• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero IEM Review

Rate this IEM

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 12 2.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 3.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 52 11.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 377 82.9%

  • Total voters
    455

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,258
Likes
3,205
Earplugs are generally safe to use while sleeping. However, over time, earplugs can push earwax deep into your ear canal, causing a build-up and leading to feelings of blockage, hearing loss and possible infections. For this reason, if you have a wax problem we would not recommend the Foam or Soft Rubber Cone types of ear plug.
That's why every night before I put my ear plugs in, I use cotton swabs (carefully).
 

cbracer

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
29
Location
California
Did you try the tips with the wider openings? I found that balanced the bass out a bit more.
Yes just tried the wider opening. It does lower the bass, but changes a lot of the overall sound. I think it may be due to less sealing compared to the small opening. And as such the entire range seems different, though not equally. I have very small ear canals and the smallest opening silicon seals feel the best in my ears. The small but larger opening silicon does hurt a little. My last pair of IEM was made better by trimming off the bulge that holds the silicon ear pieces on, then a tiny drop of superglue to keep them on. These ear pieces are so tight on the speaker it's hard to rip them off and push them back on. Now I want something in-between the two sizes, that would be perfect.

It's been so long since I've really listened to music with headphones/IEM,... its truly amazing compared to speakers. Sound is more real and there and perfect, I hear everything with these.
 
Last edited:

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,258
Likes
3,205
My take on the Truthear Zero IEM

Screenshot_20220930-192059-1.jpg


The packaging is nice. And a leather pouch? I feel like I spent more than $50, that's for sure.

Plenty of tips are provided, and most people should be able to find one that works for them. The large silicone tips (small bore) provide a great seal and comfort for me. I forget I have them on. However, the foam tips are better absorbers of the environment, naturally.

If you're going on a flight, definitely use foam tips.

Safety note: although the foam tips may attenuate the background by some 20-30 dB, the drone of a flight will still cause you to use higher than normal volume levels. You'll find a level that sounds normal to you (and you'll notice your volume slider is higher than normal), but your ears are still getting an elevated total SPL. Don't crank it up to compensate. Just put up with the noise floor and be kind to your hearing.

I find these to be comfortable. They are lightweight and unobtrusive. I like the cable - light, flexible, and seemingly no microphonics thanks to the tight braid. I do wish I could rotate it at the connector to get it to sit closer to my head, but that can't be done with this connector type, which has two pins for polarity.

The design is attractive, with a purple or blue color depending on the angle the light hits them.

Now, on to the sound.

My neutral reference:

Buchardt S400 MKII
Rythmik FV15HP x2, placement-optimized & equalized.

Out of the box these are too bright for me. I kind of expected that based on my current gear and looking at the measurements for comparison. I agree with others on this. The upper midrange runs away with it, and the bass contour is not to my liking. However, these have tons of potential...

Slaying the shouty dragon

The following EQ was developed with the small-bore silicone tips. I listened to the foam tips afterward and they definitely push the balance further toward the bass and reduce the highs. If using foam, I would take 1 dB or so off of both bass filters below. Of course this is the most subjective part, so do experiment with this.

I spent 3 hours going back and forth between Crinacle's EQ tool, downloading to Wavelet, and listening to music. My reference tracks are full-range movie soundtracks and spectrally-dense, well-recorded rock and pop music. All frequencies are represented in the mix. This EQ will fix the bass balance by reducing the midbass emphasis and extending the bass response to 20 Hz. I didn't take it blindly to the Harman target – since the highs were altered, you can't know what the overall balance will sound like unless you listen. It's all relative. The bass is much cleaner sounding. Most importantly, this EQ will eliminate the shoutiness of the upper midrange. It will sound balanced, and the headphones will disappear. If you have never experienced the bass that well-integrated subs can provide, here is your chance to get a preview.

You know you're close on the EQ when the goosebumps come...

Here is the input I used on the Crinacle site to generate the EQ:

Code:
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 2.4 dB Q 2.200
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 80 Hz Gain -3.6 dB Q 0.800
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 100 Hz Gain -1.0 dB Q 2.000
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 175 Hz Gain 1.8 dB Q 1.800
Filter 5: OFF PK Fc 1100 Hz Gain -0.6 dB Q 2.000
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2750 Hz Gain -3.2 dB Q 1.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 5000 Hz Gain -5.5 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 7500 Hz Gain -4.2 dB Q 5.000

Saved to a .txt file, this can be loaded directly into Equalizer APO/PEACE.

graph EQ IEF.png


For mobile use I exported using the Wavelet option. You can download that below on this post.

Download the attached file Truthear x crinacle Zero EX7 to your Android device. In Wavelet, choose AutoEq and Import the file from storage.

The other file, Truthear x crinacle Zero Filters EX7 is for Equalizer APO or other programs.

This is as close to my $10k system as I've heard. And I can take it with me! Having a mobile reference is outstanding. Especially for these prices.

If you can't use Wavelet but have a 10-band PEQ, you can still implement the filters as close as you can. It will be less surgical but it will get the job done.

This was updated to my latest and probably last.
 

Attachments

  • Truthear x crinacle Zero Filters EX7.txt
    385 bytes · Views: 19
  • Truthear x crinacle Zero EX7.txt
    1.3 KB · Views: 20
Last edited:

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,258
Likes
3,205
@julian_hughes and @cbracer try my EQ. It is similar to what Maiky did, only it goes a little further.

Maiky:

1664610485709.png


And if you're having trouble with the tips, put them on at an angle so you get 50% of it on. Then, rotate it like you're screwing it on to the IEM. The motion will help it slide on and not get stuck. Gets easy after a couple of tries.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,756
Likes
4,439
Location
UK
You are not alone.

I'm testing now. I find that with the small bore, large silicone tips, I need a 4+ dB cut from 2.4 to 5 kHz. I always knew I had a lot of sensitivity in that range and this proves it. 9.6 Khz also needs to be brought down or the sound is too sharp. This is with a 10-band PEQ, so not too sophisticated. If you use more exact methods, you'll be able to hone in on problem frequencies better.

Wavelet doesn't let me alter below 75 Hz so I need to bring up the low bass. Once I figure out how to do that my perception of the highs should change a little.
Here you go (re your Wavelet 75Hz dilemma), you can use Crinacle's graphing tool to create EQ, and you'd start off by aligning the measurement at 20Hz, that way all you're doing is cutting the rest of the frequency range:
1664611224389.png

EDIT: thinking about it, that's a pretty graceful EQ as it's only using 5 filters and they're all below Q1, so they're very wide filters that is thought to be a positive influence in itself when it comes to good EQ practice, and it preserves some of the character of the Crinacle Zero in terms of that little 8000Hz peak. I might try that one rather than the Maiky EQ I've been using - nothing wrong with MaikyEQ apart from the sharp filter he uses at 13000Hz, but this one looks like a more graceful EQ to me. (This would also be useful for RME ADI DAC users due to it's limitation of 5 Peak Filters.)
 
Last edited:

woof!

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
26
Likes
26
Not compatible? Is this due to your UTWS3 having an mmcx connector, or something else?
nope mine is the same with what you are getting .78mm version. the problem is the .78mm is flat but this truthear have a recessed .78mm so the pin is too short.
 

charleski

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
836
Likes
1,660
Location
Manchester UK
nope mine is the same with what you are getting .78mm version. the problem is the .78mm is flat but this truthear have a recessed .78mm so the pin is too short.
The consensus on the headfi thread is that it's better to get the MMCX version and use a small adapter like this.
 

woof!

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
26
Likes
26
The consensus on the headfi thread is that it's better to get the MMCX version and use a small adapter like this.
well, too late for me. I bought mine sometime ago. besides, in my opinion, there is no point in using UTWS3 with this iem. it's too noisy. I can hear buzzing noise when it's idle even with other low distortion iem.
 

ManuCV

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
48
Likes
28
Just received mine. I'm not a regular IEM user (just have a pair of cheap Jabra Elite 65t for the gym) but the sound of these is incredible for the price. Out of the box they are on the bright(er) side, but a lot of detail and the bass is sweet. Really fun to listen. Loving them so far and very comfortable, that was a surprise as well.
 

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,258
Likes
3,205
Here you go (re your Wavelet 75Hz dilemma), you can use Crinacle's graphing tool to create EQ, and you'd start off by aligning the measurement at 20Hz, that way all you're doing is cutting the rest of the frequency range:
View attachment 234263
EDIT: thinking about it, that's a pretty graceful EQ as it's only using 5 filters and they're all below Q1, so they're very wide filters that is thought to be a positive influence in itself when it comes to good EQ practice, and it preserves some of the character of the Crinacle Zero in terms of that little 8000Hz peak. I might try that one rather than the Maiky EQ I've been using - nothing wrong with MaikyEQ apart from the sharp filter he uses at 13000Hz, but this one looks like a more graceful EQ to me. (This would also be useful for RME ADI DAC users due to it's limitation of 5 Peak Filters.)
I don't think there's a need to drop the mid-range like that.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,756
Likes
4,439
Location
UK
I don't think there's a need to drop the mid-range like that.
Errmm, it's an EQ to the Harman 2019 v2 curve - what more do you need to know! :D:facepalm:

(You should know that EQ is a zero sum game, it doesn't matter where you start matching the curve.....well not beyond the different types of EQ filters that are required to match the curve......(you might need to expand your understanding of EQ)).
 

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
4,258
Likes
3,205
Errmm, it's an EQ to the Harman 2019 v2 curve - what more do you need to know! :D:facepalm:

(You should know that EQ is a zero sum game, it doesn't matter where you start matching the curve.....well not beyond the different types of EQ filters that are required to match the curve......(you might need to expand your understanding of EQ)).
I know how EQ works. I stand by my post :)

The tool creates a preamp offset so there's no need to drop the curve for that reason.

It's best to keep the mid-range anchored so you have a reference while addressing the actual problems, while making it easier to A/B. I didn't find problems in the mid-range so I left it alone. If you notice how I did mine above (and Maiky) it's easy for us to compare to our starting point.
 

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,100
Likes
3,158
Indeed! 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.

To me this just shows how perceptually useless most loudspeaker distortion measurements are.

I personally find the headroom available in N400NC fine for “loudness war” music but inadequate for music with higher dynamic range and lowish average levels, or music mastered more softly. So I don’t honestly use them much, even though they’re the best of any IEMs I’ve tried at staying sealed in my ears. As “only IEMs” I would prefer Truthear connected to a reasonably powerful amp (I can only speak to MacBook Pro 14, which works very well with them) over N400NC but not N5005.
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,756
Likes
4,439
Location
UK
I know how EQ works. I stand by my post :)

The tool creates a preamp offset so there's no need to drop the curve for that reason.

It's best to keep the mid-range anchored so you have a reference while addressing the actual problems, while making it easier to A/B. I didn't find problems in the mid-range so I left it alone. If you notice how I did mine above (and Maiky) it's easy for us to compare to our starting point.
I'm sorry man, but you have no idea. I'm sorry to be so sharp, but I don't appreciate such a post when I'm going out of my way trying to help you with an EQ for your Android system that won't accept filters below 75Hz. That is what I've created for you, don't blame the messenger - if you don't like the Harman 2019 v2 Target Curve then say so, as my EQ I gave you was a totally valid EQ, and an elegant one at that, to that Target Curve and allowed you to not use any filters under 75Hz - which was the problem you stated. If you don't like the Harman 2019 v2 Target Curve then say so, but don't diss my EQ because it is an exact representation of that curve whilst allowing you to not use any filters under 75Hz. If you don't understand what I'm talking about or why that's the case, then you do indeed have quite a bit to learn about EQ. If you do now understand what I'm talking about, then you will realise it's been a misunderstanding.

EDIT: you don't need a negative preamp if you're matching the measurement on the curve at such a point that I did, which is the only reason you were able to get away with a Harman 2019 v2 EQ without using filters under 75Hz in the first place, lol! :facepalm: (Sorry, you do have quite a bit to learn about EQ, which is fine, just I don't appreciate your attitude when I'm giving you a very elegant solution to your problem.......now if you don't want an EQ to the Harman 2019 v2 curve then make that clear, but my EQ is 100% valid if that's what you're after.)
 
Last edited:

mga2009

Active Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
147
Likes
75
Use a different target.
Harman in-ear is shouty. Even a perfect Harman IEM will sound shrill.
Thanks for the recommendation.

I am a complete noob regarding HP and IEMs... how should I eq for a different target curve?

I need crinacle's payed tool?
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
2,676
Likes
3,789
@mga2009 you can upload your own target and generate EQs here
Other useful, free programs: Room EQ Wizard, Webplotdigitizer, AutoEQ Python, HPToy
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
156
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
One thing this thread demonstrates beyond any shadow of a doubt: ASR is regrettably just as susceptible to the power of suggestion and and the perils of group think as any other.

I'm listening to Renaissance vocal music right now, which a poster above claimed would be harsh, with or without the magic of equalization. I'm listening without equalization to Josquin des Prez's Missa Pange lingua, on the famous recording as performed by the Tallis Scholars (CD; Gimell, 1986), and it is glorious. It's not remotely anything I'd think could be fairly called "harsh," "shouty," or "shrill." (I think it might do some posters good to listen to an 80s Sony Walkman with stock earphones to help prod their memory as to a sound that actually justifies those epithets.)

Since the Josquin isn't English church music, I moved on to Orlando Gibbons. (No Tomkins in my collection, I'm afraid.) Would my ears be shredded ragged by the harsh, shrill, human voice as reproduced by these dreadfully "shouty," non-EQed IEMs?

Of course not. It sounds just lovely. Orlando Gibbons, "With a Merrie Noyse": Second Service and Consort Anthems, performed by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, with Fretwork, directed by Bill Ives (CD; Harmonia Mundi, 2003.)

In other words, despite how people have been using language in this thread, opinions don't become facts even when repeated over and over again. They're just opinions. And so is mine.

And my opinion is that Amir made a solid recommendation here. I will acknowledge that for some, a little EQ, suit to taste, will make them even better.
 

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
499
Likes
492
One thing this thread demonstrates beyond any shadow of a doubt: ASR is regrettably just as susceptible to the power of suggestion and and the perils of group think as any other.

I'm listening to Renaissance vocal music right now, which a poster above claimed would be harsh, with or without the magic of equalization. I'm listening without equalization to Josquin des Prez's Missa Pange lingua, on the famous recording as performed by the Tallis Scholars (CD; Gimell, 1986), and it is glorious. It's not remotely anything I'd think could be fairly called "harsh," "shouty," or "shrill." (I think it might do some posters good to listen to an 80s Sony Walkman with stock earphones to help prod their memory as to a sound that actually justifies those epithets.)

Since the Josquin isn't English church music, I moved on to Orlando Gibbons. (No Tomkins in my collection, I'm afraid.) Would my ears be shredded ragged by the harsh, shrill, human voice as reproduced by these dreadfully "shouty," non-EQed IEMs?

Of course not. It sounds just lovely. Orlando Gibbons, "With a Merrie Noyse": Second Service and Consort Anthems, performed by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, with Fretwork, directed by Bill Ives (CD; Harmonia Mundi, 2003.)

In other words, despite how people have been using language in this thread, opinions don't become facts even when repeated over and over again. They're just opinions. And so is mine.

And my opinion is that Amir made a solid recommendation here. I will acknowledge that for some, a little EQ, suit to taste, will make them even better.

It is very interesting to hear the feedback from forum members listening on a "standardised" piece of equipment, in as much as tips and source will vary the experience.

I don't hear anything I would call "shouty", whatever that means and love the sound of these things as they are. I can barely tell any sound difference between the foam and silicone tips. I am going to do some A/B testing today using the proposed EQ above just to satisfy my curiosity however based on how well these little things reproduce what I hear from my 8030Cs out of the box there isn't much "better" to be had for my taste, just different.
 
Top Bottom