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7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 2.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 39 10.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 311 85.4%

  • Total voters
    364
Golden age of IEMs. Add a nice dongle and streaming service, and we can enjoy hi fidelity while resting outdoors for example, which is a big plus compared to being locked in a room with a hi fi speaker system.
 
The need to EQ the midbass and upper treble to my liking makes me glad that I ordered the original Zero last week, to use without any required adjustments. Still, for those that eke more towards this sound signature the Zero 2 is an obvious winner. Can’t believe the performance we’re seeing for practically pocket money these days.
 
So on par with ZeroRed for the lack of Distortion?
 
The price to performance is so disproportionate I feel like there should be a catch. I bought the original Crinacle Zero for $50 and they are my best audio purchase to date, I let a friend borrow them and accidentally converted them away from wireless earbuds instantly.
 
The price to performance is so disproportionate I feel like there should be a catch. I bought the original Crinacle Zero for $50 and they are my best audio purchase to date, I let a friend borrow them and accidentally converted them away from wireless earbuds instantly.
The catch is to un-friend the too clumsy!
 
This is a review, listening tests, EQ and detailed measurements of the 7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM. It was kindly donated to me by a member and costs US $24.99.
View attachment 335107
The cable is soft and longer than typical which I like. They take fair amount of effort to push it but then they make a reassuring soft click. The tips look cheap and are quite soft. You may need aftermarket ones. I tested and listened using the default red ones you see in the review picture.

Compared to 7Hz Zero IEM that I reviewed recently, these supposed to have a bit more bass and less treble. Let's measure to find out if that is the case.

7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM Measurements
Let's start with our standard measurement on GRAS 45CA measurement fixture. I was pleased that they fit instantly and generated the predicted results:
View attachment 335108
At high level, this is excellent compliance with our target leaving enough room for manufactures to tune and owners to decide based on their taste. Getting specific, ignoring sub-bass, we have a bit of lift between 100 and 300 Hz and some short fall from 4K to 8K. So overall I expect these to have a bit more bass and more closed in/less sparkle than the original Zero. Here is the relative response for EQ development:
View attachment 335109
While the differential is not great, developing precise filters may be bit challenging due to their shape. Then again you may not need to modify the response anyway.

The distortion measurements made my jaw drop:
View attachment 335110
As you see, even 114 dBSPL generates negligible distortion by transducer standards. It was so low that I decided to zoom way in. You see noise on the blue 94 dBSPL indicating corruption due to measurement noise. So in reality performance is better than that (SINAD of nearly 80 dB). This is one clean sounding IEM.

Absolute levels also show the same:
View attachment 335111

Group delay shows no news which is what we like to see (and is typical of IEMs):
View attachment 335112

Impedance is flat and low which is as expected:
View attachment 335113

Combined with average sensitivity, just about any source can drive it:
View attachment 335114

7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM Listening Tests and EQ
First impression was that familiar sound I hear from accurate transducers with two differences: the highs were a little recessed and at times I was hearing bass I didn't even know was there! I went after the former with EQ:
View attachment 335115
The measured shortfall in treble is 5+ dB. I started there and while that brought fantastic amount of detail and great improvement in spatial qualities, after some listening, I realized it is too bright. I pulled it down to 3 dB. Listening to bass heavy tracks I started to be bothered a bit about the extra upper bass. I dialed in a filter for that which solved that but them made the sound bright. I took down the treble EQ to what you see and reduced the amount I had taken down the Bass. These values are basically 40% of what measurements indicated. AB tests of EQ and no EQ showed preference for EQ.

Then I sat back and listened. That deep, impressive sub-bass is there and is now so clean. The highs are to die for. I have no immediate comparison but I kept getting surprised by the clarity up high in tracks that I have listened to hundreds of times for review. As much as I have had the pleasure of listening to some really great headphones and IEMs, I continue to be startled by moment to moment level of fidelity as I continue to listen to them. I think this IEM will likely make you not like your regular speaker system unless it is of highest caliber! The sound is just so good.

Also amazing is the level of instrument separation/spatial qualities. So, so satisfying. I can't say enough good things.

Conclusions
You have to shake your head when you see and read about the performance of this $25 IEM. It displays a level of performance with a bit EQ that is world class. Feed it some well recorded music and you are there: the pinnacle of high fidelity sound. I don't care if you don't want to use an IEM. Get one of these (or the original Zero) and get calibrated on what good sound is.

As to whether to get the zero or zero:2, I would say that with the above EQ, Zero:2 sounds more to my liking than the original 7Hz Zero. That one though sounds more correct without EQ. Your opinion may vary.

I am happy to recommend the 7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
25 bucks?? This really is beer money. I'll get a pair after Christmas.

Edit: I'm seeing similar products on Amazon and ebay with the Linsoul, Truthear, and Salnote brand names but all with 7 Hz and Zero somewhere in the names. These look like the Linsoul ones on Amazon. Is that correct?
 
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Golden age of IEMs. Add a nice dongle and streaming service, and we can enjoy hi fidelity while resting outdoors for example, which is a big plus compared to being locked in a room with a hi fi speaker system.
So I've got the Meizu pro dongle and the the zero 1's. Blown away using spotify. Do I need to switch to a hi-res service like Tidal to get the most from them?
 
So I've got the Meizu pro dongle and the the zero 1's. Blown away using spotify. Do I need to switch to a hi-res service like Tidal to get the most from them?
Other than me or anyone telling you so, just try it yourself: subscribe for a free month and compare away. To me I think it is worth it but maybe not to you, who knows?
 
Now that FR is essentially a done deal can manufacturers start focusing on shape and size... Somehow all the Harman-conforming IEMs all have the pseudo-hearing-aid shape...
YES. THIS! One reason I hate IEMs is the uncomfortable fit and feeling in my ears. Apple Airpods Pro are somewhat ok, but all the IEMs I have tried in the past are just horrible.
 
YES. THIS! One reason I hate IEMs is the uncomfortable fit and feeling in my ears. Apple Airpods Pro are somewhat ok, but all the IEMs I have tried in the past are just horrible.
well, the bright side is you can still by this cheap IEM and enjoy music for however long you can then leave it in a drawer without feeling guilty. I love IEMs when travel and at work but never be able to listen more than 3 hours straight.
 
Have too many of these IEMs now. To justify buying, I would get a v.1 with a built in mic (and hope it works with an iPhone and dongle). Any idea if that would make any difference in the sound quality, in theory? Thanks
 
YES. THIS! One reason I hate IEMs is the uncomfortable fit and feeling in my ears. Apple Airpods Pro are somewhat ok, but all the IEMs I have tried in the past are just horrible.
Have you tried the Sony WF-1000XM4? These are BlueTooth but sound surprisingly good with realistic bass. Somehow they manage to be really comfortable and and also stay put. They have active noise cancellation as well. <https://www.sony.co.uk/headphones/products/wf-1000xm4> There's now an XM5 but I don't know if they are better or not.
 
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