In this review we check out the latest IEM from Empire Ears – the Hero. It retails for $1,349 USD and is their latest hybrid monitor.
Disclaimer: Empire Ears provided the Hero free of charge for this review. I only had to pay for importing the product. Headfonia is not affiliated with Empire Ears and they are not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity. The Hero remains EE’s sole property and can be asked back at any time – no questions asked.
About Empire Ears
Empire Ears is an American IEM and custom IEM company, seated in Norcross, Georgia. They are no new face to the audiophile world. The main people behind Empire are Jack Vang, vice president and co-founder, and his father Dean Vang, the main man behind tuning and development of their products. Before the Empire brand was launched, Jack Vang was owner of a very successful company called EarWerkz. In late 2015 Jack joined forces with his father and merged with Dean’s company, who was working on hearing aids and OEM in ears, to form Empire Ears. This step took their business to the next level.
Currently Empire Ears has divided their products into two different lines: the EP (Empire Professional) and X line-up. The EP line is aiming for their professional clientèle of musicians, while
the X series is purpose built for the audiophile world. That doesn’t mean that an audiophile can’t enjoy the products of the EP series though. Just see how many people have been raving about the
Phantom, their five-driver IEM.
All their products are hand-made in their facilities. Returning customers don’t have to send in new impressions each time, as Empire stores them for future events. Empire Ears is one of the companies that looks further than just their tuning. They also worked meticulously on finding the best materials to optimize their drivers. Therefore, they have introduced a special driver coating and a highly advanced new crossover network.
They have reached critical acclamation with their flagship monitor of their previous Olympus line, the Zeus. The Zeus is still regarded as one of the best monitors created, and I see many people still raving about their Zeus XIV, Zeus XR or Zeus R monitors. Personally, I own a Zeus XIV and wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. The cycle of life doesn’t stop for Zeus though, and last year EE introduced the Wraith as its successor.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we checked out the Odin – their latest flagship – for you. Today we are back with the Hero. A more affordable hybrid IEM.
The Hero is Empire’s latest hybrid IEM. It uses an updated Weapon 9+ driver for lows and three proprietary balanced armatures for mids and highs. It is touted as an offspring of their most
successful flagships to date – the Zeus and the Legend X. We will see a bit later if that holds true or not.
With an impedance of 17.6 Ohms (@1kHz) and a rated sensitivity of 105db/mW it is a regularly easy to drive monitor on paper. I always found EE’s hybrids to scale with proper amplification, and
in my opinion, this is also the case for the Hero. It responds very well to a high quality amp circuit.
Hero uses a four-way synX crossover network to assign frequencies to the respective drivers. With a frequency response of 5-40kHz it does go above human’s nature of hearing. The Hero is available through EE’s retail channels for 1,349 USD.
The review continues on page two!