Canpur CP32E


Headphoneus Supremus
An IEM That Can Sing...
Pros: Class leading vocals - forward, nuanced and textured

Resolving instrumental replay with a crisp treble response

Driver configuration feels purposeful

Small and ergonomic shell

Beautiful unboxing and accessories for this price range
Cons: Genre specialist - lighter note and transparency favours vocals and instruments in the higher Hz

Treble region will further divide listeners - definition aplenty but tonal sharpness can cut through at high volumes / poor recordings

Source, cable & tip sensitive (in some ways a ‘pro’ as you can largely offset aforementioned treble emphasis)

Included cable is not the best tonal match (subjective)


My reviews are written purely from a hobbyist perspective. I can’t claim to have heard every set under the sun but I have heard enough to make a general assessment of value versus TOTL / kilobuck market. I am also not a musician but have obsessive tendencies over instrumental accuracy. I prefer a warm-neutral signature with a natural instrument timbre. My preferred genres are jazz, folk, classical and world music. A very small portion of my library is electronic, OST, ambient and metal. Hence, a bass emphasis is not something I look for necessarily, however a ruler-flat bass is something quite unnatural to my ear and there needs to be some lift there for weight and an organic tone.

I tend to index performance on these aspects (in order of importance):

  1. Tonality - warm-neutral as mentioned above, mid-centric with emphasis at 1-2k and carefully tuned pinna to avoid shout. I dislike Harman midbass tucks at 200hz and prefer a linear glide into the low midrange to offer warmth and weight to low strings. Overall a midrange emphasis is preferred over V or U shapes and vocals should be placed forward and close to the ear with good clarity but not the common Chi-fi trait of enhanced upper midrange to the detriment of a natural balance. Vocals should be embodied but demonstrate a good ‘breathy’ quality when the recording asks for it - they need to be goosebump/ASMR inducing.
  2. Timbre - an admixture of components including tonality, resolving power, note texture and attack, sustain and decay; timbre is very important to me. If the IEM can’t offer something with an overarching authenticity to instruments then it drops down my list quickly.
  3. Coherence - there has to be a shared treatment of fundamental notes and harmonic detail throughout. The sound should be joined by a similar character and fluidity. A good ‘hybrid’ is one where I don’t think ‘hybrid’. This is probably because I have always heard single DD IEMs and flathead earbuds as a reference point for sound reproduction (shortcomings of layering, staging and top end extension aside).
  4. Spacious centre image - there needs to be space within the head with informative dimensions between L and R channels. Vocals usually sit within the head at the centre of the performance and without that dimension they can feel flat or enclosed which is a barrier to reproducing soaring vocal performances.
  5. Circumferential soundstage and instrument separation - related to the above, an informative picture around the head is important for my enjoyment too. I listen mostly with TOTL flat earbuds, that like overear headphones, places sound outside the head much better than IEMs. A wide soundstage is important, I don’t like music sounding congested.
  6. Resolution - finally, resolution is important, I want as much note information as possible but not at the expense of tonal correctness or 1-5. I’m not talking about clarity, presence or definition but texture and nuance for vocal and instrumental flourishes.

My hearing reaches up to 15kHz. I am not overly treble sensitive but do have issues with strong emphasis between 2.5kHz and 5kHz.


MusicTeck - this unit was kindly provided at a small discount in exchange for my review. I will try to be as objective as possible. Thank you to MusicTeck for the opportunity.

Subjectivity - as always, these impressions are heavily subjective and entirely possible you hear this IEM completely differently to me. It’s always sensible to demo sets before buying them (or purchase on the back of a very trusted opinion, as in my case). With the emergence of tour groups and audio shows, it’s becoming increasingly possible to do this.

Source / Cable / Tips Used in Impressions

This review is conducted using the Cayin RU7 as source, from the 4.4mm out, high gain. I consider this a dry, well defined, analog sound that accentuates stage size and separation.

Stock 4.4mm cable is used that appears to be a Ranko Acoustics cable, or at least it uses RA accessories.

The stock eartips are of good quality - a firm silicone eartip that stands slightly taller and narrower at the end than KBear 07 with similar sonic qualities (i.e. quite transparent and uncoloured). Another good option for this tonality is the Penon Liquer black tips that have a firm but wide core and flange. They seal well and accentuate the lower frequencies while keeping the staging open and preserving detail.

Unboxing & Accessories


The unboxing experience is the best I have encountered at this price point. A leather storage box, containing a leather storage case and leather IEM display stand. It feels very generous and of high quality. The cable included is supple and nice to handle with decent quality accessories. Included are 6 pairs of silicone eartips in a Canpur branded storage box. These silicone tips are similar to KBear07 but firmer, taller and less rounded. They follow in the same vein as KBear 07 with good transparency and good end to end extension.

What follows here is a brief description of the sound characteristics of the included cable, feel free to skip this if you don’t appreciate/don’t believe cables alter sound. The included cable is very dynamic and accentuates the already forward vocal range along with improving low end impact and presence, without any loss of clarity or increase in warmth. I would describe it as an aggressive sounding cable. While this cable did extract the most dynamism out of CP32E of cables I tested, it felt too overwhelming with what is already a bright signature with accentuated lower treble presence. The alteration to the sound is significant to my ears and for that reason I would argue it’s commensurate with the price of the IEM - the cable has some utility, it’s just not to my taste.


My recommendation for a cable pairing would be the humble Juzear Limpid, a silver plated OFC cable coming in at a whopping $20. It has a broad stage, good instrument separation and manages a beautiful balance between an organic smoothing of treble while actually enhancing the resolving power in that treble region. The content is better appreciated, not just the defining edges. In fact, this cable appears to pair well with many of my other BA sets. It adds a layer of refinement to the sound that you would usually only hear from cables many times the price.

Design, Fit & Comfort

The CP32E, similar to the other Canpur sets is made of a resin shell, it’s very lightweight and ergonomic (although fit is highly personal). The concha bowl is not aggressively shaped but provides enough purchase and grip within the ear. Some commentors have expressed their displeasure with the ‘feel’ of the Canpurs. They are all lightweight, which I see as a positive but others may want a heavier, more substantial feel for the money. The 32E has three open sound bores atop a fairly average size nozzle, not too long or too stubby in my view and not too wide, meaning most tips will work. There is a very minute vent just anterior to the 2pin connector. From experience, pressure build up is minimal over several hours listening but those sensitive to pressure may experience more issues as I cant imagine this vent contributing much to equalisation and if it does it is liable to block easily with debris. Thankfully, there are some tips available on the market that can go some way to reduce pressure build up, including the Tangzu Sancai and Tanchjim APB.



Coherence, Driver Choice and Driver Count

Before I talk about tonality and sound, I just want to mention my perspective on driver choice, overall coherence and the strengths and weaknesses of the 32E. With 3BA’s and 2EST’s there is light-footed character to the sound. This isn’t a set to emphasise macrodynamics or weight (although the note weight is sufficient when powered by a good external amp), it’s strengths are in transparency and resolution. The BA’s are sufficient to provide enough air density for string instrument and vocal body and the ESTs provide a beautifully ‘fragile’ treble region. I’ve come to really appreciate EST treble over BA treble. BA’s can be too heavy handed and soft in the upper treble, even when that region is accentuated. ESTs have a finesse to ornament the last details of notes that BAs can't achieve. On the low end, although much maligned, BA bass can extract texture and detail that can sometimes go missing within the more broad stroke sustain and slower decay of (typical) DD presentation.

Perceived weaknesses of this configuration are a lighter impact, a quicker, less romantic note decay and a lighter overall note weight throughout. There are really only 3 drivers providing air density here and most hybrids include a DD to make things feel more substantial. Even though there is only one BA for the midrange I don’t feel the resolution suffers too drastically and overall I consider resolving power a strength of this set, especially in the midrange. I suspect many multi-BA sets have built in redundancy as driver count increases but here just one is being used to it’s maximum extent. While the midrange performance is exceptional, there are moments when the upper midrange can become congested in very busy tracks and it's clear the 1BA begins to sweat delineating positional information.

Canpur have astutely joined Sonion BA and EST together with purpose: to produce a refined and revealing instrumental and vocal replay that prioritises micro over macro and is best suited for small, intimate performances and for listeners in search of subtleties. By choosing this driver configuration, even before their tuning choice they have made purposeful steps towards a goal.



Frequency response courtesy of MusicTeck. Red line, CP32E. Green line, CP54E.

I consider the CP32E to be mid-centric signature with an accentuated treble response, although it’s not overtly bright and is overall, uncoloured. As you can see from the graph there is a swift but well controlled accentuation of 1k-3k bringing the midrange to the fore. Presence is accentuated at 5k for great clarity and there’s a dip thereafter controlling for some vocal sibilance, before rising for a lifted 8-10kHz region that adds definition and sparkle. The transition to the midrange eschews a mountainous accentuation with sudden tuck for a gently sloping glide to 400Hz. This prioritses realism in midrange weight and organic warmth. The subbass accentuation adds deep atmosphere and completes the picture with a dose of dramatics.

[As an aside, I really don’t like how unnatural a tuck at 200Hz sounds, especially when it’s preceded by a hefty blob of midbass ala Harman target. It interferes with balance too much in the lower midrange. This popular obsession is perceived by proponents as removing midrange ‘veil’ but in my view you end up sucking out organic warmth for a very clinical and tonally disjointed lower midrange that can really impact low strings. Thankfully, this is not the approach taken here.]

The CP54E (green line) is closely related to the 32E, a sister set of sorts and is very complimentary. I will provide a brief comparison towards the end of the review, as while they share a tuning philosophy, there are differences in tonal colour and technical strength.


Immediately, what is apparent is how well Canpur are working the latest gen of the Sonion vented woofer. The bass extends viscerally into the sub region and can throb with pressure when called for. The quantity combined with the wide staging is enough to add atmosphere and excitement but I would still want a few dB more of subbass and midbass to call it a ‘fun’ tuning. This is sensibly tuned with enough quantity to make orchestral and OST viable but still south of the quantity I want for electronic/hip hop and metal.

From a quality perspective textures and detail are excellent. Low percussion has a naturally weighted hit/impact. Double bass weight and resonance feels full and transparent with a lick of organic warmth. There is virtually no bloom to this tight, yet expressive low end. The bass remains what I would describe as accurate and leaning analytical with no obscuring qualities to it. It leaves the midrange feeling open, spacious and revealing. The linear tuning approach to the bass is all about balance and there’s a good balance achieved between informative instrumental replay and enjoyable but not exuberant electronic replay.

Nenad Vasilic - Bass Room - Christos Anesti

This is one of my go-to tracks for acoustic bass texture and detail. On the majority of my other sets this recording is warm but the CP32E renders it much more airy and a few shades brighter thanks to the accentuated treble. This means all the detailing to the strings is delivered cleanly (not clinically) with an organic hue that’s not warm but natural. As I will come onto, the CP32E doesn’t struggle with ‘musicality’ in the higher registers but I feel more bass and lower midrange would bring out the musical soul better on this track.

Nicolas Parent - Intuitions - Izu (featuring Kentaro Suzuki)

Intuitions is a superb album with immaculate recording atmosphere. Izu features a beautiful contrabass and electric bass duet. There is a wonderful ‘wobbling’ depth to the low frequency reach on these strings and CP32E captures that musicality without issue. The bass is extending here with no roll off. You have the complete picture with good clarity and definition. Excessive bass or note decay would render this track overwhelming and one dimensional in my opinion, but the analytical side to this IEM draws out the detail and beauty of these two string behemoths.

3Phaz - Ends Meet - Sharayet

This electronic track has some deep hits. Once again, the woofers kick in with convincing low extension. The subbass ‘wobble’ is more a soft caress on the ears but the midbass hits well for a BA. This track also reveals the upper midrange clarity and treble definition from the hi hats and other sounds ornamenting this track. There is an undeniable ‘zing’ to the character here, another reminder that this set has an analytical face to it that can fatigue at loud volumes.

Hans Zimmer - Dune: Part Two - Beginnings Are Such Delicate Times

Focusing on the first 10 seconds there is a rolling tide of atmospheric bass sweeping in. It feels weighty and layered on the 32E. The presentation, again, isn’t overwhelming just naturally weighted, informative and balanced. The entire OST sounds great on the 32E. The open staging, clean midrange and distinct treble do justice to recreating the inhospitable vastness of Arrakis. The whole OST, like a pendulum moves between the transcendent spiritual and a brutal material reality. The dynamics on the 32E oppose these themes with great contrast. Hook the 32E up to an external amp and you’ll be treated to even greater dynamism. If OST were my main gig, I would actually choose the 32E over the warmer 54E that loses some vivid contrast offered by the tonally brighter and more open midrange (’open’ from a tonal perspective, technically the 54E has a deeper stage with better layering).

Mids & Treble

The midrange is captivating. It’s the 32E’s greatest strength. If you enjoy singer/songwriter, acoustic/folk, vocal jazz, violin concerto, this will present your library par excellence. Vocals are intimate but uncoloured, you can ‘feel’ all the nuance lifted of the track with how present the upper midrange runs and there’s a beautifully crisp treble accenting that does not leave things overexposed or grainy. The 32E walks the proverbial tight rope between vocal presence and clarity and sibilance and shout very well. I only have issues when listening at louder volumes (Fletcher Munson curve be damned) and that is usually because I am trying to increase the perceived bass for pop/hip hop. This is the main reason I feel the 32E is a specialist set: to get the low end and low midrange presence I’m after for electronic/pop/hiphop genres, the upper midrange veers just out of balance. This is not an issue for the majority of my instrumental library. The lower midrange is clean, detailed and on the whole very musical but for those instruments with fundamentals sitting lower down things feel less musical and more analytical, yet still enjoyable.

The treble will be divisive, the 8-10kHz region adds a sparkle and brilliance that’s addictive and ever present. It forces a brighter and more analytical character on tracks than I’m used to, but it also works to reveal vocal and instrument detail and improve note definition. For the right library of instrumental and vocal recordings that don’t suffer from poor mastering, I don’t imagine this to be an issue. It’s better to have this emphasis...take it away and you take away the 32E’s emotive power.

James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart

Vocals are the selling point for the 32E, there’s no denying it. The clean midrange has a vocal forwardness with excellent clarity and treble detail and decent resolving power to boot. Vocals simply soar. James Blake’ voice is weighted just right. It’s transparent and resolved thoroughly to appreciate deep body and the more superifical textures.

Angelo De Augustine - Tomb - Tomb

A folk/acoustic singer with an endearing falsetto. This another example of 32E’s strengths. The well defined accompanying strings and slightly strained, airy and fragile ‘head voice’ play perfectly from the BA/EST mix. Vocal enunciation is palpable. It’s not romantic or warm but rather fleeting and angelic, as intended.

Scott Matthews - Passing Stranger - Earth To Calm

A singer-songwriter close to my heart. I have seen him perform multiple times now and the reproduction of his voice is faultless. His soft, dulcet voice is buttery smooth and yet well textured. Guitars have metallic twang as you would expect but there is a finesse and delicacy to them that keeps it tolerable for me. Some may find this metallic twang and presence too distracting or invasive, this is where the uppermid/treble will be divisive.

Roomful of Teeth - Caroline Shaw: Partita for 8 Voices - Allemande & Courante

An awe inspiring, dimensional recording of voices good for testing staging and vocal handling. The 32E presents a balanced, uncoloured performance of this track demonstrating it’s own virtuoso voice. Clear, separated, organic, vocally crystalline from bass to soprano. There’s a little bit of shout during the intense passages at my natural listening levels but it’s controlled for me by dropping the volume just slightly. In some tracks on this album where multiple voices converge they mingle a bit too much. It’s possible we’re starting to see the limit of the separating and resolving power of 1 midrange BA and it can only be so technical.

If you’re into Dark the Netflix series, this ensemble performed the intro for it - ‘Courante’ on the same album. It’s such an mesmerising track. There’s something very essential and primal to vocal ensemble performances for me and it takes me to a similar place as when I listen to choral music. The CP32E does a damn fine job of conveying the subtilities of voice.

Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal - Musique de Nuit - Niandou

I always bring this track into my reviews. An open air performance with kora and cello. The recording is spacious and the CP32E renders that space well but more importantly to me, both instruments are treated realistically. They have textured and well defined strings that remain sweet and their acoustics reflect that an open environment. The kora sits so predominantly in the upper midrange and treble that less emphasis here can really dull my enjoyment of it. The CP32E get’s the emphasis right. It has presence in all the right places and the dip between 5-8khz does not steal away any harmonic detail.

Michel Godard - Le concert des parfums - Allemande & Improvisation II

I use Allemande to test staging and also string texture. There is plenty of texture and instruments are separated well. The open atmosphere of the recording is reproduced perfectly.

The second track is improvised throat singing - something quite intense, coarse and echoic. With a ‘bad’ tuning this can quickly become intolerable, the voice might sound too forward and if center imaging and resolution are poor it can sound one dimensional. The 32E has none of these issues, it’s presence is controlled well and the reverberant vocals are organic and well resolved in the headspace.

Maro - hortela - oxala

Female vocals on display here. Close, breathy, resolved. I can’t find any weakness to the sound on this track off the RU7. This is ‘bread and butter’ CP32E territory.

Agnes Obel - Familiar - Familiar

Agnes Obel manages to pop up on most reviewers list of test tracks. She’s on mine too! ‘Familiar’ is my go-to from the Citizen of Glass album. There's a great interplay of male vocal and cello and the usual dose of ethereal female vocals. At the beginning and throughout there’s a vocalised ‘tsh’ fricative sound, almost like a lighter sparking a flame into the tracks claustrophobic warmth. I listen here for how present and clear this is. It’s truly eminent on the 32E, dancing on the ears with clarity and it’s own particulate detail. The cello is rendered well, sounding woody and detailed as it emerges from the stifling atmosphere.

(this was quite unintentionally the second track in this review to feature in the series Dark (!) - such an atmospheric soundtrack).


My reference point for timbre is a good single DD (Tago Studio T3-02 being my benchmark). Despite this gold standard, I have been very satisfied with the timbre on this set. It’s only arguable weakness is a slight lack of note density in the midbass and lower midrange and the quicker decay. Tonal colouration is accurate (i.e. close to neutral) but these are still BA’s dealing with most of the FR and so are subject to their pros and cons. To say the timbre here does not detract from my enjoyment of my largely instrumental library is probably sufficient.


Technically the stage is wide but lacks some depth and layering ability. Directional imaging, however, is very good and the center image is plenty big enough for vocals to breathe. Congestion can emerge with busier tracks and this is when I would have liked to have seen a better delineation of sound. However, by on large, this is quite a rare issue when there is multiple elements all within the same band and at quite intense volume.

CP32E vs CP54E

I was lucky enough to have the CP54E visit on tour thanks to @Charlyro222 and compare them side by side. This was after 2 months with the CP32E and getting used to it’s character.

The differences were almost immediately apparent and I’ll summarise in bullet form:
  • Tonality: the CP54E is balanced differently to be warmer and weightier but while retaining a similar treble presence in the upper midrange. That weight and low end presence makes the 54E an all-rounder.
  • Bass: the bass is awesome. It’s ‘fun’ but well measured and controlled. Unfortunately, there is some loss of clarity and veiling of the lower midrange as a result of this steeper and more invasive bass incline. The density and presence of the bass is phenomenal. Electronic/ambient/metal - these genres benefit greatly.
  • Midrange: there is less clarity throughout the midrange, the sound is less transparent but arguably more organic and grounded in the fundamentals. The midrange is more resolving despite a drop in clarity. Notes are more informative and congestion isn’t an issue. The tuning change refocuses things away from vocals that are now more embodied, being less fragile, angelic and transparent than those on the 32E.
  • Treble: much the same in terms of definition but subjectively less aggressive due to the warmer low end. The treble region takes a step up in resolution too. Everything feels expansive and air is more palpable.
  • Technicalities: the staging has a similar width to the 32E but much greater height, depth and layering ability. Sounds are sat on the edge of the ear with more dimension/holography to them whereas the 32E places them near the limits of the stage.

They share a philosophy of balance and detail but they approach the balancing act differently. Of course, with the added number of BA drivers covering the midrange and two more EST drivers, it achieves more technically but is very different tonally. Vocals and strings (especially high strings) are more brilliant and ethereal on the 32E but then you miss out on the note density that the 54E offers that some may find absolutely necessary for musicality.

Source / Cable / Tip Matching

I have provided impressions using a popular dongle - the RU7 - and enjoy it from that alone. However, playing from my Venture Electronics Defiant transportable amp there is a tonal rebalancing with improved end-to-end extension and emphasis. Bass quantity improves, EST detailing and air feels expanded in detail and explored better. The 32E scales with power, that’s my conclusion, so it really is worth exploring sources.

I would advise using your warmer sources to pair with the 32E. A high quality copper or silver plated copper cable will serve you well for this set. As for tips, Final E can aggressively subdue treble if it’s not to taste but does close down staging somewhat. Rather than subdue the treble I prefer to enhance bass to counterbalance and I can usually achieve this through a wide bore, firm core tip that seals well - in this case Penon Liquer black.

Closing Remarks

Purchasing the 32E was a blind buy on the back of a trusted opinion and I don’t regret it. It does have class leading vocals in the sub $1k price bracket and exceptional string definition that suits my preferences and library. However, it’s not an all-rounder (unless you throw gobs of power at it) due to the modest midrange note weight. Over time, I imagine the 54E will emerge as a popular all-rounder. At $820 as of writing, the 32E does offer value but only to the right listener. I won’t be purchasing the 54E as my library doesn’t justify the bass boost (or technical improvements) for the price increment to $2,000. Now, if I were to sit down with Canpur to create my perfect match (humour my pipedream): I would take the CP32E, add an additional BA in the midrange and lift the bass shelf between the 32E and the 54E. I imagine this adjustment would broaden genre utility, add weight, remove some low midrange veil that the 54E suffers from and retain and maybe even improve, the 32Es instrumental and vocal strengths. This would probably place it just into the kilobuck market but it would be very competitive with the expertise of Canpur Audio implementing it. Canpur, if you see this, please consider an armchair enthusiasts request!

Til next time! Happy listening 😃


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Man, your review is good. The description of your preference at the beginning is crystal clear. Great job!
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Is CP54E suitable for listening to pop and hip-hop music? For example, songs by Jay Chou and Eminem.
Yes, no issues with hip hop (or pop). It has good male vocal clarity and a strong bass shelf with plenty of impact and rumble.
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