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CCA CST: avoid the hype...

Hi everyone. The CCA CST has been getting a lot of attention recently up here on the YouTubes. But is this attention worth it? Let’s get InToit!

So, this is a weird build. Its that chunky bullet style IEM, with, what I’m assuming to be, a fake woodgrain and metal shell, KZ Starline Ear Tips, and an attached cable with a mic. You can wear these overhear to control microphonics or straight-down if you wish. The back of the bullet also as a screen- giving the impression that they might be open, even if they don’t sound like it, which we’ll get into. So, in some ways this appears cheap, and in others, it seems worth more than its price. By the way, the price here is pretty cheap at approximately $21 dollars or less.

So, what about the sound, is it even worth the $21 dollars? Honestly, I get why someone might like these, and for the price, they’re not bad, but from a technical standpoint I’m not really impressed. In general, I find these to grainy, harsh, strident at times, and to have too much mid-bass presence and mid-bass bleed. Others have said these aren’t bassy, and I don’t know what they are smoking, because these are most certainly boomy and also pretty wooly to me. The bass always kind of had a cow-hyde tom tone to its presentation, even when it wasn’t the tom being played.

The $16-dollar ZST X in comparison has some mild sibilance, here or there, and is a bit of a trip, but is much clearer than these in almost every fashion, from the lowest portions of the frequency response range to its highest. In character, the CST is dry, only mildly airy, and somewhat thin and hollow sounding as well. It borders on metallic timbre, and is too artificial for me to find it pleasing. For example, symbol strikes and hi hat hits are artificial sounding, and come across as white noise as times.

Separation is also a giant weakness of this set, as sonics often felt cluttered and confusing. The soundstage is also rather small, and most sounds occur from inside and between one’s ears. Depth was decent, but still rather 2D sounding. Even if they appear to open, they surely don’t sound like it. Microdynamics are poor, and macrodynamics are limited, even despites its boomy nature at times. Vocal presentation is alright, but even this wasn’t spared from the grain that is everywhere in this set. Peripheral detailing was also a struggle for this set as it moved across the sound field. Sonics were clearer in the middle and less clear as they moved towards the sides and around to one’s ears. Imaging location and placement was fine; however, even if distinctiveness was an issue.

So, I know I usually give things a fuller review, no matter what, but in this case, I just don’t feel it’s worth it to get into things with these any further. These obviously are pure hype, and they don’t live up to it. These sound like a decent free set to come with a cell phone these days, nothing more. I ultimately cannot overlook their faults for their price, and I would be upset to have spent any money on these, even if they are cheap. Especially when there are clearly better options out there for cheaper price tags, and with overall better builds, in the end. At best these are mediocre and offer nothing special. So, if I were you, I’d skip the hype here, and question anyone with audacious claims regarding these, because if you’re like me, you’ll just be disappointed in the end.

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