Disclaimer: This post is part of our Picture Sunday series, where we take a first look at new products in our queue. You can find all previous ones here.
Just a few weeks ago, Empire Ears has introduced their new models – the Wraith and the Valkyrie. Now that the cat is out of the bag, we can share more information about them. We have already published a little bit about the new flagship, but today it’s time to cover Valkyrie.
In the past months we have seen many manufacturers offering triple hybrid designs. There’s AAW’s Canary, Jomo Audio’s Trinity, the Elysium by Vision Ears and of course Noble’s Khan and Hyla’s CE-5 and the new TE-5B and TE-5T. They all use three different driver technologies to reproduce audio in the best way possible.
Empire Ears has been secretly crafting a triple driver, tri-hybrid design as well. The Valkyrie has been in the making for a couple of months. It comes with a Weapon IX dynamic low end driver, a BA for mids and a Sonion e-stat tweeter. EE has implemented a four way synX crossover and their new EIVEC technology. This one is for better handling of the electrostatic driver.
I have gotten a tech-sheet of the new Valkyrie and it tells me that it has a sensitivity of 96 decibels (@1kHz) and an ultra-low impedance of 3 ohms. Those numbers already suggest that it’s a harder to drive monitor. While it does indeed need some juice (~45 on High Gain with Lotoo PAW Gold Touch), it can also be driven by less powerful sources. I find it best performing when using a high powered DAP or DAC/Amp like the Chord Hugo2 or Woo Audio WA11.
Valkyrie comes equipped with an Effect Audio Eros II cable, while most other EE models come with the Ares II. Empire Ears found this particular pairing so good, that they had no other choice than to include it.
The size of Valkyrie is also very nice. It is considerably smaller than most other high-end In Ear Monitors. It’s comfortable to wear and sits very snug in my ears with the provided Final Audio Type E tips.
Sonically Valkyrie is a super exciting IEM. It features an engaging low end with great resolution and excellent authority. A harmonic and emotional midrange with an open sound and superb vocals. A clean but soft treble that is never on the edge of fatigue or sibilance for me. While the Valkyrie might not be a top of the line product per se, it punches above it’s price range and can compete in certain terms with the Legend X.
Wraith is the new king over at Empire Ears, but the Valkyrie might be the one with the best bang for buck rating in their line-up. People who want a monitor with that makes you throw your fists in the air of excitement should consider the new Empire Ears Valkyrie!
We will of course go into more detail in the full length review.