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Truthear x Crinacle Zero:RED IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 2.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 13 3.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 42 10.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 328 83.9%

  • Total voters
    391

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of Truthear x Crinacle Zero:RED IEM. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $55.
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEM Review.jpg

I was relieved that they are more mahogany/darker red than what the name implies. Compared to the previous Zero version, they are supposed to have slightly different frequency response and lower distortion. We will test both. Different silicone tips are included. Here are the sets I used for testing:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEM tips silicone Review.jpg

Measurement set was recommended by the company and are the same ones that I used for original Truthear Crinacle Zero IEM review.

If you are new to my testing, please watch this video on headphone measurements.

Truthear x Crinacle Zero:RED Measurements
As usual we start with our frequency response measurement:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red Frequency Response Measurement.png


That is very good match to our target with just a bit less bass. The original zero had slightly more energy in the 2 to 5 kHz:

index.php


Given the precise matching to our frequency response, the differential to our target is quite small and limited to bass:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red relative Frequency Response Measurement.png


Edit: there is an inline resistor which reduces sensitivity some but effectively boosts bass:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red Frequency Response inline resistor Measurement.png


I was happy to see nice reduction in distortion:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red relative THD Distortion Measurement.png


That's incredibly low distortion even at 114 dBSPL! Love it....
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red THD Distortion Measurement.png


The dual elements and crossover within cause non-flat frequency response:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red Impedance  Measurement.png


Company takes advantage of this by including an inline resistor adapter which would cause more losses where impedance is low. This means you get less highs or put the other way, you get more bass, albeit with some power loss. I would not mess with the adapter.

Group delay is non revealing as is the case with most IEMs:
TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red THD Group Delay Measurement.png


The Red remains in the class of less sensitive IEMs:
Most efficient IEM review.png


Truthear x Crinacle Zero:RED Listening Tests
I was so anxious to start listening to these but imagine my surprise when the first track sounded anything but correct. I quickly realized bass was not there and bam, I had forgotten to go to the next size up! Did that and immediate joy was to be had with accurate and deep bass complimenting the higher frequencies. The low distortion and detail gave me goosebumps sometimes.

I did find the sound a bit closed so I dialed in a low Q (2) 1 to 2 dB gain filter centered at 3 kHz. This substantially improved the spatial effects. But also caused some brightness at times. The designer expressed dissatisfaction with the original Zero's higher response and lowering it in this revision. I think the truth, pun intended, is somewhere in the middle. :)

EDIT: in the original review, I used the wrong target which showed great matching with target in bass. With the correct target, we see a bit of bass deficiency which would explain why boosting treble caused brightness.

Conclusions
Folks, we have another reference class IEM for hardly any money. Yes, there is a bit different tuning but whether that is better or not, is hard to determine given the uncertainty in measurements, and listening preference at granular level. I am happy with either but like the lower distortion in RED. If I want more spatial effects, I can dial up the mid treble. I could not reduce distortion the original Zero. So the RED gets my vote as to the better of the two by small margin.

It is my pleasure to add Truthear x Crinacle Zero RED to my recommended list. Skip a lunch or two out and put this in your arsenal even if you are not a regular IEM user.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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JSmith

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Skip a lunch or two out and put this in your arsenal even if you are not a regular IEM user.
Like many I don't use headphones or IEM's as often as speakers, but for the price vs performance here I am tempted to try a set of these for occasional usage. Thanks for testing.


JSmith
 

crinacle

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Truthear x Crinacle Zero:RED Measurements
As usual we start with our frequency response measurement:
View attachment 286741

That is excellent match to our target! The original zero had slightly more energy in the 2 to 5 kHz:

index.php

Also to be noted that the Red is aimed more towards Harman AE/OE 2018 as opposed to IE 2017/2019, which is what I presume @amirm is compensating to in the Red measurement.
 

Sharur

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What is the point in showing measured group delay over excess group delay? Isn't anything in measured group delay visible in the magnitude response for minimum phase systems?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Also to be noted that the Red is aimed more towards Harman AE/OE 2018 as opposed to IE 2017/2019, which is what I presume @amirm is compensating to in the Red measurement.
Ah, shoot. I did use the wrong target! Luckily difference is small. But let me see if I can correct.....
 

isostasy

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Thanks for the review amir. I'm surprised how little they deviate from target, especially since I believe the intention was to essentially undercut the 2019v2 target a little above ~3khz. As crinacle says, 'more of a tilt as well as less of a bass boost.'
Also to be noted that the Red is aimed more towards Harman AE/OE 2018 as opposed to IE 2017/2019, which is what I presume @amirm is compensating to in the Red measurement.
Oh now I am confused haha. Which target is used for which? Thanks guys

@amirm is that measured imbalance 100-1000Hz apparent in listening, perhaps the reason the 3kHz boost appears too bright?
 

isostasy

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What is the point in showing measured group delay over excess group delay? Isn't anything in measured group delay visible in the magnitude response for minimum phase systems?
Probably something viewers/readers asked for, I remember amir saying he includes some measurements just for that reason even when he doesn't think it's very revealing himself. e.g. waterfall plots in his speaker reviews. He might have mentioned it here.
 

gr-e

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Is the front chamber vented in this IEM? I can see a vent near the 2 pin connector, but I assume it's for the rear volume.
 

crinacle

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Is the front chamber vented in this IEM? I can see a vent near the 2 pin connector, but I assume it's for the rear volume.

It is a combined vent. There are separate front and back vents internally that lead into a cavity behind the faceplate, which leads to the combined vent on the shell.
 
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amirm

amirm

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What is the point in showing measured group delay over excess group delay? Isn't anything in measured group delay visible in the magnitude response for minimum phase systems?
Any out of phase reflection causes nulls that are non-minimum phase.
 

abdo123

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@crinacle I know answering this question may not be in your best interest but is there any particular eartips you would recommend as a replacement for people who lose the ones that come with this headphone?

I'm not the kind of person who likes to throw otherwise perfectly functioning IEMs in the trash.
 
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amirm

amirm

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@Amir, I know you mentioned it, but wouldn't it still be interesting to see also the measurements with the impedance adapter?
Since I had to remeasure, I went ahead and did this test as well. It is in the review now:
index.php


Note that I increased the volume with the adapter. Otherwise as noted, the graph would be a few dBs below the straight connection.
 
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