The Element C-12
Coming in a rather understated black box on first glance you could be forgiven for passing it over on any retail shelf full of colorful consumer packaging. It doesn’t actually have the name of the earphone you are buying on the package, ‘Elements C-12″, which is rather an odd omission to be honest. Unpack it though and there is some genuinely nice little touches. Gone is the generic Chinese zipper nylon pill box and in comes a genuine leather soft zip case for storage and for a few extra bucks what looks to be a rather classy brass storage box. I say looks to be because sadly my package didn’t have one in the box. It would have taken some nice pics that is for sure. Now most suggest that the brass case is a tad heavy for taking around on everyday use, better for presentation and doing a quick Google search I would concur. Sourced from the Think Digit Forum (thanks 5fusion) it does indeed look classy and reminds me of the Final Audio brass pill box that came with my $1500 FI-BA-SS.
Apart from that you get a standard selection of rubber tips in various sizes, a clip and two little nozzle filters, one to replace the original filter and the other with a slightly thicker density which does affect the signature tonality slightly upon replacement. The earphone itself it a light wood variation, possibly of beech wood, housing a single 8mm dynamic driver with a relatively average sensitivity of 102db at 18ohms. The wooden shell is finished with the engraved SA (Signature Acoustics) on the top side and have a small port vent just beside the strain relief on the underside. The cable does have a slightly higher level of memory retention than I would like in an IEM but they feel suitably tough enough for a budget earphone and are terminated thankfully with a 45 degree angled gold plated 3.5mm jack. Not the most spectacular looking earphone at first glance but it does fit quite well with the stock tips, though I had to adjust a little to get the best possible seal and isolation during that time was above average for my ears. I do wish the L/R indicators where a bit more obvious. It took me a few minutes to find their placement on the lower part of the strain relief. If they were a bit more raised or in white this might help considerably in low light conditions.
Click to next page for sound impressions…