I’m a big fan Noble’s sound signature. Always well balanced and often tighter than Ryan Gosling’s ass, Noble usually manages to conquer every genre with incredible skill. With the very pricey Khan freshly opened on my desk, I was curious to see what Noble could deliver at the highest of high ends. Can the Khan compete with the other big boys? And is it worth mortgaging your house over? Let’s find out in this Noble Audio Khan In-Ear Monitors Review.
Noble Audio Khan In-Ear Monitors Review
Let’s start with the fact that the fit is way better than the Katana and Kaiser Encore. The housing is smooth and well contoured. And unlike their other top models, I didn’t have any problems with comfort. I’m also a fan of their elastic style over-ear wires, which make the buds super easy to pop in.
This hybrid 6 driver setup has 4 balanced armatures, one dynamic and one piezo electric tweeter. Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it. I’ve never listened to a piezo electric driver before, and researching the technology behind it, I was bored to death. So, let’s move on. Though Noble doesn’t reveal much about it’s 2 pin cables, this one is definitely thicker than its previous models. It certainly looks durable and the straight plug is fat and super solid. Other than that, there’s not too much to talk about here; Noble doesn’t release specs. So let’s talk turkey…
Overall Impressions: Well balanced, and incredibly tight with extremely precise imaging.
Noble Audio hit the sweet spot here. That’s what she said. The Khan delivers a ridiculously tight bass with satiating impact, while staying light enough to perfectly fall in line with the rest of mix. So, folks with bass anxiety can relax. That being said, the sub frequencies really come out to play when listening to hip-hop, and it will probably make your belly button vibrate. Listening to rock, the low-end is warm, though avoiding lushness. And acoustic double bass is incredibly nuanced and without a hint of resonance. A very clean profile.
The Khan delivers perfectly balanced and present mids. And besides displaying the full spectrum of sound in this range, the Khan does an amazing job in the clean layering the instrumentation. So, although you get a really full-bodied feel in big rock songs, even those instruments that are most embedded in the mix are brought forth with abundant clarity and richness. And again, the tightness and response is astounding. Pop tracks blew my hair back with amount of speed and control these buds produced. Snare drums were super compact, hitting me harder than a cement brick. Moving onto folk, acoustic guitars guitar strums were immaculate in their separation, even in the low-mids. And testing out some cellos, the Khan not only brought out a natural timbre, but also conveyed a floating fluidity that soulfully enriched the romance of the piece.
Listening to string solos in this range, the Khan displayed a good amount of transparency. But comparing it to lower priced IEMs with impressive highs, like the Campfire Andromeda, it didn’t present significantly more detail. And I didn’t do a AB comparison, but I wonder if it could compete with something like the 64 Audio Tia Fourte in this range. The highs feel ever so slightly extended, but I was playing the crap out of high pitched cymbals, so my ears may have been overstimulated. That being said, there was almost no sizzle, and you can’t call the sound signature bright. But I should mention that when listening to Miles Davis’ trumpet in the highest registers, it became piercing at times. But hey, that’s Miles.
Indeed, this is a soundstage worthy of the the price tag. Instrument placement is so spot on, that it revealed dimension I’ve rarely heard before. Imaging, in terms of width and height and depth was incredibly precise, and it brought my test tracks to a level of color that I’ve only experienced in the best IEMs.
Balance, speed and soundstage is what sets these buds apart from the rest. This versatile IEM is perfect for audiophiles who listen to all types of music and don’t like to change up their buds every time they switch genres. And let’s be honest. After buying these little gems, few will be able to afford another pair.
I’d give it 5 skulls if it was a little more affordable.