1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

Going fully Wireless IEMs. Too soon? Or are we there yet?

  1. Spamateur
    Here's my review of the the Noble Falcon:

    The build quality is decent, on-par with the Nuarl NT-01AX. In fact, the case is clearly made from a very similar design and material as the Nuarl case, so I would be surprised if they didn't use the same OEM (heck, even the lights on the earpieces themselves are the same amber color as the Nuarl when charging). However, the nice thing is the Noble's case actually has magnets to hold the IEMs in place and seems better thought-out in terms of basic ergonomics.The case itself is probably the tiniest I've seen from a TW IEM.

    As for the earpieces themselves, they are small housings with really long nozzles for a deep insertion. They don't seem to passively isolate as well as you'd think considering how deep these go into your ears, but the actual housing is quite small so maybe that's why. As soon as music turns on I can't hear myself typing on my mechanical keyboard, however, which shows the benefit of the deep insertion being so close to your eardrums. Comfort-wise I'm finding them mostly good. Within the first 30 minutes my left ear developed a slight ache in my ear canal similar to what you'd get with custom IEMs, but I repositioned them once and 90 min later they're still fine. They seal really well, however, and it hasn't been a struggle to find the right position, which was a constant pain on the Nuarl and Sony XM3. Btw, the earpiece LEDs are pretty cool but having them flash periodically even when music is playing is a questionable design decision that reminiscent of ugly bluetooth headsets of old. I definitely won't be able to wear these while falling asleep at night without the flashing annoying my wife.

    There is a barely perceptible level of hiss present as we've seen happen with all the Qualcomm-based units so far, but it's probably the quietest noise floor I've heard from a TW IEM so far.

    In terms of sound, these are a mixed bag, unfortunately, and it is solely dependent on what type of music you listen to:

    The Falcon have a mostly neutral sound signature from the bass through the mids with a midbass hump to add some warmth and rhythm. They remind me of the Mavin Air-X quite a bit in that regard. Those parts of the frequency response are clear and smooth with bass evenly transitioning into the mids. While the bass isn't as well-defined as the L2P and is much less in quantity, it sounds pretty good with decent definition and thump. The mids have a really pleasing tonality that emphasizes clarity, which was similarly the hallmark of the Noble K10U I briefly owned several years ago. Tonally these areas of the frequency response are slightly on the lean side, but have proper weight, and I prefer slightly lean to overly thick any day. If you listen to music without a lot of energy in the upper registers such as classical, jazz and acoustic singer-songwriter genres, you'll be satisfied with how close the Falcon gets you to the performance.

    When you keep going up the frequency range is where things start to go off the rails. There's some sibilance, shoutiness and hash in the upper mids and treble, and while it's somewhat track-dependent it's pervasive enough that I've started thinking of the Falcon as a bright-sounding IEM. Listening to some of my favorite metal bands (Baroness, Deafheaven) can turn into an exercise in wincing with the cymbals and hi-hats often (but not always) coming across as bright and splashy to a fault. I really wouldn't recommend these for anyone that doesn't have very specific listening tastes that tend towards reserved and demure as opposed to face-meltingly heavy metal. I don't have this problem with the Mavin Air-X or Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro, both of which do a good job conveying treble definition and extension without ever seeming bright.

    Incidentally, the volume also ramped up to 100% on me randomly in the middle of a song. Hopefully that's a one-off glitch...

    The basic problem that I keep coming back to is the Noble is mostly good if you like a more neutral sound signature, but it doesn't do anything that isn't matched or exceeded by the Mavin Air-X which is a similar signature but with much better execution. The Noble seems to layer and image a bit better than the Mavin and has a noticeably nicer build quality, but outside of that I'd reach for the Air-X every single time I wanted to bliss out and enjoy some music.

    On top of that, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro exists. While it's a very different sound signature (bass for dayzzzz), the ownership experience, comfortable fit (for me, at least), build quality and general sound quality is superior to the Noble. IF they can fix the hissing in the Soundcore I think it's probably the best all-around TW IEM on the market for a more consumer-focused sound.

    TL;DR: The Noble Falcon is a decent first effort, but has a sound signature that can be bright, and doesn't really do anything better than other options on the market right now.

    EDIT: I just went back and found a review I wrote a few years ago of the Empire Ears Zeus-R where I compared it to the Noble K10U. Here's what I said about the Noble K10U:

    "While it was a fantastic IEM in clarity, smoothness and especially soundstage, it really fell short when it came to treble. To my ears the K10UA was fatiguing after short periods of time, and I found myself wincing on recordings mastered to be a bit "hot." The K10UA really seemed to accentuate the rougher qualities of those tracks to the point of discomfort, and treble definition suffered as cymbals were particularly splashy and grating."

    Sounds familiar..
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    hifi80sman and Luchyres like this.
  2. Quicky32
    I don’t notice any hiss but the fit and harsh highs are a deal breaker so I’m sending them back. I tried a few EQ on my IPod and EQ off and some songs are ear piercing even at lower volume.
     
  3. jlo mein
    Anyone know how to find out which version/revision of the L2P you have?

    I just received my L2P directly from the Soundcore/Anker store for the $86 deal. The bottom of the box says A3909011. I've updated to firmware 1.15.

    There's very noticeable and distracting background hiss. Could the hiss be related to the massive volume gain Anker designed in these? The volume goes much louder than I'd ever want, even 30% volume is too loud.

    I'm also not getting much isolation with any of the included tips, and may not be getting a proper seal. Sound is decent on Piano preset. Signature, Flat, and Personalized presets all sound the same and heavily v-shaped. For Personalized setup I heard the beeping test noise the entire time. I'm surprised as I thought I'd have hearing damage since I'm mid-30s in age and frequently go target shooting.

    This is my second attempt to get better TWS than the Bomaker Sifi, and the Bomaker is still my overall winner, even though it's a cheapie at $35. They sound fantastic after EQing down the bass and a slight treble bump. Isolation is much better since they insert so deeply. Nearly zero hiss compared to the L2P. I shower with them since they're IPX7. The case is one the smallest I've seen and feels more luxurious than $35 should be. Switching from both buds to left bud only while listening to music is seamless (the L2P and Shanling MTW100 both require me to enter Bluetooth settings to do this same task).

    My other TWS upgrade attempt was the Shanling MTW100BA. These aren't a good buy for $70-90. None of the included tips sealed properly. I used the medium Bomaker tips with the MTW100 and got a good seal, but it doesn't charge in the case. Almost any non-included tip won't allow the earbuds to charge in the case. Sound is great if seal is good, bass is adequate for anyone liking a flat sound. Has more hiss than the Bomaker, but much less than the L2P. Isolation is poor and the buds can't be inserted deeply. The audio pass through mode to hear your surroundings is a gimmick: I still needed to remove one earbud to have any conversation, and its terrible while walking due to wind noise. The touch controls require an accurate tap on a specific area and I'd often do the wrong function as a result. The worst part is the case: it feels cheap and the earbuds require finicky jostling to get them to charge since often they don't charge after being dropped in.

    Overall I'm still amazed at how Bomaker gets all the little things right in terms of features, ease of use, build quality and yet they're $35. The only reasons I can imagine why they aren't surging in popularity are the styling and the out-of-box bass heavy and slightly muffled sound. Regardless, they respond very well to EQing without distortion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  4. wksoh
    Have you tried mpow M5 to compare with? Some think its slightly muffled too. But I like them... I'm also looking at bomaker.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  5. Timastyle
    For those with the Sifi...I currently have the large SpinFit 360 in but I feel as though I need a larger size to get a better deal and to keep them from getting loose. I get a decent deal now but small movement shifts them so they aren't sealed well.

    Any suggestions for tips that'll fit the case?
     
  6. wksoh
    Got mine from Ali express... :)
     
  7. wksoh
    Testing mpow m5 vs SSK bt03 with these tracks:

    The mpow m5 voice is more distant and ssk bt03 voice sound directly in front.
    Not sure which sounds right.

    The mpow m5 soundstage sounds wider in these tracks I think.

    Folks can test your tws with these tracks too..
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    kl884347 likes this.
  8. wksoh
    Drums and bass..


    Mpow m5 beginning to show its tonal accuracy
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    kl884347 likes this.
  9. magi44ken
    Thanks for the detail answer. That makes lot of sense now. I'm planning to upgrade my phone next year for SD865. So my priority for future tws earbud needs good call quality using 4 mics and low latency and battery life using TWS+.
     
  10. Darkestred
    I thought vocals were pushed back, before eq. However with a different perspective - i never thought these were bright or showed any signs of sibilance. I also listen to metal and all its cores and some death. No issues. Took some time getting used to the signature but its quite the opposite of what i am used to and while these iems lack details in the mids and sound choked at times - they are a solid foreray into TWS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  11. Spamateur
    Everybody hears differently and prefers a different type of sound, so don't let my impressions keep you from loving your Falcon. What EQ have you applied?
     
  12. Quicky32
    I will have to check but I ordered mine direct at the same deal about a week ago and I don’t notice any hiss. I didn’t hear it before the firmware update either...
     
  13. Spamateur
    Could you elaborate on your impressions of the sound? They seemed really bright to me on a lot of tracks, but not all. Other times they sounded fine.

    I've already initiated a return as the volume cranking up to max on me was an immediate dealbreaker.
     
  14. d3myz
    I got the Sabbat X12 Ultra today and they are going back. Maybe i got a bad pair that just rolls off all the highs and makes the kick and snare sound empty. Good bass but everything sounds so thin. I used several tips, had a good seal and man, was I disappointed. These however, have been fantastic. Nice warm yet balanced sound. Qualcomm chipset, great for phone calls etc. def worth $40.
     
    hifi80sman likes this.
  15. wksoh
    The link to your $40 earphone returned an error for me...
     

Share This Page