Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus Universal IEMssearch

Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus Universal IEMs

Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus Universal IEMs

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Stickied
Who is stronger than Zeus?  This new Zeus.
Empire Ears was on our radar back in 2016, when a couple of community members pinged me and said that Jack was such a great guy and I should really check out their line-up because so many of the models/Gods sounded great.
The overall balance in the original Olympus product line was impressive. Some of the community favorites were the Spartan, Apollo, Athena, & Zeus. A lot of care was taken with the mids and to deliver a linear sound with all of the music and nothing masked.  
At 2016 RMAF, I snapped this pic of Jack…with wings:
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This was a good omen as we listened to the line-up.  He definitely helped this project happen today.  AND- if you sneak a peek at the background to the left of Jack…that’s our tuner, the Co-Founder and Engineer Dean Vang.
Speaking of tuning, I asked Dean Vang about his approach to tuning earlier this year at their new facility in Georgia:
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Dean plays guitar and bass.  He knows what these instruments sound like and he is heavily influenced by the feel of live shows.  Paraphrasing, Dean “tunes for a sound that gives the feeling of live energy from going to a show but with a studio-produced quality in terms of polish in the presentation”. We spoke about combining elements of Zeus and Athena into a new model and Dean even made some new prototypes.  While we are enjoying the process of thinking about doing something new, Jack and I kept coming back to thinking about the original Zeus XIV that made such an impact and has been so influential.  There is still so much chatter and buzz on the boards about Zeus; how could we deliver this community favorite in an accessible but uncompromised way? A lot of work and partnership, it turns out.  We’re very excited today to to announce this collaboration to the audiophile community.
After spending time with Zeus, I marvel at how much information the 14 drivers deliver to the brain. Some of it must be attributed to how sensitive they are (how little power/signal is needed get all these drivers moving) combined with the lack of dampers.  There is a direct connection from the drivers to your eardrum. It’s hard for me to do complex work while listening to these, the detail is distracting and something to get used to. (Years ago I read ClieOS’ massive earbud comparison thread on Head-Fi.org and he said he liked some earbuds that were not as detailed so he could get some work done at times, ha! I understand.)  
When it comes to a top-of-the-line (TOTL) item…you want it to deliver a special experience, to do something extraordinary.  The middle of the Zeus presentation has a 3-dimensional quality and a level of resolution that I find very addictive.  
Audiophile Ambrosia Same drivers, same crossovers, new construction. · 14 Knowles drivers (6 high, 6 mid, 2 low) per ear! · 7-way Crossover circuit · No dampers · Air/Treble · Holographic headstage · Tons of sonic information- extremely sensitive system IMPROVED Durability · ABS shell & Faceplate · stainless steel nozzle · wax guard · recessed socket for improved cable strain relief & less contamination
EMPIRE EARSIt’s a Family Affair Dean- Engineer/Co-Founder Catherine- CEO/Co-Founder Jack- VP of Sales Victor- Operations Manager Lauren- Shipping/Logistics Richard- Graphic Arts Kay- Technician Made in Georgia
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From Flinkenick: Rank #2: Empire Ears Zeus-XIV “Zeus-XIV was awe-inspiring, as the first iem to pass the 12 BA mark – the earphone community felt collectively lifted to another level. Despite initial scepticism, it quickly became apparent that Zeus’ driver count was more than a gimmick” “Zeus is an iem that never fails to impress me. It combines high resolution with an impressive stage, and power in its sound. Leave it to 14 drivers to hit you with a wall of sound – to floor you even. There’s solidity in its sound, enhanced by its forward vocals.” https://theheadphonelist.com/rank-2-empire-ears-zeus-xiv/
I’ve dreamt for a long time of being able to bring Zeus to our community on Massdrop.   Luckily, Jack dreamt with me…many thanks to Empire Ears for making this happen!
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VAS007
Yeah, I left the drop for exactly this reason after there was no response to my previous comment. I'd like to know what kind of people Massdrop think we are that we can drop $1,000 on something by faith alone. They've already lost my business to Campfire Audio.
Stickied
What's going on everyone?! My name is Jack Vang and I'm the Founder of EarWerkz and VP of Sales for Empire Ears. I can't tell you how ecstatic I am for this project and how much it means to me. Christian (@CEE_TEE) has relentlessly pursued this opportunity and I'm glad he persevered because we're FINALLY here! With the help of Massdrop, Knowles, and Final Audio we're proud to present to you all the flagship IEM that put us on the map, the Empire Ears Zeus XIV.
Dean and I have been relentlessly working on this project to ensure that each and every one of you will receive the same Zeus-XIV that the audiophile and HeadFi community has come to love. In order to achieve this we needed to make sure we had the following key components:
Empire Ears spec’d proprietary Knowles drivers
XIV crossover networks
7-strand Estron Litz internal wiring
Premium silver-plated copper (SPC) cable
These are the exact same components that we’ve been using since day one with the exception of the cable. As some of you may know we’ve gone through quite a journey with Zeus-bundled cable pairings. First it was the BTG Starlight (SPC), Whiplash (SPC), and then the Effect Audio Ares II (Copper Litz). We’ve always felt strongly about a silver-plated copper (SPC) cable to enhance the Zeus’ sound signature which is why we’ve partnered with Null Audio to help manufacture a cable that would compliment it.
Ergonomics and durability are also key considerations. The Zeus XIV does feature 14 full-size drivers and a 7-way crossover network on each side, and the drivers must be placed in a very specific place in order to achieve the original FR curve. The comfort and fit should be optimum as we’ve made the shell as small as possible and partnered with Final Audio of Japan to bring to you a complete set of their Type E tips. I encourage you to look into them as they’re some of the best premium silicone tips we’ve ever used and feel quite luxurious, though it may not be very evident in the pictures.
In regards to the shell, it is no longer hand-poured acrylic. ABS is more durable than acrylic, reduces return rates, and the faceplates/shells can be made more efficiently to help reach the price point.  Driver/crossover assembly, final assembly and testing, lacquer plus hand-polishing is all completed in our North Atlanta facility ensuring that every Zeus is built to the same standards as every other Empire IEM.  Holding these in our hand, side-by-side with the hand-pour…we know you will be happy with the looks and feel of what we are making for you.
I hope this answers a lot of the questions out there and I’ll be around from time to time to answer any other that you all might have! We will be publishing FR soon to showcase comparisons between the original handcrafted Zeus and the MD edition Zeus. I can’t thank the community and Massdrop enough for making this happen. We are STOKED to be building these Zeus’ for you all!
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EmpireEars
When?
Gos8
Read my message above. Are you one of the people that have joined this drop?
Would be nice to have options for XR switch, and Adel (preferably without modules, so I can use my own).
Why don't you say nothing about the graps?
Are the Arhturs the same drivers with different cables?
Hi, i searched around the web but I would like to get an answer here if possible. Will these be sibilant or harsh in any capacity? The campfire andromedas actually had some prominent harshness for my taste. thanks.
That one year warranty makes me think this is priced at least $800 too high
just a few days to go, still no internal pics, no graphs, no measurements..... it's becoming worrying...
flipleung
I canceled and got a refund.
Benzo
it's disappointing and ridiculous... I am giving up on this also, unless there were some updates
I honestly just think this is a bad deal. I feel with the changes and cheap materials... there’s just no way I can shell out $1000 for something that looks like it would last me a year. Thanks, but no thanks.
Sorry but zeus massdrop is very agly ; the cable conector and plastic abs for in ears is very cheap(10dolar max) your price should be 500dolar only for drivers;i have the tin t2 only for 29dolar and is much better than the zeus componens far
Gos8
I'm sorry to hear that you're unable to afford the Zeus hence putting it down. I understand that you can't afford it and you never will, but that does not mean it's crap. If you feel it is, then all customs made of acrylic are cheap? Cheaper than your cheap piece of junk? Maybe haha.
Just food for thought, maybe next time Massdrop can partner with a local audio enthusiast in a few countries. Massdrop will then work with the manufacturer to get up some demo set and ship to the appointed local audio enthusiast. They will then be the "Spokesperson" for people who are interested in purchasing the product by meeting the potential buyers for demo sessions.
This will iron out issues like: 1. How does the product sound like? 2. How is the fit? 3. How is the look and feel of the product?
This definitely will give more confidence for the buyers and the sales should increase. Of course the local audio enthusiast should have some agreement with Massdrop.
can you use comply tips with Zeus and what size(model) would they be?
Stu_Paddasso
Based on the research I did in deciding to join the drop, the Zeus XIV seemed to work best with JVC Spiral Dot tips, and Comply tips were not recommended due to bass becoming muddy. That said, the Comply size for all of the previous Zeus models is the 500 core size.
Listened to the Zeus XIV and Zeus XR at RMAF this past weekend and was impressed with the sound. I didn't see a Massdrop Zeus prototype like somebody else mentioned but they let me use their personal XIV and XR at the booth with similar cabling to what will be included in the drop. I was torn between getting the InEar Prophile 8, Andromeda and Zeus XR custom (with show discounts) or going with this drop--ended up grabbing Andromedas for a discount yesterday but still thinking about joining this drop later...
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They had them at the show for $1000 but I got them used for $800
frolichlim
It was there since Jack was at the table and he handed me the clear IEM which was only one on the table that wasn't black.
This or Campfire Audio Andromeda?
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Whenever I try IEMs I use IEMatch to negate any effects that sensitive IEMs might have. However, when I say Andromeda is bright, I just mean it’s a bit stronger in the highs which makes it more detail oriented. The highs sound amazing though; never overwhelming or shrill. Hope that helps.
Alexdre119
Totally, thx. I have the MD+ and really enjoy it. I'm now wondering about the upgrade (as is always with this hobby, LOL) . The hype around Andromeda is always high and their used section on their ALO deals site (under 800$) makes it such a great time to want headphones/iems.
I just listened to these at Rocky Mountain Audio Show yesterday the preproduction version of these IEM's and I have save they are a great value at the asking price. i compared them to both X Series lineup and the EP series. This version sounds better then the Phantom's at $1,799 but not as good as $2,299 Legend X . If I was in the market for high end IEM these are quite the bargain,
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Fit was good and feel was good. They had a clear shell on the ones I listened too,
I am not ordering one since I am more of high end headphone guy and don't really think would use a IEM that much since majority of my listening is done on a desktop setup. I didn't notice that the shell material was any difference other then color. The cable was just the cables they used for all the testing and I listed on my DAP on 2.5mm balanced cable.
1000dolar is still very expensive for that produc ;the construccions and materiales are terrible
Gos7
That is $1099 less than it's original asking price, one of the larger price cuts in collaboration history.
The materials and cable are very cheap ; is agly in general; the impedance is 10 homs is not the same whit original zeus
Gos7
From Jack Vang:
” Back then we had a third party company measure our IEMs and we now measure them ourselves. Christian asked me the same thing and I opted to publish our numbers instead. They're the exact same internals and tuning. Sorry for the confusion!”
Got a couple of questions about these specifically: * How forgiving are these of less-than-perfect sources? I tend to use Spotify, at its highest settings, through an AudioQuest DragonFly Red. I don't do Lossless or hi-res audio (while I can 5/6 times hear the difference between Lossless and 320kbps, it's not worth the time investment for me for mobile use) * How good is the tip selection?
For reference, I could NOT get any fit with the Massdrop Plus, and I'm having issues fitting the Massdrop x Noble Universals. Typically the only tips I like are the longer/narrower ones I can fit to my Massdrop EDC3 or Westone IEMs, i.e. those with narrower nozzles. From what I can tell, those Zeus have the larger nozzles likely to cause issues for me; I'm not as familiar with tip selection for these however, and there may be something better for me!
Thanks for any insights!
pott
I'm not certain of the barrel sizing but nuforce/Westone/Shure run the smaller side of the bore size range. If you had trouble with the Noble I doubt this would be a better solution. Many high BA count IEM's are going to run bigger as many use 2-4 "sound tubes" as a tuning device. Fou tubes and an outer nozzel housing make for large bore size tips being a requirement.
Would this be a worth while upgrade over the massdrop plus ?
Fastknight45
Definitely upgrade in quality. As far as your own sound preference, you’d have to determine that yourself.
Personally, I would prefer if we can have the option of paying a little more to get this to become the XR version so that we can have a switch and keep it in this blue shell if that saves me some money. Currently I own the Zeus R version and is buying this as a backup. Out of the 2 IEM that I own, which is A18 and Zeus R, I still enjoy the Zeus R more. My current zeus does have a small crack (however it will be expensive to fix since I must go through our HK dealer as to get it fixed). Which is about the same cost of this mass drop.
I would also like the option of getting a 2.5mm cable too if possible. Also hopefully it will not take until February of next to get it. Perhaps give us the option if you can?
Any chance for a balanced 2.5mm cable option? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would opt for a balanced cable with these!
Must resist... Must resist... Must resist... Who am I kidding... I almost certainly will succumb... Maybe I will see if EE will open for me one weekend before the drop closes and I can hear a prototype. I mean it is only a 7 hour drive for me to Norcross/Peachtree Corners... I would ask them to be open this Saturday for an appointment since I will already be there, but I imagine everyone will be in Denver for RMAF... Which is where I really want to be, but my bank account really, really, thanks me...
OK, I am in for the Cx, if this one also, after all the other drops I have done this year, I will need a fast car and a new identity in witness protection to keep the missus at bay... though my life expectancy will likely be measured in days!!
What do you say when they remark "Hey, what's in THAT Massdrop box??"
Given there is still many days left, would be curious if we can have the "R" tuning option also.
Why people bail of this drop??? From the day one of this drop there was 55 people that joined, one week later 5 people bailed.
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Which balanced MMCX Cable have you been using? And VAS007, I definitely might be interested in selling my Andromedas for a fair price! I can even include an Estron/Linum G2 Bax MMCX Cable if you're interested? I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do yet, but if I decide to sell the Andromedas, you'll definitely be the first to know! VAS007, how about you shoot me an email at (diskobean@gmail.com) so we can discuss the Andromedas further? I hope to hear from you soon!😎🎧👍
Jaydunnit, One last question concerning the Solaris IEM's. Do they have more low-end than the Andromedas do? Just remember, I'm not listening to mainstream music or regular albums EVER, because I pretty much strictly listen to my own live Recordings, so I'm just trying to figure out if I want to make the switch from Andromeda>Solaris right now. I'm like 99% there, I would just like to hear more about them I guess since you're one of the few people who have actually heard them. I always wished that the Andromedas had a TAD bit more low-end/bass, and that's the main reason I got the Dorado's. But since the Solaris have a single DD for the lows vs the Andromedas 2x BA Drivers, I'm hoping that the Solaris are basically a hybrid combo of the Andromeda mids and highs, with the punchiness of the Dorado's for the lows. And even if the low-end of the Solaris is equal or on par with the Andromedas low-end, I can always switch out the stock CA cable for my Linum G2 SuperBax MMCX Cable, since it's really warm and thicker sounding vs the CA MMCX cable, at least IMO. I can always listen to the Dorado's when I want some extra low-end rumble too!!! And if you're sick of replying to me here on Massdrop, I'd be more than happy to hear from you via my email above, before I spend $1,500 on IEM's I've never heard before! But I can ALWAYS resell the Solaris and get a brand new pair of the Andromeda S stainless steel IEM's if I'm not happy with the Solaris's. Which I HIGHLY doubt will be the case! Thanks again for all of your help and information on the Solaris's. You basically pushed me over the fence about buying them, so now I just need to sell my Andromedas and my Linum G2 Bax MMCX Cable, my Sony MUC-M2BT1 LDAC MMCX Bluetooth cable, and my extra right Nuforce Primo 8 IEM I have. Plus some extra stuff like watches and knives I've been meaning to sell. Once I do all of that, I should easily have enough to buy the Solaris's and a brand new Shanling M5s DAP with almost zero money outta pocket 😎👍😇🎧😁
Ok, this was asked before:
go with the Zeus, or go with the x Noble Kaiser 10?
Reviews of both are awesome. It’s so hard to decide.
Has anyone tried both and come away with some useful insights?
K.T.N
I prefer the K10 for bass by about 5%, but noble's shape doesn't work for my ears (I'm in the deep minority here afaik, but they fall out on me).
I prefer the Zeus for mids and highs, and they stay in my ear.
They're both great options provided they fit in your ears. I think the broader opinion is that the K10 is a little more smooth/laid back, and the Zeus is more forward and detail oriented.
I usually keep IEMs and headphones handy at both ends of that spectrum because I listen to a wide variety of music.
Will
Thanks, Will.
That helps a lot!
Are these bigger than Legend X or Kaiser U? I'm concerned about how they would fit in small-medium ears.
nyu3
Anyone? I'd like to know this as well! Also, I was able to wear the K10U down instead of over the ear by swapping the left and right channels. Think this would work with the Zeus?
nyu3
They're bigger than the Kaiser U, but you should really only compare the part that goes in your ear. The part of these that looks big is the body, but that's not going in your ear unless you're a giant.
For me, the K10 (and nobles in general) fall out, but the Zeus fits fine, as does the Massdrop Plus, all of our NuForce collaborations, and most other audiophile IEMs (JH, QDC, etc).
Are you going to have a prototype at RMAF in Denver next week to demo ?
functionaldoc
Any prototype at this weeks RMAF for us to listen to ?
Not understanding all the confusion about the lack of reviews/durability/drivers/re-shell options, etc.
It’s already been stated these have the same internals - drivers, wiring, etc. as the non-MD EE Zeus XIV. The only difference is the ABS plastic shell instead of acrylic. I’m sure MD offers at minimum a 1-year warranty and at this point you’re worrying about a problem that may never arise. They’ve actually improved durability in many ways. It’s literally stated in the first paragraph. With new drivers/wiring/etc. they would have to tune the drivers, prepare new crossovers, run tests, etc., all of which would cost more time & money. Using all the same internals allows them to bypass all that. The MD version should sound the same, factors such as fit/cable pairing notwithstanding. We all hear differently, YMMV. With that said, there are many reviews on the EE Zeus XR. Yes, these are the Zeus XIV, but if you read through the reviews you’ll notice that most of the reviews provide separate impressions between the R and XIV, which this basically is. Seriously, GTS (Google that sh). It’s not like the EE Zeus magically appeared overnight and this is some brand new IEM. As to complaints about the ABS plastic in a $1k IEM, it’s already been explained some concessions had to be made to offer this IEM at the MD price, while not compromising on sound quality, which is the most important issue. You’re more than welcome to buy the acrylic version for much more. As for re-shelling, most of the major manufacturers have either never offered this, or have stopped offering it, whatever the reason may be. You just have to accept it. Rant over. Sorry if some of this may sound harsh, but it seems there has been minimal effort made to read the write-up. Help us help you.
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Where are the graphs of zeus massdrop
Still no measurements. This is getting tedious.
Any chance will this drop delivery date will be brought forward as so far i am looking at 51 sold, when they collect the money, i believe production should start and not wait until 21 more days before going into production. This will definitely shorten the delivery date.
TechnologyGod
"After the drop ends, payment will be collected and the group’s order will be submitted to the vendor up front, making all sales final. Check the discussion page for updates on your order" seems like the payment will be collected after the drop ends
TechnologyGod
We're working as hard as we can to get everything moving! Everything on our side is ready to go but we're just in the final phases of the injection mold process for the housing (lots of revisions!). Once finalized and produced things will move like clockwork here in the lab and we'll get to shipping them out ASAP.
@CEE_TEE
Hey, could you please answer my question: will it sound good enough off an iPhone? I've already made the purchase, thanks.
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Hi there, Would you have a lightning cable option eventually? Or would these work with other brands? Sorry if this is a basic question.... thank you !
Would be nice to have a prototype at RMAF this week so I can give it a listen .