Empire Ears has a prestigious reputation in the audio world, their IEMs some of the most coveted among listeners far and wide. When I got my hands on their Odin model, I knew I was in for a treat, or at least I hoped so given their $3,399 price tag. Opening the box and unearthing these glimmering IEMs, I promised myself I wouldn’t let their dazzling looks trick my ears, and so I put them in, closely my eyes, and listened.
What’s in the Box
- Odin IEMs
- Metal carrying case
- Final Rubber Eartips
- Braided cable with 0.78mm connectors and 2.5mm termination
- Cleaning cloth
- Cleaning brush
Look and Feel
The Odin are definitely a show stopper. Their backing's acquiescent metallic pattern and ethereal color palette make it hard to not spend hours staring at these. In terms of fit, you'll find these have a familiar comfort with their classic universal IEM shape. It's a tried and true curved fit that hugs the inside of the ear, but not so tightly it can't settle in smoothly.
The Odin use an 11 driver tribrid. We have 5 proprietary balanced armature drivers, 2 low-mid, 2 mid, and one mid-high. Next are 4 premium electrostatic drivers, 2 high and 2 super-high. Finally, we have the Empire Ears patented W9+ subwoofer dynamic drivers for the sub-bass and bass.
These have an impedance of 3 Ohms (very very loud be careful!) and a frequency response of 5Hz - 10kHz
The soundstage on the Odin reminds me of that I’ve heard on IEMs from other high end brands like 64Audio and Vision Ears. It expands beyond the confines of what one would expect from an IEM. The sonic space created by the Odin feels like a room you could traverse and explore for hours. Listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Sex Kills,” there’s a feeling that the drums are swirling and surrounding my head. I feel small among the composition, the music becomes bigger than me as it’s emitted from these tiny devices. With the Odin’s depth and imaging, I’m able to be consumed and interacted with by the music. It’s invigorating.
The Odin’s low end has a nice boom to it, but not an intense one. There’s an awareness of the sub frequencies, but a conservative use of them. Listening to Jai Paul’s “He,” one of my favorite bass testing tracks, the stereo sub synth is able to give a hefty growl but is clearly well contained by the Odin’s grip. These do a great job of having a natural but still highly modern bass response, one that’s able to shake you lightly without causing discomfort. It’s not the most stereo bass response I’ve ver heard, but this is necessary to achieve the Odin’s intensely airy character.
The Odin’s mid range is not unlike anything I’ve ever heard, the high mid is pushed forward a bit and given some coloring to round off any sharp edges. Meanwhile, the low mid is pushed back slightly to allow the mix extra room to breath, but not so much so that warmth is lost. Where the Odin’s mids diverted from the usual path was in their impact and realism. These make ear candy out of the most subtle, underpinned elements, creating an often overwhelming sensory experience. And I mean overwhelming in the positive way. It’s a mid range that gives a unique, up-close and personal experience with the music.
The high end on the Odin is definitely bright. It reminds me of that on 64 Audio’s U18s, in that it’s able to achieve a pretty strong sheen without bringing about any hiss or irritating crackle. Instead of leading to harshness, the Odin’s obvious brightens brings about a hyperrealistic, cascading feeling to music. Vocals are given a breathy, live performance feel, especially those on more minimal compositions. The top end of percussion is kicked up a notch to give an extra snap, stronger impacts getting a whip crack just hard enough to add some extra impact and pull us into the composition.
The Odin is one of the most impressive, dynamic IEMs on the market. It delivers the kind of “magical” sound you’d expect at its price point, and carries on the Empire Ears legacy. If you want an IEM that will wow even the most seasoned ears, the Odin transports its listener to new worlds and atmospheres with impossible ease.
You can purchase Empire Ears Odin IEMs here