Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
Jan 23, 2018 at 12:07 PM Post #10,413 of 30,891

Jackpot77

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Can't wait to read impressions and comparison to Zeus

I (like many Zeus owners) would be MORE than happy to do a comparison, if someone wants to send me one of the new models... Anyone? Anyone? No? Ok then, guess we'll have to wait for Nic and the THL gang! (Can't blame a guy for trying) :wink:
 
Jan 23, 2018 at 6:11 PM Post #10,414 of 30,891

ambrose1985

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while you are at it, maybe can compare it against the Tia Fourte as well ? haha.
 
Jan 23, 2018 at 9:14 PM Post #10,415 of 30,891

ironpeg

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Here is what I know from RMAF 2017.

During Canjam RMAF I had a chance to listen to two of Empire Ears secret prototypes.

There 2 prototypes which the configuration is still secret!! I think many people have heard of them from Canjam NYC, and Canjam SG.

I tried those two back in Canjam NYC too but they have had many improvements from time to time.


The first prototype is paired with Effect Audio Ares 2 (not the Ares 2+). I believe this is Legend X according to the specification.

Pro: Engaging, Lively, Fast, Realistic, Massive headroom and Layering.

Cons: Too much bass (might be perfect for basshead)


Resolution: Prototype no.1 excels in resolution maintaining the strong trait Empire Ears specialty. Depth layering is one of the best. I would say it is better than JH Layla to my ears. While width is pretty similar to its big brother “Zeus XR”. All the sounds have been well positioned.

Bass: This is where it gets exciting. Prototype no.1 stand out from all Empire Ears’ iems. I would say this is much better than Savage Series. Bass is fast, strong, and impactful with lots of rumbling. This makes the iem really engaging and fun to listen to. I tried this iem on the second day of Canjam RMAF. After that all other iems sounded ….. bad……

Mid: Despite bass being overwhelming, mid-range still sounds full and positioned forward like its brother “Zeus XIV’. However, lower mid has been overshadow by the strong, impactful bass.

Treble: Treble still maintain Empire Ears’ house sound. Great sparkling, crisp, clear, and precise without piercing or irritating my ears.


The second prototype is paired with Effect Audio Ares 2+.

Pro: All rounder iem, Superb for referencing

Cons: It’s not fun. I heard it after 1st prototype. This one sounded bland…. L

Resolution: Summed it short and simple, similar with Zeus XR. In my opinion, this 2nd prototype is performing better in resolution than the 1st prototype. It is more revealing.

Bass: Imagine Zeus R with a touch more bass, it has great bass for referencing bass line. Its bass is strong and impactful yet still nimble. It’s not completely hardcore slam bam bam like the 1st prototype.

Mid: It has the perfect vocal positioning. Vocal is right at the same plane with your ears. It is really similar to Focal Utopia mid-range.

Treble: copy paste from prototype no.1. From my memory, they are really similar.
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 3:57 AM Post #10,416 of 30,891

Gavin C4

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Just a short introduction:

Some weeks ago Nic sent me some iems on a loan and one of the iems was a mystery to me, as he didn’t gave me any information about it beforehand. I can honestly say that I was instantly swept of my feet how good (I thought) it sounded straight away. And of course I asked him to let me know what this mystery iem was. It was the prototype Phantom (that name wasn’t even decided on at that point). I could only keep it for a few days, but needless to say that almost all listening during that days was done with that imo wonderful iem.

I promised Nic not to share any information about driver set-up (which is out now anyway) or signature and kept my word during the past weeks.
To my surprise some very informative (regarding signature) posts appeared today in this thread, surprised as I didn’t realise they were out in the open yet. The reason that I write this post is that my impressions regarding its signature differs from some things that I’ve read. My impressions are also not a universal truth, but I think it’s important to share them now to (also) shine a different light on the Phantom.

My comments will be purely based on how I hear the Phantom, and not regarding the Legend X as I haven’t heard that one myself.
Oh, and one more thing before I take off... today I received the Phantom again on a loan, and I started listening as soon as I got it (a few hours ago) to make sure that I wasn’t wrong, based on a faded memory.
So, here we go (please buckle up :wink:)



Imo this is a very well (lots of details) written post Gavin, and all my respect for you for taking the time and effort to share this with us! But some aspects that I just can’t agree on with you are:

- Bass: imo the Phantom has much more (sub)bass than the Zeus (both XIV and R). The difference to my ears is so obvious that I almost couldn’t believe what you wrote about its lows. The first time I heard it I tried to look inside the shells to see if there was a DD inside. That’s how good it was to me. But then, you had a different (brighter, more analytical) source and were using (probably even more important in this specific case) different eartips.

Btw, this loaner came in with Ortofon tips, and the first time I mainly listened with my own Spiral Dot (which gave it a bit warmer touch) tips. I see that some other members also wrote about how much influence the right/wrong tip can have. From what I’ve heard/understood, the acoustune AET07 tips, that you used, takes away most of the Phantoms bass and gives it a leaner/brighter sound.

– Treble: to my ears the Phantom has slightly more laid back treble than the Zeus. Please don’t interpret this as that it isn’t revealing...hell no, it’s utterly revealing imo, with a beautiful and natural tonality/timbre on top of that.

– Soundstage: this is always a difficult part for me to put the finger on. When I received the Phantom for the first time I was really impressed by its imo wide soundstage and depth. I told Nic that I couldn’t remember that I heard an iem that came so close (maybe the 1plus2 that I had in the past) to open back fullsize headphones, as this one. Now I'm listening again, I’m still very impressed! I certainly wouldn’t call it an under achiever compared to the Zeus, which also has a great soundstage imo.

OK then, those were my 2 cents and of course we can all hear things differently. But I just felt that I had to react this time.
On to the next:



Now look at that picture...what a line up. I’m almost starting to drool over here :grin:

Nice to read that the Phantom immediately made it into your top 10, leaving me curious about the other 9 iems and ranking :thinking:

The only 2 points on which I didn’t (again, based on Phantom only) agree:

– Hiss sensitivity: when I had the Phantom on a loan for the first time I listened many hours from my LPG. The LPG certainly hisses with the Zeus, but not so much that it personally bothers me. When the music starts, I don’t hear the hiss myself. But I’m also aware that other people (with probably younger and better ears) are more sensitive to hiss than me, and that it might be a 'no go' area for them.

I recently traded my LPG with Nic for his RWAK380Cu for a while. So today I mainly listened with that one, and for a very short time with my Opus #1. On all 3 sources (LPG based on memory) the Phantom has a black background to my ears. If others hear it differently, I might have to visit an audiologist again soon, but that time not to get me some new ear impressions.

– Bass extension: imo the Phantom has great bass extension. Both bass quality and quantity come closer to perfection (based on my preferences) than any other iem I’ve heard (and that are quite some by this time) before. If you thought the Legend X was even better...oh man, we’ve got something else to look forward to!

Anyhow, these are my thoughts on the Phantom and I surely hope that more info/impressions will be revealed in the upcoming reviews soon.
Some exciting times ahead of us :ksc75smile:

Sorry, My compression of the Phantom against the ZeusXR may not be fair as the Phantom uses Acoustic tune tips vs my custom fit ZeusXR. The seal factor definitly got an impact on my impression.
Generally I agree that Phantom is a good IEM with a very natural bass presentation. The Phantom is just as good as the ZeusXR but in an different way.

It might also be due to my listening on the Legend X for so long that her beautiful and thick and impactful bass raised my standard on bass presentation in quantity and quality. I have to confess that I love the Legend X more than the Phantom and Bias kicks in.
 
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Jan 24, 2018 at 4:47 AM Post #10,417 of 30,891

Wyville

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Sorry, My compression of the Phantom against the ZeusXR may not be fair as the Phantom uses Acoustic tune tips vs my custom fit ZeusXR. The seal factor definitly got an impact on my impression.
Generally I agree that Phantom is a good IEM with a very natural bass presentation. The Phantom is just as good as the ZeusXR but in an different way.

It might also be due to my listening on the Legend X for so long that her beautiful and thick and impactful bass raised my standard on bass presentation in quantity and quality. I have to confess that I love the Legend X more than the Phantom and Bias kicks in.
That could very well be. After reviewing the DD Rhapsodio Saturn, going forward to the VE5 required time to adjust before I recognised the qualities of the VE5 bass. The bass sounded so far back, right up to the moment that I played a cello solo and realised how natural the bass of the VE5 was.
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:03 PM Post #10,418 of 30,891

ctsooner22

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Back to an original question....Who's going to be in NYC for Can Jam? Looking to meet folks from the board etc...
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:04 PM Post #10,419 of 30,891

fuhransahis

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Jan 24, 2018 at 2:05 PM Post #10,420 of 30,891

ctsooner22

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I booked two nights at the Marriott. We should all meet up somewhere that first morning to say hi.
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:19 PM Post #10,421 of 30,891

fuhransahis

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I booked two nights at the Marriott. We should all meet up somewhere that first morning to say hi.
I'll be joining after 12pm on both days (wife works on the morning), but glad to join in for a happy hour after each CanJam day (or maybe a mini-happy hr or two during CanJam lol)
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:31 PM Post #10,422 of 30,891
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I'll be joining after 12pm on both days (wife works on the morning), but glad to join in for a happy hour after each CanJam day (or maybe a mini-happy hr or two during CanJam lol)

Happy hour should be all day long at EE table :p
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:37 PM Post #10,423 of 30,891

ctsooner22

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We should set up a time to meet at the EE table on Saturday. Would love to do happy hour on Saturday night if it works for folks.
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 2:42 PM Post #10,424 of 30,891

fuhransahis

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Jan 24, 2018 at 3:04 PM Post #10,425 of 30,891

AxelCloris

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We should set up a time to meet at the EE table on Saturday. Would love to do happy hour on Saturday night if it works for folks.
I think a better place to have a meet-up would be in the CanJam lounge area rather than in front of EE's exhibit. Those aisles can get pretty packed as it is.
 

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