Empire Ears Bravado MKII Review

Fit

The Empire Ears Bravado MKII has a very comfortable fit with a smooth shape and nicely angled nozzle. The IEMs sit tight and flush, but comfortable at the same time. When it first arrived in my hands, I listened to the IEM a few hours and a few hours more in the evening, and I never felt any discomfort. The Final Audio tips work nicely for a sturdy fit and they’re also very comfortable, as I also experienced in the past with other IEMs.

If you want a little more comfort you can go for a SpinFit pair, but you’ll lose a bit of that isolation. Speaking of it, isolation is great for a universal IEM and but this model has bass ports for the subwoofer, so it’s slightly worse in that part versus the ESR model. However, you can use the Bravado MKII in any environment and enjoy your tunes. Just like the build quality, Empire has covered this topic very well.

Sound Quality

As I remarked, the Bravado represents fun and dynamism. And that’s exactly how it sounds. You will say “wow” when you first hear that bass and that crisp treble. In many ways, it shares a resemblance to the Hyla TE5B in terms of bass, except that it doesn’t have that mid-bass bump. It’s overall a U-shaped IEM, and the mid-range is a bit recessed, but not too much in my opinion. If you seek fun, the Bravado MKII is certainly the way to go.

Empire Ears Bravado MKII

Bass

The low-frequency region in the Bravado MKII is extremely impressive. The bass has great texture and reaches very very deep with that subwoofer. The Bravado MKII indeed has a huge bass quantity. But the thing is, it also has good decay, control, and speed. That’s probably because of the mid-bass, which is not that accentuated compared to the sub-bass. It has a sub-bass-oriented presentation and it gives excellent definition, rumble, and kick altogether.

So expect a very impressive, rumbling, and heavy-hitting bass region. But also do expect great control and resolution in this area. I personally would expect a messy and boomy performance when an IEM has this much bass quantity, but that’s not the case with the Bravado MKII. People who enjoy the Metal, Rock, and EDM genres would love this bass presentation, especially with electronic music. However, having this much bass can make you feel tired at times, depending on the songs you listen to, so be aware and make sure you listen to those kinds of genres most of the time.

Mids

The mid-range is clean and it has good resolution, but it’s not the most impressive feat of the new Bravado MKII. The mids are smooth, detailed, and transparent. But since the Bravado MKII is all about the bass, the mids don’t have too much air and space to really shine. The upper mid-range is elevated a bit and that particular area sounds very crisp and resolving. Female vocals are more impressive than male ones as a result.

The definition of mids is good as well as their resolution. And also, you get a good enough body in the mid-range which is enough for most genres. I would’ve preferred more blood in the lower mids, but I think a bit more mid-bass body would make this IEM too dark and extremely bass-heavy.

Empire Ears Bravado MKII

In terms of positioning, the mids are not under the spotlight since they’re a bit deep into the stage. Hence, the focus is not really on the mids. I don’t think it would be wrong to say that the Bravado MKII is a mid-shy IEM. Even though the mids are a bit behind the rest of the spectrum, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on your personal choice as always and comes down to the genre selection.

Treble

The EST drivers certainly make the treble smooth, effortless, and clean. This trait is also present with the Bravado MKII. Highs feel very resolving like the bass and they’re well extended. It’s smooth, very detailed but not aggressive or too accentuated either. The treble is on the crisper side but without any aggressiveness. So you can expect a bright treble, especially brighter against the ESR MKII, but not a treble that is uncontrolled and edgy.

There’s good sparkle and splashiness like some other EST monitors. So if you might find the ESR MKII lacking some excitement, you can definitely try the Bravado. There’s great treble definition and extension here, with very good crispness and air. I really liked the success of the treble, and I think EE implemented these new EST drivers really well.

Page 1 – Intro

Page 3 – Technical Performance, Comparisons, and Conclusion

4.6/5 - (51 votes)

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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 the same. 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 favorite Jazz recordings.

5 Comments

  • Reply July 1, 2021

    Kevin Glimmersten

    I’d love to find out how this one compared to the Alambic Ears Mundaka which is a audiophile basshead IEM with an identical driver setup but at €850, slightly more expensive.

    • Reply July 7, 2021

      Berkhan

      Wow, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard that brand. Interesting.

  • Reply July 1, 2021

    Frog

    Hey, will you review Thieaudio tribrids?

  • Reply July 10, 2021

    Steve

    I really wonder how this compares to the Valkyries, which I own…they seem very similiar….

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