Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus Universal IEMs
Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus Universal IEMs
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Product Description
A collaboration with Empire Ears, this is a new iteration of the Zeus XIV: an engineering marvel and the first 14-driver in-ear monitor ever made. This version uses the same drivers as the company’s former flagship—two bass, six midrange, and six treble—along with an identical seven-way crossover circuit to tune the drivers’ frequency response Read More
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.4
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would recommend to a friend
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erfan_elahi
28
Aug 30, 2019
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TOTL for the price!
My Zeus Setup: Sony Walkman WM1Z + Wagnus Frosty Sheep Mastering Edition 4.4mm Balanced First, please excuse me as I am not wise with a technical review. So just some short sweet words I feel it deserves. I am putting 5 star because I feel it really values 100% sonic performance for the price is paid, or even some more with a great source and cable. The highs, the mids are so silky blend with very engaging micro details. Separation is great, 3D feel is there, but soundstage is not massive like Legend X or U12 or U18, but big and enjoyable enough for $1k grade IEM. The bass is totally neutral, sharp, fast and light and it can be enjoyable with a brain burn. So I am keeping it :-)
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Would recommend to a friend.
Aug 30, 2019
olddude
15
Jun 18, 2019
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Excellent TOTL IEMs
I bought these as backup for my Zeus XR. Except for the cable (not bad, but which I immediately swapped out for an EA Ares ll) these Massdrop ones are every bit as good as the Zeus in the XlV position. At about half the price of the EE Zeus XlV, these are a bargain. I highly recommend them for anyone desiring transparency, 3-D imaging, a wide soundstage and great handling of all frequency ranges. I use them with my Astell&Ultima SP1000SS and they give me everything it can put out.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 18, 2019
capefearguy
40
Apr 17, 2019
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I have not been a fan of IEMs, especially over the ear types, and in the past have only bought good budget pairs. In that group, I prefer drop downs because I get exasperated with fidgety fits and finding "perfect" tips for over ears. Drop downs also work much better with my reading glasses. In the headphone group, I prefer almost all my headphones over any IEM I had tried. Headphones are comfortable, great bang for the buck, and come in many different sound profiles to fit your mood. However, I read the reviews and discussions for these and decided to try an upscale IEM. No question, the EE Zeus is the best sounding IEM I have tried. I second the reviews that praise their space, detail, sound stage, isolation, and strength in every part of the sound spectrum. They seem well-made, the cables are excellent, and they fit well (after some fidgeting, of course). But …. are they really that much better than IEMs costing much less? In my opinion, no. The cost is so high, compared to less expensive but quality IEMs, that it's hard to justify a purchase. The quality differences are not that significant unless you are an audio purist and price has no meaning. As for a comparison with headphones, they are even harder to justify. I prefer almost all my headphones, no matter the sound profile, over the EE, without regard to cost. Would I buy these again? Probably not. Do I want to return them? Definitely not. I went into the purchase with eyes and ears open and now have a pair of very fine IEMs.
Apr 17, 2019
capefearguy
40
Aug 10, 2019
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The usual suspects. TIN 2 and TIN 2 Pro; BGVP DMG (the original, haven't tried the "s" version); TRN V80; VJJB K4; Mee Audio Pinnacle PX (Massdrop version). These are all good bang for the buck IEMs. Note that more than half of these can be worn drop-down. I like the DMG, despite the criticism of too much muddy bass bleeding into the mids etc. and probably use them more often than the rest. They work fine for me. None of them are as good as the Zeus. For the price, none of them should be. "Almost" is very subjective and for me cost has a lot to do with it. For a while I was into budget IEMs for the same reasoning you have: discovering a miracle IEM that was inexpensive and comfortable. There is a seemingly endless supply, each one greater than the last and always more expensive than the previous. The BGVPs are a good example, evolving from DMG, to DM6, and finally DM7. And of course the "upgraded" DMGs. With my headphones, I switch among AQ Nighthawk, HiFiman HE 400x (Massdrop version), Senn 58xx Jubilee (Massdrop), and CA Cascade. In the end, it's the music not the device. Back to the Zeus: I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn't. That's not the fault of the Zeus, just my cost-based expectation.
Aug 10, 2019
buffalobilious
15
Aug 12, 2019
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Thanks for the extra commentary! Considering whether or not to get boutique IEMs is one of the most difficult challenges in headphone-dom, simply because it's next to impossible to ever audition anything, and return policies aren't typically all that forgiving either, so I appreciate the reply.
Aug 12, 2019
ThomasK78
33
Jun 22, 2019
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This is the best earphone that I had heard so far.
Excellent dynamics, details, nice timber, refined treble and 3D soundstage. It sounds like top full range speaker as KEF Blade.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Jun 22, 2019
Therashman
21
Aug 7, 2019
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Excellent
Well I spent some time with these IEMs as my initial impressions were based on poor fitting which affected my experience. So I put them down for a few weeks to remove my initial bias and then returned to them and after tinkering with the accessories that are now norm with IEMs which are more than sufficient. Beware the Universal fit is not for everyone so tinkering or consideration to this point should not be ignored. I finally was comfortable with the fit (probably my least favorite fit - the FH 7s being my favorite! the latter being half the price!) My source equipment (I stuck to portable style DAPs/ DAC) included AK SP 1000, SE 100 and material ranged from (marginal difference between the two AK sources for IEMs like these) to Roon Ready Chord streaming via -Tidal or Qobuz. I compared these babies to the other ones I own and grown accustomed to the sound signatures- CampAudio Andromeda’s, Noble Khans, Shure 846e and for fun (due to my dealers persistence) Fiio Fh 7 which I bought recently on a blind listening tests which was pitched against some IEMs twice the price (which is actually an excellent purchase in terms of value/ sound matrix) - For the purposes of this write up I have necessarily ignored my impressions of listening to other IEMs that I do not own as a comparison to initial impressions on different sources both hardware/ software is not appropriate or fair for comparison. Back to these IEMs- I very much grew into liking the sound quality of these headphones. It has a very different sound signature to the Andromeda’s which I know is easily likable as they easily deal with all genres of music but for me sometimes it can sound too bright. I just don’t like comparing these two headphones (as someone in this forum provided me with good counsel when stating that one cannot compare the Solaris to the Andromeda’s and he absolutely right / price has no nexus to someone’s subjective judgement on sound signature - a combination of both quantitative and qualitative factors including ones own impression. I think material consideration should be given to fitting - this aspect makes or breaks the listening experience dramatically- so encourage you to test them or consider them with different scenarios a few times before making a decision. The fit is certainly the largest of the IEMs I have ever tried, for example I found the Solaris more comfortable than these. An audiophile analogy in loud speaker land would be like comparing B&Ws to Dynaudios -speakers - I own them both - I like them both for different genres and paired with different source equipment. So the Empires are at a different level in terms of better able to render detail with vocals, jazz , classical - sublime reproduction and beautifully presented. The Andromeda’s (846e and khan was knocked out pretty quickly in the first and second round but have not firmed my view on the Khans just yet, will revisit them again with different fits) - sounded that as if it was in a hurry in comparison - the Empires sound staging , spacing is superb and most of all it’s so God damn relaxed / smooth absolutely there is no fatigue felt during listening- the same feeling I get when put on the Audeze LCDs (however I cannot bear the weight of both the XC and the 2s for long but need too satisfy the craving for that Audeze sound signature - have my eyes on the LCD - i4 which removes the weight issue) - Andromeda’s kick butt with rock, metal, funk - sound forward, tight, bass is second to none in that it is so controlled and apt for a pop or rock track - and for me the bass reproduction is brilliant. R&B genre I struggled with as I like the sound staging for both of them for different reasons and finally settled on a draw. So for me I listen to both for different moods or genres. Empires here may have a slight edge but bass wise Andros do better IMHO. I think for Midrange (much like my Dynaudios Contours) the Empires would be hard to beat. As an an aide with the SP 1000 the Andromeda’s fared better but on the Chord (with Roon Ready unfolding the Masters or Quboz Hi Res) the Empire we’re just sounded delicious and the Andromeda’s sounded very bright and forward, almost CD like - lifeless - whereas the Empires kill the Andros in the Midrange space and hardware like Chord sounds better than the SP 1000 (goes to show something said for keeping your amp separate to DACs perhaps only exception for me is my other favorite which I use daily and not for everyone - Devialet) I am actually using the Empires more than the others for now. I do like the sound very much and am glad I persevered. Bottom line excellent sound and would recommend the purchase on the footing of both genre (my views) and source equipment / music. You cannot go wrong with them. Enjoy!
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Aug 7, 2019
Dilip
0
Oct 9, 2019
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How did the fh7 stand against these
Oct 9, 2019
Therashman
21
Dec 18, 2019
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The Fh7s are excellent value for money. As the headphones come with various Customized tuning options, this attribute makes them very attractive as you can suit the sound signature not only to ones taste also to genre- so as an all rounder it wins for this optionality - I don’t know any brands that gives you that option. However the sound signature is very different more like the Andros less like Empires- in my view It does not have the smoothness of the Empires particularly with midrange at the same time does not the bass of Andros - if you listen to rock/ pop it more than competent. For me jazz or classical it simply does not deal with detail like the Empires- however this is mitigated by the fact that it is one of the most comfortable fitting IEMs I have tried thus far - this aspect can really help you enjoy listening experience (unless you have those custom fit babies). The build of these headphones are excellent. If your source is mainly portable/ DAC which are valued less than a $1000 than these IEMs are perfect - the Empires need a good DAC (not necessarily expensive) to really get the best of their drivers and the midrange focus is not for everyone- for example if your music taste is rock/ pop, then usually your bias (speaking generally here) will be for more bass, the FH7s will sound better to someone who prefers bass sound signature / for me they can sound bright on some source material. Interestingly I do not use the Empires as much these days as the fit for long periods of use became problematic - fit is so important and in my view should be taken into account on an equal footing with sound signature - these days I have now grown accustomed to the Solaris (purchased subsequently) they fit much better than the Empires me and I prefer the Solaris across the board - but FH7 still beats the Empires and if I was dispassionately objective the FH7s would win overall due to excellent fit with sound signature that is surprisingly great at that price point (do yourself a blind test with high end IEMs and you will see how good they are). So enjoy them buddy!
Dec 18, 2019
derek.lob
48
Oct 31, 2019
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i was considering the drop x noble k10u in the begining but, tempted by the $250 discount in late Sep, I ordered one without ever listen to any empire ears' iem. the sound is really detailed and dynamic. the built quality also looks very good despite the ABS housing looks quite out of place at such price level. even the cable looks quite nice (for a stock cable). people said it lack in bass but it sounds adequate to me. i primarily used it with sp1000m using the stock 3.5mm cable. be warned that there's a fair amount of hiss. things get a lot worse when i tried to connect to the AK xb-10 or the trn bt20s bluetooth dongles; hiss was unacceptably high with these dongles. i repeatedly rotating between the iems i have on hand for the last few days: t8ie mk2, campfire atlas, shure kse1200 and the zeus. for me, kse1200 is the best, by far. coherence and musicality are so much better than the others. in fact for coherence, i'd rated both t8ie and atlas higher than the zeus. it's very unlikely that a 7-way crossover could be done right in any kind of audio system i guess. the zeus reveals overwhelming details (but still can't touch kse1200, it's really in another league!) and it's a amazing technical achievement to stuff in 14 BA drivers in each side with 7-way crossover! the sensitive 10ohm iem could be easily driven to a satisfactorily volume even just plugged straight in my s10+'s 3.5mm jack (and quite strange that there seems much less hiss with the s10+ than driving by sp1000m at vol60). just that money will be better spent with other iem if coherence is what you valued highly. now drop lowered the price of k10u by $300! struggled for a few days, i placed my order on that one too. hopefully the 4-way crossover K10U, with less BA drivers to manage, could be the more musical iem of the two . . . p.s. if drop could offer a similar price cut for the mr.speaker headphone, I'll be saving up for one :) [update] i now alternately using the k10ua and the zeus during my commuting to and from work. after 1 month, i'd say my feeling is still the same. i still prefer the sound and the wearing comfort of k10ua over the zeus. the zeus protrudes quite a lot over my ear and it easily moved around when i'm moving, compromising the seal and affecting the sound quality. the zeus is solidly built but not fit for my use case. [2nd update] when i need to travel light i used the zeus directly with my s10+ and maybe i already get used to the sound signature of it, i found it more and more enjoyable. it's still difficult to get a perfect wearing position but on the subway, i could manage to get good, stable isolation to enjoy the music. the dynamic and sparking treble of the zeus might be better suited for use on a rather hostile listening environment like subway than a more balanced presentation of the k10ua.
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Oct 31, 2019
Ofer
52
Dec 15, 2019
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Interesting. The Zeus looks small, light and comfortable. The K10 looks huge and heavy.
Dec 15, 2019
derek.lob
48
Dec 15, 2019
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The zeus body is quite a bit thicker than k10ua. But wearing comfort obviously can vary a lot among different individuals. And maybe even more on the aesthetic aspect 😀
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Dec 15, 2019
dacreations
8
Jan 6, 2020
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TOTL IEM with unmatched treble clarity.
Wonderful TOTL IEM at an amazing price, will resolve micro details in the higher frequency spectrum where many IEMs don't fare as well. It also manages to avoid sounding too harsh on treble so even someone treble-sensitive like myself have no problems listening to prolonged periods. The IEM itself is mid centric but not overwhelmingly so (mostly neutral tonality without being boring.) Do note for bass heads this may not be the right IEM for you as you can identify from the frequency response chart it does has a recessed low end. This does not mean it loses its details you can EQ the lowest frequency and all of the details will come back but it's nowhere near a harder hitting bass IEM (you'll want a dynamic driver/hybrid for that.) Only gripe: extremely sensitive (one of the worst when it comes to sensitivity.) Tried paring up with Hiby R6 Pro the noise is very distracting, when paired with Hiby impedance adapter noise does disappear but sound becomes extremely veiled its unusable. Only a low noise floor source such as the Lotoo Paw 6000 does it give dead silent background d under Low Gain. Do yourself a favor however and replace the stock cable; the cable it comes with sounds extremely dark and is unable to fully utilize the capabilities of this IEM. I currently have this paired with a PWaudio blackicon (silver+gold 1%) and Effect Audio Grandioso and the difference is night a day over stock cable. You'll be able to hear much better clarity even with a cheaper Chi-fi SPC cable.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jan 6, 2020
avastwasteland
18
Jul 13, 2020
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Unmatched treble clarity? That's an overstatement, to be fair. There are quite a few headphones that present greater detail throughout the entire frequency range than these. Empire ears even makes a few of them.
Jul 13, 2020
League544
299
Jul 29, 2020
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My FA9s take that crown, cmon just be real with me.
Jul 29, 2020
Ortho_Sympa
55
Apr 14, 2020
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Crazy detail retrieval but can be harsh
Probably the best iem under 1500$ for detail retrieval but, they can be harsh sounding, especially if you keep the stock silicon tips. Foam tips do help a lot. Treble and mids are amazing for the price. The bass on the other hand is "okay" at best. Amazing iem for classic or acoustic music. Not so great for rock/metal/edm. Also, these are super sensitive iems, you will hear hissing even on the THX789. I use mine with the radsone ES100 MK2 and they work like a charm.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Apr 14, 2020
albert_gsg
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Apr 10, 2019
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very good product, light weighted, easy to drive, great sound stage and detail, worth the money
Apr 10, 2019
hamsterman
8
Oct 20, 2019
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I came to these from the Massdrop x Noble K10. Those already were a significant improvement over the MEE Pinacle PX (should be, for $1000+ right?!?!). I resisted these for a long time, not wanting to drop another grand on another pair, but I couldn't resist after Drop knocked $250 off for these. As soon as I put these on, I nearly fell off my chair. Absolutely clear, beautiful sound -- gives you that sense that you're sitting right next to the musicians. No question, blew my K10s away. The only thing I regret now is the thousand dollars I spent for the K10s sitting in my drawer. I use these with ES100 connected via bluetooth with my phone. I could hook it up to something fancier, but this is my realistic regular use scenario.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Oct 20, 2019
hamsterman
8
Nov 1, 2019
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Nov 1, 2019
hamsterman
8
Nov 1, 2019
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Email me theklayman@hotmail.com
Nov 1, 2019
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