IEMs or In-ear monitors have become very popular these days. A few years ago very few IEMs existed, and these were priced generally very high.
For the lower end market earbuds were the popular choice while IEMs were for the discerning few. US and European companies like Etymotic ears, Ultimate Ears, Shure and others were the only few manufacturers who made IEMs.
With the arrival of Chinese companies however the IEM market has exploded with IEMs now available from as low as $1 to an eye popping $2000+ for custom IEMs that are molded on the users ear canal.
In addition to Chinese companies even big manufacturers like Sennheiser, AKG, Shure and others have started manufacturing IEMs in China while their more expensive models are made in the EU.
Signature Acoustics is an Indian company started in Navi Mumbai and is the first Indian company to launch an Indian branded IEM.
While like most manufacturers the IEM itself is ‘Made in China’, many manufacturers take the easy way out by simply re-branding an existing Chinese earphone under their brand name and selling it to the market. This allows companies the option of launching many IEMs at once.
However Signature Acoustics took the more difficult route of finding a manufacturer to tune an IEM to their requirements. So the C12 is not a simple rebrand of an existing Chinese earphone but it has been customized and built from the ground up after sampling various drivers, housings, wires and cases to come up with a brand new product.
To their credit each IEM comes with a beautiful hand made metal case which is something unheard of in this price range. The metal case is also ‘100% Made in India’.
However the heavy case doesn’t really lend for portability but I am told that Signature Acoustics will be redesigning the case shortly in favour of a lighter leather of faux leather one.