It’s the Barry White of custom monitors.
Cosmic Ears is a Swedish custom in-ear manufacturer that burst onto the scene in 2012, offering resells and budget-minded models. Since then, Cosmic Ears has expanded the line with higher end offerings, matured tuning, and artistic faceplate options (steampunk, watch movement, paua shell, etc.), and a new workshop in the UK, while still maintaining excellent value for the dollar.
Cosmic’s reputation for value drew me in. I decided to try the six-driver model CE6. It is offered in a ‘P’ or ‘B’ variant (previously known as the ‘E’ variant), with the ‘B’ variant offering boosted bass over the ‘P’ model. As an aficionado of more neutral tuning, I opted to purchase the ‘P’ model.
I also selected purple-colored shells (a Cosmic Ears trademark), a steampunk treatment on the faceplate, and the new version of the T2 Linum BaX cable. For those not familiar with the Linum cable from Estron, you can read more about it in our review of the 2-Pin Linum BaX. The T2, somewhat reminiscent of the MMCX connector, is proprietary to Linum and has been recently revised with right angle connectors. The T2 connector doesn’t suffer the connection and reliability issues of MMCX. Cosmic Ears monitors also come with a great embossed, square carrying case that accommodates plenty of storage space. Starting at £475, which currently equates to about $710 US dollars, the CE6P is one of the most affordable six-driver monitors around.
If JH Audio monitors are known for their rock-n’-roll tuning, then the CE6P should be known for its smooth seduction. It’s the Barry White of custom monitors. There’s not a harsh bone in its body. And while this might not make for the most engaging rock & roll experience, it engages vocal and acoustic oriented music for the listener as emotively as it comes.
The bass of the CE6P is actually fairly enhanced over neutral tuning. I can’t imagine having more boost in the ‘B’ variant! I would describe the bass frequency response as gradually rising the deeper it goes. While this makes for lesser mid-bass punch and impact, it can absolutely shake and rumble with deeper bass. Bass, like everything else in the CE6P presentation, is very smooth with soft textured edges. It is rich, organic, and hefty.
The midrange of the CE6P is where the magic happens. Vocals are fantastically centered and clear, and oh so buttery smooth. Don’t let the level of smoothness fool you into thinking resolution is glossed over, either. The CE6P resolves low level details in the midrange but does smooth over typically harsh and sibilant recordings. Vocals are full, throaty, and lush, with a hint of darkness.
The CE6P treble is laid back and easy going; it perhaps rolls off a little on the early side. Treble timbre is good, with nice heft. No etched or thin treble here. Again, I’d say there’s a little bit of darkness in the treble region, further contributing to the CE6P’s overall smooth mojo.
Soundstage & Presentation
While nowhere close to airy and open, the CE6P still manages to sound above average in most staging properties. While on the intimate side in closeness and a bit constrained in left to right width, the performance of the vocalists feels personalized and enhanced, as the CE6P sounds realistically tall and above average in depth.
Beyond being a serious value proposition for in the low $700 USD range, for me, the CE6P is at once a dreamer, lover, and poet — set with an introspective, distinctive point of view — sliding across those dark and rainy nights with brooding, impassioned contemplation.