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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: 8 2.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 34 10.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 287 86.2%

  • Total voters
    333

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.
 

Chromatischism

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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.
Yes and I agree with that definition. However Harman IE 2019 is on the very upper bounds rather than being a reasonable middle response. If you look at enough graphs you'll see that while it sounds good to some people it doesn't seem to be a majority, which actually hovers +/- targets like the IEF (Crinacle) where some like it brighter than that and others, darker.
 

InfiniteJester

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Yes and I agree with that definition. However Harman IE 2019 is on the very upper bounds rather than being a reasonable middle response. If you look at enough graphs you'll see that while it sounds good to some people it doesn't seem to be a majority, which actually hovers +/- targets like the IEF (Crinacle) where some like it brighter than that and others, darker.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But doesn't IEF display a linear bass?

1000057926.jpg


I don't think that this target with linear bass is more popular than Harman. And I don't think that even Crinacle's IEMs, like Zero:2, comply with this target.
 

CedarX

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Yes and I agree with that definition. However Harman IE 2019 is on the very upper bounds rather than being a reasonable middle response. If you look at enough graphs you'll see that while it sounds good to some people it doesn't seem to be a majority, which actually hovers +/- targets like the IEF (Crinacle) where some like it brighter than that and others, darker.
And where is the research / data to support it? Don't get me wrong, you may prove to be correct in the end... But how do we move forward here?
 
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markanini

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The best move forward is to use to what sounds good to you, because individual variables will alter the FR substantially. Amps, DACs and speakers are different, you don't have to fit those into your ear.
 

CedarX

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The best move forward is to use to what sounds good to you, because individual variables will alter the FR substantially. Amps, DACs and speakers are different, you don't have to fit those into your ear.
Completely agree… but, to me at least, that process isnot that easy! That’s why I can’t thank Harman enough: it gives me a pretty darn good starting point of what is ‘good sound’. The best for me? No… but it’s a lot easier to refine when you only need small adjustments.
 

Chromatischism

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Correct me if I'm wrong. But doesn't IEF display a linear bass?

I don't think that this target with linear bass is more popular than Harman. And I don't think that even Crinacle's IEMs, like Zero:2, comply with this target.
It used to, but his latest has a tilt.

But to be clear, I'm referencing tunings that resemble the IEF Neutral ear gain region. Sorry I did not make that clear.

Salnotes Zero & Zero 2:

IEF:

IEF.png


Super*Review:

SR.png



Harman:

Harman.png


There are many preference targets from the major reviewers out there, but it's interesting that none of them have as much ear gain as Harman.

The other problem for Harman is that it is not being refined by anyone over time.
 

markanini

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It used to, but his latest has a tilt.

But to be clear, I'm referencing tunings that resemble the IEF Neutral ear gain region. Sorry I did not make that clear.

Salnotes Zero & Zero 2:

IEF:

View attachment 353100

Super*Review:

View attachment 353102


Harman:

View attachment 353101

There are many preference targets from the major reviewers out there, but it's interesting that none of them have as much ear gain as Harman.

The other problem for Harman is that it is not being refined by anyone over time.
I can't be denied these IEMs are very popular, on ASR none the less, despite differing from Harman IE a fair bit.

Completely agree… but, to me at least, that process isnot that easy! That’s why I can’t thank Harman enough: it gives me a pretty darn good starting point of what is ‘good sound’. The best for me? No… but it’s a lot easier to refine when you only need small adjustments.
For $25 you can get the Tanchjim One DSP with built in presets that correspond to Harman, IEF+bass, and Tanchjims target which is very similar to Moondrops default DSP target. To me it counts more as easy than hard, but not very expensive at least. As a bonus the DSP cable can be repurposed for any 2-pin IEM by using the custom EQ mode.
 
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phoenixsong

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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.
As someone who wears glasses I'll have to disagree :) It is extremely hard to find a headphone that seals well stock, and changing the pads more often than not screws over the entire frequency response. For iems, I just have to grab a cheap well measuring one like this Zero 2 (or one that is known to have less fit issues) then swap tip sizes/tips themselves until they work out
 

InfiniteJester

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As someone who wears glasses I'll have to disagree :) It is extremely hard to find a headphone that seals well stock, and changing the pads more often than not screws over the entire frequency response. For iems, I just have to grab a cheap well measuring one like this Zero 2 (or one that is known to have less fit issues) then swap tip sizes/tips themselves until they work out

You are right. As my vision corrected itself while growing up, I haven't used glasses since I was a kid, and I tend to not consider this possibility. Glasses are also not common among the people in my social circle. So I didn't take that into account.
 

InfiniteJester

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After prolonged use of the Zero:2s, I'm gonna revise my score down to "poor". Let me tell you why: they present a problem that I have never had before with any other IEM, and that is that the right nozzle, despite not presenting any characteristics that are visually perceptible to me, is defective.

I thought that these IEMs, being cheap, even if they didn't captivate me with their sound, would be perfect for using while being out. Thanks to that, I have already lost two different, not cheap, tips that were both in the right monitor. I don't know what is wrong with the right nozzle, but it rejects tips. It happens when the IEMs are untouched on a surface, the right tip will suddenly pop out; and it also happens when they are inside my ears, I will hear a creak and the right monitor will fall leaving the tip inside of my ear canal and making me look like a madman when I try to get it out, which, for me at least, is not an easy task.

The first time that it happened, I assumed that the tip I lost was stretched or something. But I no longer think that was the case. I have tried all kinds of tips and only Comply's, which I don't like that much, seem to stay; silicone ones, which are my favorite, will fall no matter what. The ones that come with the IEM, despite how hard is to make them fit, will also fall from the right monitor. I have made all kind of tests, I have exchanged left and right tips countless times, I have tried many different models, nothing helps.

I can take the left monitor by the tip and shake it semi-vigorously, the tip won't separate; but if I pick the right one by the tip, it will separate most times.

The crazy thing about this is that I don't really observe any reason why this would happen. The right nozzle is not broken or grossly misaligned. But more than 10 times already it has rejected a tip suddenly. Whereas it has happened 0 times in the left monitor.

When you account for losing tips here and there and acting like a clown in public while desperately trying to get a piece of silicon out of your right ear, they no longer seem like a bargain. Add that to everything that I said about the sound already: it is kind of distant and simultaneously present a poor soundstage; and they are not worth even the 19,66€ I paid for them.

To add something of value, this is the EQ I ended using the most:

Preamp: -5.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 23 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 0.800
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 100 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 1.000
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 700 Hz Gain 0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1500 Hz Gain -2.4 dB Q 1.500
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain -0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 5900 Hz Gain 5.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 11000 Hz Gain -5.4 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 14000 Hz Gain 6.3 dB Q 2.000

I usually despise eqing above, and particularly around, 10 kHz, but these sound veiled to my ear if I don't do that. You can proceed to spit in my face now.
 
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mikehoopes

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What exactly is wrong w

After prolonged use of the Zero:2s, I'm gonna revise my score down to "poor". Let me tell you why: they present a problem that I have never had before with any other IEM, and that is that the right nozzle, despite not presenting any characteristics that are visually perceptible to me, is defective.

I thought that these IEMs, being cheap, even if they didn't captivate me with their sound, would be perfect for using while being out. Thanks to that, I have already lost two different, not cheap, tips that were both in the right monitor. I don't know what is wrong with the right nozzle, but it rejects tips. It happens when the IEMs are untouched on a surface, the right tip will suddenly pop out; and it also happens when they are inside my ears, I will hear a creak and the right monitor will fall leaving the tip inside of my ear canal and making me look like a madman when I try to get it out, which, for me at least, is not an easy task.

The first time that it happened, I assumed that the tip I lost was stretched or something. But I no longer think that was the case. I have tried all kinds of tips and only Comply's, which I don't like that much, seem to stay; silicone ones, which are my favorite, will fall no matter what. The ones that come with the IEM, despite how hard is to make them fit, will also fall from the right monitor. I have made all kind of tests, I have exchanged left and right tips countless times, I have tried many different models, nothing helps.

I can take the left monitor by the tip and shake it semi-vigorously, the tip won't separate; but if I pick the right one by the tip, it will separate most times.

The crazy thing about this is that I don't really observe any reason why this would happen. The right nozzle is not broken or grossly misaligned. But more than 10 times already it has rejected a tip suddenly. Whereas it has happened 0 times in the left monitor.

When you account for losing tips here and there and acting like a clown in public while desperately trying to get a piece of silicon out of your right ear, they no longer seem like a bargain. Add that to everything that I said about the sound already: it is kind of distant and simultaneously present a poor soundstage; and they are not worth even the 19,66€ I paid for them.

To add something of value, this is the EQ I ended using the most:

Preamp: -5.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 23 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 0.800
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 100 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 1.000
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 700 Hz Gain 0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1500 Hz Gain -2.4 dB Q 1.500
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain -0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 5900 Hz Gain 5.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 11000 Hz Gain -5.4 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 14000 Hz Gain 6.3 dB Q 2.000

I usually despite eqing above, and particularly around, 10 kHz, but these sound veiled to my ear if I don't do that. You can proceed to spit in my face now.
Defects happen, and so do replacements and Bayesian updating.
 

InfiniteJester

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Defects happen, and so do replacements and Bayesian updating.

I never knew that Bayes would follow me here. Shouldn't I update on the hypothesis of Zero:2s having low quality manufacturing, thus legitimating a lowering of my score after my experience? The foam tips don't fall, I won't go through the hassle of returning them, anyways; particularly, when the MP145s will arrive on sunday and I'm going to be all over them. People may use my report to update their own expectations, just assign whatever weight you find fitting to my "data", even a negative one, if you are inclined to do so. I will try Zero:3s if they ever come out. I think that their purpose is loable and I want to see high quality cheap IEMs coming out some day, I would love to see Hi-Fi democratized and all the old, bad habits gone from the industry.

I kind of dislike how negative I have been to them, given that I'm a big fan of Crinacle's EQs and I want the whole enterprise to succeed. I really wish that I have had extremely bad luck and a twisted preference and that they are loved by the rest of the community.
 

markanini

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A product measures good and is priced accessibly. That should be enough. White knighting for said product, is over the top. But I can't say I don't see it happen.
 
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phoenixsong

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I never knew that Bayes would follow me here. Shouldn't I update on the hypothesis of Zero:2s having low quality manufacturing, thus legitimating a lowering of my score after my experience? The foam tips don't fall, I won't go through the hassle of returning them, anyways; particularly, when the MP145s will arrive on sunday and I'm going to be all over them. People may use my report to update their own expectations, just assign whatever weight you find fitting to my "data", even a negative one, if you are inclined to do so. I will try Zero:3s if they ever come out. I think that their purpose is loable and I want to see high quality cheap IEMs coming out some day, I would love to see Hi-Fi democratized and all the old, bad habits gone from the industry.

I kind of dislike how negative I have been to them, given that I'm a big fan of Crinacle's EQs and I want the whole enterprise to succeed. I really wish that I have had extremely bad luck and a twisted preference and that they are loved by the rest of the community.
Hmm to put things into perspective, I've tried over 50 different types of tips on my Zero 2 without a single fault thus far. On some of my other IEMs, like the Whizzer HE01 and Moondrop Chu II, some of my tips get shredded or ripped and instantly/eventually destroyed due to relatively sharp nozzle edges flaring out. The Tangzu Sancai wide bore version tips were the most memorable victim- they were brand new but literally had their flanges torn off the bore after a few swaps on the Chu II (though imo the HE01 has even sharper edges that gradually shreds the inner bore of my Azla Sednaearfit Short tips). For my Sennheiser IE200, however, it is the IEM which takes damage instead from all the tip swapping :facepalm: The front housing of the IE200, from which the nozzle extends, loosened and got wrenched apart from the main body of the right earpiece, remaining connected *only by the exposed wiring (grammar edit). I had to resort to superglue to fix it. The same happened to the left earpiece after another couple of weeks, so I believe it is not an anomaly or one-off issue.

To summarize, I would say the Zero 2 belongs to the category of IEMs I would regard as "normal", price notwithstanding. Or in other words, pleasantly problem-free as should be; at least pertaining to tip issues as you have mentioned
 

markanini

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Hmm to put things into perspective, I've tried over 50 different types of tips on my Zero 2 without a single fault thus far. On some of my other IEMs, like the Whizzer HE01 and Moondrop Chu II, some of my tips get shredded or ripped and instantly/eventually destroyed due to relatively sharp nozzle edges flaring out. The Tangzu Sancai wide bore version tips were the most memorable victim- they were brand new but literally had their flanges torn off the bore after a few swaps on the Chu II (though imo the HE01 has even sharper edges that gradually shreds the inner bore of my Azla Sednaearfit Short tips). For my Sennheiser IE200, however, it is the IEM which takes damage instead from all the tip swapping :facepalm: The front housing of the IE200, from which the nozzle extends, loosened and got wrenched apart from the main body of the right earpiece, remaining connected *only by the exposed wiring (grammar edit). I had to resort to superglue to fix it. The same happened to the left earpiece after another couple of weeks, so I believe it is not an anomaly or one-off issue.

To summarize, I would say the Zero 2 belongs to the category of IEMs I would regard as "normal", price notwithstanding. Or in other words, pleasantly problem-free as should be; at least pertaining to tip issues as you have mentioned
Which tips got ripped?
 

Chromatischism

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Preamp: -5.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 23 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 0.800
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 100 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 1.000
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 700 Hz Gain 0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1500 Hz Gain -2.4 dB Q 1.500
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain -0.9 dB Q 1.400
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 5900 Hz Gain 5.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 11000 Hz Gain -5.4 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 14000 Hz Gain 6.3 dB Q 2.000
Based on what you're doing here, it looks like the original 7Hz Zero or the Truthear Zero (blue) might be closer to your tuning. There are a few others you could look at as well if you were willing to spend more.
 
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InfiniteJester

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Based on what you're doing here, it looks like the original 7Hz Zero or the Truthear Zero (blue) might be closer to your tuning. There are a few others you could look at as well if you were willing to spend more.

Thanks for the recommendation, but I have bought three headphones and two IEMs in 2024 alone. I need to stop for a while now. The MP145s are coming this sunday, I hope I like them more.
 
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