Crinacle New IEMs Round-Up

I've been on sort of a summer hiatus of sorts from writing extensively on this audio blog, but that hasn't stopped me from receiving and listening to a variety of new gear in the process. I went to the Pacific Audio Festival recently, for example, and you can catch a little blurb with me in it from the folks at on their YouTube video about the show. But that said, I've been a bit late on reviewing some prominent gear from the community, and this article will take a look famous reviewer friend Crinacle and his new collaboration projects. 

The two I'll be discussing here are the 7Hz Salnotes Dioko and the Zero by TruthEar. They retail at $99 and $49 USD, respectively, and add to the budget collection of the Crinacle collaboration series with various brands. 

The $99 Dioko

The Dioko is new purple IEM from 7Hz, and almost looks like two pieces of jewelry in your ear. It is shiny and very bling, but is generally comfortable to wear. I dig the color, but I don't necessarily dig the overall shape and looks, and I do think it is a little awkward, however I can't really fault it too much since I did not have any issue wearing them for long periods of time.

The general sound profile of the Dioko is a slightly warm low end with a slightly dark treble with small amount of treble energy around 9 to 10KHz that isn't too distracting. The Dioko is an overall a relaxing listening IEM, albeit one that I find a little frustrating too.

For the price, maybe a year ago, and definitely 2+ years ago, this would be an easy recommendation. Nowadays, it's got a lot of competition, including the other IEM I am writing about in this article -- the Zero. The Dioko lacks detail quality, and an x-factor. It's a little blunted at times, it's overly round, and really doesn't do anything that makes me want to use them for a long period of time, despite actually having a very good frequency response that I'd imagine I'd like. 

Maybe this is mostly due to the lack of resolution or impact, or a combination of that and lacking soundstage quality. Or it's due to me listening to it, and then a few days later, listening to the TruthEar Zero, and thinking that the latter cost a bit more than the former, only to realize, it's half the price, and squarely in the budget headphone price range....

The $49 Zero

The Zero is a blueish-glittery IEM that has a much more normal rounded triangle shape that resembles most in-ear monitors you see on the market, unlike the egg-shaped Dioko. The Zero is super lightweight and very comfortable to wear for hours. I had no issues with this one at all.

The Zero was tuned with the Harman target in mind, and is likely the cheapest headphone that gives you a representation of the Harman curve. With that, the sound profile has a sub-bass focus, with a bit of energy in the upper mid-range and lower treble, while being overall balanced, with a slight V-shaped focus.

This IEM is a tad bright, I must say, but it sounds a lot better than its asking price of $49 and when I put these on initially, I immediately pinged Crinacle and said, good job! At the time, I didn't even know how much these cost, and then I saw the price and was even more impressed. 

Now besides, the slightly bright upper mids, which can be a little fatiguing (it's typical Harman tuning, so it is what it is), the box art. That box art!! Let's just say, I had to hide this one from my wife. I am not a big fan of animated girl art, and especially not one wearing skimpy clothing and bunny ears, so this one was a bit much. 

But, anyway, outside of those two niggles, this is a nice recommendation for the price point. Good job.