Empire Ears Nemesis Review

Empire Ears Nemesis Review

Following on the heels of my recent reviews for the Empire Ears Legend X and Phantom, today I’m sitting down with the Nemesis.  At a fair $1599, this earphone won’t cost you as much as the Legend X or Phantom.  But how does it compare to other earphones from Empire Ears?  And is it the ideal earphone for you?

Empire Ears Nemesis Review

Empire Ears Nemesis Review

The Nemesis comes boxed with all the usual Empire Ears accessories – a cleaning cloth, a hard case, a soft carrying pouch, Final E-Type Eartips, and a cleaning tool.

Of course, the earphones and detachable cable are included as well.

Effect Audio’s ARES II cable features a cabled design terminating in a 2-pin connection on one end, and a standard single-ended 3.5 mm plug on the other end.

The earpieces themselves use a high-quality molded plastic shell.  Inside, five propriety drivers – including two dynamic subwoofers and one balanced armature driver each for the mids, highs, and super-highs – offer a hybrid setup with 8-way crossover.

As with other Empire Ears models, a proper fit is key.  If, like me, your giant mutant ears can’t get a comfortable fit with the supplied eartips, I highly recommend some from SpinFit.


Frequency Range:  NA
Nominal Impedance:  NA
Sound Pressure Level:  NA

There isn’t much to go on here, folks, but the sound profile leads me to believe there is ample emphasis on the mids and highs here, so a frequency range might look something like 20-30,000 Hz.  Nominal Impedance should clock in around 32 ohms or lower, as the Nemesis seems fairly efficient.  Lastly, sound pressure level seems adequate – and probably lands somewhere around the 100 dB mark.

Empire Ears Nemesis Review

Low End

A bit subdued with a light, airy quality, the lows on the Nemesis offer a deliciously-reserved listening experience.  These lows sport good detail, but still appear “pushed back” enough as to give the mids and highs greater emphasis.  The bass response sounds tame and carefully-controlled.  And, while not sloppy or over-pronounced, the sound here is not as lively as I was expecting, either.  This is the kind of bass you take home to your mother, not the kind of molar-ratting bass you lose brain cells to while cranking Black Sabbath.


Detailed and clean, the mids avoid any distortion or compression.  This part of the frequency range exhibits a decidedly-present and forward-leaning character. Rich in detail, this midrange jives well with the lows and highs for a more relaxed (but still resolving) profile.  Mature and clean, it’s a heady listening experience that allows you to hear your music on a new, unfiltered or unadulterated level.

High End

Sparkling with detail and clarity, the Nemesis offers a robust and emotive high end that delivers detail deftly. Never sounding too harsh or piercing, the level of detail works in tandem with a high standard of control among the highest high frequencies.  Equally adept at handling vocals or instrumentation, this is the ideal high end for pop or classical music.


Soundstage on the Nemesis appear spacious and airy, with good placement and depth.  Clear and precise while seemingly occupying finite space around you, the sound is a thing of beauty.  Put these babies in your ear, cue up your favorite track, and let them lead you to an incredibly intense and immersive listening experience.

Empire Ears Nemesis Review


If you simply must spend more on a pair of earphones, you’re out of luck; no other brand offers a pair of earphones with such a precise, well-engineered emphasis on the mids and highs.  If you want to save a few bucks, you could opt for the Westone W80, but at $1499, the savings may not be worth the drop in sound quality.

For those who prefer a little more oomph in the lows, I highly suggest the higher-priced Empire Ears Legend X.  At a not-to-be-scoffed-at $2299, this earphone delivers a more dynamic listening experience, with more emphasis on bass and treble.

Where a flatter sound is desired, the Phantom offers a better fit.  Neutral to a fault, this earphone provides the best benchmark sound for the price, at $1799.

Final Analysis

With a rich, clean sound, the Empire Ears Nemesis offers a detailed listening experience you won’t soon forget.  Featuring strong emphasis on the mids and highs, this premium earphone is the go-to model for fans of pop and classical music, or for those who just love their high notes.

Get it for the best price here:

Audio46 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)

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Carroll is a headphone junkie residing in Brooklyn. He's a huge fan of Grado, UK hip hop, and the English Language in general. When not testing audio equipment or writing, you'll find him taking photographs or fiddling with circuit boards. You can contact him at carroll@majorhifi.com.