Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)

  1. Jack Vang

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    Over 25 years of advanced micro-acoustics experience has culminated in the creation of Empire Ears. The development of our products has not only involved our team of masterful engineers but also dozens of visionaries, experts willing to look beyond their specialist areas to embrace a role as part of something colossal.

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    We devote ourselves to having a razor-sharp focus on technical excellence while committing to bold, cutting-edge designs. We embrace workmanship of the highest order, leaving nothing behind but compromise. We vow to shatter industry standards by providing the most impeccable service to our clientele.

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    I, Jack Vang, will be your personal representative for Empire Ears. I'm accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week for your convenience. Please do not hesitate to contact me via PM or e-mail, Jack@EmpireEars.com, in regards to any questions or concerns you may have.

     
     
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    UPDATES

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    9/14/2016

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    Asius Technologies Teams with Empire Ears for Product Development
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    BOULDER, CO – September 14th, 2016 – Asius Technologies, the leader in developing music enhancing personal audio devices that have been scientifically proven to protect hearing, has partnered with Empire Ears of Buford, GA, a manufacturer of high-end in-ear monitors for musicians, sound engineers, and audiophiles.  The partnership will allow both companies to co-develop and market products that combine each other’s strengths.  The two companies anticipate marketing Empire Ear custom in-ear monitors (CIEMs) that will accommodate Asius’ patented ADEL™ technology which will protect listeners via a secondary eardrum that mitigates harmful and sound distorting pneumatic pressure that ear devices usually produce.​
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    Catherine Young, CEO of Empire Ears says, “The forged alliance between Empire Ears and Asius is an opportunity for two world-class technology companies to revolutionize the in-ear monitor industry and define the future. We are driven by a common vision to provide only the most elite products and innovations; together we’ll deliver the most advanced, cutting-edge in-ear monitors while preserving your hearing with the genuine ADEL™ technology.”​
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    CEO Steven Lebischak adds, “Empire has rapidly become a best in class enterprise because of their commitment to judiciously partnering to ensure their customers experience leading technology and value.  Together with Empire, audiophiles and performing artists will continue to benefit from authentic ADEL technology that began when the Asius founder, Stephen Ambrose invented the IEM decades ago. Empire customers will have the advantage of the only IEM technologies that is backed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation that is able to restore hearing function while providing the best and safest sound.”​
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    About Empire Ears: Empire Ears (www.empireears.com) is one of the world’s preeminent in-ear monitor brands, recognized the world over for its impeccable craftsmanship and state-of-the-art engineering. Empire Ears has always pursued a uniquely uncompromising approach to creating premium handmade in-ear monitors, maintaining a highly systemized, detail-focused, approach to “handcrafted” production.  With over 25 years of experience, co-founder and lead engineer, Dean Vang, passionately designs and engineers every in-ear monitor to deliver only the most remarkable audio reproduction possible with proprietary Empire Ears drivers and crossover networks.​
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    About Asius Technologies:  Asius Technologies (www.AsiusTechnologies.com) is the developer of earphones that employ a patented second eardrum that absorbs the harmful pressures that cause hearing loss and degrade sound quality.  Asius' products are enjoyed the world over by sound engineers, musicians, audiophiles, and anyone who wears earphones for sustained periods in loud environments.  Asius Technologies was founded by Stephen Ambrose, the “Father of Personal Audio,” who trail blazed the path for the Walkman, iPod, and virtual reality devices by inventing and then commercializing the in-ear monitor.  Feeling responsible for the epidemic of hearing loss attributed to personal listening devices, Stephen is now dedicated to developing technology that not only enhances listening, but also preserves and even restores long lost hearing.​
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    7/20/2016

     

    **EMPIRE EARS IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE!!!**

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    www.EmpireEars.com

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    After several months of hard work and dedication, we are proud to officially announce the launch of our brand new website! On top of an entirely new look we've also brought forth a plethora of customization options and features, including an interactive IEM builder!

     
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    **LIMITED EDITION FACEPLATES**

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    From time to time we'll produce something entirely unique and we're ecstatic to introduce "Amethyst Jade Burl" and "Fire Infused Burl" as our first limited edition faceplate options!​
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    **NEW FACEPLATE OPTIONS**

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    **ZEUS-R(EMASTERED)**

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    "Leaving the 99.999% in the dust, the all new Zeus-Remastered is a 14 driver smack-down of every in-ear monitor ever produced. The Zeus-R boasts unprecedented levels of engineering and components, including a colossal power reserve of 28 total balanced armature drivers, 4 precision ported sound bores, and a state-of-the-art 8-way crossover network, to deliver the most extraordinary audio reproduction possible.

    The Zeus-R is our most ambitious project yet, pushing the boundaries of technology further than any of its rivals in order to set the performance benchmark for “top-of- the-line” tier in-ear monitors.

    The Zeus R is the ultimate, quintessential in-ear monitor."

     

    The Zeus-Remastered is an engineering marvel that was designed specifically to achieve new benchmarks in detail retrieval and resolution. Tuned for a more reference like signature, the Zeus-R is relatively flatter than its XIV counterpart. Zeus-R has massive headroom, both in width and height. Treble extends to the skies of Olympus, mids are ultra clear with lifelike vocals, and the bass can be felt and heard without bloated boom or a muddy mid-range.

    The Zeus-R is the result of our relentless R&D and obsession with over-engineering. Designed and made for the most discerning musician, artist, engineer, and audiophile.

     

    **PROPRIETARY EMPIRE EARS DRIVERS**

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     After nearly a decade of working with the largest balanced armature manufacturers we are proud to announce our own line of proprietary Empire Ears drivers. The Zeus-R is the first model to incorporate the new drivers and the rest of the Olympus series IEM will follow suit.

    (Born in 1987 I personally chose to have this particular driver named EMP87 (Empire 1987))

     
     

    **THANK YOU**

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    We seriously couldn't do it without you guys. From EarWerkz to Empire the support has been absolutely amazing. Despite my lack of posting activity on the threads I want you all to know that i'm constantly monitoring and assessing feedback to see how we can improve our products and customer service. In the end it's all about you and we'll do whatever it takes to ensure your complete satisfaction.

     

    Never, ever hesitate to contact me personally if you guys have any questions in regards to anything. I am available nearly 24/7.

    Jack@EmpireEars.com

    404-808-3405 (Personal Cell - Text/Call)

    770-945-0065 (Office Phone)

     

    From the bottom of our hearts everyone at Empire Ears thanks all of you for your support. Supporting us allows us to pursue our passion as a career and to proudly keep engineering, manufacturing, and customer service 110% in Georgia, USA.

     
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    Empire Ears Stay updated on Empire Ears at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/EmpireEars https://twitter.com/EmpireEars http://www.empireears.com/
    davidcotton, Kozato, Tony1110 and 4 others like this.
  2. moedawg140 Contributor
    Empire Ears Olympus Lineup
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    Introduction
     
    Empire Ears has come a long way.  The previous company, EarWerkz, kicked off reaching the world via Kickstarter.  Their Supra 2-driver model was a resounding success, and as a result, the proceeds allowed musicians and audiophiles/music lovers alike to be introduced to higher-fidelity custom in-ear monitors (IEMs) such as the Legend Remastered and the Legend Omega.
     
    Fast forward to today.  Empire Ears has emerged into a fully capable customer service-oriented company that offers products that cater to most anyone’s wants and needs. 
     
    I would like to thank Jack Vang for lending the Empire Ears lineup for the review. 
     
    What’s great is that there will be an auditioning tour forthcoming in the near future as well.
     
     
    Let’s meet the captain of the team!
     
    I wanted you to learn a little more about Empire Ears and the Vice President of Sales, Jack Vang, so I inquired with a few questions to learn a little bit more about the philosophy regarding his company, products and what drives him as well as his team.
     
    How and why was Empire Ears created?  Also, what differences are there between the previous company EarWerkz and now, Empire Ears?
     
    EarWerkz was a phenomenal success globally and at the rate that we were growing my team was on the verge of being overwhelmed.  Two things I could never compromise are customer service and quality. If I can’t provide either of those two things to the best of my ability then I don’t need to be in business. We’ve nearly quadrupled in manufacturing and development power since the merger so expect so epic things to come from the Empire!
     
    What was changed from the Legend Remastered (8 drivers) to Empire Ear's Athena (8 drivers)?
     
    The Athena is an entirely different entity than the Legend R and I think that anyone that has the chance to A/B them will feel the same way.
     
    What type of driver does the Olympus lineup currently use?
     
    All balanced armature drivers.
     
    What was your reason(s) to use a unique universal design and how were you able to achieve it?
     
    Ultimately we wanted the universals to sound as close to the custom as possible while still be comfortable. We based the universal shells off of our Supra II and dealer demos to achieve a more consumer friendly design. All universal IEMs come packaged with a full set of authentic SpinFit CP100 silicone tips and Comply T500 foam tips for maximum comfort and performance.
     
    Your Olympus lineup uses very exotic materials that are available to customize the aesthetics of the customer's personal in-ear monitor.  Could you share a little bit regarding the process it took to be able to provide more options to the customer?
     
    The original translucent colors were very popular because of their pure, crystal like shine. The new colors are very different in the sense that they are opaque and non-translucent. They come in a variety of gorgeous pearls and metallics, all mixed in house by our shell engineers.
     
    For faceplates we now offer wood, carbon fiber, abalone and custom artwork! In terms of full on, more unique customizations we’re trying our best to constantly offer new things while still being able to fulfill our 10-15 day turnaround time.
     
    I observed on your Empire Ears website that you have not only Universal and Custom IEMs available, but you also have a hearing protection section as well!  Could you discuss the differences between the DELTA-AX (analog) and DELTA-DX (digital) hearing enhancement and protection in-ear devices?
     
    More info on all that soon!
     
    What is your goal for your customers with regards to their experience with any of your Olympus series, and Empire Ears in general?
     
    The Olympus Series provides razor sharp accuracy and imaging throughout the entire lineup. Every model was developed with numerous professionals in the music industry and tested by several audiophiles throughout the world for double approval. We’ve spent countless days on stage and several nights in the studio to achieve this signature so needless to say we’re very excited for consumers to finally get their hands on the Olympus series.
     
    As for Empire experience, each and every customer should feel a high level of personalization and customer service. In-ear monitors are a very personal purchase and we need to do our absolute best in assisting our clientele in any way possible.
     
    What are your goals for the future with regards to Empire Ears?
     
    Can’t say too much at the moment but we have a very aggressive and ambitious timeline. Team Empire is extremely capable and we’re very optimistic for the future.
     
    What keeps you going at night, since I'm aware you provide customer service all hours of the day?
     
    There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else. - Sam Walton
     
    I’m a huge, absolute huge, advocate of customer service. I genuinely love conversing with our clientele and there’s no greater satisfaction in knowing that I’ve done the absolute best I can to support the customer before, during, and after the sale. They say that when you love what you do you haven’t worked a day in your life.
     
    Anything else you would like to add?
     
    We didn’t come to play, we came to win.
     
     
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    Audio equipment used in the review
     
    IEMs 
     
    Cerberus-III

    Spartan-IV
    Hermes-VI
    Athena-VIII
    Apollo-X
    Zeus-XIV
     

    Universal and Custom models are available

     
    Sources
     
    Grace Design x Massdrop m9XX DAC/Amp: $499 shipped in the United States
    iPhone 6 (Space Gray, 128GB):  $849.99 or $399.99 with a 2-Year Contract
    Questyle Audio QP1R Golden and Space Gray: $899 USD
     
    Third-party cables
     
    BTG Audio Starlight
     
    Software Application Used
     
    TIDAL HiFi – Lossless
     
     
    Build Quality

     

    Simply amazing!  The Empire Ears Universal IEMs that I have listened to use a swirl with glittery colors design, but more exotic materials are available.  Different types of woods, carbon fiber, abalone and other beautiful materials are custom-created for you.  The build quality, internal components used, and aesthetics are at the summit of bestoke in-ear monitor companies.

     

     

    Source Impressions
     
    Before starting any critical listening, I made sure to burn in the entire lineup – all have at least 200 hours of concurrent burn-in; as a result this takes burn in or not burning in with regards to possible or not possible perceptible sound differences out of the equation.  All impressions will be based on listening via QP1R.  With regards to the sound differences, overall, the QP1R accentuates the treble and bass regions compared to the m9XX, as the m9XX sounds more natural and expresses a slightly smooth sound compared to the QP1R.  The iPhone 6 embodies more bass emphasis compared to the QP1R and m9XX, but the entire lineup is easy to drive, and I didn’t experience hiss with any of my sources.  Also, equalization is not utilized.  The lineup are universal models (not demo models), and all are available as custom IEMs as well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s take a look at the lineup.
     
     
    The Empire Ears demonstration box
     
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    Supra – 2 Drivers
     
    The Empire Ears demo box did not contain the Supra, but if you would like to learn more about it, you can check out my review of the EarWerkz Supra, here.
     
     
    Cerberus – 3 Drivers
     
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    The Cerberus’ fit is very comfortable, and contains the smallest housing in the entire Empire Ears lineup (same size as Spartan), which means insertion and fit is simple.  I experience best results by using small sized SpinFit tips and inserting the Cerberus just past the first bend of my ear canal.  The Cerberus emits a warm and smooth sound.  The lower midrange to upper bass is the star of the show.   The treble rolls off in the upper region, but for those who are treble sensitive, you will be happy to know the treble will sound engaging, but will not illicit winces of pain from hearing too much treble – rather, the sound is gentle, with slight emphasis.  The midrange, especially lower midrange, is lush.  The fullness of the midrange and bass is satisfactory to those that love bass and those that likes a bit of kick out of their IEM as well.  The bass is confident, yet not boomy.  It is controlled, and sounds articulate as well.  One of the bassier IEMs of the lineup, but it’s clear and slightly airy as well, so it’s one to consider if you value coherent bass.  The soundstage is expansive, but not to the level of the higher driver models and due to the perception of forward midrange and upper bass as well.  The detail retrieval and coherency is satisfactory. 
     
    My friend listened to the entire lineup, and he liked that it didn’t have any sharp treble but still managed to sound good.  His overall impression was that he thought the Cerberus was one of his favorites.
     
    The Cerberus punches above its price weight class, and is an enjoyable listen.
     
    For those who want an overall cost-effective IEM that is able to sound wonderful, especially in the midrange and bass areas of the frequency spectrum, the Cerberus is a good choice.
     
     
    Spartan – 4 Drivers
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    The Spartan’s fit is very comfortable, and contains the smallest housing in the entire Empire Ears lineup (same size as the Cerberus), which means insertion and fit is simple.  I experience best results by using small sized SpinFit tips and inserting the Spartan just past the first bend of my ear canal.  The Spartan emits a natural sound.  The midrange and midbass are the stars of the show.  The presentation is not similar to the Cerberus, because the Spartan is more clear and coherent sounding.  Every area of the frequency spectrum is more pinpoint, more precise, and faster, with more of openness to the sound that comes out of the ear canal tubes.  The treble sounds airier, yet still manages to be non-fatiguing to the ears.  The midrange is forward, but airy at the same time. There is that sense of openness as the detail retrieval is fantastic.   The Spartan’s bass is focused, tight, and emits ample levels without feeling overwhelmed by the bass presence.  The soundstage is wider and more believable than the Cerberus, and pinpointing instruments is made easier because of the emphasis in more lucid detail retrieval.   I remember my friend listening to it with my iPhone 6 and she told me it was the most clear sounding IEM that she has heard in her life.  Albeit, she only listened to the Spartan, but it was still quite kudos that the Spartan sounds that amazing to her.
     
    The Spartan is a competent-sounding, fully capable IEM and is an enjoyable listen.
     
    For those who want an overall “just right” IEM out of the lineup, the Spartan is a good choice.
     
     
    Hermes – 6 Drivers
     
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    The Hermes’ fit is comfortable, and the drivers contain the next larger sized housing (medium - same size as the Athena).  Insertion and fit aren’t issues and I can wear both small and medium sized SpinFit tips, but for the Hermes and Athena sized housing, I most prefer the medium sized SpinFit tips.  The Hermes emits a pseudo 3D soundstage with treble presence.  The treble and vocals are the stars of the show.  The presentation is not similar to the Cerberus or Spartan, but more like a mixture of the Spartan and Apollo’s sound signatures.  The treble is extended and fast as the transients are snappy.  The midrange emits the pseudo 3D soundstage, but it isn’t as prominent as the Apollo model.  The bass has and emits adequate reverberation, but is not the overall consensus of the entirety of the performance.  The overall sound is also slightly distant, and as a result may be perceived as a positive trait with regards to soundstage and special capabilities compared to the Cerberus and Spartan.  The detail retrieval is a step above the Spartan, however the Spartan may embody more of a natural sound.  This is one IEM that has grown with me because when I first heard it, I really didn’t enjoy it all that much.  Now that I have had time with it, either having more listening time, burning in, or both, my unanimity is that the Hermes is a good choice for those that want a slight pseudo 3D soundstage but do not want to go the full route with the Apollo.
     
     
    Athena – 8 Drivers
     
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    The Athena’s fit is comfortable, and the drivers contain the next larger sized housing (medium - same size as the Hermes).  Insertion and fit aren’t issues and I can wear both small and medium sized SpinFit tips, but for the Athena and Hermes sized housing, I most prefer the medium sized SpinFit tips.  This is one amazing sounding IEM.  First off, this updated 8 driver IEM overall sounds more coherent and resolving than my own Legend Omega.  I’ll share more about that later.  The Athena produces a balanced with slight bass tilt sound signature.  The detail retrieval and coherency are the stars of the show.  The treble is extended and transparent.  I do not detect treble-fatigue; however I can see how people may think it has a treble presence since the bass isn’t accentuated egregiously.  The midrange is vibrant and thoroughly detailed.  Transparent and full of sweet texture are two descriptive midrange terms attesting to the marvelousness of the Athena’s detail retrieval.  The bass is well controlled, not bloomy, with slight weight.  The bass is quick, and does stay too long to reverberate from your eardrums.  Alright, back to the comparison with my Legend Omega.  The detail retrieval, coherency, midrange and especially treble are more apparent listening to the Athena compared to the Legend Omega.  The Legend Omega emits more bass than the Athena, and that is about all the Legend Omega is able to do with regards to handily trouncing the Athena.
     
    The Athena is an immaculate-sounding IEM and one of my favorites of the lineup. 
     
    For those that are seeking a detail-plentiful and overall immensely adequate sound signature, the Athena is a great choice.
     
     
    Apollo – 10 Drivers
     
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    The Apollo’s fit is comfortable, and the drivers contain the largest sized housing of the lineup (large).  Insertion and fit can be issues but I experience best results by using medium sized SpinFit tips and inserting the Apollo just past the first bend of my ear canal.  The Apollo’s housing will stick out a fair portion, especially if you do not place the Apollo’s ear canal tube in your ear at or near the second bend of your ear canal.  I would advise that for an IEM like this, an IEM with a slightly larger housing (but still slim for a 10 driver) it’s best to go for the custom model for the utmost in comfort, fit and isolation which will assist in increasing bass response and overall as clear articulation of the sound as possible.  I am using the provided BTG Starlight cable during my listening. 
     
    The Apollo emits a signature that is unlike the rest of the Empire Ears lineup – a 3D soundstage and imaging that is unique.  The voicing of the Apollo sounds like a 3D soundstage application is being used, without actually using any of the EQ settings.  The treble is smooth and rich sounding, but is not emphasized like the Athena.  It rolls off at the upper registers, and is a joy for those who are treble sensitive.  The midrange sounds distant and slightly hollow.  The tonal balance of the midrange ventures towards the warmer side and is more apparent on a warmer source like the iPhone 6, but is alleviated with a crystal-clear sounding Digital Audio Player (DAP) such as the QP1R.  The bass sounds like it is diffused, and is not exactly pinpoint in its presentation.  The upper bass and midbass are broadly presented and adds fill to the entire presentation.  Some may love the signature, as my friend listened to the entire lineup and ranked it his second favorite.  He is treble sensitive, so he adored the fact that the Apollo did not have razor sharp treble, and was overall smooth and easy to listen.  The signature to my ears is not as clear and crisp sounding as the Athena, and not as detail-oriented.  The Apollo’s signature deviates from the rest of the Empire Ears lineup, and it’s great that there is this type of sound signature available from the lineup, as some may really enjoy the smooth and enveloping sound that is presented.
     
     
    Zeus – 14 Drivers
     
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    This is the top of the Empire Ears Olympus lineup, the 14 driver per side Zeus!
     
    Zeus was the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus.  This is an appropriate name for a glorious-sounding in-ear monitor.
     
    The Zeus has been a huge undertaking as Jack and I have been discussing about it for quite some time, and he has garnered feedback from audiophiles/music lovers to hone the final tuning.
     
    As far as I know, this is the first production consumer 14 driver in-ear monitor in the world.  Before I get into fit, sound signature and impressions, I would like to say a couple of thoughts regarding drivers and driver count, as it is important to discuss.  I remember several years ago when 3 and 4 driver IEMs were the most drivers available in an IEM, and every time a new model was available, there was a debate if driver count really played a factor with regards to a perceivable increase in sound quality.  I would personally say yes and no. 
     
    Yes - to the fact that implementing more drivers with crossovers and sufficient tuning allows each driver to hone in on a particular area of the frequency spectrum.  Instead of utilizing one or two drivers that provide all of the frequency or just the bass and midrange to treble areas, more than one or two drivers can be delegated to achieve certain tasks.  If a company wants to accentuate certain areas such as bass, they may use larger drivers or even multiple drivers to accomplish this undertaking. 
     
    No - to the fact that there are countless IEMs that are multiple-driver that do not accomplish a desired sound signature for the listener, which can be disconcerting for those that may have assumed that spending more money for more drivers equals an increase in overall sound quality, no matter what.  This is simply untrue.  There are some 10 driver IEMs that do not sound the utmost in coherency, and there are some hybrids or two driver IEMs that sound amazing and coherent.  Factor in the element that usually the lower driver count models are more economically priced, and you have some contenders in the lower driver count and lower price ranges.  Furthermore, some higher-driver models may sound too strident, too bassy, or too recessed in areas such as the midrange. 
     
    Where does the Zeus stand?  Regardless of driver count, the Zeus is the most coherent and crystal-clear sounding balanced armature IEM that I have ever listened to.  It just so happens that the Zeus utilizes 14 drivers – all in a slim body (to house 14 drivers) that is the same size as the Apollo’s housing.  How does the Zeus sound, how’s the fit and how does it make me feel?  Come with me along the journey…
     
    The Zeus’ fit is comfortable, and the drivers contain the largest sized housing of the lineup (large).  Insertion and fit can be issues but I experience best results by using medium sized SpinFit tips and inserting the Zeus just past the first bend of my ear canal.  The Zeus’ housing will stick out a fair portion, especially if you do not place the Zeus’ ear canal tube in your ear at or near the second bend of your ear canal.  I would advise that for an IEM like this - an IEM that begs to be pushed to the limit, it’s best to go for the custom model for the utmost in comfort, fit and isolation which will assist in increasing bass response and overall as clear articulation of the Zeus’ sound as possible.  I am using the provided BTG Starlight cable during my listening. 
     
    The Zeus’ emits an immensely engaging, clear and exceeding coherent sound that rivals zero balanced in-ear monitors that I have listened to.  The resolving nature shows and delivers in spades.  The detail retrieval, clarity, transparency and just the right amount of aggressiveness makes the Zeus truly an Olympic quality experience.
     
    The dynamic capabilities are supremely energetic.  The presentation is vigorous in nature, and razor sharp with regards to every nuance of every area of the audio spectrum.  This is my new reference in-ear monitor, as no area of the sound completely overtakes certain areas of the audio spectrum.  This does not mean that the Zeus sounds flat.  Since the Zeus is very detail oriented, all areas of the sound are in focus, which assists in pinpointing the complexities of every bit of the sound that is presented. 
     
    The treble is extended, but is not sibilant.  The Zeus is natural and effortless, with that gleam of air that makes the Zeus a joy to listen.  The midrange is supremely detailed yet manages to be organic in its presentation. 
     
    The midrange, particularly every area, creates a liquid sound that is able convey a coherent present stage.  The right amount of edge, closeness and headstage all embody the entirely resolved nature of the midrange.  
     
    The bass is reference quality, meaning it is not boomy, not out of focus, and not muddy or muffled.  On the contrary, the Zeus’ bass is punchy, with good impact.  Kick drums and synthetic beats alike sound as natural as can be.  The bass is fast, snappy, and is naturally neutral-sounding in its deliverance. 
     
    The soundstage does not embody similar tuning as the Apollo - there is no complete 3D soundstage feeling, and feels entirely expansive and natural. 
     
    Using a higher fidelity DAP such as the QP1R extracts out the pinpoint accuracy of the placement of instruments and elevates the overall auditory level of the Zeus, however, the Zeus will sound absolutely marvelous from an iPhone 6 as well.  The slight bass emphasis of the iPhone 6 makes the Zeus a formidable in-ear in the quality bass department.  Blissful sound emits from the iPhone 6, and the m9XX sounds outstandingly natural in its presentation.   The m9XX is an organic treat, as bass is fully extended, midrange is sublime, and treble is smooth and thoroughly engaging. 
     
    The Zeus exudes brilliance.  Breaths are effortless.  Vocals are lush and rich in flavor.  Kick drums are appealing.  Guitar strings are beautifully rendered.  The riffs are so meticulous it can be eerily uncanny-sounding when listening.   Bass - natural and synthetic are wondrous sounding.  All instruments are elegantly presented as harmonic in nature, and can chameleon into whatever the performer ultimately wished to express at the exact moment of performing. 
     
    Out of all of the IEMs in the lineup, my friend (same one who listened to the Apollo as well) chose the Zeus as his favorite IEM.  He doesn’t know anything about the inner intricacies of an IEM, but he knows what sounds good, and he said that even though the treble is heightened, the Zeus sounds the clearest to him.   He goes on to state that everything else does not sound as detailed to him. 
     
    Zeus makes me feel like I’m listening to truly something special.  There are no DAC/Amps needed with regards to specific power requirements to experience this bliss.  The easy-to-drive, filter-less, all-encompassing IEM is quite simply, divine sounding, and that is putting it mildly.  No words can describe how I feel when listening to the Zeus.  If there is a summit, or orbit – wherever, with regards to higher fidelity audio, the Zeus is perched right there – on top of the highest mountain or travelling to the moon – the pinnacle, is here.
     
     
    The Empire Ears lineup
     
    From right to left: Cerberus, Spartan, Hermes, Athena, Apollo, Zeus
     
    PB150282.jpg    PB150289.jpg
     ​
    PB150292.jpg    PB150291.jpg
     ​
    PB150295.jpg    PB150296.jpg
     ​
    PB150299.jpg    PB150301.jpg
     ​
    PB150307.jpg    PB150311.jpg
     ​
    PB150315.jpg    PB150322.jpg
     ​
    PB150325.jpg
     
     
    Final thoughts
     
    If you are in the market for an IEM, I would emphatically recommend one or more of the IEMs in the Empire Ears’ lineup, as there is something that will cater to most every audiophile and music lover alike.  I would like to thank Jack and his company for not only creating a diverse and proficient lineup, but being there for those wanting to learn more, wanting to purchase, and wanting to share in the audio journey together.
     
    I aspire that you reach auditory bliss and overall peace, through one listened song at a time.
     
     
    Empire Ears Lineup Specifications
     
    Supra-II  $429
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 112 dB @ 1mW
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 40 Hz – 18 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 23 Ohms @ 1 kHz 
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/- 2 
    INPUT CONNECTOR : 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack 
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 1 Low, 1 High
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 2 Balanced Armature Drivers, 2-Way Passive Crossover Network,
    1 Enlarged Sound Port
     
    Cerberus-III  $649
    SENSITIVITY: 114 dB @ 1mW
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 40 Hz - 18 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 15 Ohms @ 1 kHz
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/- 2
    INPUT CONNECTOR: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    DRIVER SET UP: 1 Low, 1 Mid, 1 High
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 3 balance armature driver, 2 crossover network 3-way,
    3 sound bore
     
    Spartan-IV  $749
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 112 dB @ 1mW
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 40 Hz - 20 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 20 Ohms @ 1 kHz
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/- 2
    INPUT CONNECTOR: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    DRIVER SET UP: low, 2 mid, high
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 4 balance armature driver, 3 crossover network 4-way,
    3 sound bore
     
    Hermes-VI  $1099
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 118 dB @ 1mW
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 40 Hz - 20 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 17 Ohms @ 1 kHz
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/- 2
    INPUT CONNECTOR: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    DRIVER SET UP: 2 low, 2 mid, 2 high
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 6 balance armature driver, 2 crossover network 3-way,
    3 sound bore
     
    Athena-VIII  $1299
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 118 dB @ 1mW
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 15 Ohms @ 1 kHz
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/- 2
    INPUT CONNECTOR: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    DRIVER SET UP: 2 Low, 3 Mid, 3 High
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear 
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 8 balance armature driver, 4 crossover network
    5-way, 3 sound bore
     
    Apollo-X  $1599
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 119 dB @ 1mW 
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 17 Ohms @ 1 kHz 
    NOISE ISOLATION: -28 dB +/-2
    INPUT CONNECTOR: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo jack
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    DRIVER SETUP: 2 low, 4 mid, 4 high
    CABLE: 2-Pin Detachable, Over-The-Ear
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 10 balance armature driver, 4 crossover network
    5-way, 3 sound bore
     
    Zeus-XIV  $2099
    INPUT SENSITIVITY: 119dB @ 1mw
    FREQUENCY RANGE: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
    IMPEDANCE: 21 ohm @ 1 kHz
    NOISE ISOLATION:  -28dB +/-2
    INPUT CONNECTOR:  3.5mm
    WARRANTY: 1-year parts and labor, 2-years parts
    INTERNAL SPEAKER CONFIGURATION: 2 Low, 6 Mid, 6 High 
    7-Way, 6 Crossover Points
     
  3. ezekiel77
    Exciting new line-up Jack. Congrats to Empire Ears.
     
  4. georgelai57
    Congrats, Jack ... again 
     
  5. Kozato
    I will be helping to answer all enquiries about Empire products from Singapore and Malaysia. :)

    Demo units will be available for audition in Singapore from 13th November 2015.
     
    georgelai57 likes this.
  6. Jack Vang
    Thank you all for the warm welcome and kind words! We're currently preparing for the Empire Ears tour and as mentioned we have something epic to unveil on 11/15.
     
    Empire Ears Stay updated on Empire Ears at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/EmpireEars https://twitter.com/EmpireEars http://www.empireears.com/
    Eric Koh likes this.
  7. Jobbing
    Congratulations to you and your team! This is going to be one of my favourite threads for sure. Like many others I can't wait to join the Empire Ears tour.
     
  8. MikePortnoy
    Nice product line, nice thread. :)

    Looking forward to hear Apollo-X.
     
  9. flinkenick
  10. Sirenia
    Olympus will be rising again and we'll be all standing here our jaws dropped to the ground :)
    Very exciting line up indeed and all the more impressive as everyone can find his own candidate depending on his tastes and preferences.
     
  11. ZzmadzZ
    Wohoo! Can't wait Jack! Awesome stuffs you have again!
     
  12. Cagin
    tumblr_m6ts4zTHhR1roc7alo1_400.gif



    Will Music Sanctuary be present at CanJam Singapore?
     
  13. Jack Vang
    Yes, I believe they will be. Empire will also be present!
     
    Empire Ears Stay updated on Empire Ears at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/EmpireEars https://twitter.com/EmpireEars http://www.empireears.com/
  14. germanturkey
    can't wait to see what you guys got in store for the 15th!
     
  15. nmatheis Contributor
    Tour? If it's in the US, I'm interested :L3000:
     

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