Today we’re taking a quick look at the new Empire Ears Wraith. It’s an eleven driver hybrid design using four electrostatic tweeters.
Disclaimer: This post is part of our Picture Sunday series, where we take brief looks at new gear in the queue. To check out previous ones you can do that here.
I have loved my Zeus XIV CIEM from the day I got it. It had impeccable mids, superb detailing and a wonderfully constructed stage. It only was flawed by a light low end. Zeus has made many fans around the globe and has even been re-released in different flavours. We have seen the original XIV, a reference R tuning and both together with the XR. On top of that, there was also the option to add an Adel module…
For the last twelve months or so, Empire Ears has been crafting their new flagship, a successor to the wildly popular Zeus. The team at Empire has been working on their Wraith with high forces to make it something unique, but they didn’t want to look past its predecessor’s signature.
Wraith comes in an eleven driver configuration. It uses seven balanced armatures and four electrostatics with two transformers. Of course it utilizes Empire’s proprietary synX crossover system in a five way structure. It has a sensitivity of 117dB (measured at 1kHz) and an impedance of just four Ohms. During many listening sessions I could not detect any impedance issues with different sources.
A new introduction in terms of technology is EIVEC – Empire Intelligent Variable Electrostatic Control. It’s said to seamlessly harmonize the quadruple e-stat drivers in there. Whatever it is that EIVEC is doing exactly, it’s doing a great job.
I’ve been lucky enough to have spent a fair amount of time with a prototype of Wraith during the last couple of weeks, and during that time I have gotten to know Wraith pretty well. It features a one-of-a-kind clean signature where every little note, no matter how loud or silent, gets produced effortlessly and clear. I can hear the finest beeps with Wraith. People who adored Zeus will be pleasantly taken care of with Wraith too in my opinion.
Wraith does feature more body and weight in the low end, compared to Zeus, but hasn’t forgotten about the emotions, details, resolution and sheer accuracy of the midrange. Wraith possesses a sound that is filled with information and richness. It’s a monitor that always is in control, an IEM that handles and organizes big orchestras like it’s just one person with a guitar playing. Wraith is the ultimate conductor.
We will take a more in depth look at Wraith in due course in the full length review!