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  • Cheryl Tan

CCZ Plume Review: SO MUCH GOLD!

Like I said in the title, the CCZ Plume IEMs have so. Much. Gold.

These were sent to me along with the TRI Starshine that I really enjoyed previously, but this review has taken a while and unfortunately, the Plume was discontinued during that time. Despite that though, I think these are actually really nice IEMs, so I wanted to talk about them anyway since you might still be able to get them off retailers with stock or secondhand. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Let’s talk design first, starting with the packaging. These come in a box with a yellow/gold sleeve, that’s definitely very consistent with the theme of the IEMs. In case you don’t know what plume means, it’s essentially referring to the feathers of a bird. Of course, there’s the other use case where you say a plume of smoke, but that’s beside the point. If you look at the cover sleeve, you’ll notice there are a trail of birds and this Chinese word on it. It means, well, feather, or plume/plumage. So I think the whole design, at least for the packaging, is pretty cohesive.

On the back of the sleeve, I really like this. They’ve given you some simple specs, brand, model, impedance and sensitivity as well as the material for their included cable.

Inside the box, you get the earbuds, along with five sizes of eartips. Including the one pre-installed, that’s six, so you’ll definitely be able to find one that fits you. That’s not all though, going down to the second level, you get a leather carrying case that holds a cleaning cloth, two jack adaptors from the 3.5mm termination to 3.5mm and 4.4mm, as well as two additional standard tips. In the accessory box, you get a cleaning brush, which is okay, not quite like other cleaning brushes I’ve used.

Pretty decent offering of accessories, but let’s get into the IEMs now. These are hybrid earbuds with a whopping five drivers in each. You get one dynamic driver that handles the lows, two BA for the mids and two BA for the highs. And that means these IEMs are really big. That’s really the one problem I have with them. They’re so big that after wearing them for an hour or so, there are imprints on the inside of my ear and my ears hurt. This is definitely because my ears are on the smaller side, so it might not be a problem for people with bigger ears. That being said though, these were good enough that I just made myself power through it anyway because I wanted to keep listening to them.

Moving on, the shells are a glossy golden finish, which means yes, fingerprint magnet. It’s the nature of the beast though, so yeah. Another thing that irked me at the start is the seams. The one joining the faceplate and the shell is understandable, of course, but there’s also one on the shell that seems to join the mid-shell and the nozzle, which is a bit odd. I suppose it’s because these are made with metal and they can’t really do it in one piece? I don’t know. The seams do feel kind of raised when I’m touching them, but thankfully, they’re not sharp when they’re in the ear, so it’s not much of an issue. The wing looks and feels pretty aggressive, but once they’re in the ear, I actually didn’t notice too much discomfort coming from that area, which was surprising.

These are using two-pin 0.78mm sockets, but the sockets are slightly raised, unfortunately, so I didn’t try swapping cables. As for the stock cable, it’s okay. The memory wire sheath wasn’t too stiff, but I’m not a big fan of the brown fabric sheath for the cable. Just visually, at least.

Moving on to sound, I used these with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and the FiiO Q3 DAC/amp. Personally, I really like the way these sound. You get a decent amount of bass with good decay, but there’s an interesting thickness and weight to the sound. Overall though, nice rumble, pretty okay richness. You will notice a bit of bleed in the mids, though.

The mids are slightly recessed, although I didn’t find it to be a very big problem with the music genres that I typically listen to. Vocals are very nice, you get plenty of air and male vocals actually feel nicer and a bit fuller on these earphones in my opinion. Songs with a bit more vocal layering sounded very nice. There’s a good amount of warmth here and a pretty full-bodied sound.

As for the treble though, the first thing that you’ll notice, or that I noticed, is that there’s actually a lack of extension in the upper range. I would have preferred just a touch more, and of course, you guys know I love sparkly treble, which you don’t really get here. The highs are a bit more subdued, I feel, and I would have preferred a bit more energy and sparkle. There’s no sibilance here at all though, which is good.

Imaging is pretty accurate and instrument separation is good. The soundstage is actually pretty good. It’s wider than usual, and you get a good amount of height. The only downside is that it’s not quite as deep as I like.

All in all, I think they’re actually a pretty good pair for the general audience. I know quite a few people do get very fatigued with brighter treble, so these IEMs definitely won’t have that problem. The bass is good, apart from the bleed, and I really did enjoy the warmer vocals on these.

My only problem with them is the fit. They’re lightweight, but the wearing fatigue after an hour or so is just too much. They’re good enough that I want to continue listening to them, but breaks are very necessary.

Again, these have been discontinued, so you’ll have to be a little more creative finding them online. Here in Singapore, I actually found sellers who are still shipping the Plume IEMs on Shopee for S$324 or approximately US$240, which is the price before it was discontinued, so yes, it's possible to still find these online, if you really want to.


Content by Cheryl Tan


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