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Noble Audio N6 IEM Review

noble audio n6 review


Noble Audio N6 Review. Nobel Audio by Wizard (AKA Dr. John Moulton) presents their mid level IEM. Named the N6 this brilliant $999 universal in ear monitor provides a v shaped frequency response that suits many music genres.

Review Preface:

Superior in design, fiery in performance, and slick in the ear, the Noble brand may seem relatively new to the fray, but headed by one of the worlds leading audiologists, Dr. John Moulton (aka. Wizard), and Brannan Mason, the business cauldron, the Noble brand sets a spellbinding global benchmark that is not only thunderous but, quite frankly, knee trembling.

With every design hand made, precision tuned, and lovingly crafted by a team of exceptionally talented die-hard enthusiasts, Noble certainly feels like a tight brand built upon a pedigree family backbone. But, now having known Noble before, and after, their conception in late 2013, we would now, in early 2014, like to present the world with what we currently consider to be a special stratospheric behemoth of an IEM; The Noble N6.

Unboxing, Build Quality, Seal, and Comfort:

In your hands arrives a special package, brown in colour and wrapped in Noble tape, the appropriate packaging stands before you entombing a listening experience that beggars belief. Set in medium density grey foam a Noble sleeved otter box type stands proud and protected from any possible eventuality. This otter box, concealed behind, is small and easily fits within a jacket pocket to be used in the event that you have to be parted with your N6’s. Inside this lockable otter [type] box there is a comprehensive listening package that comprises of; an IEM hook and brush cleaning tool, three ‘Red’ high density silicone tips (Small, Medium, and Large), three ‘Blue’ medium density silicone tips, three black ‘Comply’ [type] memory foam tips, three ‘Double Flange’ soft silicone tips, a 1.2m braded 3.5mm gold plated jack to proprietary dual prong connection, and, of course, the delicious Nobel N6’s.

If you measure the N6’s you will find that they have a width of 2cm and a height of 1cm, and have an egg like curved shape that perfectly nestles within the antihelix of the outer ear without too much protrusion. The aforementioned size and design of the Noble N6’s makes for a pleasurable listening experience as the IEM’s will not become too weighty, fatiguing, or fist-pumping in the ear. In fact the design of the driver housing, or shell, is solid in construction and arrives in black with the Noble crown engraved, finally finished with three gold hex screws. Partially what helps to make the N6’s feel so good in the ear is the inclusion of fixed plastic tubing that guides the cable up the ear and hooks around the helix and finally drops down to your radio pack or player; ideal for both musicians and on-the-move or music lovers. Additionally this helps to relieve strain on the cable whilst providing a comfortable in-use quality that, when combined with playing music, seems to make you forget that you are even wearing a pair of IEM’s.

In order to get an optimum seal between the driver housing and the external auditory canal you will need to spend some time fiddling and going through the included silicon ear buds until a perfect seal is created. When a good seal is obtained you will notice a drastic improvement in both the frequency response and dynamic range, but using the included ear buds I was able to quickly find a perfect seal. Considering the high quality of the included tips I would imagine that they would last a long time. However, in the event that they are lost or damaged, the N6’s accommodate a standard bud fitting and therefore they are easily maintained along with regular maintenance (cleaning) of the output channels with the supplied hook and brush tool.

If we now cast our eye over the smooth vinyl 1.2m braded cable, there is a noticeable four-strand weave that, despite its innocuous appearance, is surprisingly durable and features a cable strain reliever that is positioned at a 45° angle from the head of the 3.5mm jack. What we particularly like with this cable is the dual prong connection into the shell, because there is little that can go wrong here; no screws or locking nuts, instead Noble provide you with a simple connection that ‘just works’. Ideally what we would advise with this design is that you set the cable in correctly and leave it alone unless you really need to part the cable from the IEM’s. Too much pulling can result in a loose troublesome connection, but the solution is simple; don’t fix what isn’t broken. The core conductor used within this cable is oxygen free copper (OFC) with an outer silver shield and jacket. The result of this construction evidently leads to low noise and, when used with the appropriate source, this construction is critical to a crystal clear frequency response and dynamic range. It is great to see that Noble are not only focussing their attention on the IEM itself, but all components that create a premium product with no holes barred.

N6 IEM Sound Quality:

Before we begin discussing the sound quality at all, I feel that it is appropriate to briefly add an insight as to why the N6 is actually named the N6. In each individual IEM two dedicated drivers are assigned to the lower frequencies, two are assigned to the mid range, and finally two are responsible for the highs to total six individual drivers in each IEM. The ‘Wizard’ here has worked his magic with the crossovers to make sure that each of these operates only for a specific predetermined frequency band with no apparent overlaps. With this said, we can now move on.

Let’s make no mistakes here; the N6 is a powerhouse of a design that is heavenly suited to lovers of a smooth, creamy, warming, voluptuous sonic signature. Particularly rich around the sub, low, and low midrange, the N6 exhibits a ‘yesteryear tone’, but with all of the dynamic range that you would expect from modern driver designs. We have to remember that if your music taste or consumption reflects or compliments an IEM that is slightly bass prominent, then you will certainly love the N6. Saying this, you could fool yourself into believing that the N6’s are what we can describe as ‘fun’ and thus demonstrating potential for lesser dynamic definition in the low frequencies, but you would be totally wrong. Even with the words ‘proud bass’ generalizing only a single area of the performance we were, in fact, stunned to witness a hugely detailed and dynamic experience that goes against everything that you might have ever witnessed before. While low attack bass guitars, or baselines, stand as glue in the mix, when fast attack bass instruments entered the fray, such as a kick drum, the glue did not wash out the definition or amplitude of the kick at all. In the low end at least, the performance is deeply moving and, even if you may not be partial to a bit of bass, they will pull you into their charm after only a couple of minutes of listening.

As we move up to mids I feel that these are obviously lower than the bass or highs, quite dense, and maybe a little packed, still they do retain composure, albeit dark with maybe a touch more low-mid that, on certain rock genres, verges on boomy. In electronic genres, classical, or ‘big-band’, this situation is greatly alleviated. If we are to continue heading up to the top end of the mid you will find a tight focused spot (or increased positive Q) around the 1.3kHz to 2kHz that feels clear and concise, evidently doing wonders for the vocals, well produced electric guitars, and supporting instrumentation.

Normally the stereo width feels open. However, more spatial separation seems to be allocated for the high frequencies, yet this is something that I am loving with the N6’s. With highs that are detailed and refined they are not piercing at all, everything here feels right. I cannot detect any harshness with any genre, nor can I say that they do anything other than hypnotize you with their charm. Perhaps it is the bass and treble mix that creates an IEM that I personally see as quite fun. As much as they are a far cry from being ruler flat, the N6’s offer you a break from neutrality and mentally place you in that happy bouncy holiday mode.

Review Conclusion:

The N6’s are an undoubtedly complex beast. With unparallel build quality, package contents, and attention to detail we have to admire these Noble N6’s. With a slightly dark signature these will suit electronic music lovers down to the ground. The Pro Audio Web Blog awards the Noble N6’s with a four and a half star rating.

Edd Harris

Edd Harris - 13th March 2014

Global RRP: $999.00

Editors Rating:

Four and a Half Star Award
Noble Audio N6
4.5/5 stars
Noble Audio N6 Review. Nobel Audio by Wizard (AKA Dr. John Moulton) presents their mid level IEM. Named the N6 this brilliant $999 universal in ear monitor provides a v shaped frequency response that suits many music genres.
Outstanding Award - The Pro Audio Web Blog