CCA NRA Review: Another One

  • Smooth treble
  • Decent build quality

  • Midbass bloat
  • Subpar midrange resolution

CCA is a well-known company from China that produces in-ear monitors, and actually a sister company of another popular brand, KZ. Similar to KZ, CCA mostly releases hybrid and multi-BA IEMs in the budget range. The NRA is one of the most recent IEMs they released, that retails for 21 USD. The NRA was provided to me for free by KeepHIFI in exchange for this review.

Driver units: 1 6.8 mm electrostatic + 1 10 mm dynamic, triple magnetic
Impedance: 25 ohms
Sensitivity: 103 dB
Frequency response range: 20 Hz - 40 kHz

Poco X3 paired with iBasso DC03 and Shanling UA1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The NRA comes in a small, white sleeved box that's identical to the box that KZ uses. Upon removing the sleeve and the top lid, you will see the earphones inserted in foams, and underneath it are the cable and other accessories including the small and large eartips, with the medium already attached to the earphones, and the instruction manual.
The shells are made of resin and equipped with a metal faceplate. The faceplates sport the CCA logo. It is quite solid and gives a substantial weight to the shell. The shells are also transparent, giving a clear view to the electrostatic and dynamic driver inside. There are no vents at the rear side of the shell, but instead it was placed at the bottom portion. The nozzles have a metal mesh filter to keep dust out, as well as a lip to hold eartips in place.
The cable is a 2-core silver plated copper that is unique in both looks and touch. It is soft and lightweight with very good flexibility. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a chin slider, and I dream of the day when KZ and other budget brands start to add chin sliders to their cables. The 0.75 mm 2 pin connectors are made of plastic, while the splitter and the L-type 3.5 mm gold plated plug are made of hard rubber.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows have an upfront presentation, with the midbass being more forward than the subbass. The slam and rumble in the subbass are noticeably boosted, with the depth being just average and a slightly increased amount of decay. Midbass sounds thick and boomy, and often bleeds into the mids.

Overall, I consider the subbass of the NRA to be just ok. However, the midbass is where the problem lies as it smears the mids most of the time; affecting both vocals and instruments.

The mids are slightly pushed to the back of the stage. Vocals, especially male ones, have an added weight to its notes. The level of articulation and transparency in the mids is just below average, and instruments in this section sound a bit squeezed in along with the vocals. 

Overall, this is the part that needs the most improvement for the NRA. Recessed mids are not at all bad in and of itself, but if the mids also lack in terms of resolution, it becomes an unwanted combination.

The highs are reproduced in a slightly relaxed manner. This section is placed at the center of the mix, and gives a decent amount of sparkle. Treble reach is average as well as the decay, with instruments like cymbals and lead guitars being fairly audible in the background for busy tracks.

Overall, the highs provide a decent amount of air that is nowhere to be found in the mids. It is good for long listening sessions as it is not fatigue inducing, but sometimes there are details that get lost in this section due to the presence of the midbass.

Soundstage and Imaging:
The stage has a below average expansion. The depth expands more compared to the height. Imaging is not that good because of the lack of clarity in the mids and the bloat in the midbass. Instrument separation is below average as well as the layering, and congestion is fairly present on most tracks.

CCA NRA (1 electrostatic + 1 DD, 21 USD) vs. CCZ Coffee Bean (1 DD, 20 USD)
Now, this is where it gets interesting. When I compared them side by side, they sound exactly the same. I even wore the NRA on my left ear, and the Coffee Bean on the right, and I can't discern any difference at all. From the lows, mids, highs, and up to the soundstage, everything is identical.

When I first saw that CCA will be releasing another budget IEM with something unique in it being the driver configuration, I was hopeful that it will bring something new to the table, considering that electrostatic drivers are unheard of in this price range. Let's not take away that it sounds ok and decent given its 21 USD price tag, but it's disappointing that it sounds exactly the same as another IEM that's using just one dynamic driver.


  1. Been looking for a good earphones to pair up with my poco f3. I think this is it! Sana manalo ako sa raffle. 🙏🙏🙏

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