Current testing methodology is v1.2
The first time I encountered the brand CVJ was back in late 2021 with the set called Angel Ears.
Although the company started in 2019, around the same time as QKZ, the rest of the community took their time to get to know this new and unknown player.
Right off the bat, I wasn’t expecting good quality from them as I’ve learned to reel in my expectations with cheaper sets. But it’s also a known curse in my reviews that I always get these first impressions wrong – and this was the case yet again.
Average looks, excellent sound.
The CVJ SD1 is a single dynamic driver IEM from the Chi-fi company CVJ. This brand quickly earned its place among the likes of QKZ and KZ for the sound quality they offered at lower prices.
The SD1 is a pair of earphones with a balanced presentation, featuring generally pleasing tuning with its vocal presence and treble sparkle.
The bass department, albeit present with depth, lacks body and texture but is tuned in a way that gives respect to the other two frequencies. These IEMs aren’t for bass heads and will cater more to people who like a more neutral and vocal-centric listening experience.
If you’re in the market for budget IEMs that aren’t from QKZ or KZ, then the CVJ SD1 is a great option.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 98db
What’s in the Box?
- CVJ SD1 earphones
- 3 x pairs stock tips (S,M,L)
- 1 x pair silicone ear hooks
- Plastic storage box
Stuff I like
- Vocal presence
- Balanced presentation
- Sufficient sub-bass rumble
- Good detail retrieval
- Sparkly treble
Stuff I like less
- Rounded mid-bass
The CVJ SD1 comes in the standard packaging that you’d often see in budget IEMs – a simple white box with an image of the photo of the IEMs on the front.
In terms of design and feel, there’s nothing premium about these IEMs as they come in a plastic transparent shell. To be fair, I got them for under $6 so I can’t complain much.
Of course, I should know better than to judge the IEMs based on design aesthetics because what matters is how they sound.
The included accessories are basic, but CVJ added a little storage box made of plastic. It’s a nice addition as I can place the IEMs in them when they’re not being used.
In terms of sound, the first thing I probed this set for was balance. Yes, it wasn’t skewed on the bass region like many cheap sets, so that was a relief. It had such a good balance that I picked up on its vocals early on.
Concerning my preference for vocal presentation, the CVJ SD1 is up there. Upon listening to them for the first time, I immediately gave them my stamp of approval.
The build quality of the CVJ SD1 is a bit similar to that of QKZ IEMs.
Comparing the SD1 with my QKZ sets, they almost feel the same. They even have the same weight and create the same sound when I lightly tap on the shells.
As of testing, there was no driver flex and the components sat tight where they should be.
The cable is thin but sturdy and has a nice smooth silicone feel. However, I feel like it’s susceptible to microphonics when bumped around. This is a small disadvantage but generally, it didn’t bother me during my listening sessions.
Fit and Comfort
The included silicone ear tips of the CVJ SD1 didn’t give me a good seal, which was a bummer. I’ve had to swap them out with some ear tips I already own.
However, it’s important to note that the fit will still depend on your ear shape and size.
As for comfort, these IEMs are pretty light and their shape isn’t intrusive on my ears. Overall, I didn’t feel any discomfort while using them for long listening sessions.
The CVJ SD1 has a neutral sound signature and while some might argue that the bass is emphasized a little bit, I find that they give just the right amount of presence for tracks to sound fun.
They don’t exhibit a presence that bleeds into the mids, and to me, this is a good quality. The sub-bass is there but it isn’t out of control. There’s a good mid-bass speed and punch. All in all, the midrange and treble were able to express themselves without interference.
Out of all the cheap sets I’ve listened to, this may be the first time I’ve listened to a good balance of the three main frequency bands without a second pass of critical listening.
The sub-bass of the CVJ SD1 has good rumble and goes fairly deep but it lacks quantity, making it sound a little tamer in the mix.
The mid-bass has good punch and slam dynamics. It has good elasticity and speed, plus it’s able to articulate fast drum sequences with much success.
Although this is a good bass response in my book, smaller things like texture and mid-bass definition are a little lacking. Improvements in these smaller aspects may help the bass become more fun.
With the way the bass behaves, it can be said that they play more of a supporting role in the mix and that’s not bad. I like a tuning where the frequency ranges work together in harmony and the bass does great on its part.
The midrange is the star of the show and it’s what I would normally say but in the case of the CVJ SD1, this is a little untrue and I’ll explain this later.
The midrange sounds natural and has a great presence. The vocal texture and decay are also on point. The voices and instruments are well-defined and come to life in music. They possess a small tinge of warmth but mostly sound bright without being shouty or fatiguing during long listening sessions.
There isn’t much to say about the midrange. It’s a midrange that I would put on the same scale with more expensive sets I own, and it beats a lot of QKZ IEMs.
Now, let me re-open the topic regarding the midrange not being the star of the show. It’s because, with the CVJ SD1, the midrange is co-stars with the treble.
Yup, that’s two frequency ranges actually pulling off becoming the focus of the tuning.
It’s a bit mind-boggling how, along with the midrange, small details will just pop out and stick to the side and stay.
I don’t know how to describe it well, but I’d peg this as great mids and treble synergy which is rare since they almost always are two separate entities.
The treble somehow melds into the midrange and grabs a bucket of details and throws it into your face. It goes without saying that transients, like snares and cymbals, sound crispy and life-like.
I’d also like to put on the record that there’s no trace of sibilance. However, listening for long sessions can get fatiguing, especially with genres like rock.
These tracks are more for the purpose of testing rather than unit synergy.
- Fake Out by Fall Out Boy (Alternative/Indie) – The melody done by the guitar at the start had good body and timbre, and quickly led into the first vocal by consequent cymbal hits. The timbre was extremely good and it felt like I was at a live performance. The vocals were odd but in a good way, which can be attributed to a new style layering or it just might be the treble. The vocal separation was excellent and I could hear the main vocals and the high notes apart from each other accurately. The acoustic guitar and bells were also twined into the main vocal line, providing a unique and warm sound. This is a new song released as of the date of this review, so these notes are as honest as they could get.
- Vanguards by Tokiwa (J-Pop) – The loud beep at the start of this track has been my main test track for ascertaining any IEM’s elevation on its upper midrange. After the beep, there’s a sharp transition that’s instantaneously followed by the vocals. If there’s sibilance during this period, it means that the upper midrange of a particular IEM is boosted. Of course, there are varying degrees of this effect and I’m happy to report that the SD1 isn’t at all sibilant but still sounded pretty splashy. The vocals and transients like claps came to life because of the tuning. They sounded engaging. The treble performance on this track slightly shadows the midrange by a little margin making the playback a little in favor of the high frequencies.
After listening to a few more tracks, I can say that the CVJ SD1 is an all-rounder and will work quite well with various genres.
The CVJ SD1 is a great performer in its price range. It sounds good on the phone and will scale with better sources.
Although it may be reminiscent of several QKZ IEMs because of its build, its sound comes out on top as it manages to achieve near-perfect synergy. This is due to the balance brought by just the right amount of bass, vocal presence, and texture, as well as decay and treble energy.
At under $10, there’s no reason not to get the CVJ SD1. This just might be a QKZ killer.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.