According to Merriam-Webster, empire may be defined as follows: imperial sovereignty, rule, or dominion. These IEMs fit this meaning sense especially well. Let me unpack my enthusiasm over this set.
Hardware: Schiit Audio Magni/Modi 3+; RME ADI 2 DAC FS; Effect Audio Fusion 1 cable and of course, the Empire Ears Odin.
Audio: Tidal (Dolby Atmos); AIFF, 24bit-48kHZ; FLAC, 16bit-44kHZ.; FLAC 24bit-192kHz; Roon Nucleus.
Tracks: Deep Water (Performed by Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar); Medicine Man (Performed by Dr. Dre, Eminem); Whatever Gets You Through the Night (Ultimate Mix) (Performed by John Lennon); Don’t Believe the Hype (2020 Mix Version) (Performed by Public Enemy); Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore (Performed by Walter Becker): XYX (Performed by deadmau5); To Live And Die in L.A. (Performed by Wang Chung).
From the busiest (Medicine Man) to the simplest of these recordings (Whatever Gets You Through the Night), the Odin did not disappoint. Admittedly, all these tracks are very well recorded and engineered, so there may be some bias in my evaluation; however a second tier IEM/Hheadphone does not bring out the best of excellently recorded/engineered music. The Odin is no second tier IEM. Detail and instrument separation are outstanding. The bass is thunderous and tactile, yet it never muddies the mids/highs. Vocals are sharp, forward, and distinct. Stevie Nicks sounds amazing, even though this recording is not the most forgiving, and I ought to know, as I have listened to The Chain hundreds of times. The treble is sharp but not offensive or too bright. The mids are rich and sound satisfying to my ear with excellent tonality.
On the Schiit stack it was easy to get lost in the music, as its sound is warm and colorful. Everything just sounded easy and enjoyable via the Odin. While the RME is slightly more analytical, it too offers a very enjoyable presentation, albeit more technical. It too gave the Odin a chance to show off its technical chops and boy did they ever. On Medicine Man every layer and complexity of the recording came bursting through on the Odin. I am going to slip in one more track: Come Live With Me Angel (Performed by Marvin Gaye), pure bliss is the best way to end this review.
Do I recommend the Odin? Well, that answer should be obvious but, just in case it is not, the response is a resounding, thunderous (just like the Odin’s bass) yes!