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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: 14 3.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 43 10.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 339 83.9%

  • Total voters
    404
What’s wrong with "attacking" audio gear reviewers though? Z Review is a creep subscribes to amp audiofoolery. Why not expose him?
I just mentioned what he does on his Youtube channel & what he's known for, not what I think of what he does is right or wrong. That's completely another conversation & not fit for the Zero:Red review thread.
 
To me a term like "resolution" means when tonality is correct and as much of the frequency response is correct as possible without sharp dips or peaks, so all parts of the frequency response are optimised, thereby resulting in a headphone that allows you to enjoy the overall pleasing tonality, but also be able to pick out all the elements within the track so that there's not one element over or under emphasised - which means you can let your brain switch between resting attention on various parts of the music, rather than having specific parts of it pushed at you artificially (& likewise others de-emphasised so you can't pick them out & follow them in the music). That's where testing the EQ on a selection of reference tracks that you know well enables you to ascertain if you're close to achieving it, as to me it should provide the best experience between all your well-recorded reference tracks. That's what "resolution" means to me, and some of my headphones do that better than others - either due to distortion reasons and/or "lucking out to some degree" with some more optimal frequency response curves after EQ - because what is measured of a headphone on a website is not exactly what you're listening to due to unit to unit variation as well as sometimes some individuals anatomy quirks changing how that model of headphone couples with your own ear & face/head - all of which change the frequency response that you receive at your own eardrum vs "what would be expected" from the measurements. It can also help to have some Anechoic Flat speakers that you can use as a reference too, to enable you to compare (in my case loosely) what I hear with my headphones on my reference tracks vs my Anechoic Flat speakers. But that's what "resolution" means to me. But you're right that people often use the same terms but they can mean something different to them, which is why measurements are reliable and reviewing a headphone without measuring is nonsense, and also why it's quite hard for people to really share what they are hearing (here on the forums & in other places)....but people should still share their impressions of their headphones & what they hear, just we have to understand the limitations & pitfalls of such discussions.
That's super interesting!
However, back to the Zero:Red since this indeed is the review thread. My bad.

I can't wait to get them! I wonder what other tips people are using on these..
 
Got my reds in hand or should I say in ear.

Question on the receiver profile for my Qudelix 5K.. with the 10 ohm adapter I have an impedance of 27.5 ohm (17.5 without the adapter) and a 101.9 dBSPL/mW (99.9 with the adapter) Is that correct? I think it is based on my calculations…
 
Got my reds in hand or should I say in ear.

Question on the receiver profile for my Qudelix 5K.. with the 10 ohm adapter I have an impedance of 27.5 ohm (17.5 without the adapter) and a 101.9 dBSPL/mW (99.9 with the adapter) Is that correct? I think it is based on my calculations…

That's correct according to the converter I used. But if you're using the Reds with a Q5K, why would you use the bulky 10 ohm adapter? (when you can just use PEQ).
 
Does anyone know if the 10ohm adapter can be bought separately?
 
Does anyone know if the 10ohm adapter can be bought separately?
Don't think so but you can buy similar things for about $8 on Ali express. Not sure I've seen 10ohm but definitely 20 and up. Search 3.5mm impedance adapter
 
This is what you get on 20Ω on these, vs 10Ω and nothing, with the stock narrow tips (which on these, I think are better than the wide). The effect is more, but it's starting to trail off. It's difficult to find under 20Ω and usually lower is what you want, for a more subtle effect with low impedance IEMs. It can quickly get a bit ridiculous. You'll see an effect with many multi-driver IEMs; most typical is a boost in the bass but it depends on the impedance curve of the individual IEM and some boost the treble, or do something else. Most single driver IEMs though impedance adapter will not do anything except make it quieter.

1687200305931.png
 
This is what you get on 20Ω on these, vs 10Ω and nothing, with the stock narrow tips (which on these, I think are better than the wide). The effect is more, but it's starting to trail off. It's difficult to find under 20Ω and usually lower is what you want, for a more subtle effect with low impedance IEMs. It can quickly get a bit ridiculous. You'll see an effect with many multi-driver IEMs; most typical is a boost in the bass but it depends on the impedance curve of the individual IEM and some boost the treble, or do something else. Most single driver IEMs though impedance adapter will not do anything except make it quieter.

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Wont you happen to know if the 10ohm impedance is 10 ohm per channel on the hot lead or just 10 ohm on cold pin? I might just build my own.
 
Wont you happen to know if the 10ohm impedance is 10 ohm per channel on the hot lead or just 10 ohm on cold pin? I might just build my own.
I think it's per channel. @solderdude has a page going over impedance adapters:

 
I am using Moondrop MKI.

I would have ordered my Red with mic cable for a couple of USD more if there was the option... @crinacle can you do something about it? Not that I am going to buy the IEM again but a spare 3.5 mm mic cable from Truthear would be nice.

Acquired my Red today along with the Moondrop mic cable. I'm getting a great seal and thankful for that. Connected through the dongle to my iPhone12, listening to Apple Music. Truly enjoyable and considerably better sound than the Airpods Pro 2 (which are considerably better than the original Airpods Pro).

Curious though. The stock cable vs. the mic cable. With the mic cable, I have turn up the volume 2 clicks to get roughly equal volume, and even then the sound is different. Much prefer the stock cable for sound. As I have had the buds in my ears while working, and occasionally placing/taking phone calls, I must use the mic cable.

I second the asking Crinacle for a mic cable. Consider me in the queue for purchase.
 
Curious though. The stock cable vs. the mic cable. With the mic cable, I have turn up the volume 2 clicks to get roughly equal volume, and even then the sound is different. Much prefer the stock cable for sound. As I have had the buds in my ears while working, and occasionally placing/taking phone calls, I must use the mic cable.
Methinks the likely culprit is multiple standards that existed between Apple and Android devices, causing strange things to happen. The dongle should handle this intelligently, but maybe this is a case where it doesn't. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_(audio)#TRRS_standards

May I suggest Truthear Hola mic variant as an alternative? It comes in a bundle that includes a set of IEMs, funnily. But it's actually a great cable and presumably it should follow the latest standard, as Samsung and Apple have been following the same standard for some years now, whereas the Moondrop MK1 cable was likely designed before they converged or before the domestic Chinese market switched over.
 
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I just spent an hour sitting in my dedicated listening room comparing my main speaker system to the Red. I have the system EQ'ed to -0.8 dB/ octave linear descending slope, but without the bass boost that @crinacle added on top of it. My floorstanding speakers don't go as low as the Red but it was ok on bass (I use 3rd party tips to reduce the bass of the Red somewhat compared to the original tips).

My idea was to compare both since in theory both are tuned the same, and compare to the Dusk, which sounded much brighter than the Red. Who is right, who is wrong??

(1 hour of switching songs between them, heavy metal, EDM and jazz piano trio)

The speaker system sounds way different than the Red. For starters there is the room acoustics. Even with several 10 cm (4") thick rock wool panels installed, the extra decay is still clearly heard when compared to the dryness of the Red. And we know that IEMs excell in micro details and textures, but I never had them compared this way: same song, about the same volume, swapping back and forth. It was as if the system sounds blurred and dirty compared to the Red. And I am a proud owner of some great electronics and speakers, treated room and FIR room EQ. It does not matter: when the mix is loud and busy, the Red is just clean as spring water. On acoustic music the room reverb does not distract as much though as with studio music like heavy metal and EDM.

And tonality? Surprisingly to me, the Red is a lot closer to my system than the Dusk is. It's very hard to compare tonality with all these differences on top (decays, details, soundstage position). But if the Red has a tiny less air than my system, the Dusk has a lot more treble and sounds splashy in everything.

Super interesting, never thought of using my system as reference to evaluate IEMs. That was a first for me.

And when we factor in how much I spent on speakers, electronics, acoustics, measurements, even the room itself was custom built... Compared to 55 usd of the Red + 90 usd of the Tanchjim Space DAC... It is just mind-blowing. o_O Hundreds of times cheaper!

This had a deep impact on me, made me rethink priorities, reevaluate what was done until now and what I should do going forward, etc.
 
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Curious though. The stock cable vs. the mic cable. With the mic cable, I have turn up the volume 2 clicks to get roughly equal volume, and even then the sound is different. Much prefer the stock cable for sound. As I have had the buds in my ears while working, and occasionally placing/taking phone calls, I must use the mic cable.
Sounds like impedance (resistance) differences between the cables. This is what happens when you 'tune' an IEM using the crude method of extreme high/low impedance swings with frequency - inconsistent frequency response when using the IEM with different output impedances from different DACs / amps / cables, a problem due to poor design choices that the original Zero also suffered from, resulting in confused reports of varying bass response, that has just been carried over to the Red unrectified.
 
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Has anyone noticed themselves listening to these at higher volumes than other IEMs? I find these enjoyable at way higher volumes than my fh5s. I do take care to keep my listening safe though.
Likely due to the Red's significant deficiencies in bass and ear gain / treble regions. When you turn up the volume you move up the perceptual equal loudness contours, effectively giving them back the bass and treble they're lacking.
 
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