Chord Company Clearway review

Product of the Year, Awards 2016. Chord's excellent speaker cable allows for more musicality and greater dynamics from your system...

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Our Verdict

Chord hasn’t created a speaker cable that’ll make your system sound its cleanest or most detailed, but an understanding of what makes music enjoyable means the positives far outweigh that

For

  • Helps tie instruments together
  • Aids dynamics and musicality

Against

  • Nothing at this price

There's an easy way to tell the 2016 version of Chord's Clearway from the 2015 edition. The original Chord Clearway speaker cable looked like a silver space snake, with the foil beneath the transparent PVC jacket clearly visible.

Video review

Design

However, the latest version has ditched the transparent jacket for all-white PVC, so the inner foil is no longer visible. But it's definitely still there.

That foil acts as a shield, which Chord says is particularly effective at blocking harmful high frequency interference. What it’s protecting is a pair of stranded copper wires, twisted together.

Performance

And the effect upon our reference system makes for very interesting listening indeed.

Competitors, such as the impressive QED XT40 (also £10/m), help it offer more space, detail and attack, the immediacy of which give it an early lead.

Listening on, however, we find the Clearway helps the system better stitch the instruments together; it’s more rhythmic, more dynamic, more musical – Shostakovich and Beastie Boys alike.

Verdict

Often, we’d tend to say cleaner amounts to better. Detail, space, frequency range; those things matter, and if the Clearway were lacking in those respects it wouldn’t be given five stars.

But what matters more is the knitting together and musicality, and that’s where Chord has this right for the price.

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