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Noble Audio Kaiser 10

Rating:
5/5,
  1. ss5972
    Phenomenal combination of art and music
    Written by ss5972
    Published Feb 24, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - sound quality, build quality, fit, soundstage, separation, asthetics
    Cons - size (a bit bulgy), cost
    After spending over a week of daily listening to these ciems I can confidently say that I have made an excellent choice with these ciems. There is nothing that i can say that hasn't been already covered by the numerous reviews. The plentiful reviews that praise the k10s for its amazing lows, mids, highs, sound-stage, separation, and not forgetting about the gorgeous art....they're all true. Noble's TOTL offerings are truly end-game gear for those who are in the hobby.
     
    Cons? They're a bit bulgy - but i can live with that. Not much you can do with so many drivers in each ear. Oh and they are a bit expensive. If you can look past those two "cons" then the kaisers will become the best earphones you own.
  2. Bossatiger
    End-game portables
    Written by Bossatiger
    Published Oct 6, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - sound quality, fit and comfort, build quality, wizard art
    Cons - price, build time, cable
    I purchased a second-hand pair on Head-Fi and got them reshelled through the Noble "OWNERSHIP TRANSFER SERVICE (ACRYLIC)." I chose to add Wizard reprint of a beautiful pattern I really liked, and added my own little signature. 
     
    As many other reviewers stated, the sound is extremely cohesive. Silky smooth and non-fatiguing, but all the detail is there. Everything sounds so damn good and transparent. And I can listen to it for hours on end. This is my end-game portable, and I enjoy it over my HD800 and LCD-3. Responds excellently to EQing. 
     
    The Wizard reprint is beautiful. I really like how it's not a 1:1 reprint but rather a unique re-make of the same overall design. 
     
    EDIT: I am currently noticing problems with the fit and seal. The right earpiece breaks seal when my jaw is nearly or completely closed, and only seals properly when my jaw is two finger widths open. The left earpiece seals much better through my entire range of jaw motion, but also seems to be much tighter of a fit than my right earpiece (which seems loose). For reference, during my first audiologist impression, she had me use my index finger as a bite block. I also have TMJ issues, which may exacerbate the problem.
    EDIT2: there's also a degree of play between the right earpiece canal and my actual ear canal. The right earpiece can seat in different positions resulting in different fits and sealing, while the left earpiece only fits in one position and consistently seals better.
     
    Cable is really microphonic and feels kinda cheap. Might be replacing it in the future with one that's better built, but it works fine for now. 
    Noble took two months to build it, as stated on their page. It took a long time, but was worth the wait.
     
    Price is definitely in the high range, but I knew what design I wanted and I was okay with purchasing second-hand for a reshell. Probably my best audio purchase yet. 
     
    BillyWu4-1.jpg
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Bossatiger
      youre right value rating can't be low if its my best purchase hahaha
      Bossatiger, Oct 6, 2016
    3. Kerouac
      Some nice (personal) design you've got there!
      Reading about the cable (cheap feeling and even worse: microphonic) I think it screams for (and deserves) an upgrade cable :)
      Kerouac, Oct 7, 2016
    4. Bossatiger
      having issues with the fit, gonna contact Noble audio as well as my audiologist
      Bossatiger, Oct 13, 2016
  3. dubbcd
    Worth to get at least one pair.
    Written by dubbcd
    Published Sep 27, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Amazing sound quality even with orginal cable. Steep bass.
    Cons - 2 pins style (not really cons)
    Very detailed quality sound . I am able to find details which missed before.
    Details with layer and staging.
    Staging and positioning isn't huge or odd. But I can feel it in my head when listening certain kind of music in a quite environment.
    Bass can be pushed very hard and steep. 
     
    WIth different quality cable and quality AMP, my K10 does give me surprise.
     
    Make sure your ears mod are made with quality or professionally.
     
    Content is King. Same old rule.
    To enjoy high quality sound, you need high quality source.
  4. Bighappy
    LET THERE BE SOUND!!!
    Written by Bighappy
    Published Apr 29, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - They are perfect!
    Cons - Nothing!...Absolutely nothing!
    This is my first review and it's going to be brief...Never in my life have I been so damn impressed with an audio product (I have a bunch) than I am with my Custom K10's!!! There is not 1 thing that I can think of that hasn't completely surpassed my expectations...I'm a picky son of a gun and these have surprised the hell out of me and I had my bar set extremely high...Do yourself a favor...run don't walk to Nobleaudio.com and get ya some :wink:
    1. Uzuzu
      sounds kind of like an advertisement here. can you go into detail a bit?
      Uzuzu, Apr 29, 2016
    2. Bighappy
      I can assure you it's no advertisement

      I apologize for not being much of a detail guy...To me, these are very hard to explain or pick apart because they do every single thing so well. If my short review isn't allowed or isn't detailed enough I'll be happy to take it down? :grin:
      Bighappy, Apr 29, 2016
    3. willyvlyminck
      At this price point it should be no wonder these are nearly perfect .
      willyvlyminck, Apr 30, 2016
  5. stimy
    Outstanding ciem!! Does everything effortlessly, pure pleasure
    Written by stimy
    Published Jan 25, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredible fit and finish. Extremely well balanced nothing is overemphasized everything is in its right place.
    Cons - Large chassis needs to fit all those drivers, I can't lay down flat on my pillow and listen.
    OK first let me start out by saying the wait time is brutal! I think I checked my tracking numbers 763 times. My wife kept telling me have patients my young Padawan it will be worth the wait and as always she was right. These monitors are outstanding, as I write this I am listening to the new Pink Floyd endless river and it's amazing! It's interesting a lot of the other reviews have touched on this but it just does everything extremely well. There's no real emphasis on any one frequency, is kind of interesting to hear you just get lost in the music. I never realized when I listen to music with all my different headphones I'm kind of internally thinking about frequencies and how they affect my listening experience. With a K10 you truly get lost in the music. 
     
    As far as my sources go I do have a Fiio X3 II the sounds pretty good with it. I found it all Fiio products have a little bit of a cold feeling to them and these will definitely show you that. I recently acquired the Centrance DAC port HD and it has brought the noble audios to a different level of enjoyment that I didn't realize possible. To my ears this is a marriage made in heaven. I believe the Centrance has a warm beautiful sound. I believe having 10 different drivers in each year really makes a difference when you put different sources to it. It can reveal details that only 10 drivers can give you.
     
    Brandon and Sunny have been unbelievable through the whole process. Incredible customer service getting back to me from email questions in under a minute. I can't say enough about it the whole experience with Noble its been great. Just prepare yourself to wait it out, 6 to 8 weeks is easy to talk about but hard to wait for. Mine was a little compounded from a mishap in Canadian customs, pretty much added an additional week. Of course not Nobles fault.
     
    Highly recommend these badass chunks of beauty!!!!
     
    Sterling 
  6. Watagump
    Great CIEM
    Written by Watagump
    Published Oct 17, 2015
    5.0/5,
    SQ has already been done to death, not much to say. I am just so happy to have gotten the best fitting CIEM's I have ever owned.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Watagump
      If you guys would just learn speed reading, you might be able to get it done quickly, duh.
      Watagump, Oct 27, 2015
    3. Malevolent
      Where's your TLDR version?
      Malevolent, Oct 27, 2015
    4. RPB65
      pmsl Wata'! always waffling on for ages...........
      RPB65, Nov 28, 2016
  7. Saraguie
    Understand why the Noble K-10 is rated number 1
    Written by Saraguie
    Published Sep 6, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great top to bottom extension, very engaging, wide soundstage, does everything very well, screams quality made and looks great.
    Cons - I'm sure there are for some folks......but for me not when the fit is right.
    I love Rock and Blues and the K-10s are a perfect match for these genres. I have the Unique Melody Miracle and the K-10 does what the Miracle does but up a couple of levels.
  8. wofsie
    Saying K10s Are the Best is an Understatement!
    Written by wofsie
    Published May 31, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful design, excellent sound, solid isolation, comfortable even with small ears in customs.
    Cons - Waiting for them to arrive after placing the order.
    While I have owned several universal IEMs from various brands, I always felt I was missing something by not having a set of customs made.  I did my homework and started reading tons of reviews of all of the latest and greatest CIEMs on the market.  I kept coming back to Noble and the reviews of the K10 all seemed to say similar and consistent positive things.  So after finally getting impressions done and talking with Brannan, I made my order for a set of CIEM K10s.  Being the impatient person I am I paid the extra to have my set expedited, and even though they were done in lightening speed, the waiting was a killer.  Brannan and Sunny at the lab in China were amazing in answering my emails and both were exceptionally patient with me and never seemed annoyed by my being a pest in asking "Are they done yet?"  Finally I got the photos and they were gorgeous.  I choose a Wizard reprint with a few specifications for color changes and the pictures were amazing, but not even close to how beautiful my K10s are when they finally arrived.  Upon opening up the pelican like case I was in awe of these tiny little works of art.  I'm not sure how long I stared at them before I snapped out of it and plugged them into my AK240 to have a listen.  Well the sound is even more amazing then the K10s are to look at!  Everything I had read about the Noble Kaiser 10 CIEMs is true.  No matter what music genre I threw at them the sound was perfect.  Jazz and classical had instruments with various sounds that I had never heard before.  Vocals were crisp and balanced with the instruments.  I am not someone who has ever done a review with the technical words for IEMs so I will leave that to the professionals.  What I can say is that I have never enjoyed my music nearly as much as I do now that I have my K10s.  Music is just that much more fun to listen to.  I have other IEMs that are more analytic in hearing distinct instruments and vocals and if I am focusing I certainly have clarity with my K10s.  But mostly I just close my eyes and hear all there is to hear in whatever I am listening to and I am enjoying the music.  That is perhaps why I feel my K10 CIEMs are the perfect IEM.  Perhaps the only drawback there is in owning a pair is once you have them there is no going back.  I simply adore listening to music with these and there is no other IEM that I own that even comes close to the perfection of hearing the music.
    I did have problems with the fit in both ears but particularly the left.  After sending photos to Brannan and Sunny I had to have another set of impressions made and send those along with my K10s back for a refit on each ear.  That was painful after listening to music with them and I had withdrawal until they were refitted and returned to me.  Yet again the customer service and communication was excellent and the refit was worth the wait.  My K10s now fit like a glove with no break in the seal no matter what I am doing and the sound is even better.  All I can say is if you are going to have one pair of CIEMs and want something that will give you musical ecstasy in addition to being a work of art, the Noble K10 is the perfect CIEM.
  9. Headiest
    My First CIEM
    Written by Headiest
    Published Jul 17, 2014
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Lows, Mids, Highs, and Everything in Between.
    Cons - Price
    Customer Service:
     
    Let me start by mentioning what great customer service Noble has.  Everyone I talked to was very timely and helpful whenever I had questions or concerns before, during, and after my K10 purchase.  This has easily been one of the best purchase experiences I've ever had.  Noble, keep it up!  
     
    My Experience:
     
    I am not an audiophile.  My earphone experience is as follows:  Klipsch S4 -> Westone W4 -> Noble Kaiser 10.  I have always listened to 320 mbps + files out of my iPhone 5, so I have no experience with high end DAP's or amps, although these CIEM's have me saving for an AK240.  
     
    NOTE: Be careful! It's a slippery slope into the world of high end audio.
     
    photo.jpg
     
     
    Sound: 
     
    For a CIEM with 10 drivers, the K10 provides a spacious and cohesive presentation.  Clarity is astounding.  I am still amazed at how well this CIEM accurately reproduces recordings.  Coming directly from the Westone W4, the K10 sound is on the thicker side and may take some getting used to, but once you do, you will never want to go back.
     
    Lows:
         
    The K10 can hit like a champ, but only if the recording asks for it.  Mid and sub base are spot on.  I couldn't imagine any more, and I wouldn't enjoy (as much) any less.  The base does not audibly bleed into any other frequency range.
     
    Mids: 
     
    The mids are "lush" (I didn't know what this meant until I had a listen).  Everything comes through crystal clear and slightly thick.
     
    Highs: 
     
    The highs on this CIEM are incredible.  They are sparkly, shimmery, and beautiful.  Where other headphones struggle or are sibilant, the K10's reproduce high frequencies with no perceived effort at all.
     
    Summary:
     
    These CIEM's cost 1600 USD!  I was initially hesitant to buy them, but in the end they are completely worth it.  If you are new to high end audio, as I was, the K10's will introduce you to a whole new way of your enjoying music.  I've had the K10's since February, and my enthusiasm is still as strong as the day they arrived at my door.  
     
    I look forward to seeing how well these gems scale with a high quality source and will update this review accordingly.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MarcadoStalker7
      At least there are audio meets in Canada sometimes!
      Here in Paraguay (possibly you don't even know that country hahaha) you need to become a ******* Odinist Level 100 to see and try a ******* Grado, even on the best commercial place of the country. Imagine a Kaiser 10, my god.
      MarcadoStalker7, Jul 19, 2014
    3. MarcadoStalker7
      Cool review, tho.
      MarcadoStalker7, Jul 19, 2014
    4. Headiest
      I know your pain.  I do live in the US, but have a hard time getting my hands on gear to test due to lack of distribution networks.  I took a leap of faith when purchasing the K10's (due to all the positive reviews here on headfi) , and am glad I did.
      Headiest, Jul 22, 2014
  10. sq3rjick
    Pure Audio Nirvana
    Written by sq3rjick
    Published Feb 1, 2014
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful design, amazing clarity, 3D sound, plenty of bass when you need it, and not a hint of sibilance. I can listen to these forever.
    Cons - With a Wizard design and the cost of impressions, you're looking at over $2000. Expensive, but worth every penny.
    Overview:
     
    The Kaiser 10, or K10, is a 10-balanced armature driver CIEM from Noble Audio.  The K10 is an evolution of an earlier 8-driver design, this time focused on a more natural sound signature rather than focusing on bass.  To this point, the K10 succeeds it its goal.  No one portion of the sound spectrum is overly emphasized or unnaturally enhanced.  Each part of the spectrum is present and doesn't interfere with the other portions.  The bass does not bleed into the mids, and the mids don't bleed into the highs.  The result is a very natural and highly addicting sound signature that keeps you coming back for more.  
     
    Packaging:
     
    The K10s came in a smallish brown cardboard box.  The box itself was completely sealed with "Noble" clear plastic tape and very clear instructions to refuse delivery if the seal was broken.  Luckily, my seal was not broken.  Inside was about 1 inch of foam surrounding a black plastic hard case, which was wrapped in a purple-blue "Wizard" cardboard sleeve.  Inside the hard case were the K10s, two rubber bands, a cleaning tool, Magnus cable (already attached to the K10s), and ownership information card.  The hard case has my name engraved on it and a "Noble" metallic label.
     
    Design:
     
    For my K10, I went with a Wizard design.  The design is impeccably executed.  The shells are blue with what looks like the cosmetic grade silver glitter.  The signature faceplates look to be a mixture of red, purple, and blue acrylic in a nebulous swirl design, with a light-colored wood inlay thrown in for good measure.  The tips of the canals are clear, which looks very nice with the rest of the design.  I can only see two bubbles in the entire shell: one in each canal where the acrylic transitions from clear to blue.  I suspect that this comes with the clear tips, and they aren't noticeable unless you're looking for them; they in no way detract from the K10s. Overall, I am exceptionally happy with how everything turned out, and I'm loving my truly unique Wizard design.
     
     
     
    k10_2.jpg
     
    k10_1.jpg
     
     
    Finish:
     
    As we've come to expect with the Wizard, the finish is exceptional.  I cannot find a single rough spot; everything is sanded smooth and ridiculously well polished.  These things are a fingerprint magnet!  Fortunately, all it takes is a quick rub-down with a soft cloth to bring them back to pristine condition.  I am very impressed with how seamlessly the faceplates blend into the main body of the shell.  I also really like the fact that the ends of the canals have a concave shape so that the sound tube bores don't so easily get clogged with earwax.  The shape also makes them easier to clean.  Also, you can tell that extreme care has been taken to ensure that the three sound tube bores are exactly in the center of each canal. This is a definite improvement from my Heir 8.A, which has an almost flat, slightly convex end on each canal, and the sound tubes are not centered, and almost haphazardly placed.  It may seem like a little thing, but it really highlights Noble's attention to detail.  If they care so much about getting such a little piece of the overall design correct, it speaks volumes for the rest of the experience.
     
    Fit:
     
    My K10s fit absolutely perfectly the first time.  Whew!  It's always a valid concern that after waiting weeks (or months) for your CIEM, it won't fit properly when it finally arrives.  I am glad to say that my K10 fits like a glove. A strange, weirdly shaped, blue, ear glove. [​IMG]   Noble was also very accommodating with another special request that I made for my K10s. After more than 6 months of owning my 8.A, one thing that I really wished for was slightly longer canals (both to improve isolation and improve comfort; it's a personal preference, but in my experience I definitely enjoy my canals to be as long as possible).  When getting ear impressions, I specifically requested that the canals were taken as long as possible.  My audiologist was able to produce impressions with those long canals, and to my great happiness Noble was able to give me extra long canals on my K10s.  Awesome!  My K10 canals are about 5-6 mm longer than my 8.A canals and I couldn't be happier with the extra length.  One final point on the fit: the K10s with their 10 drivers per ear are not going to sit flush in your ear (unless your ears are absolutely cavernous!).  The K10 sticks out of my ears about 1.5 - 2 mm more than my 8.A, so fair warning if you're looking for a flush-fitting CIEM; you likely won't find it in the K10.
     
    Isolation:
     
    The isolation on my K10 is simply amazing.  They're definitely best-isolating acrylic CIEM that I own or have heard (this is probably in part due to the requested longer canals).  Without any music playing, I can't hear my fiancée talking next to me unless she yells at much louder than an indoor voice.  It's actually a bit surreal; I really couldn't tell that she was talking at all and I had to have her confirm that she was actually talking (I didn't believe her at first and thought she was messing with me!).  With music playing, I could probably sit with my back to train tracks as a freight train passed by and not notice, except for the vibrations in my glass of water.  Yes, it's that good.  The isolation is as good as my silicone CIEMs and custom silicone sleeves, and with music playing may be just a tad bit better.
     
    Sound:
     
    This is the part that most of you were probably waiting for. [​IMG]  The sound is, simply, amazing.  The bass is impactful with plenty of quality in the sub-bass region, the mids are right there where they should be front and center, and the treble extends up to the sky and beyond.  I would say that no one particular area is emphasized or out of place.  It's unbelievable how coherent the sound is from 10 drivers in each ear.  Everything is in its place and there, without any area stepping on or trampling the other areas.  If I wasn't hearing this for myself, I honestly wouldn't believe how good everything sounds and just perfectly comes together.  I'm sitting here listening to Rilo Kiley and just have a ridiculous, stupid grin plastered on my face.  I think I'm in love.
     
    The K10 has a fairly wide soundstage for an IEM; it doesn't match a good set of open headphones, but it matches and slightly exceeds the width of some of the closed headphones I've tried.  I would say that, in my opinion, the soundstage is about 10% wider than the 8.A's.  I would say that there's some height to the soundstage, but it's definitely not the star of the show; it's tall enough to not detract from the rest of the sound, but it's not really anything to write home about. Where the K10 is really shining for me is in depth and layering.  I am finding myself getting lost in the music, shifting my focus at ease between each layer.  It's a really holographic effect, with the different layers of music in each recording weaving effortlessly together to create something that's truly magical.  There is definitely separation between different instruments, but it's very organic and not at all artificial.  Everything is where it should be, and while you can pick out exactly where each instrument or voice is coming from if you want to, you can also just sit back and let everything come together.  It feels like you're sitting in the middle of the band as they play, rather than sitting in a mixing studio trying to produce a coherent sound after the fact from several individual instrument recordings.
     
    Source:
     
    I briefly tried the K10 directly out of my Galaxy Note 3 and directly out of my MacBook Pro.  The K10s sounded pretty good out of these sources, but to truly do them justice you'll want to invest in a good quality source.  When I plugged them into my Leckerton Audio UHA-6S.mkii, they truly came alive.  I've been listening to 24/96 FLAC files from HD Tracks (including the Eagles box set), and the K10s are singing.  If you're going to drop the money on the K10 or any other top-tier IEM, I cannot stress how important it is that your source is able to properly drive them!
     
    Comparisons to the 8.A:
     
    Although the 8.A and K10 share 8 drivers in common, there are some definite differences in the tuning between these two CIEMs.  In terms of bass quantity combined with bass quality, you cannot beat the 8.A.  The K10 has very good quality of bass and it can hit hard when the bass is in the music and it's called for, but in terms of quantity there's a bit less of it there.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, really, and it leads to an overall more balanced sound.  However, if you prefer listening to genres where there's a heavy bass component, or you just like your bass to be a bit more present and emphasized, you're probably better off going with the 8.A or the similarly-tuned (but slightly tweaked) 8C.  The other area I'd like to address is sibilance.  With my 8.A, there are several tracks that I simply can't listen to due to sibilance.  I'm very sensitive to it, and nothing makes me stop listening to my headphones faster than harsh sibilance.  It's really not the 8.A's fault; the recordings are known for being poorly mastered, and the 8.A is simply highlighting an imperfection that's already.  One of the first songs I listened to on my K10s was Norah Jones - Don't Know Why.  On my 8.A, this track is unlistenable due to the harshness of her voice in the recording.  On the K10, I can listen to the track at high volume without the faintest sign of sibilance.  I listened to a few other tracks that were unlistenable on the 8.A (coincidentally, mostly songs with edgy female vocals).  No matter what I throw at the K10, I don't detect any sibilance.  To me, this music to my ears.
     
    Overall:
     
    I've very, very impressed with the K10.  I am glad that I went with the Wizard design option.  If you're on the fence at all, I recommend that you place an order right now.  They're really that good.  I guess now I'm going to have to get an 8C and see if it's an improvement on the 8.A. [​IMG]