CCA has not been a brand that has been high on my radar before, but I recently got my hands on the CRA+ and have spent a lot of time with it. They look like your typical 2-pin IEMs, but you may be surprised to find out that they only go for $28. This is quite the generous price, being an IEM that is even lower than some of the most notable budget-fi earphones like the Moondrop Aria. Does its sound make it any worthwhile?
What You Get
This is a small and simple package with minimal accessories. CCA offers you the essentials with two extra pairs of ear tips.
Look and Feel
While the main housing is made up of a plastic shell, it sports a stylish gold-colored faceplate that gives the CRA+ a fashionable design. Its shape is fairly standard but still ergonomic and even comfortable. There’s a weightlessness to it that brings you a satisfying fit for long-lasting sessions.
A 10mm dynamic driver lies inside the CRA+, with an ultra-thin polymer composite diaphragm. The stock cable is high-purity and gold-plated, for added durability.
- Impedance: 23.5Ω
- Frequency Range: 20-40000Hz
- Sensitivity: 111dB±1dB
When you have an IEM at such a low price it is easy to be impressed by its ability to do what any other pair of earphones should do. With that being said, the CRA+ definitely appears far beyond its price range when you first listen to it. Its width and depth are rather linear, but the imaging performs well in its traditional stereo field. There’s a consistency in how far the CRA+ goes to clearly demonstrate its flatter positioning, but it works as a surface-level experience. Separation is where the CRA+ is really going to make a statement though, as it emphasizes the spaces between sound elements in order to appear more transparent.
The CRA+ comes with a major wow factor in the form of its bass response. Bassheads will get a big kick out of it, with its meaty contents and its thumping accents. It’s a tone that gives each track a strong foundation, as it pulsates its frequencies through the mix making everything feel a little more cinematic. Listening to the soundtrack to “Mad MAX: Fury Road” delivered a ferocious low-end timbre that I wasn’t expecting. The sub-bass vibrates with expressive undertones that make for some pretty awesome sweeteners. You’re getting the main highlight of the CRA+, and it feels like it at every turn.
Even with the power, the CRA+ shows in the bass, the midrange doesn’t really make any sacrifices. Although there is a commanding emphasis in the low-mids, it never distracts from the clarity instruments and vocals can show. I found it actually surprising how far the CRA+ was willing to go in order to avoid a v-shaped timbre. For a twenty-eight dollar IEM I wouldn’t even have minded it, but it goes to show how far CCA is willing to go. All the elements that are shown here come off clean and well-organized to fit its full sound signature.
For the most part, the treble is relatively smooth, but it has a few patches of coloration that accentuate a couple of characteristics some may not enjoy. It has a touch of sibilance that doesn’t stick out too aggressively, but you can definitely feel its presence. At its best, I think it can help make some elements appear a bit crisper and there’s an audible shimmer to some of its tone as well. Some might be deterred by how the frequencies shape out, but I think it does a good job showcasing a few moments of detail.
There really can’t be much to criticize due to the generous price, but I definitely think the CRA+ sounds so far above it that it almost feels like stealing. The bass is buttery smooth and magnificent, while the mids and highs give you just enough to bite on to make for a fulfilling sound signature. Add in the comfort and golden streak, and the CRA+ becomes a must-have IEM for those on the strictest of budgets.
The CCA CRA+ is available from Linsoul.