Empire Ears was known as Earwerkz in audiophile world. They have changed their name and released new product line a while ago. Their flagship is now a 14-driver unit, Zeus; and Apollo that I reviewed a while ago is their second most expensive custom in ear monitor in the product line. Apart from these Olympus series two custom monitors, they also offer lifestyle line, which has hard-wired cable and lower profile fit. In addition, they produce Delta series hearing protection monitors. In sum, Empire Ears has a very rich product line.
I am always impressed by Earwerkz customer service and they seem to carry this tradition in hands of Jack Vang, Empire Ears Co-Manager. Jack always takes care of my problems about monitors and he is very responsive. My Zeus was safely delivered via FedEx. The delivery process was just opposite of my Apollo’s story; my Apollo had a world tour due to USPS fault.
Design, Fit and Accessories:
Zeus utilizes 14 balanced armature drivers per side. There are also 4 acoustic bores as well as a complex passive crossover network. There is no technical information given by Empire Ears, but Zeus is easy to drive.
The craftsmanship is simply awesome. There is no sign of error with the craftsmanship. A beautiful abalone faceplate is nicely cut and perfectly put on the body in sapphire blue. However, the fit is a bit different than my other Empire and Earwerkz monitors to due Zeus’ larger shell. I think there is a problem with upper concha part of the monitor and this can be a little disturbing at the beginning of listening. I should say that Empire Ears usually do a great job regarding fit; this little change is specific to my Zeus, since they used my old earmolds that are already in their file.
Zeus has detachable two pin cable; as far as I can see on Empire Ears website, it is shipped with BTG Starlight Cable for a limited time. Starlight has very good memory wire section for an aftermarket cable, but its built quality is not very soft. Overall tone of BTG is good, but we may look for better cables in the same price range. As accessories, there is an impressive Aegis Case, on which my name is printed, a dust bag, an IEM pouch, cleaning tool and cleaning cloth. Honestly, I feel myself special by looking at this impressive Aegis Case.
Ordering and Pricing Info:
Zeus can be ordered via Empire Ears website. We need to go to store section and decide on customization options such as faceplate style, body color etc. The regular price of Zeus is 2099 USD, but we need to add extra fee for a custom graphic on the faceplate. According to Empire Ears website, the turnaround time for a set is 10-15 days from the time that they receive the ear impressions. Also, they offer a ”Rush” service and our monitors can be done in 5 days.