HandCRAFTed CIEMs from Poland!
PROS: Highly attractive designs, good craftsmanship, great CIEM fit, sound quality – romantic take on Harman Target, fun bass, forward upper mids, tia driver style of upper treble air and openness, wide soundstage, very musical, good technicalities.
CONS: Not much for the price if you just want to enjoy music as it is very good value for money. Nitpicking – Not pinpoint precise in imaging because of easier lower treble, slight mid-bass emphasis and fuller 80-450Hz takes away from absolute neutrality and clarity in the region.
I would like to thank Craft Ears for sending me the CE4 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.
I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop, metal, and sometimes popular EDM songs doing the rounds on the charts.
About Craft Ears.
Craft Ears is a young boutique one-man 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.
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 FOUR was €550 (2400 PLN) at the time of writing this review.
- 4 Balanced Armature Drivers (2 woofers | 1 Mid | 1 Super Tweeter)
- 4-way crossover
- 3-way acoustical bore design
- Frequency response – 15Hz -22kHz
- Impedance – 10Ω @ 1kHz
- Noise isolation – 26db (Universal model)
Included in the box.
CE4 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.
- CE4 CIEM
- 4-core SPC cable
- Cleaning cloth
- Cleaning brush
- Small carry case
The build quality of my shells is very very good! Jed asked me to leave the customisation choice to him as a surprise and I was totally blown away when I opened the package to see these shells. Jed surely has a knack for making drool worthy shell designs and his Instagram and Facebook uploads are a proof of that. As for my shells, every curve and contour is extremely smooth. The whole design flows seamlessly from the faceplate to the bottom shells and makes the whole shell feel like one solid piece. The shells are fairly light which makes me believe that Jed doesn’t fill them up with glue in totality, which I know makes repairs easier in case of warranty claims. My shells have recessed 2-pin sockets which were drilled and finished perfectly.
Cable – It’s a basic 4 core cable which gets the job done and looks fairly good while doing that (according to my friends). The 2-pin connectors as well as jack are decent quality and should serve you well. It’s not the softest but feels well built. Not much to say more here.
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.
Now here’s the interesting part which kinda threw me off in the starting when I received them. 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.
The shells have a very nice snug fit with medium deep insertion, which in my experience is neither too shallow nor too deep and are extremely comfortable as a result. I did not need an adaptation period at all and they remain very comfortable for hours and hours together. Because of the extremely snug fit, they have excellent isolation too. With the shells in, I can hardly hear the fan in my room at full speed.