Noble Audio Viking Ragnar Review

Sound

When I first got to listen to the Ragnar, I was quite surprised. I expected it to be a musical and warm-sounding monitor, but that’s not the case. The Viking Ragnar aims to sound extremely resolving, flat, and clear with a bright treble and analytical approach.

After that initial surprise, I started to realise the coherency and the technical performance, and both are very very impressive. Viking Ragnar is definitely a detail and resolution king. In its own type of presentation, it’s also one of the most cohesive-sounding IEMs I’ve heard to date. However, it needs some seasoned ears to prove its qualities. Because Ragnar is one of those monitors that don’t excite and heavily impress on first listen. You need to spend a bit of time with it, and in my opinion, it requires a lot of experience beforehand to fully appreciate it.

So if you have a high-end source, have experienced ears and have used at least a few top-end monitors before, then you’ll know that Ragnar is very, very good.

Bass

The bass in the Ragnar is on the subtle side of things. The best part however is the extreme high quality of the bass. In terms of pure quantity, it doesn’t impress that much, but the texture, quickness and naturalness of the bass are very impressive. It doesn’t miss anything from a pure technical sound perspective. If you like a heavy-hitting bass with lots of rumble and kick, you won’t find it in the Ragnar. 

But that doesn’t mean that you’ll miss the bass details, or bass presence, in any way. The Ragnar provides every bit of texture, detail, resolution and control in the bass section. In terms of reference kind of bass goes, this is simply as good as it gets. Lows are also quite quick, with fast decay and recovery. 

And once you pair it with a natural, organic and warm-sounding source with good musicality, it certainly becomes a very satisfying sound. So it’s not necessarily a “boring” or “too flat” sound with the Ragnar. It gives you the required definition in the bass with great detail and you can hear every nuance in the bass as well.

Regarding bass balance, I think Ragnar lays down to the sub-bass side a bit, and depending on the recording, you may hear a deep, rumbling sub-bass, especially with Final Audio tips. So yes, I say the bass quantity is not very high, but once it’s paired with that kind of source, with that kind of music, and with that kind of ear tip selection, you will definitely hear that rumbling bass.

Mids

The mids have good breath, clarity and resolution. In terms of technicalities and sheer detail/focus, it’s very difficult to find a better IEM than the Ragnar. However, you can definitely find more musical and warm ones. Ragnar is not about pure joy or sole musicality. It relies on its technical capabilities, which are outstanding, and it’s not interested in sounding in the most satisfactory way. 

So the mids overall are not coloured in any way. It’s surely smooth, but not thick or not that full compared to other tribrid flagship models. The overall detail in this part of the spectrum is just absolutely incredible, as well as instrument separation and sharpness.

In terms of presentation, I think the mid-range is a bit forward, especially in the upper mid-range. That way the mids sound very clear and definitive. It’s not a dramatic tonality though, it’s subtle. So it doesn’t mess up the overall balance or the coherency of the IEM. 

So the story is just like in the bass region. The tonality is lean and neutral, and there’s not much musicality (maybe a little, but that’s it), but the technical level is fantastic. You hear every bit of detail, with perfect transparency. Apart from that, the transient response is very good with amazing PRaT. That way it never sounds crowded or congested. It separates every element perfectly. Though, you of course need a flagship-grade source to hear that.

Treble

The common and maybe the only complaint about the Ragnar is its bright, and at times fatiguing treble. Though that heavily relies on tip and source selection, which I’ll touch upon just below, you can’t deny the incredible treble performance when it comes to technicalities and true sound. 

When it comes to IEMs, this is the current pinnacle in my opinion for a definitive, extending and purely transparent treble. The performance here is absolutely incredible. Not necessarily the most satisfying, smooth or laid-back treble for your taste maybe, but from an objective standpoint, the Ragnar can put up a fight with any IEM in the market today in terms of treble performance.

The transparency in this part is superb. This detailed and high-resolution performance stands out the most in the Ragnar. Those who have experienced flagship monitors should get what I mean here. The electrostatic IEM drivers have certainly come a long way from their first couple of years. The treble is fantastically detailed, extended and separated. 

If you like warm and smooth IEMs, the Viking Ragnar’s treble might come a bit too sparkling and bright. On long listening sessions, this presentation can become overwhelming, especially with metal and rock music. However, this can be countered with a warm source and different tips. I will come to that part very shortly.

Page 1: Noble Audio, Viking Ragnar, Package, Build, Design, Fit
Page 3: Technical Performance, Cables, Tips, Synergy
Page 4: Comparisons & Conclusion
4.4/5 - (49 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. 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.

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