Yesterday I treated myself to demoing not just one, but two of Noble Audio’s flagship IEMs. Today, though, I am taking a gander at the decidedly less-expensive Noble Audio Bell. At a modest $200, this earphone seems competitively-poised against such models as the Dunu Falcon-C, the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1, and the Shure SE315. But how does it sound and how does that sound stack up to the competition?
Noble Bell Review
The Noble Bell features a minimalist packaging that really appeals to my no-frills outlook. Inside the plain-ish cardboard box, there is a plastic case. Inside this plastic case you will find some eartips and the earphones themselves. And that’s pretty much it.
Utilizing a machined bell-brass housing and a single 5.8 mm dynamic driver, the Bell isn’t a fancy-schmancy earphone with a ton of useless features or questionable gimmicks. This is a basic earphone with a basic earphone.
And, yet, the Bell also feels surprisingly solid in my hand – not just in terms of the housing, but it terms of the cable, too. Despite a fixed connection, the 4 ft (1.2 m) cable still feels like it could weather a beating…and then some. Comprised of silver-coated copper tinsel-wire, this braided cable feels nothing short of amazing.
Frequency Response: NA
Nominal Impedance: 35 ohms
Sound Pressure Level: NA
Somewhere in Noble Audio, there has to be a super-elite Specification Suppression Squad to erase all records for Noble earphones. Because its fairly difficult to find any substantial figures regarding the technology at play here.
If I had to guess, though, I would put the Bell’s frequency range somewhere around 5-22,000 Hz. There’s a ton of action in the low end, while the high end does offer some detail (but still manages to stay relatively smooth-sounding in some regards).
Impedance is a decent 35 ohms – not ideal for mobile use, but more than compatible. For this review I used a midrange DAC in the form of the FiiO Q5, along with an iPhone 7 and some ALAC files.
Finally, sound pressure isn’t rated, but I would definitely place it somewhere around the 100 dB mark. There’s plenty of room here to find an adequate listening volume – at least in most reasonable scenarios.
Marked by a relaxed but detailed low end, the Noble Bell features an impressive sound. Though some distortion may be present, the impression is minimal and not quite a deal-breaker. Bass impact remains strong and decisive with any track, leading to a driving, intoxicating sound. Indeed, it’s hard not to feel impressed by any earphone sporting such a full and luscious low end as the Bell.
The Bell features a midrange with just a hint of compression. Despite this, the mids still retain most of their accuracy, and the overall sound seems to mesh well with the lows and highs. Instead of leaning forward, this part of the frequency range appears just slightly recessed – enough so to avoid drawing focus from the more emotive parts of the frequency range.
In the high end, the Noble Bell distinguishes itself with intense contrast. Vocals remain smooth, while instrumentation may almost seem sharp in comparison. The resultant impression of detail is almost tangible, as your ears begin to pick up on nearly-microscopic auditory clues previously missed.
With good depth but merely adequate placement, the soundstage on the Bell could sound better. While not particularly mesmerizing, it does still manage to keep things entertaining.
The lack of a removable cable does grind my gears a bit, but it’s not a total deal breaker. Due to the brass housing and relative strength of the braided cable, I still have to give this earphone credit for feeling pretty premium.
While the Noble Bell handles almost any music genre with relative ease, I absolutely loved it with Electronic music. In fact, I would say if you listen to any electronic music, this is the only earphone you should listen with. Thanks to a thick, weighty low end and a contrasting high end, this sharp, precise sound is perfect for synthesizers and samples.
If you’re in the market for the perfect earphone for classical music, skip the Noble Bell and pick up MEE Pinnacle P1 earphone. Or, if you’re a rock fan or a hip-hop fan, the Shure SE315 or the Dunu Falcon-C offer a fantastic sound.
But if you are looking for a very dynamic earphone with low lows and high highs – or if electronic music is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the Noble Bell. The sound here is perfect for reproducing electronic music, with sharp and articulate contrast lending a distinct edge to any track I throw at it. Artists like Daft Punk, M83, Electric Youth, The Chromatics, Miami Nights 1984, and The Midnight don’t just shine here – they reveal new layers of audio I never knew existed.
While not the cheapest earphone on the market, the $199 Noble Bell offers a contrasting and emotive sound in a durable, near-indestructible package. For anyone in need of a fun, exacting sound with a strong v-shaped sound signature, you will LOVE the Noble Bell.
Find it for the best price here: