Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red Review

Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red review featured

In today’s article, I’m reviewing the Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs. The Zero Red features dual dynamic drivers. The price is $55.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Shenzhen Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.

Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red Review
Verdict
The Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red isn't a game-changer but it's a viable option in the budget IEM space.
Add your rating here!5 Votes
Pros
Inoffensive treble tuning
Good vocals timbre and tone
Impedance adapter included
Cons
The persistent sub-bass undertones can be tiring
Detail retrieval is average
Extra-wide nozzles can cause discomfort
Stock cable could be better
3.5
Our Score

Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red

Specifications

Driver: 10mm+7.8mm Dynamic Driver
Diaphragm: Polyurethane Suspension LCP Liquid Crystal Composite Diaphragm
Impedance: 17.5Ω±15% @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 117.5dB/Vrms @ 1kHz
THD: < 1% @ 1kHz
Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-40.5kHz
Effective Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20kHz

What’s in the Box
  • Zero Red IEMs
  • Detachable 2-pin cable
  • 6x pairs of silicone eartips
  • 1x pair of foam eartips
  • Impedance adapter
  • Carrying pouch
  • 4x replacement nozzle mesh
  • User manual/warranty

Design

The Zero Red earphones feature glossy dark translucent shells with a distinct red woven pattern on the faceplates. Located just in front of the 0.78mm 2-pin connectors, there is a single vent.

One notable characteristic of the Zero Red earphones is their wider-than-average nozzle diameter. This may require some extra effort to attach or remove eartips and potentially cause discomfort for individuals with smaller ears.

In terms of comfort, I find the Zero Red earphones to be well-suited for longer listening sessions. Additionally, they offer slightly above-average passive noise isolation, making them a practical choice for commuters or those in noisy environments.

Included with the earphones is a 0.78mm 2-pin silver-plated cable in a generic black design. This cable is easy to handle and has minimal microphonics. It comes equipped with an aluminium Y-splitter and a matching chin slider.

Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red inner shells and cable

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the iFi Audio UNO, Shanling UA5 and Topping E70/L70 stack.

The Truthear Zero Red is reasonably efficient so it doesn’t require additional amplification but I did find myself nudging the volume up a bit higher than usual. This is especially true when using the included impedance adapter.

Tuning-wise, Zero Red is fairly neutral with a sub-bass boost. It’s got clear mids and an inoffensive treble tuning. To put it succinctly, Zero Red is focused on clarity and vocal presence and, of course, the sub-bass.

Truthear Zero Red frequency response
Bass

Zero Red’s bass presents a mixed experience for me. On one hand, it offers a satisfying rumble and thump, but on the other hand, it possesses a persistent thickness that’s difficult to articulate. It’s as if the upper bass lacks some definition as if a portion of its impact is missing. For instance, when listening to kick drums, you encounter a brief, light slam followed by a prolonged decay that feels weightier than the initial impact. Here, by decay, I don’t refer to the speed of the bass, but rather the tonal balance between the sub and mid-bass.

Despite this aspect, the bass quality itself is commendable. It maintains speed and remains free from distortion. There isn’t any noticeable bleeding into the mids, although the upper bass occasionally gets overshadowed by the dominant undertones. Nevertheless, considering the price range of these IEMs, the bass is generally of high quality.

Midrange

The Zero Red excels in the midrange, delivering clear and vibrant tones. Vocals, in particular, receive special attention, exhibiting vividness and naturalness. The spacing and tone are well-executed, resulting in a smooth yet articulate sound.

The midrange notes have a neutral body size, offering good definition and crisp transients. However, some individuals might desire a touch more bite on vocals and electric guitars. Fortunately, there is no shoutiness or uncomfortable resonance in the upper mids. Female vocals are accentuated vividly, while male vocals possess a less chesty quality.

Zero Red faceplates and nozzles
Treble

Moving to the treble, it boasts a safe tuning that should not trouble even those sensitive to high frequencies. There is a slight lift at 8kHz, enhancing clarity in the mids and adding snap to snare attacks. However, the treble significantly rolls off beyond that point.

While it maintains a fairly natural timbre, it lacks the airiness and sparkle that would earn it accolades. Nevertheless, the treble provides a respectable level of detail retrieval and a reasonably pleasing tone.

Soundstage and Technical Performance

The soundstage is reasonably wide but has limited depth. The instrument separation and overall resolution are quite good but imaging is somewhat indistinct. Detail retrieval is also pretty solid despite the laid-back treble.

A Word on the Impedance Adapter

While the inclusion of the adapter is appreciated, it’s rather clunky, especially when you’re on the move. While it does indeed increase the bass, it exaggerates the already heavy sub-bass which I find overwhelming. In addition, when using the adapter the mids lose their forwardness and some clarity and the already subdued treble falls further to the back of the mix.

Comparisons

Tin Hifi T3 Plus design
Tin Hifi T3 Plus ($79)
Zero Red vs T3 Plus
Zero Red (red) vs Tin Hifi T3 Plus (black).

The Tin Hifi T3 Plus (review here) features a single dynamic driver, and while it may resemble the Zero Red in terms of bass, its sound is quite distinct. Unlike the lingering and shadowy bass of the Zero Red, the T3 Plus offers a more natural balance with the lower mids.

The midrange of the T3 Plus exhibits a greater sense of spaciousness, although it may not be as forward as the Zero Red. This enhanced separation between the bass and lower midrange contributes to a more dynamic presentation. The mids have a slightly brighter tone, which can be attributed to the T3 Plus’ less forward midrange and increased upper treble. This brightness lends the Tin Hifi an added level of clarity and detail.

In terms of treble, the T3 Plus delivers a more energetic performance, accompanied by an overall brighter tonality. Its soundstage is wider and deeper, allowing for more precise imaging. On the other hand, the Zero Red exudes a calmer demeanour and boasts comparable resolution to the T3 Plus. Individuals who are particularly sensitive to treble may prefer the Truthear in this instance.

When considering non-sound related aspects, the T3 Plus requires less driving power than Zero Red, even without the impedance adapter. Additionally, the shells of the T3 Plus offer improved comfort, and its cable is less prone to tangling.

Truthear HEXA review featured
Truthear HEXA ($79)
Zero Red vs HEXA
Zero Red (red) vs Truthear HEXA (black).

The Truthear HEXA (review here) has a 1DD+3BA driver configuration. Compared to Red Zero, HEXA has a more lively and dynamic sound. This is due largely to its upper treble presence which adds more air and spice to the presentation.

In addition, HEXA’s bass has comparable extension but doesn’t overshadow everything like Zero Red’s heavy-handed sub-bass. It (HEXA) has a more natural balance between the sub and upper-bass, contrary to what the graph would suggest.

HEXA’s midrange is lighter and more spacious – not necessarily more resolving, but transient attacks are sharper and more defined. In the treble, HEXA sounds somewhat bright compared to Zero Red’s subdued and laid-back treble notes.

Despite HEXA’s narrow soundstage, I find it has more precise imaging, in addition to slightly better detail retrieval.

Lastly, in terms of the physical build, the HEXA has narrower, more comfortable nozzles and the shells in general provide a superior level of comfort. I would recommend spending a bit extra for the HEXA, unless you’re especially treble-sensitive.

Zero Red faceplates

Verdict

In conclusion, the Truthear x Crinacle Zero Red offers a mid-centric sound signature with a sub-bass boost. It has good mids and its vocals are especially convincing. However, the muted upper bass and laid-back treble create a less dynamic and engaging presentation. Furthermore, there are some comfort issues and the stock cable can sometimes be frustrating.

At the end of the day, Zero Red offers above-average performance within its price range, but it doesn’t stand out as a definitive leader. Instead, it presents itself as another viable option among the numerous choices available in the competitive budget IEM market.


Stay in the Loop with the Latest News and Updates!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Founder of Prime Audio
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rodrigo Bernardo
Rodrigo Bernardo
9 months ago

Tin c3, Zero Red or zs10 pro x?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in the Loop with the Latest News and Updates!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.