Review - Myer Audio CKLVX D41

Review - Gizaudio x Binary Acoustics Chopin

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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Gizaudio x Binary Acoustics Chopin

The Gizaudio x Binary Acoustics Chopin have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for the publication of this review. It has been quite some time since I featured anything from HifiGo and they have not made any requests or specific comments. I will, as always, aim to be as unbiased as possible in my review.

The Chopin can be purchased from HifiGo here: https://hifigo.com/products/gizaudio-binary-chopin

As with all the links I share, this is a non-affiliate link, meaning I do not receive anything in exchange for clicks or purchases.

To avoid being repetetive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews


Intro…

There has been quite a bit of furor around the Chopin lately. I am not really someone who reads or watches reviews of products, mainly to not build up expectations on things that I may review. However, while I haven’t actually read (or seen) any reviews of the Chopin, it has been impossible to not notice the amount of times it has been mentioned. So, when HifiGo offered to send it out, I was happy to give it a try and see what all the noise is about.

In case anyone, like me, has not read any of the reviews and, unlike me, has managed to somehow avoid the hype, here is a brief summary of what the Gizaudio x Binary Acoustics Chopin is.

Gizaudio is a reviewer who is actually known by many as Timmy who produces for Crinacle, however, he has plenty of experience in reviewing, with his YouTube channel having over 36k subscribers and his web being full of content. This is also not his first collaboration, so he is by no means new to the IEM game.

Binary Acoustics is a brand that has been around since 2017 and while they have other models, the Chopin seems to be the only one available at the moment. I have heard of Binary in the past but, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you anything about other models of theirs without looking it up.

Finally, Chopin. According to the publicity for these IEMs, they are meant to pay homage to Chopin. If you have no idea who Chopin was, then I suggest you just type “classical music” into Google and start there 😉

So, the IEMs… They feature a four driver hybrid configuration, featuring a single 8mm ceramic diaphragm dynamic driver, along with 3 custom balanced armature drivers, one for the mid range and the other two for the treble.

While these IEMs have a rather high sensitivity of 122dB/Vrms, the impedance is rather low at 12Ohms. This shouldn’t cause any issues with most dongles and amplifiers but is something to consider if your device has a high output impedance.

So, enough about the what and let’s get to the how…


Presentation…

I have to say that I am impressed by the presentation of these IEMs. I know that they are a 200€ set of IEMs and the contents aren’t really anything to write home about, but the way it is presented is original in comparison to so many other models.

Here we get a wide but thin box that stands up and the lid that lifts off is almost like a showcase lid (although not tansparent), leaving just a small section at the bottom as a stand. The box is a silvery grey colour, with the model and brand on the front, together with a simple design in black. On the back we see the FR graph and some very basic information. 

While there is nothing really special about the aesthetics, I think it looks very elegant and makes it look like an expensive set of IEMs. Removing the top reveals the storage/transport case and two small white boxes that are also standing up vertically.

Inside the two boxes we find the user manual in one, with the cable, tips and a cleaning brush in the other.

The storage case is something that reminds me of a case that our measuring equipment comes in at work. It is a very robust and well built hard case that opens up to reveal a soft lined interior that contains two small drawstring bags. Inside each of these bags we find one IEM, well protected from any damage.

While the presentation of an IEM is not really something to get excited about, except on very specific occasions, I do like to point out when something is different from the usual experience and that is the case with the Chopin. While there contents are fairly basic, the presenation makes you feel like you are receiving a product that has been cared for.


Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs use a 3D printed shell with a stainless steel faceplate that features the same design as on the exterior of the box. They again look modern and elegant, without being overly shouty. The shape is different to most sets and look like they would be uncomfortable but I actually found that they work very well for my ear anatomy and I find them very comfortable.

The nozzles are on the larger side and are fairly long but take the included tips well and allow me to get a nice deepish fit. I am not sure what tips these are but they seem to be more robust than most other silicon tips, with a tougher center core, and both fit securely and seal well (medium) in my ears.

The included cable is nothing special but there is nothing wrong with it either. It’s of a simple twisted style, combining both metal and plastic connectors and hardware. 

As mentioned, the included storage case is very nice and will protect the IEMs well, although it is a little large to be carried around in a pocket (in my pockets anyway).

In general, I get the impression of a well built and nicely put together set of IEMs that aren’t anything really special but still give a sensation of being a good product.


Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

Ever wondered what it is like to have a subwoofer and some satellite speakers in your ears? Well, the Chopin comes very close to answering that question. In fact, as soon as I put them in and started listening, they reminded me of a set of Meyer Sound MM4 speakers paired with a 750-LFC sub. Now that is going to mean absolutely nothing to the vast majority of you out there, unless you are into pro sound speakers, but it is still what came to mind.

So, for those of you that have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, the 750-LFC is a subwoofer that is capable of going very low and staying very clean, while the MM4 are small satellite speakers which, while rated at 120Hz to 18kHz, don’t really do much below the 500Hz mark and sort of focus things on the upper mids.

As an image is worth a thousand words (maybe I should just do photographic reviews instead of rambling on 😀 ), here is the graph of the Chopin with my usual personal preference target for refernce:

For those of you that read the graphs and automatically see the tuning, you will understand what I am getting at, but for those of you that prefer my thousand words, here are my impressions based on my usual list of test tracks.

As you can probably guess, there is no shortage of subbass with the Chopin. The lowest notes are presented in a way that really does give you the sensation of having a subwoofer. However, although there is a lot of subbass, it is also very well controlled and does have a method to its madness. 

Using my usual “Chameleon” test, after spending time listening to a lot of hip hop and other bass heavy music throughout my general listening tests, I expected there to be a huge amount of vibration and rumble and there is, but it is a controlled rumble, even allowing the nuances of that tremendous subbass that is both the track and the tuning to be appreciated.

However, as we move from the subbass to the midbass, there is a ramp down that can leave certain tracks missing a bit of punch from those bass ranges. The classic P-Bass through an Ampeg stack sound from the 70’s does not come across as it usually does. In fact, if there are any bass players out there, one of my most prized bass pedals is the DOD Meatbox, a subsynth pedal that can make anyones teeth rattle in exchange for a loss of a bit of punch and clarity. This pedal is something that Juan Alderete (Mars Volta, Hella, System of a Down etc.) referred to as a “speaker popper”. Well, the Chopin has a tuning that can be reminiscent of that pedal effect at times,  giving a huge amount of subbass but still very clean.

But I digress… back to the midbass. Here there is a bit of a lack of presence, especially as the midbass meets the lower mids, which creates a very clean transition but can also leave certain vocals, and certain acoustic stringed instruments, craving a bit more warmth in those ranges. Obviously on tracks that have subbass presence, things do not come across as lacking in the low end, but for simple acoustic assemblies, using just acoustic guitars and male vocals, I do find that there is a bit of body missing. 

As we move into the upper mids, there is a ramp up from just under 1kHz to just under 3kHz that works to bring back light to what would otherwise be a very dark and clouded sound. While this does brighten things up, I do get the sensation that it again does not work great for male vocals, as the slight lack of body to the lower end of vocals gets overrun by that extra presence in the upper mids and can bring out some harshness.

In the case of female vocals, I find the opposite is true. While there are some specific voices that can become a little harsh, the majority of female vocals are clean and well presented, avoiding both harshness and sibilance. With EDM that features female singers, I found that it brought back the days when I could stay in a disco until the sun came up (and not be falling asleep by 2am), where the level of bass was huge yet the vocals still shined through.

As we move into the upper ranges, things are rather smooth and while they are not exactly lacking, the sensation of bass does make it seem like the treble is more rolled of than it actually is. This can make some tracks feel like they are missing air and extension but I don’t think they are, it is more of the way it balances out with that low end and upper mid focus.

As far as sound stage, they do a pretty good job. I wouldn’t say that they are huge but they do have a nice sensation to them, paired with good details that are pretty well placed. This is one of those few occasions when IEMs actually work in favour of soundstage in comparison to speakers due to them being inserted in your ears and giving a better stereo separation of those lower notes.


Conclusion…

Is the Chopin a tuning I would choose personally to listen to music? No.

Does it do a good job of presenting the tuning it is aiming for? Hell yes.

If you want something that gives you that sensation of a subwoofer in addition to separate high range speakers, and especially if you listen loud (which I don’t by the way), then I think that the Chopin is something that probably doesn’t have many rivals out there.

I have listened to bassier IEMs, yet they didn’t keep the composure and cleanliness that the Chopin do, where it is capable of both rattling your skull and separating the notes that it is using to rattle it at the same time.


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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