CCZ is a new brand in the Chifi audio industry and as their flagship model they have launched the PLUME in ear monitors. Most of the newly launched Chi-Fi brands always tend to give a nice initial product lineup and in that sense the CCZ have taken their first step to become the next big chifi giant. The specifications of the Plume seem to be very promising and they look very eye-catching. In this review let’s see whether this Plume can be a gateway to the brand for its future product lineup.
|Flagship Model||PLUME In-Ear Monitors|
|Initial Impression||CCZ is a new brand in the Chifi audio industry, and the PLUME seems promising and eye-catching.|
|Plug Type||2.5mm (original)/3.5mm/4.4mm|
|Driver Units||Single side – 1 dual magnetic DD + 2 BA (CCZ-IF-A for mid-high frequency) + 2 BA (CCZ-HI-A for high frequency)|
|Cable Material||Single Crystal Copper|
|Package||Excellent stock packaging; detailed accessories info available on retailer’s website|
|Design and Fit|
|Color||Gold (Funky design, prone to fading and scratching)|
|Comfort and Fit||Comfortable and well-fitting, semi-custom ear shape|
|Noise Isolation||Good isolation from external surroundings|
|Faceplate||CCZ branding with a pseudo grill mimicking open-back design|
|Cable||Cloth-braided, sturdy and durable, slightly thick|
|Signature||W-shaped sound with strong bass, clear midrange, and smooth treble|
|Bass||Thumpy, full-bodied, sub bass and mid bass punch and weight|
|Midrange||Positioned well, not too laid back or forward, clear instruments and vocals|
|Treble||Good sparkle and airiness, moderate detail retrieval, smooth, not overly bright|
|Soundstage||Impressive width and depth, massive soundstage due to wide bass and sub bass|
|Imaging||Clear imaging despite strong bass response, easy instrument pinpointing|
|Pros||Textured deep bass, forward midrange, smooth treble, deep soundstage|
|Cons||Tonal inaccuracy with stringed instruments, treble extension|
|Conclusion||PLUME is an excellent offering with solid sound quality, clear midrange, and deep bass.|
This unit has been provided to me as a part of a review circle organised by HiFiGo and I’m very much thankful to them for giving me this opportunity. I have not been influenced by the brand or the HiFiGo to manipulate this review by any means. The whole review is based on my observations with this product and this may vary from person to person since it depends upon the type of gear and source used to test out the product.
Plug type: 2.5mm (original)/3.5mm/4.4mm
Frequency response: 20-20kHZ
Driver units: single side- 1 dual magnetic DD + 2 BA ( CCZ-IF-A for mid-high frequency )+ 2 BA ( CCZ-HI-A for high frequency ）
Wearing type: In-Ear
Whether with cable: Yes
Whether with mic: No mic
Cable length: 1.2m
Cable material: Single Crystal Copper
Table of Contents
Since this is a unit provided to me as a part of a review tour I have received only the earpiece, cable and the case. However the stock packaging is very great and the brand is very generous enough to provide excellent accessories and for the full detailed information please refer the retailers website
DESIGN AND FIT:
The design of the Plume is really eye striking. The earpieces are made out of aluminium and they are coloured Gold which is quite funky in my view since the gild they have used here is of poor quality where even after some careful usage of it the colour got slightly faded, darker and gets scratched easily.
The earpieces are very comfortable on the ears and literally they are one of the best fitting earbuds i have tested. They are semi custom ear shaped hence they will fit most of the ears without any issues. The fit is really nice with pretty good noise isolation from the external surroundings.
The faceplate has the CCZ branding and has that pseudo grill which mimics that of an open back earphone. Overall they are pretty solid but lightweight on the ears thus long listening sessions are good in this.
The cable is cloth braided and honestly I’m not a big fan of this approach where I like the usual supple braided wire which will feel even more premium on the hands. The cable however is very sturdy and thick enough thus durability is on point.
The sound signature of the Plume is a nice W shaped sound thus the midrange is not recessed that much. In my initial listening they sounded really great with excellent low end without sacrificing the midrange instruments and vocals, there is a slight bass bleed too and the treble is rich and smooth.
After connecting it to a separate AMP then the sound even got improved making the Low end even more tighter and reduced the mid bass bleed, the treble now got a bit more sparkle and airiness. The soundstage got noticeably wide and overall an AMP is required to unleash the complete potential of the Plume.
SOURCE: iPhone + Zorloo Ztella Dac + iFi ZEN CAN
The low end of the Plume is the star show here. It’s very thumoy and full bodied. The sub bass and the mid bass has nice punch and weight overall which gives that nice bass head level bass response. The bass heads will please this sound very much since this literally rattles your head even without any amp connected just straight out of the bass.
The critical neutral listening audiophiles might consider this as a overcooked bass which bleeds extremely into the midrange but for the fun heads out there this is just a gift for your needs. The bass here is just full bodied, weighty and nicely textured, there is ofcourse a slight mid bass bleed but with some decent amp the bass can be controlled noticeably.
The sub bass here digs deeper and gives that nice sensation of rumble in your head and also the mid bass nicely works along with the sub bass by providing a nice full sounding and weighty low end. In the tracks like “ BIGFOOT ”- By MALFUNKTION the sub bass drops are heard very nice and the whole sensation feels thumpy and fuller, the constant low end rumble is present all throughout the track.
In the tracks like “WHY DO WE FALL” By Hans Zimmer at the end of the track the sub bass presence is nicely felt and the mid bass throughout the track is presented really well giving a nice fuller sound.
Even though the bass is pretty fuller and massive the separation of the instruments are done really well, each and every instrument is clearly separated out with a nice texture. The overall experience of the low end is very satisfying minus the slight mid bass bleed into the midrange which however can be corrected by using a decent amp.
- BigFoot – MALFNKTION
- Why Do We Fall – Hans Zimmer
- In the Heights – Lin Manuel Miranda
The midrange in the Plume is surprisingly done very well. They are positioned nicely where they are not too laid back or neither too forward. I found the placement to be in between them thus giving a nice listening experience. The instruments in the background are heard clearly with a good amount of separation.
Even after that massive amount of bass the midrange has a good amount of air thus giving a nice airier feel to the track. The instruments or the vocals never suffocate and they sound very spacious and wide enough.
The tonality is pretty natural with a hint of warmth thus providing a nice full bodied midrange and the vocals. Guitar strings sometimes sound very tiny or unnatural and this is common to all the stringed instruments and splashy instruments in the Plume. The piano notes however sound very natural and the fullness helped in that natural sound of the piano.
The timbre is fine (slight metallic though) and overall the midrange is very pleasing to listen and no harshness or sibilant is experienced. The upper midrange is pretty good and no shrillness is experienced. Upper midrange is slightly emphasized thus giving a nice sparkle to the midrange and also giving nice separation and airiness to the overall listening.
In the tracks like “Blowers Daughter ” – Damien Rice the acoustic guitar strings sounded slightly metallic or unnatural but the vocals sounded very nice and full. Even with that fullness the background instruments sounded very clean and no congestion is seen here.
In a track like “ Perfect” – Ed Sheeran his vocals sounded very nice and full, also not compromising on the background guitar strings.
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice
- Yi Jian Mei – Charlotte Halberg
- Ulan Bator Nights
The treble in the Plume is good but it’s not the best. People who are used to that all BA treble which has better extension and detail retrieval over a hybrid driver system. Here the treble is good enough where it has moderate detail retrieval and resolution. The airiness and the sparkle is pretty good but the detail and the resolution are average in these.
This is pretty much expectable since this is more of a bass head tuning even then the treble is not a slouch at all and still they were able to deliver a nice smooth high end without any sibilance. Most of the bass emphasized earphones tend to have a sharper treble but this one is an exception thus this provides a nice smooth treble with no hint of sibilance.
The wide staging gave this earphone a nice sense of airiness and spaciousness thus the high end feels non congested and well separated.
The cymbal strikes aer very splashy though hence at higher volumes they tend to sound quite artificial. The decay of the cymbal is quite slow too hence that extra bit of brightness can fatigue someone but overall the high end is quite sparkly and airier with decent detail retrieval and resolution.
In tracks like “Dreams – Fleetwood Mac” the cymbal strikes are quite unnatural and harsh but other instruments sound quite natural, especially the percussion instruments.
- Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
- Move Your Body – Sia
- Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
Soundstage: The soundstage is pretty impressive here. The width and the depth are massive when compared to the height. They sound very wide, extending extreme right to the left thus providing a nice sense of spaciousness. The depth is quite deep since the bass has a nice impact overall and the sub bass depth makes the soundstage even deeper creating a nice cinematic experience.
Imaging: Since the soundstage is pretty wide the imaging is pretty good despite the fact that it has one of the strongest bass responses too. Most of the bass heavy iem tend to have fuzzy or hazy imaging but here it’s very easy to pinpoint the instruments.
The sound nicely sweeps from one channel to the other without any stutters. The transient response is pretty good enough.
- Sires Of The Sea – Above And Beyond
- Themyscira – Hans Zimmer
- Crossing – Yosi Horikawa
- Global Gear – Punya Srinivas
PROS AND CONS:
- Textured and Deep Bass
- Forward Midrange Despite Massive Bass
- Smooth Treble
- Soundstage Depth
- Tonal Inaccuracy in Stringed Instruments
- Treble Extension
Plume, the latest and the flagship offering from the newly started Chifi Audio brand is a pretty excellent one and a major go from my side but I don’t know why the heck the brand just discontinued the Plume Product just after a few months of release! This is really a bad news since this product is really a shining star for the CCZ brand! The sound quality on these are solid with one of the best bass head approved bass, the midrange is pretty clear and forward despite the bass being massive, the highs are good enough with nice detail retrieval , the technicalities are pretty good too, especially the soundstage which is pretty wide and deep.
From the aspect of the sound to the build this earphone just shines in every way. They are built very well except that funky gold and the fingerprint magnet. The cable is great and the accessories are excellent.
If you are a basshead and even a person who loves very dynamic sound then better get this before it gets sold out everywhere because this is the GOLDEN GATE iem and it’s not gonna be available in future.
This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C
I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.