Noble Audio Viking Ragnar Review

Technical Performance

This is the area where Viking Ragnar shines the most. As you can see, even when describing the tonality and overall sound, I couldn’t wait to glorify its technicalities even before this part so far.

The Ragnar is absolutely impressive in technicalities. In particular, the dynamism and transients are fabulous. If I have to give an example; think about going to an electrostatic headphone from a dynamic or planar one.

That’s what happens with the Ragnar when you switch from another IEM. The focus, the speed, and the separation are the key points here. As you probably know, an electrostatic headphone is not necessarily a more enjoyable one from the pure musicality standpoint, especially with Stax headphones, but you know that the overall sound is simply astonishing in terms of speed, resolution and PRaT.

So yes, it’s not the most musical IEM at all, but surely one of the most impressive out there. I’m talking about endgame technical performance here, nothing less. As for soundstage, the Ragnar sounds very wide and deep. Is it the widest-sounding set? Not sure, since even the Kublai Khan sounds incredibly wide, so it’s not all about the width here. But the overall staging factor in the Ragnar is easily one of the best, again.

However, I do think that the imaging performance is more impressive than the staging performance. The Ragnar sounds very very sharp, and ready to take whatever challenge you throw at it. It manages to sound well-layered, focused and separated with every recording unless the recording quality itself is very poor. So if you seek the utmost performance in imaging, this is the IEM to get. 

Aftermarket Cables?

The supplied cable with Ragnar is the Magnus 4 which is sold at 1200$ when purchased alone. It is a 4 Core Graphene/OCCC-AG cable with a 4.4mm Pentaconn plug. It has fantastic build quality, has no microphonics, and it’s very smooth and soft.

I experienced other pretty good cables for the Ragnar, including the Brise Audio Yatono Ultimate, Effect Audio Cleopatra II OCTA and CODE 23. All of them are great cables, but I think the Magnus 4 is the best combination for the Ragnar. The supplied cable simply performs the best, with the most cohesive presentation, and the widest soundstage. So if you have the Ragnar or you’re planning to get one, just know that the supplied cable is no slouch at all. 

Tip Selection

As usual, the ear tips are quite important for the sound of the Ragnar. Noble supplies many options, and I think the best ones for this particular set are the foam tips. Since the treble can become a bit hot and fatiguing over long periods of time, the foam tips provide good comfort and smoothness. They’re also great for isolation. 

If you don’t want to kill off the treble that much, then my recommendation would be the Final Audio E Type tips. They provide the best balance to me and I’m daily using the IEM with these tips. They boost the bass a little, balance out the treble while keeping its energy, and don’t affect the mid-range. I strongly recommend these to the Ragnar. What I don’t recommend is the tips that have large diameters, as they boost the treble a bit. Of course, every experience is different but that’s my particular case.

Synergy

As you can guess, this is simple. Warm sources perform great with the Ragnar. Examples? Well, I can give the SP2000cu or an iBasso DX320. I don’t have any Sony WM1Z anymore in my possession, but I guess that one would do well too. 

I mostly used the Ragnar with the HIBY RS8, and it’s one of the most amazing combinations in the portable(?) market today. The soundstage and imaging performance with this setup is astonishing. However, for the smoothest combination, the SP2000cu and DX320 worked better. For king technical performance, the RS8 does the trick. 

Page 1: Noble Audio, Viking Ragnar, Package, Build, Design, Fit
Page 2: Sound
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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