CVJ, an underdog brand from the Chi-Fi’s audio industry, is doing a pretty great job by releasing some spectacular products like the Mirror, CS8, CSN and the Angel Wings. Their products always have that in house sound signature which is pretty balanced and mid centric and liked by a lot of people. The CSK is focused towards another set of people who love the Low end and live for the low end. In this review let’s see how CSK performs against its competitors.
The CSK is provided to me by Janet Hu from the CVJ team and I’m very thankful to the team for sending me this unit for review purposes. This review is completely based on my experience with this unit hence i have not been influenced by the brand to manipulate this review. The opinion might differ from person to person and it depends on the music taste and the source used to test out the gear.
Frequency response: 10-40KHz
Cable Length: 1.25m±5
Plug Type: 3.5mm plug
Connector: 2PIN 0.75MM
Driver: 8mm 1DD+1BA(30095)
The packaging is pretty minimal and small in size. Inside the box you get the earpiece, cable, eartips and the carry pouch. All the included accessories are nice for the price you pay and nothing to complain about in terms of packaging.
DESIGN AND FIT:
The design of the earpieces are custom shell shaped hence the fit is one of the best i have to say. The seal is pretty nice and the included tips are pretty good. The 2 pin connector area is nicely recessed and the faceplate is pretty minimal and simple. Two colour options are available ( all black and bicolour ) and in my opinion the multicolour looked nice in real life.
The nozzle is of medium length and has the lip in the nozzle for holding the tips but the issue here is that the lip is pretty big and frequently changing the tips is one tough job.
The cable is pretty average and if you need a premium feels better get some aftermarket cable but sonically it the stock one does the job. The stock one gets tangled frequently but hey the cost of the earphone is pretty cheap and changing the cable just defies the cost of the earphone itself!
The overall sound signature of the CSK is a typical chifi V shaped. The low end is boosted very noticeable and the midrange is recessed, the highs are boosted as per the terms of V shaped. This is actually a new path for the CVJ since most of their products don’t follow this kind of signature since they lean towards the neutral to balanced sound for the most part.
Yes of course I found the CVJ products lacking in the low end department and now in the CSK this is completely the opposite! The low end here is just huge and has a big rumble. In this review let’s dive into the full review of the sound.
Source: iPhone + Zorloo Ztella + iFi Zen Can
The low end is pretty huge and weighty providing a nice thump and energetic feeling overall. The sub bass extension is pretty deep and even the subtlest rumble can be heard very nicely. The mid bass is pretty good with fuller sound thus makes the midrange warmer and fuller too.
SUB BASS: This just digs deeper and creates enough rumble in the tracks. They even appear even though the track doesn’t call for it. Especially in the tracks like the “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT SAVING THE WORLD” – Hans Zimmer the rumble is actually very silent in the track but the CSK amplified them to give that nice little extra rumble sensation. Sub bass is pretty good in this set.
MID BASS: The mid bass is pretty fuller and warmer. The quantity of the bass is huge thus giving the overall track the fuller experience. In fact the mid bass feels slightly excessive in the faster tracks especially since this interfered with the technicalities of it. The mid bass here is boom and weighty rather than a defined or resolved mid bass. They are okay for a pop track but when it comes to something like metal genres they struggle a lot to give that separation.
TECHNICALITIES: The bass here is punchy, big and weightier but this definitely lacks the resolution and separation hence the faster tracks appear very muddy. The bass is overall slow here and would have appreciated a little faster bass. The texture is average but the control is fine overall. The bass is pretty enjoyable but needs some refinement in the separation and resolution department and slight improvements in the texture.
- Why Do We Fall – Hans Zimmer
- Even Heaven – Aimer
- Sirens Of The Sea – OceanLab
- Royals – Lorde
As usual that you expect from the V shaped sound signature, the midrange is drowned in between the low end and the highs. The vocals in the CSK are lean and slightly sibilant especially the female vocals. Even in the male vocals when the “S” words appear they sound slightly sibilant to me and also a little bit grainier. The background instruments are fine for a V shaped profile but still they can be brought forward for the engaging experience.
The tonality is warmer and the timbre has no issues here which is pretty surprising since most of the budget chi-fi hybrids miss out on this. The kick drums have a nice impact overall and the piano notes sound very natural with the hint of warmth due to that mid bass presence.
The mid bass gave nice body and warmth to the midrange thus giving that fuller experience while listening. The background instruments do get lost when the track gets busier and sounds very muffled but that’s the cost of a V shaped profile. As an overall sound the midrange is fine for this kind of profile and executed well. This might not be the midrange oriented set but still they deliver some good midrange performance.
The upper mid emphasis is seen here hence that slight sibilance when the percussion instruments strike and the decays of those instruments are slightly longer too which leads to that slight sibilance.
- The Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swings
The treble in the CSK is expected, since it’s v shaped the treble is boosted a bit but thankfully they are not that peaky and can be used for longer listening too. The problem here is the separation and detail retrieval. When the track becomes busier the csk struggles in the treble region. They tend to be very bright in this region. The timbre is great for most parts but the percussion instruments timbre is slightly off hence the electric guitars and the jazz tracks sound slightly metallic in taste.
The cymbal crash decay is pretty long hence the crash sounds very splashy and spicy. The high hat is kind of sibilant thus making the classical listening very difficult for a longer listening period. The trumpets sound overall natural but still the metallic timbre is felt in certain instruments, but for the price there is nothing to complain about in this part. The CVJ tried to be different and this is their first product in this sound profile hence improvements are expected in their next iteration.
The high end is moderately airier but the separation suffers when the track becomes faster. Especially if you listen to a lot of electronic music which are quite fast paced this might not excite you but this is very good for pop and slow tracks.
Even though the treble has some complaints for the most part they are quite fatigue free to listen. Overall considering the profile of sound the treble is fine for the most part.
- Move your Body – Sia
- Something Happened On The Way To Heaven – Phil Collins
- The First Time – Treble Chargers
Soundstage: The soundstage here is pretty intimate and everything appears in your head. All the instruments revolve in your head and lack spaciousness. The width is pretty small but the depth is above average since the bass is on the heavier side. Overall the soundstage is pretty average for the price you pay
Imaging: The imaging is not 3 dimensional instead it has the 3 point positioning. Since the bass is very boomy the precise identification of the instruments are not possible here. The transitions of the instruments are pretty average and it’s not the smoothest in this price range.
The detail retrieval is not the strongest aspect of this earphone where this is tuned to appeal to a given set of people who love the bass and its thump. The detail is very average and if not they are not the best in terms of it. The resolution and the separation are pretty mediocre too since this has no presence of air in the top end thus making the whole listening experience very intimate and closed.
PROS AND CONS:
- Groovy and Meaty Low End
- Excellent Fit
- Texture, Resolution and Separation
- Drastic V shaped which needs more refinement.
The CSK, latest offering from the CVJ is a new approach for the brand and did they do it right? Well it depends. The low end here is pretty meaty and weighty but lacks the definition, resolution and the texture. The midrange here is fine for the instruments but the vocals still sound thin and slightly sibilant. The treble is pretty good for the most part but still needs refinement in the separation and detail retrieval. Technicalities are good for the price and overall since this is a new approach for the brand, it’s a pretty welcoming package, you get a nice and neat packaging with one of the best fitting earpieces. The cable needs to be improved but as an overall package they still deliver some value in this V shaped category.
If you love the low end and you love only the low end, especially for casual listening (bassy tracks) while travelling then this can be in your bucket list for your next purchase. The CSK creates a new pathway for the CVJ brand and this might open a way for the next iteration of v shaped products with much more refinement.
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.