A budget IEM that costs less than a Starbucks run shouldn’t be this good
It has been a big couple of weeks for IEM reviews here at Make Life Click.. The CCZ Melody is the last unit from keephifi that we’re reviewing. The KB Ear Robin was a favourite and the CCZ Emerald was good for the price. The Melody now has to face the music (see what I did there…) and overall, it’s a lovely new little in-ear monitor.
When I first received the KB Ear Robin, CCZ Melody and CCZ Emerald I listened to all of them without looking at their respective prices. It wasn’t necessarily intentional but I was busy with other things so I just tore open the packages and got straight in to listening.
Interestingly my first feedback put my opinion of these over the more expensive CCZ Emerald. Didn’t see that one coming and it also surprised Iven at Keep HiFi when he reached out for an early opinion.
So let’s get the standard stuff out of the way and look at what these sound like and what makes them special. Again, these are sub $20 IEMs.
CCZ Melody Tech Specs
The CCZ Melody are a dual hybrid driver IEM. 1 x dynamic driver and 1 x balanced armature driver.
- Cable – 1.2m twisted OFC cable with 2 Pin 0.78 mm connectors and 3.5 mm end
- Impedance – 16 Ohms
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz – pretty standard default reported range
- Sensitivity – 110±3dB
- 1 x 10mm Dynamic Driver (DD)
- 1 x Balanced Armature (BA) Driver – CCZ custom tuning
The CCZ Melody come with a basic accessories package, But it’s all you need.
- S/M/L eartips – the medium tips come already on the in-ears
- 1.2m twisted OFC cable with a 3.5 mm plug
- instruction booklet
- in-ear monitors
The range of prices and sound quality ranges dramatically in the hybrid category, especially the dual driver hybrid category. You can pay for some pretty expensive units in this space.
Some good features include a cable you can replace if you want too, as it’s a standard 2 Pin connector, and you can choose to have a mic or no mic inline on the cable with a button control.
So, let’s talk about the sound quality
The sound stage of the Melody did sound better to me than the Emerald with a good separation between vocals, bass and drums. There wasn’t the collision in the middle that one might expect from a unit this cheap.
The vocals could have really appreciated being pushed forward a little more, let the dynamic driver treble add some edge to the vocals to take the warm edge off.
If you like warm, then its a part of these in-ear monitors. It’s not so warm you want to take your coat and gloves off but it can feel like the jumper your wearing is a touch thick for the temperature in the room. For me, that’s a little too much but I like sibilance and clean edges.
That said, I’m giving them a $1000 treatment when they are a $20 unit so take that in to consideration.
The Bass is nice. It’s not tight or precise which is to be expected but it’s also not a cardboard sounding tragedy. It is the only frequency that might tire if you listen to one genre or band for hours in one sitting.
You’ll feel kick drums and vocals will sit on top of the bottom end. Guitar riffs and melodies are spread out across the sound stage with delay effects feeling like the move across the soundscape.
My main complain would be lower mid range isn’t as crisp as I would like and the upper mids could also be sharper for me. But I like to hear the spit on the microphone so I like things sharp and crisp.
Overall, I think these are really pleasing to listen too. There is a nice open feel to the sound, wide open and there are no particular frequencies that make you feel like you won’t last long listening to these.
I have to say it one more time, the open nature of the sound stage has really surprised me a lot, especially at this price point. I might have found a new budget IEM to do away with my Shure SE215. 🙁
Tracks I tried when reviewing these?
I listened to a lot different tracks but the range included Thrice – Beyond the Pines, Underoath – Writing on the Walls, Anberlin, Feel Good Drag, NF – Just like you, NF – Mansion, The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build A Home, Dean Lewis – Be Alright, London Grammar – Californian Soil, Van Morrison – Days like this, Tai Verdes – A-O-K. Due Lip – We’re good.
Comfort & Fit?
The comfort is aided by the same genius proprietary (patented) ear fin that CCZ have developed which makes wearing these IEMs a breeze.
It’s so easy to get a good seal with the custom ear fins they’ve developed. In all my years I’ve never put in a pair of IEM’s that just ‘fit’.
It almost be bold enough to go so far that these are as comfortable as my $1500 Custom IEMs.
There are 3 tip sizes you can try for comfort but I was happy with the medium that come installed.
Wrapping it all up – the CCZ Melody Review grand finale
The CCZ Melody are an impressive IEM for under $20. Please, keep that price in mind if you purchase these. You really shouldn’t be disappointed to own a pair of in-ear monitors at this price that sound this good.
They are certainly warm but the bottom end is deep, the soundstage wide and the balance is impressive.
Comfort and a good seal is easy to achieve with the custom ear fin.
If you’re looking for something that has a sharper edge or you’re willing to spend a little more check out the top budget IEM picks for this year but I think if you’re looking for something cheap, look no further.
While warmer than I would like you can color me surprised with the CCZ Melody. Over time I feel the bass might become a little fatiguing so don’t buy these to travel from LA to NYC on a moped.
The PRAT isn’t good enough that these will make you feel excited or start you dancing impulsively on the subway, but you’ll at least get a good head bob going.
They might even open up with some more playback.
Well done CCZ on producing a ridiculously affordable IEM that doesn’t totally suck.
This post was last updated on 2021-10-16 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.