Empire Ears IEMs loaded with proprietary features
Empire Ears will never settle for good enough. It's evident in their relentless drive to dream up and perfect the technologies that fill each IEM shell. These proprietary technologies are designed to take your listening experience to new heights, with superior control, unmatched clarity, low distortion, satisfying bass, and much more.
A.R.C. (Anti-Resonance Compound) Technology: Empire Ears' Answer to Distortion and Ear Fatigue
A.R.C. is Empire Ears' answer to in-shell resonance that can lead to distortion and ear fatigue. Balanced armature drivers in particular are prone to unwanted distortions, peaks, and vibrations. Empire does apply a dampening agent to its balanced armature drivers, but there can still be noise interference affecting the sound due to other components interacting with these drivers. A.R.C. technology all but eliminates vibrations and resonance from within the IEMs themselves.
A.R.C. is an advanced polymer coating that has its roots in the natural resins that form in large, deciduous trees. The resins harden into a durable rosin that can absorb vibrations and reverberations. This coating is designed to have a precise density-to-rigidity ratio to maximize the absorption of unwanted vibrations. If it's too rigid, the coating will transmit too much vibration. If it's not rigid enough, it will end up mucking up the sound. The optimum amount of rigidity in A.R.C. coating adds a layer of shock protection to every component within each IEM. After it is applied, it dries into a coating that adds to the relative mass of each IEM component. Giving more solidity to these parts helps them to absorb unwanted resonance instead of reflecting it out of phase. The result is increased clarity, deeper bass, and higher overall efficiency.
A.R.C. also helps cut down on the persistent, out-of-phase buzz present in many other companies' balanced armature-driven technology. That buzz, which your ear perceives as noise or annoyance, can lead to ear fatigue or headaches, because your brain is trying to decipher it while also hearing the music. That buzz can be worse in IEMs with a high degree of isolation (custom fit models). A.R.C. results in much cleaner sound with no phase interference.
EIVEC (Empire Intelligent Variable Electrostatic Control): Creating Harmony Between Electrostatic and Other Drivers
You take the good, you tame the bad. In the case of electrostatic drivers, the "good" is their expansive 4Hz-100kHz frequency range. They produce the higher tones (beyond what we can even hear!) that are necessary for maximum detail and resolution in your music.
The problem is that electrostatic drivers tend to drown out balanced armature and dynamic drivers. When they are too dominant, the IEM can sound too bright, leading to ear fatigue.
When Empire Ears began adding electrostatic drivers to some of its IEMs (beginning with the Wraith), it wanted to do so in a way that would maximize the detail-giving benefits without compromising the overall sound of an IEM.
With EIVEC technology, one or more transformers unite up to four separate electrostats, eliminating phase incoherence and distortion. The transformer essentially isolates the electrostats from the other drivers, thus "taming" them while allowing them to perform to their best potential. In the Wraith, for example, two transformers are used to bring the four electrostatic drivers under control, dividing the jobs of each of those drivers and allowing them to work in harmony with seven balanced armature drivers.
synX Crossover Technology: Maximizing the Performance of Each Driver Type
Empire Ears IEMs utilize up to three driver types: balanced armature, dynamic, and electrostatic. The synX Crossover Technology in each Empire Ears IEM is designed to maximize the performance of each of those driver types, creating cohesion and unity. The proprietary synX design -- the most advanced IEM crossover technology in the industry -- designates more individual audio bands per driver than any other crossover technology on the market.
Essentially, a crossover pulls frequency bands from an audio signal and assigns them to the driver that will most effectively reproduce them: dynamics for the lows, balanced armatures for the mids, and electrostats for the highs. No two drivers will receive the same signal.
Each Empire Ears model has its own handcrafted, hand-tuned synX Crossover Network -- up to a 10-way crossover in the seven-driver hybrid Legend X. By creating an ultra-wide, multi-channel "highway," Empire Ears can manipulate parts of the frequency range to create the target response and eliminate phase incoherence between drivers. No phase incoherence means no ear fatigue.
Through the power of synX Crossover Technology, Empire Ears IEMs delivers honest and pristine sound with a high degree of stereo separation, low distortion, and the smoothest phase response on the market.
Weapon IX/IX+ Drivers: Subwoofer-like Bass in a Dynamic Driver
Think a subwoofer-like bass response just isn't possible in an IEM? Empire Ears has developed a driver technology that can handle subharmonic frequencies better than any other IEM driver on the market. The Weapon IX, or W9, featured in all X Series IEMs, is a rare-earth magnet dynamic driver that functions like a true subwoofer in your ear.
Traditional dynamic drivers can suffer in low-octave frequencies and very much rely on internal shell enclosures for volume, limiting form factor and vastly reducing efficiency with limited extension. The key to the W9's performance is that the woofer is enclosed in a tuned bass-reflex system with a front-firing port and rear-firing vent. This helps to reduce distortion and boost frequency extension.
A bass-reflex system uses a port (or vent) cut into the driver enclosure with section of tubing affixed to the port. The front firing port is going to go to tubes that go to your ear canal; the rear-firing port is going into the enclosure of the IEM. It's essentially like an open-baffle subwoofer; in other words, you don't have a box. With a box, when that driver is moving in
and out, you've got to suck out the internal air, and if it's a sealed air enclosure, that driver is not going to move as far. If it's just a driver on a single wall with a hole in it, and there's air on both sides, that driver can move very fast because there's no air holding it back.
The upgraded W9+, introduced in several 2020 IEM models, features a larger internal coil diameter and a larger linear excursion envelope along with a more capable suspension to handle peak-to-peak excursion while mitigating distortion.