Wavaya Quadra – porcelain powerhouse

Pros: Ultra comfortable porcelain shells, surprisingly detailed and resolving sound, good musicality, decent bass for an all-BA model, emotional delivery Cons: Custom only (at the moment) Website: https://wavaya.com Price: $690 / 690 Euros (starting prices) Introduction Wavaya are a recent entrant into the In Ear Monitor marketplace, launching recently with an initial in-ear product range... Continue Reading →

Kumitate Lab KL-Sirius: four sweet drivers in a sexy acrylic shell

Pros:  Silky mids, delicate treble, scale with upgrades, excellent technical performance, good stage width and depth Cons: Reference bass (meaning light), minimal sub-bass, lack of accessories, stock cable is too thin List Price: $800.00 (¥90,000 JPY) Product Website: http://www.kumitatelab.com/kl-sirius/?sl=en Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean the same thing across... Continue Reading →

Empire Ears Athena – the goddess of Olympus

  Ratings Pros: Impeccable build quality, balanced but musical tuning, incredible sense of smoothness, good note weight, fantastic midrange, good clarity Cons: May lack air in the treble for some, can take a little time to adjust to the tuning, extension/quantity in the sub bass area could be better Price (as of Dec 2017): $1299 Website:   Empire Ears... Continue Reading →

Empire Ears Zeus-XR – the pinnacle of the pantheon

Pros:  Sublime detail retrieval, very coherent tuning, switchable crossover modes, mid range clarity and expression, non fatiguing but truly transparent sound, superb build quality Cons: A little on the expensive side, prone to hiss with most sources, not a drastic difference between the two modes on some DAPs, not much else List Price: $2399 (empireears.com) Acknowledgment... Continue Reading →

Audio Primacy – Quarter-Final 1: JH Rosie vs CustomArt 9-driver (custom tuned CIEM)

The general concept One of the downsides of being an IEM enthusiast and amateur reviewer is an ever growing collection of in-ear gear, and only two ears to listen to it with. While pondering the gear mountain that was building up in my man-cave after a few frosty beverages, I set to working out the... Continue Reading →

Zeus-XR and Effect Audio Leonidas – unboxing

Here are some unboxing shots from my most recent acquisition: a set of custom Empire Ears Zeus-XR, and an Effect Audio Leonidas upgrade cable to go along with it. Both of these excellent items were won as part of a giveaway by @Jack Vang and the team at Empire Ears over on the Head-Fi forums,... Continue Reading →

Sony’s Custom IEMs. Yep. EXCITE

Typing this out as fast as I can, but, yes, Sony have created a new line of in-ear monitors that are on the custom side. HELL YES ❤ They were developed by the same engineers behind the legendary Sony IEM’s and headphones: MDR-EX800ST, MDR-EX1000, EX-90, 1-R (?, possibly a reference to the MDR-1R and MDR-Z1R... Continue Reading →

An interview with Lawrance of Unique Melody

Introduction Today I’m interviewing Lawrance of Unique Melody, makers of custom and universal IEMs with some rather unique designs. I contacted Lawrance via Unique Melody’s facebook page. In the past they were early adopters on making hybrid IEMs, those vaunted and mystical items that throw down multiple balanced armatures and one or more dynamic drivers.... Continue Reading →

Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR): who says reference isn’t musical?

Pros:  Airy big soundstage, lovely treble and bass, precision and speed, noise isolation, neutral tonality, excellent tool for reviewing, look awesome Cons: Can’t share how wonderful they sound with friends, can be a touch thick on some vocals List price: $999 (£870) Acknowledgment Thanks Mike Diaz at Ultimate Ears for supplying these as a review... Continue Reading →

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