Review - HZSound Heart Mirror Pro

Review - CCA CRA+ (sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 


The CCA CRA+ have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. As usual, they have not requested anything specific but I will leave a non-affiliate link to the CCA CRA+ via their webstore below.

This means that I will be as honest and unbiased as possible, as I always am, but it is always good to take into consideration that these IEMs have not cost me anything.

The CCA CRA+ are available via Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/cca-cra-1


Intro…

As you probably already know, CCA are a brand owned by KZ. I have not been paying any attention to KZ lately, since the whole “non working driver” fiasco. Not because I specifically have anything against them, it is just that there are so many IEMs available on the market that I have no need for drama. In fact, the last set of KZ IEMs I was sent were the DQ6s (which I did a very brief impression video of) and the ZES which I didn’t even review (you really didn’t miss much there).

However, not long ago I reviewed the CCA CRA, the predecessor of the model I have here today, and I said that “what if the best KZ IEMs are not KZ?”. So, when Linsoul asked if I wanted to try the CRA+, I was more than happy to give them a listen and I am actually quite glad I did.

According to the publicity, they are an upgraded model with completely new drivers and while I take this with a grain of salt, there are noticeable differences between the original and the plus.


Presentation…

There is absolutely no difference in presentation between the original CRA and the CRA+, the same box, the same contents except for the cable ( in this case I have received the version with microphone) and generally the exact same everything. So, if you really want to know more about the white box, you can check my review of the original CRA.


Build and aesthetics…

The publicity jargon also says luxury appearance, which I guess means they are gold coloured. The originals were available in Black (actually a dark grey metal colour) and White, whereas the new CRA+ are only available in Gold.

That is literally the only difference I have been able to spot between the two.

Personally, I am not a fan of gold but I am not going to complain about it, these IEMs come in at around 27€ (at the time of publishing this review) and aesthetics are not something I worry about too much at this price, although I will say that the original CRA comes in under 14€, so these cost almost double the older model. 


Sound…

So, we have established that so far there are very few (if any) differences between the two models, but in the sound category is where things start to stand out. Before I get into it, let me mention that my listening has been done almost exclusively with the Gryphon (with no EQ) and using both the stock cable and tips from the original CRA. My choice of tips and cable was to keep it consistent between the two, that doesn’t mean that different tips won’t react differently on each model, just that I haven’t tip rolled.

As a quick recap of the original, I said that they had a lot of bass, more than I would choose, but that it is very good quality bass and that although I wouldn’t use them all the time, that I liked them. In fact, they (the CRA) have actually been in my box of reference IEMs since then. 

Well, the CRA+ seems to have kept the qualities of the original and changed the tuning slightly, making them more enjoyable (for me personally) than the originals.

Let’s take a quick look at the graph of the two:

(all measurements can be seen and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)

So, starting off at the bottom, there is quite a difference in the subbass quantity of the two, with the newer model having much less. Putting them through my usual “Chameleon” test by Trentemoller, this makes itself quite apparent. However, I will say that I don’t find myself missing any subbass in this song with the CRA+. There is still plenty there and is still above what I would usually choose in this region, it is just not as spectacular in the ultra lows as the original CRA is.

The CRA also did a good job of controlling this low end and the CRA+ keeps things just as well defined as the original. I can’t say that it is the most defined and clean subbass I have heard but it is still quite a way above other options, especially in such a low price bracket. 

Moving into the midbass, there is slightly more presence on paper with the Plus, hower, it is more of the fact that the focus is moved from the subbass of the original to the midbass on the newer version, putting more emphasis on this range and seeming like it is more present than it actually is.

In this range, the midbass punch is very impressive, even without factoring in cost, with notes presenting themselves with authority and definition. This can make songs that have plenty happening in the midbass region come across more impressively on this new set.  Personally this is not something that I enjoy, I mean, I like a little boost in the midbass on certain genres (such as classic rock etc), but I feel that the CRA+ is a little overdone in this area. Again, that is just a personal preference and I feel that it is something that will be very impressive for those that enjoy it.

The mids are very similar between the two, however, on the Plus there is a little more presence in the 2k range and that peak at 5k, as we start to reach into the higher frequencies, has been tamed quite a bit. This is something that pleases me, as I am not a fan of the 5k being above everything around it, but at the same time I feel that a little more in the 3kHz zone (rather than just the 2kHz bump) would have worked better to bring vocals a little more forward and avoid a little of the darker smoothness that has resulted from the actual tuning.

I am actually nitpicking here, it is really not bad and I prefer the tuning to many other sets that are much more expensive, however, there is always room for improvement ;)

As far as detail, this is still an impressive set for the money, sounding very well controlled and offering details that are usually not as apparent on IEMs with this kind of tuning. It is not detailed to a level that will be mind blowing but it is more than adequate for the price range that it sits in, in fact, it would embarrass some options that go for 3 or 4 times the price.

Soundstage comes across to me as being around average, much the same as the original CRA, with good image placement inside the space that it works with. You can easily identify images and while it may not have all the details that I am used to hearing, it is not something that I would point out as being bad, far from it.


Conclusion…

I don’t think I can say that the CRA+ are not as good, or better, than the original CRA. When I first tried (and reviewed) the original CRA, I said that they were possibly the best KZ IEM to date, even if they are not officially KZ. In the case of the CRA+, I feel that most of my opinions regarding the originals can easily be referenced to these also.

Would I say that they are better than the originals, well it depends. For me personally, I prefer the higher mids of the CRA+, whereas I prefer the low end of the CRA, which takes a bit of emphasis away from the midbass and puts the focus on the subbass. Both of them are very good for the price and I think the preference will come down to the personal taste of each individual.

The new model is more expensive, but it is still way inside the bracket of what I would consider a cheap set of IEMs, therefore I don’t think that the price will be a deciding factor for the majority. The included accessories are also identical, so no points added or deducted there. I would say that, basically, it comes down to whether you prefer your slam to happen in the subbass or midbass regions.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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