Disclaimer: The Noble Audio Savant II Wizard sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at Noble Audio for giving us this opportunity.
To read more about Noble Audio products we reviewed on Headfonics click here.
We have been busying ourselves with the new Savant II Wizard for a few months now since the First Contact feature last month which was more of an in-depth set of initial impressions. Now we can give you a lot more on the sound plus some comparisons with some of the other dual-BA creations Noble have launched over the last year or two.
The original Savant seems like only yesterday but 4 years have passed it was launched in 2015. At the time it was priced the same as the new edition at $599. Now, whilst there is one special edition Savant II, The Wizard X Divine Series at $599, the rest of this unique Savant II line-up are all fixed at a more competitive $499.
Every single one of these Wizard designs is handcrafted at their HQ and even though the designs have batches by lot, the materials used by Noble means there are never two designs that are the exact same.
Noble has a very wide range of monitors both custom and universal, complex and hybrid. However, down through the years of speaking to the Wizard and his team, I often come away with the feeling that the dual BA driver build is the one that keeps the Wizard most ‘preoccupied’ should we say. Almost like a quest for the perfect sounding dual driver monitor.
How so? Well, we have had the Sage, the original Savant, the Noble X (Massdrop) and now we have the Savant II Wizard. Will it end there? I hope not and that’s the fun part because each new creation brings in either an excellent improvement on the original or an entirely new tuning.
This keeps things fresh and interesting, responds to feedback and in the case of the Savant II Wizard, a significant upgrade on the Savant original at a much cheaper price. For once, a company that reduces a price rather than increases it to sky-high. Nice!
If you are new to Wizard designs they tend to stick to a similar construction approach and do look quite different from their non-Wizard universal line up.
The non-Wizard is a colored aluminum top with a speckled acrylic body. Each model in the range has a similar color and design. The Wizard designs are all acrylic with the unique deep-set materials on the faceplate. The body shell is the same as the aluminum variants, that being a speckled finish hollow acrylic body.
The Wizard designs are also generally a bit smaller and lighter than the aluminum variants though being all acrylic they may not be quite as tough as the standard line.
All the Savant II Wizard designs are by a lot number and this one is number 22 which I picked on right away because I loved the deep-set polished red swirl composite or ‘nebula’ design. This design really stands out for the pics and I do like my color schemes bold looking with high contrast. There is nothing subtle here but neither does the visual look garish or gaudy.
The form factor of the Savant II is also quite diminutive, almost pea-sized compared to some of their larger driver builds. Comparing this to the Noble X and Savanna creations the Savant II Wizard’s very low-profile faceplate does shave a lot of grams and millimeters from the overall dimension of the build.
Cable & Connectors
The connectors, as always with Noble, are 2-pin 0.78mm. These are mounted flush to the acrylic shell and if there is one thing I would advise caution on, its pressure. If your aftermarket cable pins are too bulky, (can happen due to production finishing), then do not force them in. You could end up sinking the socket and damaging the Savant II shell.
The Savant II does not use the silver-plated Litz wire from the more expensive Khan. Instead, it is an SPC tinsel 4-wire stock cable. This is a 1.2m wire with a black tight twisted plastic jacket wrap with an ok sonic performance but above average physical handling. You will find zero microphonics on this cable, it is very pliant and also very light.
There is a memory wire finish near the connector sockets but it is very low-profile and also relatively short so you will hardly feel it, even if you wear glasses. Strain relief is also a bit low-profile but honestly, I have never had any build issues with these types of cables so I doubt it will ever fall apart anytime soon.
The barrels are a mix of silver alloy branded small tubes for the Y-Split and a thin straight black aluminum barrel for the 3.5mm TRS jack.
Comfort & Fit
There have been zeros issues on comfort due to the Savant II’s very light-weight nature and small size. You hardly feel them in the ear and they do not stick out in an ungainly manner. The over-the-ear connection and stock 4-wire cable put very little discomforting pressure on the top of the ear also so you are unlikely to have issues with the Savant Ii fit if you are a glasses user.
Not going with a “custom universal’ shell design does not hold the Savant II back in terms of sitting snugly in your ear. However, that relatively small form factor and shortish nozzle of the Savant II mean you are likely going to rely more on what tips you use to get a good seal.
The seal seems strong with the supplied foam tips though combined with the OFC wire its quite a meaty warm sound. I would recommend moving to a less compressed sounding 8-wire cable with a neutral signature to get the most out of the Savant II with the foam tips, (which is how I tend to listen to them most of the time).
The stubby bi-flange tips felt a little loose in my ear and didn’t seem to grip that well on my ear canal. They tended to slide out to the edge and make a funny noise when inserting. These tips will also suck a little bass power out and give you something a bit more mid-centric from the Savant II.
The red-stem single bore silicone tips were excellent for me and almost as good as the foam tips for isolation and sealing. Just a hint less bass warmth which might suit a few preferences. The blue stem single silicone tips I couldn’t figure out at all because they did not seem to want to slide over the nozzle and stay there so for me these are a shade too small.
Accessories & Connectors
The Noble unboxing experience has been pretty much consistent now for the last year or so using aspects of their collaboration with Massdrop, (circular plastic carry case), combined with aspects from their flagship launches such as the larger black patterned display box. I find it fairly professional looking if somewhat on the large size.
Still, sometimes size does matter when people put dollar signs up against a possible purchase so it does look aesthetically impressive from a retail display point of view.
You always get plenty of accessories with Noble creations and the Savant II is no different in that respect. The line-up is as follows:
- Soft velvet pouch
- Stock cable
- Carabiner hook, (for attaching to the Pelican 1010 case)
- 2 branded rubber stacking straps
- 3 x blue stem single bore silicone tips S/M/L
- 3 x red stem single bore silicone tips S/M/L
- S/M/L dual-flange tips
- 3 x foam tips S/M/L
- 1 cleaning brush/pick
Inside the box opens up for a dual display of carrying options including that small plastic carry case and the more traditional Pelican 1010 weather sealed hard case.
I tend to use the larger Pelican for carrying Noble IEMs with me for travel purposes. There is a lot more space for multiple tips, cables, and the Savant II as well as being weather sealed. The small case is nice if you want something more discreet but it is a bit tight for anything other than the stock cable and IEMs.
Page 2: Sound Impressions & Matchability