You must log in or register to comment.

SupOrSalad t1_j6vducj wrote

The overall balance of the two IEMs. The treble boost of the S12 pro could tilt the tonal balance towards more treble emphasis, while the darker tone of the Zero could lead to a down tilt in the response making is sound more bass focused


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vfjy8 wrote

Yeah that's what I am learning. I do really like the S12 Pro's from the fit, the cable and just the overall quality I feel like I could wear these long periods of time without issues.

I really need to start understanding the graphs better, I am not sure what to look for with the "down tilt" you speak of. I would like to understand this better for sure. Thank you for responding and helping me figure this out.


SupOrSalad t1_j6vg36v wrote

It may be easier if you compensate (flatten) the graph, as comparing curved lines is inherently harder. You can do this by pressing the little squiggle line next to the target on

You'll notice that once flattened, the S12 has more emphasis in the treble than the Zero.

One thing to note with these IEM graphs is the 8khz peak is a resonance from the coupler itself, and the following dip and secondary peak are also due to the coupler, so the treble above 8khz on these graphs are not always representative of what your hear in your own ear


----_________------ t1_j6vc1qk wrote

tons of factors at play here.

A major common mistake when reading these graphs is taking each part individually as their own section, when in fact, it is all related. Treble can influence bass perception, and you should take into account the whole FR instead of just focusing purely on amplitude at certain frequencies

There's also your music choice that might influence how bass is perceived. Bass covers quite a wide range of frequencies, and different genres will emphasize different frequencies.

imo, the truthear zero has noticeable bass presence because of its elevated upper midrange combined with a midbass tuck. This creates a sense of contrast with the clear midrange/treble of the iem, which makes the bass seem more prominent.

the s12 (not the pro) had more note weight and midbass in my experience, but that does come with a lack of bass separation/impact that the zero has.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vdmia wrote

Thank you for responding and helping me understand this a bit better. I guess I was naive thinking "higher" on the frequency chart meant "better" but I was mislead by my own understanding.

I think I will listen to the S12 Pro's for a few days and try to get adjusted to them more. My initial impressions were just "these don't have more bass, but the graph says they should"... so I knew I was missing something.

Thank you again for explaining it to me so I can understand it better.


----_________------ t1_j6veiob wrote

no problem! Do give them a try for a couple of days, you'll probably get used to them. if it's still not to your liking, then you could return them or try some EQ.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vf4zh wrote

I am at the ground floor with learning about this hobby. Is there a program people like to use to EQ headphones? I use windows 11 if that helps.


----_________------ t1_j6vjhey wrote

most common program is EqualizerAPO, with the Peace GUI added on. There are videos and other resources here that are really helpful too.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vkhu9 wrote

Ok cool I’ll give that a look thanks for the recommendation!


KiyPhi t1_j6vi915 wrote

One thing not mentioned here, how are they sealing? IEMs are especially sensitive to seal tolerances. If you have too big of a tip, the tip will deform and break the seal, if you have too small of a tip, the tip won't occlude the ear and there will be no seal. Tip material can matter on the seal as well. I have not personally listened to either of these, but that is often an overlooked reason why something will sound different than it measures.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6virlj wrote

I did tip swap them and it didn't make a difference sadly. I even tried the foam tips that came with the S12 (although the middle ones were missing). Maybe I should buy another IEM tip and try that out instead?


KiyPhi t1_j6viz2f wrote

Another possible consideration, did you volume match them and if so, by what method? If one is a bit louder, they look close enough in sound that the extra perceived bass from loudness increase could also explain it.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vj9wg wrote

Well I volume matched them to the best I could with my own ears. I don't have a good device to determine if they are accurately at the same level.

I did try to increase the volume little by little on the S12 Pro until it appeared to be at the same volume and even went a little further thinking maybe they just need to be pushed more but that just increased the volume and didn't give me more bass.


KiyPhi t1_j6vjowc wrote

That does make it seem a bit like a sealing issue if the bass stayed low with increase volume. If you ever want to do a pretty good volume match, a multimeter with AC voltage is a good option for cheap.

Do you have access to a PC to listen with that you can use EQ APO on? If so, you might put a low shelf on the one that has less bass. If it takes more than 1-2dB to sound like the other one then it is probably certainly a sealing issue.

An alternative test is to use a tone generator like this one and see how low it goes. If the seal is broken on the less bass one, it should roll off much sooner than the other.


blargh4 t1_j6vekvg wrote

What are you driving them with? The Zeros’s frequency response is pretty amp-sensitive


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vf8e5 wrote

Just the headphone jack on the front of my computer. Here's a screenshot of the amp that's build into the motherboard if that helps any.


blargh4 t1_j6vnk8l wrote

I don't know about that specific one but computer headphone jacks often have higher output impedance, and the Zero is quite sensitive to that, any significant amount of source impedance will make the make the low-frequency "subwoofer" audibly louder than the other driver.

AFAIK the measurement guys usually use a source that's known to have a near-zero output impedance, like the Apple dongle.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vnxh0 wrote

I am going to order the apple USB C to 3.5mm and test it to see if I can tell a difference. I am sure my headphone jack on my PC isn't the best way to test these. Thanks for offering some information to help me out I appreciate it.


audioen t1_j6vqnn6 wrote

I think output impedance issues are the reason for more bass. Truthear x Crinacle Zero doesn't work correctly unless a low output impedance amplifier is provided. This IEM has two drivers with a crossover, and the bass region of the spectrum has the higher impedance, so it uses less current relative to the highs at that volume level. Devices that struggle to provide enough current will thus tend to recess mids and highs. You have probably never heard how this IEM is supposed to sound.

Cheapest thing that should drive them just fine is the $9 Apple dongle, as its output impedance is less than 1 ohm. One known issue is that Android phones can't adjust the hardware volume of this dongle, so maximum may be a little on the quiet side for some.

Edit: dug up the ASR measurement of the impedance: which is smoothly variable but also rises towards the low end. 10 ohms is less than most planars, and planars usually also have constant impedance.


LakeOfTheWyles t1_j6vk87t wrote

Planar iem’s in general will take all the power you can give. Planars prefer low output impedance amps that can give lots of current. They tend to scale well with more power. I had the s12 (not pro), and it sounded best on a singxer sa-1 desktop amp, a topping nx7, or a xduoo link2 bal. Higher current helped pull more detail, increase speed, and tighten up the bass. Underpowered planars sound slow/bloated and veiled. No need to go crazy, an xduoo link2 bal is probably all you need.

I tend to prefer DD bass which is punchier, but the s12’s had more detail and speed. I thought the bass was a definite strength. My only real knock on them was I felt like the soundstage was an average width with no real depth (2d). It didn’t feel as immersive as other sets I like.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vapxq wrote

I am new to IEM's and trying to understand what I am missing. I even tried to tip swap the ear tips from one IEM to the other and it made no difference, the Zero's just sound like they have more bass.

Plugging them into the computer port:

Bass Boosted Song, The Weekend - Hills:

Game 7.1 Tested:

Binural Car Racing Test:

All That Remains - Chiron:

Connor Maynard - Nothing but you

Final Countdown -


Roppmaster t1_j6vdpbl wrote

>I even tried to tip swap the ear tips from one IEM to the other and it made no difference, the Zero's just sound like they have more bass.

What are you connecting your IEMs to? The Truthear Zero are sensitive to output impedance, given their impedance curve.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vehex wrote

My computer headphone jack, I do know that I had to increase the volume on the Zero's to have it the same sound quantity as the S12 Pros.

Not sure if this helps?


Roppmaster t1_j6vgz86 wrote

>My computer headphone jack, I do know that I had to increase the volume on the Zero's to have it the same sound quantity as the S12 Pros

Your motherboard's headphone output likely has high output impedance, so I recommend trying an Apple USB-C dongle if you'd prefer less bass without relying on EQ. You can use a USB-A to USB-C adapter if your motherboard lacks a USB-C port.


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vjlfp wrote

I do have a USB C port maybe I will pick up that dongle. I would prefer more bass though as that's what triggered this whole confusion. I thought the S12 Pro being higher on the frequency chart was assuming that meant "more bass" but in the end I was naive and not understanding it completely.

So buying a higher quality IEM, with better frequency response in the areas I wanted to see an improvement I was just thinking it would have had more bass. The clarity is there for sure just a noticeable decrease in the bass buy a good margin.


GamePro201X t1_j6vaw5p wrote

probably because the S12 uses a planar driver while the Truthear Zero uses a dynamic driver. from what i understand dynamic drivers inherently have more punchy bass than planar drivers while planar drivers are better at delivering more linear/faster bass


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vb9tb wrote

Well that answers that now I feel dumb not understanding the graph. I just saw the S12 Pro outshining the Zero's in the area's I wanted and figured they would be the better sounding IEM.

In your opinion should listen to the S12 Pro's to get adjusted to their sound, or since I enjoyed the bass better from the Zero's I should just return the S12's?


GamePro201X t1_j6vbxpl wrote

I think you should try using the S12's for at least a couple of days. You might find out after getting used to them that you actually prefer them over the Truthear Zero. Of course, if you don't you can always just return them.

On a separate note while graphs can give you the general idea of how a headphone/IEM sounds, they really are not the complete story. Head shape, and ear shape also play a huge part in how you hear a headphone/IEM. You might hear more bass on the Truthear Zero because they seal better in your ear canal.

Furthermore, even if someone has the same head/ear shape as someone else they might still hear a headphone/IEM differently because each person has a unique HRTF which will emphasize certain frequencies

TL;DR: graphs are good, but don't always expect to hear something exactly how a graph shows it


extremeelementz OP t1_j6vcrwp wrote

Thank you for your response and it makes total sense. I guess I was guilty of just thinking "higher up" on the frequency was "more bass" but as you said that's not the case.

I do really like the feel, shape and cable of the S12 Pro's so I will take your advice and just give them a better shake for a few days. I do like the way they sound but I guess I am so use to the thump that I was taken back a bit.

Thank you again for helping me understand this better.