Massdrop x Noble X Universal IEMs
Massdrop x Noble X Universal IEMs
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Product Description
The president of Noble Audio and an audiologist by training, Dr. John Moulton has been delighting the community with beautiful, great-sounding in-ear monitors for years. So much so, in fact, that fans have nicknamed him the Wizard—so when we wanted our own bit of magic, we knew where to turn Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
3.8
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147
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77%
would recommend to a friend
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boisdulac
19
Nov 8, 2018
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I am by no means an expert audiophile, but in my humble opinion these IEMs sound exceedingly well. I have read the rave reviews of other Noble Audio IEMs (mainly their old flagship Kaiser 10), and I was quite ready to plump for their current Sage product ($600), so this drop came at a really good time. According to online reviews from real experts, these $250 Massdrop X can match the audio quality of the Sages for less than half the price, which makes them a real bargain. Some issues that other reviewers have mentioned (but are minor quibbles to me): the fit is a little particular, with the nozzle being quite wide (I have used the big foams provided with the IEMs, but am waiting for my 500 Comply Foams to improve the fit) and the big body of the IEMs is unable to entirely fit in the ear cavity. I have found that this creates a little bit of drag on the top of my ears, and the contact of the wire gets a little painful - but I am sure I will get used to it. In terms of sound, I find they outclass both the Grado GR 10 and the Shure SE 215 that I was previously using: they are indeed very musical, and I do not experience the bass problems indicated by other users (probably because of fit issues?). The amount of details that can be heard is quite amazing, similar to what I get in my quiet home evening sessions with my Beyers t50p, but with a sound that is less analytical than the Beyers, and more ‘musical’. I use them for my daily commute, with my iPhone 7 Plus and a Dragonfly Black (using VOX Cloud for my FLAC library), and honestly I am simply amazed at the sound I am getting with a rig that has a total cost of around 400$ (not including the cost of the iPhone, of course). The isolation is quite good, almost on par with the one of the Shures (which are known to be very good at this), and I have no problem getting fully immersed in my music even in the middle of the relatively noisy Geneva tramway. This may sound like a cliché, but currently I am in the process of listening again to my whole library, and rediscovering hitherto ignored details in my favorite albums. To me, an excellent purchase, that I do not regret at all, quite the contrary: I think I got a real bargain here (so thank you Massdrop!!)
Nov 8, 2018
LongLiveRock
139
Aug 21, 2019
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Detail and finesse
I've had mine for just over a year now, and I love them. I use them at work with the Massdrop balanced cable and the AK XB10 (see picture) paired to my LG V30. They reveal details and beauty in my music that no other transducer I own can match. In full disclosure, the Massdrop Noble X is my most expensive IEM (and headphone). [Edit in December 2019: I paid $249 in 2018.] My comparison IEMs that I also use regularly are the 1More Quads and the Massdrop NuForce EDCs. I listen to mostly classical music, with some Jazz, and some Rock. The Noble X do feel a little fragile, so I don't carry them around with me outside. Nor do I swap out the removable cables much. But when I am looking for details and finesse in my music, I turn to my Noble X. When I am looking for thump, I turn to my 1More Quads. The Noble X are quite sensitive. I hear some electrical background noise when using them with my XB10, for example, but the music is so beautiful when using them together that they are my first choice at the office.
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Aug 21, 2019
McMan
2
Nov 24, 2019
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How do these compare to the nuforce edc's? Currently they are my only iems
Nov 24, 2019
LongLiveRock
139
Nov 26, 2019
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The Noble X are superior in every way sonic-wise to the NuForce EDCs. However, the NuForce EDCs feel practically indestructible, while the Noble X feel quite fragile. While I get a lot of enjoyment from the NuForce EDCs and I feel like I can use them anywhere (i.e. every-day-carry), I get a lot of beauty out of the Noble X and I only use them in a single location.
Nov 26, 2019
RT.1128
84
Dec 11, 2018
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I've had the Noble X for a couple of weeks and held off doing a review. Out of the box using the supplied ear tips and single ended 3.5mm cable; I would have given these IEM's at best a 2.5 rating. I made a few adjustments to the Noble X. Switching to the Comply T500 foam tips made a significant improvement. Still the music was a bit too light in the bass for my liking. Doing a comparison with my Cardas A8 ear monitors proved this to me. I ordered a Surf Cable IEM Balanced to Pono cable. Going balanced mode made a big difference in the sound. Fuller bass and more detail in the mid range too. https://www.surfcables.com/collections/cables-1/products/iem-cables With the new foam tips and balanced cable, I'd say the Noble X approach the sound quality of the A8's. With the changes, the Noble X are a 4/5 star.
Dec 11, 2018
Bob3600
149
Feb 6, 2020
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I have always been confused as to which Surf cable to buy to use with my Pono Player and Westone W50's, or Shure 215"s. Both use MMCX. HELP!!??!!
Feb 6, 2020
G3n3r1c
145
Oct 14, 2018
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This is my late 2018 review. I deleted an earlier review because the marketplace for Balanced Armature IEMs has changed dramatically over the last year. I initially rated these as 4 stars, but then downgraded them to 3, and now to 2 stars. The marketplace has changed, but Massdrop is still asking $249.99 for these. Today, they are a huge waste of money!
Summary: Extremely overpriced, uncomfortable, and generate no bass at all
Positives:
- Attractive, high quality, midnight blue faceplates - Smooth and clean audio typical of BA drivers - Tone profile similar to Grado headphones, but flatter response on the high end
Negatives:
- Zero bass. They generate usable mids and highs only. I tested these with a tone generator and they start falling off around 250 Hz. In back-to-back comparisons with other products these have a thin, choked, tin can tone. - In the current market there are many BA IEMs for $50 or less that offer far better sound and comfort. I greatly prefer the KZ AS10 and TRN V80 over these. - The egg-shaped housing hangs outside the ear rather than going into the ear, and so it's tippy and requires extra support versus competing IEMs. - The ear shafts are short and don't go deeply into the ears. This requires larger tips for stability and decent sound, as the tips must rest in the outer part of the ear. After a great deal of searching I ended up with large New Bee foam tips, but they run tight in my ears and aren't very comfortable. - They do not have memory wire in the cables (manufacturing cost $0.10), and this limits stability and comfort.
There are no effective solutions to Noble's multiple ergonomic design mistakes.
I've reached the conclusion that Noble designed these as introductory products for its much more expensive offerings. They likely knew about the issues prior to release, but may have thought it would motivate people to upgrade. Unfortunately for them, the competition brought the price of quality BA IEMs way down.
Oct 14, 2018
riontjy
11
Nov 21, 2018
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I’m a fan of KZ AS10 too! Have you considered re-shelling them to a custom fit? I’m considering this and would like some opinion from fellow users. Thanks!
Nov 21, 2018
G3n3r1c
145
Nov 21, 2018
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No personal experience. I retipped with foam, but prefer headphones in general.
Nov 21, 2018
MRCc
21
Dec 26, 2018
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These were a huge disappointment, I sold them shortly after I got them. They look nice, but fit was not good (they constantly worked loose, killing all bass). They simply sit too shallow in the ear. Bass was also weak regardless of tips used. Comply tips helped a little but not nearly enough. To add insult to injury, I paid extra for the lightning connector, which made them sound even worse. They need to be amped. I have quite a few IEMs, and I have some budget models that blow these away. I buy $15 KZ ATEs for my teenage daughter to take to school and honesty prefer those to the Noble X if plugging straight into a phone. Build quality doesn’t compare but the overall sound is actually much more pleasant (and they are more comfortable). That says it all to me.
Dec 26, 2018
PaulNS
83
May 24, 2019
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I spent $$+ on tips for the similar-bodied K10U trying to find a good fit. Finally found Spitfit (large) which are quite good and few other "OK" tips .. Very hit-or-miss on 'Universal' fit.
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May 24, 2019
kiwii23
0
Jan 11, 2020
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Which Spinfit model number are you using ?
Jan 11, 2020
Maxime-DLH
8
Nov 11, 2019
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Great sound but tips, cable and overall structure feel cheap/weak
I've had these for a while and thought I should write a review on them, I'd like you to know that I am by no means an audio expert but simply an enthusiast with limited experience and knowledge, this review is simply my two cents on this product. These were the first pair of IEMs I bought and quite frankly I am somewhat disappointed with them, at first I thought these IEMs were amazing but I was simply basing my judgment on the sound quality, I slowly became aware of certain flaws that were starting to get on my nerves, these flaws were mostly with the physical quality of the IEMs and its accessories. After roughly a few weeks of regular usage, I notice that the plug was starting to bend and I found myself having to fidget with it in my DAC and phone in order for the IEMs to work properly. About a month or two of doing that, the plug was completely bent had stop work. So I decided to pick up the Massdrop x MEE audio 2-Pin Balanced Cable Set and after a month of having them the plug(s) hasn't budged after the same and even more abuse than the stock cable had previously endured. As for the tips, I found that the medium foam ones were the best fit for my ears, but yet again after some usage they quickly became weak and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I also noticed bits and parts of the tips slowly degrading and getting stuck in the drivers, so I found myself pick out loads of ear wax and pieces of the foam tips from the drivers since none of the tips come with a waxguard (I'm waiting on an order of Comply Foam tips) so I found out that my ears create an exorbitant amount of wax which gave me the pleasure to clean out my IEMs multiple times a week. The tips would also work their way loose and immediately kill the bass. Moving on to the overall structural build and feel of the IEMs, at first I thought they felt fine and somewhat sturdy enough to be daily commuting drivers until I checked out my friends Tin Hifi P1 IEMs, I found them to have a way better built quality and feel. Comparing both IEMs made me realize how light and cheap the Noble X Universals feel, the aluminum and plastic build does look nice and sleek but I doubt they could truly take a beating like the P1s would with its stainless steel shell giving some nice heft and weight. I'd say that the Noble X Universals are only worth the purchase if you are willing to burn some extra cash on new cables and tips to fully enjoy them. At this point I'd recommend the Tin Hifi P1 IEMs over the Noble X Universal IEMs simply because the P1s have a better build quality, better cable, somewhat better tips and currently sitting at $140. Out of the box, I would not recommend the Noble X Universals to a friend but with new cables and tips these IEMs would be a banging 5-star rating hand down. But I am settling for a 2.5 star because they are unbearable out of the box.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
Nov 11, 2019
GlennT
5
Jul 6, 2018
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I was highly disappointed in these. The ergonomics of these earphones are horrible. The design of the earphone casings make it impossible for me to get a good fit, regardless of the countless number of ear tips I've tried. If I press and hold them into my ears the sound of these is pretty decent. Too bad the physical design of these is so bad that I can't use them.
Jul 6, 2018
GlennT
5
Jul 8, 2018
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I think it's a combination of the way the body of the IEM and the nozzle are oriented, and the nozzle being too short. The body of the IEM doesn't sit well in my ear once I rotate it into the position it needs to be in to get a good seal. Using the supplied ear tips, when I push them into my ears to achieve a seal, they pop right out because the nozzle is too short. I bought some third party triple-flange ear tips on Amazon that work much better than any of the supplied ear tips because they're much longer and are able to compensate for the short nozzle.
Jul 8, 2018
kierans
33
Jul 8, 2018
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Thanks for that, I'm glad I didn't purchase them :)
+1 for triple flange tips, the sound isolation is fantastic and they hold a lot better when exercising!
Jul 8, 2018
Gaboonvyper
9
Sep 13, 2018
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I haven't found them to be very comfortable. I purchased some 3rd party foam tips that helped with that. They seem exceedingly treble focused. Outside of tweaking the EQ, I can't get sound out of them that appeals to me in any way. I also haven't found a genre of music I like pairing them with. One of the more disappointing hi-fi purchases I've made in the last 10 years.
Sep 13, 2018
Aegis700
11
Nov 26, 2019
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Great Detail, a little bright.
These iems have great potential. Detail and soundstage are amazing when used with the Chord Mojo. Still I find the highs a little too forward. As with any hifi you have to balance its characteristics with the nature of your other gear. The Mojo is a little warm so that offsets a bit of the brightness, also the Audioquest Jitterbug is known to roll off a little of the highs so it works wonders here. The combination, as you can see in my photo results in audio wizardry.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Nov 26, 2019
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