Arguably the most novel bone conduction implementation ever, Empire Ears gift Raven one of Head-Fi's most futuristic transducers ever, alongside other tried and tested technologies for incredible results beyond 2023.
Weapon X (W10) makes its appearance again here. After finding great success on its debut with Legend Evo, this Empire Ears bone conduction driver complements the air conduction of its supporting cast, giving you sound you can feel as much as you hear.
W10 employs a Japanese-made pure copper voice coil optimised for accuracy in frequency and transient response, with extreme attention paid to its linearity, ultra low distortion and efficient heat dissipation.
Empire Ears managed to harness even more of the awesome power of W10 in Raven with a Harmonic Resonance Core (HRC) built below its 316L stainless steel faceplate. The purpose-built HRC reverberates to W10's beat, culminating within an internal polymer basin that holds the plate.
This arrangement, boosted by the metal plate, elevates the effect of bone conduction. W10's vibrations manifest tangibly, enriching the bass and treble with unprecedented depth, extension, and clarity, and thereby unifying the Raven's entire performance.
It aids in the resonance, amplification, and dispersion of sound waves, synergising with other elements to achieve a distinctive sound signature and optimise Raven's acoustic performance.
W10's earth-shaking performance indeed amplifies the performance of the premium dynamic driver, balanced armature and electrostatic components Empire Ears chose for Raven.
With one bone conductor performing for so many drivers, the SPL demands on the other cast members was lessened – Raven's effortless presentation is empowered by the minimal distortion of drivers being over-taxed.
Dual Weapon 9+ dynamic woofers for low-frequencies can stick to their assigned range without needing to overcompensate as they get propped up by W10. And Raven's balanced armatures and electostatics particularly benefit as the reduced need to produce SPL leads to less distortion and an edge-less body to their detail.
Raven is a show of Empire Ears maturity and is possible also because of the state of maturity the Head-Fi ecosystem is at. DAC/amp and music player sources show up in abundance to drive Raven's very difficult 2ohm load.
It starts as simply as Questyle Audio's M15i, with this flagship current-mode DAC/amp ever happier as a voltage source the more it detects a dead short. And the potent output devices of HiBy Music's Class A entry R6III and R6 Pro II are more than up to the task despite their budget status.
And then there are the discrete DAC music players which output plenty of juice. Cayin's DSD N7 with its 5 ampere output devices, and HiBy's PWM R8II plus R2R RS8 with inductor power supplies and large, paralleled transistors, promise natural tone, gravitas, soundstage and imaging for audio fireworks.
Because Raven is the party that brings all of Head-Fi together; and also every Empire Ears technology – synX crossovers, EIVEC II electrostats, ARC anti-resonance compound, tri-port exhaust vents – under one roof.
Whet your appetites for Raven with every other Empire Ears release here, or view all our other earphones here.
Driver 1 x bone conduction driver; 2 x 9mm bass drivers; 5 x mid balanced armatures; 4 x electrostatic tweeters
Frequency response 5Hz-100kHz
Sensitivity 108dB SPL/1mW
Cables 1 x 4.4mm