Disclaimer: Lime Ears has provided the custom Model X free of charge for the purpose of this honest review. I only had to cover the costs for getting my impressions done and to ship them to Poland. It will stay in my collection and serve the purpose as reference model for future reviews. I will also use it for my personal listening of course. Lime Ears is not a site advertiser. Many thanks!
About Lime Ears
Lime Ears is a Polish CIEM company that has been around for some years now. They started out working with professional sound engineers and musicians but have shifted their focus on the audiophile consumers a while ago with their triple driver and their flagship Aether. Since the five-driver Aether it has been quiet about Lime Ears though.
Emil luckily gave me a little history lesson about Lime Ears:
When I was asked by Lieven if I’d want to review Lime’s newest creation I had no idea what to expect. I only knew he was very much into the Aether and that the new one would be a custom with a bass-switch. Even after I have received my set, I have not known anything else apart from that and the name, though I thought ‘Model X’ would be a codename and it would change once it’s released. On October 5th Lime Ears has announced their new model officially and they have revealed a little more info about it.
Model X is a four BA-driver model, with vented dual low-end BA’s, single mid-driver and single high frequency driver. It features as already mentioned a switch to boost low end (<800Hz) by around 8dB. Model X will set you back 890€ with standard choices, and price will go up depending on your personalization.
According to their website boosting bass response has three purposes:
Depending on listening level to make use of the Fletcher-Munson law (for lower listening levels the bass can be boosted to make it better audible)
Depending on level and quality of bass in the recording (if the bass is great it can be made very powerful, on the other hand if material is not to well mixed and lows are becoming boomy and out of control they might be trimmed down)
Depending on external noise levels (If you’re listening in noisy environment like airplane, subway or similar where low-end noise masks the lows, you might want to switch them up).
Apart from that Lime Ears has also introduced their PAR technology, which features a Passive Acoustic Radiator.
Emil again provides us with more information:
Like in previous models Lime is also using VariBore again, this makes use of different diameters for their soundbores, specific to the frequency they carry. For instance, the sound bore for high frequencies is abour 2mm thin and together with a damper is responsible for a smooth and clean sound.
We use different bore diameters for different groups of the transducers. Subwoofer and low frequencies are delivered through 1mm bores and mid-high frequencies are delivered through 2mm bore. Increased bore diameter has the biggest impact on highest frequencies: reducing the air friction and diminishing resonant effects. The result is better high-end extension (compared to smaller bores) and what is most important fever resonances (peaks and valleys in FR) causing the highs to be less harsh, more silky and natural.
Custom build choices (Personalization)
When you are about to place an order for a custom built Model X you have a wide array of different choices, you can pick from 17 different colours, get glitter shells in three different kinds or you can get a set with premium colours (either Nebula or Cosmic Swirl). And that’s just for the body, you can then add different colours or materials for your face plate, and on top you can also add different materials to the entire set, such as 24k gold flakes, dust, watch parts and so on. All in all, you have a very big set of choices to go through. While you are doing this, a preview model will adapt to your choices in real time, so you always have an idea what your model will look like.
Apart from colours and materials you can also have either the Lime Ears logo or anything you want laser engraved on the face plate. You can also pick between two different cable-colours and decide to get your Peli 1015 case personalized with your name.
For an upcharge of 180€ you can boost your order to get it build in eight work-days, though it is recommended to ask for availability of this service prior to placing the rush order.
I personally went with a Nebula design, simply because I like my monitors to become little pieces of art. My set features a black background with gold and blue clouds.
It continues with Package, Build quality and Sound on page two