Current testing methodology is v1.2
July 23, 2022
6.3 x 3.98 x 1.93 in
2022 was the year of the budget boom for the IEM market. Before this, telling audiophiles to buy on a budget would probably get you weird looks.
One such budget beast, and my personal favorite under $100 release from 2022, is the Truthear x Crinacle Zero.
If you’re looking for an exciting yet clean sound, you can’t go wrong with these IEMs.
Truthear x Crinacle Zero
Budget-friendly IEMs with lots of accessories and a great performance for its price
While the Truthear x Crinacle Zero sports a typical Harman sound, it’s made unique because of its subwoofer-like configuration. It offers something fresh and different in this price bracket.
The sound quality is clean throughout all frequencies, and the excitement in the sound is something that most people will be able to appreciate. Technicalities are also spot on for its price.
The build is solid, and they’re quite comfortable to use even over long sessions. The package was also of high quality, with various accessories that made it feel like a high-end purchase.
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero is a pair of IEMs I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants a fun Hi-Fi experience without breaking the bank.
- Material: PU + LCP composite diaphragm
- Driver: 10mm+7.8mm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency Response: 20Hz to 39.5kHz effective response
- Source Connector: QDC 0.78mm 2pin
- Impedance: 10Ω±15%
- Cable: Oxygen-free silver-plated Detachable cable
- Sensitivity: 117.5dB/Vrms (@1KHz)
What’s in the Box?
- Truthear x Crinacle Zero in-ear monitors
- Detachable cable
- Leather pouch
- 6 pairs of ear tips
- 2 pairs of acoustic filters
- Instruction manual
- Business cards
- Box art envelope
Stuff I like
- Powerful bass that doesn’t bleed into the mids
- Clear and well-produced sound over all frequencies
- Decent detail retrieval
- Good quality resin build with a stylish finish
- Excellent packaging and accessories
- Amazing performance for the price
Stuff I like less
- Vocals could be pushed a bit forward
- Soft impact on sub-bass
- Recessed lower mid-range
- Slightly large nozzle which can be an issue for some
After receiving the box from Ali Express, I was greeted with a relatively large package sporting the typical Chinese IEM Waifu marketing and IEM details.
Removing the cover revealed a black box with the Zero logo that looked aesthetically pleasing on its own. It’s good if you’re someone who’d prefer to get rid of the original cover for whatever reason.
Opening the box, I saw a wide variety of items.
The IEMs were underneath a small envelope that contained business cards and an instruction manual. The envelope also contained two pairs of acoustic filters if you ever need to replace yours.
Surprisingly, I also found a nice leather pouch containing the detachable .78mm 2-pin cable. The pouch is quite nice, and I didn’t expect this many accessories for a $50 purchase.
The package includes six pairs of silicone ear tips (2xS, 2xM, 2xL), a single pair of foam ear tips, a faux leather carry pouch with snap closures, and an assortment of documentation neatly placed inside the envelope with the box art on it.
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero IEMs are lightweight with a solid build that feels good to hold.
The inside of the piece is coated in a translucent black, but what I really loved was the outer design. The Zero has this stylistic sparkly blue finish that swaps to purple when viewed from a different angle.
Comfort and Fit
Regarding the fit of the Truthear x Crinacle Zero, I fiddled around with the tips until I found one that gave me the best seal.
It’s important to pick the correct ear tips to ensure a good seal and prevent sound leaks.
The cables are plugged in quite firmly, and they feature a hooked design at the end to ensure a comfortable fit around your ear. Their shape was a bit stiff at first and required some adjustment every now and then until I figured out a natural angle.
I was worried because I had heard the nozzle was supposed to be a bit large, but luckily it fit quite comfortably with a good seal.
As mentioned earlier, the Truthear x Crinacle Zero features a dual dynamic driver configuration with a 10mm and 7.88mm driver on both sides, respectively.
This allows for a cross-capability that’s very rare in the Chi-Fi space, especially for budget IEMs. Cross capability is the separation of the drivers for their respective dedicated frequencies.
The smaller driver produces the lower frequencies and handles the bass, while the other driver focuses on the mids and highs.
This setup allows for a Harman tuning with relatively flat lower mids and no unnecessary bass bleed.
The impedance is a nicely manageable – 10 Ohms which can be run comfortably from almost any device with an audio jack.
The braided anti-tangle cable has come in handy, and I’m more inclined to stuff these in my pocket and head out without worrying about fighting through tangles later. The cable is 4 ft/1.2m long and takes a standard Y shape which can be adjusted using the choker on the wire.
As usual, I’ll review the sound quality while disregarding the price to give my honest impression.
You can check out my Last.FM here to get an idea of the kind of music I listen to.
The bass was what I went into with the most expectations, and I came away satisfied but still desired something more. Let me explain.
The bass is powerful, dense, and hits hard. It’s well-produced and never overpowered the rest of the instruments, thanks to the subwoofer-like configuration.
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero gives a powerful bass performance while maintaining a good sense of balance without feeling like a generic bass-boosted piece of audio gear.
The sub-bass region felt a bit lacking, unfortunately. Based on the marketing, I expected a powerful sub-bass performance, but the sub-bass impact feels soft and rolled off.
The dynamics are impressive, but there’s a lack of depth to the overall bass that lowers the overall technical performance. However, this is a minor nitpick that most people won’t notice.
Overall, the bass region has a powerful thump and good rumble, but the sub-bass lacks that kick that’s supposed to keep it tight and compact.
Due to the Harman tuning, this region is what a lot of people may find disagreeable.
In fact, I had trouble adjusting to it myself as I was used to more bright neutral-ish-sounding gear. More on that later.
The midrange overall is quite clean and well-executed for the most part. You’ll get a very consistent performance regardless of the genre you pick. The separation of the mids from the bass and treble is phenomenal, and it really feels like its own dedicated section.
This helps bring some much-needed focus and emphasis to the midrange area. I say much needed because I did feel that Harman effect on the mids where the lower mids are quite subdued.
This makes for a slightly darker and less lively lower midrange and is especially prominent if you’re used to bright or neutral-sounding IEMs.
This takes away a bit of that energy from male vocals that are especially deep or instruments needing lower midrange performance.
On the other hand, the upper mids are where I’ll have to heap a lot of praise. They’re refined, well-executed, and never too shouty. It makes for a very relaxed listening experience that doesn’t get fatiguing even after long listening sessions.
The treble is good. It’s not fantastic or exceptional. It’s just plain good.
It’s very cleanly executed and performs well overall without producing any peakiness or unexpected quirks.
You’d have to go to the max volumes for the treble to even approach peaky territory, and even that would be on high-frequency tracks.
The only complaints I can put against the treble are the compactness and the lack of even some more treble extensions. The treble doesn’t have that sparkly or airy feeling to it that brings instruments alive, instead opting for a more relaxing and clean sound.
General Sound Comments
You might’ve noticed that most of the complaints I laid against the Truthear Zero are more of a matter of personal preference rather than any major faults with the IEM itself.
That’s because that is exactly what they are: personal nitpicks.
Normally, I wouldn’t go too much into the technical aspects of budget IEMs since this isn’t the price range to look for those, but I feel that they need to be discussed for transparency’s sake.
The overall technicals are a bit mediocre.
The separation is done well, and while the imaging exists, it’s very simple and exists on a single plane. This simplicity takes away from the layering on busier tracks quite a lot.
As mentioned earlier, the Truthear x Crinacle Zero opted for a compact sound which means that the soundstage isn’t as wide as I’d like it to be.
However, for $50, I’d overlook most of these and focus on the actual value that this pair can offer you. It’s a fun sound that only the more hardcore audiophiles will notice problems with.
There’s no need to think over this too much.
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero is a game changer and a must-buy for anyone who doesn’t already have a pair of much more expensive IEMs.
For the majority of people, I may even call this pair of IEMs the perfect place to stop before diminishing returns start kicking in.
These IEMs provide great accessory and performance value for their price, and the Harman tuning ensures that they sound pleasing to most people.
Even if you’re not a fan of this tuning style, if you’re playing around the budget ballpark, I’d recommend getting these simply to experience the type of sound a dual-dynamic driver configuration can produce.
Personally, I plan on using my pair for a long time.
An audio lover currently enrolled in university and writing about my hobbies in my free time.
You're guaranteed to find me testing out a new piece of audio equipment while going about my everyday life.
This post was last updated on 2024-02-22 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.