Elysian Annihilator 2023 Review

The 2023 Annihilator includes very nice, thick Liquid Links Martini cables with Penntaconn connectors, which are very rare in the industry.

The cable itself has a very nice braid, large, well-made connectors and splitters, and is surprisingly very easy to operate and tangle-free.

I really like using this cable, even though I generally dislike this type of cable size because it’s on the thick side.

Elysian used three different facial options for this version of the Annihilator. The one lent to me is the regular gold-plated version.

There is also a stainless steel option and a special brushed titanium option for an additional $200. The basic gold or steel option costs $3000 USD.

Elysian Annihilator 2023 Review

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Annihilator 2023 is an IEM with a sophisticated and sophisticated design. It boasts a luxurious faceplate that provides a unique and outstanding appearance.

The IEMs are available in three alternatives: gold-plated copper mirror finish, spin-brushed titanium, and stainless steel.

The titanium option is slightly more expensive, but the other two options are priced the same. In my opinion, all three versions look fantastic in photos.

However, the copper mirrored version looks equally stunning in person, and its crystal-clear finish adds to its appeal. The cable matches the design perfectly and gives the Annihilator 2023 a sleek, stylish, and authentic look.

The IEMs are made from high-quality materials, making them durable and sturdy. The shell is of good quality and well put together.

The cable is well woven, has good tensile strength, and the quality is guaranteed. I especially liked the durable 4.4mm jack.

The Annihilator 2023 comes with Pentaconn Ear (P-Ear) connectors, which provide a more stable connection with less rotation than MMCX connectors, making connections less likely to break and easier to connect.

However, the IEM socket itself has a single pin at the top, so it looks a bit fragile, so it’s important to handle it with care. Overall, the Annihilator 2023 is a well-made IEM with no major flaws in its construction.


The Annihilator shell and nozzle are on the larger side, so people with smaller ear canals may have trouble finding a comfortable fit.

Despite its larger size, the Annihilator shell is lightweight and has an ergonomic design that aids comfort.

The standard SpinFit W1 tip has a grippy texture that helps it stay in place and create a secure seal. You can wear the Annihilator for hours without discomfort, but this may not be true for some listeners.

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Frequency response

Some aspects of the Annihilator 2023 are ‘Harman correct’ so to speak, with a 1-4k bump to a more forward neutral that brings the vocals forward.

But beyond that, the Annihilator uses very high amplitudes where the dynamic driver peaks at 20-50Hz, stays above neutral, and slowly drops down to about 300Hz, as close to neutral as possible.

From 300hz to 1k it slides slightly below neutral, so the instruments will be positioned slightly behind both bass and treble vocalists when called upon.

Chest and lower-pitched vocals typically sit within these pickets and sound like they have slightly reduced weight and presence compared to the blend and head vocal pitches, but clarity is still excellent.

There is a peak around 4-5k, which is the strongest band in the entire FR, and this region is most likely to capture many of the energetic treble overtones.

The percussion instruments, soft xylophone notes, and tambourine resonate with a slightly ethereal quality but note that because it’s lower in the 5-7k range,

it doesn’t have a brash, sharp tone, but rather a nice glossy layer over it. Very refined tuning for maximum clarity without sounding too thin or shrill.

From about 8k onwards, i.e. well past 10k, the EST drivers have a nice lift that drives a lot of subtle sparkle in the highest registers and gives the Annihilator 2023 impressive headroom and air.


Measurements were performed on a personal IEC-711 clone coupler. The Annihilator’s frequency response is an aggressive U-shape with very pronounced mids and lows, producing powerful bass.

The Annihilator’s bass has a fast, buzzing subwoofer-like effect, with a somewhat soft transient edge.

The bass sounds dispersed and has a wide range of effects. The bass notes are loud and echo throughout the stage before quickly fading away.

It’s attractive, but the bass could use more refinement. It always sounds like it’s tilted to the max and lacks the resolution and clarity found in the top-end bass response.

The Annihilator’s ability to produce bass texture is good by any measure, but I found it lacking compared to $3,000 IEMs.

The bass weight is decent, but it doesn’t quite reach the sheer bass density and transient hardness of the IER-Z1R bass.

This isn’t a big deal since most IEMs can’t compete with the legendary Sony’s bass, but the Annihilator isn’t most IEMs.

Overall, the Annihilator’s bass is fast and punchy and serves as a complement to the midrange and treble range. Although attractive, there may be too much bass for some listeners.

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The Annihilator’s midrange has a neutral-to-bright tone with great clarity that comfortably surpasses the U12t’s midrange resolution, but the U12t does a slightly better job of bringing fine detail to the foreground.

I’ve never heard of Subtonic Storm or any of its competitors in terms of single-best resolution, but the Annihilator’s sharpness is top-notch and shouldn’t leave anyone needing more resolution.

Annihilator’s voice is believable, but a bit primitive and digital. The vocal presentation has very subtle center distortion and is not entirely accurate.

I didn’t find this to be a problem since it’s clear that the Annihilator was never intended to be a reference IEM.

Female and male vocals are positioned in the front. The female vocals may cross the line into being aggressive, but I can’t seriously say that I feel like I’m screaming on any of the tracks.

The forwardness of the midrange provides a good balance between aggressive midbass and high treble, giving the Annihilator a slight W shape.

Considering how aggressive each section is, it’s surprising how well they interact to provide a cohesive and compelling end result.

The Annihilator boasts high clarity and excellent resolution of the midrange with a neutral-bright tone.

If I had to sum up Annihilator’s high notes in one word, it would be ‘not easy’. It’s incredibly fast, and even the smallest treble detail comes and goes without missing a single detail.

The Annihilator’s treble extends and rises wonderfully, but never feels sharp or shrill.

Without hyperbole, the Annihilator has some of the most capable treble I’ve ever heard.

Even during the most intensive and high-pitched intervals, the Annihilator easily performs like a world-class sprinter training at half speed. I never feel threatened at any point.

But it’s not all praise for the Annihilator’s high notes. Despite its power, the treble feels weightless and lacks sustain. If there is such a thing, it is too fast.

Hearing the Annihilator’s high notes is undoubtedly an experience. Even if it doesn’t always sound natural. Nonetheless, I think most listeners will accept this small price in exchange for some of the world’s best treble.

Details and Imaging

The Annihilator’s midrange and treble range boasts exceptional clarity and resolution. The midrange is forward and very revealing, while the treble brings out all the finer details with ease.

The bass is the only area where I think the Annihilator could use better definition and resolution.

The Annihilator’s soundstage is quite wide but has average height and depth. Imaging is pretty accurate, but not great quality for $3000.

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What is the frequency response of the Elysian Annihilator?

But beyond that, the Annihilator goes its own way with very high amplitudes, with the dynamic drivers peaking at 20-50Hz, staying above neutral, and slowly dropping down to about 300Hz, as close to neutral as possible.


Suffering from an eye-watering $3000 price and long production time, the Annihilator 2023 is an IEM with a lot of potential to achieve.

If you strip the Annihilator of its shiny robe of hype and cult-like status, what you’re left with is a very technical and attractive monitor with some of the best treble in the world.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single IEM under $3000 that completely outperforms the Annihilator 2023.

Also read:  Best IEM Under $500 2024

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