Current testing methodology is v1.2
November 6, 2020
3.98 x 3.23 x 1.34 in
Since I have mixed feelings about the CVJ CSA, I’ve decided to explore more IEMs in CVJ’s catalog to truly understand how they perform.
Let’s see how it does!
Unappealing design redeemed by the sound quality
The CVJ CSE is an affordable IEM that surprised me with how good it sounded. It has a V-shaped sound signature that’s neatly presented.
Still, the CSE is average compared to the overly saturated market and has no qualities r features that make it stand out from the rest of the competition. At its price point, it’s just another good-sounding pair of earphones.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver + 1 Balanced Armature
- Cable: 3.5mm angled plug/ 0.75mm 2-pin detachable
- Frequency: 10-40,000Hz
- Impedance: 22Ω
- Sensitivity: 108±3db
What’s in the Box?
- CVJ CSE earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 x pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- Drawstring carrying bag
Stuff I like
- Clean V-shaped sound signature
- Affordable price tag
- Great detail retrieval
- Relatively decent sub-bass extension
Stuff I like less
- Build feels cheap
- Mid-bass bleed
The CVJ CSE is the second pair of IEMs that I got from CVJ. Coming from the same brand, it has a similar packaging and presentation as the CSA.
The CSE comes in a box that’s similar to that of the CSA and the way the ear tips are presented on the front is also identical. Overall, the packaging is very simplistic and doesn’t have a lot going on.
Like the CSA, the CSE also comes with a drawstring carrying pouch which is always a great addition as it’s useful for storing the IEMs neatly, so kudos to CVJ for that.
Out of the box, the CSE wasn’t as appealing as my other IEMs. It has a transparent resin shell that allows us to see the drivers inside. It has a wavy pattern on the faceplate which was for the aesthetics – I find it hideous but other people may find them appealing.
Since the CVJ CSE has a resin shell, it’s very lightweight but this also means that its durability is questionable.
Even though it wouldn’t be as sturdy and reliable as an IEM with an aluminum shell, I feel like the CSE still could take a bit of abuse with heavy usage. I’d still recommend being careful with them since IEMs with resin shells tend to break more easily compared to those with metal shells.
The included accessories, such as the ear tips and the cable, were also cheap in terms of quality but this wasn’t surprising since it’s very affordable.
Compared to the CSA, the CVJ CSE is a downgrade when it comes to aesthetics and build quality. I find it tough to decide if it’s worth buying or not.
Fit and Comfort
The CVJ CSE has a typical IEM shape and size that it would fit most ear sizes. Since its shell is made from polycarbonate resin, it’s light and comfortable to wear.
The included ear tips were cheap but I didn’t have any problems with the fit and seal since the pre-installed medium-sized ear tips got the job done. They were also comfortable enough for my ears even though the quality isn’t the best.
The pre-molded ear hooks were just right and were neither too loose nor too tight, which would’ve caused some discomfort. The cables were also light and didn’t cause any issues in terms of microphonics. However, I’d recommend upgrading it since it feels pretty cheap.
In terms of sound, I immediately recognized the V-shaped sound signature of the CVJ CSE due to the combination of recessed mids and boosted bass and treble. I was impressed with how energetic this pair sounded while remaining relatively clean in presenting the tracks.
I want to go on and say that the bass of the CVJ CSE is the highlight of this IEM. I was amazed at how the bass frequencies sounded.
Its sub-bass extension sounds better than most IEMs in its price range, and the mid-bass also packs a lot of punch.
The sub-bass is well extended and has pleasing amounts of rumble, making tracks sound more energetic and lively, although it can sometimes cause muddiness depending on the genre you’re listening to.
Overall, the bass frequencies stand out a bit more compared to the mids and the treble, and that makes the CSE sound very entertaining to use. This also adds to its versatility.
Due to the V-shaped sound signature of the CVJ CSE, the mids are recessed. However, it manages to retain details even though the bass sometimes bleeds through the lower registry of the mids.
The vocals often get overpowered by the instruments. I don’t find it annoying and instead, I perceive it as adding more energy to the tracks.
The mids are decent but it’s not the best compared to other V-shaped IEMs I’ve tried. There are better options in this price range, just like the KBEAR KS1.
The treble of the CVJ CSE has a noticeable boost in volume as it’s prominent in the mix.
This frequency has a lot more emphasis on its lower treble than its top end, which contributed to its relatively clean presentation. It’s free from treble peaks or harsh and shouty frequencies that some V-shaped IEMs tend to suffer from.
The treble reproduces some micro-details in the tracks, which I find impressive. Although the treble on the CVJ CSE isn’t as sparkly or airy, it still has some strong characteristics, such as its clean and well-controlled presentation, making it non-fatiguing to listen to.
To get a proper understanding of how these IEMs sound, I’ve tested them with different genres of music. Here are my findings.
- Metal / Rock – The CVJ CSE showcased its sound imaging and separation capabilities with this genre. Although the soundstage wasn’t that huge, it still had a good amount of depth to mimic the space. The guitars had reasonable control regarding sound quality performance and didn’t show harsh peaks or weird frequencies. The vocals were presented smoothly, although it’s recessed in the mix. The kicks and tomes had an extra body due to the added lift on the mid-bass. Tracks used: I Don’t Love You (My Chemical Romance), All The Small Things (Blink 182), Ignorance (Paramore), Cold (Korn), Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson)
- Pop – On the test tracks, I noticed that the intro got quite muddy due to the CSE’s sub-bass but it eventually cleaned up as the songs progressed. The instruments were more prominent in the mix than the vocals, which can be attributed to the V-shaped sound signature. Nonetheless, I still found the presentation enjoyable and entertaining. Tracks used: Snooze (SZA), As It Was (Harry Styles), Yours (Maye)
- Hip-hop – The sub-bass presented reasonable amounts of rumble, which added extra thickness to the note weight of the CVJ CSE. I was pleased with the bass presentation because even if it was highlighted a bit more than the other frequencies, it stayed well-balanced, relatively clean, and tight. It wasn’t all over the place regarding presentation and rarely bled through the mids. The instruments had more volume compared to the vocals on the track but this made the tracks more enjoyable. The way that the vocals were pushed back was pleasant as well. Tracks used: LOVE. (Kendrick Lamar, Zacari), sdp interlude (Travis Scott), I Wonder (Kanye West), Superhero (Metro Boomin & Future)
- R&B / Soul – The vocals, although recessed, stood out on the tracks I’ve listened to. The details also didn’t get lost since the bass remained well-controlled and well-balanced. The overall presentation of the tracks was groovy and energetic, and this was mainly due to the CVJ CSE’s tuning on its bass. Tracks used: LA FAMA (Rosalia, The Weeknd), Blessed (Daniel Ceasar), Moonlight (Kali Uchis), Traingazing (Sam Wills ft. Honey Mooncie), Always (Daniel Ceasar)
The CVJ CSE isn’t the best regarding sound quality or looks in the market. Although it has many redeeming qualities, they weren’t enough to make it stand out from the rest of the competition.
Even though it didn’t meet my expectations, I’d love to give it credit for how it sounded.
Many IEMs in the ultra-budget price range tend to fail in producing a very clean and refined V-shaped sound signature, unlike the CSE. Some IEMs were too muddy or boxy while some have a lot of harsh peaks or weird timbre but the CSE has none of that.
The CVJ CSE is disappointing in terms of design and build quality but it’s still a decent option because of its sound.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-05 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.