BUDGET
IN-EAR

C12

CCA

Rating

Price

8

40 €

Review published:

10/2019

Driver

6

per Side

1

Dynamic

5

Balanced

Impedance

24 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7.5

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

112 dB

7.8

Handling

8

Haptic

A

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

7 - 40000 Hz

Intro

When Knowledge Zenith introduces a new model to the market, it can be assumed that CCA will also release an in-ear with the same driver configuration, or vice versa. The same is true for the C12, which has the same driver under the hood as the KZ ZSX. However, this is not the same sound in a different guise, but CCA has tightened the adjusting screws compared to the ZSX, which is especially noticeable in the high frequency range. Nevertheless, they are very similar in sound and both have the signature of the KZ ZS10 Pro as a model.

Handling

Even if the KZ and CCA models are mostly the same in the driver configuration, they usually have an independent design, even if there are clear similarities. The C12 takes the CA4 as its optical model and doesn't look as playful and futuristic as the ZSX, but much more elegant. Nevertheless, you have to admit that the ZSX is more ergonomic and is a bit more comfortable to wear. However, the C12 also has a pleasant fit, but the case looks a bit bulkier.

CCA always restricts itself to the essentials when it comes to packaging and contents. The supplied cable has been in use at KZ and CCA for some time now. Unfortunately, it is just as fiddly as with all other models and tends to knot quickly. In addition there is a set of Startips, as well as a pair of pre-assembled silicone tips, which I personally find even better than the Starline tips from KZ.

With the isolation I see the C12 a little bit in front of the ZSX, because less penetrates to the outside.

Sound

The CCA sounds a bit more mature than the ZSX and more balanced.

The bass is basically the same as the ZSX in terms of depth, punch and pressure, especially in the midrange. Subjectively, however, I would call it more balanced. In general this is the difference to the ZSX. With the ZSX, the V-Signature comes into play a bit more, while the C12 sounds slightly more balanced. As with the ZSX, the bass focuses more on quantity than quality, without disrespectfully suggesting that, because even if the C12 doesn't tickle every last detail out of the bass, it's always clean and uncompromising.

For me, there's no big difference between the ZSX and the mids either. The midranges are taken back, but still know how to counter this with naturalness, warmth, and body in the lower range and with clarity, as well as liveliness in the upper midranges. Voices are a little more in focus. They are also a bit more open and bright compared to the recently reviewed NICEHCK DB3. This doesn't make them as smooth as the DB3, but subjectively they resolve a bit better and sound crisper. The level of detail here is also in a very good range.

I have already praised the ZSX's highs, even if they occasionally go into the hot range, the difference to the C12 is noticeable here. The highs sound more relaxed, but without having to do without the expansion and resolution of the ZSX. They are energetic, but don't envy fatigue or unpleasant peaks. This also makes the C12 easily audible in the long run, although the volume also plays a role here. In general, you shouldn't be too height-sensitive with CCA or KZ In-Ears. Those who like it more relaxed should take a look at the NICEHCK DB3, or TRN V90.

Stage and separation are in a good range like with the ZSX, even if there is room for improvement. Above all, however, the last-mentioned and the 3D location have to be pointed out, which is really well done.

Outro

Also here it can be said: if you own the KZ ZS10 Pro, you don't have to buy the C12 now, because the differences are not earth-shattering. The same applies to the ZSX. But if you own one of these three you can count yourself lucky to have an outstanding all-rounder in your hands, who is fun, but also knows how to serve audiophile demands. If I had to decide between the three models, I would go for the C12.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

C04

C04

C16

C16

C10

C10

CA16

CA16

C10 PRO

C10 PRO

C12

C12

Second Opinion

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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