Craft Four is a CIEM with a UIEM option made by a Polish company Craft Ears. It uses four Balanced armature drivers and costs €550.
Sound quality for the price
The box is elementary, it’s an eco cardboard box with a black, decorative sleeve, with “Thank you for trusting us” written on it. Nice touch. Inside the box, you’ll find a round, metal case which isn’t for everyone, because it is too big and too bulky for a regular user. It can be useful during travels, you can just put it inside the bag and you can be sure that nothing will happen to the earphones. The inner part of the case is covered with a soft material.
Inside the case, you’ll find earphones, the cable, set of eartips, which are Final Audio Type E (sizes SS to LL) that are my favorite for a long time because of their sound quality and comfort. On the end of the attachment list, there are cleaning products, polyester cloth, and brush.
Overall, it makes a great feeling, but the box won’t be the ornament on the shelf.
Build quality & Comfort
Build quality of every single thing you can find in the box is fantastic.
Beginning with the earphone itself, it is made with acryl, and it’s handcrafted with the highest exactness. The main part is perfectly separated from the faceplate, which looks incredibly beautiful. The 2pin connectors are really tight and stiff, which makes the cable harder to slide out. Each earphone is slightly smaller than FiiO FH1s, e.g., and it’s very comfortable with splendid isolation. Remember that I’m using the UIEM version, therefore CIEM will be even better in terms of isolation and comfort.
The cable itself is one of the most comfortable cables I ever used. It’s very soft, doesn’t tangle by itself, and the standoffs are keeping the earphones right in the ears. It is also pretty thin, with a small termination and splitter, so I’m not scared of breaking the jack, and the splitter is easy to hide and doesn’t weigh on the ears.
I would like to stop for a while with the design. On the Craft Ears website, you have many options to customize your earphone, even the cable color and hard case, which can be a customized pelicase.
You can choose the color, glitter, faceplate style, and you can pick your personalized logo. No matter what you’ll choose, it will be a masterpiece.
The thing also worth to be mentioned is the warranty and customer service. All customers have two years warranty on components, without any questions asked, sixty days for fitting warranty and 14 for return the earphone, but you’ll have to cover the cost of non-renewable materials, which is an excellent thing if something would be wrong. Still, I think that there won’t be any problems. The last thing is lifetime support, so even if something happens after a few years, Craft Ears will help. This is an approach that is worth emulating and appreciating.
Craft Ears Four made me look like Pikachu in the :O meme, I did expect something like FH7 with a flatter signature. Meanwhile, CE4 is way more source dependent than I thought, it can have a lot of bass, fun, but after the source change, it can be bright, with recessed bass that is still cruelly fast.
When it comes to details, it is decent, without such a wow feeling, but it can easily fight with a lot of other IEMs in this price range. On the other hand, I love Craft Ears Four for its dynamic and this lovely, powerful, huge, exact soundstage and the imaging that can really do magic. It is not just “oh guitar here, drums there, and the vocal on the front”. It is more like a dance of all sound sources around the listener, but let me invite you to the end of this paragraph for more exact info.
Beginning with the bass, it starts very fast with slower roll-off, and, depending on the source, can be highly textured or almost smooth. With warmer sources, like the iBasso DX160, the bass is potent with an astounding tempo and depth. Changing the source for something more neutral like iDSD Signature provides less bass, especially the lowest, but the strike is harder. Bass shows its full power in songs like “Therefore I am” by Billie Eilish, that really can shake the head and begin the bobbing. But okay, enough about the quantity, let’s talk about the quality. This is the place where Craft Ears Four also doesn’t disappoint. Two BA drivers give us the speedy bass without a feeling of emptiness and low body. Details are on very high level, almost outstanding. It is also very exact and matches the music, no matter if you listen to jazz, country or trap. In Jazz, you’ll hear the moment when they pull a string, in country, it will be emptier like usually their kick drum is, and ending with the trap where the bass will be wider, with a greater strike.
The midrange is quite recessed overall. Sometimes it’s a little too brightened for me, but without any nasal feeling. It can be slightly too dry for juice lovers, but in my opinion, it provides way more fun and life than, for example, FiiO FH7 that is loved by many. Male vocals are playing in the back while listening to music that has more bass overall, but the female voices take over the reins, with a lot of texture, pleasant manner, that’s a little calming, which is easy to hear in tracks like “A Real Hero” by Electric Youth or the “Pride” by Noah Kahan. The details are on the same level as the FH7 in the higher part, with a little weaker reproduction ability in the lower fraction.
The treble is neither sharpened nor smooth, it’s highly stretched, without any balancing at the knife’s edge. It’s natural, but with a little click in it. Honestly, I really enjoy that part, even if I’m a fan of dark sound. It is just as it should, with tempo, it reminds me of the days in the studio when I was filming the music bands during recording sessions.
I love listening to the “Cantina Band” by John Williams. Those tiny, shiny sounds are fascinating to hear. Every single one is very exact with the right place in the space around. All the details are visible, but you won’t be able to reach all of them with your hand, they’re sometimes too far, at the end of the scene – and that’s good. It is like a true concert. It is delicately brighter compared to FiiO FH7, but better detailed, without any sibilances or unnecessary sharpness. It also doesn’t punch in the face, like the EVE2020 sometimes do.
The soundstage – oh my God, that’s the thing. It’s round, deep, wide, pretty high, and very exact. Each sound has a lot of body, with the great sorting of sound sources almost everywhere. I love that manner when the performer swipes his fingers through the strings, using CE4, you can easily distinguish the part where his hand is at the moment.
With the bigger groups, like symphonic music, I would like to go back to the Star Wars soundtrack. It sounds just as their Senate looks like. We stand in the middle of the action when around us are many other sound sources that can fly around, just like the music here. It is true magic, what did astonish me is the fact that it showed up with iBasso DX160 and iFi Neo, but didn’t with the iDSD Signature nor EarMen TR-Amp which also has an excellent soundstage.
It can become almost overwhelming just to be innocent in the next track. It is full and rich in pop songs, but listening to the Skillet placed everything close to each other, without much air between each sound source. That didn’t occur in that scale with other, harder music bands.
If you’re a fan of PC gaming, Craft Ears Four will show you everything you can hear. Without any trickiness, making mistakes, or building a fake feeling of the soundstage. This is the best earphone for gaming I’ve heard so far.
Craft Ears Four is an excellent IEM with almost no weak points. Rich, full bass, great midrange, with impossibly good female vocals, natural treble with a little click, incredible soundstage, and holography. It all completes with a fantastic, soft cable and the best (in my opinion) eartips available on the market. The only cons are recessed lower midrange and not so useful case.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Lime Ears Aether R, FiiO FH7, Kinera Freya, Campfire Audio Andromeda, Vision Ears EVE2020
- Sources– iBasso DX160, EarMen Eagle, EarMen TR-Amp, iFi iDSD Signature, iFi iDSD Neo, Flux FCN-10, FiiO BTR5