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.
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 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!