Disclaimer: these are not my earphones. They came my way via Belgium, via Headfonia. They went back to Europe last week, EMS the deliverer. Evidently there was a stall in the shipment though. Yep, that even happens in Japan. Thanks Lieven for the loaner. And sorry for the delay. This article is reproduced with permission from Nathan Wright. The original can be found here.
I’m of the opinion that the carbon fibre weave has been played out. Raise your hand if you’re with me. Is that one there? Yes, I think I see a hand.
It was a middle finger. That’s fine. I’m okay being alone.
It’s where I drink best.
Carbon fibre back plate or no, the C6iem is a striking earphone. It’s part Formula 1, part prototype, part FitEar tribute. Its metal sound-bore cap fits well. Its glue, its edges, it finish: all bespoke. The countersunk cable jacks will keep your wires stable. That’s good.
I have niggles about the serial number and the box and stuff. This 599$ earphone would look better if its serial number was engraved and/or paint-filled. Or simply printed by a handier piece of equipment. The box is a bit simple, and the stuff inside is just crammed in, in self-sealing plastic blisters.
The tie-dyed advertising photography doesn’t do the real thing any favours. I’ll say it again: carbon fibre or no, the C6iem is a striking earphone. And I assume they look great next to the Picollo.
And Cypher Labs, when you want it to look striking for your customers, Bankroll me.
If you’ve ever heard a Mr. Speakers Alpha Dog, you’ve heard a C6iem. Sort of. It’s that plus a larger bass and comfier midrange. Let me call it the Alpha Dog Thick And In Your Ear. It drives.
Highs aren’t rolled off, but they kind of pull back next to the mids and bass. And the mids, while they are comfy, they’re not quite Earsonics-comfy or emotional.
And still there’s speed. Space is decent. You’re not going to go ‘wow!’ about left/right separation. The feel is holistic: a round, thriving ball of coherent space occupied by a pretty musical, thrusty bass and comfy midrange and just enough sparkle to keep EDM users happy. Better, there’s no hint of the BA thing. I guess manufacturers have gotten past that. The three spectra gel like nerds over a game of Carcassonne.
I don’t think the C6iem is the best earphone for live music. You know, when you want to feel of the musicians and the crowd. The C6iem isn’t spacey enough for that. Totally what there is enough of is is powerful bass and mids. Bass isn’t overdone, or boomy. It’s thrusty and driven. Oh, and it’s got good texture. Speed is excellent, so the C6iem works damn well for trance and classical if you like oomph in the bottom end. But if you’re looking for a u-shaped sound, or something studio-ish, C6iem won’t be your thing.
Unless you’re a drummer.
I don’t think 599$ is an outlandish price to ask for these phones. I do feel that Cypher Labs could pretty up their box, and their accessories to make these phones feel like 600$. The earphones are built well and are sturdy, so you’re buying a well-engineered bit of composite that will last a lifetime.
Looking for a second (or first) opinion?