Review of the C.Crane CC Buds Solo In-Ear Single Earbud (and a chance to win one!)

A few weeks ago, C. Crane sent me one of their newest radio accessories: the CC Buds Solo Single Earbud.

Here’s the description from the C.Crane product page:

Single Earbud Optimized For Voice

The CC Buds™ Solo single earpiece provides a unique advantage over traditional earbuds because it allows you to interact better with others while listening to radio, podcasts or audiobooks (your boss will love you). The integrated stereo to mono plug works with smartphones, radios, tablets, and most other audio devices.

The Solo can give you a safety advantage when running, biking, or walking because you are more likely to hear if danger approaches. The cable is Kevlar™ reinforced for maximum durability. It is perfect for scanner radio listening. Can work well for law enforcement when greater awareness is needed.

Audio is tuned for superior voice clarity. Included are three silicone and three compressible foam covers––sized small, medium, and large. The small covers usually fits a small ear comfortably. Standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. Cord Length 48″.

At first blush, the idea of a single earpiece smacks of vintage solid-state radios. I’ve a number of classic portables that were designed around a hard-plastic single earpiece–anyone else remember those?

In fact, my Sony ICF-5500W (above) even has a little compartment to house its custom earpiece.

The Sony ICF-550W’s unforgiving 1970s era earpiece.

In my youth, I carried a hard plastic single earpiece with me everywhere, especially at school, because it made listening to the radio and still having some situational awareness possible. [Unfortunately, I was known to listen to the radio during classes…what a renegade I was back then!]

If you, too, used those hard plastic earpieces, I doubt you’d have ever described them as “comfortable.” I never found them even remotely so. Those earpieces were functional, but the audio they produced was tinny and it was always difficult to keep them in my ear.

Think of the CC Buds Solo as the earpiece we all wish we could have had back then!

The Solo includes numerous earpiece options, a carry bag and owner’s manual.

Here are some of the CC Buds Solo pros:

  • The audio quality is superb for spoken word
  • The earpiece is very comfortable (see notes below)
  • The audio plug allows for mono listening on stereo devices (obviously a must in 2019)
  • Features a super-strong Kevlar-reinforced cord
  • Includes a clothing clip that acts as strain relief
  • Ships with a small, soft carry bag

So does the Solo deliver what it promises? Yes, it does.

What I really love is the number of soft silicon and foam earpieces that ship with the Solo: a total of seven options, when including the default earpiece.

If you’ve ever used in-ear earbuds, you’ll understand the importance of swapping out the soft earpieces to a size that best suits your ears––that is, to a size that makes for a comfortable seal.

The Solo might also be useful if your hearing is a bit better in one ear than the other.

Unlike single earpieces of old, it’s actually a pleasure to use the CC Buds Solo earpiece.

Before using the Solo, I would often wear only the right earpiece of my stereo earbuds when I needed to be able to hear the environment around me. This obviously isn’t ideal because the left earpiece would dangle, catch on my shirt or otherwise get in the way, and often lead to jerking out the right earpiece. Not to mention, it led to an awkward muffling (or altogether missing) of some of the sound in that other dangling earbud when stereo sound is split or processed differently for each ear. Clearly, not the best way to listen.

Note the adjustable clothing clip.

Now, when I’m driving, working, or walking, I can use the Solo clipped it to my shirt; it’s a more simple and annoyance-proof solution that allows for greater mobility and permits me to hear all of the intended sound.

I’ve only used the Solo for spoken word; primarily AM/SW broadcast band listening and for listening to podcasts.

These days, while I’ve been at work on a home renovation, podcasts have become an essential part of my day by helping me pass the time while painting, sanding, cleaning, mowing, doing yard work, or carrying out other tedious tasks. A good podcast definitely keeps it fun. The Solo makes podcast listening easy.

And of course, the Solo is also a great solution for listening to audio books, too.

I’ll admit, when I first saw the product announcement for the CC Buds Solo, I was curious if there’d still be a market for a mono earpiece. I suppose I proved it, myself, as I have found it quite useful when I don’t need the total isolation or stereo sound from two in-ear earbuds.

Well played, C.Crane!

Click here to check out the CC Buds Solo Single Earbud at C.Crane.

Win a CC Buds Solo!

C.Crane kindly sent me two samples of the CC Buds Solo at no cost to me. I’ve used one for evaluation purposes and C.Crane is kindly allowing me to give the other away to a lucky SWLing Post reader.

Here’s how you can enter our Solo giveaway!

As I mentioned, I consume a lot of podcasts these days. Here are just a few you might want to check out:

What are your favorite podcasts or radio shows?

Please leave a comment with some of your favorite podcasts or radio shows for a chance to win! Next Tuesday (July 30, 2019) I’ll pick a winner at random from the comments section and ship them a brand new CC Buds Solo single earpiece courtesy of C.Crane!

Click here to leave your comment!

Spread the radio love

50 thoughts on “Review of the C.Crane CC Buds Solo In-Ear Single Earbud (and a chance to win one!)



  2. walter mulvey

    I am a little confused does the cc buds solo produce both channels of stereo in the one earbud or does it only reproduce only one of the stereo channels. walter

  3. Dennison E Wells

    I listen to 100 watts and wire podcast,
    I have limited hearing in right ear.
    I wonder if it may work for me ?
    ( KI7CSN) my amateur radio callsign

  4. James B Milholland

    My favorite podcasts are BBC.. My single favorite is the News Quiz (Look under Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy), which features a group of comedians who are quizzed on the news and respond in the form of commentary. Who would have thought that Brexit could be funny.

  5. Mister Art C.

    I’ll nominate Fiat Lex, a podcast about dictionaries by Steve and Kory, who actually write and edit them.
    Also Pessimist’s Archive, about innovations that were scary in their day: Electricity, sure. But the novel? Yeah, really.
    * * *
    Crane has an interesting product, but it would be much more useful — especially given that it is optimized for voice — if it had an integral mic so it could be used for phone calls. And, as at least one other comment pointed out, volume control buttons would be nice, too. Even a single button, like the headset that came with my Pixel, to pause the audio.

  6. Royce Fontenot

    Podcasts- Most of the SW Broadcasters on RadioEu360, especially Radio Mongolia (I used to listen on SW when I liced in rural Alaska). I also enjoy NHK World and mush of the programming from ABC Radio Australia (another Alaska Bush favorite). And of course, the Alaska Public Radio Network podcasts (can you tell I miss Alaska?) And BBC Radio 4 LW feed.

    On air, I’m enjoying most of the music shows on WRMI since they come in pretty clear into NM right now. If I can catch RNZ on SW I’ll stay there most of the evening.

  7. Tom Laskowski

    My podcast menu is:
    Jim Bohannon
    John Batchelor
    Shortwave Radio Archives
    Red Eye Radio
    ARRL The Doctor Is In
    Media Network Vintage Vault
    Sky Tour Astronomy Podcasts (from Sky & Telescope)
    WSBT Weekday Sportsbeat (local station)

  8. Brent Wilson

    Thanks for the opportunity! Podcasts I enjoy include 100 Watts and a Wire, Ham Radio 360, Partisan Radio and Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio.
    Radio shows that I sometimes listen to on my phone include The Hagmann Report and The Alex Jones show.

  9. Bob Valen

    I like to listen to AvTalk from Flightradar24. The hosts are knowledgeable and the subjects are timely and on point. Lots of updates on the commercial aviation industry.

  10. Joe Sobotka

    As stated by others most of mine are listed including HAM Nation, BBC World, as well as some NPR (entertainment) programs.

    1. Mister Art C.

      Joe, that Priority Mail price is the default, but there’s a pull-down box with other shipping options, including “Standard no-rush shipping” for $4.99.

  11. Julio Cesar Pereira

    My favorite daily podcasts are BBC World Service ‘Newshour’, BBC ‘History Hour’, BBC ‘The Infinite Cage’ with Brian Cox and Robin Rice, Robert Plant’s ‘Digging Deep’, BBC ’13 Minutes To The Moon’, BBC ‘The Compass’ (only science related episodes), ‘BBC ‘The Documentary'(epísodes of Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason presenting The History Of Music And Technology). There are others but I’ll restrict my list to only these. All thanks to Podcast Addict App (free). As for DXing, radio related subjects I watch on YouTube dedicated channels.

  12. David D

    For podcasts, I listen to Ham Nation, This Week in Tech, and The Tech Guy.
    I recently found YouTube has the entire library of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater programs online and have been enjoying listening to them. I used to listen to them growing up on Sunday nights.

  13. Rob

    Ologies: the “study of somethings,” e.g., biology, sociology, mycology, etc-ology.

    Voodoo City: New Orleans local legends:

    Philosophize This!: half-hour episodes on major players and philosophical movements:

    Ham Radio Workbench – but I really miss Ham Radio 360, the podcast that spawned it: sure, it’s dead, but the old episodes are still there

    OK, all I got this evening.

  14. John B

    I can only hear out of one ear, so these are a natural 🙂

    I enjoy :

    True Crime Garage
    The John Bachelor Show

    I don’t know how we survived plane travel before podcasts and audio books

  15. Bill (WD9EQD)

    Most of my podcasts have already been included.
    But here are a few additional ones I listen to:

    Quirks and Quarks from CDC Radio
    The Infinite monkey Cage from BB
    The Science Show from Australia Radio

    Smithville, NJ

  16. Charles Harlich

    Podcasts: Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio
    International Radio Report
    Hobart Radio International
    Bletchley Park Podcast
    We Have Ways of Making You Talk podcast

  17. Guy Atkins

    Thomas, I’ve owned the CC Buds Solo since it was first introduced, and I love it! The wide selection of silicone and foam earpieces is great, and no longer am I annoyed by a dangling, unneeded earbud when I want to “keep an ear out” for conversation from my coworkers or others around me.

    One neat feature of the CC Buds Solo is that you can “tune” the amount of bass by adjusting how far the earbud is pressed into your ear. The bass is a little too much with some male announcers’ voices (it seems unnaturally boosted by some of the foam tips), so I just pull the CC Buds Solo slightly out from my ear canal, and the bass is reduced as much as needed. This can help intelligibility of these voices immensely.

    BRAVO to the C. Crane company for taking a risk to introduce what some would call just “half an earphone”. The CC Buds Solo is actually a full and distinct product–and a welcome addition for radio users and enthusiasts.

  18. Ed Cummings

    One of my all-time favorite ‘podcasts’ is the weekly edition of Le Show by Harry Shearer. It’s a highly entertaining one-hour satirical analysis of media, popular culture, digital technology, and politics, mixed with original skits and songs. Harry really ‘gets it’ and has been an SWL since his youth, besides being a voice actor for some characters on ‘The Simpsons.’

    Harry Shearer is such a fan and supporter of shortwave that for decades he’s had his weekly Le Show broadcast on WBCQ (7490 KHz Sunday nights 1900 ET.) Le Show is also rebroadcast on many NPR and listener-supported radio stations across the U.S. and abroad and on the American Forces Radio Network.

    The Le Show podcast can be found here, but some of the music he plays on Le Show isn’t in the podcast for copyright reasons:

  19. Doug Mein

    Here are three of my favorite podcasts from Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History series:

  20. Ray Blackburn

    So Now What by the ARRL.
    Trying to catch up on technology. I’d been out of the hobby for 20ish years. Glad I kept renewing my license.

    1. Jack Blanke

      Ray, I have been out of Ham Radio for about 35 years, but kept my license current all these years…..and very glad I did. Easing back in by SWL’ing and spend a fair amount of time monitoring the cw & fone ham bands. Recently bought a PL-880 and love it. Next up is an ML30.
      Jack Blanke
      Metairie, LA

  21. Bill (WD9EQD)

    99% Invisible is one of my favorite podcasts.
    Some additional podcast I subscribe to:

    Quirks and Quarks from CBC Radio.


    The Infinite Monkey Cage from BBC

    The Science Show from Australia National Radop

    The Shortwave Report

    AWR Wavescan

    Holbart Radio International

    Smithville, NJ


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