The Long ODIN/HERO Tour Wait is Over
After a long and exciting ride, the rumored ODIN has finally come into reality on August 1st, 2020…and he has a little brother too – HERO. The speculation has finally come to rest since their launch and we are finally getting to read initial reviews. Now it is our turn to hear its awe-inspiring sound and I can tell you from my initial impressions that it was worth the wait. Empire Ears has done it again.
Empire Ears ODIN/HERO Tour Kit
We have one tour kit with both the HERO and the ODIN in full retail boxing for our tour:
Tour Kit – ODIN/HERO
- ODIN ($3399): 11 Proprietary Drivers, Tribrid Design, 2-PIn cable terminated in 4.4m with full retail box.
- HERO ($1349): 4 Proprietary Drivers, Hybrid Design, 2-Pin cable terminated in 4.4m with full retail box.
PLEASE NOTE: The tour kit does not contain an adapter to convert to 2.5m or 3.5m, so please be prepared as needed.
ODIN/HERO Kickoff Video
Tour Kit Pictures
Barra’s Quick Initial Impressions
The best part of managing tours is getting to hear all the great gear for myself. Here are some brief impressions from what I have heard so far between the tasks required to set up this tour:
- ODIN: At first listen, you can tell that the ODIN is something very special and a CIEM that you want in your collection. The sound quality is absolutely in the exotic-tier offering end-game performance. However, unlike other top-tier or exotic-tier CIEMs, it is not as easy to provide a full sized headphone comparable to provide clarity into what exactly it sounds like – so let me break it up into its parts and come back with some conclusions. I consider the ODIN to be an audiophile tuning with the treble and details taking center stage. While the bass is polite and takes a back seat to the detailed, atmospheric presentation, the bass still packs a punch with an exquisite, almost liquid feel. While still not as wide of a soundstage as the Zeus, I find it to be quite holographic and fun. One more notable point is that it scales well with the bass coming out quite a bit more with higher powered sources and it also place nice with lower volumes for those like me that like to listen in bed at night. To summarize quickly, it was definitely worth the wait!
- HERO: At first impressions, the HERO reminded me of an improved Phantom with that BA done right goodness, but with an underlying richness brought on by the new Weapon X dynamic bass driver. Again like the ODIN, to my ear, it has more of an audiophile tuning with details first and the bass complement. However, a bassy EDM song can catch me off guard with boosted bass that goes into the fun zone. I am hesitant to say too much as I admittedly spend much more time with the ODIN so the HERO dynamic driver is not as well exercised and may continue to evolve its sound. What I can hear so far is that the new W9 driver is more defined and tight leaving more air for the detail to come through. While my opinion is evolving with the burn-in, I can tell that the HERO is definitely another win for Empire Ears that will be very popular given its more forgiving price point. More to come later.
Empire Ears has always been a crowd favorite and it is easy to see why. Their entire range is impressive from end-to-end in my experience based on tour units as well as in-person introductions at CANJAM with Jack. These two new additions just embolden my confidence in the brand. Even better, the improvements we are seeing offered in the ODIN and HERO are being introduced to the rest of the lineup providing more ESTs for all and a new improved next-generation W9 subwoofer throughout…with the exception of the Legend X. Hopefully, this tour will feature these additional offerings as they come available.
Rules and Responsibilities
Most of our tours are offering 7-day auditions which you are required to ship out to the next participant on day 8. Yes, you pay the shipping to the next participant, but we organize into logistically friendly orders to minimize the shipping expense.
The tour membership rules and responsibilities are described here. The key idea is that we must be communicative to participate and to keep the tour moving and interesting. It is our responsibility to follow these rules and to ensure the ability to ship out on day 8 when our turn is over.
Signing up for the Tour
To sign up for the tour, you must be a verified tour member and have joined our new AUDIOTIERs platform. The membership qualifications and requirements are described here if you are not already a member. Whether a HEADFI tour member that needs to transfer their membership to the new platform or you are a new member looking to apply for tour membership, please follow the instructions in the GETTING STARTED box below. We are now accepting applications from both US and Canadian citizens.
Tour Signups for Verified Members: If you would like to be part of this tour, please feel free to post your request in the comments below.
Reviewers First Tour: This is a REVIEWERS GO FIRST TOUR, so if you would like to skip to the front of the line, please note that you would like to be a full reviewer in the request as in the sample below:
Sample Signup Request: I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@AudioTiers.com. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.
Tour Participant Logistics
We are offering 7-days auditions to each participant. This logistics list is updated as I can to show you where we are in the order with each participant bolded to signify that they received the kit. This is where you will find the next two participants to contact when you receive the kit.
Signup Period: During our signup period, we collect the initial participants and provide them with a logistically friendly portion of the tour. This is the lowest cost portion in terms of shipping. Once this closes, we move to the latecomer portion.
Latecomer Period: Latecomers are welcome to the tour on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will continue taking latecomer requests until we run out of participants or the manufacturer asks us to end the tour.
Empire Ears US Tour Logistics
Tour Kit – ODIN/HERO
- @Barra – Anthem, AZ
- REVIEWER: @audiokeyreviews – Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- REVIEWER: @seamon67 – WEST LAFAYETTE, IN
- REVIEWER: @dbstechtalk – LOGANSPORT IN
- REVIEWER:@ngoshawk – Warrensburg, MO
- REVIEWER: kubig123 – New York, NY
- REVIEWER: runningwithit – Memphis Tennessee (In process)
- REVIEWER: drunkenmunkey – Highlands Ranch, CO
- REVIEWER: @audio in – Merced, CA
- REVIEWER: @csglinux – Los Angeles, CA
- @eTHE2 – Diamond Bar, CA
- CANiSLAYu – Concord, CA
- @wardo783 – Porter Ranch, CA
- hamhamhamsta – Santa Ana, CA
- bhschap – Orange, CA (In Process)
- @hypermuteki – Las Vegas, NV
- @rwelles – Florence, OR
- @bvng3540 – Bothell WA
- bvng3540 – Bothell, WA
- EricR – Eagle, ID
- @rmsanger – South Jordan, UT
- circa – Denver CO
- @tybot – Albuquerque, NM
- Towa – Nashville, TN
- @darkestred – Denville, NJ
- Doctorjazz – Westfield NJ
- rantng – Brooklyn, NY
- @tawmizzzz – Somerville, MA
- Gc335 – CUMBERLAND, RI
- forkofnature – Annapolis, MD
- gnahra – Fort Myers, FL
- @Barra – Anthem, AZ
Potential Canadian Tour
We are checking participation levels for Canadian tour members. If we get 8 requests, we will move to extend our tour to Canada. If we get 16 requests, we will ask for an additional tour kit to start an additional tour right away. Again, Fir Audio will have to agree, but this should not be an issue if we get the numbers.