CCZ have released an affordable in-ear with a design more IEMs should have
I have to thank Keep HiFi for sending me these along with the KB Ear Robin to have a listen to a review for them.
I received three IEMs in the same parcel which included the KB Ear Robin, CCZ Emerald and the CCZ Melody. So far I’ve been easily impressed by the Robin and Melody but I’ve had to spend more time with the CCZ Emerald to decide if I could give it a thumbs up recommendation.
There is one major positive to these IEMs which I’ll go into in the comfort section below and a nice feature that not all budget IEMs include by default.
Let’s start with the specs and accessories and then get into the sound quality review of these IEMs.
In the box:
You’ll get all you need, and all you can expect for an in-ear at this price.
- Cable – you can choose mic or no mic – 1.2m length
- 3 pairs of silicon eartips Small/Medium/Large
- Info manual
The CCZ Emerald are a hybrid IEM with 1 x Dynamic Driver and 1 x Balanced Armature driver.
- DD Driver: 10mm dual magnetic
- BA Driver: Custom CCZ BA
- Frequency response：20hz-20KHZ
- Colours available: Green or Blue
- Connector: 2 Pin .78mm – easy to change if you want to upgrade
- Cable: 3.5mm / OFC
- Cable length: 1.2m – perfect if you’re not using them live
- Impedance: 16 ohms – easy to drive from your phone, laptop or DAP
- Sensitivity: 110 ±3db
Of course, comfort is a big deal. The worst thing is to have an IEM that sounds amazing but isn’t comfortable for long periods of use. The reverse is having something that sounds tiring over time but is comfortable. To get both is always the goal.
These have a very very cool feature that I have not seen on any other IEM in the last 20 years of personally using and selling IEMs – that is a small fin that lines the top of the in-ear.
I’ve tried to demonstrate it in the image below.
This little fin makes it so much easier to get the IEM seated and sealed in your ear without too much movement or the potential to have sound spill or leak.
As we all know, as soon as you let sound leak from an in-ear monitor, you’ve lost all the goodness, especially the bass. That little fin is a revelation and I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before.
Sounds quality and impressions
The BA (Balanced Armature) driver does a good job of keeping things at the bottom end pumping. It’s not particularly tight but it’s there to enjoy and you can feel it sufficiently.
It seems a strange comparison but I moved from my Airpods Pro to these when testing them and the CCZ Emerald certainly pumped much deeper.
The dynamic driver pushing the mid and higher frequencies can get a little confused. There is a decent top end that I didn’t find particularly fatiguing or bright but it was good enough to enjoy most tunes I threw at it.
The area it tended to get a little crowded was the vocals in the mid frequencies. The instruments and vocals lacked a little separation and the soundstage was a bit of a collision of things in the middle at times. This was dependant to some degree on the genre of music but is a fair general statement.
So to get obsessive about the sound stage is not entirely fair considering how well these things perform overall. You’re going to struggle to find anything that sounds this good at this price – especially anything this comfortable with such deep bass (make sure you have them sealed in your ears to enjoy that frequency).
I’ve listened to these on and off for over two weeks and today I put them in for a few hours. Because I wasn’t expecting them to be a reference experience, and because I was focused intently on my work, in my open office, they provided a really satisfying few hours of listening.
The sound isolation was excellent, the music pleasant and there was plenty of bottom end oomph to keep me working like a champ…until I realised it was way past lunchtime and food was needed.
You can’t buy these for critical listening – that’s not realistic, or fair.
If you buy them to commute, listen to at work, use while doing school/uni work or play in your school/startup/church/garage band then you should be really satisfied with the sound experience regardless of genre.
Conclusions and other ramblings
So…I started this CCZ Emerald review with high expectations because I hadn’t looked up the price. Sometimes it’s nice to start a review not assuming sound and price go hand in hand.
My first impressions were that the bass was good, sounded OK but the vocals and mids were rubbing shoulders a bit too often.
However, after realising how affordable these budget IEMs are, and the longer I listened (and perhaps with some burn-in if you’re a believer) the more I really started to enjoy them as a great IEM for listening on the go or while working.
The sound isolation, comfort and overall musicality, combined with the affordable price make these easy to recommend if you are looking for a sub-$30 budget IEM with punch and boom boom in the bottom end.
About Keep HiFi
Keep HiFi is a China-based HiFi retailer with a broad experience supporting the 30-year history and experience Chinese manufacturers bring to quality audio production. They retail many brands including WGZBLON, HZ SOUND, KBEAR/TRI, KZ, TRN, WHIZZER. Thanks again, Iven – you’re a legend.
This post was last updated on 2022-01-24 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.