General Information

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Cayin Fantasy Single Dynamic Drive IEM
  • Driver: 10.3mm dual cavity with two-way magnetic structure
  • Diaphragm: beryllium-plated
  • Design: elegant design inspired by stringed musical instruments
  • Shell: CNC Machined 316 Stainless Steel
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB at 1kHz
  • Impedance: 37 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 40kHz
  • Connector: 0.78mm 2 pin
  • Isolation: 26 dB
Headphone Cable for Cayin Fantasy
  • Cable Type: 4 conductors, composed of 0.08mm 6N OCC and 0.05 silver-plated core
  • Termination: Gold plated 3.5mm TRS Male
  • Cable length: 130cm

Fantasy Announce 03.jpg

Fantasy Unbox.jpg

Fantasy Announce 01.jpg


Latest reviews


Headphoneus Supremus
A Real Fantasy
Pros: Grand packaging
Build quality
Bass quality
Treble quality and extension
Excellent design
Cons: Excessively huge packaging
No balanced cable
The Fantasy are the most recent In Ear Monitors (IEM) produced by Cayin. I believe the earlier model was the YB04, a 4 Balanced Amature (BA) set of IEMs.

Cayin kindly included me in the European leg of their review tour of the Fantasy, for which I am grateful.

The unit is therefore a loan unit provided free of charge by Cayin for the loan period. Following the loan period I passed the unit on to the next reviewer in the tour group.

I provide my honest opinion of the Cayin Fantasy without limitation, nothing I say is given to anyone for approval. All views I express are my views. I am not influenced by anyone, and I am not paid to express any views positive or otherwise.

Form, Fit and Function

The package:
The package is a huge but beautifully constructed cardboard drawer unit with magnetic clasps which exude quality. The Fantasy come with the following in the package:

The IEMs;
A 3.5mm single ended cable;
A thin faux leather pouch;
A selection of tips,
A cleaning brush;
A cleaning cloth; and
A shirt clip.


This well thought out design of the packaging is let down by the fact that it is excessively and unnecessarily large, unfortunately all of this is constructed out of cardboard, so even if well kept, it has a very short lifespan compared to, for example, wood or metal construction.

The Fantasy have a dual cavity two-way single beryllium-plated dynamic driver (DD) per ear piece.


The shells are made of metal, described as surgical stainless steel, which have a mirror finish. I think the design is simple but gorgeous. Some of the best things in life are simply designed, the Fantasy is to my eyes just that, well executed, simple, but effective design.

There are excellent design touches, starting with the In Ear Monitors (IEMs) which have a simple triangular ridge on the faceplate, which gives the earpieces an elegant look regardless of the angle from which you look at them.

You then have a subtle touch just behind the two-pin cable connection slot, which is a tiny bore the inside of which is coloured black for left and red for right. On the other side of the cable connection is another tiny bore, which may or may not be a vent, but the essence here is that the designers bothered to make it all symmetrical. Bravo!

I think the greatest disappointment was the portable case, or correctly expressed, the faux leather pouch. Although it feels very nice, it is flimsy and cannot protect an eartip from damage, let alone a $700 set of earphones, a let down for a set at this price range. However, that can be remedied for $10 or so, hence it should not be a deal breaker.

The standard cable is a 6N OCC Copper and silver plated cable with a 3.5mm single ended plug. The content of the package is a further disappointment. No balanced cable, although we were provided, as part of the tour, with a beautiful balanced Cayin CS-4.4B cable, which as the name suggests, is a 4.4mm cable. The CS-4. is an 8 strand, crystalised OFC x silver alloy cable. Fortunately, these short-comings are not a deal breaker in my view but a disappointment nonetheless.


My setup for this review
I paired them with Samsung galaxy note 10 plus and Fiio M11, as my source, and for amplification variably, SMSL AD18, a Samsung dongle, Fiio BTR5, the HA FEE HA11 and the Littlebear B4X tube dac/amp, mostly balanced 2.5mm and on high gain.

The sound in short
I generally avoid reading the reviews of other reviewers prior to posting my review. This means, readers can be sure my review is not influenced by anyone else’s review. However, on this occasion, although I have not read the reviews for the Fantasy, I did read comments on the Cayin Fantasy thread.

A lot of the commentary I read on the thread differed from my findings, which are along the lines of a lack of bass. Do not misunderstand me, I see their point of view but I put their experience of lack of low end down to burn-in. I believe I had the benefit of being in the last two reviewers in the European tour group.

These are technically brilliant earphones, with wonderful highs, which are just on the cusp of being peaky but not quite peaky, to my ears. Mids are well rendered, with nothing shouty and enough weight to give you milky but not syrupy sound. The much criticised bass (for being anaemic) is not my experience. I would say the Fantasy are not basshead earphones, and not bass biased, but that does not mean they lack bass. I love the bass on the Fantasy, which gives you great quality sub-bass and mid-bass where the recording permits. However, in terms of quantity, the mid-bass is less prominent, but does not make these earphones anaemic, while the sub-bass is just right to my ears.

The sound in detail
Like most single (or multiple) dynamic sets, the Fantasy are sensitive to ear tips. I found the red stem silicone tips gave me a very pleasant sound. Take the time to get the right tips and you will be rewarded.

The Fantasy are relatively easy earphones to drive. I used the HAA FE HA11, which I thought that with 1mW of power (as it is advertised) was quite pleasant, so was the synergy between the Fiio BTR5 and Fiio M11 was also good . However, the Fantasy was best paired to the Littlebear Tube Amp and I would hazard a guess that Cayin’s own tube Amp might pair quite well with the Fantasy.

Instrument separation, Imaging, Stage, and Timbre
The Fantasy’s clarity and detail retrieval is incredibly good. Separation of instruments is good and imaging is very good. I found the sound stage adequate but not unusually expansive.

Timbral accuracy is very good, the sound of the instruments are incredibly realistic.

Sound check
You may want to put on your monitors of choice and check out the music using the links.

The mid-bass is not pronounced, it is as recorded, hence you have moments where there appears to be less mid-bass than some would like or expect. In my view there is plenty mid-bass if called for by the track. The quality of that mid-bass is good and well defined, that for me is what matters.

The sub-bass feels so good. Again, there is no sub-bass bias but where the track calls for it you feel that sub-bass. The sub-bass is incredibly visceral and potent, showing excellent tuning, to my ears.

Jonny Guitar Watson - Ain’t that a bitch -

Yemi Alade - Bum Bum -


The Fantasy renders the mid frequencies very well. The mids have are well measured and delivered with aplomb by this beautifully tuned dynamic driver.

Teddy Swims - I can’t make you love me -

Santana - While my guitar gently weeps -

The Cayin Fantasy do not disappoint, you hear it all, while reproducing the very detailed highs beautifully. Clearly these earphones have been tuned with treble emphasis and the comments do not disagree with me on that. The issue for some is whether it was overdone. I appreciate the subjective nature of our anatomy, our sensitivities and our tastes, but I would also add that burn-in, and our sources and equipment may have a part to play. However, for me, the highs on the Fantasy were incredibly good. The detail retrieval across the frequencies is superb, and that is reflected beautifully in the treble.


Albinoni - Aagio for strings -

Schindler’s List OST -

Scott Hamilton - The shadow of your smile - [for Cymbals] -

: Remember, YouTube recordings are not always the highest quality recordings.

In conclusion, the Cayin Fantasy give you high resolution across the frequency spectrum thus makes these a very revealing set. However, the downside of this is that on certain tracks the treble can appear intense. Exceptional detail and clarity in the highs, well measured mids and great quality mid-bass and sub-bass, with sub-bass bias, Love them!

Enjoy your music!
I put these on the Questyle 12 desktop and they just came alive!
Love the Fantasy. My all time Favorite IEMs.


100+ Head-Fier
pleasant listening experience
Pros: Nice package with accessories and selections of eartips
Impressive clarity and bass
Treble with texture
Balanced tune
Build quality
Cons: Heavy
Treble with texture
First, I want to thank Cayin for organizing this product review tour, which provides me this great opportunity to try out this IEM. I used to have the Gadget Acquisition Syndrome (GAS), constantly chasing the latest gadget. As I aged and budget burns, the syndrome is cured in recent years. Now I settled down with FIIO M11 + AudioSense T800 as my daily gear with the philosophy that, instead of the endless chase of the better gadgets, I just need a set good enough. What is good enough? The answer is different for different people. The combination of FIIO M11 + AudioSense T800 works well for me; after I found this duo, I stopped buying new hardware. If it was not for this product tour, I would have not been able to experience this fantastic IEM.

Since the previous reviewers already uploaded many very nice product pictures, I will skip that. Now, let me get straight to my experience with Cayin Fantasy.
The tour package included a retail package of Cayin Fantasy and an upgraded 4.5mm balanced cable. For my ears, the stock cable is annoying because it tends to drag the IEM out of my ear; in addition, the metal body of the IEM makes it heavier than my resin-based T800, which also contributes to the out falling from my ears. The upgraded cable partially solved the problem; when I stay straight up, the IEM stays comfortably in my ears; but I lie down, it falls out often. The AudioSense T800 never has this problem.

I changed the stock eartips to the same SpinFit for both IEMs for a fair comparison. The sound of Cayin Fantasy is pleasing. I found the bass is just right to me, with deep reach and adequate quantity. The sound of cello and double bass is reproduced with authority and stride. Honestly speaking, I think T800 and Fantasy both sound excellent in the bass department; those who enjoy bass will enjoy Cayin Fantasy.

The mid is full-bodied, neutral with a slightly warm colorization, which, IMHO, is a perfect fit for chamber music. I found string quartets and string concerti are rendered with fully expressed emotion.

The treble is where Cayin Fantasy sets itself apart from peers. Many previous reviewers pointed out that the treble is bright, sibilant or grainy. I understand these assessments, but I would not go that far. When rosin is applied on violin bow, it enhances bowing grip on the string and brings out the texture of string vibration; but if excessive rosin is applied, the sound can become coarse and grainy. IMHO, Cayin Fantasy renders string music with more textures or grains than all earphones I tried so far, make the sound more edgy as if more rosin is applied than usual. It is a little bit more than my preference, but not to the degree to be called coarse; the sound is still enjoyable. Actually, the edgy sound brings the side effect of perceived high resolution, which some users may prefer. This is why I listed it as both Pros and Cons above.

In the first few days when I tried it, this sound effect was quite clear to my ears; toward the end of my 10-day allowance to keep the IEM, probably due to my ear burn-in, the sound become not as edgy.

Overall, Cayin Fantasy is an excellent IEM with its characteristics. I like it very much.
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Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Cayin Fantasy
Pros: Outstanding build quality
Superbly fast
Looks stunning
Brilliant packaging and accessories included in the box
Cons: Bright
Gets harsh

Cayin Fantasy​

Cayin Fantasy is a flagship IEM using a Beryllium plated dynamic driver. After launching the great YB04, Cayin has a lot to prove here with their new release. The price is set at $799.

$799Beryllium-Plated DD37Ω108dB


Cayin has been around for quite some time now, being one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to headphone amplifiers, DACs, and DAPs. It’s as recent as 2019 when they started producing IEMs, and their first launch, the YB04 (review here) has been a marvelous entry into the IEM world.
Utilizing 4 Balanced Armature drivers, they offered a beautifully nuanced, coherent, and neutral sound signature sealed in high-quality and ergonomic shells. Now, Cayin has decided to step up their game by launching their new flagship, a single DD driver IEM called Fantasy. It uses a Beryllium-plated dynamic driver. The $799 asking price positions them into a very competitive price bracket, filled with many great IEMs, hence the Fantasy has a lot to prove to be a valid option to buy.


When it comes to the packaging and unboxing experience, Cayin has always been good, and with the Fantasy, they really made something great.
The IEMs come in a big box that has two compartments. After opening it up, you’re greeted with the IEMs displayed on top, and it really looks great.
Except for the IEMs themselves, you’re getting a soft pouch, that even though being of good quality, isn’t really protective when on the go. I’d much prefer the leather case that has been included with the YB04, as it’s of great quality, nice looking, and very protective. The soft pouch included with the Fantasy acts more like a scratch protector, but I would never throw it into a bag.
Next up you’ve got the cable, which is a 1.3m OCC-Copper with the silver-plated core. It uses extruded 2-pin connectors, and it is a good quality cable as for the stock choice. It’s comfortable to wear and the microphonics are minimal. It would have been nice to get a 4.4mm balanced cable in the box additionally, or at least as the stock cable with an adapter to 3.5mm included, but that’s more of nitpicking.

Other than that you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to the eartips. Cayin included 12 different pairs of tips for you to choose from. Last but not least, you’re getting a cable clip, cleaning brush, and a cleaning cloth, which is actually not too good and I wouldn’t use it to clean the delicate surface of these beautiful shells.
Overall, all that makes for a premium unboxing experience which is always nice to see, especially in this price range. Sure, it would have been nice to get a hard carrying case, even the same as the one that comes with the YB04, and a balanced cable, but it doesn’t change the fact that the packaging of the Fantasy is really good.

Build quality and comfort​

Here things get really interesting. Cayin Fantasy is made of Grade 316 surgical stainless steel which has been mirror polished. This style of IEMs is looking really spectacular…if they are clean and new. Take the Campfire Audio Andromeda S and Final A8000 as an example. You really want to keep them clean and you need to baby them to make sure you won’t scratch them.
Nonetheless, no matter how much you’d take care of them, some signs will show rather quickly. This is the price you have to pay for these absolutely marvelous-looking shells. Don’t worry too much though, as I’ve seen some scratched A8000 for example and they still looked fantastic.
Apart from the materials used, the design of the Fantasy IEM is inspired by stringed musical instruments. Its round edges and overall shape make them a very comfortable pair of earphones. Even though the shells have some weight, you won’t be having too many problems with using them for an extended period of time. Sure thing, because of the weight they are not the most comfortable pair of IEMs on the market, but the shape really helps.
Additionally, they utilize the protruding 2-pin connectors, which are both commonly used and really durable. It helps to reduce the stress of the connectors while using the IEMs.



The included cable is a 4-core unit using OCC copper wires with silver-plated cores. It’s well-made and very comfortable, as it’s flexible and rather lightweight, except for the splitter. It’s also really visually appealing, sporting that silver color together with the splitter and the jack connector both using the same material that you’ll find on the IEMs themselves.
Nonetheless, I actually recommend getting a nice aftermarket cable that’ll suit the Fantasy better. I’d go with something warm and thick-sounding.


The Fantasy IEM uses a Beryllium-plated bio-cellulose diaphragm. It is said to deliver an improved stiffness of the membrane. Also, the Beryllium plating reduces resonance, and minimizes deformance of the membrane.
If you’re familiar wit the sound of the Beryllium, then you definitely won’t be surprised. It delivers a very fast and accurate driver response, with very low distortions. Also, its detail reproduction is among the best of any technology, and it surely is apparent in the Fantasy.
These IEMs also use a Dual Cavity with Two-way magnetic technology. Here’s the explanation from Cayin:
  1. Additional rear cavity controls the sound wave to flow smoothly and reduces resonance. This will enhance the clarity and soundstage will be more holographic.
  2. Increased magnetic flux offers excellent control to diaphragm and reproduces low level details accurately and seamlessly.


The Cayin Fantasy is an absolutely gorgeous-looking and built IEM utilizing great driver technology. It is both comfortable and well-thought when it comes to its design. As far as the sound is concerned, it is definitely not a neutral or natural sounding pair of IEMs, but there are some people that will definitely like their tuning.

Let’s start with the bass. It is detailed, crisp, fast, and insightful. The Fantasy is a bass-light IEM, don’t expect a great kick or physicality in it, as it lacks weight, especially in the sub-bass region. While it’s mostly good with acoustic recordings some jazz recordings, the amount of bass isn’t ideal for rock/metal/rap/electronics.
While it will definitely satisfy those who like that fast, nuanced bass response, it’s definitely not going to be enough for bassheads or natural tonality fans. It is actually the same story regarding the rest of the frequency response.
It’s simply a bass-light Japanese tuning all around, focusing on fast transient response, textured mids and boosted lower-treble region. The amount of details and the crispiness of the low frequencies are both great, but its tuning will not suit a lot of people nowadays I’m afraid.
An album called “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk is really great to test the bass response with, so let’s dig into it.
The thing that I stated above is fairly easy to spot here, as the overall sound lacks weight and punchiness a bit. You are getting a very fast and nuanced response, but this somewhat light tone makes this album sound not as it’s really supposed to. You’re not going to be missing any detail or texture, but I wouldn’t expect your head to start bobbing to the rhythm.

The midrange does share some similarities to the bass response. It’s definitely tuned towards the upper-mid section, which allows female vocals to really shine. If you’re a fan of those, you’re most probably will love the midrange of the Fantasy.
Other than that, the lower-mid is yet again a bit lacking in weight, resulting in male vocals sounding a little bit on the light and unnatural side. While there’s a big market for thick and heavy-sounding midrange nowadays, it’s really good to see a different approach, especially with it being so consistent.
The Fantasy’s mid-forward presentation is especially great for wind instruments, allowing them to sound extremely textured, fast and engaging. When it comes to female vocals, they are very forward and airy sounding on the Fantasy. I know many people that actually love upper-mid forwardness, and they would definitely love this IEM.
While the sound signature here is definitely not for everybody, it does wonders with the soundstage, thanks to sounding so airy and open.
Let’s get to our classic here at Ear Fidelity, the Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks just happens to have such an amazing voice, and it’s recreated just beautifully by the Fantasy. She sounds forward, bright and beautifully textured. The same story goes with the likes of Melody Gardot, or Holly Martin from the legendary trip-hop band Archive. All of them simply sound so sweet, addictive and very nuanced on the Fantasy, that I believe every female vocal enthusiast should definitely give them a try.
The treble will most likely be a hit-or-miss for many. It’s definitely bright sounding, greatly layered and extremely fast, but the Fantasy is surely capable of sounding tiring. While the extension on the top-end is brilliant and very impressive, the lower-treble region is boosted by quite a lot.
Because of that, they could simply sound harsh and overly bright if you’ll simply plug them into anything you’ve got on your hand at the moment. They seriously require a very careful matching in terms of the source and the tips. If you’ll plug them into a bright sounding device, and you’re not a treblehead, then you definitely will be blasted by those high frequencies.
Nonetheless, if you’ll plug them into a thick and dark sounding device, they do tend to sound absolutely spectacular when it comes to detail retrieval and airiness. The Cayin N3Pro is actually a brilliant match with the Fantasy if you’ll use its triode mode.
After you’ll find the right companion for them, you’re gonna be rewarded with one of the most detailed and sparkly sounding treble you can get for the price. It sounds exciting, razor-sharp, and detailed at the same time.

The soundstage is both deep and wide. Not to the extremes, as its stage is definitely not as big as the one found in UM MEST, or Final A8000 for example.
It’s very enjoyable and natural sounding though, with really good imaging. It just feels right, not being overly intimate, nor too big, just spot-on for most of the records I’ve tried with it.
Thanks to using a single driver, the overall soundstage feels natural and very coherent, providing a good room between the instruments. It is not as informative or superbly-crisp as some hybrids or tribrids, but as for a single DD IEM, the Fantasy stages really good.
What’s worth noting is that every instrument sounds physical and well exposed, giving us a sharp and accurate show around the head.


VS Final A8000

The influence of the A8000 in the latest Cayin’s release is very prominent in almost every term. The build quality and included accessories are going head to head, with the Fantasy winning in terms of comfort. The sharp edges of the A8000 may result in some fatigue after an hour of the listening session, and you won’t be having this kind of problems with the Fantasy.
When it comes to tuning, the A8000 offers a more mature and more natural frequency response. Its bass is definitely more prominent than in the Fantasy, and the upper-mid to lower-treble transition, even though being quite elevated, isn’t as sharp and accentuated. When it comes to the raw technical performance, the Fantasy keeps up surprisingly well, considering the 2x price difference. The A8000 still has an edge in detail retrieval and overall resolution, but it’s not as big as I expected it to be.
I’d like to call the Fantasy as the “mini A8000”, but because of its very distinct tuning, I don’t believe it to be true. While both offer a very fast transient response and really crisp sonic reproduction, the A8000 is just a way more natural and cohesive sounding IEM.
VS Campfire Audio Dorado 2020

While I saw some similarities between the Fantasy and the A8000, the Dorado 2020 by Campfire Audio is as different as It possible could be.
First of all – while the Fantasy is a really comfortable IEM, its shells are quite a bit larger than the Dorado, resulting in a better overall comfort in the latter.
Secondly, they share absolutely no similarities when it comes to the tuning. The CFA’s bass response simply sweeps the Fantasy up, being way bigger, bolder and more physical. These two just simply cannot compare, as the Dorado 2020 is a bassheads dream, and the Fantasy is simply a bass-light IEM.
The transition between the midrange and the treble in both is quite boosted, but it’s definitely not as dramatic in the Dorado. It’s vivid enough to sound crisp and open, while the Fantasy takes it to the extreme, giving us a brighter and harsher presentation overall.
VS Fir Audio VxV

These two are also very differently tuned. While the Fantasy is a very extreme sounding IEM, super-fast, bright and insightful, the VxV is all about chill and safe frequency response.
The overall presentation of the VxV is warmer, more delicate, and calm, with a very pleasant, smooth tone. The Fantasy on the other hand is colder and brighter sounding, and its elevated lower-treble response results in a sharper and more textured sound.
While the VxV is a perfect example of “Everyday Carry”, the Fantasy is a specialistic tool, for the person who is really into this kind of tuning.


Cayin Fantasy is a specific IEM that’s tuned for the Asian markets. It offers a very fast and crisp sound, but its frequency response is not neutral. If you’re a big fan of bass-light, crispy, and bright-sounding IEMs, then this could be the best buy for you. If you are more into a natural, smooth, and easy-to-listen-to experience, you should look somewhere else.
Apart from that, you’re getting a superb build quality, quality accessories included, and an overall premium product from top to bottom. Definitely give them a listen before pulling the trigger, as they are surely not for everyone.

Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Unique Melody MEST, Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, Ara, Solaris 2020, Final A8000, Fir Audio VxV, Hifiman HE1000se, HEDDphone, Hifiman Ananda
  • Sources– Cayin N3Pro, iBasso DX220, SMSL SU-9 + SH-9, LittleDot MK III SE,, JDSLabs ATOM+,
  • Cables – Erua Tawa, Erua Miro


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