General Information

Outstanding emotions created by technology.
Our flagship, the Craft SIX, creates the perfect balance - audiophile neutral and smooth sound with excellent dynamics and lifelike imaging. Featuring six drivers: Dual Sub-Low, Dual Low-Mid, Single Mid-High, and One Super-Tweeter, along with our proprietary RASEN Bass, True Load, and SES technologies.

Reference Redefined
Our six-driver earphone was designed to deliver neutral sound, with perfect balance, redefined low frequencies, and smooth but detailed trebles. Clear, big sounding, lifelike bass meets full-body and organic mids, all completed by smooth, extended, detailed but never harsh highs. The highest resolution, extreme depth, very wide soundstage, and surprising dynamics is something that makes our C6 model stand out.

C6 delivers Reference and Natural sound with highest calculations done to fully control Frequency Response and Cumulative Spectral Decay (first time in the IEM industry)

Latest reviews

Animagus

Reviewer at Twister6
Craft Ears SIX - HandCRAFTed CIEMs from Poland
Pros: Highly attractive designs with good craftsmanship
- Great deep insertion CIEM fit
- Clarity, resolution and realism
- Highly resolving-high quality bass with good slam and rumble
- Forward resolving upper-midrange and strong instrument definition
- HQ upper-treble air and openness which also adds on to instrument realism
- Wide holographic soundstage.
Cons: Nitpicking - Upper treble peak might need an adaptation period to get used to.
My Background.

I am a professional musician, producer and audio engineer with experience in the performing, recording and pro-audio industry. I test products on a technical and musical level but try to write reviews as simple as possible from a music fan's perspective.

Disclaimer.

I would like to thank Craft Ears for sending me SIX to test and review. I am not affiliated with the company or any of its sellers and write this review with an unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.

About Craft Ears.

Craft Ears is a young boutique company from Stargard, Poland. It was started in 2019 by Jedrzej Nowicki, a young drummer who built his first CIEM out of necessity because good CIEMs from top brands were too expensive. So, he watched some videos online, ordered the raw materials and built one for himself! After learning the craft (pun intended) in detail, he started the company to build high quality affordable CIEMs for musicians and audiophiles. He now supports and works with a lot of local Polish artists and engineers too. With some good extensive R&D, Craft Ears developed and use some of their own proprietary tech in their CIEMs as well as state of the art 3D printing tech to print their shells and some internal components. They currently have 3 models in their lineup, Two, Four and Six. I've been informed that Craft Ears is now a 3 people strong company since my last review of their FOUR CIEM a few weeks back.

All Craft Ears IEMs come with -
  • 2 years warranty on components (no questions asked)
  • 60 days fit warranty
  • 14 days return period (covering only the cost of non-renewable materials for production)
  • Lifetime support
The intro price of SIX was €945 (4100 PLN) at the time of writing this review.

Links - Craft Ears SIX (Official Website) | Facebook | Instagram

Craft SIX+DX160


Technical Specifications.
  • 6 Balanced Armature Drivers (2 Sub-Low | 2 Low-Mid | 1 Mid-High | 1 Super Tweeter)
  • 5-way crossover
  • Frequency response - 2Hz -23kHz
  • Impedance - 7Ω (+-0.8Ω)
  • Noise isolation - 26db (Universal model)

Proprietary Tech in SIX
  • RASEN Bass ™ (Reference Acoustic Spiral Enhanced Bass) - Patent-pending solution, precisely calculated and designed 3D printed structure, that creates low-end notes as realistic as a true subwoofer.
  • True Load ™ - Extremely flat Impedance and Phase.
  • SES™ (Space Expanse System) - Field-specific, 3D printed, horn-loaded tweeter which was tuned in a very particular bandwidth.

Included in the box.

CE6 comes in a very simple cardboard box with a branding sleeve. Nothing too flashy as the main focus is on the build quality and sound as well as keeping pricing competitive.
  • CE6 CIEM
  • 8-core SPC cable
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Cleaning brush
  • Metal carry case
Craft SIX IEM+Case


Build Quality.


Like CE4, Jed asked me to leave the customisation choice for CE6 up to him. He sent me a sneak peak photo of the shells before shipping them to me and I instantly loved the design he had come up with. Jed surely has a knack of making drool worthy shell designs and his Instagram and Facebook uploads are a proof of that. As for my shells, they have clear shells with forged carbon fibre + silver leaves faceplates. The shells are on the bigger side, in fact substantially bigger than CE4 because the sound tubes need longer lengths to accommodate the proprietary tech in order to achieve the intended tuning. Every curve and contour is extremely smooth. The whole shell body flows seamlessly from the faceplate to the bottom shells. They are on the lighter side as Jed doesn’t fill them up with glue in totality, which I know makes repairs easier in case of warranty claims. The clear bottom part of the shells are fairly clear, not the clearest I've seen but there's nothing much to fuss about as they ooze of quality otherwise. My shells have surface 2-pin sockets which were drilled and finished perfectly.

Cable – CE6’s stock cable is much better than the one that came with CE4. It’s not the supplest cable but the 2-pin connectors, Y-split and jack are of good quality. It has a right-angled gold plated 3.5mm jack, which is better as it makes the cable much less prone to breaking at the jack and is also very sturdy and built to last. Otherwise, Craft Ears also offer Rhapsodio OCC MK2 as a cable upgrade for €145 extra.

Case - Craft Ears included a very nice CNC milled metal carry case which fits the CE6 nicely along with the cable and even the cleaning cloth. It is built like a tank and I reckon if you drop it, it will break the floor tile but keep your CIEMs absolutely safe.

Craft SIX Cable+Case



Fit and Comfort.

Fit in case of CIEMs primarily depends on how well your ear impressions were taken and then how well the manufacturer processes them. Craft Ears accept physical as well as 3D impressions (STL files). They 3D print their shells which reduces the shell making time, labor and margin of error.

My shells were 3D printed using STL files. They have a very nice snug fit with a nice deep insertion, much deeper than CE4. I did not need an adaptation period at all and they remain very comfortable for hours and hours together. Because of the extremely snug and deep fit, they are one of my best isolating CIEMs.

Now here’s the interesting part which kinda threw me off in the starting when I received these as well as the CE4. The shells are extremely smooth and slide into the ears extremely easily without the need of any lubrication (wink wink) which initially made me believe that they were rubbed with some kind of finishing wax for that extra easy slide in. Even running my fingers over the shells gave me that feeling. But it’s actually extremely high gloss lacquer that does the job and Jed let me know that he specifically uses a smoother, stronger and harder lacquer which is also more scratch resistant than the one a lot of other companies use. This lacquer helps achieve this extra smooth gloss finish which makes these CIEMs extremely easy to wear.


Sound Analysis.

Summary - When it comes to reference neutral IEMs, I casually like to classify them in 2 different categories –
  • The kind that present songs dead neutral, like how they were recorded, without any of the extra spice or sugar added from their side. In short, I like to call this 'True Reference’, something that mimics flat frequency response studio monitors in a well treated room.
  • The other kind that presents the songs very accurately with correct tonality and a reference balance but with a little added zing and sparkle that infuses energy, throwing you into the songs as if you’re watching the band perform right in front of you or even better, performing alongside the band. I like to casually call this 'Live Reference' because it creates an illusion of one listening to or performing the music in a live setting.
In my opinion, CE6 does the latter. It has a ‘very realistic’ reference-ish kind of presentation & tonality with a prominent upper treble lift. It follows the Harman Target curve till the upper midrange but with the same twist as the CE4, which is 64 Audio's tia driver style of upper-treble. The upper-treble lifted character of CE6 which has even more amplitude than the peaks of tia drivers themselves makes CE6 very intriguing, lively and exciting with great clarity, realism and micro-detail retrieval but in some cases also highlights hi-hats/cymbals and vocal air/sizzle if they are already prominent in a song with a brighter mix or in case of poorly mastered tracks, making CE6 a more enthusiastic and aggressive listen than warm or neutral. With most songs, CE6 is highly addictive and makes you get lost in the music, which I think is the main USP of Craft Ears tuning having tried and reviewed the CE4 as well.

Overall, this character of the treble along with the Harman Target-ish signature enables instruments to have a very realistic and life-like presence in songs. If you like listening to orchestral tracks/scores or acoustic/pop-rock songs which have a more organic/live performance feel, it'll make you hyper-aware, like you’re right there in the room with the musicians performing, even if you're just an air-drummer. Some records like Foo Fighters' 'Sonic Highways', Green Day's 'American Idiot', John Mayer's 'Continuum' and songs like Coldplay's 'Broken' and even Twenty One Pilots' 'Hype' sound extra special with CE6 and I don't think I've enjoyed them this much on any other IEM recently.

Alright then, let’s dig in deeper…

Craft SIX Right


Bass – Oh man, this bass! Rasen Bass is not just a fancy marketing term, the bass really is very well tuned with good quantity and quality. It’s as if a dynamic driver and a balanced armature had a baby with good DNA traits of both parents. What really sets it apart are the dynamics, resolution and isolated separation bass has in all songs. It’s the kind of bass that stays in its place shining really well without ever coming in your face. It can play fast paced bass lines clearly and still rumble the deepest notes in the song precisely. Kicks have very good thump and impact as per the song's mix, with very good isolated clarity without getting lost in a crowded mix.

Attack is on the neutral side, neither too sharp nor too smooth. It has very good low-end extension with more sub-bass than mid-bass like the Harman Target curve. Overall it is definitely north of neutral in its presentation but very well controlled and tuned, like a well calibrated sub-woofer attached to a reference studio monitor. It is technical but even more musical and fun with good slam and sub-bass rumble. It's probably one of my favourite bass tuning I’ve ever heard in an IEM in this segment or probably ever!


Mids – Bass to upper midrange region flows amazingly and is very well-tuned, following the Harman Target curve quite closely and as a result, midrange has a nice neutral reference presentation. Lower mids are very clean, clear and detailed. They are more neutral and accurate tonality wise than full sounding. Upper mid-range is forward which gives good definition to instruments as well as vocals, making them very clear and well defined. Snares too have good body and crack. Overall, I personally find this presentation accurate, close to how flat frequency response studio monitors sound in a well-treated production room and not shouty at all but in general, like-ability depends on the set of IEMs one has been listening to and the kind of tuning one likes. All in all, midrange is very well layered and has very good clarity, resolution and detail retrieval.


Treble – CE6’s treble has a slight perceivable dip in the 5-8 kHz region which keeps the stick attack of drums in check, then a peak around 8kHz and a major one around 16kHz. The field-specific horn-loaded tweeter’s 16kHz upper treble peak is even more in amplitude than the ones in 64 Audio’s Tia Trio, A6t and U12t, which are already noticeably above neutral. It was a little polarising initially with some songs and I did need an adaptation period to completely get used to it but at the same time enabled CE6 to be highly resolving, lively, exciting and very well extended in all songs. Once I had adapted, there was no looking back! This is definitely not a laid-back relaxed presentation and in some songs it does highlight hi-hats/cymbals and vocal air/sizzle more than neutral but is mostly the case with brighter mixed tracks which have them extra-prominent or poorly mastered tracks in general. It sounds great with well mixed and mastered rock and metal records like Karnivool's 'Sound Awake' and Periphery's 'Select Difficulty' that have a lot of hi-hat and cymbal work, which sound exciting but comfortable without any intrusiveness. There is an easy solution for poorly mastered tracks which might tickle one's sensitivity - just EQ 16kHz down by a couple of dBs (as per taste) and then bring it back up with other songs that it works really well with, which is the vast majority. As you start EQ-ing the 16kHz down, the presentation starts getting closer to that of U12t's. Overall, the upper treble peak works beautifully with most songs, enabling the IEM to have a very good soundstage, clarity, air, openness and micro-detail retrieval. What it adds on to most and the thing I love it most for is - instrument realism.


Special mention - I heard Coldplay’s record 'Everyday Life' again with CE6, which is a more organic, live performance feel kind of album and I was blown away by how realistic, life-like and holographic it sounded on the CE6. It kinda made me appreciate the album much more than I did before, especially Guy Berryman’s bass tone and playing. Bass re-production of the album was on another level with heart moving rumble without any bloat like some IEMs had. Since this is a well mastered record with a slightly warmer sound, the only thing that somewhat jumped at me was the tambourine in the song ‘Arabesque’ when listening to the record at louder volumes, but it sure sounded very realistic (I know because I've been recording a lot of Tambourine in my own songs. Lol!). Everything else sounded great as is but the bass and realism of instruments in the record had me sitting in my chair with heart eyes. Frankly, CE6 has a remarkable talent of breathing new life into records and songs that you might have otherwise overlooked in the past.

Craft SIX Solo 2


Pairing with CE6's flat impedance tech.

If you aren't aware, high impedance sources can skew the sound signature of some sensitive IEMs and that can be a troublesome affair if you like plugging your IEMs into a variety of different sources. CE6's flat impedance design keeps CE6's sound signature unaffected from impedance differences between sources and really allows the true sound of the source to shine regardless of its impedance. IMO, it sounds best with neutral to slightly warmer sources and I especially loved its pairing with my UAD Apollo audio interface.

Soundstage and Imaging.

CE6 has a nice wide soundstage and its overall character allows for a very lively and holographic experience in most songs. Depth is very good too especially when a song has good depth mixed in it. It allows you to hear snare and vocal reverb trails fade into blackness very well in slower songs like Coldplay's 'Up in Flames'. The dip in lower treble in the 5-8kHz does affect the pin-point precise imaging and as a result you hear the songs like a wide soundscape as if you're watching the band in a concert hall or an arena, which to be honest is very interesting though not the most technically accurate.


Craft SIX Solo 1


Comparisons.

Craft Ears Four - Both CE4 and CE6 have Craft Ears DNA in their tuning with Harman Target inspiration and an upper treble lift. Overall, CE4 comes off warmer in comparison because CE6 has a bigger upper treble lift. CE6 has a little more sub-bass whereas CE4 has more mid-bass. Even though CE4's bass presentation is quite enjoyable, CE6's bass tuning is on another level with an even more exciting life-like quality and dynamics. Both have similar clean lower-midranges but CE4 has a slight dip in comparison and CE6 is more detailed and layered. Both have similar forward upper-midrange but I hear CE6 being a smidgen more forward, layered and has stronger instrument definition in comparison. Both have a dip in the 5-8kHz range but CE6 has more prominent 8kHz and 16kHz peaks and as a result sounds brighter. Both have wide soundstages but CE6's is more lively and energetic whereas CE4's is warmer in comparison but still with good airiness and openness because of the upper treble peak presence. CE6 has better resolution and micro-detail retrieval because of its upper treble character.


64 Audio U12t - Right off the bat, these two have a lot in common. Overall, both follow a similar tuning philosophy but loosely, U12t is a slightly warmer reference style IEM with a nice bass boost and smidgen lesser upper treble lift compared to CE6. U12t has more sub-bass as well as mid-bass quantity compared to CE6. U12t’s bass can sometimes seem more upfront than required in songs but generally occupies good defined space in the mix while keeping everything clean and controlled than bass-head levels of bass. It is highly enjoyable and fun as the bass character highlights excellent bass playing really well. CE6’s bass on the other hand is a bit more towards neutral relatively, slightly more technical but still a lot of fun. With CE6’s upper treble character’s support, bass sounds more life-like with better precision, quicker transients and a bit more dynamism and energy. CE6 has good quality rumble too but U12t sounds fuller with more weight but in the end doesn't have the snappy precision that the CE6 has. Which bass one would enjoy more completely depends on one’s preference and liking. I personally like both for how well they work for their respective sound signatures and I keep swaying between them depending on the song’s mix but I’d probably choose CE6’s bass presentation more for my liking and preferences.

U12t has a warmer and slightly fuller lower-midrange relatively and as a result, instruments have a bit more body. CE6’s lower-midrange sounds slightly thinner in comparison. Both have a similar forward upper-midrange presentation with very good pinna gain and don’t sound shouty to me but U12t has smidgen less forwardness in the 3kHz area. They both have very good instrument tonality and timbre, where U12t sounds a bit more organic and natural, and CE6 sounds a little more lively and exciting.

U12t has more neutral and even sounding treble range. U12t and CE6 have a similar upper treble lift but U12t's is slightly lesser in amplitude. As a result, CE6 sounds a little more aggressive relatively because of more prominent upper treble and lesser fullness in the lower midrange but in return also sounds more lively, spacious and clean with neutral to warm sounding mixes in comparison. U12t’s nice Tia driver upper treble peak is definitely prominent but is better balanced and also sounds a bit more forgiving of bad mixes and masters and as a result, helps U12t sound a little more versatile. But then, CE6 has a great talent of infusing the required liveliness and excitement in warmer songs which don’t sound as fun or in fact probably even boring with other IEMs.

Both have good wide holographic soundstages but U12t sounds slightly fuller and richer whereas CE6 sounds cleaner with more air between instruments. U12t has better imaging qualities. Both have very good detail retrieval where U12t does have the lead but not by much. Overall, both are high enjoyable for me personally but CE6 is a more energetic listen. U12t isn't a relaxed listen by any means but is slightly warmer of the two and better balanced overall, especially in the treble region which also makes it a bit more versatile.


BGVP ES12 - ES12 too is a neutral sounding reference style monitor. I think I'd classify ES12 in the 'true reference' category whereas CE6 in the 'live reference' category. CE6 has slightly more sub-bass presence as it follows the Harman target style of bass presentation whereas ES12 has a more linear sub-bass and mid-bass relationship and sounds fuller as a result. Both are well done but CE6 sounds more lively whereas ES12 sounds like you're listening to proper full range studio monitors. Both have very clean lower-midrange and forward upper-midrange but CE6 is slightly more forward in the upper-midrange in comparison. ES12 has a more even lower-treble presentation. Both CE6 and ES12 have a similar peak around 8kHz. Post that ES12 is smoother and more neutral in upper-treble presentation whereas CE6 is more boosted for an energetic listen. Both have good wide soundstages but CE6 is a little wider whereas ES12 is deeper. Both have very good detail retrieval but ES12 is a warmer and easier listen in comparison than CE6.


CustomArt Fibae7 - CustomArt too is based out of Poland (Warsaw). Fibae7 takes inspiration from Diffuse Field and Harman Target curves too and is very well tuned. CE6 has more sub-bass but Fibae7 has a bit more mid-bass. Both bass presentations are very well done as per their signatures where Fibae7's bass presentation is more neutral and sounds like one's listening to a record in a studio whereas CE6 has a more lively bass presentation. Both have very clean lower-midrange as well as a similarly forward upper-midrange presentation with Fibae7 being just a smidgen more forward. Fibae7 has a smoother treble presentation with it being more even in lower treble with a nice upper treble peak that is very close to neutral whereas CE6 is smooth in the 5-8kHz range but is more boosted in the 8-20kHz than neutral in comparison. As a result, Fibae7 comes off warmer whereas CE6 comes off more lively and energetic. CE6 is more open and airy sounding owing to its upper treble presentation. Both have very good wide soundstages but Fibae7 has deeper depth. CE6 brings out more details at the cost of coming off as bright whereas Fibae7 brings out similar details by staying smoother and neutral.


Lime Ears Aether R with 'Switch ON' - Lime Ears is also a Polish brand based out of Warsaw. CE6 has more sub-bass whereas Aether R has more mid-bass presence. Aether R's lower mids sound slightly leaner and cleaner in comparison to CE6. Both have forward upper-midrange presentation but have peaks at slightly different frequencies with Aether R's being around 2.5kHz and CE6's being around 3.2kHz. Aether R has a dip in the 3.5-5kHz range whereas CE6 has it in the 5-8Khz range. Aether R is brighter in the lower treble because of a bigger peak around 8kHz whereas CE6 is brighter as well as more open and airy in the upper treble range. Both have wide soundstages but Aether R's has it slight leaner and deeper.


Campfire Andromeda Pre-2020 - They both have a starkly different sound signatures as CE6 has a reference, neutral, cleaner and energetic presentation whereas Andromeda has a warmer and fuller presentation with lower treble sparkle. CE6 has more sub-bass whereas Andromeda has more midbass. Overall, CE6 has more realistic and tonally accurate bass whereas Andromeda has a fuller, more present bass presentation. Andromeda's lower-midrange sounds much fuller whereas CE6's lower-midrage sounds cleaner and has better resolution. CE6 upper-midrange is forwardly presented and tonally accurate whereas Andromeda's upper-midrange sounds recessed in comparison. Andromeda has sparklier lower-treble whereas CE6 has a much more prominent upper-treble presentation. CE6 is more layered, resolving as well as open and airy sounding. Andromeda is no slouch but its presentation is targeted to be more fuller and fun than tonally accurate or reference. Both have wide soundstages but CE6 has better dynamics and a more realistic holographic soundstage.


ItsFit Fusion - Fusion has a DD for bass and has more sub-bass and mid-bass presence compared to CE6 but CE6 has more life-like, tonally accurate realism in bass whereas Fusion has a smoother attack but bigger impact. Fusion has fuller lower-midrange in comparison but CE6 has it cleaner and more layered. Fusion isn't as forward sounding as CE6 but is still forward enough for good instrument and vocal definition. Fusion has a peak at 5kHz which enables more stick attack definition in drums but then both have dips in the 6-8kHz region. Fusion's lower treble is similar to CE6 but it depends on the fit as Fusion's treble is a little tip dependent. CE6 is more open and airy sounding but also brighter in upper treble compared to Fusion. CE6 has better micro-detail retrieval owing to its upper-treble character. Both have nice big soundstages but CE6 sounds a bit wider and deeper.

Conclusion.

Craft Ears SIX is highly exciting and engaging with great bass, tonally accurate midrange and a treble presentation that presents songs with a lot of character, liveliness and realism but also makes for a more critical listen with some songs. It has very good resolution and micro-detail retrieval to satisfy most audiophiles that love to focus on the smallest nuances in songs and has a remarkable talent of breathing new life into records and songs that you might have otherwise overlooked in the past. With its build quality, life-like presentation of instruments and a comfortable deep insertion fit which isolates extremely well, it serves as a very good option for musicians looking for a high quality CIEM to use for live monitoring at this price point. All in all, this is definitely one of the landmark IEMs for me at the $1000 mark and one that I highly recommend you to check out, especially as a CIEM!

Gear used for testing and review.
  • DAPs – iBasso DX160 | Hiby R6 Pro
  • Laptop – Apple Macbook Pro 15″
  • Audio Interfaces - Universal Audio Apollo | Focusrite Clarett 8PreX
  • Phone – OnePlus 7 Pro
Reference Songs list.
  • Foo Fighters – The Pretender, Best of you, Everlong & Sonic Highway album
  • Coldplay – Paradise, Up in flames & Everglow + Everyday Life Album
  • Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings & Ellipsis albums
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
  • Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow album
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia album
  • Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
  • John Mayer – Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train, Say & A Face to Call Home
  • Gavin James – Always & Hearts on fire
  • Switchfoot – Meant to live & Dare you to move
  • Porcupine Tree – Sound of Muzak, Blackest Eyes & .3
  • Our Lady Peace – Do You Like It & Innocent
  • Linkin Park – Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
  • Maroon 5 – She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
  • Lifehouse – All in all & Come back down
  • Breaking Benjamin – Diary of Jane
  • Karnivool – Simple boy & Goliath
  • Dead Letter Circus – Real you
  • I Am Giant – Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
  • Muse – Panic station
  • James Bay – Hold back the river
Last edited:

toranku

Member of the Trade: Subtonic
Pros: Top class bass
Lightning fast and defined transients
Imaging & Separation
Immersive soundstage
Dynamism
Resolution
Flat electrical phase and impedance
Cons: Uneven treble harmonics (more on the review)
Slightly shrill/shouty midrange
Introduction
The Craft Ears CRAFT SIX is CE's newest flagship IEM with a 6 BA configuration. Where it differs from your typical multi-BA setup are the resonance chambers attached to the subwoofers and the supertweeters. The subs are attached to a long and low ID spiral shaped low pass filter (ala 846/ACME8 but much longer in length) and the tweeters have a horn to further extend its high frequencies. It also promises a flat electrical phase and impedance which is very rare in the case of multi-BA iems.

Onto the sound. I'd describe CE6 as a W-shaped signature. The troughs (of the W) are at its upperbass-lowmid regions and the low-mid treble. I do hear the subbass (20hz-100hz) as being very cleanly boosted & free of any sign or form of midbass bloat, uppermids (1khz-4khz) seeing a harman/DF-like gain and upper treble (>10khz) being MASSIVELY lifted. The immediate hook is the aggressive and engaging presentation of sound.

Packaging Experience & Accessories
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The earphones & its accessories were packed in a simple cardboard box filled with bubble wrap. Nothing extravagant. Nothing extra to comment here.

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The CE6 were shipped in a very sturdy aluminium case with desiccants, a cleaning tool and a microfiber cloth. I was also greeted by a pleasant aroma which added a nice touch to the experience. Not sure exactly what flavour was the aroma but it still lingers nicely after weeks of me owning it. It really adds to the unboxing and to the overall experience.

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The aluminium case is incredibly sturdy and from what I know, is self-made by Craft Ears themselves. Jedrek (owner of CE) is specialized in the trade of lathing and has the machinery to make his own cases.

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The stock cable of the CE6 is an 8-wire braided SPC cable. It's pretty soft with a slightly waxy feeling on its sheathing It's nice as a stock cable but I still do prefer those cheap 4-wire throwaway cables since they are lighter and thinner. Nothing wrong with the 8, just that 8 core cables are thicker and heavier.

IEM Construction and Finish
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I requested Jedrek to make recessed 2-pin many months back and he delivered! The previous Craft FOUR that I received had a flushed connected and I provided feedback to Jed. Happy to see a recessed connection here. It's sturdier and feels more reliable.

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Immaculately finished with plenty lacquer and a beautiful galaxy-like design that I requested. Absolutely stunning.

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Bass
CE6's bass, in my honest own opinion, is some of the very best I've heard thus far in IEMs. Likely the best. The subbass is cleanly extended and boosted without any form of midbass bloat. Bass is on the quicker side of things but still retains great definition and slam for a satisfying experience. If you're a basshead I'd think you might want a little more midbass, but for my own preferences I do think its bass nails it. Compared to multi-BA sets like u12t that are touted with having the best bass, u12t almost sounds sluggish and almost bloated in comparison when it comes to the reproduction of bass. Positionally, CE6's bass is in line and does not overstep or overwhelm the midrange. No bleeding, just clean, well extended bass. I love hearing well recorded bass guitar basslines on the CE6. So tight and clean yet extended.

I do also have to mention that I legitimately prefer this presentation of bass over a dynamic driver's. Dynamic driver bass often sounds overwhelming, bloated or slow. Or maybe a combination of everything.

Midrange
The midrange is somewhat shaped similarly to the Harman target. If you're any familiar with the harman target, some users dislike the shrillness and/or shoutiness of the target. It's thin and leaner sounding which I would describe the CE6's lower and upper midrange as. Due to the aforementioned lack of midbass bloat, the sound takes on a presentation somewhat akin to Harman's. I personally have no problem with it but I can see why someone who's used to thick and heavy lowmid boosted signatures would dislike it. This uppermidrange boost makes brass instruments like trumpets and sax sound aggressive and textured. Outside of the potentially thin midrange, I don't have much to say about the midrange. I don't think its that divisive or offensive. It has good articulation and clarity without any form of suppression/haze/veil.

Treble
Now this should be the most controversial, love it or hate it aspect of the CE6. I do have to mention that it needs some getting used to. It is dipped at the 5-7k region which balances out with some warmth BUT it can rob some tracks of their harmonics. It is in no way muddy but when put next to IEMs with "full" treble harmonics (e.g DF and Harman targets), it can feel like a part of its treble response is audibly dipped. I guess there could be a case for such dips to reduce treble fatigue like with what qdc does on the 5-6khz range but I feel like the dip is of too much a degree here since the larger bandwidth (5-7khz) is dipped. As such the CE6's midrange also does take on a diffuse-y presentation (not to be confused with the Diffuse Field Curve) but rather the literal term of diffusion - being spread out which maay be contributed by this same dip. It has a big sound presentation (which I know some people are big fans of) but I'd like it more focused sounding with less diffusion. It one of my qualms with transducers like the HD800 too.

You might think the 5-7k dip leads to a forgiving sound but I will say this: the CE6 doesn't joke about a last octave (10-20khz) boost. The horn-loaded tweeter boosts the hell out of the region and it is especially unforgiving to poorly mixed and mastered tracks. It makes 64's tia and UE's truetone tweeters sound constrained and held back. It takes all the air, zing and shimmer and throws it at your face, it being at the forefront of the IEM's presentation. If you think u12t is u-shaped... ho ho ho this will show you what a real u-shape is. On Little Sims' Selfish, it pushes forward a recording mistake - Cleo Sol's microphone having some kind of ring/buzz. Try the track yourself - the ringing/buzz at 16khzs starts from 10s into the track. See if your own transducers can play it loudly. The CE6 definitely does. On NPR's live recording of Julien Baker (Julien Baker: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert), try to see if your transducers pick up this ringing/sibilance whenever Julien vocalises. The CE6 picks up this noise artifact like it eats it for breakfast. These are some of the many examples that the CE6 can be incredibly unforgiving. On well mastered & mixed tracks however, this same ringing/noise/cracking/sibilance will not show. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing as an audiophile I am also looking for smooth replayability and rendition of music. I don't need to hear these recording artifacts that the engineer missed out.

Due to the 5-7k dip coupled with the big boost past 10khz, the treble response of the CE6 is uneven. There's much more shimmer and zing to cymbals than their fundemental frequencies. It leads to a highly energetic rendition of cymbals. It's hard to describe how it sounds until you hear it for yourself. I do also think age and hearing ability does play a large part here. If you're younger and more sensitive to ultra high frequencies I do think it the treble response of CE6 can also get too intense past 10khz sometimes.

Technical Ability
The imaging and spatial reproduction of the CE6 is really good. Transients are clean with zero bloatedness and L/R imaging has laser-like precision. Perhaps this laser-like precision is also due to the presence of the ultra frequency boost - the brain needs to compensate less for sound localisation. Layers and separates instruments/voices great. Nothing much to say other than a great job here other than that I would prefer a less diffuse presentation. I do really think the CE6 images better than most stuff out there, and comfortably sits on TOTL levels of imaging and resolution.

Dynamism & Engagement
Usually I don't comment much with regards to dynamics but I do think the CE6 does a pretty exceptional job here which I do need to point out and commend. Loud parts of the song pop out while soft parts stay in the background. IEMs do feel held back when compared to speakers with regards to dynamics but I think CE6 fares very very well. It grabs hold of my attention with great handling of dynamics and has an aggressive presentation that can keep me on the edge of my seat at times. It can be really surprising how it presents sound to me in a way I've never heard before with both IEMs and speakers.

Comparison against the Universal variant
I also got to try the Universal form of the CE6 and was pretty surprised how different the treble response was compared to the custom. The universal is unfortunately much peakier with the midtreble and its peak is very much audible when compared to the custom. I do think further adjustments and refinements to the universal form has to be done to emulate the custom sound better. The universal's treble sounds colder and much peakier.

Subbass response is also noticeably better on the custom due to seal. Bass response is fuller and more satisfying on the custom. Midrange is similar.

Conclusion
I've really grown to enjoy the CE6 and have heard all its strengths and weaknesses in the month I've had them. They make for an aggressive listen with amazing bass


Music Used
toe - For Long Tomorrow Album
Elephant Gym - Elephant Gym on Audiotree Live
Gestalt Girl - Shiryokukensa Album
Via Luna - Wilt EP
BABYMETAL - BABYMETAL Album
Covet - effloresce Album
Unleash the Archers - Apex Album
Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights Album
Milet - eyes Album
Totorro - Home Alone Album
Lil Simz - GREY Area Album
Julien Baker: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (2018)
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toranku
toranku
@max1236 Totally get what you mean. I used to hear u12t as rather sharp and overly sizzly on the top end, but perhaps its either my tolerance increased or my brain has burned in with such treble response. I like tia and truetone tweeters now, but the CE6 does crank it up even higher in terms of that upper end sizzle.
mirrorgl
mirrorgl
The purple one looks like galaxy.
dhruvmeena96
dhruvmeena96
As per graph, this iem is purely made for resolution and mastering purpose. Where the mixing engineer can properly hide noise, pops etc while mixing and mastering song.

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