The CCA CRA is the most recent single dynamic driver IEM from KZ’s sister model. The CRA is the corporate’s entry-level mannequin, beginning at simply $15. The mixture of value and CCA’s status for producing high-value merchandise has resulted in a considerable buzz round this inexpensive IEM. We simply needed to get a unit in to see what all of the fuss is about.
Design and luxury
The CRA have a fairly normal design for CCA/KZ merchandise, with a chunky design molded to the form of the ear. The chunky form makes it very simple to carry and place the earbuds inside your ears in comparison with among the daintier competitors. Regardless of this, the earbuds aren’t that huge and do not stick out an excessive amount of from the aspect of your head.
The CCA have a transparent resin shell with a chunk of zinc alloy caught on the skin. The little little bit of metallic has an excellent polished end and appears nice. The remainder of the earbuds additionally look fairly good with the clear plastic offering an ideal view of the single-driver unit inside.
The bundled cable is of cheap high quality for the value. It’s a bit thick however does not kink and has no audible microphonics. The cable plugs into the earbuds with a QDC connector discovered on different KZ and CCA earbuds. In truth, this cable is discovered on a number of different KZ and CCA merchandise. It is a first rate cable and even has ear hooks built-in, in contrast to the mediocre fastened cable on the just lately reviewed Moondrop Chu.
The cable comes with a microphone built-in and there isn’t any possibility with no microphone so far as I can inform. You may all the time simply exchange the cable if the system you’re connecting to doesn’t assist a TRRS cable.
The general construct high quality of the CRA is outstanding for the value. With none advance information, it could be not possible to guess that these retail for simply $15, with general materials high quality exceeding that of merchandise 3-4x the fee.
The CRA are additionally very comfy. The form molded fairly effectively to my ears and the bundled silicone ear ideas had been comfy. I used to be in a position to put on them for hours with none fatigue.
Audio high quality
The CCA CRA characteristic a single 10mm dynamic driver on both aspect. The CRA are tuned to have a v-shaped sound, which is not uncommon for CCA/KZ merchandise however this is among the most refined and refined tonalities I’ve come throughout from the 2 manufacturers.
The bass on the CRA is ahead however not overwhelmingly so. The mid-bass has little bit of added heat that not often will get obtrusive or overlaps considerably with the low-mids. The low-bass efficiency is spectacular, with an excellent quantity of rumble and thump however with out going overboard.
The bass on the CRA is extra pronounced than that on the KZ ZEX Professional (aka the CRN), significantly within the upper-bass area. The ZEX Professional, consequently, sounds cleaner and the CRA has ever so barely extra bloat. The equally priced Moondrop Chu is by far the leanest with a borderline impartial bass presentation.
The mid-range on the CRA has good tonality and timbral traits however is barely pulled again within the combine. That is most noticeable when listening at low volumes and the vocals, for instance, are simply not as involving or current within the combine.
The mid-range efficiency is a particular enchancment over the opposite CCA and KZ merchandise (besides the ZEX Professional). The CRA shouldn’t be as dramatically v-shaped as its stablemates, which makes for a extra balanced sound signature.
The treble efficiency can also be fairly first rate. There’s a trace of sibilance and sharpness in sure notes at higher frequencies however the sound by no means will get harsh or fatiguing.
The general tonality of the CCA CRA could be very pleasing and among the finest I’ve heard on this value vary. The ZEX Professional is general the higher tuned of the 2 and the Chu remains to be the one to go for for those who favor a impartial sound, however the CRA is simply enjoyable to take heed to, and in some situations really has higher, extra pure timber than the ZEX Professional.
When it comes to technical efficiency, the CRA does pretty effectively. There’s a good stage of element and determination within the sound, one thing the ZEX Professional shouldn’t be significantly good at and likewise a sore level for another widespread price range IEMs just like the BLON BL-03. Imaging and soundstaging are mediocre, as is normally the case for many IEMs.
Total, the CRA sound actually spectacular for the value. It is nearly unfathomable you can now get sound this good at this value. And it goes with out saying however although these value simply $15, they simply outperform even the costliest wired earbuds in the marketplace. However anybody who’s into wired audio already knew that.
At simply $15, the CCA CRA are distinctive worth IEMs and an excellent higher deal than the $20 Moondrop Chu. The Chu have an ideal impartial sound for the value however the CRA have a extra enjoyable tuning with out being bass or treble cannons like among the different fashions on this value. The CRA even have a a lot nicer cable and design, and simply really feel higher constructed general regardless of the lower cost. They’re a no brainer buy and extremely advisable for anybody in search of a pair of entry-level IEMs.
Because of Headphone Zone for offering the evaluate unit.