Here is something special, a one in a million IEM. The Noble Sage Wizard edition review. I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard about Noble Audio or at least Kaiser 10, nope? perhaps the Wizard ring a bell? Before we do the Noble Sage Wizard review, let’s talk about The Wizard.
The Wizard, it’s a nickname given to Dr. John by the Head-Fi community. According to the Legend, Dr. John is one of the earliest people that built beautiful CIEM (Custom In-Ear Monitoring). Until today you can see his magical touch is still around in Noble Audio.
let’s talk about the Sage, the universal earphone that we are going to review today.
The Sage is considered an entry level if you exclude their EDC category. Sage follows the footsteps of the Savant and features proprietary Noble drivers that result in a more refined and capable sound.
The Sage Wizard Edition is special, is not using the usual green aluminum shell. Sage Wizard is actually one-off universal pieces crafted by the Wizard itself.
Every single pair of the Wizard is a one in a million, there is only one pair in the world. Once someone bought it from Noble Audio website, it will be gone.
The Sage Wizard is currently on sale for 799 USD while the Sage “standard edition” is at 599 USD. Does the 200 USD difference worth the price? read on to uncover it.
Noble Sage Wizard Unboxing
When I received the package, I dropped the whole thing and said oops hope that nothing is broken.
I was greeted with a sturdy little black box and I was relieved because that kind of case perhaps covered with a mana shield and can withstand a fireball.
Keep in mind that you’ll get much more than the magical box as a customer!
What you’ll get?
- Magic Box (Hard Case)
- Magic can and pouch
- A pair of Ultra Rare IEM
- 3 Pairs of Foam Tips
- 3 Pairs of Blue Silicon Tips
- 3 Paris of Red Silicon Tips
- Warranty Card
- Rubber Band
- Cleaning tool
- Card with Wizard’s signature
Noble Sage Wizard Accessories
The Magic Case
Drop test passed. I mentioned before that I accidentally dropped it and everything is still intact.
The case made from hard plastic. it’s really sturdy and thick, this provides the best protection for your IEM.
There’s a rubber around the case, perhaps it’s for the water seal. thickness is about 0.6 mm.
The interior is protected very well with foam and the locking mechanism is pretty solid. A solid case for an IEM in this price range is a must.
The stock cable is a 2 pin detachable cable. My personal encounter with two pins is a hate and love relationship, I love that the cable stays in place but hate the durability.
Near the 2 pins, there’s a color marker (red and blue dot) to identify the left and right. If this is hard for you to remember, just remember that “R”ed is for “R”ight side.
For the ear hook, the cable is covered with another layer of matte plastic to retain the shape. you can see two braided cables on each side.
I like the cable material, it’s a shiny black. I’m pretty sure in high humidity country that it will not turn sticky.
The cable matched pretty well metal with a noble audio logo for the Y spliter. the cable terminated with a 3.5mm jack. the size of the 3.5mm termination point has a good ratio, not too long and not to short. It has a good strain relief.
There’s a wide arrange of cable selection from their website, that includes: 2.5mm balanced cable, Lighting cable, mic cable, ultra-thin cable and the noble gold x silver cable. the gold and silver cable combination is pretty and it screams “noble noble noble…”.
Looking at the price range of the IEM, an extra cable like the mic cable will be a good and attractive addition. I need to be subjective here even though in the back of my head it’s screaming “one cable is enough! and that’s the gold x silver cable please!”
The first tips that I tried are the grey translucent tips with a red base. it’s really comfortable and soft. Picked up the medium size and It just nicely fit into my ear. Putting the tips into the nozzle it’s effortless.
The foam tips are not like comply foam tips, it’s like the Shure olive tips but softer. I don’t have any luck with the foam Tips, tried from small to large but none fit my ear. perhaps Noble can consider to include Comply tips 🙂
The blue tips, oh my it took me more than 5 minutes to put them in. it was a struggle, why it’s so difficult compared the red tips? because of the base (which has blue color) is much thinner than the red and it’s difficult to “grip” the nozzle.
The blue tips it’s pretty interesting, it has a divider in the middle. I guess the idea is to diffuse the sound perhaps to have a softer presentation? anyway, it does sound brighter to me compared the red.
Even though the red and blue looks like it has the same size but when you insert it to your ear, the blue will be smaller (because of the thinner base) compared to the red tips.
Your experience will vary, our ears are unique after all but with a wide selection of tips, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find the one.
Sage Wizard Build and Design
Picked up randomly from the magical realm, I had no idea what color or design I’m getting.
One thing for sure, once I opened it up the shiny black with golden line texture captured my eyes and heart. it looks like a dragon egg with a mysterious and mighty aura around it.
On the side and inner side, it’s coated with a sparkling golden dust. it really looks stunning with the grey color.
The shell is made from a plastic and it’s really well made. it has a seamless design, there is no rough edge. it’s one whole piece without any gap. this kind of quality is really good as expected for this price range.
On the right unit, there’s the wizard’s signature. that’s the magical seal that confirms that this dragon egg is handcrafted by the Wizard itself.
It has a nice contour and even though at a glance it looks big but it fits really nicely into my ear. fitting is superb, one of the most IEM that I’ve ever tried.
Noble Sage Wizard Sound Quality.
Soundstage and airy. good separation of the instrument. Nothing Else Matters reveals the good separation and clarity, the electric guitar, drums, strings and lastly that husky vocal.
the soundstage is wide both in the width and height, it’s like you are sitting in an orchestra hall and have a perception of 180 degrees from left to right.
Visit the bar at the Limehouse blues – Arn Domnerus if you are not convinced.
Surprise surprise surprise, I never know a balanced armature driver can deliver a bass at this level.
Listening to Believer – Imagine Dragons, the bass is punchy and good attack. the bass is clean with a nice texture.
Orinoco Flow – Enya is a smooth experience, at 1:50 the low bass has a smooth presentation. the Sage Wizard is really good at the bass “present” compared to the “power” that most dynamic driver offer. very satisfying
Axel F – Harold Faltermyer – good thump without feeling muddy. the bass doesn’t overwhelm the mids and highs.
Noble mentioned that they reconfiguration of a vented port on the bass driver delivers increased low-end extension with more texture with a slight lift in overall bass response compared to Savant its predecessor.
I never audition the Savant before but I completely agree that the low-end extension has a good bass response. because of this, the Sage Wizard tonality is towards the warm side.
Listening to the lucky – Jason Mraz, the mids is a little bit forward for both male and female vocal, with more emphasis on the female vocal.
the voice is very natural and organic, there’s none that sound artificial so far. listening to Audition – Emma Stone revealed her sweet voice and played nicely with the piano on the background.
the mids sound smooth and solid, the details in the mids are good, it’s not overpowered by the bass. even though I feel that is not the best but it offers a musical experience. it’s musical rather than analytical.
Noble Sage Wizard Edition has a good speed a control. clarity is pretty well presented, even though sometimes I feel that it’s a little bit relaxed.
All the speed and good control are expressed well in the Born, Never Asked – Laurie Anderson. It has a spacious hand-claps, precise wood-block hits, and good marimba strikes.
the treble feels airy as well without and spiky or sharpness. No hint of sibilance on female voice. that’s a pretty achievement that Sage Wizard has a clarity without any sibilance.
I think that’s the difference between the different price bracket, at the upper level somehow company like Noble able to achieve resolution without any spike or boost. can’t be blamed though such a comprise is being made cause that’s one of an easy solution to increase the clarity and to make it sparkle.
the relationship between the mids and highs has a nice separation, they are not sacrificing each other rather they are complimenting each other. there’s must be some secret in their proprietary Noble drivers.
Noble Sage Wizard Review Summary
At the closing, I’m really happy with what the Noble Sage Wizard could offer. It’s handcrafted beautifully and there is only one of a kind, one in a million, it’s unique and It’s an art. that’s one of the main reason for the extra 200 USD.
It almost passes all the check mark with only two balanced armature drivers. the sound is really nice to listen to, it has immersive, warm and smooth tonality.
I prefer analytical sound but I have a paradigm shift lately that I prefer a sound that’s offer a musical experience with a little bit flaw rather than analytics experience.
I think I’m under the Wizard’s spell, perhaps somehow he knows what kind of sound signature that I like and silently “custom” the inner piece for me. Noble Audio certainly has entered my bucket list.
Sage Wizard vs Westone W40
same price bracket if it’s compared with the Sage, green version. Sage only has two balanced armature while Westone W40 has four balanced armature. comparing them under the impression that Sage and Sage Wizard edition has a similar sound signature.
I’m not going to compare the build quality directly but looking at the Sage normal version vs Westone W40, I prefer the green aluminum shell compared to the plastic only Westone W40. W40 interchangeable plate also easily break. Fitting and comfort, difficult to pick the winner but I’m slightly leaning towards Westone W40 for the fitting and comfort.
Westone included two cables, one with mic and the other without. the quality seems better Sage even though they are using the same four braided cable but Sage Wizard cable is thicker and better build. the Y spliter look much better at the Sage Wizard with a small form factor and premium feeling.
Casing, Noble’s Casing size could be a drawback, it’s almost twice the size of the Westone casing but offers much better protection and seal. personally Noble wins here and I appreciate the extra space.
Sound, now this is two drivers vs four drives, more always better? not in this case. Sage Wizard sound more lively, better separation and bigger soundstage. While the Westone W40 sound darker. can’t beat the bass there Westone. Westone’s treble has slightly more clarity and sparkle but there’s a hit of sibilant over there.
I’ll pick Sage Wizard as the winner. As usual, my suggestion before you investing in an earphone, always audition them yourself if it’s possible. you may like the other than the
lastly, I’ve bad news about this IEM folk, the one in a million. you’ll not be able to get the dragon egg anymore 🙂 but the good news is that the rest of the Sage Wizard that is still available has the same uniqueness and beautiful, I’m pretty sure you can find “my precious”. Click here to visit Noble Audio Store for their limited listing.
Noble Sage Wizard Review
Product Name: Noble Sage Wizard Edition
Product Description: One-off universal pieces crafted by the Wizard himself. Sage follows the footsteps of the Savant and features proprietary Noble drivers that result in a more refined and capable sound. Reconfiguration of a vented port on the bass driver delivers increased low-end extension with more texture with a slight lift in overall bass response.
ACCESSORIES - 8.2/10
BUILD - 8.75/10
BASS - 9.2/10
MIDRANGE - 8.9/10
TREBLE - 9.1/10
SOUNDSTAGE & SEPARATION - 8.9/10
At the closing, I’m satisfied with what the Noble Sage Wizard could offer. It’s handcrafted beautifully and there is only one of a kind, one in a million, it’s unique and It’s an art