Noble Audio Khan is a 2399$ tribrid iem. It uses a dynamic driver for low frequencies, 4 balanced armatures for mids and a piezo electric for treble.
Sound quality for the price
I’ve received a demo unit of the Khan, which came with just a Pelican case and IEMs themselves. So, no photos of the box and accessories included this time unfortunately.
Nonetheless, the box contains the previously mentioned pelican case, a smaller plastic case, big set of eartips and a cleaning tool. Nothing special for this price, as the competitors come with a more luxorious and generous set.
I want to put it pretty simple – i don’t know what Noble were thinking designing the Khan. Once their flagship (now replaced by Sultan) is the ugliest of their entire lineup and the build quality is a bit underwhelming. Compared to Final A8000, Sony IER-Z1r or even Campfire offerings which are way less expensive the Khan looks just ugly.
It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if it wasn’t for the fact that Noble is making arguably some of the best looking IEMs on the market with their Prestige series. Browsing their website, looking at these astonishing pieces of art it’s dissapointing coming back to look at Khan. Im sorry Noble, i really adore your products, but in the build and design department the Khan is just not enough, especially for a 2399$ IEM.
Khan’s shells are humongous, but still Noble somehow made them quite comfortable. Of course they’ll stick out of your ear. Of course you won’t be able to lay on your side with them inside your ear canal. But still, i’ve tried a lot of less comfortable IEMs in my life, and to see that they achieved this level of ergonomy with the shells that big is a very pleasant suprise. Compared to the Sony IER-Z1r these are super comfortable.
Noble Khan reminds me of “The Beauty and the Beast”. But this time both are the same person. The beast, because Khan is just plain ugly and looks more like 239$ IEM rather than 2399$. Beauty, because when it sings…you’re starting to just not give a damn about that.
The bass is bloody fast. Well, i could say that about the whole sound actually. But first things first. Low frequencies have a great punch and are very accurate. This dynamic driver is a joy to listen to, as it has a lot of head-boobing things going on. You wont skip any touch of string of a bass guitar, any double kick of a drum set. It is not a huge and thick bass but in terms of details and accuracy this is first class.
The midrange is quite forward, very, very accurate and airy. It has a decent amount of body, but don’t expect that full, thick and analog mids. It is incredible for female vocals and less so for male. Nonetheless, thanks to an absurd level of details you won’t miss anything in the record, as it is a true reference of resolution and detail retreival. Anyhow, for me personally it lacked a bit of timbre while listening to Jethro Tull or older Foreigner stuff.
The treble is like a supercar – bright, astonishingly precise and lightning fast. That piezo-electric driver is putting so much information of the music you’re listening to that you’re gonna have a sensation of hearing some things for the first time. It is not my favorite, since im not into that bright and edgy sound, but it surely is spectacular and very competitive. By the means of details and resolution, one of the best treble i’ve heard in my life.
The soundstage is again – very precise, airy and spacious, thanks to the overall sound signature and that great piezo-electric driver on top. It is very wide, quite deep and imaging is spot on. The Division Bell album by the immortal Pink Floyd sounds extraordinary thanks to those guitar and keyboard passages feeling endlessly suspended around your head.
Noble Audio Khan is a true monster of an IEM. Ugly with underwhelming build and accessories. Yet it sounds just like a monster indeed – crazy fast, precise and forward, with some of the best detail retrieval in an IEM ever. Nonetheless i can’t recommend them to everybody prior to the faults they have, as Sony IER-Z1r and the Final A8000 is a complete package compared to these, with SQ being on the same level, but everything else just blowing the Khan out of the water. Im sorry Noble, not this time. Just make the Khan v2 with the build quality and looks on the level of the Katana or Sultan, and you’ll end up with not a monster, but rather a monstrous IEM.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Sony IER-Z1r, Final A8000, Lime Ears Aether R, Meze Rai Penta, Campfire Audio Andromeda,
- Sources– Cayin N8, Cayin N5ii, Fiio M15, Astell&Kern SP1000, Cayin N3Pro