Initially, Empire Ears introduced in-ear headphones from the Mark II series only in some Asian countries (although the company itself is from the American Atlanta), but now it has released them to the world market. The line includes three models: Bravado MKII, ESR MKII and Valkyrie MKII.
The main changes in the second generation of these models affected subwoofers and work with electrostatic radiators. So, in the Bravado MKII and Valkyrie MKII models, Weapon IX + subwoofer systems based on 9-mm dynamic radiators are now installed: according to Empire Ears, we consume a lot of musical information just from sub-low frequencies, which add completeness to the whole listening process, so they should pay close attention.
In all models, electrostatic emitters are responsible for high and ultra-high frequencies – in the second generation, the control of these emitters was taken over by the EIVEC system, which allows electrostats, fittings and speakers to be friends with each other.
When paired with the proprietary synX crossover, the EIVEC is said to deliver “the resolution, detail and clarity you demand over a huge range from 4Hz to 100kHz”.
The armature will take over the mid-frequency range (and sometimes the high-frequency range). The Bravado MKII uses four drivers: one dynamic bass / sub-bass, one armature midrange, one tweeter and one supertweeter.
The ESR MKII (ESR stands for Empire Studio Reference) has five emitters: one low-frequency, one mid-frequency, one high-frequency and two super tweeters.
There are only three emitters in the Valkyrie MKII model, but, according to the developers, even this configuration can knock the listener off their feet: the sound is overwhelmingly energetic, but in the updated version this energy extends over a wider stage with better localization and detail in the HF range. This model used a woofer, a reinforcing midrange and one electrostatic tweeter.
The frequency response of the Bravado MKII and Valkyrie MKII is from 5 Hz to 100 kHz, while the ESR MKII starts playing from 10 Hz. All models are equipped with more reliable Alpha IV cables.
The Bravado MKII and ESR MKII are supplied with Alpha IV copper litz cables, and the Valkyrie MKII can be ordered with the Alpha Hybrid IV copper and silver litz cables.
In Hong Kong, the Empire Ears Bravado MKII will cost 6,980HK$ (about $900), the ESR MKII 8,980HK$ (about $ 1,160), and the Valkyrie MKII 12,980HK$ (about $ 1,700).