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Noble Audio Savant

  1. potatoe94
    Masterfully Balanced
    Written by potatoe94
    Published Nov 21, 2015
    Pros - Details , Soundstage , Instrumental Texture , Sound Signature
    Cons - confusion in areas with many cymbals
    I just bought this a few hours ago , the Savant sounds insanely satisfying when i demo-ed it at my local inear store . 
    it has the clarity i was thirsty for , signature was also very quickly received by me . 

    She's beautiful in every aspect .

    Clear, untainted and transparent as crystal .
    Engaging, entertaining and yet relaxed .
    Mysterious, gentle and brilliant .
    Simple, minimal and neat ."


    To begin with , The Noble Savant is hooked up to my iFi iDSD Micro and direct to my Laptop via USB power , no frills , just issued cables were used . Running on Foobar with all FLAC Lossless & some Binaurals.

    A few words to describe the audio of The Noble Savant in my opinion would be …
    Crystal clear , Transparent , Detail Retriever , “Light” sounding , Speed in attack and decay , Non-Intrusive highs , Immersive wide soundstage .

    The overall sound signature may sound “dull” to some, especially people looking for warm, bassy sound IEMs , you may stop scrolling here . I’ve never quite found myself to be ever interested in a “balanced” sounding IEM since I started , from when I started , I’ve owned some of the masters of bass , umPro 50 , IE800 , Beyerdynamic T90 , Monster Turbine Pro Gold , Sony XB-700 etc. And when I am shopping for a new counterpart for my iFi iDSD Micro after I sold my ie800 not long ago , I went out , tried many other universal iems , which filtered me down to the close decision to getting the Westone w60 and Noble Savant , but they were of complete polar signature , the w60 was warm bodied , lively , ASMR-ish , musical , but it didn’t held the details like the Savant did , the savant’s details were remarkable , something I find lacking in the w60 honestly , details , transparency and crystal clarity , undisputed , really .

    I ended up asking the headphone specialist working there at my local store if there are any IEMs around which has the energy and liveliness of the w60 , yet detail of the Savant at any price range within them both , he offered the other Noble models for me to try , and the warmth from the other nobles including the K10 were too “un-dynamic” and alittle unnatural to me, the w60 had a more dynamically right sounding low end . So I ended up getting the Savant after much consideration, because it would be a more interesting listen. Man was I right , it was much more engaging and I felt that I’ve never felt this way from a balanced tuned IEM before , probably the clarity was making me giggle alittle inside . Having only bought this at a really good price @ around S$680 [after a 20% off Christmas sale + a Free Noble Bluetooth Signaller Worth S$149] {Singapore Dollars} was that a great catch or what ? Hahaha !

    Back to topic , It was not completely “balanced” in that sense , but it was rather flat tuned and had a slight U shaped signature , The bass was fast and tight , yet believable , the treble seldom sounds harsh and intrusive , the response spectrum is in a comfortable range . Comparing to the ie800 , the ie800 has deeper and fuller bodied bass , more recessed and warmer mids , a treble extension that is best described as “thin & crispy” in the contrary , the Savant proved to have more alertness in the bass section , having speedier , yet body in the bass , many find it to be lacking , but I find it to be sufficient to listen and enjoy it’s presence , the mids were beautiful in the savant , vocals and acoustics were beautiful on these , the highs were not exaggerated , however may sometime get itself lost in music with lots of cymbals.

    The soundstage is wide, comparing to the ie800 and w60 , it is noticeably wider , possibly tuned by the Wizard this way . The reduction of bass could give the illusion of a wider soundstage with the treble at work . It was not an opened headphone kind of openness ,  just a small margin above the ie800 , just to make the Savant sound less congested like other midrange IEMs . Having a wide soundstage have also given advantage to the instrumental positioning being rather commendable for an IEM . Beautifully tuned , some genres sounded like they were made just right for the Savant , Taylor Swift’s 1989 & Westlife was a pleasure to listen to , Some Metals sounded alittle off as the music gets itself confused with the added instruments .

    Conclusion , like any other IEM , you’ll have to try them before actually getting them , otherwise it will be quite a risk to take , especially for an IEM like Savant , where the sound is really subjective down to personal preference , the best and the fairest moment is to give it a chance to prove itself without knowing the number of drivers that are actually inside , by keeping the number of BA drivers a secret by the company , they are confident that they are performers of IEMs in that particular price range . If you scroll around , you can actually find the number of drivers used , however , I would like you to believe your ears and give them a try first , you may find yourself loving a very nice pair of IEM .

    The housing was made from the standard plastic issue from all other Noble series , to tell the Savant apart from the rest , it utilized the rose gold flower screws like that of the Noble 5 , and the right housing has “WIZARD” etched into it , probably the masterful tuning made by the Wizard . It honestly felt cheap at first , because it weighs practically nothing , I actually shook the demo unit alittle and it felt like an empty shell with no contents in it . Initially my thought was “what a waste of space” as I thought they could have made the IEM smaller with the amount of empty space present in the Savant. As I placed the Unit into my ears , for such an oddly shaped in ear , it fits perfectly , and loops nicely , even for a glass-wearer like me . Cables are braided and flexible , with a more “memory” end nearing the Unit itself . However the cables may be something I might upgrade over the years to come. After actually putting them on , everything felt right , the weight and size made sense . There are no loose parts on the unit , however I felt that if i were to accidentally step or sit on it , the housing would just break .

    The Noble Savant comes packaged in a very beautiful Damascus steel kind of pattern with a bold NOBLE printed over it, logos on the front and rear , and WIZARD on the sides . Lifting the lid of the box up to open it like an apple product , a glossy black pelican 1010 case presents itself , inside the pelican case , you will find 3 pairs of foam tips , 3 pairs of double flange tips, 3 pairs of red core silicone tips, 3 pairs of rubber tips with a bridge at the nozzle . A velvet draw string pouch . A brushed aluminium NOBLE card . A cleaning tool . A pair of NOBLE amp bands . The Noble Savant . Pretty Standard stuff .

    Experiences were good , but perhaps a longer burn-in would unravel the demo unit’s standard of clarity . Overall sound was really good for the price , having to decide between the w60 and ie800 again , I would still go for the slightly different Noble Savant , because until now , it’s all praises , until I find something to criticize it .  The accessories were well equipped , well packed and of decent quality . The mystery factor played a part in making me buy the Savant too ~ OooOOooOoo 

    May not be a detailed enough review , but i'll perhaps have more to say after the burn in :)

    Enjoy some of my photos in the moment of the burn-in 
    Photos are shot in RAW with Sony QX1 with [50mm f/1.4 lens] the processed in Lightroom 

    1. View previous replies...
    2. potatoe94
      @glassmonkey hi ! thanks alot for the commendation ! 
      @FUYU Hi ! Yup ! i've watched some youtube video of a guy unscrew it and talking some high **** . hahaha ! But we really cannot judge the Entire IEM simply based on the number of drivers now can we ? ^^
      potatoe94, Nov 21, 2015
    3. PinkyPowers
      If you're ever of a mind for an upgrade that retains the details, but is capable of warmth when you want it, check out the JH Audio Angie.

      Also, with Angie, symbols never get "confused".
      PinkyPowers, Nov 21, 2015
    4. potatoe94
      @PinkyPowers Alright thanks ! Will try it out sometime soon ~ ^^
      potatoe94, Nov 21, 2015
  2. fnkcow
    Noble Audio Savant Impressions
    Written by fnkcow
    Published Nov 4, 2015
    Pros - Well balanced sound, isolation
    Cons - Price, build imperfections, microphonic cable, sound very fit-dependent, rolled off bass
    This unit was in my possession for about 10 days as part of the local tour. I'd like to thank Noble Audio and @d marc0 for organizing and including me in this tour.
    I listen at relatively high volume level, so my impressions will be based on this. Please be aware that there might be variations in impressions at different volume and issues present on different volume level may/may not exist on this product.
    - Noble Audio Savant with removable stock cable
    - Noble ownership card
    - x3 difference sizes of silicone tips
    - x3 difference sizes of other silicone tips
    - x3 difference sizes of dual flange tips
    - x3 difference sizes of foam tips
    - x2 Noble Stickers
    - x2 Noble Amp straps
    - Cleaning brush
    - Noble pouch
    - Noble clamshell case
    - Noble cardboard box
    *As this is a tour unit what are included inside the package might vary from current retail standard. 
    Design and Usability
    The Savant uses the same shell as every other universal Non-Wizard Noble Audio IEMs before its release. On closer look one will notice minor imperfections on the shells whereby they were joined together, as shown in the picture below, even though they are just marks left behind from injection mold process and the shells will most probably last long under moderate use. The Wizard signature is added on the side of the shell to differentiate it from the other universal Noble IEMs, but it is executed poorly IMO and made it look more like a toy rather than a serious audio product. As this is a $599 USD product and Noble Audio prides itself and is known for no compromise in pleasing aesthetics and outstanding craftsmanship, these comes as underwhelming considering all the decent IEMs I have come across before do not exhibit such toy-like traits even at a fraction of Savant's price and it is suggested that Noble will look into another way of producing their universal IEMs.
    Isolation is great for a universal and the passive noise reduction achieved is plenty for those looking to block out external noise. Comfort wise is fairly good, given the high level of isolation it achieves, and I could wear it for few hours on end without getting ear pains. I find that tip-rolling is absolutely paramount for the Savant, as slight loss of perfect seal is the difference between having adequate bass or very little at all, hence it's understandable why 4 different types of tips are included, though I prefer to use Spinfits from my own collection.
    The silver-plated copper stock cable is tightly braided and feels nice to the touch with a glossy finish. It is flexible and comfort is decent with the still acceptable memory wire and having a clear plastic tube as a chin slider. However, what I find missing from the seemingly packed accesories collection is the lack of a shirt clip, as microphonics is evident when moving about.
    Sound Impressions
    The Savant was easy enough to drive with my phone and Cayin N6, and it did not require any amping to sound substantially better.
    Overall the Noble Audio Savant has a very mass-appealing slightly U-shaped sound signature. They are not neutral but well-balanced such that everything sounds right and there are no abrupt peaks across the frequency range. It's a very safe tuning in that there is nothing intrusive or offending that jumps out immediately for nitpicking. Savant is a showcase of Wizard and his team's plentiful experience in tuning and what they can do with just dual BA drivers. 
    Bass is very tight and accurate, and clean sounding, with good speed to keep up with the pace, but the sub-bass is lacking in extension, and could do with more bass impact and rumbling textures. I found myself wanting a bit more slam in some songs. Vocals have always been a strong suit for Noble IEMs and it is apparent here. The midrange are true to life, sweet with just the right amount of warmth and thickness, admist the rich presentation all the while having good detail retrieval and clean note recreation. Stringed instruments are clear and accurately represented. High frequency notes are true tone, dynamic and the amount of clarity and airiness are just right without being too dimmed or too much sparkle, and extended listening sessions are possible without feeling fatigued easily, although could do with more extension and detail. The soundstage is fairly small, where instruments are put close to each other. Nonetheless, imaging and separation are quite good given the limited space with excellent transparency and layering. This offers a good placement of instruments and a resolved presentation. 
    Comparison to FLC Technology FLC8:
    FLC8 has more subbass extension, with more bass quantity, impact and natural bass decay. The difference between a dynamic driver and a BA driver for bass is still pretty evident here. Thinner lower mids, and being lesser detailed than the Savant's. Treble on the FLC8 has a bit more sparkle, detail and extension but is also more fatiguing than the Savant's. Soundstage is wider and deeper in the FLC8, with both showcasing similar holographic effect and imaging.

    Ratings & Conclusion
    As Head-Fi shows overall ratings for the audio gear instead of my own, here is a snapshot of what I have rated:
    There's no denying that the Savant is masterfully tuned with just dual BA drivers and it goes to show that the number of drivers in today's seemingly ever expanding drivers war is not the only factor in determining if the IEM in question will sound great or not. It's not technically brilliant like the TOTLs out there, nor will it please everyone such as bassheads, though it's a master of none, but the sum of all its parts make it a competent jack-of-all-trades.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. fnkcow
      Thanks mate, appreciate the gesture :)
      fnkcow, Nov 5, 2015
    3. d marc0
      Nicely done. Thanks for joining the tour mate. See you on the next one...
      d marc0, Nov 5, 2015
    4. fnkcow
      Thank you @d marc0 for including me in the tour! Cheers :)
      fnkcow, Nov 5, 2015
  3. emptymt
    Great IEM to start if you're looking to migrate from a full sized headphones while staying sane with your money
    Written by emptymt
    Published Nov 3, 2015
    Pros - Sound Quality, detailed sound, detachable cable, great isolation
    Cons - build quality, aesthetically doesn't look like a premium product (could be a pro depending on where you live, not eyecatching enough to criminals)
    Hi, Before I start I need to say my thanks to Noble for making this awesome IEM, and also to d marc0 for including me in the tour.
    I'm a programmer living in Melbourne, Australia. Other than programming, listening to music is another one of my hobby, for me this is a very good hobby as I can incorporate the activity to everything I do, like when I do my work or when I just want to relax after a hard day of work.
    This is my first time listening to a premium IEM, and so I didn't know what to expect for The Savant, I've always have issues with fits as my ear canal has a significant differences in size which makes it hard to find a good tips and that will sound nice and comfortable on both of my ear, because of this limitations I have always opted for a full sized headphone.
    I used the savant for all my music listening everyday for 10 days in almost everything I do, and for this period I feel very satisfied with it's performance and feels a bit sad when I have to let it go T_T
    The build Quality on The Savant is good but not very impressive in my opinion, it would be great if Savant get the same kind of housing the K10U has, at the moment I don't feel like I'm holding a premium product in my hands, but of course this is just me nitpicking here as it doesn't has an impact on comfort, etc.
    I also like the fact that the cable is detachable, this will be  a very good safety insurance for some people, as it can be replaced easily if something happens to it, and it will detach when a lot of pressure is applied to the cable, although I wouldn't want to detach this too often, I just don't wanna risk spoiling the connector.
    The Isolation is superb, I used it everyday when I go to work by train and it blocks most of the noise, I can only hear some noise outside when no music is playing.
    It is so good that I feel a bit hesitant to use it at work because people will have to shout to call me.
    Not that I listened to some embarrassing song or anything but even if I do no one can hear what I'm listening to with these.
    The Signature
    In my opinion the sound signature of The Savant is a bit on the brighter side, I feel that the bass quantity is enough for me most of the time, but I do sometimes want more bass for some of my tracks.
    I feel that the mids is very slightly recessed for me, but some people might feel that it is just perfect for them.
    The Bass
    The bass sound's engaging, fast, tight and forward, the bass quantity is just enough for me, I just feel like it lacks punch, this is very important for some genre, I listened to mostly Rock/Metal and feel like I'm missing the punch, because of this I feel like I lose a little bit of energy from the music.
    the bass extension is good in my opinion, overall I can only complain about the lack of punch as the other aspects of the bass are very good.
    The Mids 
    The mids is a bit recessed but is detailed but somehow smooth and very beautiful to listen to, I feel like female vocals sounds amazing with the savant, the males sounds good too but the female voice just sounds better.
    It never gets shouty and I detect no sibillance except for when I tried to listen to it on a very high volume just once.
    Those of you who likes forward, lush mids won't find it on The Savant though, maybe get the K10?
    The Trebble
    The Savant has a sparkly treble but is very well controlled and never sound harsh to my ears, it is very well extended and detailed to my ears.
    I feel no fatigue whatsoever after a long listening period(4 hours+).
    This is a great IEM, sound quality is great and I'm very impressed with it. I never feel like I want to buy an IEM, but because of the Savant, I now feel like I want to, in fact I feel like I'm gonna make either the Savant or The K10 CIEM version as my final headphone, nowadays the price of other TOTL headphones is just crazy, I feel like for that amount of money any kind of compromise is unacceptable, with the selection from Noble IEM I can get a very portable listening device with a superb performance that will satisfy my music needs without feeling after purchase guilt after buying a crazy expensive headphone that is impossible to take where I go.
    I want to give a thumbs up to Noble for putting up this awesome IEM which can be said as a K10 alternatives.
    Because of the Tax law In Australia the K10 is about 2.5 times the price of the Savant, for people who wants the highest quality possible for 1000 AUD, I can say that this will be your best bet. 
      darks929 and d marc0 like this.
    1. d marc0
      Well done for your first ever review! 
      d marc0, Nov 3, 2015
    2. monkey046
      Concise and to-the-point. Enjoyed the read. Thanks!
      monkey046, Nov 3, 2015
  4. twister6
    Touched by a Wizard!
    Written by twister6
    Published Nov 2, 2015
    Pros - excellent build, very comfortable fitment and perfect isolation, CIEM-like look, fine crafted sound tuning, removable cables
    Cons - price, some microphonics

    Before I start my review, I would like to Thank Noble Audio for providing me with a review sample of Savant and BTS in exchange for my honest opinion.
    The main focus of the review is Noble Audio Savant, and as a bonus at the end I have a separate review of Noble BTS wireless receiver.
    Manufacturer product page: http://nobleaudio.com/en/

    Would you believe that a company, as well known as Noble Audio, with one of the most complete portfolios of 3/4/5/6/8/10 driver IEMs (Custom and Universal) recently released a new model named Savant with a clear message of “undisclosed balanced armature configuration”?  In today’s premium IEM market filled with many exotic driver configurations, the actual number of drivers plays an important role in marketing and pricing of the headphones.  So it made me wonder about the driving force behind “undisclosed” configuration from a company known worldwide for their acclaimed K10 CIEM/UIEM.  After some thinking I came to a conclusion with a very simple explanation – CONFIDENCE!!!  I’m pretty sure I’m gonna eat my words if I get a chance to test/review K10, but it takes a lot of confidence as well as knowledge and experience to prove to the world that you don’t need to have half a dozen to a dozen of drivers to make IEM sound good.  Noble Savant is the living proof of it.
    Noble Audio is quite an established name in audiophile world.  If you ever visited any of CanJam events, various Audio trade shows, or Head-Fi community meets – there is a good chance you ran into a stand with a complete selection of their headphones, and got a chance to meet their very enthusiastic spokesperson, Brannan Mason.  As a co-owner and a successful business manager of the company, he wears a lot of hats (and apparently fills in a lot of ears to make impressions during the shows!!!), and I found him to be very professional and knowledgeable in our email exchange.  But despite all that, only Dr John Moulton (the other co-owner) is allowed to wear the Wizard hat because he is the one with magical powers to create Noble Audio in-ear masterpieces.  To get a better idea, I highly recommend you to visit their Lookbook page (http://nobleaudio.com/en/lookbook/) to see some of their exquisite creations.  By definition, Custom IEMs have a degree of customization beyond a “custom” mold fitment where most of the companies allow you to choose different material colors, finishes, and faceplates, but nobody comes even close to a caliber of exotic materials and space age finishes like these guys.  It does come at a premium price, but once you see how it looks – you will quickly realize why.
    Another unique feature of Noble Audio products is being able to offer most of their in-ear monitors in both Universal and Custom fitments.  Custom IEM requires a preparation of going to audiologist to get a mold of your inner/outer ear anatomy, waiting for manufacturing of your earpieces, and then dealing with a fact that it won’t be easy to sell it in the future, though Noble offers a unique ownership transfer service to remold the shell for a reasonable fee.  But the end result is a perfect fitment and isolation and the unique customization artwork to make your CIEM stand out from the crowd.  Universal fitment requires less preparation work and no commitment in case if you want to sell it later, but the only level of customization you get with Noble is in a form of different color screws.  Luckily this has changed with introduction of Savant, still having a universal fitment but now offered in uniform version and in Wizard skin.  My Noble Savant (NS) review unit arrived with a unique artwork style noted as Lot 7, #10 according to their product page.  But NS is not just about eye-candy look, thus I would also like to share with you about other important aspects of its build quality and sound characteristics.
    Unboxing and Accessories.
    Arrived in a gift box package, you can get a sense of premium quality just by feeling the texture of the box material with a swirled pattern and a glossy black "NOBLE" with their signature crown symbol.  The box also had a Wizard signature stamped on the sides which added a nice custom touch to the packaging.  There is no spec or any other details about the design or accessories, just a mysterious "Undisclosed balanced armature configuration", the one I have mentioned about before.  With the box cover off, you will see a genuine Pelican 1010 case which contains the product and all the included accessories.

    It is very rare to see Pelican case with Universal IEMs which became a signature "case" for CIEMs.  I just assume that Noble Audio is trying to keep packaging similar between all of their models to simplify the logistics.  But either way, it's just a nice bonus with a superior protection when packing your UIEM/CIEM along with other accessories.  For everyday use when you don't need this extra carry on protection, Noble also included a velvet draw-string pouch with a company logo/symbol.  Other accessories include a carabiner clip for Pelican case, a cleaning tool for the shell, 2 rubber bands for securing external amp to your DAP, a pair of "crown" stickers with Wizard signature, ownership info card, and lots of eartips.
    A cleaning tool is another accessory associated with CIEMs, and it's actually very useful for CIEM-like 2-bore nozzle design of NS, though you do have to realize that silicone eartips will keep away the nozzle from digging into your earwax.  And speaking of eartips, Noble went all the way with a whooping 4 sets.  You will find a hybrid red stem S/M/L set with a more springy cap (my favorite for the best isolation), another hybrid blue stem S/M/L set with a softer cap and a narrow bar across the bore opening (like in Senns eartips), a set of S/M/L dual flange silicone eartips, and another set of S/M/L soft memory foam eartips (not Comply).  The correct selection of eartips is very important with NS to ensure a better seal which improves a low frequency performance and provides earplug quality isolation.  I found Savant to provide one of the best passive noise isolations among other universal IEMs I’ve tested in the past.
    Overall, this is a decent selection of accessories for a premium set of headphones.  If I could offer a suggestion, it would be to make rubber bands bigger since they would be too tight for any modern DAP/amp combo and to use genuine Comply tips because the included ones don't have silicone core thus prone to rip.

    I typically consider a cable to be a part of the design unless if it's a detachable one.  If you can replace it, might as well count it as an accessory.  I'm personally a cable believer and have a collection of various silver-plated, pure silver, and pure copper cables I like to try with different IEMs/CIEMs, but in order to appreciate the replacement, you always have to start with a stock cable to get used to the original sound intended by the manufacturer.
    I was actually pleased with a cable Noble included with NS.  The cable itself made out of 4 separate wires/conductors, each one is thin and soft with a tight rubbery jacket, twisted in pairs corresponding to L/R sides and then twisted again after y-slitter going down to a very slim gold-plated 3.5mm connector.  Y-splitter is just a clear heat-shrink piece of silicone tube and a chin-slider is another loose piece of the same tubing that slides up/down.  It was a wise decision to keep all 4 wires separated and isolated all the way down to the headphone connector, thus preventing a noise coupling of a shared ground below y-splitter.  My only negative comment here is a rather slippery housing of the headphone connector, wish they can use something more textured to enhance the grip.
    Going up to the earpiece, you have an industry standard 2-pin connector with a slim plastic housing labeled with corresponding blue/red dots to distinguish and ID the Left/Right sides.  Connector plug itself is slim enough to work even with other headphones that use recessed socket, though with Noble CIEMs/UIEMs the socket is always surface mounted.  Considering ergonomics of over-the-ear cable fitment as intended by NS design, you can also find a short piece of a memory flex wire covered by plastic tubing.  Interestingly enough, in comparison to other cables, this is probably the shortest piece of memory wire I have seen, but it works quite well, and I found it to be very comfortable.
    As far as the sound quality goes, I will talk more about it later in my review, but to my big surprise I actually preferred this stock cable over my replacement cables.  This is a perfect example of taking your time to get to know the sound signature with the original cable.  Once I got used to the smooth transparent detailed sound with a stock cable, going to silver-plated or pure silver added extra brightness that I found to take away from smooth organic nature of NS original signature.  To my ears the replacement cable usually offers some level of refinement, but I didn't find it to my liking with NS, thus I kept it stock-cabled.  I do have to mention there is some microphonics with an included cable, but it wasn't too distracting.
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    Design details.
    I'm not gonna lie, I'm a big fan of Westone bean-shaped IEMs and consider them to be among the most comfortable I've tried.  I never thought I will find anything to rival them, until I tried NS.  They fit like a custom Universal IEM, thanks to their small shape, slick rounded body, and comfortable short nozzle.  I'm dead serious when I say that with a large hybrid tips they felt like a perfect pair of earplugs that gave me a very impressive level of sound isolation, and were comfortable enough to be used even with my head on the pillow.  Due to wire up default fitment, earpieces are obviously not symmetrical so there is no confusion about the sides, and the Right shell has an etched Wizard signature.  Also, you can use red/blue cable dot for a quick id.
    The housing material of NS feels like a typical acrylic, definitely not some cheap plastic.  It's like one molded piece with the only opening being 2 bores at the tip of the nozzle.  With these being Wizard edition, instead of a uniform black faceplate with Noble's crown logo and corresponding color screws, my review unit had a very distinct artwork pattern with mosaic pieces "baked" into the faceplate.  It definitely added a special touch to their look where you can actually mistake these for CIEM from a distance.  The Wizard touch is quite unique, but it also comes at an additional premium cost.  Either way, you have a choice depending on your budget.  Also keep in mind, whatever you decide will only affect the look, not the actual sound quality.
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    Sound analysis.
    I usually work on a lot of reviews in parallel, often testing multiple headphones and audio sources.  Focusing on just one pair of IEMs/CIEMs can get you in a state of brain burn-in which can cloud your judgment, at least that's how I feel.  In case of NS, while going back'n'forth with a few other IEMs, I developed a biased opinion where I literally had to stop listening to Savants in order to continue with a more fair judgment of other pair of headphones.  I couldn't wait to finish my other headphone review so I can dedicate more "alone" time listening to NS because I was getting addicted to their sound.
    To my ears NS has a neutral-balanced smooth signature with a revealing detailed sound that has a high level of transparency.  It's not revealing on micro-detailed level but on a level of a natural organic sound where you hear every nuance of the audio presentation without ear fatigue.
    Soundstage is slightly above the average in terms of width/depth, and sound itself has a nice layering effect with a good separation where audio performance never gets congested.  NS sound tuning takes advantage of this expansion to its full potential where every instrument has a distinct placement in space and you can pin-point accurately the position of each.
    Low end has a nice extension down to a smooth textured sub-bass layer with a modest quantity supporting a nicely balanced mid-bass punch.  Low end is tight and well controlled without a hint of bloat or spillage into lower mids.  The bass itself has a unique characteristic of blending warmth and smoothness of dynamic driver with a moderate speed and punch of BA driver.  It strikes a perfect balance where the attack and the decay of the bass give you a more natural smooth bass timbre.  It's not too fast, but also not dragging in a slow lush fashion.  The quantity itself is a little north of neutral, but not too exaggerated.
    Lower mids have a smooth non-bloated body, a perfect balance of being not too thick or too lean, and upper mids have a smooth and detailed presentation.  Mids are organic and smooth, and still transparent and revealing without crossing the threshold of analytical harshness.  I can sense upper mids being pulled slightly back, not too much and in no way being scooped out like a typical v-shaped sig.  Vocal performance, both male and female, is very organic and smooth and detailed, full of emotions, though lacking a little bit of body.
    Treble is nicely extended, and well under control to keep airiness and sparkle a bit tamed down.  And again, there is a perfect balance where you are not going to hear ear piecing crunch of sibilance, but instead you have a high level of smooth sound definition.  I heard a number of headphones that approach this sound level, but not quite hitting it on the head.  And that is a reason why I can spend hours listening to NS without a slightest hint of fatigue.
    While being a huge fan of replacement cables, I tried NS with pure silver ones, but ended up going back to the stock cable because I wanted to get back to a smooth harmony with a perfect balance without any sharp transient edges.
    Also worth mentioning, NS doesn't require any amplification, and it pairs up nicely with a lot of different DAPs, quite forgiving with lower quality audio files, and works great with any music genre.
    In comparison to my other IEMs/CIEMs:
    NS vs ES60 - ES60 has a little more sub-bass, faster mid-bass, similar lower mids, a little more upfront upper mids with more body, similar treble extension, and just a little more airiness.  NS is more neutral and smoother.  ES60 soundstage a little deeper but width is nearly the same, and overall I consider ES60 to be more of a reference quality with a better retrieval of details.
    NS vs RE600 - RE600 sounds more neutral and flatter, similar amount of sub-bass but not as textured as NS, mid-bass has a bit faster punch, lower mids have a little less body, upper mids are not as detailed and not as natural/organic in comparison. NS upper mids/treble is smoother and more detailed.  Also, after a/b comparison, RE600 vocals sound not as natural.  Treble is similar, but not as smooth.  RE600 has deeper soundstage.  NS sound is more transparent.
    NS vs DN2kJ - DN has a little less sub-bass, faster/snappier mid bass, leaner lower mids (less body) and more revealing brighter upper mids that sound harsher and grainier. DN treble has more extension, more airiness, and also more sibilance.  NS is a lot smoother and with less ear fatigue during extended listening.
    I didn't want to spoil the surprise, but I'm sure a lot of you are aware by now that "undisclosed" driver configuration turned out to be a dual BA driver design.  As I said in the intro of my review, it takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and confidence to prove to everybody that it's not about the number of drivers, but how you actually tune it.  I have reviewed some other dual-BA IEMs in the past, and due to their consistent bright tuning was convinced that I shouldn't expect anything different than a revealing bright sound with a sever lack of sub-bass.  Here, NS is a living proof of how far you can push dual BA config while still being able to cover the entire frequency range.  I know I haven't addressed a big elephant in the room - the price of these IEMs.  These are definitely premium quality IEMs, designed on CIEM level with a build quality, material selection, customized finish, and earplug-like fitment and isolation, and a very impressive sound tuning.  The fact I'm comparing it to 6-driver flagship CIEM that cost twice as much should tell you how high I think of them.  Of course, I can also go the other way to argue about some other IEMs that cost half of NS price without sounding half as bad.  It's nice to have a choice to accommodate your budget.  But once you get to the level of high quality UIEMs/CIEMs, you have to accept the fact of diminishing returns where you pay a premium to squeeze out a marginal sound improvement.  With Savants, the Wizard of Noble was able to create not only the eye-candy design, but also a fine tuned UIEM with a neutral-balanced perfection that oozes smooth details.

    This is a bonus Review of Noble BTS wireless BT4.0 receiver with apt-X support. http://nobleaudio.com/en/shop/wireless/
    If the magic of Wizard hat played a role in creation of Savant, I think a magic wand was used to make the Noble Bluetooth Solution (BTS) which transforms any wired headphone into wireless.  The idea of such device is not ground breaking, and I have tested a number of similar BT wireless receivers in the past, with and without apt-X codec support.  This BTS device doesn't look like anything I have tested because it's slimmer and lighter, and all together looks like another product from the lab of Wizard.
    Though the cardboard box it arrived in looks plain from outside, inside you will find a "bird nest" with a shredded packaging material, a short extension headphone cable (about 15.5") with 2-pin connector, a solid quality usb to micro-usb charging cable, a velvet draw-string pouch, and BTS module.
    noble_savant-24_zpsjr5b2xmp.jpg noble_savant-26_zpsig0brzuq.jpg
    noble_savant-28_zpsefxmmu0g.jpg noble_savant-29_zpslza4uexp.jpg
    The device itself is very small, measuring about 60mm in length and about 15mm in diameter, and lightweight at about 10 grams.  One side of the device has 3.5mm headphone connector and led, while the other side has a rubber flap that seals micro-usb charging port and hides a multi-function power/pair-up/phone button.  That button is operated by pressing on the rubber flap itself.  When you need to charge BTS, which provides approximate 7-8 hours of continuous playback, you just lift the flap, though I wish it would be a little tighter.
    Along the side you have 3 transport rubbery buttons, shaped to be easily ID just by sliding a finger.  You have a play/pause in the middle with an obvious functionality, and multi-function volume/skip buttons where short press raises the volume and long press skips the track.  Phone/power button is to pick up and hang-up the calls which sound relatively clear thanks to a built-in mic, as long as the device is not hanging down by your waist.  I actually appreciate that Phone and Play buttons where not shared since I have ran into a problem with other similar devices where I redial the last phone number instead of starting a playback.
    Another clever design element is availability of a clip to attach it to your shirt which makes it convenient in order to keep controls and mic closer to your face.  And to take it one step further, you no longer need to worry about your stock 1.2m cable and can use an included short cable instead - a great idea!
    Design details.
    noble_savant-31_zps1f4g1ryt.jpg noble_savant-32_zps7ibusunk.jpg
    noble_savant-33_zpsworhdzbq.jpg noble_savant-34_zpsirqirips.jpg
    noble_savant-35_zpsm0vx8bk3.jpg noble_savant-36_zpshrn88cur.jpg
    Pair up was very easy, and within minutes I was connected to phone and media audio.  BTS also supports multi-point connection, meaning two devices at the same time, so you can be paired up to your phone (to pick up calls) and to your tablet (to watch a movie or browse YT).  Once paired up, I had no issue maintaining a wireless connection for up to 30 ft in open space.
    BT Pair up.
    The big question in here is how does it sound?  Thanks to apt-X codec support, I found sound to be very clean and detailed, with soundstage expansion being close to the original wired performance.  When it comes to a closer sound analysis, I can hear mids and treble having a very similar retrieval of details in wired and wireless modes while using Savant as my test vehicle.  Everything was good except for… low end performance.
    Unfortunately, when it comes to sub-bass I hear an effect of low shelf filter.  At first I thought maybe it could be an artifact of some impedance mismatch, but it turned out to be consistent with my other IEM and full size headphones.  Considering Savant bass is already at its neutral level, such sub-bass reduction didn’t compliment its sound performance.  I’m not saying that sub-bass completely disappeared; it’s still there in its original quality, but noticeably reduced in quantity.
    BTS was a mixed bag of emotions for me.  I have tested plenty of wireless headphones and wireless receives to appreciate the design and the functionality offered by Noble wireless solution.  This is one compact and lightweight device, almost the size of AA battery, packed with a lot of functionality.  I can clearly see that a lot of thought went into its original design, and this is not another rebranded device with a brand name sticker on it.  It’s easy to use, has a convenient clip, and thoughtfully includes a short replacement cable.  But when it comes to a sonic performance – it falls short due to a reduction in sub-bass frequency content.  This might not be a show stopper for some, but it will be for others.
      drez, Brooko, VRSN 3pt oh and 10 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. FullCircle
      Er4 2 decade+ reign
      FullCircle, Nov 3, 2015
    3. AElfgarOswald
      Damn, I was thinking about getting the ones with that exact design.  Well, at least I know they're good!  XD
      AElfgarOswald, Nov 4, 2015
    4. ModMax
      @twister6 - based on your experience with other bluetooth wireless receivers, would there be one that you would recommend among all others - even the Noble BTS?
      ModMax, Jun 15, 2016
  5. H20Fidelity
    Savant, quite a stable diet indeed
    Written by H20Fidelity
    Published Oct 14, 2015
    Pros - Balanced, coherent, very little flaws to discover on a sound perspective
    Cons - All black housing look boring, short ear guides, maybe a little lacking bass extension for EDM genres
    Before I start this review I need to mention some misfortune which happened to me.
    I was part of the Australian Noble Savant tour (big thanks to Noble and @d marc0 ) however at the time was suffering an injury with my left ear drum. Despite trying to heal in time for the tour I barely heard Noble Savant before my ear flamed up with an infection. I did however, get a few hours in with the unit before I had to stop.
    Noble Audio are well known for their custom in-ear monitors with remarkable designs, possibly some of the best CIEM makers on design out there in 2015, they're also Sponsors of Head-fi and very active on the Head-fi forums which does wonders for them from a sales perspective and customer support angle. In my past I have heard quite a few Noble universals including Noble 4, Noble 6, Noble PR and now the Noble Savant. 
    Noble Audio - Savant.
    Pricing - $599 USD
    Noble Audio Website: http://nobleaudio.com/en/
    Savant Specs: 
    > Impedance < 30
    1. > Detachable cable w/ industry standard two pin configuration
    2. > Signature Noble universal form factor
    3. > Rose gold plated pentalobe screws
    4. > Wizard-signature on right shell

    A little story behind Noble Savant:
    On first release the driver count of Savant was unknown, its all been a little side party recently since discovering the driver count is indeed a dual balanced armature design, there's been panties on fire, some name calling and I'm not here to delve into why, where, who, how or what the driver count is expected to be. I'll be giving pure impressions of the sound from the 3-4 hours I spent with Noble - Savant.
    On first arrival many Noble Audio products arrive in quite a simple cardboard box, this is mainly for protection purposes and I believe transit methods, nothing unnormal from any other product I've purchased online. The real market packaging is actually underneath this which looks much nicer I must say. Its nothing abnormal from most online purchases.
    The real market packaging which looks much nicer, a scent of ocean blue with some Noble text and logo.
    Moving on further we unleash the all black carry case and accessories, there's an assortment of tips, amp bands, and a few other nooks and crannies.
    Two Noble Stickers (I hear these work great on the rear bumper of your car)
    Two Noble Amp straps
    Noble ownership card
    Cleaning brush
    X3 foam tips (S/M/L)
    X3 dual flange tips (S/M/L)
    X3 silicone tips (S/M/L)
    X3 silicone tips (S/M/L) (different type)
    Then we have the Savant themselves. I'm not sure what I think of Nobles all black shell design, case and stealth bomber approach, its used on every one of their stock universals. While I see the appeal of keeping it uniform and simple I find the all black look a little monotonous overall, it doesn't jump out at me and say "I spent $600 on these", sorry I've never felt the passion from an observation. There's no real way I can identify a Noble 4 from a Noble 6 to a Savant etc besides the colour screws?. Gosh help me if I bought two Noble IEMs and forgot which was which one day, that could cause a right dilemma indeed. 
    You can see the Noble Audio symbol etched into each shell face, and the gold screws do give it some 'bling', (maybe 3% bling). One thing I will give big credit for is the actual shell design which fits me perfectly without any effort. Regardless what we've spoken about with  appearance the shells seem to fit almost anybody, I hear very little complaints in this area and that's a great thing.
    Moving onto the cable design its a braided approach with silver plated copper wire. While I have seen tighter braids I do like the texture and feel of the Noble Savant cable, its kind of rubbery plastic but has a nice sense to the touch and that sits well. It also shines in the sun light and has a nice gloss finish to it. When we talk about the ear hoops I feel a little longer on the heat shrink and retaining wire would be a nice touch, just for those who have large ears as it seems quite short to me. The 3.5mm jack is small enough to fit inside most phone cases, I had no problems and it stays out of my way.
    Moving onto the sound:

    (please note this is where the review may weave a little and seem brief, as we've mentioned I didn't get more than 4 hours with Noble Savant due to my ear injury. Please this keep in mind when reading. I will say of all the Noble line up I've heard Savant have been my favorite)
    Sources used:
    iBasso DX50
    Hum Pervasion
    All files were 16.44 FLAC files.

    "I have the Noble Savant Australian tour unit here with me for about 4 hours.
    Using DX50 with FLAC 16/44 files (will try other sources eventually)
    I find Savant sounds quite good, comfortable / balanced across the lows/mids/highs, with a little sub-bass extension absence however, improved bass quantity than I remember N4 which had a little too much early sub-bass roll-off for me. Savant's tuning is considerably closer to what I'd pass as reference type signature with just a hint of warmth around the mid-range making them non-fatiguing - suitable for long listening, the mid-range positioning is also quite balanced, maybe slightly forward. The detail and clarity levels are satisfactory however I still consider hearing IEM out there slightly cheaper that may reveal a little more with less energy, however, this may come at a cost of a more aggressive presentation and early fatigue. 
    Trebles well aligned with the lows/mids, sounds safe and in no way offensive imo. I can recognize straight away the tuning of Savant is stable and 'audiophile' correct, there's not much its doing wrong. Little to no vocal sibilance, safe highs, that ever so hinted amount of mid-range warmth makes them suitable for long listening. Separation is accurate, soundstage adequate. its just a safely tuning IEM without much to criticize besides those looking for some extra bass extension. From my experience, the low-end is quite normal for something putting across this balanced presentation, or at least not out of an average from what I've heard.
    I'm also recovering from some left ear issues, I need to take it easy atm, these impressions should be regarded from low listening levels, opening up on volume levels won't be possible at the moment. Put it this way, in the reality of natural selection usually when I home audition IEMs I take a listen, get a grasp then enough of the time I feel "meh",  then the IEM sits in their box or I only listen to get the impressions out and review up. In the case of the Noble Savant I keep being drawn back wanting to listen more. That alone is an excellent first reaction"

    So what is my conclusion after spending 4 hours with Noble Savant? I think its quite capable indeed, it has balance, a nice vibe to the sound which draws you into the music, it can express a decent amount of emotion if the track responds well and its rather capable all round without any glaring flaws or faults. If an IEM can exhibit little imperfection you're left with only good aspects of a sound signature, this is what an IEM should be. Whether the price of $599 is achieving that level of sound isn't for me to say.
    The only thing I'd like Noble to do is try and jazz up the stock universals a little, give them some character because at the moment I find the line-up rather flat looking a little bland or boring. I think with some thought from some of the best 'CIEM' designers on the market they should be able to dress up their universal a little further. Maybe they don't want to because this intrigues people to pay more for their Wizard designs and fancy CIEMs though we all don't aspire to spend quite that much.
    Big thanks to Noble Audio and member d marc0 for including me on the tour. 
      d marc0 and DJScope like this.
    1. d marc0
      Such a shame you were restricted in your time with the Savant. I'm confident that you'd have enjoyed them more if only... Thanks for joining the tour uncle h20!
      d marc0, Oct 14, 2015
    2. DJScope
      Another great review from Uncle H20! =D 
      Well done broski!
      DJScope, Oct 14, 2015
  6. Loquah
    Noble Savant: Like an HD800 in IEM form
    Written by Loquah
    Published Oct 12, 2015
    Pros - Incredibly focussed sound, great resolution, beautifully made, treble is very smooth despite being slightly lifted
    Cons - Lacking in bass quantity, may be fatiguing for some


    Unlike most companies, Noble choose to not overwhelm buyers with piles of specifications, preferring instead to accurately describe the sound and allow the decision to be about subjective choices which are far more relevant to the purely personal experience of enjoying music. While specifications can help make decisions sometimes they can also influence our decisions in ways that might not result in the greatest enjoyment of the music.
    Because of Noble's marketing philosophy, there's not much to tell you about the Savant's specs other than that they are rated as <30 ohms and use a detachable cable with the industry-standard 2-pin connection.
    Having owned and loved the Kaiser 10s for some time now, I was excited to hear the Savants - sometimes touted in the community as "baby K10s" - to see what piece of black magic the Wizard (Dr John Moulton) had created this time. There's no doubt they are magical in many ways, but whether or not they're for you might be a whole other question.

    Design, Build & Accessories

    The demo pair of Savants provided for this tour are a Wizard design so they have received some extra attention by way of a coloured, patterned faceplate. The Wizard's work on these designs is always beautiful and expertly finished and my experience with other Noble universals suggests that the non-Wizard designs are equally as well made.
    The general size and shape of the universal models are the same as the Wizard version pictured here and that is to say that they're very compact. As a result, overall comfort with the Nobles is excellent and they come with a very wide range of tips to help create the perfect fit.


    [​IMG]I've already mentioned the range of tips supplied with the Savants. They also come with two Noble-branded bands to wrap around your portable players and it's all packaged in a compact hard case reminiscent of the Pelican brand cases.
    Finally, it's worth mentioning the cable provided with Noble products. Noble's cable is up there with the very best IEM cables around and consists of a tightly braided 4-core cable that's terminated in a compact, metal 3.5mm jack at one end and industry standard 2-pin IEM connectors for the ear pieces.

    Sound Quality

    The Savants are one of the most detailed and accurate IEMs I have ever heard. What makes them sound so detailed and accurate is the sense of focus the Savants create in the image / soundstage. I'm not necessarily saying they are accurate to source so much as that their sound is laser sharp in its focus. I'll address the naturalness of their sound in the following sections...


    Dr Moulton has proven himself a master of IEM tuning multiple times now. The Savants are no exception to his reputation. In fact they serve as a mighty addition to his resume of outstanding IEM design.
    The treble from the Savants is clear, bright, extended and detailed. I would go so far as suggesting that it's a bit higher than what is natural in a live, acoustic setting, but there's no doubt that it is amazingly clean and resolving and the added emphasis doesn't lead the Savants into sibilance or harshness. No, the treble from the Savants, whilst prominent and slightly lifted, is smooth and grain free. Cymbals splash and crash and textures beg to be noticed, but not in a distracting way. What makes the tuning so masterful is that despite the emphasis created by the Savant's tuning, the music is still completely coherent and the treble quality doesn't take away from any other frequencies.


    Similar to the treble presentation, the mids on the Savants are slightly lifted compared to the bass, particularly the upper ends of the mids where the line between mid-range and treble starts to blur. It is this lift that creates the laser-sharp imaging of the Savants and will provide a listening experience that you'll rarely enjoy from any other IEM. Put the Savants in your ears and prepare to hear all kinds of details in instrumentals and vocals that you never knew existed. You'll hear breath and texture that was previously hidden. You'll hear distortion that was missed even by the studio engineers. You'll here texture and clarity that will honestly make you feel like you're there with the musicians.


    The treble / mid-range emphasis that makes these IEMs so sublime on one hand also handicaps them on another. The bass performance of the Savants, while good, is not on the same level as the rest of the spectrum. Bass quality is excellent - detailed, layered and nuanced - but the quantity of bass is a few decibels behind the rest of the frequency range and the result is a lack of soul and emotion on some tracks. The bass on these is not anemic or absent, it's just noticeably behind the mids and treble.
    Of course, you can always EQ for some extra bass if you're so inclined, but the magic of the Savants is in their stock tuning so if you prefer a more balanced sound with bass on par with other frequencies you might want to look elsewhere or have these as an option in your collection rather than your only IEM.


    I've already alluded to the magic of the Savant's presentation. The focus on the upper frequencies creates a truly stunning image with a sense of focus that's hypnotic. If you close your eyes while listening to the Savants you can easily imagine the exact placement of every sound in the sonic tapestry and each sound seems to have a sense of 3-dimensionality about it that's quite amazing.
    The stage from the Savants is excellent, but not huge. It's strength is more in the focus than the size and that's more important in my opinion. An extended stage can result in music sounding incoherent - like different tracks being put together by a producer rather than a single live performance from a band - and the Savants definitely avoid this problem by creating a perfect sense of coherency while still displaying plenty of space between each impeccably focussed sound.

    Noble Savant vs Noble Kaiser 10

    I had a few people ask about the comparison between these two front-runners of the Noble line-up and it's a comparison worth making.
    Despite the Savants being sometimes referred to by the community as "baby K10s", they are actually very, very different beasts. In fact, the only similarity in their sound is the obvious touch of Dr Moulton's masterful tuning. Both of these IEMs are excellent, but they are not really comparable.
    The Savant creates a brighter and more focussed sound than the K10s. In fact, if you switch between them you could be forgiven for thinking that the K10s seem a bit sloppy on the imaging at first, but it's not quite that simple. When I lifted the frequencies around 4-6kHz while using the K10s I noticed that they took on the exact same laser focus that the Savants display. This is because the upper frequencies contain much of the information we rely on for spatial and directional cues. Lift these frequencies and you sharpen the image, but doing so has its drawbacks so it's all a question of what you value.
    The bass from the K10s is miles ahead of the Savants in quantity and that allows you to better enjoy the quality. The K10's bass seems a little slower and perhaps a touch less detailed / layered than the Savant's bass, but that's most likely a result of the Savant's reduced bass quantity creating a faster decay of bass notes and emphasising the details once again. Mids on the K10s are creamier and smoother than the Savant and while I love the mids on both these IEMs, I find that I can enjoy the K10s for much longer stretches because of their more natural, less-enhanced sound.
    I have to say that both of these are outstanding IEMs and owners of both should find many years of enjoyment in whichever model they choose, but don't make the mistake of thinking they're similar. The Savant is most definitely a "focus on the details" type of IEM while the Kaiser 10 is an "immerse yourself in the musical experience" IEM. Both have their place.

    Overall Conclusion

    [​IMG]The Savants are an amazing IEM, but like any headphone or earphone they are not necessarily for everyone. The Savants remind me very much of the Sennheiser HD800s (although perhaps with a touch less bass). Like the HD800s, the Savants can provide a window into the music and recording quality that is exciting to hear, but sometimes they can also become a bit fatiguing and leave me wishing for something a bit warmer and forgiving.
    If you love detail-oriented IEMs, the Savants should be right at the top of your list and if you're looking to add to your collection and want something that will bring out the imaging and focus on your music like few other IEMs you should consider adding the Savants to your list. If, however, you are looking for a true all-rounder that you'll love in all situations, over long listening sessions and with all music and all sources, the Savants might not be ideal and you might be better saving some extra pennies for the K10s or perhaps considering some of the other, warmer models from Noble like the N6 (which I haven't had the pleasure of hearing, but Noble's descriptions of their products are pretty spot on in my experience).
    1. d marc0
      You have accurately captured my findings on the Savant's unique technical ability. Excellent work as always! Thanks for joining the tour my friend.
      d marc0, Oct 12, 2015
  7. piksnz
    Noble Savant review (You can't go wrong with this IEM at this price)
    Written by piksnz
    Published Sep 20, 2015
    Pros - Excellent SQ, Detachable cables, compact and fits inside the ear really well
    Cons - Rolled off bass, cable noise
    I am a head-fi member since 2013 and have been an avid fan of this forum. Back then I was an audio newbie and since then I have been introduced to this wonderful world of audiophile equipment's. I was and still now an ipod fanboy and loved classical and 90s pop music to every bit. But after joining head-fi I have experienced music through the top of the line equipment and what a journey it is. It is pure magic and bliss.
    In this post, I am reviewing Noble Audio's entry level Savant Universal In Ear Monitors. Noble audio is a name every audiophile knows throughout the world. They have pioneered in crafting some of the best top of the line universal and custom in ear monitors available today.
    Being a previous owner of the Noble Audio's TOTL IEM K10 Universal, when I saw that Noble Audio is organizing an Australia - New Zealand tour, I had made my mind that I need to be in this tour and experience this wonderful product which according to Dr. John (Co-owner and the wizard behind these IEMs) "A Savant is usually a sleeper... and 'unexpected, unassuming being' can perform tasks at amazing levels. The price point of the Savant makes it unassuming... when compared to other top-of-the-line IEMs in the market right now." I am grateful to Mark (dMarc0) for arranging this tour and giving us the opportunity to experience the latest creation from Noble.
    When I opened the package of the Noble Savant the first thing that striked me was the exact same packaging I have seen with the Noble K10U. This shows Noble does not compromise on quality of the packaging even if you were to buy their entry level IEM. The Noble Savant comes in simple cardboard protection box. When you open the box you are welcomed by the Noble Audio stickers and the warranty card. The headphones are housed in a tough pelican carry case. Following are the contents we get inside the box :
    1. The IEM obviously :)
    2. IEM eartip cleaning brush
    3. Red & Blue coloured tips in S,M and L sizes.
    4. Double flanged tips in S,M and L sizes
    5. Foam tips in in S,M and L sizes.
    1D7A3414.jpg                1D7A3415.jpg               1D7A3416.jpg
    Gear used as part of this review
    The source for this review is my macbook with Audirvana plus player-> Ibasso D-Zero MK2 DAC/Amp. I have also used my OnePlus2 64GB as my portable driver with HF Onkyo App.
    The comparison IEM as part of this review is my Jerry Harvey Audio Layla Universal ($2500). I know it is not fair to compare a $2500 IEM with $600 IEM but it gives an overall idea about the sound signature differences among Noble Audio sound and JH Audio sound. I haven’t used the ear tips which came with Savant. I have used my own ear tips.
    Build Quality
    The Savant shows how premium Noble gears are made. I was highly impressed with K10 Universal to learn how they had integrated 10 BA drivers into such a tiny shell. Noble has done it again with the Savant to incorporate their multi BA drivers in this two piece Polycarbonate Shell body. The faceplate has noble logo and has a nice rubberized feeling and also the three rose gold screws show the similar Noble build trademark. The cable is removable and connected to the earpiece as non-recessed 2 pin westone style stocket and is very strong. It will surely take some effort to remove the cable.
    The Savant comes with one cable in the box which is braided and highly durable. Each side of the cable is a 2 cable twisted pair joined together in a Y-splitter. The cable is terminated in 3.5mm straight gold plated jack of very high quality.
    Compared to the Layla's, the build quality of the Layla is supreme with carbon fibre housing. The Layla earpiece is double the size of the Savant which I will come to more in the comfort section. The Layla comes with two cables - one terminated in 3.5mm jack and the other in 2.5mm TRRS balanced jack. The cable quality is better than Noble Audio's. The cable on each side of the earpiece is 4 wires (compared to 2 wires) twisted together with better sheathing and more durable strength. The cable also has a bass adjustment pot for both the ears. 
    1D7A3419.jpg                      1D7A3420.jpg
                      Noble Audio Savant                                                                                           Savant's twisted cable
    1D7A3421.jpg                      1D7A3423.jpg
                    JH Audio Layla                                                                                           Layla's bass adjustment controls in the cable
    Comfort and Fit
    This is where the Savant completely outshines the Layla's. I have small ears comparitively and to get a proper fit with the Layla is a pain. Luckily I got hold of the spin fit ear tips which are of excellent quality and provides perfect fit compared to the stock ones which come with Layla.
    The Savant blends in with the ears like it was custom made for my ears. The fit is superbly comfortable and I can go for a serious jog with these headphones on my ears. Whereas the Layla barely fits my ears, even when I am walking it feels like the it will fall off any minute. It shows how ergonomic the Savant is in terms of the fit and comfort to the ears.
    In terms of sound isolation, the Layla does a job better than the Savant. But they are very close to each other in terms of isolation.
    Layla's bulky shell's are difficult to get a good fit
    Amplification and Ease to drive them
    Savant is 30ohm impedance IEM and is easy to drive them with almost any source. They open up more when I was listening through Ibasso Dzero Mk2 but they were not bad when being driven directly from the oneplus2. Now in contrast to the JH Audio Layla which is 20ohm it is a different story. The Layla's are quite sensitive and you need a clean source with ample power to drive them to their full potential. When driving the Layla from OnePlus2 it sounded dull compared to the Savant. The Layla sounded like a $50 headphone with no potential at all. The Savant completely outshines in terms of drivability.
    But when connecting the Layla to the Dzero or Astell & Kern AK240. Oh man!!! Layla sings like an angel and shows it true power and capability. 
    Sound Quality
    The sound signature is very similar to the K10. The level of detail and clarity for a IEM of this value is simply astounding. The instrument separation is very good and is a joy to listen to an orchestra. For me the Savant shined the most when listening to classical music. The modern albums such as Taylor Swift's 1989 sounded good but not as good as my AKG K3003i or JH Audio Layla. Sometimes it was feeling bit clinical maybe due to the higher emphasis treble. Overall, the sound is very clean and if you have bad mp3 recordings they will start to show up very clearly.
    I felt it is missing the sub bass impact which was plenty in the JH Audio layla. The lower bass always felt it is being subdued and not allowing to open up. When listening to the Led Zep's Moby Dick the cymbals were accurate and precise but the drums bass felt rolled off quickly without lingering in my ears a bit longer to give that magic.
    AKG K3003i
    These headphones are really well balanced, fairly neutral with the neutral filter and found them to be way better than the Shure SE846 tonally. But these fall short when compared to the Savant. The Savant was much more clearer and the highs are better than the K3003i. The Savant falls short again in the in sub bass department compared to the K3003i. Overall the K3003i is better balanced across the entire frequency range compared to the Savant. K3003i's are similarly easy to drive from almost any source. The soundstage is very much similar between the K3003i and the Savant.
    JH Audio Layla
    The soundstage is wider compared to the Savant and the lows and mids are a pleasure to listen to. Thanks to Jerry for introducing the bass adjustment system in the Layla. I can go from complete flat to bass head heavy as per my preference. The bass and sub bass completely blows the Savant and also from my memory the K10s. Where the Layla's fall short is in the treble section, but the Savant outshines there.
      Brooko, d marc0 and DJScope like this.
    1. d marc0
      Excellent comparisons on this review!
      Thank you for joining the tour Sayan.
      Hope to see you again in upcoming Aus-NZ tours.
      d marc0, Sep 20, 2015
  8. DJScope
    Jack of all trades, master of...
    Written by DJScope
    Published Sep 19, 2015
    Pros - Extremely balanced & coherent sound, easy to drive, great accessories, good build quality, replaceable cable.
    Cons - Expensive, picky with sources.


    The meaning of the world "Savant" is a person who is educated, but more specifically it is a mental condition of one excelling at one subject whilst being below average at everything else (or something down those lines). You can Google the meaning if you want. To me the Noble Audio Savant is much more than that, and I think the name "Jack" is more suiting here. In my humble opinion, I think that the Savant is good at everything but master of none, and I mean that in a good way. This is the very first Noble Audio product I've had the pleasure of reviewing, or even auditioning for more than a few minutes. I glad to say that it has left a good impression on me in terms of quality and sound performance. Though the price point here kind of scares me away. Not a lot of the Head-Fi members can agree with me that $600 is a preposterous amount of money to be spending on earphones. My reasoning is actually quite simple, my salary is just not good enough to support a wife, three kids, myself and justify $600 on a pair of headphones. On the flipside though, if you can justify such a purchase then stick around to see if the Savant is worth your hard earned Simoleons.

    A little about the Noble Audio Savant

    Noble Audio website: http://nobleaudio.com/en/shop/universal/wizard/
    There is not a whole lot of info about the Savants at this stage.
    Frequency response​
      < 30 Ohm
      Gold Plated 3.5 mm (1/8”) Straight
    Cable Length​
     1.3m (51') Detachable cable w/ industry standard two pin configuration
    Maximum Input Current​



    Purchase them here:

    International: http://nobleaudio.com/en/shop/universal/wizard/
    Australia: https://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/noble-audio-savant-in-ear-monitor


    FR Graph

    This graph was taken by a Changstar user called partiallydisabled. Kudos to him.
    Graph shows the Savant put up against the Noble's K10.

    Packaging & Accessories

    This one probably one of the best unpacking experiences I've had. The presentation of the packaging and sheer volume of accessories that comes with the Noble Audio Savants blew my socks off. It is just layers upon layers of packaging that screams quality that just left me saying "Wow!" louder and louder as I unpacked the Savants further and further. I think that they're just showing off! But it's is definitely "$600" type packaging; no cent was spared here.
    In the box you get:
    • 2x Noble Audio stickers (Glow in the dark? Maybe.)
    • An absolutely awesome Pelican case.
    • 4x sets of ear tips: S/M/L standard dual flange, S/M/L finned blue core, S/M/L red core Sony hybrids, and S/M/L foam.
    • An aluminium owners card (I can only guess it's for warranty claims or just to wave in peoples' faces.)
    • 2x rubber bands for stacking.
    • And lastly, a cleaning tool.
    Not too shabby at all! And to their credit, they've fit all this in that tiny Pelican case. Well done!

    Design & Comfort

    Noble Audio states that the Savant are built with "Signature Noble universal form factor". This form factor for the most part is very well designed but maybe be a bit big for some some users. They do stick out of the ear a little far and the result is that they do tend to pick up a bit of wind when taking them outside. Also the bore is a little bit bigger than usual meaning I could not get them to insert very far into my ear, so I had to settle with using my favourite Fidue dual flange tips which work very well with the Savants for me. 
    The casing is made from pretty smooth, strong and light plastic making them actually very comfortable to wear for a long time. There are no sore spots to mention and they sit very securely in the ear, YMMV. The provided cable has a memory wire in the ear guides which adds to the comfort and security of the Savants. A very simple plastic sleeve is used for the neck cinch and it works extremely well. 
    The only thing that I must mention is that I get a very tight vacuum seal (AKA driver flex) every time I initially put the Savants in my ears, this was a little painful the first couple of times, but my ears adjusted to it. Make sure you don't yank them suddenly out of you ears as that could have very bad consequences to your inner ear.

    Cable, Jack, Splitter & Mic/Remote

    I personally am a very huge fan of the cable. The braiding is done very well with a very nice round quad braid up to the chest and then a simple twist braid to the shell connectors. The Y-splitter is a simple piece of clear heat shrink; I really wish it was black though. The jack is unfortunately straight, but it is smaller profile than usual. I do have a little gripe with the jack, and this time it's not because it is straight, but because it is very slippery, and people with grease/sweaty finger syndrome will have a bit of trouble unplugging the jack from devices that have a good grip on the TRS tip. Also the strain relief is a little too small, but I'm sure this will be fine in the long term. The backs of the 2 pin connectors have a colour on both channels to tell you which side is what; blue = left, red = right. They also sit very firmly inside the female connectors on the shells.
    There is no remote or microphone on the cable, which is a bummer. But guess what! Removable cable remember!? That's right, you've already spent $600 on an IEM, what's another $50-$100 on a cable that only you would enjoy! 


    This is one aspect that the Savant really excels on. The isolation is sublime! You pop them in and press play = good bye world. You don't even need to have the volume up high. I can have these turned down to background music levels and still no hear the world around me. This works the other way as well. Once they're in your ear, no one can hear what you're listening to. Full marks no doubt!


    Now here brings me back to the meaning of Savant. I really don't know which aspect of the earphone they were referring to. The Savant handles nearly every part in the sound department with ease. With the correct source pairing the detail retrieval goes to reference levels, shy of analytical. The Savants are also extremely dynamic and coherent in the way it presents every sound element. Everything just feels effortless. The tuning is done with great care to keep everything balanced and just right. To me this this kind of sound signature is nearly perfect in timbre. 


    I find the treble to be very well tuned for a long and comfortable listen. It's not the fastest treble I've heard, even maybe a little slower than the average BA earphone, and maybe just a little bit recessed. I cannot find a bit of sibilance, dryness or harshness. This is the kind of treble that I am a huge fan of, and is the reason I really loved the Havi B3 Pro 1 so much, and if you are a fan of the Havis, I can safely say that the Savant would be the perfect upgrade to them, as they have a lot of similarities.


    Again I will utter balance. The transition from treble to mids is smooth. There is maybe a little but of recess in the upper mid range which can make some female vocalist pushed back in the soundstage, this is not very prominent though. Female vocals sound natural but a little blunted or subdued. Male vocals suffer a little bit of the same. There is not enough lower mid presence to give them a full and chesty note, but this is not a bad thing as that exaggerates them.
    The mid range is very linear and balanced to suit the rest of the spectrum without pushing any elements in front of each other. It is designed to be very coherent and as close to "correct" as possible.


    The bass here is a little deceiving. It sounds full, engaging, deep and just a tad forward. But it does all this without a true visceral punch. It kind of feels like faux bass. It lacks the organic elements of good bass. Nonetheless, the bass on the Savant is good. It's relatively fast and coherent for the most part, and can bring a bit of rumble when called upon. 
    The bass region can be EQ'ed for a little bit better results, but be warned that it can only be push so far before it starts to distort quite a bit. I cannot go above 2db bass boost on the FiiO E17 hardware EQ before it starts to effect the rest of the sound spectrum, especially the treble.

    Soundstage & Imaging

    The soundstage on the Savant is not big, but it is bigger than average, and not just bigger, it feels very natural with a really satisfying amount of air. The imaging performance is also very good. Listening to both studio and live recorded tracks leaves you with a very good impression, and this imaging performance is mainly the reason why the Savants sound so natural, effortless and dynamic in it's presentation. 


    As Head-Fi doesn't properly show the ratings, this is how I've scored the Noble Audio Savant:
    Click on the photo to see in larger resolution
    IMG_6248.jpg IMG_6109.jpg



    The Savants left me with a very good impression of Noble Audio, but at the same time the price point scares me well away from this bracket of IEMs. Of course, people who can justify such a purchase will feel different. But when you think about the great IEMs for sale that is a quarter and even less than the price of the Savants you really start to think "why". To be honest, I'd be more than happy to stick with the $60 Havi B3 Pro 1 that has a similar type of sound signature, and not even mentioning the Fidue A73. I think that the Savant is a truly remarkable and very good earphone, but I don't believe that it's good value for money.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. d marc0
      Great write up mate! Keep it up.
      Thanks for joining the tour. We'll see you on our next one...
      d marc0, Sep 19, 2015
    3. earfonia
      Clear and concise review! Thanks!
      I put Savant in my 'have to try' IEM list :)
      earfonia, Sep 19, 2015
    4. DJScope
      Thanks guys! I do my best to write my feelings of the products. Even go as far as to not read any of the other reviews before I post. Now comes to long and painful road of reading other reviews to see how they correlate with my impressions. :)
      DJScope, Sep 19, 2015
  9. Marshal Banana
    Baby K10? nay!
    Written by Marshal Banana
    Published Sep 7, 2015
    Pros - fit, coherency, pretty well balanced, resolution, musical, great value
    Cons - slightly picky in the high-mids

    It's been almost a year I use the K10U and absolutely love them. I didn't know what to expect with this new model Savant. The number of drivers is the best kept secret, so we just have our ears to judge the sound. The name, Savant, also was pretty mysterious. They were call pretty quick "Baby K10", but we'll see if it is a reallity or not.
    You get the exactly same packaging you get with the K10U and presume other Noble universal. It's a pretty solid packaging, with a lot of choice of tips, a transportation box I think is perfect in size and in use, cleaning tool, some stickers and some elastic band labelled Noble to put together your DAP and your favorite portable amp. No complain about the packaging. It's very nice.
    Build, fit, cable...
    The build feel they are made to last. The finish might be slightly better (some litlte imperfections on the bottom of the shell). It's the same black shell used for other Noble universals, no surprise there, but I think it's a great form factor. One of the best I could find for my ears shape. Compact, light, and fit perfectly. The fit of the Noble Universal is more a shallow one than a deep one. Some people might prefer deeper fit like Etymotics IEM, but I feel personnaly comfier with a shallow one. They are very easy to put in and out, and love the ergonomics in every day use. The isolation is good too. The cables has great ergonomics too: soft, light, seems robust, low microphonics. Savant use classic 2 pin connectors.
    The sound
    General signature
    I think the Savant is a fairly neutral IEM, with a slight emphasis on the high mids. The soundstage has great focus and coherency.
    When you compare to the K10U it's pretty obvious that the Savant are less warm, has less bass quantity, more high-mids and high energy. All the intrument are more put together in the Savant too, more focus than the K10U which present more separation between instruments.
    Perfectly balanced to my ears, not too much, not too less. They go pretty deep (as deep as K10U but with less emphase in the sub bass), are articulate, and pretty fast. They sound some kind of faster, drier than the K10U lows. It's a very clean presentation. The transition between lows and mids is perfectly executed, and like it better than the K10U actually. You have some bump in the low region here and there on the K10U you don't have on the Savant. The Savant has a one of the best linearity in bass and bass-mids transition I heard on a multi BA based IEM, period.
    They are less warm than the mids in the K10U, but they feel as full. I think it's because the mids on the Savant are a little bit forward. When I compare with the K10U, they seems slightly drier: the K10U as a very liquid presentation, maybe more liquid than it must be. It's very nice and musical, but I feel the Savant more reallistic in this area. The mids on the Savant has a great presence and while being sometimes sharp, they keep being musical. The resolution is no less tham amazing in this area of the spectrum. If you listen a lot of acoustic instruments or a lot of vocal, you will be more than happy with the mid presentation of the Savant.
    There is some kind of a bump in the high-mids, resulting of a great sens of clarity and airness, but also it is picky on some recordings becoming somekind of agressive. I need to say I use as a source an AK120II known for being a very neutral and revealing DAP. Maybe a warmer DAP is more suitable with the Savant. Anyway, I prefer the smoother and more linear  mids to highs transition on the K10U which is more versatile. But on good recordings the clarity, airness on the Savant is pretty amazing and very enjoyable too. The highs are well extended, with great energy and sparkle. However, I feel the highs on the K10U have more extension, articulation and details by a hair while being less forward.
    The Savants soundstage presents a very different approach from the K10U. The instruments are more put together, with a more direct way to come to you. There is more focus, I would say. The K10U has more height and lateralization, creating a bigger space and instrument separation more defined. The depth is very similar on both models though. I feel the Savant might be more coherent with smaller music formation, while the K10U are doing a better job when you listen to big orchestras.
    I can’t really agree to say that Savant are just a “baby K10”, and the best thing you can do is to try them both to find out which one you like better instead of jump on the “flagship” just because it is “the flagship”. I’m sure a lot of people will prefer the Savant over the K10U. The K10U, warmer, are brilliant doing well on every kind of music, and every recording, with astonish technicality. But, the Savant will shine with its very involving sound, speed, and coherency while being slightly less all-rounder than the K10. Now for the price asking for the universal Savant, those are a crazy great value, which can compete with some of the best multi BA based IEM in the market. Great job Noble!
      Jeff Y likes this.
    1. Jeff Y
      Great review. I really needed the comparison because I'm trying to choose between the K10 and the Savant atm.
      One dumb question (I know this would be differing between people): What would you rather live with? The K10 or the Savant.
      I've tried both and I like the K10 more but I'm worried that K10's richness may be too over-bearing once I get them and listen to them everyday.
      I would be pairing them with my Chord Hugo.
      Thank you.
      Jeff Y, Sep 7, 2015
    2. Marshal Banana
      Thanks for your comment.
      Hard question, really hard to say, but the K10 might be the one I rather live if I had only one IEM because it is extremely versatile. But when the conditions are put together, the Savant has some kind of a very enjoyable and fantastic sound you get involved in. I really hope I can dig more with the pairing rig with the Savant.
      Marshal Banana, Sep 8, 2015
    3. Jeff Y
      I'll go audition both for hours at a time at least 3-4 times I guess. I really liked both but yes, I do think I'll end up with the K10 as well.
      Currently the contenders are: K10, Savant, and Stagediver SD4.
      First world problems eh?
      Enjoy your iems. :)
      Jeff Y, Sep 8, 2015
  10. daduy
    Best IEM i've heard so far, rivals full size headphones
    Written by daduy
    Published Sep 2, 2015
    Pros - Sound quality, very well balanced clean, detailed sound, fits really nice, detachable cable, good isolation.
    Cons - Would be nice to have a bit more bass quantity
    I got this unit as part of Australia/New Zealand tour arranged by @d marc0, thank you very much for including me in this tour :)
    I am just another music fans in this world, I love listening to music, and that made me stumble into head-fi around 7 years ago when looking for the best way to listen to my music. I am not in anyway an audiophile, heck not even close, so please forgive any lack of details in my review. Most importantly this is my personal impression on the unit, most likely i heard things differently than you, my ears, my preferences, my brain :)
    I listened to the Savant daily in my commuting from home to work and in the office for about 10 days.
    This is my first time listening to mid-high tier IEM, so i am really excited. In general, i am not a big fan of IEM for two reason:
    1. Can't find a good fit
    2. Can't find one that really have the same quality as full size headphones.
    I think the savant has successfully solved the 2 issues above.
    I am going to compare the Savant briefly with my Shure SE420, Etymotic HF5, and Sennheiser HD 580
    Build Quality and Design.
    Build quality of the Savant looks pretty solid to me, i like how the design is simple, curvy and quite small. Obviously it is not as small as my Ety's but seems a bit leaner than the Shure SE420.
    Sound Quality
    Ok the most important part for me, sound quality, so how do they sound? Awesome..... simply awesome, almost perfect! They are very well balanced, balanced in a way that all the frequencies are evenly represented.
    The bass, mids, trebles have equal position and volume, nothing is over anything. Another thing that really pleasant for me is how musical instrument being represented by the Savant, it's almost like each instrument in a piece of music has equal opportunity to make a sound, and i believe this is the reason why they sound very detailed for me. This doesn't mean that classical music lost their dynamic, some instrument still sounds louder than other as it is intended, but i can hear all of them. Interestingly with all the detailed presentation they manage to sound very musical as well, it doesn't sounds cold or analytical at all, just pure rich, engaging musical experience out of the Savant. 
    Last but not least, i am not sure how, but they fit really well on my ears, be it comply foam or silicon tips, they slide (almost) perfectly into my ears, and stays nicely in there. I say almost because i am sure custom mold IEM will fit even better, but for universal IEM, they are the best i have tried.
    One final bonus, they also isolate pretty well, which i suspect due to the nice fitting on my ear.
    The only issue for me, and that's me nitpicking really, is that i wish they have a bit more bass quantity in them. To be fair i've been listening to a lot of Ultrasone 750 lately and they just have amazing bass, so the Savant doesn't really compete in those department.
    Etymotic HF5: HF5 sounds a bit thin compare to the Savant, it lacks the body and warmth that makes a music engaging IMO, HF5 is not a bad IEM, but compared to the Savant they just doesn't compete.
    Shure SE420: The Shure trebles sounds a bit rolled of, giving the impression that it's a dull sounding IEM compare to the Savant. I got the impression that Shure mid/lower mid is a bit too thick for my taste, well at least compared to the savant. They just don't have that balance of sound.
    Sennheiser HD580: When comparing HD580 againts the Savant, i felt that HD580 had a bit of mid-bass frequency bump that give them a warm impression. The savant doesn't have this bump, hence giving a perception of cleaner sounding treble. I didn't think one is better then the other, they simply just have a different sound signature.
    I am sold.
    I haven't tried that much IEMs compare to full size headphones, so I probably not the best person to review them, however this is the best sounding IEM for me, the most comfortable as well! In the past i have owned T-Peos Altone 200 and JVC FX-700, which sounds and feel good as well, but they're not as good as the Savant. This is the first time i listened to IEM and didn't miss my full size headphones. This is the first time i put an IEM and don't feel annoyed by the fittings.
    Well done Noble, this one is a winner and a keeper.
      Sinocelt and d marc0 like this.
    1. d marc0
      Thanks for joining the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed your time with the Savant.
      d marc0, Sep 2, 2015
    2. daduy
      Thank you for including me @d marc0
      it was really my pleasure :)
      daduy, Sep 2, 2015