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Review

Review: Shinola Canfield In-Ear Monitor earbuds nail the premium experience

Shinola has improved its headphone game with a wireless Bluetooth version of the sturdy Canfield In-Ear Monitors. AppleInsider leans back in our comfy chair with our favorite playlist to see how they perform.

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs


There is a surfeit of headphones on the market, meeting a healthy variety of needs. Shinola has always had its place in that ecosystem, leaning towards the high end with beautiful materials and craftsmanship.

That can be felt in their latest headphones, the Bluetooth version of their popular Canfield In-Ear Monitors.

The Detroit-based fashion brand hasn't been in the headphone market for long, starting off with traditional wired cans before jumping on the Bluetooth bandwagon.

Canfield In-Ear Monitors build quality



These wireless buds have significant heft to them and wonderfully retro build thanks to the exposed screws on the monitors themselves — something not often seen on in-ear buds.




Even more unique, is the cable is actually removable from each monitor. This should theoretically allow you to swap out the much less expensive cable rather than headphones in their entirety if the need should arise.

The cable is nylon wrapped, which goes a long way to dampen the rustling sound that creeps into your ears while the headphones rub against your collar. A stiffened, Kevlar-lined flat portion of the cable goes behind the neck, connecting two plastic housings — one on each side — that sit between the back and the ends.

Powering these bassy-buds is USB-C, a requisite of any modern accessory that needs to be plugged in now, and in the future.

Available in black or silver, the monitors have sleek curves and a PVD coating. The backs of each are matte, while the sides are distinctly glossy. They don't largely protrude out of the ear, more around the size of AirPods.

Subtly, the Shinola Lightning bolt logo is also printed on the back of each monitor.

Internally, the earpieces pump out the tunes using 8.5mm Beryllium dynamic drivers. These aren't the largest drivers we've seen on earbuds — those go to the excellent Master & Dynamic MW07 with 10mm — but are up there. Beryllium is lightweight, but rigid, able to create rich sound while cutting back on distortion. It can be pricey, which is why many headphone makers don't utilize it that often.

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEM controls

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEM controls


The inline remote has the usual trio of buttons built into the cabling —volume up, volume down, and a center multi-purpose one.

Bluetooth



It seems that one of a variety of wireless methods is the preferred method of listening to music for most people these days, and it is easy to see why. It's far more convenient to not worry about being tethered to your device the entire time.

Shinola's packed Bluetooth 4.2 in these, shy of the Bluetooth 5 we've started to see.

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs


Using Bluetooth, you should get roughly 12 hours of battery life off a single charge, though that will vary based on your preferred volume. In a quiet office, we reached just a bit more than that.

What came in handy, was multipoint connectivity. The Canfield Bluetooth IEM can connect to multiple hosts at once. That way you can listen to audio one and take calls on another.

Jamming out



Whenever testing a new piece of audio gear, we always turn to our testing Apple Music playlist which gives us a wide range of genres, instruments, and audio nuances to listen for.



Like the other Shinola headphones, the sound leans a bit towards the warm side, with a slightly fuller lower frequency as a whole.

Considering Shinola's target audience of fashion-forward and trendy, it should come as no surprise that there is plenty of bass response here. Not to the overpowering degree as Beats were known for, but enough to meet the demands of some good part music. That powerful low-frequency response is impressive considering the smaller size of the earpieces.

Even though the bass pounded away, Shinola's IEMs don't come off as unbalanced. The mids are well represented as is the high end. We particularly liked the bright crispness that cymbals and acoustic guitars were able to register.

Using the default memory phone tips, the headphones kept a great seal which held external audio at bay, elevating the sound.

As we pushed the volume to the limits — only for a short period of time — there was no distortion. Always a good sign.

Any song with some instrumental components particularly shined, such as My Lucky Day, the acoustic versions of Shut up and Dance and All for You, or Uncharted.

Musically inclined



Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs

Shinola Canfield Bluetooth IEMs


Shinola's headphones have a reputation for looking great, being fairly minimalistic, and sounding handedly above average. They've also got a rep for being a bit overpriced.

Compared to the wired Canfield on-ear headphones, these Bluetooth IEMs don't seem far off when it comes to price. The feel and quality of the headphones are great, they look handsome, and sound fantastic will a full, rich profile.

We'd consider this on the upper end of the market, with a good mix of fashion and performance, but for an even higher-end experience, Shinola also offers a pro version.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5



Where to buy



To grab the Shinola Canfield Bluetooth In-Ear Monitors in either black or silver, you can head directly to their website, where they are available for $250.