Chord & Major 5’14 World : The Major World
It is not easy for a newcomer to strike the market—especially for a market that has been long crowded by competitors. However, Chord & Major is a good example. A few years ago when I heard about them, I couldn’t wait to listen to their products (IEMs). I requested review units from them, and luckily for me, I have tried all their product range, including the 9’13 Classical (dark sound, very good tone and exceptional transient response), 8’13 Rock (crystal-clear vocal and energetic, not treble harsh and a good bass response), 7’13 Jazz (boosted bass weight and bass impact, brought out the detail of the pipe organ easily, as well as the flute and trumpet) and 6’13 Ballad (good, clear vocal, and open sound). Believe me, they all shine at their own games. That is why I have become Chord & Major’s biggest fan after my first attempt with their product. The idea behind the tonal range IEM is very creative and makes sense. Taking myself as an example, most of the music I listen to is either ballad, classical or jazz, and I know which IEM is perfect for each genre. However, you don’t really need to own all of them to get the best, just buy the one that you think you will use the most. Sound quality is not the only aspect where Chord & Major shines – if you ever hold their product, you know how much effort C&M puts in the packaging, finishing and build quality of their products. They paid special attention on every detail, and, honestly, I can’t find any manufacturer that is willing to pay so much attention on their products. The wood texture and excellent build quality are trademarks of their products.
Chord & Major 5’14 World Music Tonal Earphone (239USD) is a very unique IEM. The tonal strength of the 5’14, according to Chord & Major, are world and live music. From the outer, it has a different wood “texture” and “color” compared to other C&M products. Thank God all the good qualities of C&M are well presented in the 5’14, too! The build quality is excellent, the cable strain-relief mechanism is very good and one could expect the 5’14 to work a long time before breakage. Moreover, the packaging is very nice, too, and I think the earpiece cleaner that is bundled in the packaging is practical and handy. I don’t have any comfort issues with 5’14, and the IEM isolated reasonably well from outer noise. I like the cable of the 5’14, too. It’s a round cable, doesn’t not tangle easily, and is good quality. You really need to hold their product to understand how much effort they put into the IEMs.
Audio Quality In general, the sound has a good, wide and open soundstage. Not only does it provide good detail, but it also portrays detail in a very natural way (Not harsh). How could I not to mention the bass? Oh! The bass is natural, open and fast. Bass is wide and present enough when the music needed it, but when the music didn’t need it, you didn't get disturbing and boomy bass. The bass performance of 5’14 is detailed and natural enough, it has good texture and the right amount of bass. The bass performance is very “audiophile.”
The drum details and positioning of the musician is well portrayed. I can listen to the detailed vibration of the drum and sense of air very well. I can feel the drums are not overly boosted, but just truly “represented”. When the drums hit faster, the 5’14 followed easily and the speed and separation remained good. What surprised me the most is the ability of 5’14 to “draw” the shape of an instrument—you can actually “see” the instruments when you listened to them. When listening to a live album, these IEMs provided a very good sense of air/live and soundstage performance—which I would say is the 5’14’s strength. The 5’14 is hitting a market for live and world music, and they really shine with their balanced and neutral sound in an open sounding manner.
Final Verdict The 5’14s are a top-notch performer here. Chord & Major has once again come out with something excellent. So, Chord & Major, when will a full sized/portable headphone by released?