Massdrop x Noble Kaiser 10 Universal IEMs
Massdrop x Noble Kaiser 10 Universal IEMs
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Product Description
Lauded by Forbes, The Verge, and InnerFidelity, and long rated Head-Fi users’ favorite IEM, the Noble Kaiser 10 returns as the Massdrop x Noble Kaiser 10. Also known as the K10, this model uses the same tuning as the company’s previous flagship, with 10 Knowles balanced-armature drivers per ear ... Read More
4.5
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44 Reviews
Here's what our community has to say
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SumNerd
1
Jun 28, 2019
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Awesome!!!
Incredible sound and detail, but it took a lot to get the right fit in the ear.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 28, 2019
posesick
5
Jun 4, 2019
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This pair of IEMs is absolutely stunning. I am strongly suggesting to use balanced cable and balanced output. Soundstage is spacious both in width and in depth. Sound isolation is above average but there’ve been a bit of struggle choosing a perfect pair of tips. Sound is very reach and detailed, a very slightly V-shaped and it makes listening more joyful and fun. Just put them on and listen to your favorite music with a “new hearing”. 5 stars out of five from me
Jun 4, 2019
posesick
5
Jun 18, 2019
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Tennmak Whirlwind Turbo Eartips (red oned) did a great job for me - noise insolation is above average and they are seating firmly. Now I am waiting for my Symbio W eartips by Mandarines to arrive. I hope to improve my listening experience with them even more.
Jun 18, 2019
PaulNS
34
Jun 18, 2019
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Cool, that’s another pair of ear tips for me to checkout! Good luck with the Symbio W - they didn’t like my ears. I do like the silicon+foam concept though.
(Edited)
Jun 18, 2019
Storageincharge
1
May 1, 2019
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I should read the review before I purchase. The earbud actually popped out easily within short tips. I did side by side comparing with my UE 18+. UE 18+ in my opinion is more balanced and with better sound stage in positioning different instruments. This one is louder and with more rich sound in bass and treble but lack of mid. It just doesn't worth the price.
May 1, 2019
PaulNS
34
Jun 8, 2019
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The provide tips are garbage - don’t use them to judge :-/ Type E provides a fair bit of extension as do Spinfit. I like the Original UE as well although it doesn’t extend in the same way. Overall, I find the Spinfits anemic sounding. What tips are used on the UE18+ (or is it custom)? If not custom, can the tips be swapped (both ways) for comparison? It's not fair to compare the K10U to even Chi-Fi IEMs unless using a tip 'at least as good as' the Type E.
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Jun 8, 2019
PaulNS
34
Apr 28, 2019
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tldr; roll some good aftermarket ear tips before judging / reviewing the Noble K10U(A); -1 star as the provided tips are so so very bad. These are VERY SOLID, WELL-ROUNDED, AND FUN IEMs** .. if you can roll ear tips with a good seal and acoustic properties. A number of people report not being able to get a good seal and/or fitment due to the peculiar "Universal Not for Everyone" shape of this IEM and fat stubby nozzles. The distinct K10U shape becomes an issue because the provided ear tips are, literally, an assorted set of budget tips one might find on Amazon for $8.99. (Except for the color, the "Red tips" are the exactly same mold as New Bee "Green tips" from Amazon.) This poor selection is likely a contributor to poor fitment and lackluster audio quality some people experience - including me at the start. The provided tip selection is so bad that Drop should give out "free" Type E kits with purchases of this $900 IEM. As the "Massdrop x Zeus XIV" ships with Type E kits, it's a bit embarrassing to not return the favor. **Regardless, these IEMs do very well all-around, with a slight V-shape which is highly influenced by tip selection. Björk's "Vulnicura" album is my go-to reference as it is either breathtakingly emotional or downright dull and/or painful depending on setup. With the K10UA and suitable tips, one can be 'happily lost' in a wide range of music for many hours and, while some songs do better elsewhere, never be offended. (I listen to these IEMs for 10+ hours/day.) ---- Trials and suggestions of some tips. Enjoy the journey .. I've still to reach the end. The Final Audio Type E tips are definitely a good way to get started rolling, as they are relatively cheap, easy to obtain in a size pack, and are a good mix of "fun" without going overboard. Also get a shirt clip for cable management and strain relief - a clip makes a BIG differences as it avoids incidental tugs on inserted IEMs. (Massdrop doesn't include this useful accessory either, which can often be found in $40 IEM kits.) After spending too much money on numerous ear tip models and sizes (with even more on order!), I've found some tips that hold the K10Us in place during normal activity (working in an office and walking around town), can be worn all day, seal well with little fuss, and bring out the K10's amazingly sophisticated 'best of'-worthy audio. I have relatively large-yet-shallow conchas and tiny ear canals, and I cannot press the K10 fully into my ear even without any ear tip. YMMV. Recommended tips options.
  1. Final Audio Type E. The Type E tips make the K10 sound full bodied and immersive while keeping the sound 'relatively' neutral. The Type E tips provide bass extension and emotion to voices while maintaining treble clarity and resolution; mid-highs can feel a bit flat. The Type E tips create a complete, secure, and comfortable seal and stay firmly attached to the K10 nozzle. These are good all-around tips and are not notably affected by foam stuffing.
  2. Spiral Dots + Comply Foam "modded". (Literally, take a Spiral Dot tip and put a smaller Comply Comfort foam tip inside of it. Done.) Sub-bass and bass is strong and controlled without the additional color as Type E / UE; lows/mids are given the fullness and emotion lacking from plain Spiral Dots and the music placement is good; the consistent resolution and treble impressiveness of the Spiral Dots remains. The warmth is usually not missed, although some songs really benefit from more warmth on the K10.
  3. Logitech genuine "Original UE / UE900" ear tips, translucent, for Ultimate Ears. The UE tips make the K10 sound immersive, syrupy warm, and sweet; however, the UE tips also roll-off treble and are 'darker' compared to the Type E. These might make the perfect "fun" set of tips for treble-sensitive people. While the seal is softer and more comfortable than the Type E, the “lip style” cores do not fit as securely and spacers are needed to keep the tips in place.
Maybe tip options. I previously thought the tips were "good" (ie. in the case of Spinfit), others highly rate these models, or they seem like they may pair well for specific ears and music preferences.
  1. Spinfit CP145/CP100. Spinfit tips have a very neutral and underwhelming sound profile compared to Type E / UE tips. There is significantly less warmth, immersion, and bass extension which results in music that feels anemic. The sound of wind-chimes and breaking glass is flat compared to Spiral Dots. These tips slipped over time in my ears.
  2. Spiral Dots. The Spiral Dot tips do not add sufficient body; they are cool and transparent with clear (and distant) articulation of whispers, vocals, wind-chimes, sounds of breaking glass, and treble sparkles. While not bright like the EX11 tips, the Spiral Dots can accentuate sibilance. The Spiral Dots require spacers to keep them in place. (I recommend only the "modded" version.)
  3. Comply T500 "Comfort" tips. The T500 foam tips did not fill my concha and failed to provide a sufficient seal. Comply tips, which sit back on the K10 nozzles, probably work better with smaller conchas or large ear canals. At least they make suitable rounded foam cores to stuff into silicon tips :D
  4. Symbio W (Wide Bore). The Symbio W tips do not fit my ears (as fitted to a K10 nozzle) and they have a more 'triangular' taper compared to tips that fit my ears well. The inside foam is also HARD compared to alternatives. The sound seemed middle-of-the-pack.
Not recommended tip options.
  1. Tips that shipped with the unit. The shipped ear tips are generic brand-less TRASH. The quantity is irrelevant as the quality is abysmal. Please don't "review" the K10U(A) with these tips ..
  2. Sony EP-EX11. The EX11 tips result in bright / harsh / dry / hot / flat sounding music; good seal and extension, bad acoustic execution. If wishing for brighter and more detailed music, Spiral Dots tip are a much better choice. The inner core is the same as generic Amazon “Sunmns” tips.
  3. New Bee "Green tips" / Sunmns Green. The New Bees are the same as the "Red tips" that ship with the Noble K10. Such 'generic Amazon' tips do not provide sufficient extension and/or seal. If a momentary seal is obtained the tips are pushed out by the K10's "Universal" shape. Sound is no better than Spinfit at best: anemic and lacking in immersion and depth.

(Edited)
Apr 28, 2019
blajamaln
5
Apr 13, 2019
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Perfectly paired with my AK70 MKII. Tested 3.5" for about 2 weeks before going 2.5", blown me away on both accounts. Definitely an upgrade to my SE846.
Apr 13, 2019
albert_gsg
4
Apr 10, 2019
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of all the IEMs I own (more than 10), this one is the worst in my opinion what I hate
  1. not comfort to wear. one thing is heavy, the other is the shape just not right, and I feel like the IEM is pushing itself out of my ear.
  2. sound stage is small

Apr 10, 2019
PaulNS
34
Apr 30, 2019
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Ahh, I've requested the Zeus .. although I'm technically over by budget for the year D: For mobile BT the simple ES100 seems OK for such a small unit (and intersection of AAC+2.5mm). I like the traditional cables .. just not attached to my phone.
(Edited)
Apr 30, 2019
albert_gsg
4
Apr 30, 2019
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definitely get Zeus, it totally worth the price. I have es100 and like its performance, but don't use is much because of the buttons are too small, even smaller than the shure bt2, so that I had a hard time operating es100 blindly. in addition, I use sony more and my cables are more geared towards 4.4 rather than 2.5. BTW, it is almost impossible to attach cable to phones now, since apple started to kill 3.5 and many other phone makers followed, expect Samsung. As a matter of fact, that is one of the few reasons that I still buy Samsung phones.
(Edited)
Apr 30, 2019
muchhifi
5
Mar 17, 2019
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Pros:
  • Huge bass, no boost required on any device.
  • Lots of detail.
  • Nice size and shape for comfort.
  • Impressive build quality.
  • Very comfortable cable.
  • Easy to drive - will work perfectly with whatever equipment you already have.
Cons:
  • Bass is a slightly muddy, as in you can't discern the vibration of drums very well and imaging suffers.
  • Mid-range is slightly low so vocals and acoustic guitars are a little further back than I would like.
Mar 17, 2019
benjdbs
3
Jun 13, 2019
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@PaulNS, per your request, with some annotations & a summary of the effect. This build is the final one after several revisions. The last audition i used this w/ was only last month on the SP1Km onyx black. Very un-w50 if i should say so myself. There's going to be another mod, but will take another 12 months to tweak, observe and then conclude. Hope i helped, cheers...
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Jun 13, 2019
PaulNS
34
Jun 14, 2019
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I've some extra Comply and Star Foam tips around that "don't work for me" and, after seeing the picture.. I might have some fun this weekend trying to combine them with some of my go-to tips and see what awesome monster I can raise :D I'm currently flipping between Type E (delicious and warm; compressed mids, limited sparkle) and Spiral Dot (very transparent and spaced; distant, not warm).. one makes me find the other lacking, although for different reasons. After tip rolling a good number of tips (10+ models), I wonder how much of non-custom IEM reviews is biased simply based on the tips that ship with the unit.. and not truly the acoustic differences/qualities of the IEM itself.
(Edited)
Jun 14, 2019
bloodflower
3
Feb 17, 2019
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A game-changing earphone. Agree with all the positives in the hundreds of reviews on this forum. My only complaint is they feel a tad bit heavy in my ears. But that's what 10 drivers per ear weighs. So not a real complaint. The sound is out of this world.
Feb 17, 2019
LW707
9
Jan 4, 2019
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I bought the Massdrop X Noble K10 along with Campfire Andromeda and Solaris(I'm new to IEM). I've heard people saying that K10 have a very "safe" tuning compare to other IEMs, and that still holds true in my pairs of Noble K10. My first impression on these aren't great, to be honest, very underwhelming. I pair my IEMs with iPhone via lightning cables and Wooaudio WA8. First minute I tried these on I felt like these 10BA IEMs are not resolving at all. I decided to give them a 10 hour burn-in period. I switched to the lightning cable for the burn-in, and after the burn-in, I'm quite surprised how good they sound! When connected to the WA8, it has very good BA bass, maybe not as clean compare to Andromeda, but the rumble is present. Mid is quite good, it is a bit on the lean side but totally acceptable. Treble wise, I do occasionally get that sibilant sound, but overall it is not bad, it has some sparkle in it. The Massdrop X Noble K10s are well worth the price, and I feel that it fits my needs perfectly. Sound wise if I'm connecting it to my DAC/AMPs they don't sound as good as my Andromeda(and not even close to Solaris). However when only using a lightning cable, k10 sure does have the edge on how it scales. It is a great choice for those who don't want to carry extra pieces of gear such as DAP/DAC/AMP around and looking for beautiful sound straight out from that lightning cable. (Massdrop customer service is great as well, there was a tip missing from the package and they send me a partial refund so I can purchase another set of tips, good on them.)
Jan 4, 2019
PaulNS
34
May 26, 2019
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Thanks for the photo! After seeing an image of someone with the Solaris flush in his ears (!!) I’ve come to the acceptance that my ears are relatively TINY and I should shop accordingly.. it’s cool to see so many new hybrid driver designs. Now, can we get some custom-universal hybrids? :-P
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May 26, 2019
LW707
9
May 26, 2019
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I like my new noble Khan’s fitting, it is definitely a step up from the K10(nozzle with great shape) but the treble spikes me pretty hard at times so I have to use foam tips and some minor eq. Also speaking of custom-universal shape like ones I’d also consider the ones like Jomo trinity, Empire ears legend X, and AAW canary. Here’s khan on the left and legend X on the right, hope this helps
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May 26, 2019
maiden331
3
Jan 2, 2019
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TOTL!!! had I known during the time this audio gem first came out, i would not have bothered looking for IEMs that could find the G-Spot of my ears and my brain. thanks to massdrop, was able to listen to this true, classic masterpiece!!!
Jan 2, 2019
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