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✒️ Author: Hai Wei (edited by Kah Hon) | 📷 Photo: Hai Wei
Compared to the old flagship Annihilator, the new X is significantly richer and more natural while still retaining Elysian Acoustic Labs' house sound— clarity and separation are first class as well as having one of the most spacious soundstage among all IEMs.
Annihilator has a very airy, sparkling treble, with deep, impactful bass. However, sometimes I find the mids, particularly the lower mids, feel a bit recessed. It does successfully create an airy, crispy, and crystal clear tonality with some of the widest soundstage ever (before the X was born), but it’s still not quite the “end game IEM” that I’ve been searching for. Instead of providing the best details, soundstage, treble and bass extensions, I also expect an “end game” IEM to sing more soulfully and lively—something which I can submerge myself into the world of music.
Luckily, the X was born and solves the problem; the mids has become more vivid and meaty to perform the music with a much greater sensibility!
In my opinion, a good violin should sound “sparkly” yet “wooden”— a good pair of headphones or IEMs should be able to portrait the sweetness and airiness generated from the metal strings, while at the same time, not leaving out the richness and deep organic resonance coming from the violin’s wooden body. While the Annihilator did do a great job on the “sparkly” aspect, the X accomplishes both!
That is probably the reason why I love the X so much. In the world of audiophiles, we are always having to compromise; having more details could lead to the harshness of tonality, however, a more analog tonality could also lead to a muddier resolution. A “balanced” sound might seem simple and boring literally, but it is actually the most valuable and rarest characteristic of an IEM (or headphones). Everyone in the industry throngs to claim that they have “the most balanced”, “the most accurate” or the “closest to live” sound, but you know, only a fraction of them are able to reach this level—no doubt, the Elysian X is one of those rare beasts.
Also for your information, 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—the sister company of Fostex, which specializes in producing high quality dynamic drivers.
If you still can’t believe that our fellow Malaysians have the ability to create a world class IEM, feel free to visit Stars Picker and try it out for yourself. :P
◇ Retail Price : RM18,720
◇ Early Bird Promo : RM15,380 (limited 2 units only)
■ 8 years physical shop / audio specialist
■ Authorized dealer of Elysian Acoustic Labs in Malaysia
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered
■ Malaysia first audio theme cafe / library