CustomArt is a relatively new player in the custom in-ear monitor (CIEM) market, specializing in silicone CIEMs, remolds of customs and universals, universal custom tips and custom made cables.
At the helm of CustomArt is Piotr Granicki (also known as piotrus-g, or Peter on head-fi.org). Peter is a personable, easy going and patient man, who won’t hesitate to answer all the varying questions a prospective customer might have.
I should know, as I peppered him with many questions, thoughts and ideas before finally settling on the CustomArt Music Two.
The Music Two is a dual BA custom using the Sonion 1723 Acupass, which is comprised of a 1700 woofer and a 2300 tweeter, combined into a single spout. Sonion specifies 22 Ω minimum impedance (at ~4 kHz) and the Music Two measures in at 75 Ω @ 1 kHz.
CustomArt lists these additional specifications:
- 2-Way Configuration
- 109 dB @ 1 kHz, 0.1 V
- 10 Hz to 18,500 Hz (±20 dB into IEC711 Coupler)
- Advanced Horn Nozzle Design
- Vented Receiver for Better Bass Response
- Silicone Body
Unlike many other manufacturers, Peter is very transparent about the uncompensated frequency response of his designs and has it readily displayed on his website for each model in his lineup. I really applaud his openness, as it helps a prospective buyer to have a better idea how the unheard product may sound — and ultimately perform.
Ergonomics, Options & Accessories
The Music Two ships with two cases, one a pocketable semi-hard zipper case and the other a Pelican 1010 micro case. Also included are a cleaning tool and desiccant pod, along with your trimmed-down ear impressions.
I’ve owned many different custom IEMs but they’re all in acrylic; Music Two is my very first silicone CIEM. I was quite surprised at how quickly I could insert and remove them. In fact, I can easily insert and remove them faster than my previous acrylic CIEMs.
Comfort and isolation is also top notch. The Music Two is easily the most comfortable custom I’ve owned and the isolation is incredible. It’s more isolating than any of my acrylic customs and surprisingly even more isolating than the classically deep-fitting Etymotic ER-4S! Best of all, there is no occlusion effect when walking. Silicone certainly brings multiple advantages to the table for me.
When ordering a Music Two, one can choose many different colors of silicone — some standard and some premium, with a choice of different tip colors as well. Some colors are solid and others are transparent, and some even have a metallic look — the finishes on the shells can be gloss or matte. There is also an option for faceplate artwork. Peter even offers a ‘State of Art’ finish, which includes various combinations of internally-colored parts like wiring, tubing, etc. I tend to shy away from flashy things and prefer the understated, so I went with simple smoke/transparent black silicone shells.
Fixed or removable cabling is also an option. Removable cables use the standard Westone style two-pin connectors but if you want supply your own fixed cable, you can send in just about any cable option for Peter to use. I opted for the fixed cable, presumably for better durability and comfort. However, instead of using the stock fixed cable, I decided to send in a cable that Ultimate Ears uses for their customs.
So how does the Music Two sound? Thick, rich, and potent are three words that quickly come to mind. Bass is reverberant and excellently textured. Treble is articulate and crisp with each note clearly defined but overall remaining non-fatiguing. Midrange is weighty, organic and slightly laid back. It’s a frequency response that doesn’t stray too far from accuracy but strives for a fun and musical approach to it.
And while note weight is hefty and dense, the Music Two still achieves a fairly large and spacious presentation. At times it seems almost contradictory — it sounds laid back, non-fatiguing, yet at the same time dynamic, bold and impactful.
The Music Two is a pretty sensitive IEM and gets loud very easily. Sensitivity seems on par with the FitEar F111. However sensitive it may be, it still plays well with devices of varying impedance. I didn’t notice any frequency response variations when moving from my iPhone 5 (with approximately 3 Ω output impedance) and my CypherLabs rig, consisting of the Solo -dB and Duet (with approximately 0.2 Ω output impedance). Even with a 33 Ω in-line resistor, the signature didn’t stray too terribly far but I’d probably not recommend using anything over 10 Ω to get maximum performance.