The CCA CRA+ and the KZ EDX Ultra Comparisons and Review

This article will cover two new in-ear monitors that both follow on the success of the CCA CRA, which came out of nowhere with a fun dynamic slammy and punchy sound, that was quite listenable and enjoyable, and at a staggeringly low price at just $14 USD. These two discussed today are the CCA CRA+ and the KZ EDX Ultra. Both of these IEMs were sent to me by KZ for this review.

The CRA+ costs $28 USD while the EDX Ultra at $22. Both cost more than the original price of the CCA CRA, however I've seen pricing on the CRA fluctuate up to $23 USD depending on where and when you buy it. In the end, all three of these are definitely classified in the ultra-budget category of audiophile in-ear monitors, and each of the three have their own unique trait, while sounding also very much alike.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about accessories as all these budget KZ and CCA have similar cables, tips, and shell design is pretty similar. The EDX Ultra does look a little different with a circular gold-colored badge on the front of the shell, while the CRA is more low-key with a half filled-in and half-translucent face.

Sound Impressions

The three of these IEMs have generally similar boosted bass and v-shape-like signatures, though treble is not quite as peaky as a normal V-shaped IEM. The all have pretty large, up to 12dB bass boosts, with a down-tilting mid-range and an actually well tuned uppermid range and a slightly bright treble that vary in the amount.

The CRA+ sports a new driver from the CRA and in this newly tuned IEM, the CRA+ replaces the sub-bass slam of the CRA with a more punchy, focused and resolving sound. It's quite a bit more dynamic and noticeably cleaner transients. There is a small amount of roll-off in the subbass, but it still hits low, just not with the shaking authority that the CRA has.

The CRA+ has a tamer mid-range and treble, making it a bit more relaxed and slightly darker. Some complained the CRA was a little too bright in this area and CCA did a good job bringing this down a little bit without sacrificing too much. The CRA+ does sound a little tame in this area, especially the extended treble range, and overall it's a little more cut-off in the extreme low and upper ends of the frequency spectrum.

That said, I enjoy the CRA+ quite a bit, as it adds a little more resolution, clarity, and handles busy complex passages better than the CRA, however it does lose a little bit of the fun factor at the same time, and perhaps that amount of punch can be overwhelming as well.

On the other hand, the EDX Ultra shares a very similar low end and very similar mid-range. They are tuned basically identical, except one key area. That's the treble range. The EDX Ultra is elevated here, and that actually comes as a penalty, as I found cymbals and hi-hats to ring a little too intense and caused more fatigue than I would have liked.

I'd rank this one probably below both the CRA and CRA+ with the CRA+ taking a slight advantage over the original CRA.

Solid entries here from KZ/CCA. Budget-priced IEMs are picking up a lot of steam this year. I can't wait to see how much better this low-end market can get.