Pros: 2 different IEMs in one Balanced yet musical Excellent Sound staging and Imaging
Cons: Not available as a CIEM
The Noble PR is one of Noble's newest set of universal IEMs, which have a cool feature that allows for you to switch between two "modes". The PR is the reference model of the new line up, the P stands for Pure, meaning it is the ultimate reference sound. "Transparent, detailed, precise. Transparency and precision are all that matters here."
The R is another reference mode however it is not a detailed or precise as the Pure. "Analytical, resolving, fast. An analytical sound with an emphasis on clarity."
Two separate configurations, two dedicated crossover networks
P configuration impedance > 240 ohms
2 balanced-armature drivers
R configuration impedance < 30 ohms
1 balanced-armature driver
Detachable cable with industry-standard 2-pin configuration
Gold plated pentalobe screws
I like the build of the Noble’s universal IEMs, they have a small form factor that just fit right into your ear and don’t make my ears hurt after 10 minutes of use. The IEM is also very sleek looking and doesn’t really stand out that much which isn’t a bad thing, I personally like the look of Nobles universal IEMs. On the back of the IEMs is the Noble logo. The switch is easy to find on the back of the IEM. They seal on the PR is very nice, I usually have trouble getting a seal but with these I don’t. Also I dont recommend sleeping with them on.
The PR is part of a new line of Nobles universal IEMs, it is unique because it is virtually 2 sets of IEMs in one. There is a switch on the back of the IEM that allows you to seamlessly switch between the 2 settings, Up is for P or pure configuration and down for the R or reference configuration. Both configurations has a different sound signature for them as well as a significant impedance different, considering the P is 350 ohms and the R is 30ohms.
P configuration: The sound of the P configuration to be is an almost perfect reference sound. The P config reminds me a bit of the UERM, however I think the Noble is a bit more Neutral in my opinion, and I know I am going to get shot at for saying this but I think the Noble has a better reference sound for me. For me the Noble has a more realistic sound, mostly in the way it reproduces drum sounds. The snares and cymbals sound so much more like the real thing on the Nobles. However I have noticed that the bass in the P is a bit overshadowed by the Mids and Highs. Which is pretty consistent with how the UERM sounds in my opinion.
Bass- The bass is punchy and never lacks in detail, but is a bit shy compared to the rest of the sound signature of the P configuration. The thing I like the most about the PR which might be why I think the Bass is a bit laid back compared to the rest of the Sound signature might be that it is very controlled. I haven’t listen to any songs where the bass is over accentuated or where the bass bleeds. I think the level of control the PR has makes it seem like the bass doesn’t have enough weight to it. I did however get a cable that added a bit more weight to the PR and made it sound fuller bodied with the same level of control giving it a strong, detailed and impactful bass.
Mids: The mids rock on this IEM, that’s all there is too it. The mids are just straight up amazing. The level of detail I get out of the PR is on par with the Noble 6 which I believe to be the perfect reference IEM. The mids have a very crisp and clear sounding. The mids are still very musical despite being ultra-detailed and revealing. The upper mids can be sibilant sounding. Guitars are outstanding on the Nobles, my old reference headphone was the DT880 600ohm which has more laid back mids, the PR however has very
Strong mids that just shine and make guitars sing and sound killer. However I don’t think the PR has a lot of micro detail in the mids like they do in the Highs.
Highs: The highs are very airy, transparent and revealing. The reproduction on the PR is very realistic sounding. When listening to tracks like Between the Buried and Me- Extremophile Elite, it sounds almost like when I saw them live. The crash cymbals as so realistic sounding, and the little details that you can’t really get from other headphones really stand out on the PR.
Hip hop- Okay, I know there are some audiophiles out there that do listen to hip-hop and other music as well, and some of them might like the sound of reference monitors. Well I am here to say that the Noble PR is a great pair with hip-hop. The bass and mid profile on the Noble are what makes rap sound so good on these. Some specific songs I like to listen to on the PR is Man of the Year by SchoolBoy Q and Legacy by Eminem.
Metal- Metal is brutal on the Nobles, well brutal in a good way, however it will also show you if your music was terribly produced or badly mastered like on albums like The Ocean Pelagial album where there is a bit of distortion in the upper mids and lower highs. However bands like Between the Buried and Me which are really well produced sound absolutely amazing. Specific songs that sound just killer are Extremophile Elite by Between the Buried and Me, and Mesopelgial by the Ocean. The drums on these songs are just uncanny, they sound so real. Vocals are the real deal on the Nobles they are so present but also have a decent amount of separation that make it so they standout but don’t get in the way of everything else. And this is one of the toughest things to do with metal because most metal tracks to really busy.
R Configuration: So it took me a while to understand this configurtion of the IEM. I thought it just sounded off for me I realized it wasnt the IEM it was just me. I ended up realizing that the R sound is a more studio reference sound compared the the P which is a more live reference sound. Which is why I didnt like the R configuation that much more then the P configuration, I listen to a lot of music that sounds good live or that I am used to listening to live. The lower ohm rating on this setting makes it easier to drive while out and about, luckily its still very musical.
Bass: The bass on the R configuration is a bit more laid back compared to the P config. However the bass is still very detailed and textured. There seems to be a bit more of a mid bass bump on the R configuration compared to the P configuration, which to me makes it a more casual listening experience rather then just a critical listening IEM only. There is also a lot less sub-bass overall on the R configuration.
Mids: The mids are more or less pretty smooth, as mentioned before there is a bit of mid bass on the R configuration, but it doesnt terribly ruin the sound mostly due to how smooth it sounds. There is still a lot of low level detail in the mids and it makes the PR sound awesome. The upper mids on the R configuration are pretty open and trasnparent, this IEM still amazes me with how much detail it has and leaves the upper mids a bit breathy.
Highs: The highs on the R configuration to me didnt change as much as the rest of the IEM from the P version. I think the biggest change to me was the R configuration slightly rolled off in the upper treble region around 10Kish. But overall it was very pleasing sounding, it also wasnt quite in your face and didnt have any sibilance to it. I think this is the one part of the IEM on the R configuration that still has a live sound to it but it blends pretty well with the rest of the sound.
Sound staging: Now I believe that the one difference between the P and the R congifurations in terms of sound staging is that the P has a wider soundstage. But other than that they both excelled in this area, giving it the open and clear sound. The instrument seperation was outstanding, I recently found out about this band that uses both clean vocals tracked over a death metal growl and its was hard to hear what the growler voice was saying on my UE18s and my D600 but I could hear it perfectly with the PR.
Pros V Cons:
2 different IEMs in one
Balanced yet musical
Excellent Sound staging and Imaging
Not available as a CIEM
This is my new reference IEM, it may not be a CIEM but it is one of the best reference sounding IEMs or headphone I have had a chance to live with and fall in love with. I think that even for 700 dollars it is still worth getting, it is a unique experinece that everyone has to try at least once IMO. It is a desktop IEM and a protable IEM in one. This is definitely going to be something I recommend to people looking for a universal/custom reference IEM.