After being bummed out by a disappointing pair of planar earbuds
, I got my hands on the Cypherus Audio "Susvara" Black Dragon
. And let me tell you, it's a game-changer.
This bad boy is tuned to the sound signature of the Hifiman Susvara headphones, and it shows. It used to be the Red Dragon that was all the rage, going for $650. But now, the Black Dragon is the new flagship model, with a starting price of $1000.
Effect Audio Leonidas II Cable
I'll admit the stock cable that came with it was a little too stiff and heavy for my liking. So, I sent in my Effect Audio Leonidas II cable
, which costs a grand by itself. In the end, this whole thing set me back 2 grand. Yikes!
But I feel it was worth every penny. The Leonidas II cable uses palladium plated silver and litz silver hybrid UP-OCC
material, and its precision, holography, and speed are unparalleled. More importantly, the design is highly ergonomic, lightweight and flexible. Bonus is there's zero microphonic interference.
Black Dragon Drivers
Obviously, the Black Dragon drivers are no joke either. They're composed of a strong neodymium magnet with an in-house coil, and they have a bigger driver at 15mm
than the one from WoodyLuvr's Zane Dragon at 14mm. According to Herry from Cypherus Audio, this bigger driver creates a significantly more spacious sound and better attack on the mid and low frequencies.
In fact, the magnets in the drivers are so strong that he warned me not to place the earbuds in close proximity to each other, lest they inadvertently cause the membrane to move and potentially damage the delicate internal coil. It's a testament to the sheer power and precision of these little audio marvels
In case you haven't heard of the Hifiman Susvara
before, it's a high-end planar magnetic headphone that delivers exceptional clarity
and a wide range of frequencies.
It reproduces tight, controlled bass, clean and transparent midrange, and extended, airy treble. The soundstage is wide and deep, and imaging is precise, allowing you to pinpoint individual instruments and voices. Tonal balance is neutral or slightly bright, making for a balanced and natural sound.
Hifiman Susvara Mini
So I already own the Susvara, but I wanted a miniature version that I could take on the go. With no foams or silicone rings attached, my Black Dragon sounds eerily similar to the Susvara, even down to the technicalities. As a result, I tend to listen in this way most of the time.
But here's where things get really exciting. Sometimes I like to use K's donut foam for a little more oomph. This foam surface is super smooth and soft, kind of like Hiegi's donut foam but less dense.
With the Black Dragon, you get a CRRAZYYYY amount of details.
As I listen, I can detect each breath of the singer and every pluck of the guitar strings, noticing intricate details in each instrument.
Notes have a pleasing tactile quality, weight, and emotional appeal. I particularly enjoy listening to female vocals and thankfully, I didn't notice any sibilance in the sound.
The soundstage is just...wow. It's huge, enveloping and 3D holographic, just like the Susvara. Moreover, the instrument separation and imaging are so precise that you can almost feel the music swirling around you.
And the sub bass? Unbelievable
This is the first time I am thoroughly impressed by the bass texture and rumble from an earbud, as I can distinctly hear and identify all the different bass notes in a song simultaneously.
Here's the kicker. Black Dragon is very easy to power. For example, with my powerful Ferrum Oor amp, the 300 ohm Serratus is at about 9 o'clock volume, but the 32 ohm Black Dragon is only at about 7 o'clock volume. So, it doesn't take much to get this thing going.
Now, I have the TGXear Serratus, TGXear Alpha, and TGXear Totem
, and while those earbuds sound highly detailed with a spacious soundstage, they just can't compare to the clarity, bass and precision of the Susvara Black Dragon. This thing is on another level, my friend.
I also recently had the chance to check out the new Pislo PXTI
earbuds. They cost roughly the same as my Susvara Black Dragon and use full-range piezoelectric drivers. However, I have to say, they're not quite up to par with the Susvara Black Dragon when it comes to bass and faster music. They're more suited for slow, acoustic tunes. One of the most stunning features of this item is its custom-made black zirconium titanium damascus shell. The intricate pattern and unique design make it a true work of art, and I intend to add it to my collection in the future.
Switching back to my old earbuds after using the Black Dragon is quite a surprise as they sound veiled and grainy. It's interesting because I never realized they lacked so much clarity before.
Herry the Wizard
Have I told you about Herry yet? Yeah... That guy is a total earbud wizard! I'm not even kidding; his earbuds sound like a symphony orchestra blasting right into your eardrums. I have no clue how he managed to pull off such an incredible feat of engineering.
Speaking of impressive engineering, did anyone ever crack open the shell of those Cypherus Audio earbuds to take a peek at what's going on inside? I'm really curious to know what he did differently from other earbud makers because it took nearly three months for me to receive the final product.
It's like he's some kind of mad scientist, but instead of creating monsters, he's creating the most amazing sound experience known to humankind. I'm starting to think he might be a wizard or something. Like, does he have a secret wand that he uses to enchant the earbuds? Or maybe he's just a master of sound waves and frequencies. Whatever it is, I'm just glad I have a pair of these bad boys
Should You Buy It?
Ok, I know what you're thinking - I must be exaggerating when I say the Susvara Black Dragon is the best of the best
. There is no "best" earbud, only one that is "best" for a particular user. But trust me, I've heard a ton of high-end earbuds, and this one is truly a masterpiece
Sure, it's on the pricier side, but when you realize that the Cypherus Audio Susvara Black Dragon can hold its own against the renowned Hifiman Susvara headphones, which are widely regarded as the best in the world, the value of this earbud becomes undeniable.
If you've got a thousand bucks burning a hole in your pocket and want a customizable sound that'll blow your mind, this is the endgame
earbud for you.
**Please note that the Cypherus Audio Black Dragon is custom-built to cater to individual customer preferences regarding sound quality. This means that you have the freedom to select the sound from your preferred headphones such as Utopia, LCD-4, HD800s, and others, or even request a customized frequency response curve. Therefore, it's important to understand that the aforementioned review may not accurately reflect the auditory experience you will have with your own Black Dragon earbuds.**