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CCA CKX IEMs – Entry Level Drivers Abound

CCA CKX IEMs – Entry Level Drivers Abound

 

 

It is that time of the year again, when, at 70 USD, a company decides to implement way too many drivers in an IEM, so we have a 7-driver configuration from CCA. There’s even one dynamic driver for the mids and lows, with two selections of BA drivers completing the mids and treble. I am not quite that enthusiastic about entry-level IEMs with designs that are too complex, as they are prone to issues, so the comparison list will include iBasso IT00, a very simple IEM but which proved to be effective, and Moondrop SSR IEMs

 


 

 

 

Introduction

 

CCA has been growing quite a bit as a company lately, and they’ve been making some high-quality IEMs with excellent comfort for the price. They want to be flashy with the specifications of their IEMS, so they tend to include tons of drivers, and very special configurations, but the sound usually is about right for the price paid. 

 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with CCA, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank CCA for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in CCA CKX find their next music companion. 

 

 

 

Product Link

 

You can always grab a pair of CCA CKX from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3jzrQDw

 

You can always check more awesome products on the store selling it here: https://amzn.to/3hgwROU

 

 

 

Packaging

 

First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:

 

 

 

 

The small package of the CKX is about the same as that of any other CCA IEMs and most KZ IEMs.

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with rehashing the same package, as long as it keeps the costs down, and as long as you’re below 100 USD, every single product will be about cost optimisation. 

 

 

 

 

 

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

 

The build of the CKX is pretty good, with a full metallic shell. The while cable is flexible and feels pretty high quality, but it is extremely tangle prone, and gets tied to itself in seconds. There’s no microphonic noise, and somehow CCA managed to avoid any kind of driver flex as well. The rubbery ear hooks are ok, and don’t cause any comfort issues, and are much better than the hard metallic counterparts. 

 

 

Like most Chinese products from small companies who can’t afford the R&D to create new tech, CCA relies on very flashy technical specs to sell the CKX, and a long list of drivers is part of that. There is one dynamic driver, and six Balanced Armatures for each ear, so you can figure how affordable one of those drivers can be. 

 

 

The drive factor is great, CKX is really easy to drive, any smartphone and USB DAC will do just fine. They also have no hissing with most sources, excellent for an entry-level IEM. All in all, CKX is comfortable and fun to use, except for the tangly cable. 

 

For driving the CKX, you can use anything you imagine, from a FiiO BTR5, to a Hiby R2, to an Earstudio HUD100 MK2. 

 

 

 

Sound Quality

 

With entry-level Chifi, it is all flavours of V-Shaped signatures, and this is the case with CKX too. The sound is fairly open and fun, but it is V-Shaped, with a thicker and stronger bass and treble. You don’t really notice how many drivers there are, although  the bass is much slower than the treble and midrange.

 

 

The bass of the CKX is fairly natural in presentation, not too much, but not abstinent either. The overall feeling is that the bass is slightly slower to imitate a more natural bass. I’m saying it is an imitation, because it has a rattly sound to it, similar to cheap car speakers, but at this price most of the competition does something similar. There is a good focus on the main bass body, and some upper bass uplift. 

 

The midrange has a dip in the lower mids, and the whole mids are slightly recessed. Midrange tonality is really nicely balanced and clean, with excellent levels of detail for the price paid. The stage is rounded, both deep and wide, but small in size. Both male and female voices sound neat, and CKX is good for both metal and EDM. 

 

The treble is a bit sparkly, but nothing offensive as we’re used to seeing in KZ IEMS. The treble has a fairly good presence up to 9kHz – 11kHz, which makes the CKX one of the most extended and overall balanced IEMS in the ~70 USD price range. In all honesty, it sounds like a natural to v-shaped IEM that I can find really enjoyable and be happy using. No huge colorations, and great detail for the price. 

 

The drivers are limited in headroom, absolutely no serious EQ can be applied without distortions. No EQ is needed for the sound to be fun and enjoyable though.  

 

 

 

Comparisons 

 

Given the entry-level price, I chose two potent competitors, namely the Moondrop SSR and iBasso IT00. The market is flooded with IEMS in this price range, and every day more appear, so I went with the ones you guys asked me the most about. Given the excellent drive factor, you can drive CKX from basically anything, even smartphones, or portable DAC/AMPs like iBasso DC01.  

 

 

CCA CKX vs iBasso IT00 (70 USD vs 70 USD) – Given the price, the two IEMs are direct competitors. I like the build quality and overall cable of IT00 more, but the actual wearing comfort is a bit better on CKX, due to better driver flex control. The cable is less tangle-prone on CKX. The sound is warmer, more open and wider on IT00. There’s also better overall detail on IT00, but availability tends to be a bit limited. CKX sounds a bit thinner, more textured. 

 

 

 

CCA CKX vs Moon drop SSR Super Spaceship Reference (70 USD vs 40 USD) – If you’re looking for comfort, CKX is better, and the sound is considerably more detailed and clearer than it is on SSR. The price is almost double, and that’s a thing to socisder, but CKX is better for all music styles, and if you are willing to fork 40 USD for an IEM, I recommend considering getting the better deal and going with the CKX for 70 USD. 

 

 

 

Value and Conclusion

 

CCA is always about value, and their CKX is excellent value too. There’s nothing magical in the package, but the IEM shells are made of metal, and they should survive for more than a year. The cable may give in first, and that would be a blessing, for how tangle prone it is. 

 

 

The sound is really natural for an entry-level chifi IEM, with such a low price, CKX presenting music with great clarity, detail and overall energy. 

 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a high-quality IEM with a fair price point, excellent comfort, great detail and overall clarity / detail, and a punchy V-Shaped / natural sound, the CKX is an excellent choice and a totally recommended option.  

 

 

 

Product Link

 

You can always grab a pair of CCA CKX from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3jzrQDw

 

You can always check more awesome products on the store selling it here: https://amzn.to/3hgwROU

 

 

 



 

 

 

— Please remember to stay safe, and always have fun while listening to music!—

 

 

 

 

 

Full Playlist used for this review

 

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!

 

If you have a dime to spare (donate), it would make my day much brighter, as it would help me improve things around the website and increase the frequency of my posts.

 

Youtube Playlist

 

 

 

 

Tidal Playlist

 

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

 

 

 

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