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✒️ Author: Hai Wei | 📷 Photo: Hai Wei
For many audiophiles, Monarch MK2 is the “reference” IEM at price range around RM4-5k. The broad U shape tuning can perform most music genres competently. It emphasizes more on the lower mid and bass, giving you lush surrounding sound, but doesn't affect the transparency of mid and high. What impresses me most is its imaging. It is very rich, solid and impactful. I can feel the “structure” and resonance of the body easily and indulge in the lively atmosphere.
Can the Elysian Diva become another “reference level” IEM around RM5k like the Monarch? After auditioning for a few days, my answer is “YES!”.
“So, which one is better?”
This question has never popped up in my mind, because in my opinion, they complement each other.
Monarch MK2 has a very solid foundation in terms of bass and the lower mid which make you feel stable, calm and sedate. However, occasionally I might feel that the pace is a bit slow and the colour is a bit dull. In contrast, Diva is very agile and sparky. The PRaT (pace, rhythm and timing) is fantastic. When listening to string music, especially the staccato part, I can really feel that the bow is dancing in between the strings nimbly with effortless grace. The transparency and micro details on Diva’s treble and higher mid are impressive. When paired with the right source (I personally prefer WM1Z/1AM2), Diva will bring out the best side of the highs—clean, elegant, sweet, airy and silky. No matter if the mood is sentimental or joyful, it makes all violins sound gorgeous and plays them with great sensibility.
The separation of Diva is also where it shines. I can point out the position of 2 violins, 1 viola and cello in a string quartet easily. It might not have the rich, full body like the Monarch MK2, indeed, the imaging is leaner. However, it doesn’t sound feebly at all. Diva can carve out the outline of music precisely. The bass slam is very impactful, and you will be able to hear every attack of the percussion accurately.
Diva also features a 3 level bass switch—the white one is the default setting. Blue is for studio use. It has the least bass and most neutral sounding. Red has the most bass boost and is more suitable for stage monitoring or enjoying pop/rock music.
You may also choose universal or custom fit for the Diva. The latter is RM300 more expensive.
Fun fact: Elysian Acoustic Labs is a Malaysian based company, founded by a local audiophile and artisan Mr. Lee. He has won the “Best Earphones Award” of "Foster Alliance Program'' in 2019, an international IEM competition organized by Foster. All of Elysian’s IEMs are handmade by him locally.
✨ SHOPIFY | https://bit.ly/Elysian-Diva-S |
◇ Retail : RM5,500 (Universal) or RM5,800 (Custom)
◇ Promo : PM for best price
✨ BUNDLE DEAL
◇ Top up RM18 for ePro EP00 horn-shaped eartips worth RM25 per pair
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I know fit is subjective, but how does the Diva’s shell compare to the Monarch MKII, Moondrop Variations which both have a “CIEM Like Shell” and then the likes of a Moondrop Kato which doesn’t have much “eargonomics” in it’s shape?