Isol-8 IsoLink 1 review

This mains cable may make a cheap improvement to your Hi-Fi audio

Isol-8 IsoLink 1
This mains cable is made from Oxygen Free Copper for the best sound at a reasonable price

TechRadar Verdict

Improvements vary across a range of kit, but this cable does seem to make some improvement to everything we connected it to


  • +

    Improved audio on most things we tried


  • -

    Might not notice an improvement in some kit

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Isol-8 is the company started by one-time IsoTek designer Nic Poulson, also known as the man behind the Trilogy line of amplifiers. It is a pure mains conditioning specialist, with a range extending from the IsoLink 1 mains cable we are reviewing here up to sophisticated mains regenerators and high-current filters costing in the low thousands.

This simple cable is the company's introduction to its range – and ours. It uses Oxygen-Free Copper conductors of generous diameter, screened overall with a tinned copper braid.

Connectors at both ends are good-quality industrial parts: the more upmarket Isol-8 cables have the same wire but fancier connectors.

Standard length is 1.5 metres, but other lengths are available to order. It's always interesting to try mains cables on different components and we're certainly glad we did in this case, as results seemed to vary quite widely.

Annoyingly, we couldn't find a consistent pattern across the range of equipment we had available, but a solid-state phono stage certainly showed a clear improvement in resolution, almost as if some background noise had been removed.

A moderately upmarket CD player hardly benefitted, but a slightly elderly high-end one was much more inclined to show improvements, with better resolution again and also a slight gain in treble openness.

Meanwhile, two power amplifiers, one valve and one transistor, seemed to gain a semitone or three of bass extension – obviously that's impossible, taken literally, but a little extra clarity in the lowest octaves can easily come across that way.

Although we can't predict exact results, we're happy to recommend you give this cable a try.

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