Symphonium Audio Crimson Review: Fun like the Triton, Super detailed like the Helios

As a huge fan of both the Triton and Helios, I was beyond excited to see a new Symphonium IEM coming out. I always liked the more fun tuning of the Trition but I wanted it to have the detail and magic the Helios provided. I initially thought the Crimson might be a follow up to the Helios but the marketing seemed to suggest the Crimson would have its own tuning. The Crimson doesn’t have any public info on the driver count or even what drivers are being used at the moment. The Crimson comes in at $1499.00

Quick shoutout to my friends running a short tour before CanJam for sending over a production unit to check out on short notice. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers or dealers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

Looks and fit

The Crimson comes in a nice black shell that isn’t overly heavy. The outer faceplate has a really nice red outline and the faceplate is a nice mix of what looks like carbon fiber with a little red mixed in. I had a softer feel to it so maybe it's a different material. Regardless, it's quite a beautiful IEM to look at in person. It’s also about a medium size shell compared to other IEMs in the $1K+ range.

When it comes to the fit, I know both this and the Triton/Helios fit others ears just fine with no problems. I’ve had a different experience only with Symphoniums IEMs and due to their fully sealed design(no vent holes), I have an issue with their IEMs causing too much of a seal when I use them. No matter the tips, I get an extremely strong seal that causes eventual over-pressure discomfort and a headache after an hour or so of listening. I’ve not had this issue on sealed CIEMs in the past so this is less of a design issue and more that all the Symphonium IEMs make the ultimate pressure seal in my specific ear canals. I’ve not heard any other person complain about this issue I’ve had. Had this been a vented IEM, I think it wouldn’t be an issue for my ears. I do however like the slightly smaller shell design. 

Isolation and sound leakage

Since the Crimson is a sealed design, It has wonderful passive isolation. It also doesn’t leak sound(at least from arms length) which makes this a good option for those in quiet areas that want to listen at louder volumes without disturbing others.

Packaging and accessories

Since I got a tour unit on a short notice. I only got some tips, their standard carrying case and the new stock cable with a swappable plug. I will mention they have included some very good tips. I’ve been wanting to try the Divinus Velvet tips for a while now and they include them with the Crimson and they are a wonderful premium tip. Same thing with the standard Sednafit 2 standard tips they include. These tips will also be included for those who buy the retail units.


These final impressions were done off the Eversolo DAC-Z8 connected to the SMSL SP400. These impressions are what the Crimson sounded like to my ears. This was also using the Spinfit W1 tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

I will note that the Crimson does benefit from tip rolling and I’ll be listing my impressions with my preferred Spinfit W1 tips. The treble seems to be affected the most by tip rolling. I found the W1 tips sit on the more sharper side of treble when paired to the Crimson but I like this pairing regardless.

The Crimson has a nice strong bass response that provides very good slam and impact in the sub bass region. It has a more balanced mid bass so it sounds strong yet controlled. On the first listen I had quite the smile from the bass hits on the first few tracks I listened too. I really enjoy a strong bass like this that doesn’t overpower the rest of the tuning. The mids are very detailed and don’t sound artificial. Same thing with the vocals. Very detailed and life-like instead of sounding metallic or artificial at the upper end of the vocals. The upper mids aren’t super boosted but they sound fast and accurate. Somewhere in the lower treble(maybe upper mids) I do hear a more spicy peak. I would call this a more overly sharp sound vs a sibilant or splashy bright sound. I found that tip rolling did affect this amount of sharpness and I later confirmed that this can happen with some tips on the Crimson. With the Spinfit W1 tips I used, I did find the treble to sound sharp but with a fast decay so everything and I hear a nice sense of detail. The resolution the Crimson provides is indeed top notch and I found it competes with some IEMs that come in at a high price. Overall, a wonderful tuning that is well executed.


The Crimson is a surprisingly wide sounding IEM with a good amount of depth in the soundstage as well. This is probably one of the better examples of good staging and imaging. I didn’t quite experience the neat imaging I remember the Helios provided but overall a very good IEM for those hunting a wide and deep soundstage. The imaging was spot on and I was able to pick out details in busy tracks with ease.


The Crimson is a little harder to drive than most IEMs on the market. This is the same thing with the Helios and Triton. While I think it can run off most modern source gear, I think mid-range source gear will provide a bit more detail and staging. Since it’s harder to drive, I had no issues with floor noise/hiss when running balanced.

Stock cable

The stock cable looks like their prior cables but it now has a swappable plug at the end which is a nice addition. It looks like the plugs I’ve seen on a lot of newer IEM cables so it might be compatible with other plugs but I would still stick with the OEM plugs if possible. The cable has no ear guide which I think makes sense due to the shape of the Crimson shell. I personally prefer a ear guide but for Symphonium’s IEMs, I like it without the ear guides.

IEM comparisons

LETSHUOER Cadenza 12

The Cadenza 12 is still my all time favorite TOTL IEM to date. Keep this bias in mind as I tell everyone that I do like the Cadenza 12 over the Crimson. This is mostly because I like the highly resolving and neutral sound the Cadenza 12 provides. Both the Crimson and Cadenza 12 have what I would consider vastly different tunings. The Crimson is a dynamic sounding V/W shaped IEM that works very well with everything. The Cadenza 12 is a neutral turned IEM that also does mostly everything well but just a bit more safe. The Cadenza 12 can’t compete with the treble energy the Crimson provides but I found the detail retrieval to be slightly better on the Cadenza 12. Does that constitute a $700 price increase over the Crimson? Not even close. However, I do really enjoy the tuning and fit of the Cadenza 12 over the Crimson for my ears specifically. Read my note on fitment above.


Both the MKIII and Crimson do wonder bass and soundstage/imaging. I’m gonna start off by noting that I found the MEST MKIII has some of the widest soundstage due to their unique bone conductor. Which provides a neat light echo to the entire stage which gives a high sense of space in tracks. The Crimson is just really good at a big sounding stage but without any of the tricks. Which is impressive given that both have about the stage soundstage width and depth to my ears. The bass impact on both is fantastic but I do find the bass sounds a little more controlled on the Crimson but doesn’t lack the slightly thinner mid bass the MKIII has. The mids on both are about the same with both sounding accurate and natural. The vocals on both are darn close to my ears and neither are artificial sounding. The big difference comes to the upper mids and treble. The MKIII has more upper mid presence and then starts to trail off in the upper treble. The Crimson can be much sharper sounding in the treble area and it has way more energy in the upper treble unlike the MKIII. I think this is where one has to choose very strong treble performance or a safe and more tame treble between the two. Both pull in great details and the resolution on both is really good.. For my personal preferences I really like the Crimson tuning but I have a hard time choosing between the two.

Amping Combinations

Hiby R6 PRO II

The R6 P2 is my favorite neutral-warm DAP and I like the pairing with the Crimson. The R6 P2 does well at not coloring the sound when listening with the Crimson. It also does well at bringing out a bit more energy when paired with the Crimson. The bass is nice and strong, the mids are fast and accurate, the vocals are smooth and natural sounding. The upper mids and lower treble do sound a little less intense here but I think the upper treble is still fast and detailed. Staging is close to the desktop stack I use but still very wide and deep sounding. Overall, an easy pairing to love.

Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400

This desktop combo is what I use to review all my current audio gear with. I think the Crimson does scale with better gear and I found a small but noticeable difference going from my DAP to something like my desktop stack. I think any mid-rang source gear wise will be enough to make the Crimson sound great. Maybe avoid overly cold and bright sounding source gear as I can see that negatively impacting the upper treble if paired with the wrong tips.

Overall thoughts

So where does the Crimson sit in the Symphonium lineup? Well for me, I think it pulls the best parts from both the Triton and Helios and it very much feels like the perfect mashup of the two tunings. Ignoring my weird fitment issues with all of Symphonium’s sealed IEMs, I absolutely love the tuning and performance the Crimson provides. So on that high note, I highly recommend the Crimson! If anyone goes to the upcoming SoCal CanJam, definitely give it a try! Symphonium Audio does really well at spending time to design well tuned IEMs. They continue to be one of my favorite audio companies and I think as long as they continue their trend of high quality over quantity in their product line, they will continue to be one of the top players in the IEM market. Great job to the team and I look forward to what comes next. Thanks for reading!!!

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