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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 12.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 397 81.7%

  • Total voters
    486

Jimbob54

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View attachment 234004
I get it on the free version.

[Edit] I should add that the full-fat version of AutoEQ actually comes with a ton of options to modify the target to taste: bass-shelf, spectral tilt, hf gain, as well as the ability to apply personal target adjustment across the full spectrum. But that does mean running it from a terminal, and Crinacle’s web tool is easier.
Hmmm, something odd in my view of crins site. Will investigate
 
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After a couple more days of use, and listening to a large variety of recordings and music genres, I'm sold on these. It's the transparency and superb detail that have won me over. I am well pleased.

It also seems to me we've been faffing about just a bit overly obsessively regarding EQing and such: the fact is almost every recording has different deficiencies, and frankly if adjusting for small deviations from some abstract, idealized equalization curve is so important, you'd be just as justified⁠—if not more so—with creating a custom EQ shape for just about every recording.

I suppose it's in the audiophile character to fuss over the tiniest details, but there are some pretty severely diminishing returns in chasing after the perfect EQ with these IEMs, in my opinion. At some point, it's just a rabbit hole.

(Having said that, certainly it is true that messing with EQ curves makes a vastly greater difference than something like "upgrading" the cord.)

In short, I'm finding much enjoyment in listening to the Truthear Crinacle Zero IEMs without any special EQ at all: press play and forget. I'm grateful to Amir for the recommendation!

I will also say it was important to find the right tips. Seal and fit are critical. I think I've got that dialed in.
 

Robbo99999

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View attachment 234004
I get it on the free version.

[Edit] I should add that the full-fat version of AutoEQ actually comes with a ton of options to modify the target to taste: bass-shelf, spectral tilt, hf gain, as well as the ability to apply personal target adjustment across the full spectrum. But that does mean running it from a terminal, and Crinacle’s web tool is easier.
(You might not want to EQ up that dip at 10kHz, it's supposed to be there.)
 

Robbo99999

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After a couple more days of use, and listening to a large variety of recordings and music genres, I'm sold on these. It's the transparency and superb detail that have won me over. I am well pleased.

It also seems to me we've been faffing about just a bit overly obsessively regarding EQing and such: the fact is almost every recording has different deficiencies, and frankly if adjusting for small deviations from some abstract, idealized equalization curve is so important, you'd be just as justified⁠—if not more so—with creating a custom EQ shape for just about every recording.

I suppose it's in the audiophile character to fuss over the tiniest details, but there are some pretty severely diminishing returns in chasing after the perfect EQ with these IEMs, in my opinion. At some point, it's just a rabbit hole.

(Having said that, certainly it is true that messing with EQ curves makes a vastly greater difference than something like "upgrading" the cord.)

In short, I'm finding much enjoyment in listening to the Truthear Crinacle Zero IEMs without any special EQ at all: press play and forget. I'm grateful to Amir for the recommendation!

I will also say it was important to find the right tips. Seal and fit are critical. I think I've got that dialed in.
They're noticeable differences though between MaikyEQ & stock, and for me it was a positive change, and more noticeable over longer listening sessions - made them more listenable over longer sessions (removed a slight edge) as well as just optimising the tonality/enjoyment from word go anyway. They're great at stock, and even a little better after EQ in my experience. If it's better after EQ then use EQ, if it's not then don't, and if it's a hassle to EQ in your usage case then don't bother.
 

charleski

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Hmmm, something odd in my view of crins site. Will investigate
43DCC71D-8FED-4DFE-BBBE-5E7AD355841B.jpeg
 

Chromatischism

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It also seems to me we've been faffing about just a bit overly obsessively regarding EQing and such: the fact is almost every recording has different deficiencies, and frankly if adjusting for small deviations from some abstract, idealized equalization curve is so important, you'd be just as justified⁠—if not more so—with creating a custom EQ shape for just about every recording.
We aren't equalizing content, we are equalizing the output of the playback device. Imagine the purest pink noise your ears can attain, where all frequencies are heard at equal amplitude. No added colors or sugars. That's the goal.
 

Garrincha

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Walter

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Arrived today!
Surprisingly, it's my first pair of IEMs that fits in my ears with stock tips (size L, narrow bore).
Very first impressions are positive; I found them a little brighter in the 2/3-5kHz region, if compared with my other two earphones (CCA CRA+ and Moondrop Chu), but still very balanced and enjoynable.
Separation between subbass/bass and lower midrange are excellent, due to the presence of a well made crossover network.
Thanks a lot to @amirm for this accurate and comprehensive review.
As these are the two IEMS I also currently own, I'd be extremely interested to hear your impressions after you've had a little more time to compare.
 

GaryH

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Very nice of @Sean Olive to publicize that deal! :)
Indeed!
The biggest step up is much, much greater dynamic range. N400NC just don’t have enough output for high dynamic range recordings. They sound fantastic until they’re don’t and refuse to give you more. N5005 has clean dynamic headroom to make you deaf with enough power, or to play softer recordings at comfortable volume. Truthear seems closer to N5005 than N400NC there, in my couple hours with them on the MBP.

I use N5005 with the mid high filter to balance out the Comply tips, and crossfeed usually in Quedlix 5k or RME ADI-2, but sometimes with the Bluetooth cable.
It's to be expected wired IEMs like the N5005 and Truthear powered by an external amp would be able to reach a higher volume than a TWS model that has to cram everything into a tight space, but the N400 are loud enough for my ears, so looks like the extra $950 for the N5005 would be wasted on me ;) The responses are pretty similar with the mid high filter, and according to the measurements over here, the N400's distortion is actually quite a bit lower, with the N5005 reaching over 2% THD (and mostly more objectionable odd-order too, likely due to the BA drivers) at 94 dB at ~3 kHz, around where our hearing is most sensitive, which could be audible. So they may be able to output higher SPL, but I wouldn't call it clean exactly.
 

Garrincha

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Indeed!

It's to be expected wired IEMs like the N5005 and Truthear powered by an external amp would be able to reach a higher volume than a TWS model that has to cram everything into a tight space, but the N400 are loud enough for my ears, so looks like the extra $950 for the N5005 would be wasted on me ;) The responses are pretty similar with the mid high filter, and according to the measurements over here, the N400's distortion is actually quite a bit lower, with the N5005 reaching over 2% THD (and mostly more objectionable odd-order too, likely due to the BA drivers) at 94 dB at ~3 kHz, around where our hearing is most sensitive, which could be audible. So they may be able to output higher SPL, but I wouldn't call it clean exactly.
I also have the N400 and find that sometimes I would like to have it a bit louder, but only sometimes and a tiny bit and if this is the only relevant difference to the N5005, with even higher distortion of the N5005, than it really does not seems worth the extra money.
 

GaryH

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It also seems to me we've been faffing about just a bit overly obsessively regarding EQing and such: the fact is almost every recording has different deficiencies, and frankly if adjusting for small deviations from some abstract, idealized equalization curve is so important, you'd be just as justified⁠—if not more so—with creating a custom EQ shape for just about every recording.
Again it's all about not compounding errors. Yes there are errors in the audio reproduction chain due to circle of confusion issues e.g. variation in the frequency response of monitors and headphones used in the creation/mixing/mastering of the music. But it's precisely this reason to make sure your particular audio transducer is closely following the target, so as not to compound these production errors with further reproduction errors. Of course there's nothing wrong with then adjusting to taste, or even per album with broad bass/treble tone controls to correct for circle of confusion errors (Dr Floyd Toole is in favor of this, I personally prefer a set and forget EQ), but initially getting as close an approximation to the Harman target as you can will statistically get you to the most preferred sound by most people, and you minimise the chance of edge-case recordings in terms of frequency spectrum (e.g. high energy in the 3 kHz region) being bothersome. If you start with the Truthear's stock response which is already elevated around this frequency, you'll run into this problem more than if it was closer to the Harman target. And this is evidenced in this thread with many people citing reductions in 'shoutiness' by using Maiky's EQ that takes the response closer to Harman (in fact I think everyone who's tried it has noticed an improvement). Now you might say, what if a recording has too little energy around 3 kHz? Yes bringing the Truthear closer to Harman may then make that track sound worse, but, as we know from the research, positive-amplitide deviations are more audible (and I'd argue bothersome) than negative-amplitude deviations, so the best bet is to bring the response down to Harman to minimize the chance of audible and bothersome deviations. Again, it's all a probabilistic exercise. This also means if a transducer is to deviate from the target, the safest bet would be to undershoot it, not overshoot it, with a higher-Q rather than lower-Q deviation (because the research also says the latter are more audible), away from the frequencies our hearing is most sensitive to. The Truthear gets this wrong on all three counts with its broadband elevation above the target in the 1-6 KHz region. EQ fixes this, and luckily for us there's a ready-made one courtesy of Maiky so this is a easy to implement for everyone to get (statistically likely) better sound.
 

bunkbail

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I've been using my Zero IEM (with Moondrop Spring eartips since stock ones don't stick long enough in my ears before falling out) for a week now via Apple dongle on my PC, it does sound good and goes very loud but it sounds tinny and unnatural in the midrange and vocals are very shouty (this one in particular is very annoying to me personally). I don't know if it's the issue with my unit since my Moondrop Chu also has similar issues to my ears. Any EQ suggestions? I've already tried Maiky's EQ, it does help quite a bit but the shoutiness issue is still there.
 
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Womaz

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I have ordered these on the back of that glowing review, for £50 its a no brainer. Does anyone know what size comply foam tips would fit these?
 

Robbo99999

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I've been using my Zero IEM (with Moondrop Spring eartips since stock ones don't stick long enough in my ears before falling out) for a week now via Apple dongle on my PC, it does sound good and goes very loud but it sounds tinny and unnatural in the midrange and vocals are very shouty (this one in particular is very annoying to me personally). I don't know if it's the issue with my unit since my Moondrop Chu also has similar issues to my ears. Any EQ suggestions? I've already tried Maiky's EQ, it does help quite a bit but the shoutiness issue is still there.
You could try using some low Q (wide) peak filters on the "shoutiness" region. So we can borrow a few user customisation filters from Oratory, following are the user customisation filters for the HD560s, so don't be applying this EQ, but what you can do is use the two filters at Band 4 & Band 5 in the following pic - of course you'd input those two filters and start them both off at 0dB, then you could experiment with decreasing one or both of them by maybe 0.5dB at a time.
customisation filters (HD560s).jpg

Yes, so be sure you start off with them at 0dB and then decrease them gradually as you listen to your reference tracks. Band 4 & Band 5.
 

GaryH

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I've been using my Zero IEM (with Moondrop Spring eartips since stock ones don't stick long enough in my ears before falling out) for a week now via Apple dongle on my PC, it does sound good and goes very loud but it sounds tinny and unnatural in the midrange and vocals are very shouty (this one in particular is very annoying to me personally). I don't know if it's the issue with my unit since my Moondrop Chu also has similar issues to my ears. Any EQ suggestions? I've already tried Maiky's EQ, it does help quite a bit but the shoutiness issue is still there.
Try decreasing the gain further on filter 4 (centred at 2175 Hz) in Maiky's EQ in say 0.5 dB steps to preference. This is a low-Q filter that covers the Truthear Zero's 'shouty' region of the frequency response (~1-6 kHz), as can be seen when you look at the individual filters of his EQ (filter 4 is the light-teal colored one here):
Screenshot_20220930_100551.png
 
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anphex

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DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN.

I just received mine after a big delay and tried them out right away.

Bunny proof:
unnamed.jpg


It's disturbing. They sound so clean it's almost unbelievable.

What a great luxury to have high end hifi products for the price of a small restaurant visit.
Thank you so much Amir and Shenzhenaudio for showing us this gift for music lovers.
 
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