Dynamic-like power and extension from BA, Excellent detail retrieval, Superbly balanced signature, Pinpoint accurate imaging
Very large uni housings may have comfort issues for some, Forward vocals and thinner note weight may polarise
The Craft Six competes in kilo-buck turf in both tonality and technicality at a substantial discount.
Craft Ears is a newcomer from Poland with big aspirations. The company’s first two models the Craft Two and Four were very well-received by enthusiasts and critics, I took a look at the latter in my review here where I was similarly impressed. Despite this, there was one main aspect that drew me to the company; and that was their transparency about their acoustic designs. The staff are responsive, confident and proficient, happy to lay out all of the science to back their lofty promises. After months of development, their efforts have born fruit in the form of the Craft Six, currently the highest-end model in their line-up featuring 6-BA setup with a 5-way crossover. This earphone also marks a big innovational step forward of the company, implementing multiple proprietary technologies. All of this comes at a highly competitive 745 EUR preorder asking price, and 945 EUR launch price. You can read more about the Craft Six and purchase one for yourself here.
I would like to thank Jed from Craft Ears very much for their utmost patience with me while explaining their design and for providing me with the Craft 6 for the purpose of this review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. This quick-review will be covering a demo universal unit that is to be sent to the next reviewer after my evaluation. I will attempt to be as objective as possible.
Frequency Response: 2Hz – 23KHz
Driver setup: 2x Sub, 1x low-mid, 1x mid-high, 1x tweeter, 1x super-tweeter
Crossover: 5-way electrical
The Pitch –
The Craft 6 implements “Reference Acoustic Spiral Enhanced Bass”. This is a patent-pending 3D printed low-pass filter that promises true subwoofer extension from current BA drivers. I’ve been told this operates similarly to that implemented on the legendary Shure SE846 but with modern innovations that increase efficiency.
The staff behind Craft Ears were proud to tout the extremely flat impedance and phase offered by their latest earphone. This functions similarly to the FIBAE technology pioneered by Piotr at Custom Art, whereby the earphone’s signature does not vary with output impedance, at least, to a much smaller degree than most. Meanwhile, phase-coherence brings benefits to imaging and detail retrieval by minimising destructive interference between the drivers. This successfully circumvents two of the most polarising aspects of multi-driver design.
“Space expansion system” is a field-specific 3D printed horn-loaded tweeter tuned to a particular bandwidth. We’ve seen this implemented on some other high-end IEMs that have been very well-received. I’ll leave it to the professionals to offer in-depth clarification.
My demo unit arrived in the form of Craft Ears’ new universal housing. Much like their customs, the universal housings are 3D printed and immaculately finished. They assume a deep piano black design set to stunning red-stained wood faceplates inscribed with the model number. A thick clear coat provides additional depth and intrigue and the total lack of seams, orange peel or other imperfections results in a high-class aesthetic. The housings themselves don’t follow any traditional design, being of the faux-custom variety. The Craft Six utilises a 0.78mm removable cable, the OCC MK2 from Rhapsiodio.
It’s a beefy 4-wire unit with copper conductors and carries all of the flare you’d expect from a high-quality custom-cable with chrome/carbon-fibre connectors and pleasing strain relief. The pre-moulded earguides showcase great attention to detail, curving both backward and inwards to offer an especially secure fit without pressure point formation. I also love the matte jacket which routes cleanly through clothing if offering a bit less visual intrigue than clear units. The cable itself is very high-quality, a bit springy but highly tangle-resistant. It represents a great complement to the Craft 6 for a premium overall package.
Fit & Isolation –
They’re very well sculpted earphone, with long, tapered nozzles providing a deep fit and an anti-helix fin providing an exceptionally locked-in sensation. Fit stability is excellent as is isolation, being fully-sealed, easily sufficient for travel and loud environments. That said, the housings are very large, and protrude noticeably from the ear. They also contact a lot of my outer ear and may cause discomfort on those with smaller ears. I personally found them to offer good levels of comfort during long listening sessions, albeit, they never quite disappeared as some IEMs tend to.
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