Little Dot, a chi-fi brand which is mostly associated with desktop DAC/Amps has come up with a whole line-up of earphones ranging from $88 to $720 named after Runic alphabets. The entry level, straight barrel, CU-Rad ships with a single dynamic driver and non-detachable cable is sensibly priced at $85. The CU-Wyn has a single BA paired with a dynamic driver is priced at $120. The 2nd in command CU-Cen houses a similar setup as the Wyn but has has a customized BA driver paired with a 8mm coaxial dynamic driver and comes which terminates with balanced 3.5mm socket and all the popular portable adapters. Cen is priced at $530. The most expensive CU-Kis houses two 10mm dynamic driver which are accompanied by two BA drivers, surprisingly the Kis has a smaller shell than the Rad. Kis is the most expensive IEM from Little Dot and is priced at $720.
The CU-Cen faces a lot of competition in its price range. There are a lot of IEMs in the $400-600 region fighting for supremacy. I will compare the Cen with the Jomo Pantheon P3, Fibae 3 and the DK-2001.
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WHAT’S IN THE BOX:-
This is one discipline where the Cen is 2nd to none. It comes with lots and lots of accessories. First thing that catches our attention are the set of carry cases. Cen ships with a round shaped metal case and a more spacious rectangular plastic carry case. Both are capable of handling plenty of abuse without giving in.
I am not sure how they are packed officially but I assume the IEM along with the cable are placed inside the metal carry case and the plastic case houses a lot of tips, 3 pair of foam tips, 3 pair of Sony type tips and 4 pair of narrow bore tips along with the additional 4.4mm, 2.5mm, 3.5mm single ended adapters and a cable clip.
BUILD AND COMFORT:-
The whole Little Dot IEM lineup except the Wyn has metal housings. The CU-Cen has aviation grade aluminum body which gives it a bit of heft and feels a lot sturdier than acrylic shell IEMs. Just like most of the metal shell IEMs the Cen too doesn’t have a semi custom type body as it adopts a contoured but still a dome type over the ear design. It feels a bit less stable inside the ear than the more ergonomically designed CU-Kis as the slightly shallower nozzle is restrained by the sudden rise in circumference of the shell. The angled nozzle makes the Cen gain a bit more traction inside the ear. Cen has 3 vents, I don’t know why. It has only two drivers inside..
The raised 2pin socket looks a bit quirky but is compatible with KZ and TRN cable without any problem. With these limitations, is the Cen one of the most comfortable IEM inside the ear? NO, but it is fairly comfortable for few hours.
HOW IS THE CABLE:-
CU-Cen ships with a decent looking silver plated 6N OCC copper cable. Unlike some European brands this stock cable compliments the IEM both sonically and aesthetically. The cable has a bit of memory problem, it does hold shape a bit but is neither bouncy nor microphonic. Another feature of the cable is the lack of cable guides, for a change there is nothing to press on the ear. The 3.5mm jack, 2pin jacks and cable splitter barely have any stress reliever.
The most remarkable feature of the package are the extra 4.4mm, 2.5mm and 3.5mm single ended adapters giving the Cen the freedom of compatibility with most of the popular portable sockets.