Welcome to Linus’ new interview series on Headfonia.com! Every two weeks we will publish an interview with an insider of the audio industry. They will give us a little insight on how they started and what they are up to. We are thrilled to be able to share a little something with all of you.
We’re back on schedule with the one and only Jack Vang of Empire Ears introducing his new lineup!
HFN: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Empire Ears
JV: I’m the Vice President and co-founder of Empire Ears.
HFN: What was the kick-off of Empire Ears?
JV: 3 years ago I launched my very first IEM retail brand, EarWerkz, on KickStarter and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would’ve taken off the way that it did. We surpassed our goal by over 300% and shortly after that orders began piling up to the ceiling, literally. Our team was over exhausted from the work and it got to the point where we just slept at the lab. It was overwhelming and ultimately the customer suffered so I knew at this point that something HAD to change. After a short consultation session with my father, who owns a hearing aid and IEM OEM manufacturer, we merged EarWerkz with his company and thus Empire was born.
HFN: Who are the people behind Empire Ears and what are their backgrounds?
JV: Dean is the founder and CTO of Empire Ears. He’s been heavily involved in the hearing aid and medical device industry since the early 80’s and only recently started doing OEM IEMs 10 years ago. Dean majored in electrical engineering and audiology and was a full time musician in his early days.
Catherine Young is our CEO and she oversees all of the financial and operation aspects of the business. She graduated from Saint Catherine’s University with a PhD in Psychology.
DJ Perry is our artist relations manager and oversees everything involved with the pro industry side of our business. DJ recently graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelors in Music and Entertainment.
Ethan Groover is our newest recruit and serves as a jack-of-all-trades, helping Empire wherever and whenever he can.
HFN: Who are your influences?
JV: Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, Elon Musk, Sun Tze, Dean Vang
HFN: What’s the most underrated Empire product?
JV: Without a doubt the Phantom. It’s not exactly a consumer friendly sound but once you undertand it you’ll realize that it’s something truly special.
HFN: You officially launched your new lineup just now, please tell us a bit about it.
JV: We have 7 new models divided into 2 different series, X and EP.
Both series were tuned in collaboration with multi-Grammy award winners in order to fully understand firsthand what it was that professional required from in-ear monitors. The Empire Pro (EP) Series employs balanced armature driver setups and the lineup consists of 3 models: EVR (Empire Vocal Reference), ESR (Empire Studio Reference), and Phantom. Each one purpose built for a specific use.
The X Series consists of 4 models: Bravado, Vantage, Nemesis, and Legend X and shifts the focus towards hi-fi.
We wanted to create a full sounding, out of your head experience, while keeping it all in a portable package. This was all made possible with synX, A.R.C., and our all new W9 dynamic driver.
Stay tuned for the full story and development behind each model.
Jump to the next page to learn more about Empire’s new lineup!