INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:
The CCA CSN is a hybrid in-ear monitor (IEM) using a 10mm dynamic driver and a 30095-pattern balanced armature in each housing. The CSN was provided to me by the Hifivo storefront on Amazon, where it is currently available for just under $22.
I evaluated the CCA CSN with the Hidizs S9 and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The CCA CSN comes in a small rectangular white box. The box pictures the CSN on the front and provides CCA’s contact information and technical specifications for the CSN on the back. Inside the box are the IEMs, a detachable .75mm 2-pin cable, 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S, M, L), a user manual, and a warranty card. The CSN does not come with a carry bag or case.
BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:
The CCA CSN has clear acrylic housings with metal faceplates. The housings have a pseudo-custom fit. The faceplate has a small vertical mesh slit on the bottom corner, but covering this vent does not appear to impact the sound of the IEM. There is a single pinprick-shaped vent on the inner housing face above the dynamic driver. The metal nozzles have small lips for securing eartips.
The included 2-pin cable is typical of a KZ-type IEM, which is to say it is tangle-prone and infuriating to use. The cable uses QDC-style extruded connectors. “L” and “R” indicators are faintly embossed on the 2-pin connectors, but the connectors must be held up to a light source to see which connector goes to which channel. The cable has chunky rubber hardware at the Y-split and 3.5 mm jack with substantial strain relief. The cable has pre-formed earguides without memory wire. There is no chin adjustment slider.
COMFORT, FIT, AND ISOLATION:
The CCA CSN is intended to be worn cable up. The CSN is relatively comfortable but the nozzle angle is not ideal for my ears. Your experience may differ. I did not experience driver flex with the CSN. Isolation is slightly above average.
Measurements of the CCA CSN can be found on my expanding squig.link database:
My measurements are conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. There is a resonant peak at 8k. Measurements above 10 kHz are not reliable.
The CCA CSN has a U-shaped sound signature. It has a moderate mid-bass hump, a recessed lower midrange, a robust amount of pinna gain followed by a presence peak, an energetic but controlled lower treble region, and limited upper treble extension.
The CSN’s bass response is surprisingly resolving, with good speed and articulation. Bass texture is also impressive for the price. There is satisfying low-end impact and little in the way of mid-bass bleed, but note weight is on the lighter side more often than not. Sub-bass extension is average.
The CSN has a cool midrange with a dry, faintly metallic timbre. Midrange clarity is somewhat poor, and vocal intelligibility is lacking. Male vocals sound muffled, as do female vocals to some extent. The midrange as a whole lacks warmth and body. The presence region peak does not introduce harshness so much as it introduces distortion. The midrange shot through with grain, which combines poorly with distorted electric guitars, which sound like buzzsaws.
The CSN has an energetic treble region with a moderate amount of sparkle but little air. The treble is well-controlled overall and is not harsh to my ears. Detail retrieval is adequate for a $20–30 IEM. Soundstage width is limited but instrument separation is very good. Imaging is average.
The CCA CSN is very easy to drive. I did not notice hiss during my listening.
The CCA CSN is a modern KZ-style budget hybrid, for better or worse. With more coherently tuned competitors like the Tanchjim Tanya and Moondrop Quarks available at lower price points, I don’t think this kind of IEM has much appeal to anyone looking for mature sound.
The CCA CSN can be purchased below: