Signature Acoustics Elements C-12 Review

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Signature Acoustics Elements C-12 400x300
Added Aug 2013
Details: Entry-level earphone from the first Indian IEM manufacturer
MSRP: est. $60 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: est. $50 from ebay.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 102 dB | Freq: 17-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Generic single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), replacement filters, shirt clip, and genuine leather zippered carrying pouch (limited first run also comes with heavy screw-top brass case)
Build Quality (4/5) – The wooden housings of the C-12 are a little plain but well put-together. The earphones feature replaceable filters, which is a rarity these days. The textured cable is nice and sturdy, reminding me of the cords on the Brainwavz M1/M2/M3 earphones. No cable cinch is present
Isolation (3/5) – Shallow fit results in average noise isolation
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Good with cable-down wear; even better when worn over-the-ear

Comfort (4/5) – The wooden housings are very lightweight and not overly large, allowing for a comfortable fit

Sound (7.2/10) – The C-12 is an unabashedly bass-heavy earphone that focuses on presenting listeners with a big and impactful low end. The midbass region is hyped up, resulting in a slightly boomy sound and making the deep bass appear less prominent. Earphones such as the VSonic GR02 Bass Edition and Dunu Trident, which are by no means lacking in bass, both yield to the C-12 in overall impact, offering a more linear response better balanced between midbass and subbass. Suffice it to say that no one will find the bass of the C-12 deficient.

As a result of the bass boost, the mids of the C-12 are mildly veiled but at the same time maintain a warm and rich tone. Note thickness is rather good, though for my tastes the earphones could use more midrange presence and clarity. Clarity and detail levels are about on-par with the Brainwavz M2 and the older bass-heavy Xears models. The top end rolls off gently for a slightly dark overall tone and has a smoother character than, for example, VSonic earphones and the Astrotec AM-800. This makes it less fatiguing and more tolerable at high volumes. At the same time, the C-12 has a bit more sparkle than the aging Brainwavz M1 and M2 models, which is a plus.

The presentation of the C-12 is nice and spacious, making competitors such as the Dunu Trident sound closed-in and congested in comparison. It’s not quite at the level of the pricier Astrotec AM-800 but comes very close, which is all the more impressive considering the more bass-heavy balance and darker tone of the C-12. Combined with the powerful bass, the spacious presentation makes for a very enjoyable listening experience.

Value (7.5/10) – The Signature Acoustics Elements C-12 is a very capable earphone from the first India-based IEM manufacturer. A solid all-rounder with even more solid bass response, the Elements C-12 boasts slightly rolled-off treble and a spacious, reverberant presentation. The wooden housings are lightweight and comfortable in the ear while the twisted cables are strong and non-microphonic, making for convenient listening while out and about. Minor details such as packaging are slightly rough around the edges but one thing is certain: the Elements C-12 doesn’t look – or sound – like a freshman effort.

Pros: Lightweight housings & strong cables; impactful bass; good sense of space
Cons: Somewhat veiled midrange 


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

2 Comments

  1. newbietoaudio on

    this or vsd1s? if this is 7.3/10 then how much is vsd1s / 10
    waiting for your reply 🙂

    • ljokerl on

      If you want accurate sound, the VSD1/S – for me they’re an 8.-something.

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