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7Hz x Crinacle Zero:2 IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 2.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 35 10.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 296 85.8%

  • Total voters
    345

Cote Dazur

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2nd listen with 'phone inserted to maximum extent possible ... definitely better but still noticeably bright and slightly "honky" sounding ...
Guessing you are new to IEMs, I was too, not such a long time ago. Let me help if I can.
Everyone is obsessing with the FR curve, FR is of course important, but how a particular IEM fits in your ear, and we all have different ears, is much more important.
No need to push them hard, or deep, actually it will not help.
What you need to achieve is a "seal". When new, a good way to know you have a seal is that you should ear your respiration slightly when no music is playing.
2 important aspect for good seal; One, the size of the silicon tip, try them all, one is going to be better. Second, the angle at which, the nozzle seat in the ear, that is key. just placing the IEM flat in the ear, may or may not work.
I was lucky, I started with the Zero blue. the angle was almost perfect for my ears, so I got great sound almost from the get go with minimum fuss. my second was the Hola, that is when I found out about the angle. My third are the Zero2, if did not have known about the angle, I would have returned them scratching my head on what everyone was raving about. They fit my ears the less naturally than the other 2, but when correct, they are as great as the FR suggest.
It seems daunting at first, but as you get experienced, you will know almost instantly, when they sound right or not and correct the sitting in your ears in seconds to extract the amazing performance, these IEM are able to produce.


perhaps they need some of that supposedly unnecessary "burn-in"
Burn in is not the answer, but you already knew that.:)
 

SteveL

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Guessing you are new to IEMs, I was too, not such a long time ago. Let me help if I can.
Everyone is obsessing with the FR curve, FR is of course important, but how a particular IEM fits in your ear, and we all have different ears, is much more important.
No need to push them hard, or deep, actually it will not help.
What you need to achieve is a "seal". When new, a good way to know you have a seal is that you should ear your respiration slightly when no music is playing.
2 important aspect for good seal; One, the size of the silicon tip, try them all, one is going to be better. Second, the angle at which, the nozzle seat in the ear, that is key. just placing the IEM flat in the ear, may or may not work.
I was lucky, I started with the Zero blue. the angle was almost perfect for my ears, so I got great sound almost from the get go with minimum fuss. my second was the Hola, that is when I found out about the angle. My third are the Zero2, if did not have known about the angle, I would have returned them scratching my head on what everyone was raving about. They fit my ears the less naturally than the other 2, but when correct, they are as great as the FR suggest.
It seems daunting at first, but as you get experienced, you will know almost instantly, when they sound right or not and correct the sitting in your ears in seconds to extract the amazing performance, these IEM are able to produce.



Burn in is not the answer, but you already knew that.:)
I would just add to this excellent comment that the 7Hz Zero / Zero 2 have an unusually short nozzle. Trying to stick them in deeper won't work because the body gets in the way, so you have to envision them as just blocking the very end of your ear canal. You need tips that are big enough around to do that securely. The stock red tips work great for me but obviously won't for everybody.
 

Jimbob54

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Thanks, @Matias, and other respondents. Of course: Harman, not Harmon.

I used the longest/deepest ear pieces and felt they were well-inserted but I have tried again.

2nd listen with 'phone inserted to maximum extent possible ... definitely better but still noticeably bright and slightly "honky" sounding ... perhaps they need some of that supposedly unnecessary "burn-in". Initially not to my taste but I'll defer judgement pending a couple more tries.
Try the alternating tone test here https://asiaudio.com/pages/audio-seal-test

If the low and higher tones aren't roughly the same level, or the bass tone sounds shaky it's not a good seal.
 
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Has anyone here used the Zero and Zero 2 from an old fashioned amp headphone socket - the type with a 300 ohm or so inline resistor tapped off the power amp? I tried with the Zero original the other night and had to switch off as even with my bad hearing, the sound in the mid highs was screamingly toppy. Last night, I tried the same track with my old trusty HD25SP's and the 'tone' was far more manageable, accepting that these aren't the last word in neutrality.

Both Zero and Zero 2 used off my laptop via an Apple dongle - no problem tonally!

This is the result of impedance mismatch. If, like me, you want to use modern IEMs with all types of devices (including old ones, before near-zero output impedance was a thing), you can get an iFi iEMatch+ adapter. Amir has reviewed it here.
 

Chromatischism

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Is it me? Is it the Harmon Curve? Or are these 'phones defective.

These arrived yesterday (from Amazon.ca) and I took my first listen this morning: TERRIBLE :eek: Hideously bright and unlistenable. Funny, but the Harmon Curve has a distinct boost of mid-treble -- should I have expected the brightness I'm hearing?

Probably worth mentioning the I prefer Classical music in general, but these 'phone make everything sound pretty bad.

Your comments?
It's spelled Harman, and sounds like you're not getting a proper seal.
It's not actually a Harman tune—if it were, it would be brighter.

This is more in line with the Truthear Zero: Red but with more bass. Which is tuned close to IEF.

But I agree, I don't think I could characterize it as hideously bright unless there were an ear seal issue.
 

Chromatischism

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Furthermore, that's exactly what Sean Olive and his team were aiming for- both headphones and IEMs should produce subjectively the same sensation as speakers with a flat anechoic response playing in a well-treated room.
The preference curves reflect the consensus of their test subjects on the FR that achieves that goal.
It doesn't even come close. It's well known that Harman IE 2019 is off compared to their other efforts.
 

markanini

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...Unless the bad FR feedback is connected with some atypical pinna interaction reported by Resolve.
 

SteveL

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It doesn't even come close. It's well known that Harman IE 2019 is off compared to their other efforts.
Salnotes Zero mk. 1 has an 84% compliance score from Jaako Passanen and to my taste gets the tuning just right, so I don't well know that at all. Amir seemed to agree with my reaction to the Salnotes
 

olieb

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markanini

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What exactly is wrong with Harman target?
They're not all equal. IEMs that comply with Harman IE have generated less favorable feedback. Whereas over-ears that comply with with Harman OE have received more favorable feedback.
 

olieb

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They're not all equal. IEMs that comply with Harman IE have generated less favorable feedback. Whereas over-ears that comply with with Harman OE have received more favorable feedback.
I was obviously (or not?) asking about the mentioned IE2019 target.
As in-ears have zero interaction with pinna and concha it is to be expected that the deviations are greater than for over-ears. And so preference will very probably have lesser correlation for many people.
But that is not a fault of the target but somewhat unavoidable.
But again, what exactly is wrong? to bright, to dark, to much/to little presence, sibilance ....?
Or just somehow not liked?
 

markanini

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As in-ears have zero interaction with pinna and concha[...]
Who keeps spreading this disinformation? Is it from a clickbait Youtuber?
 

olieb

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Well not only is the 7Hz Salnotes Zero not a Harman IEM (though you could call it Harman-ish), if you want to get into "what is a Harman IEM?", I think this explains it.
I did not asked what the Salnotes Zero is called but what is the fault of the Harman target.
The video goes great lengths into what characteristics of FR are relevant for the Harman target compared to "his" target and shows some disappointment about the lack of differentiation in the greater public. Lower mid and lower treble being the regions of difference.
But besides calling "his" target "neutral" there is no information about why the Harman target would be wrong in any form.

As I understand there is more research behind the Harman target than behind the plethora of other targets that are made up by the reviewers and that might very well reflect the personal preferences based on taste and the variation of ears (and HRTF), but maybe not very much more. Of course that might exactly fit one's own taste and physique. If not, one might need to make own adjustments (EQ).
What am I missing?
Who keeps spreading this disinformation? Is it from a clickbait Youtuber?
Well, you can certainly explain to me how the parts of the pinna (i.e. the helix) can interact in a meaningful way with the sound field projected from the driver at the entrance of the ear canal. I can't.
For me there is little plausibility and without an interaction path the measured differences seem mere seating effects (after changing the measurement setup) and do not reflect the characteristics of the head/outer ear. Some measurements with undocumented measuring procedure will not change that.
If anything it shows that there are even more variables that have to be taken into account to create a statistically valid target (with all the caveats of personal variations).
And for semantics, undocumented measurements with bold claims is what I would call "disinformation".
 

markanini

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Well, you can certainly explain to me how the parts of the pinna (i.e. the helix) can interact in a meaningful way with the sound field projected from the driver at the entrance of the ear canal. I can't.
For me there is little plausibility and without an interaction path the measured differences seem mere seating effects (after changing the measurement setup) and do not reflect the characteristics of the head/outer ear. Some measurements with undocumented measuring procedure will not change that.
If anything it shows that there are even more variables that have to be taken into account to create a statistically valid target (with all the caveats of personal variations).
And for semantics, undocumented measurements with bold claims is what I would call "disinformation".
Thanks for demonstrating how inductive reasoning works. Keep in mind you have given no evidence for your assertion, which I countered with some evidence. That's not say VSGs measurements are the single source I could give. Either way, your willingness to believe an unproven assertion is not evidence:
As in-ears have zero interaction with pinna and concha[...]
 
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L5730

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As a n00b to IEMs, I too noticed an irritating and sharp brightness to the sound on first listening.
I saw one of the later posted videos mentioning that fit and seal are responsible for some issues in the 2-4 kHz area. I'd have thought fit and seal was just a bass end, no seal = no bass, but not here.
I used isopropyl alcohol on a tissue and wiped my ear canal entrance with my little finger. Then tried the IEMs again, trying to get a good fit, and would you know it, that annoying and harsh upper mid just went away. It really is a seal and fit issue. It seems many member have success with Spinfit or other 3rd party tips. I have yet to go that way.

A friend bought a pair of these IEMs too, and instantly experienced screechy top end and hard to listen to violins. He is working his way through tips to see what works best for him. Same music didn't screech for me.

One thing about these IEMs (and probably IEMs in general) is that audio faults have absolutely no where to hide. Clipping distortion is utterly obnoxious, bad edits and dodgy cutting of samples are glaringly obvious. However, bass utterly slams with these. I just can't get enough of listening to sub-bass heavy (normally synth driven) music. Fantastic!

So, for anyone experiencing issues with a screechy top end or upper mid, try, try and try again to get a good seal. It's very much worth it.
 

InfiniteJester

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As a n00b to IEMs, I too noticed an irritating and sharp brightness to the sound on first listening.
I saw one of the later posted videos mentioning that fit and seal are responsible for some issues in the 2-4 kHz area. I'd have thought fit and seal was just a bass end, no seal = no bass, but not here.
I used isopropyl alcohol on a tissue and wiped my ear canal entrance with my little finger. Then tried the IEMs again, trying to get a good fit, and would you know it, that annoying and harsh upper mid just went away. It really is a seal and fit issue. It seems many member have success with Spinfit or other 3rd party tips. I have yet to go that way.

A friend bought a pair of these IEMs too, and instantly experienced screechy top end and hard to listen to violins. He is working his way through tips to see what works best for him. Same music didn't screech for me.

One thing about these IEMs (and probably IEMs in general) is that audio faults have absolutely no where to hide. Clipping distortion is utterly obnoxious, bad edits and dodgy cutting of samples are glaringly obvious. However, bass utterly slams with these. I just can't get enough of listening to sub-bass heavy (normally synth driven) music. Fantastic!

So, for anyone experiencing issues with a screechy top end or upper mid, try, try and try again to get a good seal. It's very much worth it.

That is why I don't usually recommend IEMs, even when they are one of the most affordable ways to experience high quality audio. They require quite a bit of knowledge and effort to make them fit well, being a good fit absolutely essential; that or extremely good luck.
 

isostasy

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Who keeps spreading this disinformation? Is it from a clickbait Youtuber?
I don't know if you're being intentionally obtuse, but it's fairly clear to me that the meaning of "pinna interaction" that @olieb is using is the distortion of soundwaves due to interacting with the ear, which obviously doesn't occur with IEMs because the source of the sound is inside your ear (resonance peak notwithstanding).

Variances in frequency response due to variances in insertion depth, which is what Resolve is talking about, is not the same thing and I think you know that.

fwiw @olieb in my opinion what is wrong with the Harman target and therefore IEMs that tend generally towards it like the Zero:2 (yes I know before you all jump on me it's not exactly Harman) is not any specific problem but what you hint at before, that variations in HRTF might impact personal preference more than currently researched. To me having an OE target makes sense because speakers and headphones are "interacting" with the pinna in a similar enough way that you can use what the dummy head hears on both as a decent proxy for what we hear. The research clearly bears this out. I'm not sure the same can be said of the IE target, as it seems to me mainly a way of describing what sounds good to the dummy head.
 

markanini

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I don't know if you're being intentionally obtuse, but it's fairly clear to me that the meaning of "pinna interaction" that @olieb is using is the distortion of soundwaves due to interacting with the ear, which obviously doesn't occur with IEMs because the source of the sound is inside your ear (resonance peak notwithstanding).
Believe me I'm not, maybe my non-native English seems that way to a native speaker. But he said "zero interaction", "pinna and concha". Exaggerated opinions like this are proliferated as fact in a community hosted by a clickbait youtuber. It's malign because it obfuscates the intricacies of measurement equipment vs. real world conditions.
 
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SteveL

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I don't know if you're being intentionally obtuse, but it's fairly clear to me that the meaning of "pinna interaction" that @olieb is using is the distortion of soundwaves due to interacting with the ear, which obviously doesn't occur with IEMs because the source of the sound is inside your ear (resonance peak notwithstanding).

Variances in frequency response due to variances in insertion depth, which is what Resolve is talking about, is not the same thing and I think you know that.

fwiw @olieb in my opinion what is wrong with the Harman target and therefore IEMs that tend generally towards it like the Zero:2 (yes I know before you all jump on me it's not exactly Harman) is not any specific problem but what you hint at before, that variations in HRTF might impact personal preference more than currently researched. To me having an OE target makes sense because speakers and headphones are "interacting" with the pinna in a similar enough way that you can use what the dummy head hears on both as a decent proxy for what we hear. The research clearly bears this out. I'm not sure the same can be said of the IE target, as it seems to me mainly a way of describing what sounds good to the dummy head.
The purpose of the target is not to say that everyone must like that exact frequency response, but to have a reasonable, stable design goal that individuals can then tweak to their satisfaction rather than the previous situation, a free for all with many frankly incompetent designs.
 
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