Posted on June 9, 2010, Shawn Sines Wicked Empire Ace Earbud Review
I’m a fan of not bothering other people while I’m watching a movie, playing a game or listening to music on my laptop or PSP. It’s not that I’m amazingly polite, more that my computer has pretty sub-par speakers so I’ve become a bit of an earphone snob. I like to hear the whole range of the audio I’m enjoying.
Typically, I avoid ear-bud style headphones in the interest of fidelity. When the Wicked Empire Ace dropped into my lap for review though, I figured I’d take them for a spin and see if my prejudice could be eliminated by these very attractive ear buds.
The Wicked Empire Ace looks pretty much like your typical in-ear audio product. It has a glossy black sheen and stands out thanks to the silver circular cap on the end of the buds with a cut out spade. The stems of the buds also are a nice hard plastic and long enough to give support to the earbud as you place and remove them in your ears.
The thin audio cord however, feels a little flimsy and under insulated, and left me with a question as to their long-term durability. It’s common in my experience to have earbuds pulled out by a yank on the audio cord. Many users, despite the instructions, simply tug them out. The plug end does not offer a flexible support and also seems like it is not reinforced well enough.
The speaker end of the Ace avoids the typical fuzzy covering in favor of a soft ear mold. Choosing the ear right mold is key to ensuring that earbuds actually deliver optimal sound and noise canceling properties. The rubberized ear molds are replaceable and the package includes one pair for each size of ear and small, medium and large. Replacing these molds is a pretty simple process and they feel durable enough.
Physical analysis aside, these are in-ear speakers and should deliver quality audio from your devices. Well on this front I have to say the Wicked Empire Ace does a satisfactory but not spectacular job. When inserted properly and using the correct mold, the speakers deliver pretty good sound. I found the sound crisp but a little flat and lacking in the deeper ranges with a more tinny result.
Speech and most vocal performances sound fine through the Ace and songs with a high amount of booming bass or films packed with explosions didn’t distort or blow out when channeled through the ear buds. The Ace also managed a good amount of external noise cancellation. While wearing them, even in a crowded room, I was able to focus on the music I was listening to with a moderate effort.
The Wicked Empire Ace ear buds are a nice mid-range option for those who like the speakers in their ears to be as attractive as they are functional. However, a reinforced audio cord would make them better. I recommend the Wicked Empire Ace to anyone who does not have an addiction to bone jarring bass or wants earbuds that can filter out most normal background noise during use.
Wicked Empire also offers the same earbuds with different end designs like the Knight, Bone, Lucky and Maiden if spades are not your design of choice. The Wicked Empire line retails for about $24-30 online. The Wicked Audio earbuds sport a gold-plated audio plug.
- Very Attractive Earpieces
- Replaceable Foam Ear Molds
- 3 Sizes of Molds Included in Package
- Crisp Sound and Good Noise Filtering
- Fragile Audio Cord and Unreinforced Plug
- Bass Not Reproduced Well
Verdict: Buy It!