Effect Audio Pilgrim Noir Review

Today we review the Effect Audio Pilgrim Noir hybrid IEM, which sells for $799 USD.


Disclaimer: Effect Audio is not affiliated with Headfonia in any way. The unit was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank Elysian Acoustic Labs & Effect Audio for making this happen.

Elysian Acoustic Labs

Elysian is already known for its highly-regarded IEMs, notably the Annihilator which surfaced in 2019-2020 before the 2023 edition came up. We reviewed that one as below:

The brand was founded by Lee Quan Min. Lee began his journey in the audio industry through DIY research and refurbishing an Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10. He eventually expanded his skills to provide re-shell services and create in-ear monitors, receiving high acclaim for his work. While Elysian is not yet widely known in Europe, the brand enjoys significant popularity in the Eastern market.

Effect Audio

Based in Singapore, Effect Audio is renowned for its high-quality audiophile cables and strong industry partnerships. Established in 2014, they’ve become a top recommendation for audiophiles.

Since 2021, Effect Audio has expanded its offerings, with cables ranging from $179 to $4,999. This ensures options for all budgets and preferences, from entry-level to ultra-high-end. Effect Audio’s dedication to innovation and quality makes it a leading choice for audiophiles seeking the best in audio cables.

Pilgrim Noir

The Effect Audio Pilgrim Noir is an IEM collaboration between Elysian Acoustic Labs and Effect Audio. This marks their second collective effort in the IEM space following the Gaea IEM, which we reviewed in late 2022.

The Pilgrim Noir is an upgraded version of the recently released Pilgrim by Elysian Acoustics Labs. We’ve reviewed the original Pilgrim just a few days ago; you can check it out below:

What’s New in the Pilgrim Noir?

Additional Crossover and Different High Frequency Driver:

  • The Pilgrim Noir retains the original 9.2mm LSR Dynamic Driver but otherwise has a different driver configuration.
  • Pilgrim: 1x LSR Dynamic 1x Sonion 2300 2x Sonion E50
  • Pilgrim Noir: 1x LSR Dynamic 2x Sonion 2300 1x Knowles Tubeless BA
  • Features a 4-way crossover network instead of the 3-way in the original Pilgrim

Enhanced Cable and Internal Wiring:

  • Comes with an Effect Audio Eros S cable in black colour, known for its quality and synergy with high-end IEMs.
  • Internal wiring is upgraded with a bespoke mix of exotic palladium, copper, and silver.

Design Upgrades:

  • The Pilgrim Noir sports a sophisticated black and gold design, offering a more serious and refined look compared to the original’s cool and fresh appearance.


The Pilgrim Noir arrived without any packaging to me, so I can’t comment on the unboxing experience. I assume it’s a similar experience to the standard model, so let me include the same section below:

The Pilgrim is packaged in a medium-sized, luxurious and premium box. Upon opening it, you find the earpieces on top right away. The compartment below contains the carrying case, the cable, ear tips, and the cleaning tool. The SpinFit tips provided by the Pilgrim are exceptionally comfortable and add to the overall quality of the product. However, they only come in three sizes, which may be underwhelming for some users.

Despite its luxurious and premium appearance, the carrying case is practical and designed to protect the monitors. It is sturdy enough to provide sufficient protection for an IEM of this price range. Overall, I found the Pilgrim’s packaging to be very nice, though it could have been improved with a greater variety of ear tips.

Design & Build

The Elysian Acoustic Labs Pilgrim Noir stands out with its sophisticated aesthetic and robust construction, mirroring the design of the standard Pilgrim but in an all-black colour scheme. The faceplates are luxurious and shiny, adorned with golden EA and EAL logos, giving the Noir version a more serious and refined appearance.

The build quality of the Pilgrim Noir is excellent, ensuring durability and longevity. The shells are crafted from high-quality materials, maintaining the same robust and sturdy feel as the standard model. However, the luxurious design does come with a caveat: the faceplate area is particularly prone to scratches and dents. Users will need to handle the Pilgrim Noir with extra care to preserve its pristine appearance.

A notable feature of the Pilgrim Noir is its use of P-Ear (Pentaconn Ear) connectors, which provide a more stable connection with less rotation compared to MMCX connectors. This design makes them less likely to disconnect and easier to attach, although the IEM socket appears somewhat fragile with a single pin on top, so careful handling is advised.

Additionally, the Pilgrim Noir comes with an upgraded Eros S cable that is nicely braided, offering good tensile strength and a pleasant feel. This cable includes conX and termX connectors, providing more flexibility and options.


The Pilgrim Noir strikes a good balance in size and comfort. Its relatively compact and non-bulky design ensures a nice fit. I found that the SpinFit tips provided with the Pilgrim offer the best comfort and fit, even when compared to other popular tips like Spiral Dots, Final E types, and those from other IEMs. The nozzle length is ideal, ensuring a secure and flush fit in the ears. The compact size contributes to a low-profile and comfortable wearing experience, making it suitable for extended listening sessions.

In noise isolation, the Pilgrim Noir might not be the top performer. However, its comfort level makes up for this, providing a pleasant wearing experience. It’s important to note that comfort can be subjective and vary from person to person. One potential challenge is the nozzle diameter, which is larger than many other monitors on the market. This can make attaching the SpinFit tips a bit tricky. Nonetheless, the Pilgrim Noir delivers a secure and comfortable fit.

Page 2: Sound Quality
Page 3: Technical Performance, Sources, Comparisons, Conclusion
4.4/5 - (54 votes)

A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.


  • Reply May 30, 2024


    Great review thanks

  • Reply May 31, 2024


    Hi Berkhan
    How does the pilgrim noir compare to the softears rsv?
    Cheers Jonathan

  • Reply May 31, 2024


    Do you think noir is worth the increase price over pilgrim?

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