HandCRAFTed CIEMs from Poland!
PROS: Highly attractive designs, good craftsmanship, great deep insertion CIEM fit, sound quality – clarity, resolution, realism, highly resolving-high quality bass with good slam and rumble, forward upper-midrange, 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.
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.
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 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.
- 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
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.
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.