Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
Aug 14, 2020 at 9:19 AM Post #23,356 of 32,428

CL14715

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Great story and impressions.

On the downside my wife wants serious words with you. She has just found out that our bank account is going to reduce by £3,400 for the ODIN ! 😃👍
Just let her know the headfi community understands and sympathizes with her.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 9:30 AM Post #23,357 of 32,428

aaf evo

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The pleasure is all ours and the entire team is ecstatic you love the IEMs as much as we loved handcrafting them for you. It's posts like these that keep me smiling in the lab at 3am. It really means more than words can explain. Thanks so much for the support and making the long trip. I'm glad you both made it home safely!

On an entirely different note I might authorize an earlier shipment release depending on a few variables but i'll keep you all posted closely.

Yes plz :)
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 10:05 AM Post #23,359 of 32,428

DavidS11

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You sure it wasn’t your music of choice? I compared the Odin to Trio last night.. the Odin makes the Trio sound congested and veiled. The mids are definitely forward to me.

How is the sound stage compared to Trio? Does it sound in-your-head with the forward mid? Is Odin bass quantity more than Trio or is it more balanced?

Appreciate if u can post more comparison to the Trio. Thanks.
 
Last edited:
Aug 14, 2020 at 10:10 AM Post #23,360 of 32,428
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Josh @ EE is a great vibe for testing / evaluating.

:) :) :)
He was helping out at the EE counter at London CanJam. Coolest mofo ever. (I'm sure the rest of the EE team are just as cool - Josh was just the only one I chatted to)

Although having said that, everyone was great at CanJam. :)

Nah nah I'm definitely the cool one. Definitely. No need to look further.

@CL14715 I also want to express my gratitude to you for making the trip. That's... quite a drive. I know I fawned over you a little bit but I was just so damn excited to have people in the house again. Absolutely a highlight for the year of Can'tJams. Also, thanks for the glowing write ups! Next time you roll through town I still owe you a lunch!
 
Empire Ears Stay updated on Empire Ears at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/EmpireEars https://twitter.com/EmpireEars https://www.instagram.com/empireears/ http://www.empireears.com/
Aug 14, 2020 at 10:52 AM Post #23,362 of 32,428

Frankie D

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First and foremost what a wild past 2 days.. Drove 9 hours to North Georgia with aspirations to visit Empire Ears expecting a quick tour and audition of the Odin, Hero and others in the line up.. Then drive back 9 hours home. What actually happened when I got to Empire Ears today was well beyond anything I could’ve anticipated.

I will begin by just putting it out there that @JoshWatkins , @Jack Vang and Dean Vang are incredibly humble and friendly people. Their attention to detail and going above and beyond to accommodate me was mind numbing; I’ve never felt so welcome and comfortable in any establishment to date. Josh just kept bringing me IEM’s to try as he educated me on various aspects of the products, not in a sales pitch fashion either which was appreciated. It was more or less just listen and relax while Josh kept showering me with free merchandise. Seriously, I left with a bag full of it. He even loaded up my Fiancé with stuff.

Then while auditioning the Hero and Odin, Josh walked in and explained to me that @Andrew DiMarcangelo from www.bloomaudio.com went above and beyond and actually had them allocate an Odin for me that I could take home, if I wanted to purchase it. Josh made it abundantly clear that this was Andrew’s doing and he persisted to allow them to do so until they agreed. Josh also made it clear there was no pressure to do so regardless of the gracious offer. This was quite the surprise… people are chomping at the bit to get their hands on Odin and I was given the opportunity to do so immediately. Andrew is quite the gentleman and bloomaudio.com has seriously exceeded any and all expectations I have ever had as a consumer. I am not sponsored by Empire Ears, Bloom Audio and I was not asked to endorse either in return for anything. These are my own feelings coming from the purest possible place.

So, what the hell did I do about it? I guess I’ll explain my experiences with Hero and Odin first.

I listened to the Hero first, per Josh’s recommendation.

Side note, the white and black is gorgeous in person. The white has a marble like deep shimmer to it in certain light and it’s just awesome to look at. Fit is great for me as are all Empire Ears offerings.

So going into it, I realized there’s not much info out there about how these bad boys sound so I had no idea what to think. It took about 20 seconds to realize they are going to OWN the $999 to $1699 market with these. Goodbye Andromeda, Goodbye Solaris, Goodbye Nio and any other imposter hanging around this price range. To be fair and transparent, the Hero even makes the Valkyrie irrelevant and might replace the LX for some. I haven’t heard the MK2 models so this could change soon. Unless fit is an issue, which is something I cannot predict for you, there’s no reason to bother with the aforementioned. None.

Bass: Medium to heavy bass presence but done well and not over-powering. They have a similar to a bit less bass presence of Valkyrie but I think better executed. It’s more controlled and extended. It’s not there when it’s not supposed to be.

Mids: Extremely full bodied and clarity for days. Vocals are right where they should be and have spot on timbre. Empire Ears killed it here… seriously.

Treble: Super smooth and etched just enough to be detailed and present without fatiguing. Just as good as any Campfire offering which is what some of them are known for specifically. Really well done.

Overall presentation / conclusion: Holographic and coherent. Everything blends well but leaves enough separation to still have nice layering. I don’t foresee anything coming through as bloated. They responded well to everything I threw at them. Insane value for the price point. Musical-easy listening perfected.

The mighty ODIN… you have to see this things in person. Sheeeesh!

After first hearing the HERO and how well it performed I was nervous the ODIN was going to be underwhelming. NOOOOPE… The ODIN is the equivalent of a high end floor speaker array in an acoustically engineered room. You might as well be in the studio with the band, artist or engineer. Micro detail in every frequency range. They provide a resolution that isn’t easily replicated.

Bass: Very deep and executed with precision of delivery. It is there when it is supposed to be and not when it isn’t. It’s not the bass monster the Legend X is but it shares the sub bass depth and keeps the mid bass clean but present. Those who like reference bass will love these… by reference I mean how it’s supposed to sound; lifelike. Not a flat snooze fest reference.

Mids: Crisp, clear and loaded with detail / accuracy. Most impressive mid range I have ever heard. It’s not lush and warm, it’s just dead accurate in a natural sounding way.

Treble: I listened to the Wraith while I was there and found the treble to be quite impressive once a powerful source was utilized. If the source sucked, so did the Wraiths treble (and the rest of it for that matter). The ODIN retains this powerfully immense treble to the likes of the Wraith, just without the source dependency. It’s bright and detailed enough to impress but not harsh or peaky. I’m now biased against anything but electrostatic treble. Not even the tia tubeless stuff hit’s this quality to me.

Overall presentation / conclusion: Holographic and grand. Layered, micro-detailed and expansive with everything I listened to. Dean Vang came in and said he can’t listen to anything else immediately after ODIN and I can understand why.

If you’re still reading this you deserve one of those Headfi badges in your profile but I hope I at least answered as many questions as I foresaw coming my way after many knew I was auditioning Empire Ears lineup. I’m sure there will be more and I am happy to assist. The only remaining question I haven’t answered was, what did I decide on? Despite the long winded post, this particular part deserves recognition at length: After it all, I told Josh I was going to go through with purchasing the Odin as I am sure they anticipated I would after hearing how bad ass it is. Then I asked what about the Hero? what if I wanted that as well? He wasn’t sure as they were thin on product after this massive launch but sprang to action… about 30 minutes later to my surprise, Dean Vang walked in with a Hero he personally took from production and QC’ed himself !! He asked me to listen to it to make sure I was satisfied and I did just that. I laughed when he asked and thought who the hell am I to tell you if the IEM you designed and quality control tested sounded as it was supposed to… Long story short I am now the proud owner of the ODIN ANNND HERO!

Another huge shoutout to Dean and Jack Vang, Josh Watkins and Andrew DiMarcengelo.. you guys are all top notch and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I also want make an honorable mention to the Empire Ears crew… all super professional and hard working. They have a great team over there and it really quells the price to purchase pain seeing the massive undertaking to produce these audio devices at this level.D693B23F-B051-40ED-8115-7F2B0E78505D.jpeg5337A72F-F5C7-4B21-B0F2-3FDE0AD14B47.jpeg
Great story and pics! Tks.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 11:11 AM Post #23,363 of 32,428

kdphan

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:) :) :)


Nah nah I'm definitely the cool one. Definitely. No need to look further.

@CL14715 I also want to express my gratitude to you for making the trip. That's... quite a drive. I know I fawned over you a little bit but I was just so damn excited to have people in the house again. Absolutely a highlight for the year of Can'tJams. Also, thanks for the glowing write ups! Next time you roll through town I still owe you a lunch!
:laughing:
2020
Year of "Can'tJam"
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 11:17 AM Post #23,364 of 32,428

mwhals

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:) :) :)


Nah nah I'm definitely the cool one. Definitely. No need to look further.

@CL14715 I also want to express my gratitude to you for making the trip. That's... quite a drive. I know I fawned over you a little bit but I was just so damn excited to have people in the house again. Absolutely a highlight for the year of Can'tJams. Also, thanks for the glowing write ups! Next time you roll through town I still owe you a lunch!

One day I hope to drive there. Apparently I am closer than @CL14715. It is only 7 hours and 46 minutes, but we will call it 9 hours due to stopping for lunch and breaks as needed.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 11:29 AM Post #23,365 of 32,428

kalsonc

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@CL14715
can you elaborate more on the Hero vs Nio for me? either here or pm?

As I ordered the Nio myself but it won't be shipping until end of the month.
Since I am buying Nio blind - i feel your preference is similar to mine and might be worth to skip the Nio and get the hero instead
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 12:00 PM Post #23,366 of 32,428

CL14715

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Lil somethin’
D2C56607-7589-4521-9C30-69D35BEEF3C5.jpeg
E81B95B0-5B46-439F-ACBC-419A59ADCA77.jpeg
A2F64713-002B-4143-996C-3DF7C8F10559.jpeg
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 12:07 PM Post #23,367 of 32,428

gnahra

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Aug 14, 2020 at 12:14 PM Post #23,368 of 32,428

CL14715

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@CL14715
can you elaborate more on the Hero vs Nio for me? either here or pm?

As I ordered the Nio myself but it won't be shipping until end of the month.
Since I am buying Nio blind - i feel your preference is similar to mine and might be worth to skip the Nio and get the hero instead
You mean the Nio I’m about to list for sale? Look and I mean no disrespect to any other manufacturer because this game constantly evolves... but Nio sales are about to get hurt... if you know what I mean. The Hero takes the Nio’s buttery smooth sound and just gives it a resolution bump. Not in a fatiguing way to me.. just added clarity. There’s also the treble there whereas the Nio rolls it off too much in some cases. Not to mention it’s $1349 vs $1699. So even if it sounded identical it’s still the smarter buy. No brainer.
 
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Aug 14, 2020 at 12:23 PM Post #23,370 of 32,428

riverground

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First and foremost what a wild past 2 days.. Drove 9 hours to North Georgia with aspirations to visit Empire Ears expecting a quick tour and audition of the Odin, Hero and others in the line up.. Then drive back 9 hours home. What actually happened when I got to Empire Ears today was well beyond anything I could’ve anticipated.

I will begin by just putting it out there that @JoshWatkins , @Jack Vang and Dean Vang are incredibly humble and friendly people. Their attention to detail and going above and beyond to accommodate me was mind numbing; I’ve never felt so welcome and comfortable in any establishment to date. Josh just kept bringing me IEM’s to try as he educated me on various aspects of the products, not in a sales pitch fashion either which was appreciated. It was more or less just listen and relax while Josh kept showering me with free merchandise. Seriously, I left with a bag full of it. He even loaded up my Fiancé with stuff.

Then while auditioning the Hero and Odin, Josh walked in and explained to me that @Andrew DiMarcangelo from www.bloomaudio.com went above and beyond and actually had them allocate an Odin for me that I could take home, if I wanted to purchase it. Josh made it abundantly clear that this was Andrew’s doing and he persisted to allow them to do so until they agreed. Josh also made it clear there was no pressure to do so regardless of the gracious offer. This was quite the surprise… people are chomping at the bit to get their hands on Odin and I was given the opportunity to do so immediately. Andrew is quite the gentleman and bloomaudio.com has seriously exceeded any and all expectations I have ever had as a consumer. I am not sponsored by Empire Ears, Bloom Audio and I was not asked to endorse either in return for anything. These are my own feelings coming from the purest possible place.

So, what the hell did I do about it? I guess I’ll explain my experiences with Hero and Odin first.

I listened to the Hero first, per Josh’s recommendation.

Side note, the white and black is gorgeous in person. The white has a marble like deep shimmer to it in certain light and it’s just awesome to look at. Fit is great for me as are all Empire Ears offerings.

So going into it, I realized there’s not much info out there about how these bad boys sound so I had no idea what to think. It took about 20 seconds to realize they are going to OWN the $999 to $1699 market with these. Goodbye Andromeda, Goodbye Solaris, Goodbye Nio and any other imposter hanging around this price range. To be fair and transparent, the Hero even makes the Valkyrie irrelevant and might replace the LX for some. I haven’t heard the MK2 models so this could change soon. Unless fit is an issue, which is something I cannot predict for you, there’s no reason to bother with the aforementioned. None.

Bass: Medium to heavy bass presence but done well and not over-powering. They have a similar to a bit less bass presence of Valkyrie but I think better executed. It’s more controlled and extended. It’s not there when it’s not supposed to be.

Mids: Extremely full bodied and clarity for days. Vocals are right where they should be and have spot on timbre. Empire Ears killed it here… seriously.

Treble: Super smooth and etched just enough to be detailed and present without fatiguing. Just as good as any Campfire offering which is what some of them are known for specifically. Really well done.

Overall presentation / conclusion: Holographic and coherent. Everything blends well but leaves enough separation to still have nice layering. I don’t foresee anything coming through as bloated. They responded well to everything I threw at them. Insane value for the price point. Musical-easy listening perfected.

The mighty ODIN… you have to see this things in person. Sheeeesh!

After first hearing the HERO and how well it performed I was nervous the ODIN was going to be underwhelming. NOOOOPE… The ODIN is the equivalent of a high end floor speaker array in an acoustically engineered room. You might as well be in the studio with the band, artist or engineer. Micro detail in every frequency range. They provide a resolution that isn’t easily replicated.

Bass: Very deep and executed with precision of delivery. It is there when it is supposed to be and not when it isn’t. It’s not the bass monster the Legend X is but it shares the sub bass depth and keeps the mid bass clean but present. Those who like reference bass will love these… by reference I mean how it’s supposed to sound; lifelike. Not a flat snooze fest reference.

Mids: Crisp, clear and loaded with detail / accuracy. Most impressive mid range I have ever heard. It’s not lush and warm, it’s just dead accurate in a natural sounding way.

Treble: I listened to the Wraith while I was there and found the treble to be quite impressive once a powerful source was utilized. If the source sucked, so did the Wraiths treble (and the rest of it for that matter). The ODIN retains this powerfully immense treble to the likes of the Wraith, just without the source dependency. It’s bright and detailed enough to impress but not harsh or peaky. I’m now biased against anything but electrostatic treble. Not even the tia tubeless stuff hit’s this quality to me.

Overall presentation / conclusion: Holographic and grand. Layered, micro-detailed and expansive with everything I listened to. Dean Vang came in and said he can’t listen to anything else immediately after ODIN and I can understand why.

If you’re still reading this you deserve one of those Headfi badges in your profile but I hope I at least answered as many questions as I foresaw coming my way after many knew I was auditioning Empire Ears lineup. I’m sure there will be more and I am happy to assist. The only remaining question I haven’t answered was, what did I decide on? Despite the long winded post, this particular part deserves recognition at length: After it all, I told Josh I was going to go through with purchasing the Odin as I am sure they anticipated I would after hearing how bad ass it is. Then I asked what about the Hero? what if I wanted that as well? He wasn’t sure as they were thin on product after this massive launch but sprang to action… about 30 minutes later to my surprise, Dean Vang walked in with a Hero he personally took from production and QC’ed himself !! He asked me to listen to it to make sure I was satisfied and I did just that. I laughed when he asked and thought who the hell am I to tell you if the IEM you designed and quality control tested sounded as it was supposed to… Long story short I am now the proud owner of the ODIN ANNND HERO!

Another huge shoutout to Dean and Jack Vang, Josh Watkins and Andrew DiMarcengelo.. you guys are all top notch and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I also want make an honorable mention to the Empire Ears crew… all super professional and hard working. They have a great team over there and it really quells the price to purchase pain seeing the massive undertaking to produce these audio devices at this level.D693B23F-B051-40ED-8115-7F2B0E78505D.jpeg5337A72F-F5C7-4B21-B0F2-3FDE0AD14B47.jpeg
You are one very lucky dude!
That was quite the adventure and quite the read! Lol
Thanks for sharing man! Now I'm even more excited to listen to both!
 

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