Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
CVJ CSE review
Pros: A good V-shape signature that sounds pleasant enough, comfortable
Cons: A safe Signature that doesn't separate itself from the norm , feels/ looks cheap compared to other CVJ

I can understand why CVJ stopped using the great wooden boxes its a move that both is cost effective and better for the environment. So my respect for the decision to do that.

I myself an early supporter of CVJ and a owner of a bunch of their products, have always looked forward to everything they put out.
The box is a typical budget type box and the normal pouch, tips and cable that you find with other CVJ IEMs is included with the CSE. Isolation was okay and fit was good as they are a typical shape. The faceplate was a unique wave pattern some might find a bit dated and not too inspiring, maybe the green might have been prettier but that's just an opinion. I did have a problem with the filters inside the nozzle one was bent and the other fell out so quality control might have taken a step back that day but ill naught make a big deal about such things as it was easily fixed.

Bass: was well done, defiantly elevated but not overpowering in most circumstances. The MId and Sub both had a fair amount of speed and a responsive punch, This gave it a pleasant warmth.

Mids: The Midrange did suffer from the typical recession found on most V-shaped IEMs but still were clear and detailed with warmth in the lower end but forward and slightly brighter in the upper Mids. Not the most reveling or natural but at its price pretty decent.

Treble: Highs presented with a fair amount of details and sparkle but while lower treble was controlled and enjoyable the upper highs got a little sibilant at times with some types of music.

Soundstage: was average with imaging the same, I found it had a good width but was shallow in depth. The separation was normal as well for its price range.

The CVJ CSE doesn't do anything too bad in fact its pretty good considering its cost but it doesn't stand out either in a sea of V-shaped Hybrid IEMs of similar price and build. Its tuning is safe for the most part and is more balanced with a lift in Bass and treble. I think this would still be a decent choice for people looking in this price range.



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Headphoneus Supremus
A solid performer
Pros: Well balanced sound
Good level of detail
Solid bass
Attractive design
Good presentation at the price
Cons: Doesn't stand out from the crowd
Some sharpness in treble
Soundstage suffers in climaxes
Tangly cable
This unit was provided for review by Denise of IZ POP at Product link:

The CVJ CSE is a new 1DD + 1BA hybrid IEM from the company. Like the previous CSA, it is an affordable model. It employs a silicon crystal composite biological diaphragm dynamic driver 10mm in diameter covering the bass and a customised 30095 BA, placed within the nozzle, for the treble region.

In a departure from their previous packaging, the CSE comes in a small black rectangular box with a sleeve featuring a colour image of the IEMs on the front and the specifications printed on the back. The box has a gold CVJ logo and, inside, the earpieces are presented in a card cutout along with the spare eartips (the medium size being pre-fitted to the IEMs). Below this are stored the suede effect pouch, the detachable cable and the documentation.

The faceplates are fashioned from a clear green resin with a wave-like embossed surface and there is a clear amber body through which the components can be seen. There is a small circular vent on the inner surface for the dynamic driver and a gold nozzle with a silver grille. The 2-pin socket for the detachable cable is set flush.

The cable is a black tightly braided 4-core type with a straight metal 3.5mm plug and angled connectors and is similar to those supplied by TRN. There is no chin slider. The earhooks are quite stiff and could usefully be more supple for a better fit.

The CSE was tested principally using an Xduoo X20 DAP. A smartphone and a CD player were also used. The earphones were subjected to a burn in time of 100 hours to settle down the components. The stock cable and tips were used and a good seal and isolation were obtained.

First Impressions
CVJ's earphones, starting with the CSA, have established a "house sound" which is refreshingly different from the sea of V-shaped offerings from the majority of Chi-fi companies, being more neutral/bright and displaying a more mature tuning. The CSN and CS8 followed this philosophy but the CSE is a little more V-shaped and a touch warmer in tonality. The bass was well textured and deep with good impact, the mids were mildly recessed but had good timbre and the treble was generally smooth with good levels of detail. There was adequate volume even from lower-powered devices and no need for additional amplification.

The bass was elevated with the emphasis between the sub and mid bass. The tonality was warm and engaging with good impact and reasonable speed. There was a small amount of bleed into the mids and the bass did dominate on certain material.

Jeff Wayne's superb production in David Essex's "Rock On" showcases double tracked bass guitars which effortlessly plumb the nether regions of the frequency spectrum. Partnered by staccato string elements, the bass remained clean and incisive and created a powerful and weighty foundation.

The characterful bass line in "Hazard" by Richard Marx displayed excellent depth and texture and was clearly defined against the accompanying bass drum. This rhythm section drove the piece along in great style, providing a solid basis for the instruments and vocals.

The CSE's mids were somewhat recessed but due to the clarity and detail on offer, still showed good presence. Timbre generally was quite natural. The upper mids were slightly cooler in tone and perhaps a little less convincing.

Debussy's "Claire de Lune" received a wonderful reading from Ikuyo Nakamichi in a superb 20 bit K2 recording. The CSE gave a very good reproduction of the solo piano with an accurate and realistic portrayal of the decay, undertones and harmonics which create a natural timbre. In the climaxes the tonality was clean and crisp with fast transients and good separation in the rapid arpeggios and with only a moderate increase in sharpness in the high notes.

"I know a Rose Tree" by Secret Garden is based on a melody by the mediaeval German composer Michael Praetorius. Fionnula Sherry's violin solos and the Irish choir Anuna, supported by orchestral accompaniment, delivered a beautiful and sensitive rendition of this work and the CSE produced a well defined picture of it, with nicely layered vocals and harmonies and the diction preserved well.

The treble was largely clean and free from peaks. There was an emphasis in the lower treble and a further elevated region in the upper treble which added detail and sparkle, only occasionally resulting in sharpness or less natural tonality.

Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor performed by Helmut Walcha in a vintage 1960s recording, sounded great. Very different from the Gothic and Romantic French and British instruments, the clarity and brightness of the Silbermann organ was excitingly and dramatically portrayed with immediacy and impact. The details in the faster passages retained their separation and the tonality was generally clean, with only the more energetic sections sometimes a little over-bright or edgy.

"I Robot" by the Alan Parsons Project is the title track from the album of the same name. Following an introduction with a sequenced synth riff and electric guitars, the distinctive metallic sound of the Cimbalon enters and it was reproduced cleanly and brightly, with good rhythmic integrity and clarity. The layering of the different elements was very precise. This was perfect material for the CSE and was very enjoyable.

The CVJ presented a spacious image with good width and height but a little less depth. There was a good sense of natural ambience. Imaging was good and separation and layering competent. This was a very good performance at the price.

The "Benedictus" from "The Armed Man" by Karl Jenkins sounded very believable. The solo violin set against the string accompaniment, the divided female vocals and their positioning were all depicted authentically within an airy acoustic space. The climax "Hosanna in Excelsis" with bass drum and full choir was handled very well.

The bright tones of Catrin Finch's harp in "Clear Sky" from the album "Tides" were precisely placed high in the centre of the image with the orchestral accompaniment occupying the rest of the stage. When the more dynamic passages were playing and the full orchestra was present, the stage did become crowded leading to a reduction in separation and the tonality became brighter and sharper.

I have compared the CSE with dual hybrids in the same price range.

The KS2 is a classic V-shaped IEM with an appealing dynamic and exciting character. It has a powerful bass approaching basshead levels and an expansive soundstage. However, the mids are recessed, there is some bass bleed and the treble lacks refinement compared to the CSE, occasionally being a bit harsh in the lower treble region. The CSE is better balanced and does not have such a deep V signature.

CVJ's debut product offers something different and is neutral/bright with a solid well-textured bass, slightly forward mids, and a clean treble with good extension and detail. The sound is immediate and more balanced than expected and is a mature tuning not normally found at this price level. The CSE has a more V-shaped profile with a more elevated bass and is not as bright in the treble, and the mids are just a little more recessed but still posess good presence and a very natural timbre.

The M10 employs an 8mm micro driver for the bass and the familiar 30095 treble BA unit. The overall sound is mildly V or W-shaped but still retains good balance. The bullet-shaped earpieces, which are nicely crafted from metal, are worn cable down and are very comfortable. The lower region goes very deep and is warm like the CSE but just a little looser and the mids are a little bit more recessed. The treble is not as extended or as smooth as the CSE, and the soundstage is not as large.

The CSE diverges somewhat from the CVJ "house sound" by being more V-shaped than neutral as seen in their previous IEMs. It does retain some of the qualities of the earlier models but adds to this a more prominent bass and treble, in a compromise between their usual tuning and the popular sound profile normally found in this price sector. It is a solid performer and does most things well but lacks the individuality of the CSA which offers something different with its more mature neutral presentation. Even so, the CSE is still a very good choice and should be on your shortlist.


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100+ Head-Fier
Blinded by the Light
Pros: - Bass is well-textured and defined
- Value for money
- Sparkly treble for the right tracks
Cons: - Too thin-sounding for my preference
- Upper-mid to lower treble peak that drills sometimes
- QC issue
CVJ CSE Review

Tl;dr : Lean. Has a shouty upper-mid and treble performance. Bass is surprisingly good and well detailed but those glaring issues just outweigh it. One thing that saves it for me is how it plays some electronic tracks well, a very specialized IEM for me.

A bit of background and disclaimer:

CVJ sent me two samples to review and evaluate, rest assured they won’t influence my review. I hope my criticisms can be used to improve CVJ’s future releases and current ones, and guide some curious consumers.

I'm also new on reviewing so please tell me your inputs about it! I'm happy to listen and learn from you guys!


· The CVJ CSE came in a small rectangular printed paper box similar to KZ’s and TRN’s packaging where they showcase the IEMs detached and pairs of Large and Small tips in a cutout part of the box, with the medium tips on the IEMs itself. Beneath the cutout is a small string bag containing the 4 core 2-pin 0.78 cable and an instruction manual with the “warranty” card inside. It was good to include a string bag for storage, compared to KZ and TRN. For less than 20USD, it’s definitely good value.


· The shape of these shells is very similar to ZSN and other IEMS that boasts this shape before. Most of the shell is made out of transparent glossy plastic that consists of a green faceplate, amber body and a metal gold nozzle. The looks for me, is pretty beautiful, but feel/haptic-wise, you can definitely assume on its weight that this is a budget model.

I have a glaring issue about my unit though, mine came with a loose filter on the pressure vent where it sits on my ears, creating an imbalance in the bass. I hope CVJ can tighten their QC next time. I fixed it with some micropore tape placed on the pressure vents.

Fit and isolation:

· They fit normal as the ZSN-type shells do but the shallowness of the nozzle is usually my problem for these kinds of IEMs, I really need to tip roll to accommodate my ears. Isolation is average. After some MANDATORY tiprolling, I found a great fit with wide-bored Whirlwind tips.


A bit of background for the source, I used my Meizu DAC (on my phone and laptop) and my music player (Samsung YP-Q2) for the testing. My library consists of MP3 and FLAC albums on 16/44khz and few 24/96khz ones. Here is my lastfm account to see what I listen to:

- Bass: Very lean in quantity. It’s very fast and tight, the sub-bass and mid-bass is a bit linear and almost punch-less for my taste but still present enough. It textures bass well, with speed and lesser sense of decay but it gets overpowered by the most prominent section of the sound signature on some complex tracks.

- Mids: Lean until the upper-mid. The tonality is almost thin, which I find a bit “off” on my ears. It makes most of instruments intimate at times and male vocals quieter than female vocals. With its thin tonality, it’s almost a bit digital-sounding, and feels like there’s almost a gaping hole in some tracks. It would be more correct to my ears without the highest peak of the sound signature: the glare on the upper-mid till the lower treble (2khz to a 4khz slope downwards), tracks that are prominent on this region might give a slight ear-drill sensation. Turning down the volume helps but does not fix the other problems.

- Treble: Crisp, airy and lower treble as present as the upper mid glare. This accentuated section makes cymbals a bit too hot, too digital for my liking. The air factor is pretty good but lower treble’s too hot to notice sometimes. The heightened treble makes separation and details pretty good but the cons outweigh this pro for me unfortunately.

- Soundstage, Imaging and Separation: The soundstaging is average, but doesn’t feel like a cramped room like some IEMs feel like.

Imaging is pretty great, with well-defined positions and movement from one space to another.

Separation is good, but gets limited by the overwhelming presence of the treble.


- With Nicehck DB3: They’re in the same price bracket but with different sound signatures (< 20usd).

DB3 is more warm and balanced while the CSE being more lean, thin and upper mid- treble focused compared to the DB3

Bass goes to CSE, because its better defined and textured compared to the DB3 where the bass is weightier but lacks texture sometimes.

Mids goes to the DB3, being more warm to my liking and doesn’t have the upper mid glare that drills your eardrums.

Treble goes for the DB3, because this simply doesn’t have the glare continuing to the lower treble.


I honestly give the CVJ CSE a lukewarm reception, it just doesn’t do some things right, and when compared to a lot of the same Chi-Fi IEMs of its price range, it gets bogstandard with the some of the usual pitfalls of those typical offerings present in the model like an ear drilling upper-mid to treble. It is EQ-able but you have better options at this point. Also add the QC issue that I experienced which I hope CVJ gets sorted in the future.

If you’re starting out on the hobby with 20 USD to spend, this isn’t a good option. There are lots of safer options out there like the Nicehck DB3 which has an almost non-offensive sound signature and presents the same good value of packaging that the CVJ has and more accessories like tips for more tiprolling options. But if you’re willing to spend 20USD for the eccentricity and collection, I think it does well as a specialized pair in genres like electronic music for cheap. I listened to Takashi Kokubo’s The Day I Saw the Rainbow with its wonderful, ambient electronic soundscapes featuring a harp, and the CSE presented those beautiful sweeps of harp strums really well! I guess there’s a silver lining for these flawed IEMs sometimes. :)

Thank you for reading!


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New Head-Fier
Tuning? What is tuning?
Pros: good comfort
Cons: much too bright
mids and highs on testosterone
Rating: 7.2
Sound: 7.2

CVJ didn't take too much time to launch two new products. The CSE and MIRROR represent the company's new line-up and are meant to follow up on the debut successes of the CSA and CS8 (I'm excluding the CSN here).
For me, rather a shot in the oven as far as the CSE is concerned, since the CSA (with which the CSE competes in the budget segment), sounds much more mature and natural and does not try to artificially suggest things that have no substance.

The CSE is a typical budget IEM, sharing a similar body with many other models in the price category, such as the KBEAR LARK, KZ ZSN (PRO), etc. This fit has been proven for several years and wears comfortably. The CSE does not appear particularly valuable (also due to the plastic faceplate), but it still makes a robust and durable impression. The faceplate even feels quite interesting haptically due to the ribbing.

The accessories are not particularly lush and are limited to the most necessary, such as 3 pairs of silicone tips and a budget cable, as known from TRN, or BQEYZ. However, we still get a useful cloth bag for storing the IEMs.

The isolation is good and can be further reinforced with foam tips.

If the CSE is supposed to be the successor of the CSA, then a lot has gone wrong. An admittedly somewhat too warmly tuned IEM (CSA) with a good tonality was bred up to a mid-range and treble testosterone monster, which is completely lost the naturalness.

I would have liked the bass of the CSE in the MIRROR (at least in terms of quantity). It would not make sense to sing the praises of the bass performance of the CSE, because it is good, especially in the budget range, but nothing more. It concentrates more on its area of responsibility and doesn't press the mids so hard. To be honest, that's also difficult in this case, but at least the lower mids remain equally largely unimpressed. Bass performance is actually quite solid on all CVJ models, and so the CSE's bass also scores with an appealing texture and firmness, but without the very greatest dynamics.

The CSE is a bit of a screamer. It's not as bad as the graph would suggest, but the CSE pretty much loses everything that could be considered natural in the midrange. The good clarity here is dearly bought and, to me, out of proportion. The mids lack body and sound overly bright. Here it makes sense to experiment with the Micro-Tape (3M) (2/3 coverage of the sound opening), but the treble is quite unimpressed by the mod, which can then become a problem.

The treble brings a similar high energy as the MIRROR. However, since the relationship with the mids is a different one, the sibilants and tinny are not quite as noticeable at first, but you can quickly tell where the fish stinks here as well, even though the mids naturally do their part as well.
I find the treble artificial and exhausting. There aren't many more words to say here then. Yes okay, they are quite airy and you can't deny a certain transparency either, but nothing sounds natural here and it stings and hisses constantly.

The stage shows upwards quite open and also the stereo image fits. However, there is a lack of depth and honestly, the "technical" capability of the CSE seems artificially created. Clearly, one should not expect miracles from a budget model, but especially in the segment for small purses, I think that more emphasis should be placed on a correct tonality than on technical features without substance.

I really hoped for something more from CVJ's new releases. The CSE in particular, which I see as a bit of a successor to the CSA, really only needed to subtly tweak a few screws to become an excellent budget IEM. A little less bass here, a little more treble there, done. The result, however, is an overly bright and unnatural-sounding IEM that sounds highbrow and is supposed to artificially create details and tension, which it does not succeed on.

More reviews: CHI-FIEAR

Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
Bang for the buck!
Pros: U Shaped sound with non fatiguing signature
Good bass extension
Cons: Average Soundstage
Fit of the cable


It’s well packed and presented when compared to other chi-fi in this price range.Has good sliding box and has a velvet pouch inside with some good set of tips.Overall nicely done.


Clear shell design with dual tone color.Has a cyan transparent shell which is ergonomically designed with no gaps or creaks.

The cable could have been nicer.The stock one earhooks are very rigid and I definitely recommend a aftermarket one for perfect fit.


Source: LG G7 HiFi DAC


1)Rainy night in Tallinn (Ludwig Goransson)- Bass is subtle and neatly laid out.No bloatness or congestion,The sub bass strikes well in the the 2:50 and the overall coherency of the bass is good.The separation of instruments when the bass strikes is slightly messy but for the price nothing to complain especially in 3:30-3:40.At 4:35-5:05 the bass is smooth and impactful and not boomy

2)Why do we fall-Hans Zimmer – At 0:30 the sub bass starts well and extends to the song very well.Here comes the magic!!! At 1:30 is where the real impact comes.I always check every iem whether it clearly represents this area.This one does it sweet.The thumping sound is beautiful!..

Overall the bass is sweet.Has subtle and good enough sub bass extension and very very slight mid bass bless but nothing to complain cause I have seen many other hugh priced iems having this issue!..


1)Willow-(Taylor swift) – The vocals are nice.The female vocals are not forward and slightly behind the male vocals but nicely done.The instrumets are separated well and strikes good.

2)Stand by me (Liam Gallangher) – The male vocals are presented well its at the right place and no recessed vocals.The guitar strikes are sweet.No harshness or unwanted spikes.When the “s” strikes many iem struggle to produce it without the sibilance..this one easily passes it!


1)Lonesome Lover ( Max Roach) - It’s a bright sounding one but hey it’s brings out the necessary details of the song.No harshness or sibilance and tunes in a pleasing manner-The trumpets sound when it reaches its peak they sound delicious and never fatigues the ear.


PROS: U Shaped sound that doesn’t fatigues the ear
Good bass and dynamic range

No harshness or sibilance


CONS: Average soundstage

OK ish cable


It doesn’t defeat anything in this price but can be a good collection in this price range especially for it’s looks and price.Overall it’s a good sounding one
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500+ Head-Fier
CVJ CSE: Genre Versatility
Pros: Good Bass, Forward Mids, Smooth Treble, Friendly to most popular genre, Good fitting on ears.
Cons: Average Soundstage, Stock cable need to replace.
Hello, mates and welcome once again to my audio review page, I would like to introduce to you the CVJ's entry-level product, The CVJ CSE.

The CVJ CSE was released 2 years ago in Mainland China and this is cost around US $13.00 (Php P630 - P660) as it was their cheapest and affordable IEM in their product line. And now they have decided to release it on international market last year.

CVJ CSE is a hybrid set-up IEM with 2 drivers, 1 balanced armature for mids to highs frequency and 1 Dynamic Driver for Bass. It has a U-shape sound signature that is more versatile and pleasing to all music lovers, from casual listeners to audiophiles.

Then lets talk about the packaging box and its contents.The packaging box is typical one that you will found in most Chi-fi products, It has a pair of IEMs with medium tips , 2 pairs of extra tips (small and large), a 4-core OFC black stock cable that similar to TRN's, a velvet pouch, velvet pouch, some paperworks like warranty and instruction manuals and a velcro lace cable organizer. To be honest, I still prefer their older jewelry box-style for better unboxing experience but I understand the costing and probably unavailability.

Then lets talk about the size and build quality of the IEMs itself. It is medium size and it was a clear polycarbonate resin and it is a well-made and a good built quality.The outer shell design reminds me of that Fiio IEM, The FA1.The wearing comfort on this one fits well to my ears as it insert snuggly into my outer ear canal that I can wear it for a long time.

And now, here's my description on its audio quality:

Lows/ Bass
The lows/bass has a very faint presence of sub bass, there's an elevation on mid bass region that I can describe it as little bit boomy that it might cause some bass bleeds on mids in some tracks like Hip-Hop but still you can determine the sense spacing between the lows and mids.

Mids are linear with sprinkle of warmth and they are forward in the mix, the vocal presentations are really competent, female vocals are more open and well-emphasis in the range and male vocals on the middle neither laid back nor upfront. The percussions are full and vivaciously sounding, The sound of string instrument like guitars has good crunch and crisp on it.

Highs/ Trebles
The treble quality of this one is more on the bright side, it has a good details and clarity, There are a little bit presence of sibilance in some tracks especially on vocals are more expressively on hissing consonants.The crashing of cymbals and the sound of chimes are define enough as extension range is average and controlled thats it is less airy.

Soundstage and Imaging
It has average size soundstage as it is quite narrow in my liking and its also in average height.The imaging is good as the panning of the placement of instruments can be hear in such room space.The separation of instruments are acceptable in spacing and no sign of messiness and cloudy.

As I end my review here, All I can say is that CVJ CSE is an IEM that can be a good alternative to more popular competitors that were hype and raved by some audio enthusiasts and reviewers like The KZ ZSN pro and its derivatives and BLON-03 as I can vouch this one as it has a pleasing sound that equally capable or even better to them.It is also very versatile to most popular genres like pop, rock, metal, hip-hop and jazz.I can definitely recommend this one to the starters on audio hobby.


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New Head-Fier
Pros: Affordable
Not harsh
Cons: Smaller soundstage than average
Vocals imbalance, male is more forward, female is more laid back
Fitting issues
Introduction / Manufacturer Information




-CVJ Earpiece Pouch
-CVJ Eartips (S,M,L)





Right out of the box:
-The bass is pretty boomy and as such slightly muddy.

-The mids, specifically the male and female vocals, tend to leans a little towards the male making it more forward sounding. It gives the impressions of the female standing 2/3 steps behind. -All in all the mids are pretty pleasant. Smooth, clean, clear and not harsh for upper mids (something we really dislike from a certain other brand).

-Based on the original FR provided by CVJ, the roll-off is set at 10k, which is a typical point set by chifi in 2020. However, it doesn't sound like it was being rolled off at 10k, instead it is around 13k region. To be honest, I really appreciate it. Some of you might have seen me complaining about the 10k roll off being absolutely absurd, making the whole set sounded detail-less and empty right after a certain point.

-Treble by itself is also pretty well tuned, giving good details and clarity.

-The soundstage is slightly smaller than typical chifi, still acceptable and separation is also a problem....

After Burn-in (>20hrs usage):
-The bass became rounder and punchier, not as boomy as before.

-Soundstage widen up a bit, separation also improved a bit but almost negligible Upper mids opened up, not harsh, more chirpy for female vocals. Male vocals still more forward sounding.


  1. Using foam tips over stock tips. Further smoothen the ratio between boomy and punchiness.
  2. Tested with 3 other cables, A(Pure silver), B(OCC), , C(Silver plated). The sequence of liking is as follows: B>C>A>Stock.
I find the OCC copper cable gives really strong bass and sometimes it overpower the vocals. Pure silver on the other hand enhances the upper mids and lower treble a fair bit resulting to more details (which is very enjoyable) but also more fatiguing and female vocals is further brighten to a level close to being harsh. Took the "mid-way" compromise of SPC and it maintained the strong bass while boosting the high-mids and treble to a level a step below what I percept from pure silver. As such it became the "golden ratio" among these upgrade cable.