Reviews by ShyamS


Pros: Good build, Detailed, crisp, good soundstage, comes with Effect Audio Aries II cable, excellent for critical listening
Cons: Not forgiving, not suitable for all genres of music
My take on Empire Ears Empire Studio Reference (E.S.R):

The build quality is superb on the shell you have Empire ears logo engraved in silver and the shell itself is black a bit transparent like you can barely see the drivers. It has detachable cable and it comes with Effect Audio Ares II 3.5 mm cable. The isolated is great too. It comes with foam tip and spin fit tips in S,M & L.


Now the sound:
It’s not yet burned in (I been on wearing this for hours now can’t put it down) This is my first review and I never been strong with words when it comes to music but I’ll try to explain the best I can. I’m sorry if it’s not accurate or if you see mistakes. I have Dunu DN2000 before this one. My sources is iBasso DX50, MacBook Air, HTC U11 but primarily its DX50.

So started with listening to one of my favourites What A Wonder World by Louis Armstrong, I was blow away by the details. Soundstage is huge! His voice is so clear and I can tell every instruments apart, that too very clearly and It’s not all in my face but far apart. I just loved it. I can’t believe how much details I can hear

Then I moved on to Hotel California (Hell Freezes Over version) The first guitar part I can hear the string all so clearly then the thud thud of drum!! the impact was just amazing. It feels like I’m sitting in the audience. I can clearly tell instruments apart. Don’s vocals are so crisp. The soundstage of this thing is amazing. (Sorry I have no words to express what I am here here, but I’m getting goosebumps as I’m listening to this song so that should tell you something and big big smile on my face)

Next one I heard is Evanescence - Immortal, I never felt so emotional, her voice is crisp and clear with so much emotions. I have listened to this so many times but this is the first time I can hear everything like the violin and piano I can tell them apart, I can hear the background vocals at times and it’s not all cluttered like I used to on my other IEM. E.S.R is impressing me with every songs I heard so far.

I decided to try classical this time, Wolfgang Rihm - Musik fur Oboe und Orchester. If I close my eye I can feel like someone is playing Oboe in front of me, it felt so life like. I can hear the artist lips touch the reed while he goes to the next musical note (This composition is Oboe driven) then the thunder of tuba is so life like and as mentioned in above I can hear the instrument apart. It’s a joy to listen to this piece of music especially on E.S.R I never enjoyed this much. It feels like you are sitting right there when all this happens. Then I listened to “Styx und Lethe” and feeling is the same!!

Now I decided to try with some pop songs. I started off with She Will be Loved by Maroon 5, I felt the too much treble like song is too bright can’t listen to long (Maybe it will be better after proper burn in) It’s not as much “fun” to listen to on E.S.R like it’s not forgiving (duh! It’s a monitoring IEM, I guess that’s expected lol) Also tried Alessia Cara’s Scars To your beautiful, I couldn’t get through the song like all cluttered and vocals music all pushed together, maybe badly recorded track (?)

Then tried Royals by Lorde (If you haven’t listened to this one, it’s a bass heavy track) Wow! Bass is controlled like it doesn’t over power the vocal and sub bass is really good too. Even this track I felt too bright (?)

I’m not a fan of Hip Hop expect for very few songs so wanted to try that while I’m at it. So tried Numb / Encore (Feat. Linking Park - Jay Z) This was surprisingly good! Like the music didn’t overpower the vocals and bass was good and not that bright like other tracks I tried.

Ok I’ll stop now lol If you read until this point, thank you! As you might noticed I don’t know much of audiophile terms so just wrote what I felt.

Now to the conclusion:

E.S.R is exceptional IEM maybe I’m new to high end IEM. It is neutral IEM but slight bump in mids I think. Vocal are really really good in IEM along with classical and jazz. I felt like it’s not great for POP or Hip-Hop music out there except for some. Like I mentioned before E.S.R is not forgiving when it comes to bad recording. I’m sure with better source this will shine even better. Thank you Ethan for helping me decide and Empire Ears for this amazing IEM.