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Product Reviews

Stealth Sonics C9 In-Ear Monitors – A Real-World Review

Singapore-based Stealth Sonics is one of the more recent IEM companies to garner attention, and after living with the company’s C9 IEMs, it’s easy to see why.

Singapore-based Stealth Sonics is one of the more recent IEM companies to garner attention, and after living with Stealth Sonics C9 In-Ear Monitors, it’s easy to see why. My experience with IEMs is that even if they are comfortable, they become irritating after four or five hours of listening. Not true with the C9s. I’ve worn them for the duration of multiple 10+ hour international flights without experiencing even the slightest bit of discomfort. They are so comfortable that I wear them on the plane even if I’m not listening to music. They’re able to provide 32 dB of sound isolation.

IEM Manufacturers Team for New Trade Group

Stealth Sonics is made up of audiologists, engineers and musicians devoted to providing engineers, producers, musicians, artists and audiophiles an exceptional listening experience. I had the opportunity to visit the company’s headquarters in Singapore last summer, and their devotion to detail, sound quality and hearing protection made me an instant fan. Instead of relying on older IEM technology, Stealth Sonics’ hand-crafted in-ear monitor system provides sonically stunning performance regardless of preferred listening volume or musical style due to the IEM technology’s ability to tune the system to natural acoustics of the listener’s ear.

The Stealth Sonics C9 In-Ear Monitors is the company’s flagship model. The nine-driver configuration includes one dynamic (low frequency), two balanced armature (mid frequency), two balanced armature (high frequency), and four balanced armature (super-high frequency). The drivers are housed in a proprietary, acoustically optimized composite material that delivers a frequency range of 18 Hz to 40 kHz. (Not that anyone is actually hearing anything that high, but it’s nice to know it’s there!) A small port at the top of each earpiece facilitates air movement from within the enclosure, allowing the dynamic driver to efficiently move air at the output, resulting in an enhanced bottom end. The IEMs include a hard vinyl zippered case large enough to comfortably store the IEMs and accessories, which include a cleaning cloth and brush, a 1/4-inch adapter, an airplane adapter, a 1.2-meter standard cable and a 1.2-meter iPhone cable (MFI). Stealth Sonics provides a one-year warranty as well as a 30-day refit policy should you not like how your IEMs feel when placed in your ear.

On first use, you may find the Stealth Sonics slightly more difficult to insert and remove than other IEMs, but you’ll figure it out soon enough. Once you’ve used them a few times, they are as easy to insert and remove as any other IEM.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours over the last several months listening to the Stealth Sonics C9 IEMs. I’ve used them while exercising, on the plane, in the studio, in the car and practically anywhere else you can think of, and they are stunningly good. Their detail is exceptional at both low and high volumes, and they do an amazing job of providing a smooth, balanced sound with a full, defined bottom end.

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Stealth Sonics provides the same design customization options as the competition, but with a price tag of $1,499, Stealth Sonics C9 In-Ear Monitors cost significantly less than many competitor products—without a compromise in their sound quality, durability or accessory options.

Stealth Sonics •