review

CCA CKX Review Metal Shell IEM with 7 drivers

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In a sea of plastic-made earphones, the CCA CKX earphones stand out for several reasons. One is the metal body construction. The second reason is the number of drivers (7 total!). The last reason why the CCA CKX stand out is the Superman reference via the diamond like outline on the front of the earphones, which looks like S shield of the superman logo.


The CCA CKX really have a unique styling that can be noted on small details like the y-splitter and 3.5cmm connector plug, which seem to be made of resin material with an opaque/semi-translucent glass finish, which on the white version looks like pieces of ice sculpting. The 3.5mm connector plug is somewhat see-through so, you can see the internal wiring.
The CCA CKX earphones metal body is made of zinc alloy, which is internally lined with resin to lessen the resonance. Seeing that most plastic earphones are made using injection molding, the CCA CKX earphones certainly breaks the mould because they shells are made using a 5-axis CNC cutting tool. Also, resin material is typically used for making speaker cabinet enclosures that couldn't normally be made with any other material like the resin enclosure cabinet of the legendary Nautilus loudspeakers, which has an "insane" design to match the "insane" price tag!
Speaking of insane loudspeakers, the number of balanced armature drivers inside the CCA CKX earphones is mind boggling too. While having more of everything is usually okay, when it comes to audio it's a different story because the minute you add multiple drivers a crossover has to be implemented to direct each frequency to each driver. And, if the crossover is not properly implemented it can cause the frequencies to overlap between drivers. This isn't an issue with the CCA CKX earphones though, thanks to using a separate crossover PCB board for the frequencies.
Despite the massive number of drivers (7 in total), the CCA CKX manage to have low impedance (22 ohms) and have been made with portable use in mind; hence you can drive them to full fidelity via a smartphone. The sensitivity is 115dB, which is well above average and lets you get a good volume output without the need of a headphone amplifier.
Under each shell, the CCA CKX integrate no less than 6 balanced armature drivers and one 10mm dynamic driver designed to handle the lower notes (bass frequency). The CKX dynamic driver does a good job of detailing the "bass frequency" so, you can actually hear the mid-bass and the sub-bass, which you typically can't distinguish with most single driver earphones. The higher notes are well layered too; hence you can discern more micro details (i.e. upper midrange). Considering the amount of armature drivers one would expect the treble to be really bright but it isn't as steep as theTripowin TC-01 iems. That said, if you find the upper midrange a bit to "wild" you always tame it with slightly narrower bore foam eartips.
The CCA CKX braided cable integrates a gold plated 3.5mm connector at one end and 2-pin (0.75mm diameter) connectors at the other end, which are deeply recessed inside the rubber plug connection. Unlike most 2-pin connectors which usually stick out, the CKX 2-pin connectors don't stick out; hence you can plug them in and out of the earphones with confidence without worrying about breaking or bending the pins. While the 2-pin connectors of the cable are recessed, the 2-pin female ports on the earphones are raised, sticking out from the earphones like tiny sprouts coming out of a potato. Luckily, the 2-pin female ports have been reinforced with hard rubber strain reliefs.
In terms of fit, it always comes down to your individual ear canals but the CCA CKX should fit most ears, thanks to the very long nozzle necks, which are slightly angled (almost straight). If you can get a good fit, you will not doubt love these earphones because the sound gets delivered deep into the ear canal. And, thanks to the wide bore of the nozzle you get lots of sound coming in. The CCA CKX re weighty earphones, weighing 20 grams (36 grams with the cable). The cable, itself weighs 17 grams, which is almost as much as the earphones.
The CCA CKX 1.2 meters long cable has a rubbery sheath with a grippy texture to it that feels sticky when rubbing the fingers on the cable. Because of the"sticky" rubbery construction, the cable is not as easy to keep untangled as other iem cables. The cable has pre-shaped earhooks and uses 0.75mm diameter pins, which is important to note when using a different cable because there is also a 0.78mm variant, which is not compatible with the CCA CKX earphones. There is no mention whether the internal wiring is litz wire, although it could be, especially since the name of the manufacturer of this iems happens to stand for copper-clad aluminium (CCA).
The user guide included is more of an advisory guide on ear protection and the dangers of noise. There is no information on the specs of the earphones or how to wear them or connect them, which is important since not everyone is likely to be aware of 2 pin IEM polarity. Like most iems with 2-pin connections, the CCA CKX have to be connected a specific way to prevent polarity issues. That said, the CCA CKX don't have the classic red and blue dots, which most IEMs do to help know the proper polarity. You can buy the CCA CKX on Linsoul and amazon. Check out the review of the Tin Hifi T2000 true wireless earphones, Blon Mini earphones, Tin Hifi T2 Evo IEMs. Check out the review of KZ VX10 true wireless five driver earphones.

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