Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
Feb 20, 2018 at 11:46 AM Post #11,101 of 30,717

ctsooner22

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I have done so much research before I even came to the EE thread. I am not married to any one company. It's my money and I will spend it wisely, I hope. Same goes for my 2 channel gear. I believe that EE's customs are of the best or the best on the. market. That's huge for me as I wanted a custom badly. I read about how much better than make a good IEM and when I saw customs AND I can chose any color or pattern under the rainbow, it just made sense to me.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 1:48 PM Post #11,102 of 30,717

kubig123

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Sorry if I'm late, but between family and work I was not been able to add my impression regarding the new Empire iems at the CanJam NYC.

Was a pleasure to finally meet @flinkenick in person same as @Jack Vang and Dean from Empire, together with Eric and Zou from Effect Audio, like I promised I spent much of my time at CanJam between these 2 booths, with my friend @ctsooner22.

These are my 2 cents.

First of all, let me say the new prototype from EA it’s amazing, 8 wire, palladium plated copper, a piece of art! They bought 2 cables, same material but different geometry and the results were 2 completely different cables. This is a testimonial of the knowledge and know-how of EA and how they master this science.

I tried them both with my Encore and I felt in love with the first prototype I tried, this was the warmer one, what struck me was the sound stage, amazingly wide, 3D, the Encore doesn't have the widest sound stage but this cable was able to stretch it beyond my expectation, being warm it added a nice touch to the bass and mid, I loved how it reproduced vocals, bringing them forward and it had an incredible multi-layer representation. The other prototype was more neutral, vocals were slightly recessed compared to the warmer sibling, may be with a different, warmer iem I would have choose this one.

IMG_4516.jpg

Moving on the EA...

I didn't take any good pictures of the EA booth, between the lights and my phone, none came out nice.


Legend X

Even if I read some (let's say all of them) the previous reviews/impressions posted in this thread, I knew this would not be my chosen one, still, I was very curious to try it based on the technology implemented.
I was really impressed how the Legend was able to reproduce both the bass and the treble so well, Empire has been able to create an earphone that is both warm and bright, the treble are strong, powerful, full of details.

When you transition your attention to the low-end, this is were you understand how strong and seductive the dark side of the force is.:ksc75smile:
The bass are extremely powerful (as of course everyone was expecting), fast and clear, the great energy of this bass is the foundation that support magnificently the mid, that are pushed forward but without being overwhelmingly warm.

Even if I would conclude my impression now, I would consider this a great earphone, but there is more.

I usually use "Things That Stop You Dreaming" from Passenger for the male vocals, but what hit me was the sub-bass at the beginning of the song, never experienced anything like this, was like having 2 68-pounder cannonsthat were shooting in my ears, forget the Tia Fourte, I never heard a low-end so powerful and clear .


Phantom

The Phantom is a different beast, after the excitement of the Legend X the Phantom invite you to take it slow and enjoy your journey.
If the Legend is able to cover both extreme in a very powerful way, the strength of the Phantom sits it in the middle, no super-bright treble or pounding bass but the focus is to reproduce the music as it was recorded, could sound boring, but it's not.

The Phantom has an overall neutral/natural sound signature, don't get me wrong, it has bass that is clear, present but never overwhelming. Personally I think the mid is where this iem shine, the vocals are reproduced with marvelous details, and what I like the most, you CAN actually hear the imperfection of the voices in some particular songs, this is something that I always value and makes you appreciate the music even more.
You will enjoy the details of each instrument, the various layers reproduced without overlapping and their natural decay.
The Phantom has the ability to reproduce the treble in an effortless, airy way, it surrounds you but doesn't add any fatigue.


At the end, 2 great earphones for different listeners, I hope you all have the possibility to try them.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 2:04 PM Post #11,103 of 30,717

PinkyPowers

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Sorry if I'm late, but between family and work I was not been able to add my impression regarding the new Empire iems at the CanJam NYC.

Was a pleasure to finally meet @flinkenick in person same as @Jack Vang and Dean from Empire, together with Eric and Zou from Effect Audio, like I promised I spent much of my time at CanJam between these 2 booths, with my friend @ctsooner22.

These are my 2 cents.

First of all, let me say the new prototype from EA it’s amazing, 8 wire, palladium plated copper, a piece of art! They bought 2 cables, same material but different geometry and the results were 2 completely different cables. This is a testimonial of the knowledge and know-how of EA and how they master this science.

I tried them both with my Encore and I felt in love with the first prototype I tried, this was the warmer one, what struck me was the sound stage, amazingly wide, 3D, the Encore doesn't have the widest sound stage but this cable was able to stretch it beyond my expectation, being warm it added a nice touch to the bass and mid, I loved how it reproduced vocals, bringing them forward and it had an incredible multi-layer representation. The other prototype was more neutral, vocals were slightly recessed compared to the warmer sibling, may be with a different, warmer iem I would have choose this one.



Moving on the EA...

I didn't take any good pictures of the EA booth, between the lights and my phone, none came out nice.


Legend X

Even if I read some (let's say all of them) the previous reviews/impressions posted in this thread, I knew this would not be my chosen one, still, I was very curious to try it based on the technology implemented.
I was really impressed how the Legend was able to reproduce both the bass and the treble so well, Empire has been able to create an earphone that is both warm and bright, the treble are strong, powerful, full of details.

When you transition your attention to the low-end, this is were you understand how strong and seductive the dark side of the force is.:ksc75smile:
The bass are extremely powerful (as of course everyone was expecting), fast and clear, the great energy of this bass is the foundation that support magnificently the mid, that are pushed forward but without being overwhelmingly warm.

Even if I would conclude my impression now, I would consider this a great earphone, but there is more.

I usually use "Things That Stop You Dreaming" from Passenger for the male vocals, but what hit me was the sub-bass at the beginning of the song, never experienced anything like this, was like having 2 68-pounder cannonsthat were shooting in my ears, forget the Tia Fourte, I never heard a low-end so powerful and clear .


Phantom

The Phantom is a different beast, after the excitement of the Legend X the Phantom invite you to take it slow and enjoy your journey.
If the Legend is able to cover both extreme in a very powerful way, the strength of the Phantom sits it in the middle, no super-bright treble or pounding bass but the focus is to reproduce the music as it was recorded, could sound boring, but it's not.

The Phantom has an overall neutral/natural sound signature, don't get me wrong, it has bass that is clear, present but never overwhelming. Personally I think the mid is where this iem shine, the vocals are reproduced with marvelous details, and what I like the most, you CAN actually hear the imperfection of the voices in some particular songs, this is something that I always value and makes you appreciate the music even more.
You will enjoy the details of each instrument, the various layers reproduced without overlapping and their natural decay.
The Phantom has the ability to reproduce the treble in an effortless, airy way, it surrounds you but doesn't add any fatigue.


At the end, 2 great earphones for different listeners, I hope you all have the possibility to try them.

Great impressions, man. Thanks for sharing.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 2:29 PM Post #11,105 of 30,717

Blommen

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Sorry if I'm late, but between family and work I was not been able to add my impression regarding the new Empire iems at the CanJam NYC.

Was a pleasure to finally meet @flinkenick in person same as @Jack Vang and Dean from Empire, together with Eric and Zou from Effect Audio, like I promised I spent much of my time at CanJam between these 2 booths, with my friend @ctsooner22.

These are my 2 cents.

First of all, let me say the new prototype from EA it’s amazing, 8 wire, palladium plated copper, a piece of art! They bought 2 cables, same material but different geometry and the results were 2 completely different cables. This is a testimonial of the knowledge and know-how of EA and how they master this science.

I tried them both with my Encore and I felt in love with the first prototype I tried, this was the warmer one, what struck me was the sound stage, amazingly wide, 3D, the Encore doesn't have the widest sound stage but this cable was able to stretch it beyond my expectation, being warm it added a nice touch to the bass and mid, I loved how it reproduced vocals, bringing them forward and it had an incredible multi-layer representation. The other prototype was more neutral, vocals were slightly recessed compared to the warmer sibling, may be with a different, warmer iem I would have choose this one.



Moving on the EA...

I didn't take any good pictures of the EA booth, between the lights and my phone, none came out nice.


Legend X

Even if I read some (let's say all of them) the previous reviews/impressions posted in this thread, I knew this would not be my chosen one, still, I was very curious to try it based on the technology implemented.
I was really impressed how the Legend was able to reproduce both the bass and the treble so well, Empire has been able to create an earphone that is both warm and bright, the treble are strong, powerful, full of details.

When you transition your attention to the low-end, this is were you understand how strong and seductive the dark side of the force is.:ksc75smile:
The bass are extremely powerful (as of course everyone was expecting), fast and clear, the great energy of this bass is the foundation that support magnificently the mid, that are pushed forward but without being overwhelmingly warm.

Even if I would conclude my impression now, I would consider this a great earphone, but there is more.

I usually use "Things That Stop You Dreaming" from Passenger for the male vocals, but what hit me was the sub-bass at the beginning of the song, never experienced anything like this, was like having 2 68-pounder cannonsthat were shooting in my ears, forget the Tia Fourte, I never heard a low-end so powerful and clear .


Phantom

The Phantom is a different beast, after the excitement of the Legend X the Phantom invite you to take it slow and enjoy your journey.
If the Legend is able to cover both extreme in a very powerful way, the strength of the Phantom sits it in the middle, no super-bright treble or pounding bass but the focus is to reproduce the music as it was recorded, could sound boring, but it's not.

The Phantom has an overall neutral/natural sound signature, don't get me wrong, it has bass that is clear, present but never overwhelming. Personally I think the mid is where this iem shine, the vocals are reproduced with marvelous details, and what I like the most, you CAN actually hear the imperfection of the voices in some particular songs, this is something that I always value and makes you appreciate the music even more.
You will enjoy the details of each instrument, the various layers reproduced without overlapping and their natural decay.
The Phantom has the ability to reproduce the treble in an effortless, airy way, it surrounds you but doesn't add any fatigue.


At the end, 2 great earphones for different listeners, I hope you all have the possibility to try them.

Great impressions, thanks man!

So listen, I know this is a EE thread but I need to ask: What is the price point of the cables?
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 2:31 PM Post #11,106 of 30,717

Deezel177

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Sorry if I'm late, but between family and work I was not been able to add my impression regarding the new Empire iems at the CanJam NYC.

Was a pleasure to finally meet @flinkenick in person same as @Jack Vang and Dean from Empire, together with Eric and Zou from Effect Audio, like I promised I spent much of my time at CanJam between these 2 booths, with my friend @ctsooner22.

These are my 2 cents.

First of all, let me say the new prototype from EA it’s amazing, 8 wire, palladium plated copper, a piece of art! They bought 2 cables, same material but different geometry and the results were 2 completely different cables. This is a testimonial of the knowledge and know-how of EA and how they master this science.

I tried them both with my Encore and I felt in love with the first prototype I tried, this was the warmer one, what struck me was the sound stage, amazingly wide, 3D, the Encore doesn't have the widest sound stage but this cable was able to stretch it beyond my expectation, being warm it added a nice touch to the bass and mid, I loved how it reproduced vocals, bringing them forward and it had an incredible multi-layer representation. The other prototype was more neutral, vocals were slightly recessed compared to the warmer sibling, may be with a different, warmer iem I would have choose this one.



Moving on the EA...

I didn't take any good pictures of the EA booth, between the lights and my phone, none came out nice.


Legend X

Even if I read some (let's say all of them) the previous reviews/impressions posted in this thread, I knew this would not be my chosen one, still, I was very curious to try it based on the technology implemented.
I was really impressed how the Legend was able to reproduce both the bass and the treble so well, Empire has been able to create an earphone that is both warm and bright, the treble are strong, powerful, full of details.

When you transition your attention to the low-end, this is were you understand how strong and seductive the dark side of the force is.:ksc75smile:
The bass are extremely powerful (as of course everyone was expecting), fast and clear, the great energy of this bass is the foundation that support magnificently the mid, that are pushed forward but without being overwhelmingly warm.

Even if I would conclude my impression now, I would consider this a great earphone, but there is more.

I usually use "Things That Stop You Dreaming" from Passenger for the male vocals, but what hit me was the sub-bass at the beginning of the song, never experienced anything like this, was like having 2 68-pounder cannonsthat were shooting in my ears, forget the Tia Fourte, I never heard a low-end so powerful and clear .


Phantom

The Phantom is a different beast, after the excitement of the Legend X the Phantom invite you to take it slow and enjoy your journey.
If the Legend is able to cover both extreme in a very powerful way, the strength of the Phantom sits it in the middle, no super-bright treble or pounding bass but the focus is to reproduce the music as it was recorded, could sound boring, but it's not.

The Phantom has an overall neutral/natural sound signature, don't get me wrong, it has bass that is clear, present but never overwhelming. Personally I think the mid is where this iem shine, the vocals are reproduced with marvelous details, and what I like the most, you CAN actually hear the imperfection of the voices in some particular songs, this is something that I always value and makes you appreciate the music even more.
You will enjoy the details of each instrument, the various layers reproduced without overlapping and their natural decay.
The Phantom has the ability to reproduce the treble in an effortless, airy way, it surrounds you but doesn't add any fatigue.


At the end, 2 great earphones for different listeners, I hope you all have the possibility to try them.

Nice work, bud! :D I guess the cat's out of the bag now; those Effect Audio cables are indeed palladium-plated. I personally haven't heard such a combination, so I'm eager to give it a try once the EA guys get back on their feet from the CanJam jetlag. :wink:
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 2:55 PM Post #11,107 of 30,717

ironpeg

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Though I am in the Phantom camp but just out of curosity, any of u guys here demoed & ordered the Legend X straight at CanJam NY itself? What are the attractive points of it other then the incredible bass?
I did. 1Ciem for me 1Uiem for my wife. From the genre of the music we listen to, Legend X has a better matching stage presentation, and the surrounding bass slam you get without sacrificing the clarity of Mid, and sparkling of Treble to our taste.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 2:58 PM Post #11,108 of 30,717
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Nice work, bud! :D I guess the cat's out of the bag now; those Effect Audio cables are indeed palladium-plated. I personally haven't heard such a combination, so I'm eager to give it a try once the EA guys get back on their feet from the CanJam jetlag. :wink:

Yeah, that new cable is something else! I think everybody enjoyed the version with a carbon-fiber splitter (vs the other one with a plain aluminum splitter) which had a warmer yet still resolving sound. It's a very nice looking cable and unlike a typical thinner 26awg or a thicker 22awg, this one strikes a perfect balance in weight and thickness with 24awg.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 4:03 PM Post #11,109 of 30,717

ironpeg

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Here are my impressions on the new EE's line of iems from Canjam NYC under a very short listening time (7 iems in less than 2 hours)

Test Equipment: AK380 Cu + Amp Cu (Low Gain Amp mode), Comply Foam Tips (the only tips that fit my ears well).
I tried to volume match all of the iems to better compare them.

Let's start off with EP line.

EVR - Vocal Reference
Drivers: 3 --> 1 low 1 mid 1 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 3
Price: $799

As expected from a vocal reference, EVR is very lean, clean, and airy. However, it could be somewhat too cold and bright in my opinion.

Low: The bass do not go so deep, it is obviously has less slam and rumble comparing to the X Series. However, it seems to have great control over the bass.
[Score:5/10]
Mid: Vocal has similar trait to Zeus XIV. This is what EVR shine and do best. Vocal is forward and clean. Mid range is the main emphasis of this iems.
[Score:7/10]
High: Treble is not harsh but it has less sparkling that the usual EE house sound. Nevertheless, I feel it is still on the neutral side.
[Score: 6/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to 2 trapezoids merging together with the singer being close to the front of the stage along with cymbals on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay a step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. The neck of the trapezoid is where the guitarists and bass players stand with the singer. However, the presentation on the width is impressive and so as the depth.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 6.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 6.5/10]

Final thought: Not too bad for the vocal lovers. Keep in my that Vocal is standing out from the rest.

ESR - Studio Reference
Drivers: 3 --> 1 low 1 mid 1 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 4
Price: $999

As expected from a studio reference, ESR is relatively flat but more on the neutral side comparing to EVR which to me in more on the cold side.

Low: The bass is very similar to EVR but got boosted up a little bit. You will feel bass hit a bit deeper and with a tiny more slam and rumble comparing to EVR.
[Score:6/10]
Mid: Vocal has similar trait to Zeus R with ADEL G1. Vocal got pushed back to the center of the stage which is quite laid back. You will still feel the similar cleanliness of mid range from EVR but with a bit loss on details.
[Score:6/10]
High: Treble is a bit harsher than EVR and more on a cold side. But it has more sparkling than EVR.
[Score: 6/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to a medium size square. The singer is being positioned in the center of the stage. Cymbals are being a bit up front on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay a step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. To me, ESR has a bit better separation in the depth comparing to EVR. The separation between each instrument and the singer is better comparing to EVR.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 6.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 7/10]

Final thought: ESR is relatively flat. It could be a very interesting option to consider along with Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR) since both have same price range and market as Studio Reference.

Phantom - The Ultimate Nic!!!!
Drivers: 5 --> 2 low 1 mid 2 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 5
Price: $1,799

What would you expect from Nic? Phantom is phenomenal iems. Phantom is super clean, airy, spacious, rich in details, and sounds very relaxing. It is in neutral side to my ears, fairly similar to Zeus R but they both have their differences.

Low: The bass goes way deeper than EVR and ESR with a very noticeable more slam and rumble. However, it is still clean. I would dare to say that it has more slam and rumble than Zeus R ADEL G1 but... I forgot the comparison between the R without ADEL.
[Score:8.5/10]
Mid: Singer is two or three step from the center of the stage. Neither forward nor too laid back. The best part of Phantom's Mid range is how realistic guitar can sounds but as of Vocal, Zeus XIV still reigns as the king.
[Score:9/10]
High: Treble is a big step up from EVR and ESR. Treble is much more realistic without too much sparkling. It is definitely not harsh or piercing at all.
[Score: 8.5/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to a huge size rectangle. The singer is being positioned in the 2-3 step from center of the stage. Cymbals are being a bit up front on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay 2-3 step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. Phantom's sounds stage is much wider and deeper comparing to EVR and ESR. There are more layering in the depth. Also, you would feel the space between each instrument much better than EVR and ESR. It is obviously less cramped.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 9/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 9/10]

Final thought 0: Overall Phantom is a very impressive all rounder iems with its price range. For sure, it is one of the best flagship in the market. The rest lies upon your preferences.
Final thought 1: A lot of people in Canjam NYC picked this rather than Zeus or Legend X (My friend included) but Sorry Nic, I like Legend X better XD.
Final thought 2: I can live without Phantom with my Zeus but I can't live without Legend X with my Zeus.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 4:13 PM Post #11,110 of 30,717

Dithyrambes

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Universals Shipped from Empire Ears! They were also very helpful in allowing to adjust my order last minute to grab another ARES II cable. I thought it would be best to have everything ready when they arrive in the next few days. Super excited and great customer support. Looking forward to writing a formal review after more extended time.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 4:52 PM Post #11,111 of 30,717

singleended5863

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Here are my impressions on the new EE's line of iems from Canjam NYC under a very short listening time (7 iems in less than 2 hours)

Test Equipment: AK380 Cu + Amp Cu (Low Gain Amp mode), Comply Foam Tips (the only tips that fit my ears well).
I tried to volume match all of the iems to better compare them.

Let's start off with EP line.

EVR - Vocal Reference
Drivers: 3 --> 1 low 1 mid 1 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 3
Price: $799

As expected from a vocal reference, EVR is very lean, clean, and airy. However, it could be somewhat too cold and bright in my opinion.

Low: The bass do not go so deep, it is obviously has less slam and rumble comparing to the X Series. However, it seems to have great control over the bass.
[Score:5/10]
Mid: Vocal has similar trait to Zeus XIV. This is what EVR shine and do best. Vocal is forward and clean. Mid range is the main emphasis of this iems.
[Score:7/10]
High: Treble is not harsh but it has less sparkling that the usual EE house sound. Nevertheless, I feel it is still on the neutral side.
[Score: 6/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to 2 trapezoids merging together with the singer being close to the front of the stage along with cymbals on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay a step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. The neck of the trapezoid is where the guitarists and bass players stand with the singer. However, the presentation on the width is impressive and so as the depth.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 6.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 6.5/10]

Final thought: Not too bad for the vocal lovers. Keep in my that Vocal is standing out from the rest.

ESR - Studio Reference
Drivers: 3 --> 1 low 1 mid 1 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 4
Price: $999

As expected from a studio reference, ESR is relatively flat but more on the neutral side comparing to EVR which to me in more on the cold side.

Low: The bass is very similar to EVR but got boosted up a little bit. You will feel bass hit a bit deeper and with a tiny more slam and rumble comparing to EVR.
[Score:6/10]
Mid: Vocal has similar trait to Zeus R with ADEL G1. Vocal got pushed back to the center of the stage which is quite laid back. You will still feel the similar cleanliness of mid range from EVR but with a bit loss on details.
[Score:6/10]
High: Treble is a bit harsher than EVR and more on a cold side. But it has more sparkling than EVR.
[Score: 6/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to a medium size square. The singer is being positioned in the center of the stage. Cymbals are being a bit up front on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay a step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. To me, ESR has a bit better separation in the depth comparing to EVR. The separation between each instrument and the singer is better comparing to EVR.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 6.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 7/10]

Final thought: ESR is relatively flat. It could be a very interesting option to consider along with Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR) since both have same price range and market as Studio Reference.

Phantom - The Ultimate Nic!!!!
Drivers: 5 --> 2 low 1 mid 2 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 5
Price: $1,799

What would you expect from Nic? Phantom is phenomenal iems. Phantom is super clean, airy, spacious, rich in details, and sounds very relaxing. It is in neutral side to my ears, fairly similar to Zeus R but they both have their differences.

Low: The bass goes way deeper than EVR and ESR with a very noticeable more slam and rumble. However, it is still clean. I would dare to say that it has more slam and rumble than Zeus R ADEL G1 but... I forgot the comparison between the R without ADEL.
[Score:8.5/10]
Mid: Singer is two or three step from the center of the stage. Neither forward nor too laid back. The best part of Phantom's Mid range is how realistic guitar can sounds but as of Vocal, Zeus XIV still reigns as the king.
[Score:9/10]
High: Treble is a big step up from EVR and ESR. Treble is much more realistic without too much sparkling. It is definitely not harsh or piercing at all.
[Score: 8.5/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be similar to a huge size rectangle. The singer is being positioned in the 2-3 step from center of the stage. Cymbals are being a bit up front on both sides. While guitarists and bass players stay 2-3 step behind the singer. Bass drum goes to the back of the stage. Phantom's sounds stage is much wider and deeper comparing to EVR and ESR. There are more layering in the depth. Also, you would feel the space between each instrument much better than EVR and ESR. It is obviously less cramped.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 9/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 9/10]

Final thought 0: Overall Phantom is a very impressive all rounder iems with its price range. For sure, it is one of the best flagship in the market. The rest lies upon your preferences.
Final thought 1: A lot of people in Canjam NYC picked this rather than Zeus or Legend X (My friend included) but Sorry Nic, I like Legend X better XD.
Final thought 2: I can live without Phantom with my Zeus but I can't live without Legend X with my Zeus.

Very nice review and that is all information I need to decide to purchase the next CIEM which is definitely the Phantom. May I ask what cables did you listen with the Phantom? Thank you.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 5:23 PM Post #11,112 of 30,717

Sound Eq

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@Deezel177

wow what a great write up, man you have given us a treat review

EE rocks and I am so glad to be part of this thread, all my praise to EE for making it possible for us to enjoy music using their totl iems
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 5:46 PM Post #11,113 of 30,717

ironpeg

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Let's continue with X Line.

Bass Bass Bass. Here comes the bass. Quite surprisingly, the first time since Savage Line up, EE comes up with impressive bass head iems.

Bravado
Drivers: 2 --> 1 low 0 mid 1 high
Bores: 2
Cross Over: 4
Price: $699

Bravado is very warm with so much impact, slam and rumble bass from the dynamic driver. This might actually be the first kinda warm and dark sounding iems from EE. However, Bravado isn't airy and roomy like EVR, and ESR but it has freaking super bassy comparing to EP line up.

Low: What can I say?....Quantity is beyond impressive. Bass go deep with great rumble in your chest but I think it is not as clean as EVR and ESR.
[Score:7/10]
Mid: Vocal is so laid back and not as attractive as EVR. Not the selling point of Bravado.
[Score:5/10]
High: Treble is not shy like EVR and ESR. It has a touch more of sparkling to it than EVR and ESR. Also, it is more on neutral side when comparing to the cold side sparkling of EVR and ESR.
[Score: 6.5/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be a small size rectangle with the singer being close to the center of the stage along with cymbals on both sides. Instead of the bass drum goes to the back of the stage, it is actually surround the whole stage area from the singer to the back end of the stage. This causes the reduction of the separation score in depth. I feel that EVR and ESR have better separation in depth but Bravado, EVR, and ESR are very similar in width.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 6/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 5.5/10]

Final thought: Heck Yea Bass! Bass head please look this way.

Vantage
Drivers: 3 --> 2 low 0 mid 1 high
Bores: 3
Cross Over: 5
Price: $1,399

Vantage is a refined version of Bravado. It is less warm and leaning to a more neutral side than Bravado. Don't get me wrong. It is still on the warm side. Vantage is very musical, with more head room than Bravado.

Low: Similar to Bravado but much better positioning and control.
[Score:7.5/10]
Mid: The cross over magic from Dean plus one more DD driver improves the mid range by a larger margin. Vocal is now positioned somewhat between EVR and ESR with a lot more attention and details than Bravado.
[Score:6.75/10]
High: This is where it stands out from EVR, ESR, and Bravado. Treble is much more natural with a noticeably more sparkling and more livelier than those 3.
[Score: 7.5/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage from top view in my opinion would be a large size rectangle but smaller than Phantom's stage. The singer is being somewhat between the center of the stage and the front row of the stage, along with cymbals on both sides up front. Unlike Bravado, Vantage's bass do not surround the whole back end of the stage. Thus, it has a way better depth separation than Bravado. Also, Vantage has more head room, more airy, and better presentation. Due to stage being larger than EVR, ESR, and Bravado, Vantage has a better separation in the width.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 7.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 7.5/10]

Final thought: Vantage is my pick for the Price - Performance ratio. It is still musical and engaging without losing too much details and headroom.

Nemesis
Drivers: 5 --> 2 low 1 mid 2 high
Bores: 4
Cross Over: 8
Price: $1,599

Nemesis is Vantage with more head room and airy and a more control over bass.

Low: Imagine Vantage's bass with a better control. The bass is now not too overwhelming.
[Score:8/10]
Mid: The magic of extra 1 BA mid range driver adds more details and control over Vocal, and guitar. Now this becomes Vantage's nemesis. Vocal is a lot more fuller and beautiful.
[Score:8/10]
High: There is a trade-off between Nemesis' treble and Vantage's treble. Vantage is more natural with sparkling but Nemesis has much more sparkles. This comes at a cost of Nemesis being a bit more piercing and harsher. (But hey I like it tho)
[Score:7.5/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage in my opinion would be a large size sphere. Singer is located somewhat similar to Vantage. Cymbals are not as up front but still around 1st row of the stage. Guitarists and bass players stand one step behind the singer and two steps to the side. Bass drum and kick still surrounds the whole area but in a special way. It goes up like a 3D presentation which is way better than Bravado or Vantage.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 8/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 8/10]

Final thought: A step up between Vantage and Nemesis, in my opinion, depends on your preference. There are differences between the two models but one might find those differences redundant.

Legend X
Drivers: 7 --> 2 low 3 mid 2 high
Bores: 4
Cross Over: 10
Price: $2,299

I'd personally call Legend X, the bass head reference. Imagine the beautiful tonality of Zeus R with a much more bass added to it.

Low: Legend X's bass is an improved version of Nemesis'. LX's bass has great rumbling, slam, control, and decay time. It makes your musics much more livelier.
[Score:9/10] (The score actually changes because of the Mid range changes the sound stage presentation, which makes Low end sounds better)
Mid: The 2 extra mid range BA adds more space and layers between each mid range frequency which makes LX's mid range sounds clearer and cleaner than Nemesis.
[Score:8.5/10]
High: Treble is natural yet sparkling. What could I say more?? It sounds so real and not harsh. The combination of Phantom's and Nemesis' sparkling.
[Score:9/10]

Separation & Presentation: The overall sound stage in my opinion would be a large ellipsoid. Singer is located at around the 2nd row from the front. Cymbals are not as up front but still around 1st row of the stage. Guitarists and bass players stand two step behind the singer and three steps to the side. Bass drum and kick still surrounds the whole area but in a special way. It is similar to Nemesis but with the expansion of sound stage to the side, everything is less cramped.
Sound Stage Width: [Score: 9.5/10]
Sound Stage Depth: [Score: 9/10]

Final thought 0: Legend X proves that Bass Head reference iems can be done.
Final thought 1:It is probably going to be my end game musical bassy iems. I've tried Vega, K10, K Encore, U12, Roxanne but Legend X hit my spot (Roxanne and Vega comes 2nd)
Final thought 2:The stage presentation is so special.


Special Note:

The progressions of X Series

X series share the same trait, the fun and full of impact bass.

From Bravado to Vantage, you are spending more money for a better presentation and better vocal.

From Vantage to Nemesis, you are paying more for more sparkles and spherical stage.

From Nemesis to Legend X, you are paying more for the ultimate!

Phantom vs Legend X


Sound Stage Width: I'd call it a draw. Really similar.
Sound Stage Depth: Legend X won by a tiny margin

Stage Presentation: Phantom's Cuboid vs Legend X Ellipsoid (Phantom actually sounds more 2D to me while Legend X is more 3D)

Bass: Heck, Legend X won by quantity (PERIOD).
Mid: Phantom sounds more realistic, beautiful, and smooth.
High: I definitely love the sparkling of Legend X more than Phantom. However, Phantom is smoother and softer.


End note:

1. EP Series and Olympus Series are way easier to drive comparing to X Series.

2. Please do not trust me with these impressions. These are just merely my thought on it. The best way to tell is to try them yourself.

#NeverLetImpressionsSteerYouAwayFromWhatYouLike
 
Last edited:
Feb 20, 2018 at 5:47 PM Post #11,114 of 30,717

ironpeg

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Very nice review and that is all information I need to decide to purchase the next CIEM which is definitely the Phantom. May I ask what cables did you listen with the Phantom? Thank you.
I tried the stock cable (ARES II). All impressions were based on 3.5mm ARES II stock cable.

My guess is that Phantom might pair well with either Lionheart 8W or Leonidas.

But..... Legend X and Horus are impressive.
 
Feb 20, 2018 at 6:14 PM Post #11,115 of 30,717

proedros

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@ironpeg great impressions , thanx for taking the time to do such a lengthy write up

would love to see some comparisons between phantom/legend and zeus
 

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