Cross Lambda Future Jr. is a pure-copper IEM cable with the “Absolute Shielding Technique” technology. It is priced at around $420.
Cross Lambda is a company located in Thailand known for its broad lineup of upgrade IEM cables. One of their most successful and known models is the Future, which is a 7N-HPOCC Pure Copper cable.
This year Cross Lambda goes a step further, and they decided to launch the Future Jr. which is reminiscent of its bigger brother in many terms. The goal was to retain the sonic characteristics of its predecessor and keep as many benefits of its construction, but to offer a more affordable price at the same time.
The philosophy of Cross Lambda is simple – to offer a great quality upgrade cables for a fair price and not to change the tonal balance of the IEM you’re using. Future Jr. is all about smooth and soft sound that will be enjoyable to listen to for long periods of time.
Packaging and build quality
Just like with the Direction Neo (review here), the packaging and the unboxing experience is basic and straight-forward. You’re simply getting an outter box, which is sporting an aesthetic and cool looking graphic on top, as well as some basic information on the bottom.
Since the Future Jr. I’m reviewing is a 4.4mm Gold Plated terminated on one side, and HQ MMCX on the other, both of these informations is mentioned on the back of the box. Also, there’s a manufacturing date, which is quite cool to see.
Inside, youre greeted with the cable wrapped in a plastic bag and a separate cloth bag with Cross Lambda logo on it as shown on the image below. It is quite usable for transporting your cable and IEMs of choice, but don’t expect much protection. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t really expect anything more premium for the asking price.
Okay, let’s put one thing straight – this is a chunky boi. Actually, it’s by far the chunkiest IEM cable that I’ve ever seen. Having that in mind, I must inform that it’s also quite stiff and robust feeling.
While feeling robust is a great thing, as you’ll probably could use it as a (very small) lasso in a zombie apocalypse scenario, and don’t worry about its durability, the stiffness is not so desired when we’re talking IEM cable. Don’t worry, in my personal opinion it’s not TOO stiff, as it’s still quite playable and it doesn’t tangle at all. The standoff sections of the cable could be too thick for some ears, but I’m not having any problems with those, and I’m using the Future Jr. very often with my Fir M5 or my Campfire Solaris 2020. Just have in mind that it’s a thick cable, and you’re rewarded with a very high durability in exchange for a little bit of comfort.
Future Jr. is made of 30 AWG 7N-HP-OCC with Litz Type 1 Insulated by UF-PVC and Nylon and it is shielded by triple layers of materials. The weave is strong and it’s not unweaving by itself. The 4.4mm plug is a Japanese produced premium quality and JIS certified Pentaconn. Serious stuff.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m using the Future Jr. mainly with the Fir Audio M5 Custom and Campfire Audio Solaris 2020, so the most important question for me to answer is whether it’s a viable upgrade for your Hi-End IEMs.
Beginning with the bass, it’s not boosted nor leaner, it basically kept the same amount and elevated the texture and slam. While some aspects are quite similar to the stock cables, the Future Jr. is just a better controlled, more dynamic and overall a better sounding cable in terms of low frequencies.
Let’s talk Keith Don’t Go by Nils Lofgren on his “Acoustic Live” album. The Future Jr. increased not only the size of Nils’ guitar, it also elevated a naturality of his guitars body resonating further and deeper. Switching to something more modern, like the song “A lot” by 21 Savage also felt good, since the Jr. gave more physicallity and more rumbling subbass region. Don’t expect it to change your bass completely, it won’t. But if you wan’t a tighter, more physical and natural bass response, this little champ will definitely please you.
The midrange is where the whole magic happens. What’s the most impressive – both female and male vocals gained a lot with this cable. It’s just silky smooth, refined and superbly natural all the way, and that’s what I was very pleased with. If you feel that your IEM feels a little compressed or unnaturally sharpened in the midrange, definitely give the Future Jr. a try. One of my favorite vocal albums for the last 2 years has been SYML – Hurt For Me, since every single song is sang differently, yet all of them are sounding close, intimate and rich. Cross Lambda gave me that little extra step into reaching an incredibly natural voice which I value the most in music. And to sum it up – it’s not an easy job, it requires an excellent craftsmanship and a thought out construction with good shielding and a very high purity conductor.
The treble is yet again natural, rich and pleasant to listen to. While it won’t add any sparkle or light to your setup, it’ll help recreating a more real timbre. Cymbals sound more metallic in a good way, and the overall definition of the sound is better. Wind instruments also sound more open and sweet. Andrew Latimer from the band called Camel plays some really emotional and heartwarming flute sections on their discography, and the Future Jr. helps it by opening it up and adding that little mass to its sound. And yes, the female vocalists…I mention Melody Gardot quite often, and for a reason, as she has a remarkably beautiful voice. The Future Jr. does her voice a true justice, without pushing too much.
The soundstage is a similar story to the Direction Neo. It creates a blacker and less noisy background, and the size of the instruments are more realistic. Add a great imaging and more precise holography to those and you’re getting a soundstage that’s just a welcome upgrade for everybody. Don’t expect that the stage will become much bigger, it’s all about increasing the accuracy and definition of the sounds around your head.
To sum it up – the Cross Lambda Future Jr. is a great upgrade cable that has its qualities more than its characteristics. Rather than changing the tonal balance of your IEMs, this chunky guy will simply push it to the next level in terms of timbre, accuracy and resolution, while remaining a very pleasurable listen. That’s what an “upgrade” means in my book.
Cross Lambda Future Jr. is a cable that focuses more on upgrading the sound of your IEMs, rather than changing its tone. While the difference might not be very spectacular, it simply is a cable to listen to for a while and to earn its respect for being a well-made, great looking and natural sounding cable that’ll pair up with just about every single IEM on the market. Definitely worth the money.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- IEMs – Fir Audio M5, Campfire Audio Solaris 2020, Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, Fir Audio VxV
- Sources– Cayin N3Pro