Build Quality: 9/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
If you are into audio and in ear monitors, you’ve probably heard about the noble audio. Noble audio has been creating IEMs for some time now and one of their founder and audiologist, Dr. John Moulton was given the nickname “Wizard” from the community. The name is well deserved as he has been making some remarkable IEMs that precedes many in build and sound quality.
Not only for audiophile gears but for many other things, this website has been doing something called “drops” for the community. They collaborate with companies such as noble audio to bring the best value for the costumers. The only catch is that you can only jump into the drop once its available for a limited time and that it takes a while for them to prepare and ship it to you.
These two companies have collaborated to produce the Noble x, a two armature IEM for the community. Only 2000 was offered to the community in a first come first serve basis and were sold out before the drop have even ended! The Noble x was priced at $250 + 10 USD (approx. $350 CDN) however, considering that most of noble’s two armature IEMs are priced over $500 USD, this was an incredible deal. Most of all, the fact that these were NOT inferior to other Noble IEMs and was limited to only 2000 units made the deal even more appealing. The question of “will they do another drop” is left with uncertainty as of April 15, 2017.
This unit was purchased by me for this review and as usual I am committed to providing reviews with no bias.
- Faceplates: Anodized aluminum in midnight blue
- Drivers: 2 proprietary balanced armature drivers per side
- Impedance: 30 ohms
- Frequency response: 15 Hz – 20 kHz
- Cable: 50 in (127 cm), detachable, with 2-pin configuration
- Plug: ⅛ in (3.5 mm), gold-plated
- Weight: 0.69 oz (19.5 g)
Made by Noble Audio
- Drivers sourced from a US company
- Socket, ABS housing, and aluminum CNC housing manufactured in the US
- Cable, tubing, solder, and wiring manufactured in Taiwan
- Partial assembly overseas; final assembly and QA in the US
WHERE DO I BUY IT?
The Housing: The housing is made of anodized aluminum in midnight blue and is one of the nicest and sturdy finish I have yet to see in an IEM. However, the only downsize is that the housings are big and therefore, you may feel some of the weight if you are coming from a minimalistic design.
Cables: Noble x comes with a fully braided cable that terminates in a straight 3.5mm gold plated jack. The only problem I have with cable quality is the slider that comes with it. The slider is made of some cheap plastic that seems like it can be made of a straw, which deducts from it premium feel. Also, considering that it is a straight jack, the lack of sustainable amount of strain relief in both the jack and the splitter could be a concern in the long run in terms of durability.
- Detachable cable with 2-pin connector & 3.5mm TRS plug
- 2 pairs of single-flange silicone ear tips (M, L)
- 2 pairs of Noble foam ear tips (M, L)
- 1 pair of double-flange silicone ear tips (M)
- Cleaning tool
- Carrying case
- Noble Audio warranty
I felt that the tips included was not enough to cover a lot of individual’s fit, including mine. Many people on massdrop have complained and voiced their discomfort with the tips as they either did not fit at all or slipped out too easily.
Third party tips are recommended: comply t-500
Case: It is a plastic case and it is not the best case however, it is practical with its small design
The isolation in these IEMs are decent if you use the correct foam tips. (Comply t-500). Although other tips can be used (ex. Spinfits), I found the comply foams to be generally the best for noble IEMs. Because they do stay in your ear with not much problem, you can technically take this for workout, study at the library, and more. But you’d be met with crazy eyes if you take these to your gym because of its price point, hopefully I will be there to give you a thumbs up.
For this review, this iem was using with shanling m1, fiio x1, Samsung S7 and oppo ha 2 se.
Driving these IEMs do not require much but a dedicated source can increase the sound quality potential in these IEMs. Without the dedicated source, these IEMs may sound thinner and less transparently clean.
Lower Frequencies: There is not enough bass to call it a bass-head IEM, but the bass is punchy, well extended, clean and tasteful. There is some sub-base but with limitations. These IEMs were well distributed in all the frequencies and they did not leave out the bass. It is enough to satisfy the current generation’s bass cravings in my opinion
Mid Frequencies: I would describe this spectrum as rich and warm. Not the warmest sounding IEMs you can find but they are pleasantly warm. There are enough details that I’ve never heard before in my music with other IEMs in this price bracket. It is again very full and rich sounding. The wet vocals are clean and forward, not to the extent of the Etymotic er4xr but enough to make you say, “I can hear every articulation.”
High Frequencies: Detailed yet gentle highs with some airiness. However, with some music, one can find some vocal sibilance around 5khz to 8khz. This is however minor and is not present in every music and file type.
It is unfortunate that these are not available at the time of this review, hopefully they provide another drop.
For $350 CDN, this is an incredible deal and I must applaud Mr. Wizard for living up to the hype of this drop and of course, his nickname.