Review: Noble Audio Khan – King of Kings

Noble Audio Khan

Sound:

I have always been fond of Noble’s creations. The Kaiser 10 was my first ever custom IEM, and it still holds a special place in my heart. Later on it was accompanied by the Sage, Kaiser Encore and Katana. Noble’s all-BA designs have tickled my fancy, but I probably was never as intrigued as when Noble told me about their upcoming Khan. A hybrid using three different technologies.

Khan has a very powerful bass reproduction, it’s fast, physical and full of impact. Lows have high resolution and excellent texture. It reaches very deep, with a guttural sub-bass rumble. Sub-bass creates a superb foundation for the rest of Khan’s signature to stand on. Mid- and upper-bass have good body and weight, but they’re not tuned to be in your face sounding. Quality here definitely is before quantity, as it’s not a particular bass-head monitor. The Khan, however, certainly knows how to throw a punch when needed.

Noble Audio Khan

Noble Audio Khan

Midrange is filled with resolution and air, it has very good texture and transports nice amounts of emotions and blood. Instruments are realistic, with the right amount of body and weight. There is a slight emphasis on lower mids rather than upper midrange, where male vocals are more favored. Though female singers also shine, they are especially rich and hard to let go.

Treble is something special again, and the piezo driver really does a great job here. Highs are fast, energetic and incredibly clean. They extend wide into the upper registers and have a wonderful sparkly presentation. Treble is detailed and rich, here lower treble shines more. I never felt the Khan would be sibilant or harsh.

The technical performance of the Khan also is very good. It creates a wide and deep sound stage, with immaculate resolution and imaging. The detail retrieval of Khan is very good, and I can hear fine nuances of the sound with ease. The stereo separation and imaging of Khan are very high quality. It creates enough room for the musicians to walk through, without getting in the way of each other.

Khan is a good all-rounder, and doesn’t particularly favor any genre or style. It presents a one-size fits-all kind of sound, where Classical, Industrial, Electronic, Jazz and Rock are played really well. It also isn’t an overly picky IEM when it comes to bad recordings, as it is a forgiving monitor with a close to neutral signature.

Noble Audio Khan

Noble Audio Khan

Aftermarket Cables:

Noble says that the supplied cable with Khan is an improvement to their previous stock cable. That’s true, but a good aftermarket cable still can tickle out a little more here and there with Khan. Cable rolling is not advised by Noble, and any damage caused by it, is on the customer’s hands. Noble does not provide warranty for that.

Effect Audio – Leonidas II

The Leonidas II usually brings out the very best of any monitor, and the Khan is no exception here. The already excellent imaging just stepped up and has become even better. Resolution is higher and the instrumental separation is just perfect.

What I like about Leonidas II is, that it doesn’t necessarily change the signature of the IEM it’s hooked up to, but elevates it to new heights. The key sound of Khan is still intact, but it just gains sound stage dimensions, layering and speed.

It goes on after the jump!

Review: Noble Audio Khan – King of Kings
4.9 (97.5%) 16 votes

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

    13 Comments

    • Reply March 14, 2019

      James

      Nice to see you enjoying the Noble Audio Khan too!

      After trying out most of the latest batch of flagship iems, the Khan stood out. It is almost perfect, except the price ;)..but I still preordered anyways.

      My recent flagship iems ranking:

      1. Noble Khan
      2. Campfire Solaris
      3. QDC Anole VX
      4. Meze Rai Penta
      5. JVC FW10000
      6. Sony z1r
      7. Jomo Trinity

      • Reply March 15, 2019

        Terry

        Khan has a serious problem connecting to a smartphone such as an iPhone.
        This is obviously a device problem.
        So I can’t give Khan a score.
        Noble must resolve this device’s defects quickly.

        Here’s my ranking.
        1. Jomo Trinity
        2. QDC Anole VX
        3. Legend X
        3. JVC FW10000
        4. Campfire Solaris
        5. Sony z1r
        X. Noble Khan

        • Reply March 15, 2019

          Linus

          Hi Terry,
          thanks for your comment.
          I’ve heard about the iPhone problem, unfortunately I don’t have one to confirm. It works well with my OnePlus 5t.
          Cheers

        • Reply March 20, 2019

          Steven Zore

          Hey Terry:

          Looking at your rankings… I listened to the Trinity at NYC Canjam and thought it was an utter disaster… Yet you rank it #1.. LOL, Love this hobby!

      • Reply March 15, 2019

        Linus

        Hi James,
        thanks for your comment.
        Nice list you got there.
        I agree, Khan is very nice. Of course the price is always a big factor, but compared to other flagship prices it’s still more “normal”.
        Have a great weekend.

    • Reply March 14, 2019

      Aureen

      How would you compare Khan to the CA Solaris? From both a pure SQ standpoint as well as a price / value ratio.

      • Reply March 15, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Aureen,
        thanks for your comment.
        I have zero experience with the Solaris, sorry, can’t help you there.
        Have a great weekend!

    • Reply March 16, 2019

      Nitish

      How does Khan compares to Hyla TE5T? Both have tri hybrid topology.
      Thanks

      • Reply March 17, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Nitish,
        thanks for your comment.
        The 5T is considerably brighter up top and has a lighter, less powerful bass. The Khan is fuller and more dynamic. The 5T in my opinion needs a tube amp or warm source to keep that treble away from being too hot. It’s a rich treble, but too forward for my taste.
        A review of the TE-5B and 5T will be out soon. 🙂

        • Reply March 19, 2019

          Nitish

          Thanks Linus
          With LPGT, TE5T was too hot. I am pairing TE5T with sp1000cu & EA horus; excellent synergy imho.The bass improves a lot in quantity with JVC spiral dots for me but spinfits cp155 (M) has the best balance.
          Cheers

          • Reply March 19, 2019

            Linus

            No worries Nitish.
            You’re right, the 5T is source dependent, but for me it’s still on the edge. The only ones that keep it safe for me are pairings with tube amps (Oriolus BA-10 or Woo Audio WA8).

    • Reply March 17, 2019

      Jason Kang

      What’s cable rolling?

      • Reply March 17, 2019

        Linus

        Hi Jason,
        cable rolling is when you exchange the supplied stock cable with an aftermarket cable.
        Hope that helps.
        Cheers

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