Wear Style: Straight down or 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