Design, comfort and build
I’ve been a fan of a particular sci-fi franchise set in a galaxy far, far away ever since I can remember. This being the case, I guess you can say I’m totally in awe of the visual result of that the Craft Ears team sent back, featuring the ‘Galactic Empire’ symbol on the left-hand shell, and the ‘Rebel Alliance’ on the right-hand one. I asked the Craft Ears team whether “…some kind of swirly kind of galaxy situation with a red sparkly nebula weaved through it” might be possible for the colour of the shells themselves. And yes, yes it certainly is.
The Craft FOUR arrived back housed in a relatively straight-forward package consisting of the CIEMs themselves, a small cleaning tool, a two-pin style 3.5mm cable, and a small pelican-style protective case that is thoughtfully finished with the customer’s name. There’s no documentation or manual, which does feel a little unceremonious, but if this means that the Craft Ears team are able to put their efforts and focus into delivering the best performing/value product possible, then I can’t really fault them – particularly as they did create the Craft FOUR as an on-stage tool, rather than as a luxury item.
The shells themselves are completely sealed and are impressively finished without any visible seams or faults. The outer material is finished to a high gloss and feels both premium and reassuringly solid. The only openings on the shells are the three-bore nozzles, and the female socket for the two-pin cables to be affixed. Popping CIEMs into your ears for the first time is an unusual experience – there’s no flexibility that you’re used to from silicone tips, but after some minor adjustment they just sliiiide into place like they were always meant to be there. Craft Ears provide a 60-day fitting warranty (in addition to a 2 x year warranty on the CIEMs themselves, plus ‘Lifetime Support’ for customers), but it was immediately clear that this pair was entirely faithful to the mould I had created – they are ‘Cinderella’ perfect. If you haven’t experienced CIEMs, then you probably aren’t accustomed to hearing isolation quite like this. Craft Ears advise customers to expect up to 25dB of noise attenuation, and I can certainly believe it – I can’t even hear the keyboard tapping as I type these words out now – it’s remarkable, and genuinely up there with well-performing active noise cancellation. Air-travellers, parents, and open-plan office workers: take note.
Once the shells are snugly in place, they’re all-day comfortable. Being entirely rigid, there is some displacement than does occur if you move your jaw – say, if you’re eating, or if you’re exercising vigorously – but it handily leaves any universal-fit IEM you’ve ever experienced in its dust.
Craft Ears give customers the options to choose either a Black or Crystal Silver cable to be supplied with their Craft FOUR, which accepts the widely-adopted ‘two-pin’-style cable meaning that customers will be able to pair their CIEMs with a range of alternate after-market options. Craft Ears only provide the option for a 3.5mm terminated single-ended cable, so balanced cable users will need to BYO their own. The supplied Black cable features memory-wire over the ears and is fairly thin and pliable. It’s not prone to kinking nor tangling and is thankfully non-microphonic. I’m not one to judge if you believe cables can help to extract more sonic or aesthetic performance from your purchase, but the supplied one feels perfectly up to the task. In the couple of months’ time that I’ve had to review the Craft FOUR, I’ve never wished the cable were any more ‘premium’ or functionally different.
Craft Ears have impressed from the start in terms of customer service, personalisation and design + build, so now it’s time to feed these musically-inspired monitors with some well-crafted tunes.
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Wow the design and look of headphone is really awesome. I wish someone will gift me these on my birthday 😉
I’d love to buy these not just for listening to music but also as a showpiece. \m/
Aesthetic earphones… Definitely stands level ahead of other earphones interms of performance and looks
OMG!!!!!!!! I swear you read my mind. My wife has been looking for it. I will gift it on her birthday! Thank you so much for sharing!
Wow this is awesome post. I have bookmarked your post to read again and again. Thanks for sharing