CTM (Clear Tune Monitors) CE320

General Information

CTM CE320 is a $249 triple driver in-ear with a bassy sound signature.

CLEAR TUNE MONITORS CE320
Sensitivity: 124 dB SPL @ 1 mW
Impedance: 20 Ω @ 1 kHz
Frequency response range: 20 – 16 kHz
Noise Isolation: – 26 dB
Plug diameter: 3.5 mm
Driver units: Triple Balanced Armature

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Latest reviews

ostewart

Reviewer at Sound Perfection Reviews
Warm, comfy and enjoyable, just lacking a bit of bite
Pros: Fatigue free sound, great bass, comfortable fit
Cons: lacking sparkle and a bit of bite
Firstly I would like to thank Clear Tune Monitors for sending me this sample, it’s been a while since I’ve had one of their products.

*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings

Gear Used:
iBasso DX200 / JDS Labs Element II > CE320 (silicone tips)

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Tech Specs:
Input Sensitivity – 124db-SPL @ 1mW
Freq Response – 20 Hz to 16 kHz
Speaker – Triple Balanced Armature
Impedance – 20 ohm @ 1 kHz
Noise Isolation – -26dB
Input Connector – 1/8″ (3.5mm)
MSRP – $249

Buy them HERE

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories
The CE320 come in a fairly basic box with an image of the IEM’s on the front and information along with the technical specifications on the back. Open it up and you have a simple plastic tray which holds the IEM’s in place along with the carry case and tips, it’s a very simple affair but one that no doubt will end up being either put in a cupboard or thrown away. I feel the presentation could be better, but then again these are aimed at the pro-audio market, so no need for fancy boxes of packaging.

The build quality is good overall, the housings are made of plastic with a metal nozzle, they use 2-pin connectors on the IEM side and the cable is your basic braided type with a sturdy right angled jack. The cable is comfortable with pre-moulded earhooks and there is good strain relief too.

With the CTM CE320 you get a basic clamshell case along with silicone and foam tips in S, M and L sizes, you also get the usual 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter. Overall everything you need is included and it’s a good set of useful accessories.

Comfort and Isolation
Once you find the right tips, the CE320 fit comfortably in your ear due to the smooth ergonomic shape of the housings and the flexible and supple cable that is included. I have no problems wearing the CE320 for long periods of time.

Isolation is really good, the CE320 don’t have any visible vents and being an all BA design so that helps. Foam tips do make a slight difference here, but even with silicone you get more than enough isolation to be used in noisy environments along with the usual public transport use.

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Sound
Lows:
The CE320 claim to have a clear and accurate sound with enhanced presence of low frequencies, this is certainly true. The low end has a healthy dose of extra presence which means they should please anyone looking for a clean yet full sounding IEM. The low end is full and warm with good body and extension, they punch with authority and the decay is slightly slower than what you usually get with BA based designs. This means they have a lingering warmth overall that is quite pleasing and easy to enjoy, bass guitars have good articulation and kick drums and not too dry sounding.

Midrange: Luckily the slightly boosted low end doesn’t take away anything from the midrange, with excellent detail retrieval and a very natural tonality male vocals sound pitch perfect and female vocals fare equally well without any real boosting of the upper midrange that could bring out sibilance. The midrange has great layering and power, yet remains smooth overall without lacking detail. I really enjoy listening to vocals with the CE320, they provide plenty of insight into the recording and the artists emotion really shines through.

Treble: My main gripe with the CE320 is lack of energy in the treble region, yes they are smooth and fatigue free but the lower treble is lacking bite. Snares are a little muted, high-hats don’t have that initial snappy energy, and instead the upper treble is left to bring out some air and sparkle. I’m not a big user of EQ normally but just adding a few dB’s to the 6kHZ mark really helps bring out a bit of snap from the CE320. They are not lacking detail in the treble region, that’s there aplenty and without nasty metallic tonality, it’s just the dip around 6kHZ kills some of the energy.

The CE320 don’t have a huge soundstage but they do have exceptional layering which is a definite bonus, separation is also excellent and they allow you to pick apart the mix and place where instruments are located.

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Conclusion:
I really like the CTM CE320, if you are after a smooth yet detailed IEM with slightly enhanced low end these fit the bill. The midrange stands out to me, having a wonderfully natural tone to it along with great layering. The low end is articulate and full, and the treble falls slightly behind with a dip around 6kHZ. Overall they are an enjoyable, and comfortable everyday listening IEM, they would also work well as a stage monitor for vocalists or bassist’s.

Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (good value with a natural tonality just lacking some bite up top)

Jenz

100+ Head-Fier
Sophisticated in sound and design
Pros: Affordable, musical, perfect fit
Cons: Nothing at this price
CTM (Clear Tune Monitors) was unknown to me until a few days ago.
No wonder since the American brand focused almost exclusively on high-priced products.
Here are a few impressions on my part.
I became aware of the Aibo review, especially this CE320.

Packaging:
standard, as with other brands. So nothing special.

Processing:
Neatly processed housing, neat cables and other accessories meet today's standards. Couldn't find anything negative.

Configuration:
Is it a 2-way or 3-way system? You can read both on the internet. 2-way is written directly at CTM, so this will probably be the case even if 3 BA drivers are working per side.
No information whether Knowles drivers were installed or from Sonion etc.

Fit:
Perfect in my concha and my ear canals. So far, I often had problems with various designs from all manufacturers or models. The CE320 lies like a glove in my ears - a dream! Super comfortable. Very flat design inside and out. Why can't other brands?

No amplifier is required. I'm listening with an LG G7 Thinq, and it's almost too loud at half volume.

Sound: (L-Sounding)
Ingenious tuning with powerful bass without booming, silky mids and relaxed highs. Nothing annoys. No crazy Asian tuning with screaming and scratchy vocals.
No unwanted sibilance! Which enables longer listening for hours.

Bass:
Raised more than you would expect from a 3BA setup. Quantitatively like many hybrid in ears, but with the accuracy that no dynamic driver can deliver. See good layering of different bass frequencies. Great job CTM!

Mids:
Wonderful presentation without exaggerating when it comes to the emphasis on the frequencies.

Heights:
Fortunately, there are no nasty peaks here, nothing that sucks like with so many IEMs out there. Some people would certainly want more highs.

Resolution:
Pretty good for this price range. I don't know of any IEMs in the four-digit range, and don't know how far away the CE320 is from $ 1000 + ...?! I have an Optoma HEM8 here. The CTM beats the HEM8 easily.

Sound stage:
Width and depth in harmony. No extreme slips to the side, nothing artificial, just very natural.


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Conclusion:
The CTM CE320 is an affordable in-ear with a warm sound signature, structured bass, smooth highs and very good resolution of the middle frequencies. The excellent form factor, the good workmanship and the sophisticated sounding leave little to be desired. Especially for friends who need a little more bass than would be neutral.

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Aibo

Head-Fier
Clear Tune Monitors CE320 – Bassy Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor
Pros: Beefy but controlled bassline
Full-bodied midrange
Sweet sound signature
Cons: Not as neutral and revealing as some
Clear Tune Monitors CE320 is made by CTM (Clear Tune Monitors) company, based in Orlando, USA. CTM works with many music industry creatives, and that cooperation is noticeable in this product. But let’s dig into the review and I’ll explain that claim in more detail.

Packaging, Build and Fit
In the box, you’ll find three pairs of silicone ear tips, three pairs of foam ear tips, a nice looking carrying case, and a 3.5 to 6.35 mm adapter.

The earphones themselves are made of clear plastic. They’re lightweight and slim in profile, which makes for a very good fit. The slim profile also means that these don’t protrude from your ears much, and I found out that they’ll stay in place even if you put a, let’s say, winter hat over your ears. I find this detail very practical since I’m always having trouble using my in-ears during cold winter days. This is especially useful for performers, and I personally know few, because when on stage they really want slick-looking in-ear monitors that are not easily moved once fit in their place. It seems that CTM understands this need quite well.

The detachable cable is of a decent quality. It’s on the thin side and braided but surprisingly enough it doesn’t tangle easily. However, if you find a need for such action, you can always replace it with an aftermarket one using a 2-pin connector.

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Features
CTM CE320 is a triple driver earphone, meaning that each earphone contains three balanced armature drivers. The manufacturer claims a very decent sensitivity of 124 dB SPL @ 1 mW, and I really felt these can be easily juiced even with modestly powerful sources.

But all the specs aside, let us dig into the most important part of the review.

Sound
Right on the front of the box, there’s an inscription saying “EXTRA BASS”. I tend to be put off by this kind of tunings, preparing for bloated and unruly bass response. Luckily, my fear was dispersed as soon as I started listening. Sure enough, there’s elevated bass response here but it’s done with taste and skill. The bassline is emphasized, but that doesn’t mean it’s slow and lacking details. On contrary, I find it quite agile and rhythmic.

The same goes for the midbass that’s rich and juicy but definitely not bloated. It also doesn’t leak into the midrange. The midrange itself sounds warm and laid back. There are enough details to be heard hear but they’re never thrown into your face. This is especially true for the upper midrange or the so-called presence region. Many in-ears emphasize this one, creating a fake sense of resolution and clarity. This trick actually adds sharpness to the edges and emphasizes huskiness in the voices. CTM didn’t play this card, letting the midrange sounding warm and full-bodied instead. The same story continues when it comes to the highest frequencies. Sheer resolution and detailing are very good, as these are really products of time-domain precision, but they’re just tuned to be presented in a more laid back manner instead of being thrown at you.

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Moving away from the frequency sound signature, there’s a reasonably wide and deep soundstage to be heard here. Layering is very good too so each instrument has its own position and enough room around itself. Dynamically speaking, this is a very capable in-ear and married with elevated bassline this makes for a very fun and exciting listen.

Thinking CTM CE320 is something only bass-heads could enjoy would be wrong. Playing some of my favorite singers such as Leonard Cohen and Norah Jones proved to be a very pleasurable experience. Even though the huskiness and raspiness of these vocals were not as pronounced, both sounded present, well-focused, and very full-bodied.

Comparison
Having Kinera Freya on my hands, which is another $250 in-ear, I was able to make a direct comparison of these two. Freya’s deep bass is not as pronounced but its midbass is definitely looser or less controlled if you will. The upper midrange has that emphasis I was talking about, making them sound brighter and sharper. But take a minute to adjust your ears to a darker CTM CE320 presentation and you’ll realize it’s actually the more resolute one. I love Freya in isolation, but it sounds slightly muddy in direct comparison.

Conclusion
CTM CE320 does have a bass-heavy, warm, and darker sound signature. However, this is done with great skill and it produces very good results. While lesser in-ears tuned this way can sound bloated and overbearing, CE320 just sounds beefy, full-bodied, and positively sweet. Add to it a lack of any artificial sharpness and we have a winner on our hands.

CE 320 might not be the most neutral and most detailed experience for the price, but listening to my favorite music through them feels like going home for the holidays and eating a slice of homemade apple pie with cinnamon. If you enjoy full and sweet character too, then there’s nothing preventing me from recommending this one.

...

Originally posted at iiWi reviews. You can also watch my video review:

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J
jackpersonne
Very interesting review. But what would be the most neutral and most detailed experience for the price ? What is your favorite music ?
Thanx

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