Craft Ears is a polish company that makes CIEMs and UIEMs for people all around the globe. Some time ago, we reviewed their CE4 in both custom and universal options, which also achieved our award for the CIEM with the best value. The model reviewed this time is their ex-flagship, because some time ago Craft Ears showed the newer series, called Genesis, which includes models Cuprum, Aurum, and Argentum. I haven’t had a chance to test them yet, but as I know, the highest model, the Argentum gets really good opinions on different forums.
Well, for sure, the whole team is doing a magnificent job with the earphones, so that doesn’t surprise me at all.
They’re 3D printing the shell, with a handmade faceplate, so you can choose any design you want. CE6 has a wood on that, which maybe doesn’t get me so excited (I prefer my CE4), but our other author, Kamil, bought CE4 with a very similar design to the reviewed CE6.
Packaging & Build Quality
New box! As the CEO of CE said, I was the first one that got the new box, and it looks very gentle and elegant. It’s done in a minimalistic style, without much info on the outside.
Inside the box, there’s an aluminum case with Craft’s logo on the top. It’s very solid, but I suggest keeping IEMs inside in some soft pouch.
In the case, you’ll find the cable, earphones, and eartips. I’ll stop at the moment here because that’s not the same wire we used to see as a stock one with CE4. There’s Rhapsodio OCC Mk2, which is a significant upgrade compared to the cheaper one, especially as the CE6 reacts significantly for any better cables, like Erua Audio Miro. The tips are also fancy ones because they’re made by a Korean company, Azla. They make the CE6 sound the best, but I’ll also get back to that part a little later.
Build quality is as always with Craft Ears, top-notch. 2pin connectors are really tight, so sometimes the “quick” cable change isn’t really that fast, but thanks to that the IEMs are secure for the whole time. As I mentioned before, they’re 3D printed, so there’s nothing to worry about. The whole construction is solid, and I’m not afraid that I’ll damage something by the accident.
Comfort & Isolation
In terms of comfort, the experience is quite worse for me, because the cable doesn’t want to work with me at all. When I’m walking, the earphone is slowly slipping out of my ear, but as always – that’s a personal thing, and if you got any other cable, that shouldn’t be problematic. Especially, if you’re going for the custom version. Besides that, the Rhapsodio cable is a very comfy one, it’s not the smoothest one in touch, it feels like it was subjected to sandblasting. In my opinion, that might be a better option for longer periods of time, because it shouldn’t get hard as some cables do after a year or so.
Isolation is very good, as it’s a completely closed structure. It beats easily models with DD that got the vent hole, or semi-open IEMs like FiiO FD5 or FH5s. In the custom version, Craft Ears claims that it provides about -26dB of passive noise canceling. And even if I can’t measure that (ugh, graphs), I believe them. My CE4 in custom version cuts of almost everything, especially when there’s music playing. Thanks to that, I started to listen to music much quieter, so that’s even good for my health.
As model Four shows fantastic value, the same does CE6. They’re playing absolutely differently, but I love them both. In a few words, the CE4 is more about pleasure and saturation, when the CE6 aims for the truth, speed (if CE4 would be sloppy, lmao), and a clean presentation.
My friend, who’s a big fan of Campfire Audio Andromeda, told me he might choose the CE6 as his next IEM. I think those are big words for many audiophiles, as Andromeda has a really big fanbase.
Beginning with the bass, its target is speed and clearness. It’s really well-textured and precise. In “Getting Older” by Billie Eilish, there’s midbass in the first half of the song, which is playing in the background in a really gentle way. On some headphones with boosted midbass and kickbass, that part of the song tries to get onto the front, which isn’t for everyone.
For some, that bass might be too thin. I get that feeling sometimes with songs that got some powerful subbass, but lately, I prefer that part a little boosted, so that’s just my nitpicking. I love the kickbass with electronic music, where speed is really important – it hits and disappears, just as it should be.
The whole bass section works perfectly in jazz music, which a little shocked me, as I prefer that part a little warmed when Ray Charles is singing. “Hit the Road Jack” makes me sing almost always, this time I started dancing as if I would be back in the ’60s in a jazz club. After listening to him on CE6, I instantly checked when there will be some jazz concert in a club in this style.
The midrange is similar to the bass, but it’s for sure not for everyone.
As the first thing, it’s deadly precise. The amount of the details is incredible, as well as the texture. Sometimes it feels like sandpaper, especially on more technical sound sources, as Earmen Eagle. It matches my taste perfectly on the sweeter sound source, with bold voices, like Michael Kiwanuka’s. Overall, the vocals are coldened. They’re not sharing the emotions like in CE4, Dunu EST112, or Campfire Audio Solaris 2020. Six’s are presenting them in a clinical style, where every mistake is punished. The voice of Orla Gartland in “More Like you” made me get a chill up my spine. She got a sweet vocal, so that’s why it sounds the best on Six.
The same thing applies to the guitars, CE6 doesn’t make everyone the best guitarist in the world, it appreciates ones that really can play. That’s why I’m listening to “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd, and to the whole discography of Jimi Hendrix. Even if I’m not a fan of that music, Crafts are showing their best in here.
The easiest way to sweet the vocals, is the tips change. With Ikko foam tips, everything changed and became much sweeter, more delicate. SpinFits made the midrange move backward, but it keeps its style, just delicately further away.
The best option is to change the cable, for anything sweeter. In my case, it was Erua Audio Miro, which made me love the CE6 even more. Another good option is way cheaper Cross Lambda Direction Neo. It also delicately sweetened and smoothed the midrange, without any loss in terms of details.
The treble is specific, just after taking the CE6 of the box, it was a little sharp and unpleasant. After about 30 hours of burning-in, it opened up. It still can be too bright for some, but it fits perfectly into the well-balanced signature of Sixs. It’s, like the midrange, deadly perfect, and as the bass, shows everything straight to the point, without any sloppiness. It’s also very well extended, I’ve got a feeling like it’s can go up, right to the sky, and do it in some distance, to not cut your ears with sibilances, because there aren’t any when they’re getting the proper amount of power, and if the song isn’t destroyed in the creating process.
As almost always, I’m gonna recall the soundtrack from “The Pianist”. It matches perfectly with the sad mood of the movie and feels absolutely perfect for me when it’s raining outside.
Yet again, the tips and the cable are a very good way to match your taste. For me, it was the best with Final Audio Type E tips, as they delicately pushed treble to the shadow, and rounded the sound. Speaking about the cable, both Erua and Cross Lambda made a perfect job. ddHiFi BC120B Sky also does a great job there, but it affects the rest of the sound in a pretty unpleasant way, drying the sound of the emotions.
The soundstage is very different from CE4 which has a round soundstage with fading sound sources. CE6 focuses more on the depth in one dimension when I’m listening to calmer music. It reminds me of Final Audio D8000, so if you like that style – there you go.
Thanks to the unbelievable separation, it becomes way more prominent with bigger squads, so any symphonic music makes me sit with an open mouth, with a simple “wow” painted on my face. I know exactly where someones sitting, on what he’s playing, and if he does a great job.
Well – that’s all about your taste, as the CE6 sounds very good with all sound sources made for IEMs. For my taste, it was the best with Ikko foam tips, Erua Audio Miro, and Cayin N6ii with R01 module. Also, it’s very good with the stock cable, and xDuoo XD-05Plus with bass boost on.
Oh, on all used devices, the low gain was always the best option.
VS Craft Ears Four
They might be brothers, but they don’t have much in common. The only thing that comes to my mind is their value, speed, and ability to show details. Besides that, CE4 has more life in the sound. It’s more vivid IEM, and CE6 is more clinical, more precise. There’s no coloring or drying of the life, but it shows how’s the music for real.
Those two have more in common, that’s for sure. Both are perfect all-rounders, which can be used as daily earphones that we won’t think of for the rest of the day. CE6 is more offensive in the sound, as it is faster, and there’s no decay that can be heard in VxV. The biggest difference is placed at the treble part, where VxV is calm, delicate, not bothering. CE6 has way more to say at that part, as the treble is present all the time. If you’re missing that in your VxV, that might be an option for you.
VS Campfire Audio Holocene
The difference in the price is well heard in the details, speed, and quantity of the sound. Holocene provides more air between the instruments, but they’re focused in groups, when in CE6 all instruments have their own show, on the right place. After a long session with CE6, taking the Holocene feels like everything is a little foggy and distant. That’s, of course, because of the price difference, and my own preferences, but perfectly shows how well-priced the model Six is.
Craft Ears Six is a very genuine priced IEM, which is made to show how the music should sound for real. Its speedy, exact, and clinical sound presentation can be loved, or hated. And if you don’t like that style, you can change that easily with other eartips or cables, so you can make them different in any way you would like.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Campfire Audio Mammoth, Holocene, Vega 2020, Craft Ears Four, Dunu EST112, Final A8000, Fir Audio VxV
- Sources– Cayin N3Pro, Cayin N6ii R01, xDuoo XD-05 Plus, Earmen TR-Amp, Earmen Eagle
- Cables – Cross Lambda Direction Neo, ddHiFi BC120B Sky, Erua Audio Miro, Erua Audio Tawa, Wagnus x Noble Aureole