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US Head-Fi Tour: Empire Ears Wraith vs. Valkyrie TOTL CIEM Tour - Starting October 2019

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  1. BulldogXTRM
    Picked the package up from the post office this morning I'll post some pictures later on
  2. BulldogXTRM
    Okay I decide not to do any pictures, I'll save those for my full review. But I'll share my initial most critical thoughts about each.

    1. Both of these are beautiful IEM's in terms of pure looks.
    2. Each has a significantly different sound signature.
    3. The Wraith has a warm musical timbre that makes it hard to put down. There's clarity in the bass slam, there's fullness in the mids and there's a crispness and good extension in the highs, but it's pleasantly rolled off. The Wraith is the one that I'd listen to for hours without fatigue, but they may be a touch too warm or the highs are rolled just a tad much for some.
    4. The Valkyrie has clarity for days! The W9 DD handles the low end and doesn't get lost in the mix, the highs handled by the EST are fantastic. My only complaint here is that the mids are a bit too recessed for my taste. I think if EE would have used 2 mid drivers this would have been the perfect balance. The slightly recessed mids give the sense of more high end and that might be an issue for some.

    Overall my initial thought was what does the EST add to these IEM's that I just couldn't live without? This...
    I simply haven't heard this kind of clarity since I first listened to the 64Audio U18+ with the TIA drivers.
    It makes me wish I owned the Legend X to compare these with...
    proedros and Barra like this.
  3. Barra
    I am glad you are enjoying these as I am surely missing them. I have the Legend X custom and am still enjoying them thoroughly after the tour kit departure, but I am missing that estat goodness as it is really different. That clarity is outstanding when balanced with the bass that both of these CIEMs offer. The mids in the Wraith really pull it all together, but that dynamic bass in the Valkyrie is addicting.
    BulldogXTRM likes this.
  4. Likeimthere
    Is it too late to join the tour?
  5. Barra
    Of course not, you are in. :)
  6. SilverEars
    Put me down for the tour @Barra I'm in Boston, MA. You should have my info.
  7. Ike1985
    I keep hearing comparisons to U18t, I wonder what some of you would say if you heard A18t. There is a significant in performance between the two, the added seal, deeper insertion and my guess is build as well of the A18t results in a smoother and IMO more detailed sound. The A18t has held it's own for years now, definitely one of the best CIEMs I could have ever purchased. That said, I haven't been this excited to hear a monitor since the A18t was announced.

    The problem with both the wraith and Valkyrie is that they're not custom. No matter what tips I try I always get sore ear canals after a few days of listening. This soreness is there regardless of what monitor it is, trust me I've tried tons of tips and I am using them correctly. The non-customs simply cannot compete with the fit and feel of a custom. IF I like the wraith and Valkyrie (I'm sure I will), I'm down to buy one or the other as soon as EE makes a custom version. Until then I'll be on the sidelines.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  8. aaf evo
    the Valkyrie is available as a custom.
  9. ngoshawk
    I am in possession of the tour kit after a trip to the PO. My mailman refuses to come up the driveway and honk, so one of us can go out and sign...He's afraid of my Aussie Shepherd, so it makes for possession a day later than I would like. But I have the Valkyrie in right now, listening to Los Lobos through Tidal Premium on my Shanling M5s.

    The tow are distinctly different, and more varied per source than I would have thought; I already have a favorite source...but that will have to wait. From memory, I am trying to compare the the LX, as that is just the dogs bark to me (since I have a dog, after all). Saving pennies for the LX, I am.

    @Ike1985 you are next. I probably still have your address from the 64Audio tour, but will PM you later in the week. Or post it in our PM.

    Barra likes this.
  10. Tristy
    How are the Valkyie's with Metal music?
  11. Barra
    Outstanding as far as I am concerned and I don't' say that lightly. It is hard to get rock right. The Valkyrie is forward and in your face a lot like the genre and is exciting making you want to play air guitar. I am really missing the Valkyrie since I sent it out for the tour.
    Tristy likes this.
  12. Tristy
    Thanks for the reply, I was just worried about the bass decay with the DD driver as BAs seem to handle the genre better thanks to the faster decay. Any comparisons to the legend x? The general consensus I’m getting is that the legend is technically superior but the Valkyrie has more present treble and is more forward and in your face with less bass overall.
  13. Barra
    The X bass is warmer with longer decay with double the subwoofer drivers, the Valkyrie bass is raised overall to offset the single subwoofer especially sub-region, but tightened for more impact with cleaner, quicker response, less decay. Many would argue with me but I feel the bass impact more in the Valkyrie with a warmer overall bass in the X. The Valkyrie has the estat which offers a significant boost in detail which pops - being there feeling. Speaking of being there feeling, everyone should hear their favorite live performance with the Valkyrie, it is the best by far I have heard with live performances. Staging is a big difference where the Valkyrie is more forward and in your face where the X feels set back more and more relaxed. The EST experience on the Valkyrie and the Wraith is something every CIEM lover needs to experience.

    So the Valkyrie is the enthusiastic headbanger with the big grin on its face playing their air guitar, where the X is more the romantic that takes its time serenading and wooing you slowly.

    Does that help. :)
  14. bvng3540
    Hi @Barra please remove me from the list, I'm number 27 it look like I will have to wait more than 6 months, so I went ahead and bought both pairs few days ago, tracking show it will arrive this monday:ksc75smile::ksc75smile::ksc75smile:
  15. Barra
    Wow, nice move! These are both superb and I know you will enjoy them both. They also fit different use cases so they both work well side by side in your collection.

    However, please do us a favor and add your impressions here. We would love to hear what you think and which you listen to most. :)
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