Head Gear Reviews by pinkzeppelincult
  1. Empire Ears Valkyrie

    3.50 star(s)
    Note: All listening was done through foobar2000 on Windows 10 routed through an iBasso DX200 (Amp 1) functioning as a USB DAC. Presentation: The Valkyrie's signature is subtly but distinctly V-shaped (V for Valkyrie, obviously). The bass and treble are forward of the mids, but they don't drown them out. The tonality leans towards neutral rather than natural, but (with a few exceptions) there's palpable texture throughout the presentation. However, this seems to come at the expense of apparent detail and coherence: the Valkyrie can sometimes lose...
  2. RHA CL2 Planar

    3.50 star(s)
    Introduction I'm going to use this section to do what I normally don't: discuss a product's packaging. The CL2 comes in a box that at first appears of moderate size but unfolds to reveal quite the accessory package: a plentiful tip selection; two cables—one copper and terminated with a 3.5mm unbalanced plug, the other silver and terminated with a 2.5mm balanced plug; a Bluetooth neckband; a USB-C cable for the neckband that I suspect will mostly be cannibalized for use with smartphones; and a neat soft zipper pouch, which feels adequate given that...
  3. Empire Ears Bravado

    4.00 star(s)
    Introduction Just to be upfront, this section has little to do with the Bravado. It's more a brief one of those "My Audiophile Journey" essays. It's there for those who are interested, but the proper discussion of the Bravado begins with the Sound section below. Anyway, back when the best (and only) IEM I had ever heard was the Etymotic ER4PT, I had a punkish attitude: I was a "true" audiophile because my humble reference monitor was objectively better than all the more expensive and colorfully tuned products out there, which obviously were just...
  4. Empire Ears Phantom

    4.50 star(s)
    Disclaimer: I purchased the Phantom full-price from Empire Ears for my own enjoyment and under no obligations. While EE did request this review in exchange for another consideration (shoutout to Jack and Devon for their excellent customer service!), I was already half done with it at that point, and there was no incentive provided for a positive review. Introduction Here, most people detail Empire Ears’ history, first as EarWerkz, then as, well, Empire Ears. All this predates my initiation as an audiophile, and is easily available elsewhere, so I...
  5. InEar ProPhile 8

    4.50 star(s)
    Introduction I don't normally review packaging, but because some people have made a big deal of the ProPhile's plain-for-a-flagship packaging, I thought I would note that while the box isn't wood or carbon fiber or aluminum or any other such pointlessly expensive material, everything arrived safely, and the cardboard box fit neatly in my recycle bin instead of taking up space on my desk for no good reason. I will say, however, that the (otherwise excellent) Pelican 1060 case is a little on the large side unless you plan on toting accessories; I...
  6. Noble Audio Sage

    4.00 star(s)
    (Removed.)
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