Introduction to the Craft Ears Omnium review
If I had to dub this year somehow, I’d probably go with “The Year of the Craft Ears” – in terms of their brand-building endeavors, as well as my own experiences. They’ve made 2 huge releases this year, with The One dating back a few months ago, and now here comes the Omnium. That has given me quite a bit of work as well! I’ve reviewed both The One and the Aurum on our YouTube channel (check it out!) with the Omnium video on the way. All of that was done with pleasure though, as I love to see Craft Ears making new moves and steps in the right direction.
To be fair, after how great The One was, and how well it complimented the rest of Craft’s catalog, I was not expecting another release from them this year, at least nothing major. Yet there I was during AVS 2023 in Warsaw, quite shocked at the sight of a new, never-before-seen flagship tribrid IEM – The Omnium of course. I was quite excited to review that one for two reasons – the planar-dynamic-BA combination seemed quite marvelous on paper, and 2499 EUR is a new price point for Craft Ears – the previous flagships were closer to a half of that amount. I sat by their stand and listened to a few tracks, and I decided right then and there – I needed some extra time with those.
I’m sure you’re already aware of how much appreciation me and my homies at Ear Fidelity have towards any renowned audio brands and products to come out of our home country – Poland. In my book, Craft Ears tops that list decisively, as I’ve always considered their brand to be worthy of a place among the most loved and renowned brands in the world. Omnium only adds to that sentiment.
Dealing with Jędrzej, Craft Ears’ founder, has always been a pleasure. Not only is he an outgoing and friendly person, but he also makes some kick-ass IEMs, as you likely know by now. I was delighted to hear he wanted my opinion on the Omnium, and a few days after AVS I received the package! The whole time I was asking myself the following – after an amazing duo that is The One and Aurum, how much better does the Craft Ears Omnium get? The answer is – quite a lot. This is a new level of performance for Craft Ears, and I’m all there for it. Ladies and gentlemen, after receiving them, combining various ear tips and sources, and finally spending some time listening, I realized how much of a treat I was in for. Let’s talk about it.
Packaging of tested Craft Ears Omnium
The packaging and accessories are something that I’ve always appreciated when it comes to Craft Ears. It’s functional, yet elegant. I think a combination of those two words would be perfect to describe their products, but thankfully, I have a few thousand at my disposal. Beyond the black cardboard box that opens like a pirate’s treasure, and its beautifully done silver writing underneath, lies something I was expecting, but simultaneously hoping for – the venerable Craft Ears pelican case, with the Omnium and its accessories inside.
In terms of functionality, I don’t think any manufacturer’s case/pouch solution can hold a candle to what Craft Ears is offering. It’s quite sizeable and sturdy with a handle. I’m pretty sure the delivery company’s strongest kicker could not rough it up in shipping, and even Aroldis Chapman could not throw it against a wall hard enough to damage the Omnium residing inside. That case will become my daily driver without a doubt, no matter the IEM I’d be carrying inside. You know what? Screw it, how about all my documents and money as well – it’s not like anyone would be able to snatch it from me, and both dollars I own can easily fit in there as well.
How’s the cable situation this time? Craft Ears Omnium are bundled with a copper solution from Audeos Cables, sporting a Ranko Acoustics 4.4mm connector, as well as two 2-pin connectors from the same brand. The cable I’ve received is very nice in terms of ergonomics, so kudos to Audeos for that, but Jędrzej tells me that there will be something a bit different in the usual packages, albeit quite similar in overall nature. Expect an OCC copper cable with a 4.4mm connector, says Jędrzej, so it will be something similar to what I have received.
Apart from those, I have received six pairs of ear tips in a little Craft Ears branded plastic box. Two types of them – standard silicone tips, and bi-flange, both of which there are three sizes available – S, M, and L. I must say I’m quite fond of the fit, but with the Omnium, I’ve found the M-sized bi-flange tips to suit me best, out of all the included ones. That’s quite unusual since I usually go for the good old standard silicones, but nevertheless, the bi-flange tips were the ones used in most of the testing.
Overall, I’m happy with the way things are going in the package department, as there’s nothing more and nothing less included than what one might need to begin the listening session. No huge flamboyant packaging, no leaflet bundles to immediately throw into the fireplace… just your IEMs, the cable, tips, and a sturdy and functional carrying case, all built and paired with the Craft Ears Omnium exceptionally well. I can dig that.
Build Quality, Tech, and Comfort
The reviewed Omnium is made of resin, a metal outer rim, and a carbon fiber faceplate with the Craft Ears logo in the middle of it. I love how the carbon fiber reacts to different lighting, changing its pattern, or just becoming pitch black. That’s a huge plus right there. For review purposes, I have received the universal version of course, but as is the case with all Craft Ears IEMs, you can get the Craft Ears Omnium in the custom version as well, whatever suits you. The resin shells are 3D-printed in-house, with a made-to-order design of your choice, making the build all the more unique.
The design options are also too numerous to name all in one review, so you will have to check these out for yourself, sorry not sorry. Combine that with the option to have your own logo, inscription, or emblem included in the design, and you may get quite a conversation piece on your next IEM purchase. Or not! The Omnium I got is definitely a more sleek and toned-down design compared to what I’ve seen from Craft Ears, and it’s very pretty, highlighting Craft Ears’ versatility when it comes to design. I haven’t seen a bad-looking Craft Ears IEM yet, so be assured that the design department won’t fail. In terms of build quality, there is nothing alarming or unusual about the Omnium, it’s just a well-built piece. I’m sure after reading the previous Craft Ears IEMs’ reviews on the page you’re already bored of all the recurring praise for the build quality, but what can I do – they’re just that good.
Comfort-wise I have a small gripe with the Craft Ears Omnium, but it’s entirely personal – I prefer a more shallow-fitting IEM. These need a little depth, but it’s not as extreme as it may get with IEMs from brands such as Etymotic, where inserting an IEM makes you immediately want to file an assault charge. It’s just a bit deeper than something like the Svanar. Yes, this is a foreshadowing of what will happen later on in the review. The Omnium also goes well with any type of ear tip, whether you’re a fan of foams or a silicone enthusiast.
Tech in those is quite interesting, as the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium is an amalgamation of many technological advancements that Craft Ears have developed over years of IEM-making. The Omnium sports a total of seven drivers per side – one dynamic, one planar-magnetic, and five balanced armatures. The driver configuration is as such: The dynamic driver is responsible for the lows, the planar for lows and mids, one armature for mids and highs, two for highs, and two for upper highs.
What about other technological aspects? Well, as per their product specs, reviewed Craft Ears Omnium sports a tubeless design with custom-tuned acoustic chambers and resonators, as well as a 6-way crossover. Furthermore, it takes advantage of True Load (flat impedance) and SES 3.0 (Space Expanse System) technology. Craft Ears informs us that these are supposed to help with the staging abilities and versatility of different devices. Spec-wise, these also isolate up to -26 decibels and have an impedance of 12 Ohm, with an added 0.8 Ohm between 10Hz and 20kHz. The specs are an interesting part, but even more interesting is the next one, stay with me.
How does the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium sound?
Let’s tackle the most important part of this review, shall we? There’s one thing you should know about the Craft Ears Omnium, and it is that you should be watchful of your pairings and overall configuration of tips, cable, and source since it will change the sound quite significantly. Depending on that, the Omnium may sound good, or it may sound absolutely incredible. When testing for yourself, I recommend you do so with as many devices as you have on hand. Apart from the included stuff, my friend Marcin has also gifted me a few pairs of INAIRS foam tips, which I’ve also done testing with – huge thanks to Marcin right there, not only for the tips but for the insight as well. I’m gonna spoil things a little here and reveal my system of choice, which was the HiBy R6 Pro II, the Audeos cable, and M-sized bi-flange ear tips.
Overall, however, the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium is a very, very impressive IEM. I have heard multiple voices saying it’s like a combination of the best aspects of both the Aurum and The One, making it the ultimate flagship when it comes to the rest of the Craft Ears’ catalog. To a certain degree, I have to agree. It performs very impressively regardless of the sound aspect, with some being more impressive than others, with the whole IEM sounding like one huge magic trick being performed in front of your ears. It combines The One’s refined technical abilities with a more mellow and smooth sound signature of the Aurum, albeit less warm in my experience. Let’s take a further look!
The bass is the most impressive and the most jarring aspect of the whole sonic performance in my opinion, as it is also the greatest show of the Craft Ears Omnium’s technical abilities. Have you ever heard “Bass Rattle Stars Out The Sky” by Death Grips? It’s almost as if they were describing the Omnium’s performance in the title of the song. The bass is giant, with an immense punch, and an even more terrific rumble.
Recently I felt like revisiting hip-hop’s modern classics, so I’ve chosen “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” by Drake as one of the pieces to jog my memory. In some of the tracks, like “10 Bands”, “No Tellin’”, or “Madonna”, the 808s’ rumble was so intense, that I thought there was a small earthquake happening. Thankfully, as the nearest tectonic plate boundary is quite far away, I quickly realized that Omnium is capable of producing one of the strongest and most pronounced sub-bass rumbles that I’ve come to experience in my years as an audiophile.
None of it was brutal or untamed – everything had a nice high-resolution texture in the lows, and despite their great scale, there was still plenty of space for vocals and instruments to shine on an airy stage. It’s an awesome spectacle to witness, yet it does not fail to give space to other aspects of the sound either. Impressive is the word of the day.
What about the punch? Further down my Drake session, I’ve come up with a good comparison – the Floyd Mayweather jab. It’s incredibly fast, very tactile, and physical, but the dynamics of the sound allow it to decay just as fast as it attacked – which is incredibly fast. Thanks to that, some tracks gain a newfound feeling of engagement too – listening to some older hip-hop classics like A Tribe Called Quest and Mos Def on the Craft Ears Omnium makes them seem like they have been given another remaster just yesterday.
Let’s not forget about another noteworthy aspect of the bass – its versatility. With many IEMs capable of very strong bass, the problem for me was that they did it absolutely all the time, no matter the music. Tracks like Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without A Face” surely don’t need thundering punches and foundation-shaking rumbles, right? That’s true, and even then the Omnium does not fail. If the arrangement calls for a more laid-back reproduction of bass, like in the later Leonard Cohen releases with his low, rumbly voice, it still reproduces it faithfully and on a great technical level, with plenty of engagement and reserved, yet still present tactility to boot. That’s another reason why I consider those to be so impressive – it feels like they can reach both extremes of strength effortlessly, performing adequately to the piece of music at hand.
In the Craft Ears Omnium, I feel like the midrange draws more DNA from The One than it does from the Aurum. The technical performance here is, once again, formidable, but the entire sound signature is less focused on it than it is in the case of the Aurum, as enjoyable as the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium’s mids are. They juxtapose the analytical nature provided by the immense level of technical performance, with overall smoothness, mellowness, and natural sound that so many recordings can benefit from. The midrange does have less warmth than it does in the Aurum, as I’ve mentioned before, but it is still very present, with plenty of things to praise there. I wish it was this tiny bit warmer though.
I love the precision in the texture of the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium’s midrange. I have not heard a single track where it would get out of hand, or not extract 100 percent of the details there are. A good piece of music to experience that is “74’-75’” by The Connells. The opening notes of the acoustic guitar sound so natural and realistic, that combined with the immense detail it seems like the guitar is playing right before you. The Connells’ perhaps most widely recognizable track also does a great job when highlighting Doug MacMillan’s a little higher-pitched vocals. It feels like every detail possible is handed to you on a silver platter, but the magic is still there, and Doug’s performance is as moving as I’ve remembered it to be – I am glad that it has not been lost.
A track that stood out to me when testing the Craft Ears Omnium has also been “Radio Ladio” by Metronomy. It’s a pretty difficult track to reproduce in a tidy way because in its second part, the number of instruments all playing on their own, combined with the vocals, make for a pretty jumbled, even quite messy performance. That was a test that the Omnium passed with flying colors – there were more instruments in there than I’m able to name, but each of them was layered perfectly and reproduced faithfully, keeping everything organic, engaging, and fun. You can focus on each instrument on its own, and each will have its own texture, details, and magic. Not to mention the consistent smoothness of each.
Performances where vocals are clearly the most notable aspect also do quite well when served by the Omnium. Luciano Pavarotti’s classic performance of “Nessun Dorma” was especially enchanting. Watch out – if you pair the Omnium with a warmer source, you may end up moved to tears. Someone commented that Pavarotti saw God when performing it, and Omnium is almost detailed enough to show you exactly what he saw. Jokes aside, this highlights how, despite being a bit less warm than Aurum, it still manages to enchant the listener and capture the most moving aspects of the sound, whether it’s a studio-recorded performance or played live.
The highs here are plentiful and rich, and when paired with the more extremely analytical and cold-sounding sources, it may get a bit treble-some. Hehe. In fairness, it is the reason why I chose the source I did, and I think I’ve made the right choice. However, don’t let these words make you think any less of the treble, but be prepared for it to remain quite prominent depending on what you’re listening to. Despite that, I have yet to encounter any unpleasantness or sibilance during my listening sessions with the Omnium.
The higher registries are the perfect example of clarity that the reviewed Craft Ears Omnium is capable of. If you like music where percussion or hi-hats are prominent, you will quickly appreciate that aspect. The treble is decisive and pronounced, with the dynamics of the sound being on full display. Astrud Gilberto’s performance of “(Take Me To) Aruanda” is a great example of how the dynamics of the treble enhance the overall adaptation. Throughout the whole track, but especially in the beginning, the cymbals play quite fast tones, with many hits happening in short amounts of time. Reviewed Craft Ears Omnium is able to reproduce all of it faithfully, with each hit getting its own stage, its own distinction. That’s a testament to great detail reproduction in tandem with equally great dynamics, love it.
“You’re So Cool” by New Zealand’s own Jonathan Bree enchants the listener with violin-like sequences throughout the track, especially nearing the end. Similar to the way “I Love You” by Woodkid does – it holds great emotional power, and the treble’s prominence is a perfect way to use it to its full potential. Despite the overwhelming (in a good way) presence of the bass in both tracks, the treble remains seemingly unfazed, masterfully painting an engaging and brilliant picture. Another piece of music that comes to mind when thinking of the higher registries of the Omnium, is “Gdybym” by the Polish band Voo Voo. The second part is dedicated to astoundingly great vocal performances of Alim Qasimov and his daughter, Fargana. Their vocals get pretty high-pitched quite often, and each and every time they sound moving. Get something to wipe your tears if you plan on taking a listen.
Overall the treble is no less impressive than other aspects of the sound, capturing the emotion and magic of certain tracks effortlessly and without fault, no matter the genre. However, it is quite plentiful, and that’s something you should take note of. If you prefer less treble, just pair those with a warmer, darker source. The magic will still be there because it’s not going anywhere at all – it’s in the Omnium’s DNA to remain that impressive.
I think by now it’s quite apparent that the staging ability of the tested Craft Ears Omnium is a thing to behold. Concert-hall-like performance is no struggle compared to its abilities, reminding me of The One in that regard. Pair it with the air qualities, clarity, and precise imaging, and there you have it – a performance that DankPods may dub as “VR, but for your ears!”. Listening to live-performed classics by the likes of Eric Clapton, Prince or Phil Collins is a joy, with the Omnium allowing you to save quite a few bucks on going to their concerts. It’s huge yet natural, detailed, yet realistic. In terms of sheer size, three-dimensionality, and width, Omnium has to be up there with some of the largest-sounding IEMs I’ve experienced.
However, the gargantuan scale of the stage is not the only strong suit of Omnium’s soundstage. Many IEMs have trouble bridging the gap between intimate and claustrophobic in certain performances, yet the Omnium has no such issues. The previously mentioned masterpiece by The Connells is a great testament to that – more intimately reproduced voices and instruments get their own 5 minutes, while still keeping the rest of the arrangement at bay. That allows the listener to appreciate the intimate, yet still take note of more distanced and faraway aspects of the track. One word – masterful.
Comparing the Omnium to the venerable Aurum was quite the joy – both have their strong suits, but at the same time, it’s also clear that the Omnium is a step up from Craft Ears’ previous flagship offering.
The bass on the Omnium is more pronounced, snappy, and tactile than it is on the more laid-back Aurum, with both pushing great amounts of detail, the Omnium edging the Aurum out quite a bit. The difference here is quite apparent, especially given how strong the Omnium can get in certain tracks. Don’t get me wrong, the Aurum can still engage with its tactility, but in this regard, the Omnium is a clear winner in my book.
The mids of the former are warmer, with more lushness and forwardness in comparison to the Omnium, in which the mids can still play a central role, yet now they have to respect the bass and treble’s power more than in the case of the Aurum. Some listeners might appreciate the Aurum’s beautiful mid-focused sound signature, while the Omnium is more of a chameleon, juggling between standout facets of the sound in a flawless fashion while being a bit more reserved when it comes to warmth.
The difference between the highs in the case of those two is night and day. The Omnium is much more forward, with plenty of very apparent detail, and in direct comparison between those two, the highs in the Aurum seem more like a compliment to the refined upper mids, than its main focus. Albeit still technically impressive, the Aurum’s highs are less proficient than in the case of Omnium.
The soundstage of the Omnium reminds me more of The One’s great spatial performance than it does with the more intimate, a bit “smaller” sounding Aurum. The difference is especially apparent in stuff like binaural recordings and live performances.
Now, this one gets tricky. I’ve been adamant in the past that the Svanar is my favorite IEM of all time, but its place on the throne has been shaken by the Omnium. Both are quite similar in terms of pricing, so it seems fair to make that comparison.
The bass of the Svanar sounds a tiny bit softer and less tight than it does with the Omnium, though both can impress with their grandiosity, scale, texture, and rumble. However, the Omnium has this X factor to it, that never fails to impress – it’s like a party trick in the best way possible. It’s incredibly impressive and grabs you by the collar, with Svanar seeming more laid-back in comparison, despite both being plentiful. They trade blows in this region, and it’s hard to pick a clear winner. Although one thing is clear – if you want bass to blow your mind and leave you aghast, check out the Omnium.
The mids are where the Svanar is very, very strong, and personally, I love its combination of great technicalities paired with inviting warmth and lushness. It’s closer to the Aurum than it is to the Omnium. Although the Omnium is slightly ahead in the raw detail department, it’s not as warm, and that makes it hard to draw a conclusion on the clear winner here, at the end of the day, it will mostly depend on your preference if you ask yourself which one you should choose.
The highs on those are quite different. Both do it in a plentiful manner, however, the Omnium brings the whole department closer and makes it more apparent. Being comparable in the technical department, the Omnium gives treble more space to shine. Your preference might depend on how much treble you want with your coffee. If you’re into a more reserved yet present treble, check out the Svanar. If you’re into more treble-focused pieces, the Omnium might make your feet move a bit more effortlessly.
When it comes to the soundstage, the Svanar is a monster. Great, sizable width and depth, with amazing three-dimensional imaging, put this one on the podium in terms of realistic reproduction of the sense of space. The Omnium though seems capable of even larger staging, without losing the ability to remain accurate, whether you’re listening to a more intimate track or something recorded at a concert hall. Here, I declare the Omnium the winner.
Overall, it’s hard to pick a clear winner, and to know for sure, you would have to hear for yourself. Only time will tell which one will remain present in my jacket pocket more often when out and about – the technical, flamboyant monster, which is the Omnium, or the more reserved yet equally as deadly Svanar. That being said – both are killers in certain departments and deserve your attention if you’re looking for something at that budget.
HiBy R6 Pro II
This is my pairing of choice. I listened to my music in class A, with some FLAC files on my SD card. If I had something even warmer on hand, I’d pick that – I think some prominent yet clear and technical warmth is something that the Omnium surely appreciates.
Despite being noticeably cheaper than the Omnium, it suits its sound capabilities very well, serving an adequate amount of power to your IEMs. Not hindering the technical performance of the Omnium, it adds a touch of warmth, that makes the Omnium shine, especially when it comes to vocal-focused mids, making them shine a bit more in the presence of menacing bass hits and prominent treble. It’s a great DAP overall, and a pleasure to use – its UI is snappy, the screen is quite beautiful, and I like its design, although it’s more than sizable.
Shanling M6 Ultra
As good as the M6 Ultra is, I think it is better suited for warmer IEMs that need a slight boost in air, clarity, and the quantity of treble. The highs with the Omnium were a bit too prominent for me, and the mids weren’t as pronounced as I would have liked them to be.
However – if you’re into a lot of treble, great technical performance with a more manageable size than the previously mentioned R6, it might suit you just right. The ergonomics of it are pretty great, and I love having a volume dial instead of button volume control, so it’s a pretty amazing device nevertheless. It’s a great example of another device being significantly cheaper than the Omnium, yet measuring up to its abilities very well.
Craft Ears Omnium Review – Summary
Taking the time to listen to the Craft Ears Omnium, and compare and adapt them to my needs has been a great ride. So was writing this review. It’s an amazing piece of kit, showing Craft Ears’ ability to dial things up a notch when it comes to performance and the wow factor, which is off the charts with those. They managed to combine two of my favorite IEMs at their respective price points and merge them into such an impressive piece of gear. The raw technical performance, the soundstage, and the ability to pull you into the music will be very hard to match for other manufacturers, making the Omnium a benchmark at its price point, and even above.
If you find the perfect combination of the source and ear tips and match it with the Omnium, you might as well grab a broom – it might be helpful in picking up your jaw from the floor. The Craft Ears Omnium is a very easy recommendation for me, no matter the music you like to enjoy since they reproduce the sounds effortlessly with flying colors. If I could attach a video to this review, it would be a standing ovation.
Big thanks to Craft Ears for providing the Omnium for this review. I wasn’t paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product, all of the above is just my personal, unbiased opinion.