Empire Ears Odin: High End Low End.
The EE Odin has been on my radar for a while. Double DD (!) bass, EST treble, flashy faceplates and a hefty price tag make Odin stick in people’s memory. It looks like an audiophile’s dream come true. Does it deliver the goods?
It happened to be on display at Selfridges today and they kindly let me try it. They even lowered the surrounding music volume. They probably thought it was going to be quick. I spent an hour with it.
Let me get this straight: Odin has the best iem bass I have ever heard. It’s substantial, reaches deep, is perfectly controlled and doesn’t bleed into mids.
The bass elevation is also masterful. A bit more would have been too much for me (EVO I am looking at you). Any less wouldn’t have made Odin the beast it is. A perfect balance of quantity and quality make it utterly delicious.
Bass was also probably the main reason why I wanted to keep listening to Odin.
Let’s look at a graph (borrowed from Crin).
A part of the Odin tuning was quickly problematic for me. The upper mids are just too much for my ears. Two minutes into the audition, I had to EQ the 1700hz area down by about 3db to make the listening tolerable. Vocals would otherwise sound too forward, borderline shouty.
This is not necessarily a criticism of the iem or the tuning. Many people like those upper mids. I am just not one of them.
Treble on Odin is smooth and extends well. EST treble doesn’t necessarily sound lifelike but I enjoy it. This is a successful EST implementation. Another thing ESTs do is 3d stage perception. Odin delivers there too.
Odin’s sound is engaging and shines in many areas other than bass. It has best in class dynamics, instrument separation and imaging. The stage size is good for an iem. These qualities made Odin shine with EDM and instrumental music such as jazz.
In conclusion, Odin has one of the most masterful bass implementations out there. Any other iem with that tuning wouldn’t have lasted 5 mins in my ears. I listened to Odin for an hour and I kept wanting more. Enough said.