Pros - Prominent bass but not overshadowing details and treble. Lightweight and very comfortable. Adequate accesories.
Cons - Cable is very thin but flexible. Almost invisible ,insignificant strain relief.
Hello all in Head Fi community. This is my first ever review in this forum.I am not an expert in reviewing so I will only use very simple term or definition to convey my message. I just received the Basso yesterday so obviously it is not in fully burn in state. Nevertheless the sound produced out of box is good enough for me to make a short review and some comparison with my other bass heavy IEM ; Pioneer SE-CL-541 and Huawei Honor AM12 and few other IEM brands.
Short history about my IEM use. The first good IEM that I bought was Soundmagic E10M about 2 years ago. It sound fairly good but somehow it produced static noise at zero volume. I misplaced it few month ago but somehow I never really missed it due to better IEM that I currently owned. Most of my IEM that I bought after that cost around 30-40 USD and below except Audio Technica IM50 which cost 62USD.
Not the bassiest IEM that I ever owned. The king is Pioneer CE-CL541>Huawei AM12>Carbo Basso> ATH IM50. however the bass is really controlled and not to the point of overshadowing details and treble. For that point alone I can assure that Carbo basso has the best quality bass among my IEM. Almost similar to IM50 in quality but IM50 has slightly less bass quantity.
Details and vocal
Not the best IEM for this. The king is my Sony XBA 10- the one and only balanced armature IEM that I owned. I bought a new in box but obviously old stock for just 40USD in a local store in Low Yat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. Definitely a bargain , even online price usually start from 50 USD and above. But compared to other bass heavy IEM like my Pioneer and Huawei unit the different is noticable. Especially when compared to the Pioneer CL541. Pioneer IEM somehow has very high amount of bass that can overshadow vocal and details. Even the ultracheap but excellent Huawei AM12 is actually produced slightly better detail than the Pioneer. The other IEM that I have is ATH CKX7 which produced a lot of detail but somehow the treble sound a bit harsh and can overshadow the details.
But still in this area Sony XBA 10>Carbo Basso>ATH CKX7>Huawei AM12>Pioneer CL541.
I can't really make a final comment on this area for Carbo Basso. Right now the treble is not very noticable and many track produce mild sibilance. But I believe the sound will just get better with proper burn in. But overall the sound signature of this Carbo Basso is somewhere in between bass heavy Pioneer CL541 and fairly neutral sounding ATH IM50. I believe it has moderate amount of bass and details and a bit lower amount of treble.
In this area the king is Sony XBA 10 and ATH CKX7. Carbo basso soundstage is moderate or average at best.
Bulilt quality and design
Among the bass heavy IEM; Huawei AM12 >Pioneer CL541>Carbo Basso. The cable is obviuosly the thinnest among ALL my IEM. The strain relief at the IEM itself is so small and insignificant. It only a matter of time that the cable at strain relief will snap with any incidental or accidental pull of the cable. About the same design as Sony XBA 10 but for sony the cable is flat and slightly thicker. On positive side the cable is really soft and flexible but more prone to tangle as compared to my others IEM.
The comfort level is the best. It is simply one of the lightest IEM that I ever owned. With shallow fitting but suprisingly stable ear tip design, I can listen to music for many hours. Together with ultrathin cable the IEM almost feel weightless inside my ear. I just wish that it has flex nozzle design like Pioneer CL541 which has the best fit inside ear. The Pioneer simple won't move with my jaw movement especially if I am talking on the phone or eating snack, drinking water etc.