DISCLAIMER: Custom Art provided me with the Go One in return for my honest opinion. I am not personally affiliated with the company in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. I’d like to thank Custom Art for their kindness and support. The review is as follows.
Piotr Granicki’s Custom Art is what many could call a comfort brand. They aren’t recognized for flamboyant, over-the-top driver configs, nor do they charge eye-watering MSRPs. The Polish in-ear makers are specialists in lovable, reliable IEMs, brought to life through clever tuning, vibrant designs and expert craftsmanship. Today, we’re looking at one such monitor. The Custom Art Go One is the brand’s first foray into dynamic drivers, topped off with the acclaimed Pressure-Optimizing Design. Throw Bluetooth, a €450 MSRP and a warm, smooth-sailing sound into the mix, and you have one heck of an EDC.
Custom Art Go One
- Driver count: One dynamic driver
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB @1kHz @0.1V
- Key feature(s) (if any): Pressure Optimizing Design, included Bluetooth cable
- Available form factor(s): Custom and universal acrylic in-ear monitors
- Price: €350 (UIEM), €450 (CIEM)
- Website: www.thecustomart.com
Packaging and Accessories
After years of loud, incessant nagging (mostly from me), Custom Art have finally thrown out their cardboard, shoebox-like packaging, and delivered something that holds up to what their competitors have to offer. The Go One arrives in a custom EVA case with Custom Art branding (finally) at the top. It’s a molded case that’s on the larger side for those who’re used to packing light. But, it’s very well-crafted, it’s got an easy zipper system, and it’ll easily go in any backpack or tour bag with zero hassle. Zipping the case open, you’ll find the IEMS laid out in foam, now with individual pockets for each earpiece for optimal protection. And, here’s where you’ll also find your desiccant, cleaning tool and Custom Art’s signature Hi brochure, which lists the date-of-manufacture (hand-signed by CA’s staff), warranty and general information. As usual, I’m missing a cable tie and a microfibre cloth. But, I can still very much appreciate the steps forward Piotr and co. have taken thus far.
Aesthetics, Build and Fit
The design for my Go One unit was spearheaded by Piotr and his new carbon-fiber faceplates. This one had hints of blue running throughout, which provide a striking, shimmery contrast. Then, engraved on top are Go One logos that I quickly whipped up in Photoshop, and below are clear shells that show off the IEM’s internals. As per usual with Custom Art, each step of the design was executed flawlessly. Each seam is closed cleanly, both earpieces are coated evenly in lacquer, and the art engraved on top is as crisp as ever. I’m most-of-all impressed by the 3D-printed shells and how crystal-clear they are. I’m no stranger to 3D-printed shells with bumps, bubbles and bruises all over, so to see one as clean as (or ever cleaner than) even the finest hand-poured ones was astounding. Again, as usual, Piotr and co. have knocked these out of the park.
Fit-wise, the Go One feels the exact same as the most recent CA CIEMs I’ve received, and that’s down to their 3D process. Piotr and his team have been digitizing every set of impressions they’ve received these past few years; turning them to 3D scans. So, instead of relying on silicone molds that shrink and/or deteriorate over time, these scans allow them to produce completely repeatable shells that are guaranteed to fit the same every time. Just like my FIBAE 7, the Go One has a slightly longer canal, so they’ll dig and seal a bit deeper than, say, a JH or a 64 Audio custom. It also means there isn’t as much pressure on the outside of the ear, where CIEMs from those aforementioned brands tend to lock onto. So, keep it in mind if this is (or isn’t) the fit you prefer. Either way, with Piotr and team’s expertise, I’m sure you’ll get a comfy fit like I have here.
The Go One comes packaged with a Bluetooth 5.1 adapter, which turns the monitor into a custom-fit wireless set-up. The adapter is comprised of a twisted, single-core, SPC cable connecting the Go One to its Bluetooth pod, finished nicely in a smooth matte-black. It comes with a matching, matte-black chin slider for heavier on-the-go use too. The only bit I’m not a fan of is the glossy finish on the buttons. It feels very plasticky, and it picks up scratches quite easily. But, otherwise, it’s about as well-built as you’d expect from a BT module. Lastly, there’s a USB-C charging port hidden by a rubber flap. I got a full charge in 1.5 hours, and the battery’s rated to last 15-20, depending on listening volume, the audio codecs used, etc.
The main pod’s got three buttons: +, – and what I’ll dub the middle click, which also functions as the module’s On and Off switch. Pressed once, + increases volume, – lowers it and the middle click plays or pauses. And, If double-clicked, + skips to the next track, – returns to the previous one and, on an Apple device, double-clicking the middle button summons Siri.
Connecting to the adapter is a breeze. First, turn on the module by holding the middle button, then continue holding it to enter Pairing mode. The adapter is then discoverable as Custom Art BT5, and, once the connection is successful, you’re good to go. While this means you’ll have to power down the adapter every time you wanna pair a new device, it is still as easy as it gets. Also, keep in mind not to connect to the device labeled LE-Custom Art BT5, as it’s for debugging use only. As far as range, I was able to travel about 10-15 meters with a wall or two in-between before the audio began to drop out. But, if the device is in the same room or you’re carrying it around in your pocket, then range should not be an issue at all.
Pressure Optimizing Design
The Pressure Optimizing Design is technology Piotr developed for his single-BA FIBAE Black in 2018. The design is a spin off of the Helmholtz resonator, which is an acoustic method of controlling noise at specific frequencies. On this occasion, the resonator sits parallel to the spout of the driver, and, when combined with acoustic damping, has given Piotr free rein over the in-ear’s frequency response. Additionally, the pressure optimization the resonator does in front of the driver has lended it stronger high-frequency output and headroom, as well as notable drops in THD. The iteration in the FIBAE Black was fine-tuned by adjusting the lengths and diameters of the sound tube where the resonator sat, and I’m sure Piotr has done the same for the Go One. And, in that vein, like the FIBAE Black was able to fool several veteran listeners that it was a multi-driver design, as you’ll find in the next page, the POD found in the Go One is sure to elevate it beyond its price tier.