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TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero IEM Review

Rate this IEM

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 12 2.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 16 3.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 61 12.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 398 81.7%

  • Total voters
    487

carlcamper

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Loving mine so far :)
20220818_141522.jpg
 

Kevbaz

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Dam I was meant to be spending less money on headphones just woke up to this review and ordered a pair on Amazon. Will take a few weeks to arrive in UK.
At £50 I can’t resist trying them, I’ve never heard of the brand before though, so will interesting to learn more about them as they only seem to make this headphone.
Will run these off my Hidizs s8.
Kev
 

RHO

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Surely great frequency response but I have to say, if it may be acceptable for full size headphones to be insensitive (It's a metric that matter to me but I can get how it's OK for some) Now really for IEMs I find that really hard to justify. Isn't mobility the whole point, the most important point, I'd even go as far as the only point of going IEMs?
I hardly ever use IEMs on the go. Almost always inside, at my desk or when playing VR games. So I have no issues with the low sensitivity.
More important for me is the fit. I have very difficult ears.
 

McLenin

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Wow, impulse buy from work (waiting till the first patient gets mydriasis for examination).... Thanks for the review!

EDIT:No shipping to Slovakia.....Bummer....
 
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RHO

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I am with you on this, find it hard to get any Iems to stay firmly put and with a great seal. Other don't have issues. weird thing for me it's only the right ear the problem. absolutely don't have any fit issues with the left. Try many tips and yes tried different tips on left and right. One day maybe I'll find the perfect tip for me but so far it's an issue. I still use Iems but keep refitting, every few minutes and it does get on my nerves and is detrimental to my enjoyment of music in the end.
I have the same issue. Foam tips help a lot. The only ones that stay in my ears without problems are the Blessing 2 (Dusk).
 

carlcamper

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FYI, aside from the 3 pairs of silicone tips, it comes with a single pair of foam tips, which I use. I find it helps seal in the bass more, although the highs get a little tamer.
 

Phorize

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I bought these the day they were released, turns out that if they issued a toaster with a Harman compliant graph I’d be first in line. Very nice iem though, goes to show how important tonality is in the grand scheme of things.
 

Svensson

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They sound amazing, and not just for £50. I'm using dongle DAC E1DA9038D from my phone and it is better driven than via the headphone socket.
Compared to my Etymotic ER2SE, they have a preferred sound, but lack those finer details. Will keep them for different sessions particularly when out, or not intensive analytic listening. Prefer the sound of the Truthear.
 

Phorize

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@crinacle so when do we get a Harman compliant Kato killer? :p
 

Kevbaz

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@amirm are you planning to keep and use these, seems for £50 they are one of the best options out there.
 

jae

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Not sure what is with all the comments/questions about asking about or comparing the frequency response of IEMs to OE headphones like the Stealth/Expanse. Regardless of similar measured response they are not directly comparable as they are interacting with your physiology differently and the two offer appreciably different psychoacoustic experiences, regardless of adherence to Harman.

While it's great that these conform well to the target and perform well for a good price, as far as modern IEM responses go there are probably a dozen or more similar ones out there coming out of China that are quite close to Harman or very easily tuned to it with one or two simple low-q/low amplitude PEQ filters, also with similarly low distortion. Many of these IEMs are all using the same well-performing drivers and should all have similarly low distortion, unless there is something seriously wrong with the product. Most of the flaws/distortion measurements of all of these IEMs align closely with the driver specsheets. So I would not say this product in particular is any sort of marvel.

Crinacle himself also has at least half a dozen or more collab IEMs (some of which have come out recently are controversial because they have barely any meaningful difference over the non-collab versions/other products from the companies he collabs with, some of them even had "dummy" drivers), so why is this the first one Amir has got his hands on to be reviewed? Was Crinacle worried about the others not getting a positive review due to deviation from response or other issues? I can only assume it is because Crinacle is aware of the metrics used for positive review (target compliance), and although there is nothing wrong with a bit of targeted self-marketing I suppose, it's very cherrypicked. So I hope anyone reading this review treats this product as if it were in a vacuum, and not associate it with anything else Crinacle has been involved with.


@crinacle so when do we get a Harman compliant Kato killer? :p
What would "kill" the Kato for you? Is this already not Harman compliant enough..?
 
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carlcamper

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The earphone, the bunny or the Gundam Wing
All, but especially the Truthear Zero with balanced cabling (coincidentally, the Gundam Wing is a Zero as well, hehe)
 

solderdude

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Either a DCA Stealth or this $ 50.- IEM to experience the Harman target without having to use EQ (based on a specific test fixture, target response/correction, insertion depth, tip and above all seal)... tough choices.
Too bad IEM's and me are not getting along and the Stealth is not what I want to spend on a headphone.
 
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MarcosCh

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Hi
I recently bought the moondrop chu and i find them way too heavy (i am used to much lighter etymotics).
I cannot find the weight of this ones, does someone know how much they weight or how do they compare to other similar iem? Thanks.
 

Maiky76

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This is a review, listening tests and measurements of the Truthear Crinacle Zero IEM review. It was sent to me by @crinacle as he has been a consultant on the project. It costs US $50.
View attachment 230789

I like that it has a bit of "bling" but not too much. The cord is just the right length for me (many IEMs are too short for my use). It is super flexible with very little microphonics. You get two sets of silicone pads in three different sizes which suites me fine. I wear the largest one and it stays nicely put.

The claim to fame of this IEM is that it complies with the Harman target. Let's see if that is the case.

Truthear Crinnacle Zero IEM Measurements
Let's start with our frequency response measurement:
View attachment 230790

I must say I was not prepared for such a tight fit to our target! Other than a hair droop at 20 Hz and a bit deviation here and there, the response hugs our target a wet towel! Very nice. This renders our difference frequency response kind of useless:
View attachment 230791

Distortion is good enough at lower levels but gets a bit much at maximum SPL:
View attachment 230792
View attachment 230793

Group delay is not revealing for IEMs and such is the case here:
View attachment 230794

Impedance shows evidence of some tuning in bass frequencies:

View attachment 230795

The low impedance means many amps and sources can drive it but it is very low. Sensitive is on the low side as well for an IEM:
View attachment 230796

Truthear Crinnacle Zero IEM Listening Tests
As usual I start with my female vocals. My first reference track had excellent warmth courtesy of proper low frequency response. This continued from track to track with tonality that was just delightful. It not only sounds "right" but also enjoyable. The sound you get is like the best speaker in best room with no room modes. Of course there is no tactile feedback so deep bass doesn't sound the same but you get the picture.

I cranked up the volume on it and it kind of gets loud but I thought the bass started to gradually get distorted. Not a practical problem as you are not going to want to listen at those unsafe volumes.

I am sitting here typing this review and listening to it and marveling how nice every track sounds!

Conclusions
What on earth are you doing reading the rest of this review? Go and buy one of these! I don't care if you don't listen to IEMs normally. You want this IEM so you know what correct tonality is, when you listen with other transducers such as headphones and speakers. Think of it as the tuning fork that a musician uses! This IEM needs to be in your arsenal.

For those of you who use IEMs as I do in summer months (headphones wear too hot), you are in for a treat for peanuts out of your pocket. The science works. Kudos to @crinacle for advocating this execution. We are indebted to you for your contribution here.

I am happy to strongly recommend the Truthear Crinnacle Zero IEM. It brings that incredible harmony of technical excellence and superbly low purchase price.

----------
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/

Here are some thoughts about the EQ.

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit. YMMV with regards to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-5#post-989169
  • https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-6#post-992119
  • NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.
  • Occluding IE devices generally must have very good fitting/seal in the user's ear canal for best performance.
    please spend a few minutes to pick up the best ear tip... Be sure to perform this step otherwise the FR/Score/EQ presented here are just worthless.
  • 1. more bass = better seal
    2. More isolation from the outside world = better fit
    3. Comfort

Good L/R match.

Might not need an EQ, nevertheless, I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.

Score no EQ: 80.9%
Score with EQ: 96.2%

Code:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Full APO EQ [email protected] 96000Hz
September142022-145558

Preamp: -3.9 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20.00 Hz Gain 3.88 dB Q 0.90
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 81.44 Hz Gain -2.05 dB Q 1.46
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1205.00 Hz Gain -1.23 dB Q 2.55
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 2175.35 Hz Gain -1.65 dB Q 0.85
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 4795.73 Hz Gain -2.97 dB Q 2.97
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 6699.00 Hz Gain 2.57 dB Q 2.64
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 13229.75 Hz Gain -4.98 dB Q 5.00

TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Full APO EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

Attachments

jae

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Either a DCA Stealth or this $ 50.- IEM to experience the Harman target without having to use EQ (based on a specific test fixture, target response/correction, insertion depth and seal)... tough choices.
Too bad IEM's and me are not getting along and the Stealth is not what I want to spend on a headphone.
As far as I'm concerned it doesn't get any much better the HD650/6XX or Drop Aeon Open X (both with EQ) for open OEs. There are some open contenders that seem to use the Peerless 50mm driver that do decently as well but the prices ($800+) does not justify an upgrade over the other two options for $200-400. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, since you have more or less owned, heard and measured a whole lot yourself. But from hearing loads of cans myself, it's hard to suggest anything other than 600-series at ~$200-250 unless someone needs a closed headphone. I think Expanse will have to be my next purchase if I can convince myself to part with the money in the coming months.

I don't use IEMs much so I went with Buds2 pro since it complies to harman but will allow me to at least enjoy them in the few situations I would use an iem (like gym, plane, train etc).
 

Kremmen

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May 18, 2021
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Location
UK
My only experience of a well-reviewed IEM is the BLON B03 which I am listening too right now and have owned for a few years. Apart from the supplied cable being replaced with a much nicer Yinyoo 8 core MMCX cable, I am very happy with the sound of the BL03. For £35 they were a steal for sure.

Having said that, I have just bought this Crinacle Zero off Amazon here in the UK (thanks Amir!) in the hope of experiencing even better sound at a low price.

Does anyone here have both so they can share their thoughts? BTW, I mainly listen to jazz.

Thanks. :D
 

coptician

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Apr 22, 2021
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I don't really like traditional IEMs these days (Airpods Pros are enough for light stuff around the house), but for this kind of price I might as well get them and have them for when I do need something hyper-portable that still sounds great.

The IEM market seems completely insane though, even compared to the headphone market. Complete flooding of the market in many cases, and a random anime girls obsession thrown in for no clear reason...
 
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