BUDGET
IN-EAR

C16

CCA

Rating

Price

8.4

75 €

Review published:

02/2019

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Driver

8

per Side

0

Dynamic

8

Balanced

Impedance

27 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

8.5

Mids

8.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

105 dB

8.3

Handling

8.5

Haptic

A

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

CCA, the subsidiary of Knowledge Zenith, conquers the hearts of Chi-Fi fans with waving flags. In the meantime, they have three in-ears on the market, which are significantly below the expected price in relation to what they are offering. The three in-ears serve different needs. The C04 is an IEM for bass lovers, the C10 is the perfect balance between fun and audiophile demands and the C16 now offers everything the picky hi-fi heart desires.
Please dive into a world of fantastic mythical creatures, majestic landscapes, epic battles and their immortal heroes ... or something like that ...

Handling

While the C10 still used the housing form of the KZ ZSN, this time it is the turn of the KZ AS10 or AS06. In comparison, the C16 looks a little more valuable in the workmanship, since metal is used as cover plate, with a corrugation, which reminds of some designs of FIDUE. On the other hand, the C16 is a lot heavier, which doesn't compromise the wearing comfort. As with the KZ AS10, this is extremely comfortable. Since I can call relatively large ears my own, I very rarely have problems with the wearing comfort of in-ears. They have to allow themselves some rough blunders when it comes to design, ergonomics or workmanship.

The C16 comes in a simple package, just like its predecessors. Included are three different sizes of the Star-Tips from KZ, a very good cable with pre-reinforced ear hook, with the help of a heat shrink tube and the CCA C16, embedded in foam.
On the pictures you can see the YINYOO 16 core cable, not the stock cable, which is highly recommended in combination with the C16.

With frequent changes of the tips, the dirt grid says goodbye quickly, as it was already the case with the KZ AS06.
The isolation is extraordinarily good, which of course also depends on the tip selection and the seat. I'm not a big fan of the Starline tips and so I went for my Complys, but also for the Spin-Fit, with which I also achieved a very satisfying result.
If the protective grids have got lost and you can look inside the sound tube, you can see that the shell in which the 8 BA drivers are located is actually equipped with 3 sound openings, one of which was closed with a plug. Of course this doesn't matter as far as sound quality is concerned, as the C16 officially uses only 2 sound paths, but indicates that there might be more CCA models in the future, with more than 8 drivers per side.

Sound

Of the BA drivers of the C10, only the BA 30095 remained and that in double version (4). But if you expect a high-frequency monster now, you've got it wrong, because there's no trace of the expected hardness and unpleasant sharpness, as we sometimes experience with KZ models that use the 30095 as a tweeter.

The highs are comparatively soft, with an extreme extension, crystal clear and airy, without getting tiring, or highlighting the sibilants. In other words, the highs are really an experience in every respect and speak for themselves. With low power output, a slight compression is noticeable with music loaded with information, as is the case with the IKKO OH1, for example. With the ZuperDAC-S on my mobile phone, I didn't have this feeling anymore. The question I have is the number of drivers used. Does this really bring an advantage, or would it have done half as well, to get the same result? But this shouldn't bother any further, because for its price, the C16 has one of the most high-resolution and detailed highs I've been able to hear so far, in connection with the relaxed presentation. Maybe the TENHZ P4 Pro can add a MY here, but that's it.

The mids are quite neutral and naturally tuned, with impressive separation and imaging. I'm always a bit torn here, because the mids are very tidy, linear in frequency response (except for the usual increase in the upper range) and above all the sound is crisp, with a pleasant warmth and playful ease. On the other hand, I sometimes don't feel them as lively and pushing as I prefer. Of course, this is very subjective, because technically it is difficult to blame the midrange of the C16 for anything. The stage is great cinema, in the truest sense of the word. Space feeling, image and transparency are on absolute top level! In addition, there is the excellent resolution, which gives us the smallest details and the natural voice reproduction of women and men.
I find the Kanas Pro's midrange more emotional, but the C16's midrange has a finer blade.

The bass blends in very well with the overall sound, as it is more oriented towards neutrality and no frequency band really comes to the fore with the C16. That means you can't expect the bass of an AS10 or AS06, let alone the bass of a dynamic ZS7 (DD). The bass is fast, as it should be with a BA driver, and also manages to penetrate into the lower ranges. It's neither bloated, nor does it push into the midrange. It is quite linear from high to low bass and textured and tight.
Nevertheless it lacks some pressure and punch. Sure it's there, but too subtle for me. I like it more dynamic and powerful. Nevertheless, the bass is excellent as far as agility and technical implementation in the overall sound are concerned and must therefore not be judged too hard by me. The whole thing goes in the direction of an unmodified Tin Audio T2, with slight advantages in attack and structure for the C16.

The C16 enjoys a bit more power under the butt and so I achieved the best results on the phone with the ZuperDAC-S, which has an ES9018 chip of its own, smoothes the overall sound a bit and slightly emphasizes the bass, in contrast to the SONATA HD, which is also an excellent, small phone DAC, but which prefers the treble a bit more.

Outro

One should not be too much impressed by the indicated price, although also this would be already justified, since the C16 could be bought as good as permanently around 80-90 €.
It's interesting to see how CCA has built up their product line, which I find much more transparent than KZ, because every model has something different to offer. The C16 appeals to audiophile people who are looking for neutrality. The C16 is certainly not a reference in-ear, but its well-balanced nature definitely makes it something special.
Those who prefer powerful, pronounced bass and prefer fun should choose the C04. The C10 is the perfect all-rounder, where fun is not neglected. This can't always be said of the C16, as it has to pay some tribute to genres like rock (my taste). But most of the time it knows how to charm and enchant, where we are again at the intro and the mythical creatures!

YINYOO 16 CORE: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/GCE6Si4
ZuperDAC-S: https://www.zorloo.com/zuperdac-s

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)

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C04

C04

CA16

CA16

C10

C10

C12

C12

C16

C16

Second Opinion

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

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