Semkarch is a new Chinese company that specializes in in-ear monitors (IEMs). I would like to thank Penon and Semkarch for the review unit of the SKC-CNT1. At the moment, you can purchase it from https://penonaudio.com/semkarch-skc-cnt1.html .
- Driver: CNT Dynamic driver
- Frequency range:10Hz-26000Hz
Unboxing & Accessories
The SKC-CNT1 comes in a black package with the brand name printed on the front. After opening the package, there are the iem and blue carrying case which sports the brand name. The case contains cable, tips and filters.
IEM Build & Design
The SKC-CNT1 has a small oval shell and it has a comfortable fit. It has a glossy gun-metal surface. On each faceplate, there is the brand name with vent below it. There is a vent on the inside of the iem. On the outside of the MMCX sockets, there is a L and R marking to differentiate left and right respectively. The nozzle is slightly angled and it can be removed.
Cable Build & Design
The cable has a 2 core design. It has MMCX connectors. Each connector has a gun-metal housing. There are L & R markings on the left and right side respectively for differentiation. The cable has a memory wire section that is enclosed in an opaque black heat shrink tube. The chin slider and y-splitter are gunmetal in colour with the model name printed on the y-splitter. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm gold plated straight with strain relief and it sports the brand name.
Sound Analysis (Black Filter)
The SKC-CNT1 has a good amount of sub-bass and the extension is of a moderate magnitude. The mid-bass has great quantity and it presents the slam with control. The bass texture is rendered smoothly and the bass decay is not quick. Each bass note is articulated in a smooth hit with natural rumble. The bass reproduction takes on a full-bodied approach and it is delivered with engagement. When the filter is gold, the bass has quicker bass decay with slightly more extension.
The midrange on the SKC-CNT1 has body and it operates in a laid back approach. There is a moderate level of transparency and it is rendered in a smooth manner. The presentation is fairly lush. The lower mids has good quantity which benefits male vocals. The upper mids is not very forward and it limits the intimacy of female vocals. The midrange is expressed well but lacks the excitement. When the filter is gold, there is a cleaner feeling and transparency improves.
The treble has a moderate extension with lack of crisp and sparkle. There is no sibilance and harshness. It is expressed with smoothness and the treble presentation ensures a fatigue-free listening session without sounding bright. The amount of air rendered is moderate and offers space. The definition is moderate with little liveliness. When the filter is gold, there is a small improvement in the extension.
The SKC-CNT1 expands naturally with an average width magnitude. The depth is slightly closed in. It gets congested when tackling busier tracks. Positioning of vocals and instruments has average precision.
As compared to the black filter, the gold filter has a lighter bass performance with more treble presence.
Semkarch SKC-CNT1 vs iBasso IT01
The SKC-CNT1 has more sub-bass quantity than the IT01 and the extension has a similar magnitude. The SKC-CNT1 presents its sub-bass in a fuller manner. The mid-bass on the IT01 has slightly less quantity than the SKC-CNT1 but the IT01 is able to deliver its slam with speed. The bass texture on both is rendered smoothly while the bass decay on the IT01 is quicker with agility. The midrange on the IT01 has a higher level of transparency with cleanliness. The lower mids on the SKC-CNT1 has more body and male vocals benefit from it. The upper mids on the IT01 is more forward which contributes to the intimacy of female vocals. The vocals reproduction is more organic on the IT01. Next, in the treble section, the IT01 has more extension while the SKC-CNT1 has extra body. The IT01 has more crisp and sparkle. The amount of air rendered on the IT01 is more. The articulation of the IT01 has a slightly higher precision level. In terms of soundstage, both expands naturally but IT01 has greater width. The depth on the SKC-CNT1 is more closed in.
Semkarch SKC-CNT1 vs TFZ Exclusive King
The SKC-CNT1 has similar sub-bass quantity as the King and the extension on the King is slightly greater. The sub-bass reproduction has a higher engagement level on the SKC-CNT1. The mid-bass on the SKC-CNT1 has additional amount and it contributes to a weighted slam. The slam from the SKC-CNT1 is harder which gives more impact. Both demonstrates rumble well. Bass texture is much smoother on the SKC-CNT1 while the bass decay is slightly quicker on the King. The midrange on both has similar transparency. The lower mids on the SKC-CNT1 has more body which makes male vocals sound thick. The upper mids on the King has additional forwardness and creates more intimate female vocals. Moving on to the treble section, the King has more extension and it is able to render a greater amount of air. The treble on the SKC-CNT1 has extra body and the articulation on the King is more precise. The King brings sparkle and crisp is showcased well. In terms of soundstage, the expansion is rather natural and the King has a greater width magnitude. Depth on the SKC-CNT1 is more closed in.
The SKC-CNT1 is a bass oriented iem that is able to provide a strong bass performance, laid-back midrange and smooth treble. It has a good engagement level and provides strong punch. In addition, it features filter tuning options. The Semkarch SKC-CNT1 excels in its bass reproduction and marks Semkarch’s debut.