Truthear X Crinacle Zero Review
- 1.1 Source and Ability to Drive
- 1.2 The In-the-Box
- 1.3 Analysis of Sound
- 1.4 How does the technology work?
Reviewer teams are all the rage right now. At first, it was more of an interesting idea than a way to sell something. At the moment, it’s rare to not see a “tuned by X influencer” tag instead. Truthear is a relatively new brand, but for its first major release, it decided to work with Crinacle. Crin has been tuning IEMs for a long time, and some of them, like the Blessing2 Dusk, have been very popular. The Truthear Zero is the newest pair of Crinacle-tuned IEMs. It has a unique two-driver setup in which one driver works as a real “woofer.”
Does the Zero’s unique driver setup and Crinacle’s signature setting make it stand out from the rest? Or is there another “flavor of the week” that will soon take over? We should find out.
Truthear X Crinacle Zero Specification
|Released||July 23, 2022|
|Material||PU + LCP composite diaphragm|
|Driver||10mm+7.8mm Dynamic Driver|
|Frequency Response||20Hz to 39.5kHz effective response|
|Cable||Oxygen-free silver-plated Detachable cable|
|Size||6.3 x 3.98 x 1.93 in|
Source and Ability to Drive
All important listening was done with lossless files on an iBasso DX300 and an iPhone 13 Mini. The plastic ear tips and cord that came with them were used. The Zero takes a modest amount of power to drive, but I had no trouble getting to my normal hearing volume (70 dB) with either source I used. Check out this page if you want to learn more about how I listen, what I use as test tracks, and what I think about music in general.
The Zero comes in a package that stands out because it has a picture of a cartoon bunny girl on the front. Whether you like it or not, it’s clear that this kind of style has a big following (something about audiophiles and anime fans having a lot in common comes to mind), and it’s selling. Or, Truthear and Crinacle might just be dirty slobs. But I’m getting off track. On the back of the package for the Zero, you can find the frequency response graph and the standard specs. The frequency response test, along with the rig it was done on, is a nice touch, and I’d like to see more makers do the same for the sake of openness.
Also Read– Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review
Analysis of Sound
The following is the frequency response of an IEC-711 clone coupler. At 8 kHz, there is a peak of vibration. So, readings made after this point shouldn’t be taken as completely correct. Here, you can compare the Zero to other IEMs I’ve tested. The Zero shows both what I like about the Harman in-ear target and what I don’t like about it. People often think that the Harman goal is a way to understand “neutral” or “balanced” tuning, but this is not the case. It is an average goal that is meant to show what sounds best to most people. With that in mind, I think the Zero’s introduction sounds a little bit like a V. It’s fun and well-balanced enough, but the tune isn’t quite right for my tastes.
Starting at the bottom, this is Zero’s calling card: there aren’t many IEMs at this price point with a bass shelf as powerful and well-controlled. Regarding the small loss of sub-bass below 30 Hz, this is mostly not a problem. I rarely hear an IEM that doesn’t extend enough, and it’s important to note that most music doesn’t even go below 30 Hz. Most of the time, I hear this roll-off as a subtle increase in how the 60–100 Hz sounds are heard. This makes the Zero’s bass sound inflated and slightly muted for a sense of leading slam. It’s a more powerful bass response that sounds like air is being pushed. I also find Zero’s basslines to be a bit jumbled (it sounds like kick drums with a longer decay fade into each other), which is likely due in part to the lack of the 200Hz notch that is typical of the Harman over-ear target. Still, I think this is a good bass for $50.
How does the technology work?
As you might guess, I think Zero is mostly average when it comes to details. It has a lot of roughness, which I called “grit,” in the note decay, but it also goes into the “dirty” area, which I usually associate with a lack of treble extension. The Zero has average imaging, with sounds on more complex tracks, especially in the bass, blending into each other and making it hard to tell where they are in space. The dynamics are good enough for a $50 IEM, and it seems to move air well for such a cheap IEM. I want to stress that most of these problems are pretty standard for this price. At $50, I’d say that, compared to the competition, being average in terms of technical skills is almost a good thing.
Okay, let me answer the question you’re probably really asking: Should I buy the Zero? If you pay attention to the numbers, then I think so. But even if you don’t care as much about numbers, I still think the Zero is a good buy at $50, despite the things I’ve pointed out. I’ve been judging the Zero more seriously than I do most $50 IEMs (I don’t usually go into this much detail on cheap IEMs), and that’s mostly because it’s good. When something is average, I don’t have much to say about it, but that’s not the case here. In any case, I think Truthear’s first product is a good one, and I’d like to see what they come up with to take on the top of the market.