The Jazz Singer) have never sounded so lifelike, as if I’m hearing them for the first time at a live studio recording.

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Which circles us back to bass, always my first priority and listening focus. Aside from its subterranean sub-bass, Orbit maintains a fair amount of midbass energy and punch when it’s in the track, but speeds up the trailing decay to prevent any upper bass bloom or veil.

For example, the opening salvo of kick drums in the Eagles’ live performance of Hotel California hit with their usual gusto, with even more rippling texture, but with less of the trailing boom I’m used to hearing with bassier cables like PW Audio’s Orpheus and First Times Shielding. I find that this quality works well for warmer IEMs with looser bass (if you’re wanting to tighten it up, that is), and even for tighter IEMs like Rn6, where the added resolution and extension works wonders for their bass response. But it’s not a cable that’s going to romanticiseyour sound if your IEM doesn’t inherently do so already.

Overall, Orbit has a subtle but very audible tonal influence on the IEMs I tried it with, adding weight and rumble while cleaning up bass bloom, adding note weight, density and a hint of organic warmth to the midrange, and refining rather than subduing upper-mids and treble while infusing the entire presentation with jets of air from up top.

In some ways it’s a chameleon-like tonal response that spotlights darker and brighter elements in a track, often at the same time, but still manages to retain a strong sense of balance on cohesion in its presentation. It’s as if the various metals and elements used in forging Orbit’s conductive wires are influencing the different frequency bands in different ways, and while I can’t be sure that’s what’s actually happening, I’d like to believe it is.

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Even if Orbit’s tonal influences aren’t quite your cup of tea, you have to agree its technical performance is nothing short of stellar (and if you don’t, I will find you, and I will kill you).

I don’t think Orbit is a ‘wow factor’ technical cable in quite the same way as something like Orpheus. It doesn’t stamp its mark all over the IEM you’re listening too, but instead, refines and ‘improves’ almost every aspect of what it’s doing.

For me, the two standout technical traits it uses to do this are resolution and imaging. If you’ve ever had the privilege of listening to FIR’s Rn6, you’ll know it’s a very resolving IEM, but maybe not the most resolving in its price tier.

With Orbit, I’m likening Rn6 to the most resolving IEMs I’ve heard, like Elysian’s Annihilator and 64 Audio’s U12t. That said, I don’t have an insatiable appetite for detail from IEMs, and actually find too much forced detail fatiguing, so your mileage may vary.

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Listening to Yosi Horikawa’s technical masterpiece, Bubbles, the level of micro-detail is astounding. I can hear subtle changes in the direction of the bouncing ‘balls’ and popping ‘bubbles’, and can almost sense what material each of them are made of. The same track exemplifies how Orbit maximises an IEM’s imaging abilities, and while imaging is one of Rn6’s inherent strengths, I feel that Orbit improves it further.

The combination of resolution and imaging, along with the tonal extension I described earlier, helps create a wide stage with ample depth that also separates different elements and makes layering more obvious. The close-knit main and backing vocals in Whitehorse’s Dear Irony are clearly delineated, as are the complex and often very subtle electronic effects in Daft Punk’s Contact.

Some of the subtler technical qualities I’m hearing are a darker background and better dynamics, though both would be influenced greatly by the IEM you’re listening with. I do feel that Rn6, which is already a dynamic performer, sounds even more so with Orbit, but as with all the other technical metrics, the improvements are more cumulative than individually notable.

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It’s this last point that, for me, that elevates Orbit above most other cables I’ve heard, at least with the IEMs I’ve heard it with. It’s not a cable that stuns you with a burst of earthy warmth or cavernous stage a-la Orpheus, or that has the sonic grandeur and size of some heavily-engineered coaxial and similarly ultra-high-gauge cables.

Rather, it somehow manages to tweak almost every sonic element in more-or-less equal measure, at an exceptionally accomplished level, resulting in a sound that’s significantly better-presented than it was before.

Select comparisons

Eletech Ode To Laura

($2,799, reviewed here). When it comes to flagship cables, few have the allure of Eletech’s Ode To Laura. It may not be the priciest flagship around, or even the fanciest, but there’s an elegance and level of craftsmanship to Eric Chong’s fine creation that makes it one of the more coveted pure copper cables in recent years.

Compared to Orbit, I find Laura has an even denser, richer, and warmer lower end, with layers upon layers of bass texture. It doesn’t extend quite as far into the sub-bass as Orbit, nor does it have Orbit’s deftness of touch and speed, but their weighting is similar, as is their midbass control. The two cables also share a similar lower-midrange fullness, but Orbit is more detailed here, and is more relaxed as we move up towards upper midrange, where Laura has a touch of extra energy and bite compared to Orbit’s smoothness.

For fuller sounding cables, both Orbit and Laura have plenty of treble sparkle, with similar mid-to-upper treble extension, even though Laura may reach even further. Where Orbit surpasses Laura is in its infusion of air, which gives the overall presentation more space to breathe, with more separation between elements. Orbit is also more resolving throughout the range, with delicate nuances easier to pick out, even though Laura has plenty of resolving power in its own right.

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Spatially, Orbit is wider, and Laura, while not quite intimate, has less width but more depth and possibly height. All of these technical metrics are fractional, though, because at this level, where diminishing returns have long since hit, we’re splitting hairs when it comes to the finer details. That said, my overall feeling is that Orbit is a better fit for most pairings, while Laura’s more imposing colouration makes it less suited to some.

PW Audio The 1950s Shielding ($2,499, review coming soon). When Peter Wong first released his Century Series flagship, The 1950s, many moons ago, enthusiasts were dumbstruck by its eyebrow-raising cost and equally impressive performance. Both have long since been surpassed by pricier, higher-performance cables, and yet the legend of The 1950s now lives on in its upgraded successor, The 1950s Shielding (complete with Peter’s trademark stiff and chunky shielding section).

I’ve only recently added this fine cable to my collection, but in my short time with it the lineage is immediately obvious. This is a neutral cable, about as neutral as I’ve heard a high-purity all-copper cable. It’s also technically gifted, and while it retains the copper character of punchy bass and smooth treble, its ability to maximise resolution, stage, imaging and speed is still right up there with some of today’s best.

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Orbit is comparatively more colourful, even though I don’t consider it a very coloured cable. Bass extends a little further than The 1950s, but has similar impact, speed and texture. Orbit is a touch more resolving down low, becoming increasingly more so the further up the range we go. It also has denser note weight in the mids and treble, but more air up top. Both cables share a similarly smooth treble delivery that will delight for musicality but frustrate those who demand every last micro decibel of treble extension.

Overall, I think these two great cables are actually more similar than they are different. Orbit arguably has more character, is more intricately constructed, and has better ergonomics, but both are equally at home with just about any IEM pairing and both help maximise the performance of their paired IEMs. Orbit just does it ever so slightly better, which for some makes all the difference.

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Select pairings

FIR Audio Rn6

($3,299, reviewed here). If you’ve read through the sound impressions section, you’ll know everything there is to know about this pairing. Orbit is the best match I’ve heard with Rn6 of all the cables I currently have and previously tested. It improves just about every aspect of this already-brilliant IEM: notably, stage depth (Rn6 is naturally wide), resolution (it’s no longer detail-shy in the $3000+ tier), imaging, and dynamics.

The biggest plus I hear is tonally, where Orbit manages to fatten up Rn6’s sometimes thinnish mids, just enough to get them sounding more organic and earthy, but never to the point where they start to veil. It also manages to tease out details from a blacker background, and adds even more air to Rn6’s already-airy presentation, even for those of us who can’t hear all the way up to the 15KHz+ elevation.

If ever there was a cable that managed to take everything good about Rn6, course-correct some of its shortcomings – like upper-midrange incoherence and occasional treble stridency – and add another layer of refinement on top, it’s Orbit. It’s not for me to say whether these improvements are worth more than double the cost of the IEM itself, but if Rn6 ticks all your boxes, you’ll have a hard time finding a better matching cable for it while keeping it true to its original sound.

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FIR Audio Xe6 ($3,899, reviewed here). The Yang to Rn6’s Ying, Xe6 is much more than just a warmed-up Rn6. It is equally – if not slightly more equally, to paraphrase Orwell – technical than it’s non-identical twin, despite the unapologetically warm and lush sound that’s made it a fan favourite flagship for many IEM enthusiasts over the past two years.

Until now, Eletech’s Ode To Laura has been my preferred pairing for Xe6, but Orbit eclipses it. To me, Xe6 sounds better when some of its trademark thickness is thinned out, some of its midbass debloated, and its treble opened up and aerated. Not to the point where it starts to sound generic, but just enough to get it sounding more refined. Laura does this brilliantly, but Orbit does it even better.

I find myself hearing more of what Xe6 is capable of with Orbit, more of its inherent resolution coming through, and its midrange getting articulated ever so slightly better to my ears. Xe6 has a lush, organic tone regardless, but Orbit manages to tease just a hair more detail and nuance from it than Laura.

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Crucially, Orbit digs much deeper into Xe6’s sub-bass, which, believe it or not, is actually there, despite normally being buried under a mountain of midbass and lower-mids. This adds some extra rumble to Xe6’s already-visceral Kinetic Bass, and makes the overall presentation more physical and engaging.

As I pondered with Rn6, assigning value to a cable that costs more than twice the price of an IEM is not something I can do for anyone but myself. However, if you own a small collection of premium, high-performance IEMs – and are fortunate enough to have both FIR flagships in that collection – having a cable that synergises so well with both of them makes the value equation much more palatable, if still not entirely rational.

64 Audio U12t ($1,999). Another recent addition to the collection, but an IEM I’m intimately familiar with, having started my high-end portable audio journey with the self-same IEM some five years ago now. Still today, 64 Audio’s U12t is held up as the poster child for premium all-rounders for many enthusiasts, myself included.

With Orbit, I can honestly say I’ve never heard U12t sounding better. It’s stage, already wide and holographic, becomes more so. It’s lifelike rendering of vocals becomes eerily realistic too, removing any barriers from the recording and putting you in the same room as the artist. There’s a sweetness to U12t’s slightly warm but ever-so-precise sound that makes it both richly rewarding and technically impressive, and both of these aspects are enhanced with Orbit in play.

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That said, Orbit is not going to fundamentally change the U12t. It’s not going to make you think U12t has suddenly grown a pair of dynamic bass drivers, for example, but it will give the sub-bass rumble that’s there even more texture and weight than it had before. It won’t make you think the Tia driver has transformed into twin e-stats either, but it will reduce some of the spikiness you’ll occasionally hear from Tia when paired with the ‘wrong’ cable of source.

By my count, that’s three out of three premium IEMs that Orbit audibly improves, and if it were the only cable I bought to pair with all three IEMs, I’d be left knowing they’re going to sound the best they possibly can, for my taste and with my music library. I’m not sure there’s more you can ask from a cable at any price.

Closing thoughts

A few months ago, I’d never even heard the name Beat Audio, and yet, in a relatively short space of time, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of experiencing three very different cables that put this brand right up at the top of the quality tree for me.

While I thoroughly enjoyed what Billow and Oslo brought to the table, with their colourful appearance and bold, distinctively refined sound, Orbit unquestionably surpasses both for me. Its ability to take the best aspects of Billow’s spiral structure construction and Oslo’s multi-strand geometry, update them further, and come up with a blend that’s at the same time highly technical and utterly musical, is quite the achievement.

Even at volume, I find Orbit’s ability to present nuanced details with a high degree of refinement and almost complete lack of harshness makes for an immersive listen. While I don’t consider myself an analytical listener, I still find my attention is now drawn to new elements in a track that are either presented differently, or that I previously wasn’t even aware were there.

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This ability to dissect the details doesn’t make Orbit any less musical, in my opinion. In some ways it’s like a beautiful glass sculpture cut with thousands of different facets, each catching your eye every now and then with a glint of light, but never detracting from the grandeur of the sculpture itself.

Of course, whether you consider Orbit’s multifaceted refinements to be improvements or not is different story. Some – like the added resolution, better imaging, and wider staging – are very much so, in my opinion. Others, like the airiness, the tighter bass, the denser notes, are more subjective.

Despite its ability to tease out the best from my IEM collection, Orbit is actually far less imposing than some of the similarly audacious cables I’ve auditioned (I’m looking at you, Orpheus).

While I’ve read some reviews that call it transformative, I personally don’t find it to be so. This could be because I don’t have any IEMs that rely on colourful, dominant-sounding cables to shine, or more likely because I generally don’t consider any cables transformative to the point where they’ll change my overall perception of an IEM from nay to yay.

Still, Orbit is a cable that’s ultimately worth more to me than the sum of its parts would otherwise suggest – which, before I get lynched, is not a comment on what it costs.

If, like me, you find both its tonal and technical changes very much to your liking, and have a small to medium collection of premium IEMs that would benefit from a high-performance cable pairing, then I’m confident you’ll also find Orbit to be one of the very finest cables ever made.

As such, it earns my highest possible recommendation.

Beat Audio Orbit Saga Flagship Cable Copper/Silver/Gold (21)

You can now order your very own Orbit Saga direct from MusicTeck.

Beat Audio Orbit Saga Flagship Cable Copper/Silver/Gold (2024)


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