As a person that loves technology, especially the latest and greatest gadgets, I’m always on the hunt to find things that peak my interest. I had always wanted to take the plunge on some custom in ear monitors. I had been looking for over a year at all different types of custom IEMs; from Ultimate Ears, Shure to Westone. I hadn’t heard of Sleek Audio until one of my customers introduced them to me. His excitement in their products intrigued me enough to do research of my own. This ensued a 48 hour Google search to find as many reviews as I could about the products Sleek Audio offers. My finding showed that the company, even though they have only been in business for a short period of time compared to other IEM manufacturers, has started to revolutionize the industry in their own way by offering low priced IEMs that can be tuned basically on the fly (SA product line). This peaked my interested and my journey into the CT7s began.
After getting in contact with Sleek Audio they pointed me to an audiologist within my area for my ear impressions. My first attempt at the ear impressions was by an audiologist that Sleek Audio didn’t mention. I chose them due to price. The audiologist doing the impressions disregarded the instructions that Sleek Audio had provided. The end result was an impression that was not usable. I then decided to spend the few extra bucks and go see someone that Sleek Audio had initially referred me to. The skilled and knowledgeable people were able to get my impressions done flawlessly. I should have gone to them the first time. This set me back $50.
After Sleek Audio received my impressions, I spoke to one of the techs that asked what colors I’d like and the type of music I listen to. After speaking with him for a few minutes I decided on my colors. The left ear is smoke on the inside with a clear red cap along with a black logo. The right ear is red on the inside with a black cap and a red logo. I chose to go with plus tuning for the top end for better highs. After speaking with the Sleek Audio tech my excitement grew and I couldn’t wait to get my new CT7s.
Only 10 day after I had sent my ear impressions off, Sleek Audio had my CT7s at my door.
CT7s come in a custom Pelican Case that fits them perfectly. This case is watertight and dust proof to keep your investment completely safe from the elements. It also contains a pressure release valve for altitude changes. This is the same case that is issued in military environments.
Inside the beast of a case you will find your custom monitors, coax audio cable and cleaning tool.
Now on to the part that matters, the sound. My first listening experience was jaw dropping. I had previously been listening to Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5. Ultimate Ears were a huge improvement over low-end earphones such as Skull Candy. The CT7 is an all around even bigger step up from the SuperFi 5. The highs are crisp and contain no screech or top out fuzz. Lows are simply amazing with a super clear real like flow. The bass sounds genuine, not forced or overwhelming like other earphones. All of the sounds levels, lows, mids and highs, perfectly coexist with each other in near perfect harmony for just about every genre. Each monitor has a duel driver setup with an internal crossover.
The coaxial cable plugs into the monitor and rotates freely for an even more custom fit. They use the same cable as the lower end universal earphones. Unfortunately the cable is the only thing that I dislike on this setup as it can be improved upon. I love the coaxial connecter but find that it needs a 2-inch flex section on the end. This would allow an ultimate custom & comfort fit around your ear. The cable that was initially included had some of the rubber insulation pull down from one of the end connectors and was showing bare wire. I called Sleek and informed them and they immediately sent out another. Many other IEMs have 3rd party cables, which are usually a better build over the manufactures cable. This is something I hope we can look forward to.
The KLEER wireless W-1 accessory is a fantastic addition to the CT7. CD quality lossless sound over wireless. I was a bit skeptical about how it would perform. After using it I became a huge fan. It is an almost perfect wireless solution. There is a slight hiss while music is not playing but not enough to bother. The receiver hangs comfortably behind the back of your head and opens possibilities of use that a cable can hinder. The sound quality is exceptional for a wireless setup. I had stopped using audio over Bluetooth because of the massive degrade in quality. The W-1 has won me back to wireless.
The module plugs into the audio source and the receiver plugs into the monitors, both of which have their own battery. They are charged by a micro USB (Cable is included). Full charge will last up to 10 hours. The module will provide up to 4 receivers with audio, all by a press of a button. My only gripe on the W-1 is the power switch is VERY small and not quickly accessible. In order to turn them on and off you will need something with a very small tip, something I usually don’t carry with me.
All and all, the CT7 is amazing and hands down the best IEM that has been in my ears. The KLEER Wireless is a keeper. I find myself using it even when I am just sitting around the house. I am excited to see what Sleek Audio brings in the years to come. You might read this review and say, “Where can I buy? I want them now!” If you are a true audiophile then your ears need these, but they come with a price. The CT7 runs $699.99 without the KLEER wireless or $799.99 with. The KLEER wireless accessory is also sold separate for $120. So, with impressions, shipping, CT7 and wireless you will come really close to $900. If you don’t have that in your budget Sleek Audio has some lower priced options that are universal. I will be reviewing some of them in the future so check back!
I write reviews for Big Shiny Robot you can checkout my original review and lots of other nerd news & reviews Here: http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/reviews/archives/25288
Edited by Jameason - 4/7/11 at 8:49pm