Write a comment

Sound: ********1/2
Value: **********
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceReviewing the CCA C10 earphones a few months ago led me down a rabbit hole—and I’m glad it did. The CCA C10s incorporate four balanced-armature drivers and one dynamic bass driver per earpiece, yet they cost just $40.99 (all prices USD). After I ordered those from Amazon, I noticed another “Chi-Fi” model that was perhaps even more appealing: the KZ x Crinacle CRN earphones. Initially known as the ZEX-Pro earphones, the $38.99 (and often lower on Amazon) CRNs incorporate a single balanced-armature tweeter, a 10mm dynamic driver for the bass, and an electret electrostatic driver (basically a miniaturized, permanently charged version of the giant panel drivers found in MartinLogan and Quad planar speakers) for the mids.

Write a comment

Sound: *******1/2
Value: *******1/2
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

These days, when someone tells me there’s a new brand of true wireless earphones, I assume it’s just a few people in an office somewhere in Southern California, getting their logo slapped onto a generic design from a Chinese factory, with barely a clue about how earphones are designed and tuned. Grell Audio is exactly the opposite. It was founded by Axel Grell, a guy with 30-plus years of experience designing headphones and earphones—most notably for Sennheiser, where he designed, among other models, the top-of-the-line HD 800s. The TWS/1 true wirelesses ($199.99, all prices USD) are the first earphones he’s offered under his own name.

Write a comment

Sound: ********1/2
Value: ********1/2
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

True wireless earphones aren’t literally a dime a dozen—not yet, anyway. But even though SoundStage! Solo targets audiophiles, and I thus review only a few true wireless models a year, I’d say I get at least three pitches per week to review new true wireless models. Many of these loosely resemble Apple AirPods, but are priced much lower, often less than $50, sometimes as low as $20. Denon’s AH-C830NCW earphones definitely look like AirPods, but at $159 (all prices in USD), they’re not inexpensive. What, I wondered, might Denon be thinking, launching what looks like a generic model at a—well, not expensive, but certainly not inexpensive, price?

Write a comment

Sound: *******
Value: *********1/2
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Because I test only 36 headphones and earphones a year for SoundStage! Solo, our review slots are usually filled with old-school brands like AKG and Sennheiser, along with the companies that regularly show up at US headphone shows, such as HiFiMan and Dan Clark Audio. That means many lesser-known brands usually don’t attract my attention. But if you’re reading this site and you’re on Facebook, then Facebook has surely tagged you as a headphone enthusiast, and routinely serves you ads for earphones with unfamiliar brands at too-low-to-believe prices.

Write a comment

Sound: ********1/2
Value: *******
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Campfire Audio makes so many different earphones it was hard to figure out which ones I should review, so last time I talked with company founder Ken Ball, I just asked him. He was pretty excited about two then-new earphone models, the Holocene and the Mammoth. Asked what the difference was, he said that the Holocenes have a more “reference” response, and that the Mammoths have more bottom end, with a response closer to the Harman curve. This left me thinking I’d prefer the Mammoths, but just in case, I asked Ball if he wouldn’t mind sending a test sample of the Holocenes, too.

Write a comment

Sound: ******1/2
Value: *******1/2
(Read about our ratings)

Measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Why are the Evos the first Etymotic earphones I’ve ever reviewed on SoundStage! Solo? After all, the company practically invented the in-ear monitor, and it was the first to use balanced armature drivers in consumer earphones. But I still remember the first time I tried Etymotics, way back in the early 1990s, and while the highs sounded clean, I was put off by the lack of bass response, which, as a musician, I knew was not realistic. I respected the brand, but only because it was respected by people I respected.

Latest Comments

Steve R 8 days ago Grado RS2x Headphones
How did they compare to Sundara, and hemp? I have both, and they are very ...
Brent Butterworth 9 days ago Quad ERA-1 Headphones
@Pierre ThibaultTry these guys, you can call them and tell them what you've got and they ...
Pierre Thibault 9 days ago Quad ERA-1 Headphones
I just bought the Era-1 and at the first listening, without breaking in, I hear ...
@StefI sold my B and O h95 after purchasing the 5909. They are a step ...
Thanks for another interesting background article.
Sonarworks has reviews of headphones in its blog with some ...
@Brent ButterworthI don't know if the tech is quite the same, but balanced-armature speakers were covered ...
@Brent ButterworthThanks! Just one more question. Does the soundstage of the Beyer T1 match or rival ...
Brent Butterworth 1 months ago Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones
@RagavIt has been a long time since I heard the HD 800 S. But I ...
Hi Brent! Is the soundstage on the HD 800 very wide and deep? As in ...
@Nico*neutral sorry my mistake