So I was able to slither into the office before the weekend and steal the Empire Ears EVO from Taron’s desk for some initial impressions.
GRAS RA0402 Measurements (cannot be compared with other sims that have the coupler resonance at 8khz).
To me this kind of sounds like an Odin, except with GIGANTE bass - good lord is this thing ever thunderous. I like the overall tuning though, there aren’t any major harmonic imbalances and it seems like Empire Ears have really got their upper mids and treble tuning figured out reasonably well here - meaning that despite the enormous bass, it’s got good clarity to balance that out. The one quirk is the strangeness in the lower mids, and that could be where the crossover is for those W9+ bass drivers. Is it audible? Maybe…
It’s also quite detailed and technically impressive - I’ll need to compare with some other flagships around this price, maybe even the Odin again since I haven’t heard it in a bit, but so far it definitely “sounds expensive” if you know what I mean.
So, while not exactly ‘accurate’, it sure is fun, and I can see why Taron would like this.
@Resolve thanks for posting.
Quick question…I’m particularly sensitive to harsh upper mids/lower treble, and I’ve found this to be the case on several EE IEMs (valk, Hero, LX SE, Odin, etc). What do you mean by, “really got their upper mids and treble tuning figured out…”? Any chance you can post a FR chart with another IEM on it for comparison purposes?
If you’re sensitive to the ear gain level of something like the Odin, the EVO is similar there. But IMO it’s just a hair forward and well-balanced out by the rest of the treble presence. Smoother than Valkyrie for sure. I will say, the EVO in particular has this weird… reverberant quality in the mids - I wonder if that’s related to the bone conduction driver? Maybe someone else who has tried it can let me know if they hear that as well.
Yes. I had the chance to visit Empire Ears in late August right before the launch, so Dean and Jack let me listen to the EVO for a couple hours. In my initial impressions, I noted a reverberant sound in the mids that reminded me of ZMF headphones. I really liked it. It was like the mids were bouncing between the massive sub bass and treble.
I am surprised you didn’t mention the sound stage and imaging which is really special with the EVO. I also own an LX OG and the bass of the EVO has much better punch and slam and texture in the bass. The transients are really crisp. I characterized the sound as more balanced than the LX, but I didn’t realize that was due to the greater presence in the upper mids. It is indeed similar to Odin in that way, but I would never confuse the EVO with the Odin.
Hey i am in the same boat as you.
I am also very sensitive to harsh upper mids / fatigue.
I am really really interested into the Evo and would really like to know whether it causes fatigue due to the elevated upper mids or not.
Wow. Just wow. Even cold out of the box, the Legend EVO was magnificent in every way. Deep, physical bass supporting lively, colorful, and clear mids and highs, all woven seamlessly together into an enrapturing sonic experience. Most definitely the best headphone sound I’ve experienced, and I’ve owned some pretty nice ones of every variety.