Review: CustomArt Ei.3 – Big & Bold


As Peter asked me to review the Ei.3, I didn’t choose any personalization. I usually let the maker decide what he wants to show off. My Ei.3 monitors came with the clear shell and black faceplate with the CA logo and that’s perfectly fine with me. When you order the Ei.3 using the form on CustomArt’s website, you will see a lot of colors and personalization options are available. Or you could just check out CA’s Facebook portfolio right here and see for yourself there are a multitude of available colors and face plate personalizations. I have seen quite a number of which I like and I’m sure Peter will do whatever is possible if you have special requests


The stock cable that came with the Ei.3 is a quad cable and at first sight it doesn’t look to be special in any way (it’s a generic cable). The thing is it sounds surprisingly good with the Ei.3. In fact, I used it most of the time and only when I wanted to listen to the EI.3 in balanced mode I switched to a Linum cable.

Going balanced either works or it doesn’t for monitors. In example the Lime Ears Aether (5-driver) becomes sublime when using it in balanced configuration but the Ei.3 is one of those monitors that sound best when used single ended. In balanced you do get a more clear and spacious sound with more room between the instruments, but the mids and especially the great bass Peter put into the Ei.3 kind of disappear. When using the stock single ended cable on a non-balanced output you get good body, great impact and better focus. I fully advise to listen to the Ei.3 unbalanced but you should of course try it yourself.

I also did use the Ei.3 with a normal Linum BaX cable and while it sounded pretty good I kept going back to the stock cable. Sure it’s not the most comfortable and the memory piece is just a bit of metal, but it does sound absolutely great with the Ei.3 and using a different cable would result in the Ei.3 not sounding as Piotr intended it to. The Linum SuberBaX arrived just in time before this article was posted. The results are better compared to the normal balanced Linum and you get an increased sense of space and sound stage while you don’t have to give up as much bass as before.

Edit: CA offers Linum T2 and MMCX as an option

Price & Accessories

The Ei.3 is pretty cheap: Non-EU orders are starting from €275 (VAT excl.), EU orders are starting from €340 (23% VAT incl.) That’s even quite a lot cheaper than the other “budget” brands. For that money your Ei.3 will come delivered in the very popular Pelican Peli1010 case that will also hold the stock quad cable, the card with the serial number on it, a moisture absorber and the usual cleaning tool.

There are no fancy extras and no one will expect them either, for the price the EI.3 is going, you’re already getting a lot.

Customer Service

Just like last time with the Harmony 8 Pro, I didn’t really go through the typical way of ordering the monitors. I just had to send new impressions to CA and that was it. Normally, to order, CustomArt works with a form you need to fill in and submit. There is no CIEM creator tool like 1964Ears, I mean  64Audio, has in example have but most CIEM companies don’t go there either.

I have to say I have heard nothing but good about their customer service. I’ve always received a prompt reply to my emails and Piotr is even on Head-Fi replying to questions. When you’re browsing through posts in the CustomArt thread on that well known forum you won’t find a lot of, if even any complaints. CA treats their customers well.

It’s kind of hard to say how long I had to wait for the Ei.3 to be delivered. I do know Piotr sent it back quickly the second time. I suggest contacting CustomArt directly in case you’re wondering about the actual delivery time for an Ei.3 or one of their other models. EDIT: CA confirmed their turnaround is about four weeks

Driveability & Sources

The Ei.3 is extremely easy to drive. With a lot of headphones and earphones you often end up needing an amplifier anyway, even when the unit is supposed to be easy to drive. I have to say that this isn’t the case with the Ei.3. It’s really is easy to drive and I’m perfectly happy with how it sounds straight out of my Samsung S4 phone and my daily DAP. I mostly used the Astell&Kern AK120II as source and when I used them at work it often was with the Chord Hugo and the ALO CDM in combination with my laptop. The Ei.3 always performed flawlessly and there never was a sign of hiss or noise in any way.

I didn’t have a need for it but when I added the CypherLabs Picollo just for this review, the Ei.3 did somewhat improve in tightness and spaciousness. But again, I ended up using the EI.3 99% of the time straight from the source and I was perfectly happy with that. So no, this time you don’t need to foresee an extra budget to get the best out of your new purchase (something a lot of people often forget and then complain it doesn’t sound as everyone says).

Sound on Page 3, after the click here

4.5/5 - (16 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply September 22, 2015


    Hi Lieven,
    love the detailed review!

    I was really looking forward on getting the Ei.3s with a Linum Cable. You mentioned that the sound changes quite a bit with the Balanced Linum Cable.
    Would you know, if the Linum Music Cable would change the sound up that much?

    • Reply September 22, 2015


      thank you. I should have the Music somewhere at home, I’ll see if I can find it for you

      • Reply September 22, 2015


        Awesome thanks! I’ll be waiting eagerly on your reply 🙂

  • Reply September 23, 2015


    Would you consider the Ei.3 an Upgrade to an Stagediver2 (custom vs universal beside), Lieven?

    • Reply September 23, 2015


      Not an upgrade, a sidegrade

      • Reply September 23, 2015


        Thanks Lieven. I guess then that there is no real need for me to get them, since i really love my Stagediver.

  • Reply November 28, 2015


    I currently have a pair of asg2.5s that I love. But they can be too dark at times. Never fatigueing and bass that can turn your brain to mush but not a lot going on up top.
    I am looking for a pair of iems to compliment the asg2.5. While I am happy to change sound Sig from the asg I am not one to go for something lean in the bottom end (ety etc). Wondering if this would be good match.

  • Reply February 5, 2016


    Will you be reviewing the ei.xx?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.