Synergistic Research

Synergistic Research makes their first appearance at a CanJam this year. They’ve made headphone products for years but are debuting their new affordable Foundation Series line of headphone cables.

Let’s face it. Without comparisons – you can’t really determine how much better (or worse) a product is. Well, instead of just telling you “our cables improve your listening experience” – Synergistic Research demonstrates it. They did so, on a much larger scale, at T.H.E. Show this past month.

Here we have identical systems with a Bluesound streamer, two pairs of Sennheiser HD800 headphones and Monolith (Monoprice) Tube headphone DAC/amplifiers. The only difference is the use of Synergistic Research cabling, isolation, and grounding products on one of them.

If you aren’t a believer in the merits of the aforementioned peripherals, this demo would’ve changed your mind – immediately. The “generic” stack was unbearably sharp and grainy. I couldn’t listen to it for more than a few seconds. Switching over to the Synergistic Research rig and we get a crystal clear, warmer, and smoother sound. There was just more meat on the bones, more apparent decay in the resonances, and far better coherence.

Moving onto the ~$15,000 rig tucked to the side, and you start to realize what “You get what you pay for” really means. The combination of the Mr. Speakers ETHER 2, Headamp GS-X mini amplifier, and Synergistic Research stack (including the Foundation Series headphone cable) was one of my favorite combinations at CanJam. All of the components complemented each other beautifully – striking the perfect balance of body, tone, and resolution.

The Synergistic Research HT Carbon Headphone Transducer was able to tame the edge and sharpness from the generic setup. It may be a great starting point for headphone listeners.
I have the larger version of this Tranquility Base. Can’t listen without it.