Cambridge Audio SE1 review: Fantastic earbuds that give back to community

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Cambridge Audio SE1

I don’t make declarations very often but I’d say that the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds are seriously in my top 3 wired earbuds under $100USD.

TA-ratings-98It seems we’re a landing pad for consumer audio products around here and the latest brand we have is the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds. Cambridge Audio is most certainly not a new player in the audio game. They’re a storied tradition in the United Kingdom and they’re bringing their signature British sound to American shores. We had the opportunity to meet with them in Chicago and discuss a bit about the company’s history and signature sound.

Cambridge Audio’s specialty is premium home audio equipment and from the looks of it, they’re very well respected in that field. Now the company is expanding into some Bluetooth speakers and the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds. The SE1’s are particularly special to Cambridge Audio. They are proud of how well built they are and how great they sound.

They’re also very proud that 50% of the price of the SE1’s goes to Music Unites in the US. Music Unites is the leading non-profit charity organization supporting music education around the world. Music Unites partners with music stars, celebrity ambassadors, and music sponsors to promote music projects and events at local schools, educating kids through music. That’s something we can get behind and gives these particular earbuds even more value.

So without further delay, let’s get into the full review of the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds and find out why they are a Techaeris Top Pick for 2017.

Specifications

The Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds have the following features and specifications:

  • Drivers: 8mm Beryllium
  • SPL: 102dB
  • Frequency Response: 19Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 22 ohms
  • Jack/Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated plug (4 poles)
  • Cable Length: 1.2m
  • Weight: 8.7g

What’s In The Box

  • Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds
  • Three different sized Comply foam ear tips (small, medium, large)
  • Four different sized silicone ear tips (small, 2 x medium, large)
  • Carrying case
Cambridge Audio SE1

Box contents.

Design

One word to describe the design of the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds, simple. There is absolutely nothing flashy here. No crazy shapes, no weird colors, and no fancy logos. Just simplicity. The materials used are high-quality and feel very premium. I do wish the cable was a flat cable but that’s a minor complaint and not a deal breaker at all. The housing is aluminum as is the headphone jack housing. Overall, there’s not a whole lot to say about design. It’s just simple, elegant, and functional.

Cambridge Audio SE1

Simple design.

Sound

I’ve often said I really love a balanced soundstage. I really love to hear what the artists wanted me to hear and not what the headphone makers want me to hear. There are a handful of companies that really cater to balancing the sound so you hear everything there is to hear. Cambridge Audio is one of these.

The clarity is amazing! Vocals come through with no muddiness. Bass is right where it needs to be and not overdriven or overbearing. Mids are balanced and hold up the soundstage like a well-placed skeleton. The highs are crisp and clean, hi-hats and cymbals are right there in the mix.

These really are some of the best wired earbuds I’ve ever heard. These will really appeal to those who want to hear everything in a song. If you’re into heavy bass these are probably not going to satisfy.

Overall, the Cambridge Audio has really nailed the balance of sound. This is high-quality sound at its best.

Cambridge Audio SE1

Cambridge Audio has been around since the 60’s.

Call Quality

Call quality is great on these, I had no issues hearing callers and callers had no weird audio issues on their end. I don’t often use earbuds to take calls, I just prefer not to but these were really good during testing.

Price/Value

The Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds are priced at $84.99USD with 50% of the proceeds going to Music Unites. Even without the charity, these earbuds are well worth the price tag and should probably be commanding a higher price. I love that Cambridge Audio is investing into the community so that adds a huge amount of value to these earbuds. There is one caveat to purchasing these earbuds: they are only available on Cambridge Audio’s website. The company does not offer them anywhere else, this is so they can make sure proceeds are finding their way to Music Unites.

Cambridge Audio SE1

Great build quality!

Wrap Up

I don’t make declarations very often but I’d say that the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds are seriously in my top 3 wired earbuds under $100USD. Add the fact that 50% of your money is going to a good cause and these are a real hit.

*We were given a sample of the Cambridge Audio SE1 earbuds for the purposes of this review.

Cambridge Audio SE1

$84.99USD
Cambridge Audio SE1
9.8

Design

10/10

    Sound

    10/10

      Call Quality

      10/10

        Price/Value

        10/10

          Nailed it

          • 50% of the purchase price goes to charity
          • Sound is awesome
          • Lightweight
          • Great design

          Needs work

          • Wish the cable was flat
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