CCA in ear monitors Impressions Thread
Feb 1, 2023 at 4:02 PM Post #3,766 of 3,770
Ozzy announced today that he had to cancel all his tours due to struggles with his health. In tribute I dusted off the the C12's, plugged them into a USB wired connection on the BTR3k and found my old EQ presets in Pulse Effects.


FUUUUUUUAAAAWWWWWW I forgot how excellent (and brutal) the mids and treble could be on these. Every guitar squeal, crunch, and harmonic is so in your face. And the clarity! I can hear the hammer-ons over the cymbals. And of course Ozzy's crazy stadium filling timbre soaring above the din of a still slightly sluggish bottom end. I'm not complaining. For hard rock the speed on the bottom end is about perfect.

We're still with you, Ozzy!!! \m/

Jul 19, 2023 at 2:29 PM Post #3,768 of 3,770
CCA HM20 Review and Impressions of this budget 'Flagship' IEM
(copied from discovery page post here)


After some anticipation, I finally got my hands on a CCA HM20, and they did not disappoint. I had the opportunity to compare them to a range of other headphone sets such as the KBear Rosefinch, 7Hz Legato, S12, Cadenza, ER2XR, Blessing 2 and P1 Max. What struck me the most about all these options is that they each offered their own unique sound profile, despite the differences in their price points.

Let's dive into the HM20. At first, their tonal presentation can sound intense, and it took some time to warm up to them. However, once my brain had "burned in" to their sound signature, this set truly took off. If I were to describe the sound of the HM20, it would be Diffuse-Field with added bass and mid-range warmth yet remains clear and without bloat. The HM20 manages to strike an impressive balance.


Now, let's talk about the bass. Despite having a large bass shelf, these IEMs don’t sound overwhelming with bass and that is in part as the HM20’s vivid top-end nature that balances this out. There have been some reviews claiming that the bass on the HM20 is weaker in quality compared to other sets, however I found the dynamic driver on the HM20 to deliver a satisfying low-end response. The mid-bass, on the other hand, offers a warm tone with a satisfying punch. There's a certain richness and depth to the sound that further enhances the overall listening experience. Of course, achieving a proper seal is crucial to fully experience the potential of the bass. While there may be a slight hint of rubbery springiness to the sub-bass frequencies, it actually adds a pleasant bounce that enhances the overall listening experience. While it may not be the last word on bass quality I found it to be on par or even better than say the bass on the Moondrop Blessing 2, which can be a bit diffused and tad blunted. In presentation, it just comes across clear, perhaps those acoustic tubes are doing their work here.

The mid-range works quite well, slopes from ~700 Hz and downward. While this will make the lower-range not as clear in presentation (say compared to Variations, Truthear Zero / Red, HBB Khan) it is not distracting and adds some warm. This is a conventional approach that also leads to a punchier more impactful mid-bass. I think too many sets have tried to keep it safe on the upper mid-range and presence area and the HM20 lifts just a bit more here. The mid-range and bass warmth work well and add note weight and body. You can listen to this at reasonable levels and it just sounds right.

Moving on to the high frequencies, the high hats on the HM20 sound incredibly clean and crisp. They manage to strike the perfect balance between clarity and smoothness, without ever becoming brittle or brash. It’s top-end treble remains controlled and extends nicely. As mentioned, the HM20 adheres quite closely to a Diffuse Field target curve from the upper-midrange up - there aren't too many IEMs that hit this curve at the top-end as well as the HM20 does. This help with realistic timbre and reproduction of sound field. No wonder reviewers like Akros (his great in-depth review here with comparisons) claimed that it does well with binaural content. This also makes it great as a gaming headphone as it would work well with binaural 3D audio spatial engines in many newer games. Very spatially immersive, with DSP you are encased in an audio bubble.

Generally, from a technical perspective, I think CCA have done a great job with this set. It’s a very compact design compared to many bulky cavities of some sets, and sits very well in the ear, remaining fairly flush, ensuring you won’t get wind-noise when outside and making it easy to lay on a pillow on your side and listen to music. The seal is quite good as well.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the level of sound quality these lower-cost sets achieve. It's a testament to the dedication and innovation put forth by these manufacturers to offer exceptional audio experiences without breaking the bank.

The HM20 is a headphone set worth considering for those seeking a balanced sound profile that offers unique room space feel and a captivating listening experience.


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Aug 17, 2023 at 5:28 PM Post #3,769 of 3,770
probably irrelevant now, but my parents are gonna order me CCA CRA on Friday.
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