“It might seem obvious with the benefit of hindsight, but I remember even back in April last year, I had a feeling that COVID-19 was going to put an end to events for the whole of 2020,” opened Gartell, as we began our chat about how Cosmic Ears had faired in this unprecedented year for live events. Speaking from the company’s Cheadle Hulme HQ, over his shoulder TPi can spot a ‘wall of fame’, with cut-outs and memorabilia from the artists that use Cosmic’s products, including Arctic Monkeys, Stormzy, Freya Ridings, The Streets and Royal Blood.
With all these artists that adorn the company wall having to ground any future tour for the foreseeable, the IEM manufacturer also had to change its plans for 2020. However, like so many in the sector, Gartell saw an ideal opportunity to work on some new products: the Universal Range – a generic IEMs that offer the same audio signature as Comic Ears’ custom mould counterparts.
“The Universal Range is something we’ve been working on for a few years,” explained Gartell. “We’ve never had the time to bring them to market because we have always been too busy creating our custom IEMs. With over two years of research and development under our belts, we have implemented new designs taking in premium aesthetics and enhanced functionality, while incorporating our highly renowned and trusted Cosmic Ears sound signature.”
Throughout 2020, four different Universal products were made available – the U1, U2, U6 and U8 – with the figure referring to the number of drivers per ear capsule. As we move into 2021, Cosmic will also be offering the U3, U4 and U10, along with the U2H – a dual hybrid driver model. Each version of the new Universal Range boasts a high-quality aluminium shell with sound nozzles made from stainless steel. Cosmic also opted for a common two-pin connector so as to be compatible with a wide number of market cables.
“Our Universal Range is still very much geared at the music industry and offers the same sound signature as the customs,” stated Gartell, who went on to explain that this will be of particular interest to artists who already use a Cosmic Ears product.
“If a band are all on custom CE6Ps, for example, we can now provide them with a selection of U6s for those inevitable times when someone leaves their customs in a hotel room or one gets damaged in the build up to a show,” he said. “Although custom IEMs have become fairly commonplace in the live touring world, there are still some performers who don’t want to make to the jump to moulds, so the generics could be an option for them.”
As well as this new range – and despite what you might expect from a product labelled as ‘generic’ – Cosmic has opted to provide customers the ability to customise the colour selection of various parts of the shell casing, all of which can be designed on the company’s brand-new website. “Our old site was really out of date and the lockdown presented an opportunity to get on with another job that had been put off for some time,” stated Gartell. “The new designer interface we included on the new site allows customers to really visualise what their new IEMs will look like.”
The Universal Range is around 25% cheaper than Cosmic’s custom IEM counterparts and, naturally, do not require an audiologist or an appointment at the company’s lab for custom impressions.
With Cosmic already receiving a great deal of interest through its global dealer network, the company is beginning to receive orders of the Universal Range, and with the official launch underway, Gartell is hoping to spread the word of the future product releases throughout Europe, as the date for the return of live events draws ever closer.
This article originally appeared in issue #259 of TPi, which you can read here.