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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 2.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 10.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 305 85.7%

  • Total voters
    356

Hifihedgehog

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Dec 13, 2023
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The Salnotes Zero timeline is the best timeline. Now to happily await my spent savings on speaker setup goodness like a Topping D90 PRO Sabre and Hypex Nilai500DIY 250W Stereo Amplifier Kit.
 

RandomEar

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
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838
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?
Yes, Linsoul is just the dealer / importer. For whatever reason they always put their brand in front of the actual manufacturer and product name in their listings.
 

Deckard01

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Jun 11, 2023
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14
So these or the original Zero? As I read the Zero 2 seems to have more bass than the original and not so refined tuning right?
 

Somafunk

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Mar 1, 2021
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Scotland
So these or the original Zero

If you have age related hearing loss and don't mind an overly rigid microphonic cable then get the original Zero, if you have reasonable hearing acuity up to 16khz and prefer a supple cable (still not great though) then Zero2
 

VariousArtists

Active Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
119
Likes
96
I am having some issues with the included tips. Looks like the pre-installed tips (red) are the 2nd largest in the box, they are a little small so the seal is not great, but the largest (yellow) are too big, never had this problem before with the original 7hz zero (the red tips were fine), and I'm not sure why I feel different with the v2.

Maybe I should try the smaller tips and insert a little deeper?
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
37
Likes
73
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.
Avoid sony products like plague

Screenshot from 2023-12-18 18-07-05.png
 

Azathoth

Active Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
117
Likes
266
Wow, even lower distortion than the Fiio FD5 which I currently use. I wonder if that's what I seem to be looking for in IEMs. I shall find out. Great work @amirm !
index.php
 

Attachments

  • Fiio FD5 Measurements Relative THD Response IEM.png
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isostasy

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2022
Messages
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646
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.

Not a catch as such but no new IEM releases seem to be designed to optimize noise isolation. There have been a few with unvented designs (e.g. using multi-BA configuration) which could be better for isolation but they haven't been marketed as such and are not affordable like these Zero models.

I would like to see anyone try to compete with Etymotic by making a completely unvented IEM designed for deep fit with double or triple flange tips for best isolation. I think Etymotics are great but after years of listening even I've decided the region 1-2kHz is too elevated and EQ it down by 3dB. I've recently been experimenting elevating around 8kHz and preferring the added treble response here too. It gets it a bit closer to Harman 2019 but not quite, like this Zero:2. So I think there is room for a company to improve on Etymotic's tuning in a highly isolating deep fit IEM. :D


To @amirm :

On this point I'd really like to know what your take is on the impact of ear canal resonance? This could also be considered a "catch" by proponents of Etymotics, which insert so deep the resonance is pushed up into such high frequencies it becomes less intrusive (above 10khz). The argument is that the resonance peak is artificially created by creating a closed tube of your ear canal between the mic/ear drum and IEM, which isn't apparent in speaker/headphone listening, so detracts from sound quality. Hence the deep insertion to ensure it is as high frequency and least likely to be heard as possible.

With the IEMs you review is the resonance peak at 1/2 wavelength of the closed tube created in the canal something you perceive or find impacts audio quality? I believe the coupler you use has some kind of dampening so this peak isn't as pronounced as for example on @crinacle 's coupler, though it would not match up with what is heard anyway due to the length of everyone's ear canal being different.

For reference, Crin's measurement of Zero:2 (EQ is Amir's settings), showing ~6dB peak at 8kHz :
Amir EQ on crins zero2 measurement.png


EDIT: In fact, is it possible to use the GRAS to measure noise isolation, for example by playing white noise and measuring the SPL with/without the IEM inserted?
 
Last edited:

Cote Dazur

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 25, 2022
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766
Location
Canada
@amirm thank you for the review, was waiting on it to decide on ordering either this version or the original. Just ordered this newer edition. Will probably order the original later. I am at the age of having reading glasses at every spot I sit in the house, instead of carrying one pair around. I can see myself adopting the same strategy with IEM.

Question about the distortion. Given the fact that the IEM you have recommended, either Truthear or Linsoul, have very low distortion, are we at a point where the distortion is so low, that it is more a technical aspect of interest toward excellence, but below audibility, or is there an auditory advantage to the one with lower distortion?
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
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32
Another el cheapo top performer.
That said, it wouldn't be a sin IMHO to include more decent tips "for a few dollars more" :p
Given the excellence of these inexpensive IEMs I wonder how much longer companies manufacturing IEMS costing thousands of dollars can afford to do so? Especially when the performance of their mega dollar IEMS can often fall short of IEMS like the Crinacle Zero.
 

Joel

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
34
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.
Exactly my feeling. Luckily I'm pretty happy with my (sunk-cost) over-ear headphones. It would be harder to justify the expense when these cheap IEMs sound so good.
 

Grobbelboy

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2022
Messages
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Likes
172
Given the excellence of these inexpensive IEMs I wonder how much longer companies manufacturing IEMS costing thousands of dollars can afford to do so? Especially when the performance of their mega dollar IEMS can often fall short of IEMS like the Crinacle Zero.

They just have to hope for the ruse of "technicalities" to be prolonged as long as it possibly can.
 

SteveL

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2023
Messages
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Likes
263
Another el cheapo top performer.
That said, it wouldn't be a sin IMHO to include more decent tips "for a few dollars more" :p
I have to say that I really like the red tips (on the OG Zero). They just slide right in and seal with no fuss every time and their flexibility makes them really comfortable. And they're holding up very well after 10 months of daily use. Of course these things are very personal.
 

mc.god

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
457
Likes
542
Location
Roma, IT
Measurements are exactly what I expected, just a confirmation of how well 7Hz, along with other manufacturers, are working and that claim about them using an improved driver is to be trusted, with better distortion profile than the already fantastic original 7Hz Zero.
Being that my preference are toward a leaner bass and clearer signature I'll not go with these, but seeing this level of performance I now wonder how 7hz Sonus would measure.
 

AdamG

The effort is the “tell” of honest engagement…
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Vanishing low Distortion and gobs of Bass. Getting both in a $25 dollar IEM is amazing. Just in time for Christmas Stocking Stuffers. Audio Candy without the Calories. Take my money please.

Thanks for cranking out all these Golfing Panther Products in early December. We truly enjoy the golden age of affordable and performant Audio kit. I feel like a kid in a candy store. :p
 

SteveL

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2023
Messages
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263
Not a catch as such but no new IEM releases seem to be designed to optimize noise isolation. There have been a few with unvented designs (e.g. using multi-BA configuration) which could be better for isolation but they haven't been marketed as such and are not affordable like these Zero models.

I would like to see anyone try to compete with Etymotic by making a completely unvented IEM designed for deep fit with double or triple flange tips for best isolation. I think Etymotics are great but after years of listening even I've decided the region 1-2kHz is too elevated and EQ it down by 3dB. I've recently been experimenting elevating around 8kHz and preferring the added treble response here too. It gets it a bit closer to Harman 2019 but not quite, like this Zero:2. So I think there is room for a company to improve on Etymotic's tuning in a highly isolating deep fit IEM. :D


To @amirm :

On this point I'd really like to know what your take is on the impact of ear canal resonance? This could also be considered a "catch" by proponents of Etymotics, which insert so deep the resonance is pushed up into such high frequencies it becomes less intrusive (above 10khz). The argument is that the resonance peak is artificially created by creating a closed tube of your ear canal between the mic/ear drum and IEM, which isn't apparent in speaker/headphone listening, so detracts from sound quality. Hence the deep insertion to ensure it is as high frequency and least likely to be heard as possible.

With the IEMs you review is the resonance peak at 1/2 wavelength of the closed tube created in the canal something you perceive or find impacts audio quality? I believe the coupler you use has some kind of dampening so this peak isn't as pronounced as for example on @crinacle 's coupler, though it would not match up with what is heard anyway due to the length of everyone's ear canal being different.

For reference, Crin's measurement of Zero:2 (EQ is Amir's settings), showing ~6dB peak at 8kHz :
View attachment 335185
Along with a bass shelf that's pretty much how I EQ my trusty old Ety HF5. Instrumental timbres still don't sound quite as convincingly natural as with the OG Zero. (Higher distortion could be part of the problem.) But it's more than acceptable when I really need the isolation.
 
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