Shinola Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors Review: Are $500 Wired Earbuds Worth It?

Shinola Canfield In Ear monitors

Watch and bike maker Shinola is a relative newcomer in the audio field, yet they have been doing a great job coming out with stylish high-end headphones that offer superb build quality and looks to match. Now they are jumping into the earbud category, and at the top of their offerings are the Shinola Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors.

Priced at $495, they are Shinola’s most expensive headphones to date, so make no mistake because these headphones are targeted at audiophiles. But are these $500 wired earbuds worth it?

These Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors were created in a partnership with Campfire Audio. For those of you not familiar with Campfire Audio, they are a boutique headphone company geared towards audiophiles, and currently, their least inexpensive in-ear headphones cost a whopping $1099. When you take that into consideration, Shinola’s Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors’ price tag doesn’t seem so outrageous anymore.

Like most of Shinola’s products, the Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors are masterfully crafted out of machined aluminum. A knitted/braided cable helps keep the headphones relatively tangle free, and ensures that it will wear well over time. The cable features an inline microphone with a volume control and multifunctional button, and it has an Apple certified chip for compatibility with Siri, allowing to use the button on the cable to call up Siri when you need to. However, the cable can be changed out if needed, which we can see some folks opting to do because the cable is very long.

Shinola Canfield

The cable on the Canfield in-ear monitors can be switched out

Voice calls on the headphones come out very good. We could hear callers well and they said the same of us. However, they say that they heard some minimal background noise coming from the headphones when we tested it outside. But overall, the mic and call quality for these in-ear monitors are one of the better ones we’ve tested.

The Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors feature a hook design that helps them stay secure on your ears. The “hooks” are made of a flexible plastic. The combination hook design, plus the fact that they are pretty lightweight, means that they hold up pretty well while running and being active. The hook itself is pretty comfortable, but after a few hours of listening, we developed pressure on our ears from the hooks. Otherwise, the in-ear monitors themselves are quite comfortable.

When it comes to audio, the in-ear monitors are powered by two high-end balanced armature receivers, a bass woofer, and a mid-high range tweeter. The Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors are rich with detail and they’re super balanced. Vocals shine and overall they sound sublime. They aren’t too bass heavy, which is something this reviewer prefers. There is roughly a 24-hour burn-in period before you can unlock the headphones full potential. With all of that said, these are good enough to satisfy just about any audiophile, and we even think that they sound a lot better than Shinola’s larger on ear / over ear headphones.

Final Thoughts

The $495 price tag for Shinola’s Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors is hard to swallow, which means that they aren’t for everyone. But if you have the money to burn, you won’t be disappointed. With that said, Shinola does offer a less expensive $199 pair of in-ear monitors, but they don’t sound nearly as good as the Canfield Pro In-Ear Monitors.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Extremely rich and balanced, detailed audio that will satisfy audiophiles; Very well made and designed and built in the United States; Carrying case and several tips are included (including foam tips); Strong cable design; Apple-certified chip; Cable can be switched out; Very good call quality

The Needs Improvement: Pricey for wired in-ears; Hooks create pressure after wearing them for a while

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About the Author

Helena Stone
Noticing that there was a void of female influence in the technology blogosphere, Helena started Chip Chick in 2004. The site grew to become the no 1. tech site for women, which she ran as Editor-in-Chief until 2017. A native New Yorker, Helena holds a Masters in Digital Imaging and Design from NYU. Helena has been featured on MSNBC, Wired, ABC News, People Style & Watch, Time Magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, and other major news outlets. And when she is not busy testing out new gear, she can be found trotting the globe, looking for the next hot gadget.