Noble Kaiser Encore – Loudspeakers in your ears?

Video review here

INTRODUCTION

If I told anyone that I were to spend $1850 usd on a budget speaker set up or a movie theater system, people will most likely be okay with that if they understand the passion for audio quality.

If I told anyone that I were to spend that much money on a piece of instrument, mic, camera or even a cell phone for my personal use at the soulsik reviews’ studio, people would most likely nod their heads with approval.

How about if I were to tell them I were to spend this money on a pair of in ear monitors? Despite the fast advancing technology that has changed the way we perceive and understand music, the most likely response will be “your crazy” or “are you rich or something”

In this review, I will change the way you perceive music systems and how technologies have advanced to warrant a price of $1850 usd on a mere pair of in ear monitors.

DISCLAIMER

This unit was won on a headfi giveaway that noble audio had graciously put out. I have built a quite a bit of reputation for my honesty, and I intend to keep that way. I thank all my youtube viewers and website readers for the trust and support.

ABOUT Noble Audio

It is fair to say that if you do not know Noble Audio has built great reputation over the years with their great sounding and well built in ear monitors.

This all comes down to the designer and co-founder of noble audio, John Moulton. John has created some masterpieces in the past that the community has named him the Wizard. Indeed, he does some magical work when it comes down to in ear monitors. As an audiologist and as a hardcore enthusiast, he is one of the few that actually uses in ear monitors that he made on daily basis and take great pride in his work.

Rightfully, Brannan Mason who is the co-founder of noble audio, overlooks the more business side of the things. Brannan is a fair gentleman who I can say with confidence “is a fan of the wizard’s work himself.”

With their team, they have created some great in ear monitors that left the community mouth dropped for many years even after the products have become discontinued and replaced with newer/improved revisions.

Noble audio mainly makes custom in ear monitors with universal models for those who prefer non-invasive listening experience.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Description

  • 10 proprietary balanced armature drivers manufactured by Knowles© per side
  • Updated Noble universal form factor and geometry featuring creative precision machined aluminum housings
  • Sensitive enough for use with smartphones as well as portable amps and DAPs
  • Hand-assembled and matched
  • Detachable cable with industry standard 2-pin configuration (0.78 mm diameter

BUILD QUALITY

The noble kaiser encore’s build quality is something that cannot be described as “good” or “excellent.” It is what you would describe as “art.”

When I first showed my noble kaiser encore to an old timer audio enthusiast, his first response was “oh that is more art than an earphone ! didn’t have anything like that in my time !”

Indeed, the noble kaiser encore and all the other line of noble’s offerings are made of full aluminum housing for the universal models that have been carefully machine crafted to look sharp and gorgeous. It also has the noble audio’s logo laser etched to show off the brand.

noble kaiser encore thumbnail

 

In terms of accessories and what comes inside the box;
it comes with a owner’s card, two noble audio stickers with the WIZARD signs, two noble’s elastic digital audio player bands, lots of tips, and a case with a cleaning tool inside. It also comes with a real pelican case to keep your in ear monitors safe from any pollution or damage on the go (please research about pelican cases)

PRACTIALLY

THE FIT: The fit is something that is more reserved for their custom designs, but the universal models do not miss out when it comes to a “good” fit. I would not call it excellent or easy to achieve as it takes time to fiddle around with different type of tips (also tips changes sound quite a bit on the kaiser encores). However, once you do, it stays there.

SOUND ISOLATION: Isolation can be achieved quite well with comply foams. One thing that I do recommend noble audio to change is their foam tips as they seem to be slippery and fall out of the ear quite easily. For this reason, comply foams are a good or a “better” fit with these in ear monitors and can do wonders for isolation.

PAIRINGS

Astell & kern Kann

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Pairing with the Kann was one of my favorite combinations. It brought out the “full potential” of these in ear monitors. The highs were transparent and extremely detailed, yet not shrilling or bright sounding. The low ends extended, giving a pleasurable amount of sub-bass and punchy dynamics. Yet, it did not sound as if it was to trying to scream “I am the best,” It elegantly lets you hear what is in the music to the last bit of detail in a non-fatiguing manner. The vocals sounded astonishingly real, giving me goose bumps. Specifically, listening to Jasmine Thompons’ top tracks on Tidal, it let me even hear every breath she took before signing the next lyric. Overall, this is most musical sounding combination in my opinion. Did I mention increased sound stage and incredible imaging?

Shanling M2s

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I thought to myself, how would the M2s that I lovingly praised at the “budget” price point stand up when it comes to face to face with the great kaiser encore. With much surprise, the shanling m2s dis a fair job with the kaiser encore, however, their was less musicallity and much more bass with recessed mids in comparison to the kann pairing. Despite all this, if I never tried it with the kann side by side, I would still have been very satisfied with this pairing and go far as to say “it really did the kaiser encore justice” The only downsize is that you do not get any magical “increasing sound stage or dead accurate imaging” with this combo.

Fiiox5 3rd gen

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I took this picture back when I was doing a comparison between one of my first noble audio’s iem, the noble x. The pairing included the kann and the fiio x5 3rd gen. And undoubtedly probably my next favorite combination with the noble kaiser. It lacks a bit of resolution and sound more compressed than the kann but it does everything the kann does for the kaisers for a much lesser price tag. The downsize is that the overall sound signature becomes a little more warmer with a bit of detail loss in a A/B test against the kann.

Fiiox7 mk2

I do not even have a picture for this digital audio player as I have taken none since the review is still pending and waiting for the “right moment”

However, I can give a little spoiler alert and say that this adds to the detail and resolution that the kann possessed for the kaisers. Without losing much bass. One of the best combinations if you want more dead accurate imaging but do not care for a more intimate soundstage.

Phone – Samsung s7

We had a samsung s7 lying around in the review studio, so we decided to pair it with the kann just for fun. It turned out pretty impressive… although you do not get more out of the kaisers and there is definitely more noise floor, it still sounded better than many of in ear monitors paired with an expensive audio players.

So how about if we paired it with an oppo ha 2se? It did wonders, increased sounstaging, dead accurate imaging. There really was nothing to complain about this combination although the bass boost may have been something I do not recommend as it recessed the mid ranges.

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SOUND QUALITY

you can hear every detail that comes with the 10 driver configuration, you can be delusional like me and even hallucinate that you can hear each driver “sing.” OR you can just think that the crossover is excellently done and therefore you can here the separation and representation of each ranges working in perfect harmony to give you one big mind blowing sound.

overall, I’ve heard many audio systems in the past, including speakers, now that I am starting to review speakers as well. And when I hear 10k systems at audio stores, come back and listen to the kaiser, not once did I think “man that 10k system was MUCH better.” Of course, it is a different experience in terms of sound stage and the “grandness” However, It can with confidence say that the Kaiser is the closest you will get to being able to carry anything that sounds like “loud speakers.” Oh, and not just any loud speakers, I mean real good ones, probably the ones that I will never be able to own out of my pocket.

LOWS – as mentioned in the pairing, the kaiser encore really roars when it comes to sub bass and punches like Mohammad Ali when it comes to bass. Fast, yet non fatiguing and elegant in every punch through your skull.

MIDS –  Every string, every vocal, every nuance can be heard but with elegance, calmness and smoothness. Musicality is finally understood when it comes to the mid ranges in the kaisers.

HIGHS – without a double, the most detailed yet non fatiguing, yet the most resolving in ear monitors when it comes to the high ranges.

SOUNDSTAGE/IMAGING/SEPARATION: Soundstage is largest I’ve heard aside from the LCDi4. The Imaging is dead correct, you are able to point to every instrument, no matter how busy the track may be. Separation is without a doubt on point as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are ever looking for the absolute sound quality. Look into Noble Audio’s custom in ear monitors or the noble kaiser encore universal model. You will not be disappointing.

One Comment Add yours

  1. DJV says:

    S’up, S’up, S’up. English, English, English. Grammar, Grammar, Grammar. Spelling, Spelling, Spelling. ‘Nuf Said. Oh… and Context.

    Like

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