Everyone loves cats, apart from those who are allergic. It is true even in audio world, so it has been a matter of time for a Cat Ear brand to appear. It however produces not warm tube cats but headphones, and quite budget ones. So what are they like? Let’s see.
Accessories and packaging
The packaging box is rather large, but alas, my cat is British and hasn’t liked it. Not his size. I am not too fond of it as well, but it is understandable — I am more interested in contents. However I have to admit that the box is not bad. It doesn’t have a dust cover and is made in black and red colors with depicted headphones on the front side and specifications on the back side, telling us that there is a 8mm dynamic transducer, the impedance is 16 Ohm and sensitivity is 105 dB. Those are quite average figures telling us that the IEMs won’t be hissy and at the same time do not demand too much power. There is also a frequency response graph showing sound without any visible accents with slight tending to lows and slight roll-off after 5 kHz. It is quite true, as it turns out.
But let’s get back to packaging. It is rather sturdy and can protect the insides from deformation during transportation. As for the insides, apart from headphones we have a box with accessories. There is a simple leatherette pouch reminding cat head and Comfort Earpiece ear tips that look like Sony Hybrids tips that have been popular couple of years ago. If you don’t know them, they are rather soft pieces with quite narrow nozzle and colored stem. There are two pairs of them in box and another one on IEMs. Apart from them there are three pairs of tips with pink stem and wider nozzle. There are also some rubber rings that I haven’t understood how to use, and probably for the better.
Also you get a company booklet offering subscription for brand social networks. The accessory range is not huge but has everything you might need. The price is also quite low. I have made a purchase on the official website but no-one will prevent you from finding alternative places to buy them.
Design and comfort
One of the main selling points in this bundle is the cryogen copper cable. This means that it has been produced at the temperature of -196°. And it is supposed to help the great sound. I have worried about the cable though. It is not too slim, but not thick as well and usually budget earphones sport a stiff one. But no, in this case it is rather soft and convenient. Not totally ergonomic as Linum, but not too far from it. And yes, we speak about the stock cable. And yes, about the cable in budget IEMs.
The furniture is made of metal, not massive. In all, it corresponds to cable diameter. For max compactness the cable is spirally braided before and after the split. Jack is straight 3.5mm, also not big. The cable is detachable with rather firm MMCX connectors. The IEMs can be easily rotated but you shouldn’t fear losing them.
The IEMs bodies are compact. They are made in the shape of the barrel with straight nozzles. Small diameter allows them to fit comfortably in any ears given that they can be worn both straight and over ear way. The bodies are precisely milled aluminum of black color with red insertions. Channels are marked with letters using brand font and are positioned from the side of connectors. It looks rather simple but aesthetically good and ergonomic.
As for the sound, we have already discussed the frequency response graph on the packaging. I don’t like believing in graphs, but prefer to listen instead. The sound is without sharp accents and tends to be slightly warm and thick. As the manufacturer says, “Experience sound of nature”. And really, they sound very natural. Warm, involving, weighty, emotional, with dominating mids, good support in the bass and not annoying highs. Macro details and overall level of details add up to the whole picture and bring additional emotions.
Lows are rather coherent. They are on the warmer side and have enough weight and slam to provide composition with needed foundation. Slams are distinctive and have correct shape and weight. They remain noticeable during the whole composition and provide recording with emotions.
Mids are the kings of presentation. They are slightly moved forward. You might have slight question to micro detail level in this frequency range, but mind the price. It transmits all interesting passages and peculiarities of the recording well. The balance is tending towards the macro details and whole sound without being overly smooth, but details remain details and give way to emotions and overall sound canvas. As a result, we get a warm weighty emotional qnd envolving presentation that suits well for almost any composition, providing it with more freedom and expression.
Highs are on the supportive side for the abovementioned sound character. Their quantity is diminished and in terms of quality they are rolled off, but this doesn’t lead to IEMs being overly dark. The quantity of highs is lightly less than needed to counter the bass, but don’t forget that the mids rule them all. Spacing and decays sound rather good and have needed fulness. Yes, they lack micro details somewhere but good tuning makes it non-important. There is an additional bonus in being not too critical to the recording quality. Let’s be honest, these IEMs are not for super detailed hi-res audiophile recordings. They however will be great for streaming, youtube and listening from smartphone.
The soundstage is average and built around the mids with good layering. Despite being intimate the spacing and positioning of instruments are good.
The headphones are very interesting, with their own vision and presentation.
They pay much attention to emotions and transmit them well. This makes the great all-rounder.
Translated by: Vadim Kolchev