Impressions: Noble's Kaiser Encore

After my review of the Dulce Bass, and long after those had been returned, Noble sent me their flagship IEMs. 10 custom Knowle Balanced Armature drivers, with passive crossovers propel sound out of the triple-bored canal and into the ear. These really are an experience unto themselves, and I'll try to do justice to what I've heard over the past few hours in this impressions post.

The first thing I noticed was clarity. There is no veil here. The treble shoots high, without much noticeable peakiness, although I reserve my final judgement until I've had more time with them. The bass is very, very well-controlled. It isn't flat, but it lies closer to neutral than I (candidly) expected. This certainly isn't a bad thing, as it allows the mids to take the stage, in a way. The mids, although a tiny bit shouty in the upper midrange, are very, very musical. This noticed shoutiness may also be a mental burn-in issue, so I, again, reserve final judgement for the full review. The intense detail reproduction and clarity allow vocalists to present as though they're right in the room with you, particularly on well-mastered tracks.

Something else that I noticed right off the bat was the imaging, separation, and soundstage. Maybe its the driver count, although much more likely the acoustic chamber and implementation, in conjunction with the crossover design, but these headphones have a surprisingly wide soundstage. They don't rival open-back over-ears, but they are certainly in leagues with the largest I've heard from closed-back IEMs. The imaging and separation are so good. Everything finds its exact place, immediately, with seemingly no effort or qualms. Every instrument, vocal line, and drum part is uniquely distinct, while still blending into a cohesive inside-the-head image. Massive props to Noble here; very impressive, even on just an initial listen.

I'm going to spend a lot more time with these in my ears over the next few weeks and come back with a more educated and in-depth review, but I can say now that these really embody the flagship moniker. They sound immediately and, more importantly, recognizably, incredible, even on a cursory, relatively casual listen. A big "thank you" to Noble for sending these out to me, I'm very excited to see what they have in store for me over this review period.