Pros: Neutral. Beautifully smooth, delicately articulate. Control. Separation.
Cons: Not 'fun' to listen to. Initial listening extremely underwhelming.
Here are my very brief impressions after listening to this earphone for approximately 12 hours without burn in. Very early stages, I know.
Sampling artists I used include John Mayer, Katharine McPhee, Brooke Fraser, Kina Grannis.
Currently owned in-ears: Shure SE215 (3 years), Sennheiser IE8 (2 years), Logitech UE600 (2 years)
I purchased these in-ears as I had an increasing need for a neutral sounding set of ears which I can pair with a monitoring pack while positioning microphones for live gigs.
This in-earphone will definitely not wow at first listen.
But they will provide endless insight into the music.
My ears are extremely picky with silicone tips and I couldn't get anything other than the foam tips to sit comfortably.
The strength of this earphone in this area is definitely contributed by the lack of any emphasis in area. You'll notice that this is generally what I'm going to say in every frequency region.
There's nothing in the sound that adds to the dynamics of a song and brings those instruments in and makes them more audibly present. This helps with both separation and space.
Layers of instruments aren't blended together even with similar frequency signatures. Orchestral sections are so well separated and placed that it makes conducting seem like an easy task to do blindfolded.
Lows: (Sub-bass to 200Hz)
Deep and extensive. Not immersive.
John Mayer's 'Belief' and 'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room'
There is no 60-80Hz punch like the Shures, or mid bass hump that veils the mids (IE8).
Kick drums and bass guitars have space and distance, something I find the Sennheiser IE8s didn't do very well and the 215's place right inside your skull.
Orchestras are not warm and lush as with the IE8s which seem to place classical genres in a medium sized, musty, ornate concert hall with lots of velvet and wood.
Nowhere near as warm or upfront as the Shures.
The snare in John Mayer's 'Belief' doesn't crack explosively with a 4KHz peak. Which is a good thing for me.
The snare is just sits about 8 meters away on a carpet in a bright room. It doesn't lack thickness, resonance or clarity but is relaxed and controlled.
The articulation of highs is incredible.
Sibilance is there when it is present in recordings. It's easily noticeable, but rarely ever harsh.
There is no shimmery high 12KHz peak.
Blues (The trumpet-playing cigar room type)
Genres not recommended with the Noble 4:
Full Band Rock
These are my impressions after my first extended listen.
Dug up and dusted off my PA2v2 portable amp which is well known for it's dynamic-adding definitely-not-flat properties.
It might be just batteries running low but the amount of noise from the amp is quite horrendous.
It gives driving, heavy genres more 'life' and punch, but loses the wonderful neutral composure.
If I had to rate the pairing, I'd give the pair a 70% match score.