BUDGET
IN-EAR

CA16

CCA

Rating

Price

7.8

50 €

Review published:

08/2020

Driver

8

per Side

1

Dynamic

7

Balanced

Impedance

24 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

102 dB

7.7

Handling

8

Haptic

B

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

Don't spill it! While we've recently been inundated with budget hybrid models that rely on quantitative driver numbers, such as the TRN VX (7), or CVJ CSN (6), the CA16 even goes one better and starts with 8 drivers (1DD & 7 BA). It is well known that KZ/CCA likes to indicate their driver number without really adding value, but nevertheless one is always a bit curious what the result will be.

It is a bit surreal that these 8 drivers are also available for about 50 €. There are no more drivers for less money so far, but as so often, the number of drivers is rarely a decisive criterion and also with the CA16 I sometimes wonder where the hell is the sonic advantage compared to the other IEMs of the company that are already offering a lot of drivers, like the C10 or C12.
Nevertheless, the CA16 surprises with an unexcited and quite balanced sound, but my enthusiasm is a bit limited and for my taste the CA16 doesn't get beyond a "good", which is not a bad thing at all and one should leave the church a bit in the village, also with regard to the price.

Handling

Minimalist, as always.
The typical KZ/CCA cable, which is usable, but surely won't win a prize in the category haptics and value, 3 sizes of silicone tips and the IEMs made of plastic.
These are based on a custom design, are comfortable to wear and make a rather robust impression, but the CA16 certainly doesn't set standards in workmanship and appearance, especially when compared to competitors with the same price tag, such as the TIN HIFI T2 PLUS.

Apart from the very good isolation, there's not much more to say, so let's leave it at that!

Sound

The CCA CA16, is a musical IEM that focuses more on the mid-bass and produces a really clean and dynamic bass for KZ/CCA conditions. Here I see the BA-Bass of the C16 and the DD-Bass of the C10 a bit further ahead, but the CA16 also has a good texture and nice punch. The sub-bass is missing a bit, but it sounds pleasantly natural without being a pain in the ass like many budget V-IEMs do.

Actually I could shorten the review and just write the CA16 sounds good, finished. I don't notice anything particularly outstanding, or special features that I could emphasize in an ornate way. Almost a bit boring. The mids get some warmth from the bass, are slightly reduced and can show their strengths when things get a bit easier. Sometimes they lack assertiveness, which makes them appear a bit thin and powerless. At the same time they can also score with a good resolution and natural timbre. You can't blame them too much, but I'd like them to be a little fuller and crisper. The mids are good, finished!

The highs are relaxed and offer enough information to keep you happy. Good detail reproduction and transparency, but also a bit thin, without too much headroom. They don't get on your nerves and prevent the CA16 from drifting off into the dark, but also don't bring the airiness to make the CA16 particularly open or spatial.
They fit in well with the relaxed signature and contribute their positive part to the good (I repeat) overall sonic presentation.

The stage is quite ordinary and is not really pronounced in any axis. The CA16 is not claustrophobic, but I have rather a subdued feeling and long for more openness and room to breathe when things get more hectic and unsorted. Here I would have expected much more, also in terms of separation, especially with regard to the number of drivers. The somewhat set-back voice positioning certainly plays a role here, especially when it comes to men. For minimalistic recordings/passages with fewer instruments, the CA16 positions itself much better and can convince here.

Outro

I am a fan of the C16 and therefore had quite high expectations of the CA16, as I expected a worthwhile impact from the dynamic driver.
Well, the CA16 loses the audiophile comparison in any case, but can assert itself in the all-round abilities (as long as you are not mainly at home in the rock/metal area) and is certainly the better choice for relaxed and musical listening. The CA16 is a good IEM, but the drivers are a bit wasted, although they are well implemented and the crossover ensures clean transitions. At this price I don't care if one or eight drivers will do the job, you should only adjust your expectations accordingly to avoid disappointment.
Therefore I don't want to make the CA16 worse than it is, because for 50 € you can't really do much wrong with it, even though this market is highly competitive and you'll certainly win with any imaginary IEM card quartet with the number of drivers in the price range. The CA16 has nothing that stands out for me, but it covers all areas well and is one of the most balanced KZ/CCA-IEMs. A solid B.

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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