I’m a big fan of the Empire Ears EP series, which includes the Phantom, ESR and EVR models. Why? Because they’re so well balanced…Honesty is such a lonely word. The EVR is the cheapest of these three IEM’s, but still expensivish at $699. Does its performance warrant the price tag? Let’s find out in this Empire Ears EVR Review.
Empire Ears EVR Review
IN the BOX
Most ears will find the Empire Ear fit comfortable. But if your ears are on the smaller side, the large shape of the shells might press on the back contours after long periods of use. The buds are easy to pop in thanks to the slightly elastic over-ear wires; there’s no need to endlessly mold these wires around your ear because they just fall into place. Sound isolation is good, but perhaps not as effective as other IEM models like Shure or Westone.
The EVR keeps it simple. Three balanced armature drivers are equally divided into low, mid and high.
I always like to mention Empire Ears’ A.R.C. Resonance Mitigation Technology because it actually seems to work. Designed to reduce resonance and vibrations, E.E. really excels at producing a tight sound, free from bullfreq. Their snazzy crossover design may also deserve credit for this. Who knows. I’m just a lowly musician. Hey, what’s the difference between a musician and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four.
And let’s not forget the Litz Copper cable with two pin connectors and a 24k Oyaide gold plated right angle plug. One of my colleagues has been complaining about his MMCX connectors, saying that they’re too fragile and tend to break quickly. But he spends his entire day plugging and unplugging them. That’s his idea of fun. What’s my point? 2 pin might be the way to go. I also love to plug the plug because it looks so damn hardcore. Speaking of love, I love the dampened feel of Litz, don’t you?
Overall Impressions: Balanced, well separated and fast with an impressively detailed mid range. A tad too light on the bass?
Like many Empire Ears models, the bass doesn’t sit very forward. Plus, the lows on the EVR are definitely conservative. So, you’re left with a very bass-light sound. For many, it just won’t be enough. Indeed, the EVR isn’t particularly designed for pop, hip-hop or EDM. However, the speed and OCD-clean feel of the EVR still makes it damn snappy. And because the higher frequencies are unadulterated, pop music still feels super tight and fun.
Yes, my little mid-heads. Yes. This ever present mid range will make you a happy audiophile. Although not a particularly warm or rich sound, the unbiased distribution of the low and high mids, along with the even placement of vocals and instruments ensures that you get the full spectrum of sound. Combine these qualities with a ton of transparency, separation and resolve, and you’ve got an IEM that works well for rock, but even better for folk or bluegrass. If you love acoustic guitars, you’ll adore these buds. And if you like a really tight and present drum kit, the EVR is made for you too.
Less transparency in this range than there is in the mids. Listening to string solos, I really enjoyed the smoothness, but the more subtle tremolos and nuances were a tad lacking. On the flip side, I always put the highs through the Miles Davis test to see if it’s tolerable. And the slightly rounded peaks made the listening experience fluid and easier than New Orleans.
Empire Ears always rocks the soundstage. The feeling of depth impresses me the most, and in this sense, the EVR delivers almost as much as the priciest models. Finally, the superior separation on these buds also adds to the perception of accuracy and spaciousness of the mix.
You can find these IEM’s for the best price at:
Audio 46 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
This isn’t a headphone for those who like their sound warm, thick or extremely dynamic. However, if you’re a musician, a critical listener, or just a stickler for balance and utmost clarity, I can’t think of a better IEM in this price range than the EVR.