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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

Kevbaz

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Maybe, but they're easy to be overlooked. They were in the slim white paper envelope, together with the little manual.
Will have another look today I probably missed them
Kev
 

respice finem

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they are extremely small and light. a small movement of air and they could be gone.
They come in a very small outer envelope (transparent), which, not being fixed with tape, can work as a "sail"...
BTW, I still have no idea, how the end user can replace these (esp. remove the existing ones).
Probably a tool will be needed, similar to these used for the "filters" in hearing aids.
 

Talisman

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It seems a bit exaggerated all this scandal around the image of the box.
You may like it or you may not like it, it is a reference to oriental manga culture, it is not necessary to see incitement to pedophilia or other stupid pages that I have read. The image itself is not even too erotic as some seem to claim.
Relax, it's just a drawing, if you don't like it, throw it away, but without creating all this scandal around.
I don't mind
IMG_20220922_184435.jpg
 

respice finem

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Every culture, somehow, seems to think, it is the only "right" one on the planet. So does ours.
To put it in perspective, just read history books - for example, about what was considered perfectly normal in Europe, not that long ago.
/OT.

In this particular case, it would be nice to have a choice between with or without the "toy stuff", if only for ecological reasons.
 

RazeTW

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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
ikko oh10 for jazz is killer for around $160.
 

Talisman

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Returning to the quality of the headphones, I tried them with my DAP hidizs ap80pro and I must say that I am extremely satisfied with the combination.
I also replaced the grommet with a smaller one that fits better in the ear.
Now I must say that I do not perceive at all the need to raise the deep bass by a few decibels, the sound fully satisfies me like this.
the fit does not create problems for me, but I also have to note that the supplied cable is not that great, or at least, it is fragile and delicate to the touch. maybe later I'll replace it with a 2.5mm balanced cable to see if I can feel further improvement but don't feel the immediate need.
I will be totally honest with you. The thing that amazes me about these headphones and makes me appreciate them very much is only the tonal balance and being able to enjoy present and deep bass that does not pollute all the other frequencies.
All the discussions about "airiness" "three-dimensionality" "spaciousness" "details that I didn't notice before" etc. etc. don't concern me in the least, I don't seem to hear things with these headphones that I didn't hear with jbl earphones for 10 euros, and I hear these headphones just like any other earphone I've ever listened to, as if the music was being streamed directly to my brain. Stop.
I speak clearly of Flac songs
 

earlevel

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On the EQ topic...out of the box, they sound very good, but for the sake of science (for myself, not to convince anyone else), I did some experimentation with Maiky76's EQ, running through some of my reference playlist:

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

I didn't do the -3.9 dB correction, which is for the 20 Hz boost. First, I'm not playing anything with 20 Hz content, certainly of any significance that might overdrive the front end. Second, I'm running through iZotope's Ozone 9 EQ, which has both input and output gain control, and gain matching, so I'll mess with it as needed.

At first blush, with gain matching enabled, some music didn't have much difference, but certain songs had noticeably better balance—Chris Isaak's Wicked game was clearly better in the bass/kick combo, matched to the guitar and vocals. Tame Impala's exceptionally well mid-balanced The Less I Know the Better was...better. Some the vocals were crisper and the vocal reverb more defined.

But, I was a little skeptical about whether I was hearing had that much difference, or the gain matching was helping it "sound better". With correction like this, there's always the question of what frequency range to match, or whether to go for an average volume overall. I don't know what Ozone's gain matching is doing. I manually corrected the EQ path to +1 dB, which seemed a good compromise.

Now it was a lot harder to tell. I can hear the "improvement", it's just that I probably wouldn't notice in casual listening.

Target compromises: I quoted "improvement" because this isn't exact science. First, the target curve is a compromise arrived at from different people with different ears and different tastes. To some, the response of these IEMs out of the box might be closer to what they like—or maybe both are wrong.

Source material compromises: Then, we listen largely to unnatural music (close mic'd cymbals, vocal mics with signature, compressed de-essed EQ'd vocals). There is always a lot of processing in vocals around the area where this EQ correction makes its biggest changes. On top of that, the music is mixed with compromises about what equipment the listener might be listening with, and how (car, quiet room with speakers, earbuds, headphone).

So, this EQ is helpful to get closer to the target, but it's not necessarily the target a particular person might want. Still, the target has merit, we expect that it will be in the listener's ballpark, and it makes sense to diverge as little as practical. There's also the possibility that the IEM manufacturer and those who tested actually prefer some or all of the deviations, and getting closer to the Harman is not an improvement from the design point of view.

Just running through thoughts, not proclaiming the EQ'ing (any of these, not just Maiky76's) is needed or not needed. For me, it seemed to be an improvement for some. But not so clearly on others, and possibly brings the vocals processing over the top on others (checking a couple of female vocals in particular, they sound slightly more natural without the EQ correction). To be clear, no one sounds like they do in a popular music recordings. If you go on a recoding site, you'll often hear the praise for someone learning the vocal mixing ropes, "it sounds like a record!"—never "it sounds like I'm there". You're more likely to get closer to "real" with choral music.

Recording vs Listening: I said before that I might find use for these in recording. Audiophile listening and professional recording diverge in needs. To a degree it's more important to "know" your transducers (speakers, headphones) than for them to be tuned for the most enjoyable listening experience. That's why a lot of the mixing is on less than stellar speakers (NS-10) and headphones (Andrew Scheps said he'd be fine mixing on $100 Sony 7506 phones)—knowing the source and how it translates to other environments is more important that auditory bliss.

But, this also demonstrates there is no recording that is somehow exactly right, no target that is exactly right, no EQ correction that is exactly right. If a particular EQ correction makes most of the music that you listen to sound better for you, that's the reason to use it. Not because someone told you the EQ makes it better. (To be clear, that is not the claim—the claim is the EQ gets it closer to the target curve, and that is a reasonable goal.)
 
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USER

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But, I was a little skeptical about whether I was hearing that much difference or the matching was helping. With correction like this, there's always the question of what frequency range to match, or whether to go for an average volume overall. I don't know what Ozone's gain matching is doing. I manually corrected the EQ path to +1 dB, which seemed a good compromise.

Now it was a lot harder to tell. I can hear the "improvement", it's just that I probably wouldn't notice in casual listening.

On this matter I agree with you. I didn't notice a major difference, perhaps a slight softening of the treble. I said earlier that it may have felt a little smoother. I can take it or leave it but it doesn't seem to do any harm to the sound from what I was already getting--and perhaps like you found, maybe I would find improvement with certain songs--so I'll stick with it when EQing is easy.

What's interesting to me is how little difference it made to the sound for me despite the score jumping from 80.9 to 96.2%. Again, I *think* the EQ helps a bit, but it doesn't change things much for me. That's supposedly a decent jump, right? I am now wondering how useful that score is at its upper limits. Does adherence at certain frequencies matter more? Should the score be weighted in some way? I understand that the imprecision of headphone measurements has a lot to do with this and that these scores--even in the speaker realm--should be taken with a grain of salt (hence the speaker scores not being hosted on this site). But that 20% difference does not really make the sound more or less "Harman" to me. This is why I'd love to hear more thoughts on the EQ.

Edit: One thought is that perhaps the biggest score difference is accounted for by the sub-bass and I can definitely see that as something many won't notice or care about depending on the music they listen to.
 
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Jimbob54

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Well, mine arrived.

Not a fan of the stock tips but fortunately I have already found my perfect wide bore tips. Spinfit 155 (I use the L size) works a dream on the Blessing 2s and works for these too.

Sound great- good imaging/ placement. The bass might be a bit lumpy for my tastes so will play with some EQs but it might also just be new IEM syndrome too.

Its hard to think what might be better for $50. The cable is a little icky but I've swapped it for a Tripowin Zonie 2.5mm (around $20) because my best dongle is balanced so why not.

I'm not even going to try to compare to my other IEMs, its a futile exercise (they are in the ballpark). But if someone wanted to know what something close to Harman and very good value sounds like, this is it.
 

Robert C

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These arrived yesterday. Tried them out at home and they seemed fine although the cable loop going round the ear is a bit of a faff.

Thought I'd gotten the correct seal, but when I took them on my commute this morning there was very little isolation from the outsight world. Also, just walking around made them gradually edge their way out of my ears. Need to work on the seal I think.

The cable is very quiet, which is good! Hope this isn't a case of good sound but a pain to use. Don't have the patience for that!
Update: couldn't get a proper seal with any of the supplied tips. Dug out my trusty Creative EP-630 earbuds, which always give me a great seal using their stock large tips, and noticed that the Creative's tips are shallower than the Zero's. Swapped the tips over and, hey presto, perfect seal and comfortable fit!

The sound on these earphones is very good. I listen mainly to classical music and what I'm noticing most is a sense of space between the frequency bands, no sense of overlap or intrusion. The sound is 'clear', and bass is present when it's there on the recording. Contrary to what others are saying about detail being delivered 'to the brain', I actually think these IEMs present a small but apparent sound-stage slightly outside of my ears. Very pleasant indeed.

Now, how do I find out what type of tips Creative used so I can stock up?
 

Kevbaz

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I’ve had these for a day now and they are fantastic. Below is my summary listening to a variety of music and genre on iPad, Qobuz using Apple dongle.

1. I Prefer these to my JBL club Pro, Panasonics EQd, Campfirw Holocene, Moondrop Blessing2. These are my main use IEMs now for music around the house and YouTube in bed.
2. Swapped out the supplied tips with Spinfit CP155-S as these seem comfier.
3. They sound amazing great neutral sound and good bass extension.
4. I like the cable, not bulky, low micro phonics, and looks nice.
5. I like to look of the IEM and feels well made.

All the above seems amazing for 50 quid, fantastic value.
Looking forward to more budget IEMs tested and anymore that Truthears produce.
Kev
 

Astoneroad

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And as silly as it seems, try this: open your mouth, lift up your ear by the top with one hand (these both open up the ear canal), then insert the IEM with the other hand, and while still pushing them in snugly, close your mouth and let go of your ear (to 'close' back your ear canal around the tip).
My dog watched me do this with her head tilted... watching her human pulling his ears, opening his mouth and sticking things in his ears... then smiling for the next hour. Thanks... this really worked and made an audible difference. I posted earlier that I shaved my head to promote a better headphone seal and minimize the IEM wire entangling in my hair... since receiving these a couple of days ago... my dog has seen me become a bald, ear pullin', mouth agape, grinning goofball. Thanks to you lunatics as enablers of this obviously degenerate behavior. Seize the Day.
 
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Nango

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It seems a bit exaggerated all this scandal around the image of the box.
You may like it or you may not like it, it is a reference to oriental manga culture, it is not necessary to see incitement to pedophilia or other stupid pages that I have read. The image itself is not even too erotic as some seem to claim.
Relax, it's just a drawing, if you don't like it, throw it away, but without creating all this scandal around.
I don't mindView attachment 233066
Didn't even notice the pictures, thru it away anyway ...... The iems are quite good right out from my LG G7. Wish it be louder, will have to recurre to the adapter trick. The lows are really enjoyable, good tuning, listening to Griffin Paisley - Blink from Desert Trax 100: A Best Of by Various Artists, ..... just great!!!! Edit: tips are cheap and useless, changed them.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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But, this also demonstrates there is no recording that is somehow exactly right, no target that is exactly right, no EQ correction that is exactly right. If a particular EQ correction makes most of the music that you listed to sound better for you, that's the reason to use it. Not because someone told you the EQ makes it better. (To be clear, that is not the claim—the claim is the EQ gets it closer to the target curve, and that is a reasonable goal.)
Having tested countless speakers, headphones and IEMs, this is the end of the road that you hope to reach. That any refinements of frequency response will be track dependent. For review purposes, I discard corrections beyond this point as it will be so variable. To the extent a transducer gets to this point with no EQ, job is done. Nothing more could be done really and the device is as excellent as it can be.
 

pjn

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Some additional thoughts:

After spending more time with the IEMs I realized that they are very uncomfortable to wear due to their in-ear thickness. My ear canals were getting irritated. I really do think these are a tough fit for anyone that generally uses small sized tips. I was only able to use the foam sized tips and they began to fall apart very quickly, so that was an additional issue. It got to the point that I could not see myself using them. I never realized I had such small ear canals.

However, some good news: I purchased the following tips, which were recommended here (in size small): https://audio46.com/products/moondrop-mis-tip-t55-sponge-eartips

They made a big difference in comfort. They are just a little bit thinner than the supplied tips. While not as comfortable as other IEMs I've had, they are now usable to me. So if you feel like something is off, I recommend trying these.

View attachment 233056
My experience also - the foam tips were the only ones that gave a decent seal. And today they fell apart as I was trying to find something better, as they still weren't comfortable. So, the whole lot went in the bin - I think my dislike/discomfort with things stuck in my ears overrides the acoustic qualities.
IEMs clearly are not for everyone! It's difficult to enjoy anything when you are mostly thinking "my ears hurt".
I would also agree with respice finem above - IEMS give a HUGE amount of background noise from any skull noises- eating a peanut completely drowns out the music.
Still as Amir points out, worth trying at this incredible price/quality point
 

Robbo99999

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The eagle has landed :)


View attachment 233041
I will be able to do only basic listening testing right now (using my laptop), being in the process of moving house, and will edit this post when I'm done. So, take it with a pinch of salt, and please remember it's all subjective anyway.

Some general remarks: The included earpieces should fit everybody's ears - the first time the largest are too large for mine (approx. 9mm outer ear canal diameter). When connecting the cable, polarity is to be observed, obviously, and the manual shows how to connect it properly. The cable, arched at the last few cm, is supporting the fit of the IEMs nicely, so they're not likely to loosen up when I move my head. The cable itself is supple and not "microphonic". No "chemical" smell too after opening the package.

My sample came with a slightly asymmetrically mounted left "grille", IDK if it will be audible, I hope not. Am a bit anxious to try and push the "slanted" one (see pic) in deeper, yes, there is a spare pair included, but no idea how to get the mounted ones out... If I don't hear any asymmetry etc., I'm inclined to leave it as it is.

View attachment 233042

View attachment 233043
OK, now I know how lousy a laptop's headphone output can be :p I'm hearing its idle noise already, and at maximum level it's not loud enough, oh well...
I guess I should not make definitive statements about the sound in this situation. I'll wait (up to 6 weeks alas), until everything is ready at my new location and then listen again, using a "serious" system. I'll report back again, if I can't edit this post any more, I'll do another.

A quick sound check seems OK, is the preliminary result. I can't hear any negative impact of the slightly slanted grille either.

Finding the right earpieces is a bit tricky though: The second largest pair proved to be still too large for me (I hear my own pulse), the third largest is bordering on too small (its thin "lip" probably still seals, but it feels like it doesn't). I decided to try the black foam pair (I guess this was the one used for testing) and this fit immediately. Seems to be something like memory foam. I feel like it made the bass tighter too, but not sure (see above). The catch: I don't hear my pulse with these, but I hear my muscles "working" to keep my jaw from falling (no sh!t) :oops: - luckily only when it's quiet and with no music playing. Probably this is normal, and I'm just not used to wearing IEMs, will try to adjust to it.
I was gonna say, how do you ensure polarity, and now when I look at mine I can see - you have to make sure the R or L printed on the cable is visible when the IEM is in your ears - in other words the lettering for left & right on the cable is on the outwards side of each IEM.

It's a pity about that grill, I can see it's slanted in the pics, I wonder if it just clicks in & out, maybe push it on the high side?? You could ask Crinacle or tech support, do Truthear have technical support (probably not).
EDIT: might be easier to see if they'll send you another out if you show them the pics.
 
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carlcamper

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