asifur

100+ Head-Fier
Kinera Celest Pandamon : Almost Perfect!
Pros: + Good Build
+ Most Comfortable IEM in the price range
+ Good staging & Imaging
+ Great cable for the price
+ Good bass performance for a planar IEM
+ Great pairing with most dongles and portable players
+ Good midrange performance
Cons: - Could be a bit more detailed/resolving
- Treble could be better (nit-picking really)
- Minimal Accessories
Kinera Celest Pandamon : Almost Perfect!

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Summary:
Launched in late Nov'22, Pandamon is the latest iteration of Planar driver-based IEM from Kinera. It comes with a proprietary 10mm SPD 2.0 Driver and comes at a very affordable price.

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Disclaimer: Kinera had sent me a review unit for my impressions & views. The opinions below are based on my experiences with the unit and my own. I have tried to be as comprehensive & comparative as I could be - to give a complete picture to the audience.

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Introduction:

Let's quickly dive into what the Pandamon has to offer. In pursuit of better sound for the price, the PANDAMON comes with a proprietary 10mm SPD 2.0 Driver.
The PANDAMON is priced at $59

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Design & Build:

The PANDAMON comes with a Resin shell and a steel faceplate which is surprisingly very comfortable and a perfect fit for most ears. I have tried it through long audio sessions, and it fared very well throughout. It is amongst the most comfortable IEMs in this price range that I have come across.

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It is described as the following on the website:

Pandamon earphone shell adopts a new design, using a circular hollow faceplate with a unique sense of mechanical aesthetics. The hollow cavity has a strong sense of three-dimensionality visually, which is a perfect integration with inner mechanical artistry. Pandamon will use resin as shell material, the 3D cavity of pressed texture will be an iconic blend IEM design brilliance.

We have used an enhanced Kinera SPD 2.0™ on Pandamon, providing the following acoustic quality improvements. First overall frequency sensitivity enhanced by 3db to be an even mobile phone friendlier IEM. Second we coupled a BA driver on our first iteration of SPD™ to compliment treble delivery, but SPD 2.0™ is capable to deliver full frequency range, self-sufficient to provide a complete listening experience, eliminating any possible frequency interferences or unwanted acoustic effects. It’s rich texture and relaxed tonality is a perfect partner when you want to enjoy your beloved music during commute or after a long day’s work.

Excellent bass performance with immense texture but transient response, while keeping a certain level of extension and dispersion, providing long listening comfortability; vocals are kept at an optimal distance with enriching thickness, glittered with a velvety treble range. The tuning is finished with good control over sibilance. Overall tuned with a pyramid shaped frequency distribution providing a warm and roomy tonality, thanks to our SPD 2.0™.


Specifications:

The Kinera Celest PANDAMON comes at $59 price tag and specifications are as below:

https://www.kineraaudio.com/product/celest-pandamon

https://www.linsoul.com/products/kinera-pandamon

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The Box & Accessories:

The Pandamon package includes…
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NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SOUND....
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Items Used for this Review:

DAC/AMP & Dongles:
@Questyle M15 Dongle DAC/AMP, Cayin C9 Portable Amplifier
Portable Players / Sources : Cayin N8ii, @Questyle QP2R, Lotoo Paw Gold Touch
Streaming Source: QOBUZ

Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...



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Pairing Performance with different sources:

The Pandamon had the great pairing with almost each and every dongle/DAC/DAP that I owned.
Best pairing was obviously with @Questyle M15 dongle, LPGT & Cayin N8ii DAPs.
It even paired well with Audirect ATOM 3 Lightning adaptor dongle.

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Kinera Celest Pandamon Sound Impressions in Short:

The BASS:


The Pandamon comes with great bass performance for the price range. The sub-bass has details and the mid-bass comes with enough rumble and slam. In tracks like: "Fools Paradise (LP Version) – Donna Lewis" and "Chocolate Chip Trip - Tool" you can feel the bass attack and also hear all the tiny nuances' of the sub-bass.

The MIDS:

The midrange comes with ample texture and clarity in the Pandamon. Midrange is amongst the stronger traits of the Pandamon.
There is good amount of muscle and texture and the instruments sound very lively and enjoyable. Vocals are very immersive and both male and female vocals come with ample amount of details and feel very real. Transients are good for a planar. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy", "A dog named Freedom – Kinky Friedman" and "Ruby Tuesday – Franco Battiato" it’s really easy to get lost into the music as it comes with ample detailed transients, texture, excellent vocals and details.

The TREBLE:

The SPD2.0 has indeed come far from the initial version of the SPD found in the CELEST GUMIHO. The treble feels quite engaging without being fatiguing or offensive. The treble performance was quite enjoyable and Cymbals sound very life-like and real in tracks like “Chocolate Chip Trip – Tool”. The treble had much more details than the previous Gumiho. However, it felt like there is still room to improve here.

Treble in tracks like: "Paradise Circus – Massive Attack", "Mambo for Roy – Roy Hargrove” and "Saints and Angels – Sharon Shannon" feel smooth & creamy with the right amount of air and texture and just feels very buttery smooth.

The SOUNDSTAGE:

The Staging capabilities of the Pandamon is the quite good and above average for price range. It comes with the right amount of width, height, depth and is well defined and just as much as the track requires. Tracks like: “The Secret Drawer – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones” or “She Don’t know – Melody Gardot” or “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sound amazing & enjoyable.

Separation & Imaging:

Imaging is quite spot on and location of each instrument can be felt quite clearly on the Pandamon. Tracks like: “Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) - The Beautiful South “or “Hello Again - Howard Carpendale & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” just shine through. Separation however could be better.

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Comparisons:

I was unable to find a suitable comparable IEM in my possession. Hence, I used a higher priced 7Hz Dioko also featuring 14.6mm Planar driver and priced at $99 for the comparison.

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Kinera Celest Pandamon vs 7Hz Salnotes Dioko:

Price:
Kinera Celest Pandamon costs $59 which is almost half of 7Hz DIOKO. Hence, the Pandamon gets advantage here.

Build, Comfort & Features: Both IEMs are well built and comfortable. The DIOKO comes with heavier shells. Also, the ergonomics of the Pandamon shell makes it a better fit and far more comfortable.

Bass: While the DIOKO has more prominent slam in the mid-bass, it clearly lacks the details of the sub-bass region that is found in the Pandamon. The Pandamon just has more details & clarity while the slam is not as prominent as DIOKO. Overall bass performance seems noticeably better on the Pandamon.

Mids: The midrange on the on both IEMs are just great. But the Dioko seemed a tad bit fuller and has more texture.

Treble: The Dioko had better details in the treble region than the Pandamon. But the difference is not big.

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation: The Pandamon and Dioko are almost similar in all 3 aspects. the Dioko is a tad bit better in staging & separation. but this makes the Pandamon a great value for the money.

The Pandamon beats Dioko in terms of build & comfort, however when it comes to sound performance - the Dioko does better.
Point to be noted here is that the gap in sound performance is not as much as the price gap, which makes the Pandamon a better value for the money.

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Conclusion:

The Kinera Celest Pandamon is a great all-rounder IEM for the price range and with almost perfect price to performance ratio which makes it easy recommendation. At this price point you can't ask for more.

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Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
Nice review man. I honestly think the Pandamon is one of the best under $100. The look is pretty polarizing but Kinera did a wonderful job in the tuning.

SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
I didn't know what to expect...
Pros: Nicely balanced midrange, comfort, build is decent, aesthetics are a break from the norm...
Cons: Aesthetics (if you aren't a fan of angry Panda's), bass range is lacking presence and warmth, details not the best...
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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Celest Pandamon (by Kinera)

The (Kinera) Celest Pandamon were sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. I have not received any specific requests or comments and will try to be as unbiased and sincere as humanly possible, as usual.

As always, I have left a (non-affiliate) link to the Pandamon via Linsoul on my blog, link at the end of this post.

To avoid being repetetive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews

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Intro…

I have to say that when I received the Pandamon, I was rather surprised and had absolutely no idea what to expect. In my normal procedure, I didn’t do any research into the model and had absolutely no idea what they were, except for something with an angry panda on the box (and IEMs).

After finally listening to them for a while (and being quite surprised at what I heard), I finally got around to doing some research. Selling for just under 50€ (at the time of this review) they feature a 10mm square planar driver with an impedance of 9 Ohms and are actually made by Kinera. Linsoul actually shows them as Kinera Pandamon on their site, whereas the box does mention Kinera in one of the contact options but the rest just refers to Celest.

So, now that we know what they are, let’s talk about how they perform.

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Presentation…

I can do nothing but give them full marks for originality. The box shows a very angry looking panda, with a transparent window above that lets us see the IEMs in the interior.

Inside the box we find, along with the IEMs, 6x sets of silicone tips (in two types), the cable, a storage pouch (of the type with a spring loaded closure), a cleaning brush/tool, a small booklet and some kind of pendant that also shows the angry panda with a small silver coloured chain that runs to a small plaque at the other end with Celest engraved on it.

The presentation keeps up with the Pandamon theme throughout, even telling the story on the outside of the box.

Again, all I can do is give them points for originality (whether the theme is something I like or not).

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Build and aesthetics…

The first thing that obviously jumps out at us is the Pandamon face on the IEMs faceplate. The IEMs are round and the faceplates have a silver metal theme going on, although they are made from plastic. There are openings on the faceplate with mesh behind which make them look rather open, although, as in most cases, they are not as open as the meshing would lead us to believe.

The IEMs are incredibly lightweight and I find them to fit comfortably in my ears, feeling absolutely no fatigue from the fit even after hours and hours of use. The build also seems to be pretty good, with all the small details of the faceplate (which are quite complex) looking well done even upon closer examination.

To be honest, I am not a fan of the aesthetics of the Pandamon, I don’t think I would find myself wearing these out in public, just not my style. Yet, again, they are definitely original and may be much more appealing to a different (younger?) audience.

The included cable is also decent, although I am not really a fan of the plasticy finish of it. The connectors are metal and the cable is comfortable and non-tangly (which is a word that I am sure doesn’t exist), it is just that outside material that doesn’t appeal to me.

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Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

As I said, when I started listening to the Pandamon, I didn’t know what to expect. I guess my mind automatically thought they would be some sort of V shaped tuning aimed at the masses, based on the aesthetics (preconceived opinions are always there, no matter how we try to avoid them), but they are certainly not that. In fact, they present a tuning that I am quite fond of.

Here is the usual graph comparison between them and my personal preference target:

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We can see on paper that they are not that far away from my preferences, which doesn’t automatically mean that I will like them but I do find that I have enjoyed listening to them.

Starting with the subbass, these are definitely not IEMs that are aimed at giving you a lot in these lower ranges. They are rather calm in the subbass region, without any additional boost in comparison to the mid bass. “Chameleon” can come across as a little thin in the low end, even to my tastes (being someone who is by no means a bass head). This doesn’t mean the subbass is bad, just that it is not really that present.

Moving into the midbass, it is again not something that is going to appeal to those who like a boosted low end. The low end is quite calm in general. The performance of the planar driver is decent and all notes in the midbass are clearly defined but Ido thing that some people will find it lacking some warmth for their tastes. Listening to “Smooth Operator”, the bass guitar is very clear but does not really have a lot of “body” to it.

This does make vocals, like Sam Smith in “HIM”, take a step forwards and the piano take a little bit of a background role. This can be very enjoyable for those moments when you want the vocals to take the front stage but I wouldn’t recommend these to those who want to listen to things like EDM with a nice bass presence. Again, the bass is very clear and is not missing, it just doesn’t have the body and warmth that many other sets do.

Towards the top of the midrange, there is quite a smooth climb to the main presence point just over 2kHz and this forms part of that extra step forwards in vocals that I just mentioned. For example, “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” places Sara Bareilles very upfront. I do find this very enjoyable for a lot of my vocal centric music yet, for something more rock orientated, such as “Bombtrack”, it can place a lot of emphasis on the midrange of the guitar.

The treble range is quite smooth and while there isn’t a huge amount of air, the overall sound signature does make things seem a little more present in these ranges. Sibilance is pretty well controlled, without things coming across as harsh in these upper ranges.

Details are not great although the tuning does help with being able to appreciate those that are there. By this I mean that the Pandamon are not going to suddenly reveal things never heard before but at the same time, they never come across as overly blunt in this regard. Specifically focusing on certain background details that I know are there, they can be heard on the Pandamon but they don’t jump out at you.

Soundstage is another of those that I find to be around average with image placement being good but certainly not pin point. Separation of the layers in vocals in “Strange Fruit” is acceptable but I wouldn’t say it is amazing.

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Isolation is quite a way below average but as I said earlier in the review, I can’t see me going out in public with these IEMs anyway, so noise shouldn’t be an issue 😉

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Conclusion…

I have been pleasantly surprised by the Pandamon, they certainly aren’t what I thought they were going to be when I first opened them. The sound signature is something that gets close to my preferences and although I would like a little more in the low end (which is something I don’t say often), in general they are a nicely balanced set of IEMs for those who want a more “neutral” sound.

The details are not the best but they are not bad either and the overall presentation of the IEMs is something that I find non-offensive and fairly well done. Yes, there are points that can be improved but that is usually the case with most IEMs.

I am not a fan of the aesthetics but that is obviously something very personal. I am just not one for wearing cartoon characters, I guess I am more of the boring type for that kind of thing.

They are certainly something different and it is always refreshing to see things on my desk that break away from the routine, whether I like them or not. In this case, I have enjoyed listening to them.

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As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog (www.achoreviews.com) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/achoreviews)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on
achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

cqtek

1000+ Head-Fier
SPD 2.0™
Pros: Open sound.
- Great midrange.
- Notable evolution in the new version of the SPD 2.0™ driver.
- Excellent ergonomics and fit.
- Inner face design.
- Very low weight.
- Good cable.
Cons: The "Pandamon" logo may not be to everyone's taste.
- Toned treble.
- Light sub-bass.
- Subtly unreal and coloured sound of the LFOs.
- Not a very defined sound.
Introduction

Once again, I'm back to review some IEMS from Kinera. This time it's the Celest Pandamon, an IEMS that follows in the aesthetic and technological line of the Celest Gumiho. Newer than their siblings, the Pandamon uses a flat square SPD 2.0™ driver. For this new driver, Kinera has improved the sensitivity by 3dB. Also, the treble frequency response and the use of a BA driver, as in the Gumiho, is no longer necessary. The headphone capsule uses a hollow, circular outer plate made of 304 stainless steel. On it is the logo of the head of the Pandamon (the iron-eating beast), precisely engraved, nickel-plated and UV-coloured. Resin is used as the material for the inside. The cavity has been 3D printed. Let's see how this new Kinera Celest model performs.

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Specifications

  • Driver Type: SPD 2.0™ square planar driver.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 108dB.
  • Impedance: 9Ω.
  • Weight (capsules + cable): 5.4g + 17.2g.
  • Jack Connector: 3.5mm SE.
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm.
  • Cable Length: 1.25m.

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Packaging

From the packaging cover, the Pandamon appears to be an angry Panda, with flaming eyes and long black hair. The name seems to be a composition of panda and demon. And, from the looks of it, this beast eats iron. And I don't think there's much iron in the mountain... But that's what the legend on the back of the box says.
The measurements are 115x94x46mm. On the front there is a transparent window that allows to see the external face of the capsules. The figure of the Pandamon stands out on the bottom right. In addition to the legend, on the back side are the specifications and the graph with the frequency response. Again, the Pandamon figure is repeated and the Celest logo appears. Once the outer cardboard is removed, a mould covered in white cardboard with a line drawing of the Pandamon is revealed. The two capsules are embedded in it. Underneath is an almost white faux-leather pouch with a laminated closure. The complete contents are as follows:

  • The two Kinera Celest Pandamon Kinera capsules.
  • One 3.5 mm oxygen free copper cable.
  • Three pairs of Celest 221 Vocal Eartips black silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of Celest Custom 608 black and red silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Metal page marker with Pandamon figure.
  • Storage bag.
  • Cleaning brush.
  • User manual.

The two sets of tips are appreciated, although they don't look very special. Well, the vocal tips have a slightly particular design, while the 608s look more common. A cleaning brush is always welcome, but I prefer a zippered case to the rather small leatherette pouch, which is less protective. The cable is not bad, so the overall packaging, regardless of the Pandamon motif, is quite acceptable. But, of course, it may not be to everyone's taste.

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Construction and Design

Kinera Celest Pandamon Kinera Celest Pandamon are completely round on the outside. The outer plate is made of 304 stainless steel. It consists of a grid on which is the face of the Pandamon, showing its fangs and red eyes. The grille gives an idea of an open and hollow interior design. The rim and interior is made of polished black 3D printed resin. The inner face has an almost asymmetrical teardrop design. It could almost be said to be a semi-sphere with a teardrop stretched on the rim (nozzle). There is a hole in the centre and on each capsule you can see the Celest logo and a white mole with the channel lettering. The mouthpiece is integral, diameter 6.6mm at the rim, length 4mm, although the base of the mouthpiece is longer and projected. Thus, overall, it is not a short mouthpiece. Finally, it is protected by a grid whose openings are spiral drops.
The interface is 2Pin 0.78mm and is integrated inside the rim of the capsule, on a translucent plastic plate. Both connectors are gold-plated.
The cable consists of four coiled strands, covered with grey PVC. The plug sleeve is a metal cylinder with 3 circular grooves. In the centre and lengthwise, there is the Celest logo in white ink. The 3.5mm SE connector is protected by a plastic sleeve. The splitter piece is another, smaller metal cylinder with a pronounced indentation at one end. The pin is a metal disc, made of the same material, with an 8 as a hole. The sleeve of the 2Pin 0.78mm connectors retains the cylindrical pattern, with two grooves. It has a small bevel on the edge of the cable. The pins are mounted on translucent plastic and are gold plated. There is a small stroke of red and blue paint to distinguish polarity and channel. There is also white lettering on the sleeve for the same purpose. The cable has over-ear guides.
Interestingly, Kinera specifies the weight of the capsules (5.4g) and the cable (17.2g).
Regardless of the design of the outer face with the angry panda motif, the capsules are ultra-comfortable, as I will explain in the next section. The cable, surprising for its colour, but I have no complaints about it, only the possibility that it could be chosen in balanced connection, something that I consider essential for any model that exceeds 50$.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

Just as the fit of the Gumiho could be a little more critical, the Pandamon is excellent in this respect. They inherit the good interior design of those, but improved. The good angle to the ear canal is maintained and the ergonomics are improved with a more pronounced semi-spherical interior design. The assembly makes for a precise fit and the rotation can increase the freer positioning. Once fitted, though, there is hardly any movement and its position remains stable, with no chance of falling out, well inserted. It is easy to find suitable tips and my use has been with my classic foam-filled silicone L-tips, which I make myself. The light weight helps to increase the comfort, as does the cable, whose guide on the ear does not bother at all.

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Sound

Profile


The profile of the Kinera Celest Pandamon is very similar to that of the BQEYZ Topaz, but without the piezo-electric sparkle. It is a neutral W-profile with a mid-centric tendency, with linear and neutral bass, fairly smooth highs and warm mids. The result is a mix of neutrality, softness and warmth, which does not have too much extension in the high end.

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Bass

The bass is fairly linear, with a very slight dip towards the mids. Compared to the Gumiho, the emphasis in this area has been softened, respecting the power that this new SPD 2.0™ driver can give, but without forcing it too much. If in that one, it was noticeable that there was a suffering to reproduce this area, it seems that here, Kinera wanted to take care of itself, reducing the tuning to a lighter and more bearable curve. It is just enough to be neutral, providing a pleasant presence, which may be insufficient for those who demand more bass. Admittedly, it falls short for electronic music, although it could be sufficient for other genres.
The improvement is in the reproduction of pure tones. As I say, neutrality has come in handy with this new driver. The LFO reproduction is not perfect, it still has BA traits and sonority, but not as visible. Even the tone at 40Hz has a more realistic and natural timbre. The result is a range with a slight sub-bass presence, without much energy and limited punch, whose impact on the sound is not very great. No one should expect physicality and body on the kick drums. Although I continue to think that their presence is neutral, in that section of the punch, the amount of air moved and the physical sensation, the Pandamon are a point below that middle ground.
The texture is quite smooth, providing a pleasant roughness, subtly pronounced to offer an appealingly sweet, almost creamy, descriptive point. The Pandamon tends to simplify the bass with more complex passages, drawing the lines and layers simply. It is, in these fragments, where the BA sonority is most noticeable, the medium level of resolution and layering it possesses to represent the bass. It doesn't get lost, because it seems relatively fast and efficient, but it falls short of any more realistic and muscular representation of dynamic drivers. When demanded, the realism is lost and the limitation in depth is obvious, which is noticeable with electronic music. But with other genres, it masks itself much better. Even when the drums are fast and compact, based on the mid-bass, the Pandamon is much more resolute. If the playback is based on sub-bass with heavy, deep, dense and complex lines, these new Kinera suffer the most.

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Mids

Without a doubt, the mid-centric character of these new IEMS is noticeable. The mids are bathed in warmth and the gently descending lows bring what they lack: physicality, body and forcefulness. Despite this character, the central presence is not blatant, nor intimate, but feels like it occupies a large space. And that's thanks to the Pandamon's wide openness. Without a doubt, the open grilles on the outer faces give the scene a great deal of air and the mids clearly benefit. In this way, the warmth and central emphasis does not become invasive, cloying or muddy, but everything is spread out, separated and distanced, to the delight of the listener. This effect of sonic expansion invites you to turn up the volume, allows for a good level of detail to be observed, as well as a more precise musical positioning, removing any sense of intimacy that the mids may possess. It also contributes to a more three-dimensional recreation of voices and instruments. The sense of corporeality is amplified in all dimensions, creating an impression of realistic presence that is very difficult to achieve in headphones at this price point.
On the other hand, the timbre is rather neutral, organic and warm, not too bright and a little sparing in harmonic expansion. Sparkle and vivacity are limited by the soft tuning of the treble. Thus, the mids lose a hint of ornamental richness, but become more silky, pleasant, complacent, even romantic.
The high-mids, the most exalted part of the whole curve, are tuned by moving the peak towards the centre, rather than towards the treble. This keeps sibilance at bay, bringing a point of clarity and projection to specific parts of the mids. There is also a good degree of transparency, although the levels of resolution and definition are not those of an analytical sound. Everything is subtly softened, so as not to get out of that velvety and fluffy, yet effective, feel that shapes the sonority of this range.

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Treble

The frequency range of the new SPD 2.0™ driver has improved in this aspect, but I still find it a blanket a bit short. If its performance has been neutralised in the lower range, improving performance; in the upper range it feels muted, not too extended and, above all, not very energetic. The treble is too soft, no crispness, hardly any sparkle, no projection, no edge. The high tones are thick, blunt, filed and clipped. But, strangest of all, the sound still seems quite neutral, even realistic, albeit on the dark side. Nothing takes away that feeling of music played on an FM radio, lacking a sense of air.
I miss a more enhanced expressiveness, a higher presence, a higher descriptive level and, above all, more treble in general.

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Soundstage, Separation

Another of the Kinera Celest Pandamon's strengths is the sound stage. Thanks to the open grilles on their outer sides, the sound feels extended, extended, three-dimensional, relatively clear, transparent, even clean. The corporeal sensation takes on a higher dimension and the music takes on a more perceptible spatial form. The image is also improved, as is its positioning, thanks to this aspect, as well as the sensation of air and separation. Despite this ethereal and more gaseous impression, the level of detail is average, due to the fact that, in technical aspects, it is not overly resolute, nor defined. It also doesn't help that the treble level is low, limiting the edge of the notes, which are blunter, rounder and thicker. However, I don't want to leave the impression that the sound is completely sparse or nuanced. It is the result of an ambivalence between the impression of openness, warmth and softness of the high end.

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Comparisons

BQEYZ Topaz


Does it make sense to compare $59 IEMS with IEMS that are now available for $90? In this case, yes, because their frequency response is very similar. At least up to the treble. I would also like to compare it to put in its place the new SPD 2.0™ driver fitted in these new Celest Pandamon.
I'm not going to go into packaging comparisons, although I will comment that the BQEYZ cable is quite good and comes in three terminations. In terms of construction, I'll stick with the Topaz, but in terms of comfort, I'm clearly leaning towards the Pandamon. They weigh less, the fit is free, immediate and they fit better. It's surprising how a seemingly simple shape works so well.
The Kinera are slightly more sensitive and acquire more sound pressure at the same volume.
On single bass, unmixed drums, the Kinera's come close to the Topaz. But, even in these conditions, the Pandamon are more boomy, with a bit more colour, darker and duller. The Topaz have a more concise punch, with better definition, resolution, greater depth and also more energy and power. In passages with continuous bass lines, it's where the Kinera's get lost and blurred, offering a less appropriate, muddier and less layered tracking. In those same conditions, the Topaz are more faithful and reproduce bass with a cleaner, more natural realism, without fuss.
If you look at the graph, we're talking about a pretty impressive similarity up to almost 6kHz. But the sound is not the same. The level of transparency, definition and resolution of the Topaz is superior to that of the Kinera. The Pandamon sound softer, warmer and more velvety, as if they had a light veil over them. Meanwhile, the BQEYZs are cleaner and more analytical, with more explicit and elevated detail. Their background is more discernible, dark and separate. The Kinera show a cohesion in their sound, which avoids a more obvious separation. There is a subtle point of upper mid-high end excitement in the Topaz, coupled with a freer, finer, more descriptive high end, which allows the notes to be cooler, more defined and tighter, gaining in resolution, clarity, even punch and energy. It is clear that we must continue to talk about the piezo-electric sparkle in its treble. But it is clear that this driver brings a higher technical and analytical level, which adds more visibility, strength, fidelity and finesse to the treble.
Where things are closer is in the scene, which seems more open and three-dimensional in the Kinera, although the Topaz have more air, cleanness and transparency. In the end, the greater separation, better definition and resolution, gives the Topaz more distance between elements, managing to spread the scene. In contrast, the Pandamon's softness, cohesion, darkness and warmth work against it, comparatively speaking, in compositions where detail and technicality are more important.
In reality, the price gap between the Kinera and the BQEYZ is greater, if the initial price of the Topaz is anything to go by. That they are now available at $90 is a success in terms of quality. I can't say that the Kinera are their little brothers either, because the sound has some characteristics that make the difference quite obvious (warm vs. analytical). But it is worth the Pandamon's great comfort, fit, weight, stage and mid-range.

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Conclusion

I could say that the sound of the Kinera Celest Pandamon reminds me of earbuds: they don't usually have a very big bass presence, the sound is eminently open and the treble is usually soft. It's true that not all earbuds sound like this, I know because I have a good collection, but these are their best virtues. In the same way, I would like to highlight the great soundstage, the three-dimensionality and the vaporousness of the music generated by these Pandamon. And, also, the central range. With a neutral lower range, better timbre and tuning than its predecessor, the sound of the new SPD 2.0™ driver has become cleaner and clearer. It is now capable of generating a fuller range on its own, although the treble is subdued and not very extended. It's still warm and smooth, organic even, with a good level of detail, though it doesn't overly lavish on resolution or definition. However, the Pandamon is a unique product, in a relatively affordable price range, thanks to its many virtues, to which we can add great ergonomics, a high level of fit and comfort, a good cable and a... ahem... beastly aesthetic. Undoubtedly, a model to consider for those who don't like earbuds and are looking for the best features in IEMS, with all that this capsule brings to the table.

Kinera Celest Pandamon 19_r.jpgKinera Celest Pandamon 20_r.jpg

Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.
  • TempoTec Serenade X + iFi Zen Can.
  • Earmen Angel.
  • TempoTec Variations V6.
  • ACMEE MF02s.
  • xDuoo XD05 BAL.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper Limited Edition.
  • Aune Flamingo.

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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 88
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 92
  • Accessories: 88
  • Bass: 75
  • Mids: 91
  • Treble: 68
  • Separation: 85
  • Soundstage: 91
  • Quality/Price: 87

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Kinera offered me this model, in exchange for writing an honest review. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

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Purchase Link

Kinera Celest Pandamon 24_r.jpg

You can read the full review in Spanish here

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MD Rohit

New Head-Fier
kinera pandamon review
Pros: ⨳Good build quality

⨳ Gorgeous design

⨳ Good cable and accessories

⨳ Good fit and Even if you use it for a long time, it does not create any pain in the ear plus lightweight

⨳ Open sound response

⨳ Gives very good sound with neutral and light warm source

⨳ Smooth sound

⨳good instruments separation & technical performance
Cons: ~Treble response could be good

~Not for outdoor use -In noisy situations, outside sound gets in

~Sound is not good with stock tips
☞𝚂𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚏𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗
•Kinera 10mm SPD 2.0 ™ ( Square Planar Driver )
•Impedance: 9 ohm
•Sensitivity: 108 dB
•Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
•Oxygen Free Copper Cable
•3.5mm Termination Plug
4e2ae4dc5919c1905e7cb2164d851f7e.jpg

☞𝚋𝚘𝚡 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝
*One pair of Celest Pandamon In-ear monitors.
*One 3.5mm Oxygen Free Copper Cable.
*Six pairs ( 221 & 608 ) of Celest Custom ear tips.
*Metal bookmark.
*Storage Bag.
*Clean Brush.
*User Manual.
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☞𝙳𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚐𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚞𝚒𝚕𝚍 𝚚𝚞𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚢.​
Kinera is very popular for their variety of designs. From other audio brands, their designs are mostly interesting and exceptional, this time the design of kinera pandamon is no exception. The design of the upper faceplate is very attractive; it looks like an angry panda is watching . And the build quality is very good for the price. The inner site has a very nice smooth finish and the top face plate is metal so it feels durable. And Kinera presents the small details of their products very well so things look and feel very premium.
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☞𝙲𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 & 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜
I like the stock cable. The material and durability of the stock cable is very good and at this price I am very happy with the build construction of the cable. The cable does not get tangled easily and is very easy to manage. It has 2pin Oxygen Free Copper Cable.
Ear tips- It sounds bad with the stock tip. So you can use some aftermarket tips like Spinfit CP100+, CP145, W1 and Final E Black Tips which are used during my listening.
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☞𝙵𝚒𝚝 & 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝.
Due to the smooth finish of the inner side, it did not create any pressure on the ear which made it very comfortable. And it's very light weight. Although I didn't have a good experience with stock tips during my usage time, that's why I'm used Spinfit W1 tips with it and I've got the most comfortable listening time and long time usage without any pain in the ears. In my opinion, people with small, medium and large size ears should not face any problem in using it.
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☞𝙶𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚄𝚜𝚎𝚍
- Questyle M15
- Qulose mc01
- Moondrop dawn
- Jcally ap10
- LG V50 phone
- UP5
- Fiio k5 pro
- Tri tk2
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•Quick note
The stock eartips produce a very warm sound which makes it muddy so I have tried different ear tips with this one and the best performance I got from spinfit W1 tips. For my review I have only talked about the sound I got from using these w1 ear tips.
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𝚂𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎
Bass
•Mid bass- pandamon has been able to provide very good mid bass for the price. Drums sounds of rock, metal songs gave punchy and impactful sound. And because of the planner driver, the speed and resolution of the bass is very good. For the price it has been able to give tight and punchy bass response. It can be given 4.5/5 in mid bass without doubt.

•Sub bass- Its mid bass response was very good but its sub bass response was very lagging. The rumble didn't feel impactful and it sounded pulsating + not so engaging on trucks with more sub bass. Its sub bass sounded a bit hollow but using the Spinfit W1 tips with it fixed a bit. This is not so noticeable when listening with the 4.4 balance output with good DACs. For those who are listening to rock, metal, instrumental, theater, or band music, this won't create much of an effect. It can be given 3/5 on sub bass
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• ​
Mids​
: Pandamons mid response fuller and forward. The male vocals are a bit heavy so it's nice to hear. The vocal section is clear due to its bass and mids being well separated. Female voice extension doesn't sound so good due to warm signature. Female vocals are not so lively and energetic but using a good DAC (Questyle M15, Qulose mc01, moondrop dawn) with a 4.4 balance cable solves this problem a lot. So I have nothing to complain about it but for those who don't have neutral DAC They may have problems. Overall mids (4/5)
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•Treble: Pandamons treble extension is not so good. Metal songs miss the details due to lower treble extension. Although the separation of the string instruments are good, the sound of the instruments is a little warm due to which the sound of the string instruments seems less energetic and unnatural. Usually planner drivers have good treble extension but pandamon's treble extension is very lagging behind. And I didn't get the metallic timbre like the previous planers, which is good. Those who don't like extra treble extension and are treble sensitive will love it. Treble 2/5
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•Soundstage: I thought the sound stage would be much bigger due to the open bag design but it wasn't. Even with the open back I got a soundstage similar to the closed back iems. It's not that the soundstage isn't wide, well it's wide but the open back design needed to be a bit bigger but the soundstage provides now isn't bad for the price. Soundstage 3.5/5
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•Note separation & Imagine: One of the more interesting things about this pandamon is the notes seperation. SPD 2.0 has been able to provide much better separation than their previous SPD 1.0 and it can be said that this is a more refined and capable driver. The notes of instrumental music are heard very well. And they can play the sounds of guitar, piano, drum separately very well. Note separation 4.5/5
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imagine is good. It is easy to understand where the instrument is coming from in the song. Playing God by Polyphia has been able to present the positions of the instruments of this track very accurately. And because of the good technical performance of the spd2.0 driver, it can give an idea of the positions of the instruments very nicely. Overall technical performance of pandamon is very good for the price. Note separation & imagine 4.5/5
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•Conclusion: Loved Pandamon's design and build quality + good sound for the price. If the treble section could be improved a bit this would be a perfect iem at this price and hopefully kinera will fix this in their upcoming SPD 3.0. This is a good option in the current market and those who like this type of sound will enjoy it very much. (So in my opinion this is a very good deal at 56 USD)
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Rsifur9
Rsifur9
nice one brother
MZakar1a
MZakar1a
Appreciated.
M
Md Ismail Hossain
Well done bro

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
Never judge by the looks
Pros: + Balanced, neutral tuning
+ Linear bass response with sub-bass extension and good technicalities
+ Natural timbre and realistic tonality
+ Musical and engaging
+ Very open sounding like a full sized headphone
+ Superb mid-range tuning
+ Smooth but not subdued treble
+ Comfortable and lightweight
+ Good quality detachable cable
+ Nice pack of accessories
Cons: - Not the most resolving and refined
- Lacking in transparency
- The bass is somewhat hollow
- Mediocre passive noise attenuation
- Potential fit issues
- A bit fragile construction
- Grotesque appearance
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The price of the Celest Pandamon is $59 and you can order it from the Linsoul online shop.

Kinera Celest Pandamon

The Celest Pandamon is a budget friendly earphone by Kinera Audio that uses an enhanced Kinera SPD 2.0 driver providing the following acoustic quality improvements:
First overall frequency sensitivity is enhanced by 3db to be an even mobile phone friendlier IEM.
Second, they have abandoned the BA driver of their first iteration of the SPD for a square planar driver in the SPD 2.0 which is capable of delivering full frequency range, self-sufficient to provide a complete listening experience, eliminating any possible frequency interferences or unwanted acoustic effects.

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Build quality and fit

The Pandamon ear shell adopts a new design, using a circular hollow faceplate with a unique sense of mechanical aesthetics.
The hollow cavity has a strong sense of three-dimensionality visually, which is a perfect integration with inner mechanical artistry.
Pandamon uses resin as the shell material and finely selected 304 stainless steel on the faceplate, each one going through multiple process including precision engraving, nickel electroplating and UV coloring to ensure a balanced & natural color tone, smooth and shining body with intricate and long-lasting metal feature.
They have used the Pandamon logo on the faceplate giving it a unique appearance that will appeal to gamers and younger users but it is not that aesthetically pleasing for the mainstream crowd.

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The earshells are very lightweight (3.5g each) and have a long extending sound tube that helps with the fit but the lack of an anatomic shape and the somewhat hollow and too circular body might result in a loose fit for a certain type of ear anatomy.
If you achieve a secure fit then they stay in place during head movement and they are extremely comfortable but they offer a mediocre passive noise attenuation.

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Cable and accessories

The Pandamon features a 2-pin detachable cable that is made of four strands of oxygen free copper and has a good overall quality for the price with low microphonic noise while it doesn't get very easily tangled.

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The accessories include two types of eartips in three sizes each, a storage pouch, a cleaning brush and a Pandamon amulet imbued with magical powers.
The ear-tips are the Celest custom 221 eartips (black) for enhancing treble and the 608 (red/black) for balanced sound.

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Listening impressions

The Pandamon has a 9Ω impedance with 108dB of sensitivity and it is extremely easy to drive from all portable sources including your phone.
As always an entry level USB DAC dongle is highly recommended for getting the best possible sound quality.
I have used a couple of different ones like the FiiO KA1, iBasso DC03 Pro and the iFi Go link.
The Pandamon was left playing music for more than 60 hours before listening evaluation.

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Judging by the looks alone someone would expect the Pandamon to have a bassy or a heavy "V" tuning but this is far from the truth.
Surprisingly so, the Pandamon has a neutral reference and slightly warm sound signature that is contrasted with its youthful appearance.

Sub-bass extension is good for most types of music without too much of a roll off and then is followed by a quite linear frequency response without severe mid-bass emphasis and mid range bleeding.
Instrumental tonality is very accurate and realistic while clarity and separation are very satisfying for a budget friendly earphone.
The bass is a little hollow sounding but well controlled, tight, fast with a planar type of texture which is not very visceral and full bodied but not too lean or dry either.
Dynamic behavior is also surprisingly good, not that impactful and powerful but still enough to convey with realism a fully swinging symphony orchestra.

The mid range follows the same type of a balanced and linear tuning where voices and instruments are reproduced with a natural timbre and lifelike tonality.
This is a relaxed, engaging and very musical mid-range without tonal shift extremities and upper-mids emphasis.
It is harmonious and colorful with plenty of emotional involvement and good overall transparency.
Listening to solo piano music, like Beethoven's bagatelle "Fur Elise" was absolutely fantastic, the piano sounded realistic and coherent from the lower to the higher registers with plenty of harmonic variety, colorful overtones, sharp attack and clear articulation.

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The treble is quite safely tuned, it is smooth without alarming peaks and harsh sounding tones but you wouldn't call it subdued either.
It is not that extended and will certainly not appeal to people who like a sparkling and luminous treble but the thing is that it is not that lacking in energy or airiness and the Pandamon is by no means a dark or slow sounding earphone.
Detail retrieval is sufficient enough, time decay is relaxed and realistic, the timbre is without metallic elements and the texture weight is kept on the same level of intensity with the lower frequencies.
It would be a lie to suggest that the Pandamon is resolving and refined or the most transparent in the treble but you can't ask for more at this price point.
The best achievement is that there is a great cohesiveness throughout the whole frequency range with good tonal balance and integration so listening to acoustic music can be very satisfying, at least from a tonal point of view.
Additionally the Pandamon is very open sounding, like a full sized headphone, with plenty of air around the instruments, it never sounds congested and while it might be somewhat lacking in positioning accuracy and imaging precision, you can always trace the correct place of each instrument.

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In the end

Never let the outer appearance be the judging factor of anybody, this is something that I learned in my life for people and it seems that it also holds true for earphones!
The Celest Pandamon has a sound tuning that is in opposite antithesis with its grotesque appearance.
Actually is one of the most balanced and naturally tuned earphones of the entry level category with a very smooth, musical and engaging character without lacking that much in technicalities and overall transparency.
Don't let the looks fool you, get a pair, wear the included Panda amulet and be prepared to feel the magical powers of music.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
Last edited:

Zerstorer_GOhren

500+ Head-Fier
CELEST PANDAMON: Sonically Balanced Sounding One
Pros: △ Quite a uniquely design IEM shell chassis.
△ Sufficient amount of included accessories
△ A balanced-warmish sound signature that will be more pleasing to listen even to a neutral head.
△ Dense and textured midrange for midcentric listeners who loves instrumentals and vocals tracking
△ Smooth and non-offensive tuning.
△ No hint of sibilance and harshness is practically absent on this one.
△ A noticeable improvement of SPD tech as it sounds more fuller across the frequency range.
Cons: ▽ Aesthetic choice on its face plate is rather too "childish" as it really looks like a toy.
▽ Despite of having lush with ample shimmer midrange, Soprano vocals especially coloratura ones are less energetic and gasping on its breath range.
▽ Lack of treble air extension
▽ Certainly not for bass heads as it has lack of slam and tactuality.
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Pandamon, Baku or Mo was a mythical creature prevalent in East Asian folklore, especially in Japanese and Chinese tales. It has a chimeric features but some of the illustrations show that it takes the form either of a panda or a bear. In the Japanese tale, Baku was a devourer of nightmares which makes them a good familiar and a guardian while in Chinese mythology, Mo ( also a translation for Giant Panda) consumes iron and copper which give a rigid bone structure while its pelt has a resistance against humidity, wetness and even also works as a protection hide.


This is my second review for Celest Audio as I previously published a review on their Gumiho before. As we already know about the Celest Audio, they are a sister company of Kinera and QOA (Queen of Audio) that makes one of the best looking IEM shells in the audio market with their constant improvement and evolving on their tuning capabilities.

Celest Pandamon like its predecessor has a SPD (Square Planar Driver) on its internal but without the balanced armature driver on which the previous model has. SPD is rather a peculiar transducer as it is square-shaped dynamic driver but it has electromechanic principle similar to a magnetic planar and this is proprietary patented product of Kinera. The SPD of Pandamon was supposedly an improvement over its previous reiteration as Kinera claimed that they diligently do some refinement of its performance for better coherency and better frequency coverage.

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The 10mm SPD was implemented on a circular-shaped shell chassis, and it is comprised of composite materials consist of acrylic resin on its cavity base and a familiar type of steel that I usually encounter in the kitchen and other culinary tools that I'm using it (I'm a chef so I have some basic knowledge on the materials of the tools that we use for cooking), The 304 stainless steel which has a decent strength with corrosive resistant properties. The said stainless steel is the material for its outer ring of the faceplate which also acts as a brace for the inner layer which has a stylised Pandamon face and some vent holes with grill meshes which make the Pandamon into a semi-open back design. In general, the faceplate design of this set reminds me of a Beyblade toy which was very popular in the early 2000s that makes it rather a "childish" design choice. Another good thing is that it uses a 2-pin connector which is more of a logical choice in my opinion.

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The shells are of smaller dimension that any type of ear sizes will snugly fit on this one. It is also so lightweight that it is very comfortable to wear them into my lug holes without any issues like ear fatigue or soreness. Due to its semi-open back design, expect some external noises coming from outside, so isolation is rather average.

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The product presentation of Celest Pandamon is remarkably good on how it was packed in a small box with an illustrative art of a Pandamon at front and some information like introductory statement, specifications and frequency graphs at the rear. Like its sister brand Kinera, it has a quantitative amount of inclusions inside of the box.

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Here are the following contents:

● pair of Celest Pandamon IEMs
● a detachable 4-core OFC grey-coloured, braided and twisted stock cable with 3.5mm termination plug.
● 3 pairs of wide-bored eartips.
● 3 pairs of narrow-bored eartips
● IEM faux-leather pouch with magnetic clasp openers.
● Pandamon-designed bookmark pendant.
● Cleaning brush.
● Instruction manual.

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As we all know that planars are power-demanding transducers but the SPD of Pandamon is quite different. It can be easily amplified from multimedia devices with decent power output. It really scales well that as it sounds very dynamic with a good amplitude of volume level. I'm using all my sources from my LG phones, DAPs and DAC/amp dongles and Pandamon passed with flying colours.

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The tonality of Pandamon has a balanced-warmish sound on which some experienced individuals especially in the older generation of hi-fi scene might perceive it as an "analogue ish-neutral" or "warm ish-neutral". The overall frequency presentation is rather linear in my ears with some tad of inherent textures on it.



LOWS/BASS:

The bass delivery of Pandamon has a sufficient impact, consistency and well-pinpoint but it has enough depth just to deliver an adequate punch. The sub bass quality of this one is rather satisfactory. I hear some hint of reverberations and rumble for electronic drum machines, low tone bass guitars and synthesisers from my tracks like synth-pop and classic rock but not the most defined.

Mid bass has an ample texture and warmth to give a substantial note weight on bass guitars, bass drum kicks and bass-baritone vocals. Bass guitars have a sombre and sustaining sound while bass kicks does have this adequate thudding and gloomy sound (try listen to listen on John Bonham's bass kick intro in "When the Levee Breaks" or Gene Hoglan's fast double-bass on "Death is Certain"). Then on bass-baritone vocals, it sounds sort of milder, a tad smoother and less dense especially Barry White but works well with lyrical ones like Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.

In general, I can't consider the bass of this one as very tidy as I can hear a tad of bass bleeds and rather it is quite balanced between tightness and punchiness that make this bass quality very compelling to experienced audio enthusiasts but not to adherent bass heads who want a more quantity on their lows


MIDRANGE:

Midrange presentations of this one are definitely not recessed as I clearly perceived that it has a lushness, textured and spacious even for a midcentric listener like me will even appreciate this one. Both male and female vocals have an ample texture to deliver a euphonic and engaging voice that will be pleasant to hear. Male vocals especially on baritones have a warm, smooth and rich, then a dazzling and agile quality of countertenors and a brassy and ringy sound of a tenor singer. On the side of female vocals, contralto singers has this sufficient dark pitch but sometimes it has a lack of depth (check Tracy Chapman voice on this one) while mezzo-sopranos has this warm, cosy smoothness to exhibit that velvety nature of this type of vocal type (love those vocals from Sharon Den Adele of Within Temptation and Andrea Corr of The Corrs). And last but not the least, the sopranos as they sounds very rangy, silvery and shimmering as I listen to Tarja Turunen, Allison Krauss and Mariah Carey but on coloratura sopranos, it still has clarity but its extension are rather reserve in my liking.

As for instruments, Strings such as guitars of either electric or acoustic types have this buttery sound or lots of overtones especially of some acoustic tracks then a vibrant and calming sound of violin. Brass instruments like trumpet has this rounded and metallic brilliance sound which are good for thematic detail or cadenza passage while trombones have this eruptive and "dramatic" feel. When it comes to woodwinds like flutes and saxophones, flutes have this mellow and graceful sound characteristics while saxs have this lustrous and lively sound on it. And the last ones are the percussions, percussives like toms and snares have an ample hard and resonant sound, Then pianos have this velvety and brilliant sound on them.

I actually like how Pandamon renders the midrange definition but I don't qualify it as a very pristine one in my vocabulary.


HIGHS/TREBLE:

The treble of Pandamon seems to have an emphasis on the upper mids to give a sufficient shimmer then a smoothness along the upper mids to the presence region then a noticeable gradual dip in the brilliance region. But there's a caveat that it has a lack of air and is less energetic. That inherent smoothness will also give a non-sibilant and absence of harshness which is highly recommended to treble sensitives out there.

Cymbals seem to have an ample shimmer to give decent detail and crispness but as I mentioned about the lack of air before, it does affect the sizzle and extension on it that some treble-heads might find inadequate and congested. Hi-hats has a distinctive shortened buzzing sound that depicts the real-life sound on this in live performance.


SOUNDSTAGE, IMAGING AND OTHER TECHNICALITIES:

As a semi-open back set, I expect it to have a cavernous soundstage dimension but Pandamon is rather on an average to above average size especially on wideness. It also has an average depth on how I perceived its front and back distance and yet it has a decent height ceiling.

The imaging capability of this set is on typical two-dimensional stereo panning that allows me to determine the locations of instruments and vocals on the left and right channel. Separation of elements has good spacing and gap but layering capability is rather middling as frequency and dynamic layers of specific elements does not have a distinct texture that doesn't give a very cohesive and clean sound on multi-instrumental movie musical scores or orchestras.

Coherency-wise, the driver performs pretty well and it delivers a good envelope sound along its speed with less distortion of the SPD driver tech.

As for resolution capabilities, It also has a viscosity texture on its macro-dynamics which seems fine to me given that some planars sets also exhibit this trait. Regarding projecting on micro-detailing, its definition is not sharp enough to give a contrasting of nuances and subtleties in most tracks. The tonal colour of Pandamon is natural with some hint of warmth to give its uniquely organic tonality.

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PEER COMPARISONS:

Celest Gumiho


■ The predecessor model of Pandamon. Unlike Pandamon, it has a trapezoid-like shape on its shell chassis and it is not a semi-opened back design. It uses a first generation of SPD along with a balanced armature driver for upper-mids and treble. The stock cable of Gumiho is also different as it has bi-colour and fully-braided 4-core OFC silver plated copper wiring. The number of inclusions are very similar in quantity.

■ As for sound profile, Celeste Gumiho is more of a U-shaped sound signature. It has more pronounced bass and treble and a tad recession on the midrange presentation. Treble is brighter on the Gumiho but in general it seems that they share a similar warmth tonality.

■ Similarly, they have almost the same technical performance but Gumiho has a BA timbre which has a tinny and metallic sound that will skew the overall sound quality.


To sum up my conclusion on Celest Pandamon. Celeste takes a bold step on how they will present their product to the audio enthusiast community as a recognisable audio company that differentiates from its sister companies like Kinera and QOA. Their SPD tech shows its potential and how it will fare in the future given the very short development span from the first generation up to the latest version.

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Celest Pandamon
is rather a unique IEM with an uncommon tuning within its price range and gives a better alternative with its current contemporaries for its tuning and compelling affordable price.


CELESTE PANDAMON is now available in the KINERA Official Store, Click the non-affiliate link HERE if you are interested.


SPECIFICATION:

MODEL: CELEST PANDAMON
IMPEDANCE:
SENSITIVITY: 108dB
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz – 20KHz
CABLE LENGTH: 1.25M
PIN TYPE: 2-PIN CONNECTOR
PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm
DRIVER UNIT(S): (1) SQUARE PLANAR DRIVER


Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*



P.S.

I am not affiliated to CELEST AUDIO nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to KINERA for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate their generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.


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Lai Weng Ti

New Head-Fier
Celest Pandamon
Pros: - Warm-neutral signature
- Wide soundstage
- Unique opened-back design
- Light weight
- Aesthetically good looking stock cable
- Laid-back and sibilance free
- Well-cooked bass quantity
Cons: - Not suitable for noisy environment usage due to opened-back design
- Environment noise will leak in
- Slightly lacking in highs extensions
- Not for bass-head
- Not for stage performing monitoring
Celest Pandamon

Disclaimer!

This unit was sent by @Kinera. However, they didn’t paid me for any written reviews. I will try my best to review this unit without any bias. Please bear with me that I’m not a professional sound engineer or musician, but I’m just a self-learnt guitarist & vocalist, who do composed my own original music and also self-learnt some mixing & mastering techniques. I am a neutral-head, analytical-head and also liking balanced sounding tunings. And also, I’m using iFi Hip DAC pairing for the whole listening impressions. Please take my reviews as grain of salts.

Pros:

- Warm-neutral signature
- Wide soundstage
- Unique opened-back design
- Light weight
- Aesthetically good looking stock cable
- Laid-back and sibilance free
- Well-cooked bass quantity

Cons:

- Not suitable for noisy environment usage due to opened-back design
- Environment noise will leak in
- Slightly lacking in highs extensions
- Not for bass-head
- Not for stage performing monitoring

Sound Quality

Overall, this IEM is having a warm-neutral signature with unique opened-back design that enhances the perceived soundstage wideness. As it is nearing neutral kind of tuning, the tonality here is actually nearing perfect, with slight bass boost. The SPD 2.0 drivers, which is the revised SPD version from Celest Gumiho, is a new noble drivers type, and it is my first time listening to such unique drivers.

Bass

The bass shelf here is slightly boosted, and it is well-cooked kind of bass tuning. The sub-bass is tight and tactile to listen to. The bass here is quite fluid sounding, thanks to the opened-back design that allowed the rear part of the drivers to “breath-in” more airs, I guess?? The kickdrum and bass guitar are well separated and could be easily distinguished. Sub-bass here did having slight presence than mid-bass. Mid-bass here is not entirely lean sounding like some completely flatten bass response tuning IEMs, there are still some fun warmth mid-bass. Bass bleeding is kept minimal, but not cold analytical kind, as the bass regions are still consider quite fun to listen to, but not bass-head level kind of fun bass.

Mids

There is no recession detected throughout the whole mids region, if not, the mid-bass warmth did colored up slightly the mids, bringing some warmth to the lower mids. The upper mids region did having slightly more boosted than neutral, where some highs sensitive folks might find it slightly harsh sounding, but for analytical head and treblehead, it will be a big plus to them. The male vocal is natural sounding, quite full-bodied sounding. Female vocal here is crystal clear sounding and also sibilance free, thanks to the dip in 3kHz - 6kHz region. Instrumental here is neither dull nor too bright sounding, slightly hiding behind the vocals. The dip in 3kHz - 6kHz did effectively removed sibilance from vocals, however, it did takes away some instrumental biteness too, where treblehead and analytical head might find themselves wanting more biteness from instrument such as electric guitar, acoustic guitar etc. Don’t get me wrong, the instrumental are not blunted sounding, but smoothed sounding, and free from fake-details, and it is tuned towards neutral kind of upper mids.

Highs

As mentioned above, Pandamon is tuned towards neutral kind of highs, where it is indeed free from fake details, but my analytical head side did find that, the highs are slightly lacking in extensions. Percussive highs such as hi-hats, cymbals etc. are doing a supporting role within the mix, not in-the-face/upfront, but stays gently behind the vocalist. Treblehead might find themselves needing more airs from Pandamon. Treblehead might not be pleased by such tunings, however, it will be a perfect suite for folks that like smoothed & relaxed kind of highs presentation, if not, neutral-head might be also appreciating the uncolored neutral tuning approach from Pandamon.

Tonality

As Pandamon is tuned towards neutral-warmth signature, the tonality here is quite natural sounding, free from weirdness, if not, the slightly boosted in upper mids might be slightly harsh sounding for certain folks.

Technicalities

As it is opened-back design, the soundstage here is really quite huge sounding, especially the left and right perceived wideness. Normally, a huge soundstage IEM might suffer from layerings and instrument separations, however, it is not the case in Pandamon. Thanks to the decent transient speed of the SPD 2.0 drivers, the instrument separations ability is still decent.

Conclusion

Do you need to try out the newly released noble SPD 2.0 drivers from Celest? Do you curious about how will an opened-back IEM sounds like? Or do you want to try out some near neutrally tuned IEM with slight warmth at the lows? Who is this IEM for? Let me answer your doubt, it is meant for folks that appreciate balance sounding tuning signatures, and sucker for wide soundstage. The opened-back design, it is not good for those that wanting to isolate themselves and enjoy their music quietly, but then, environment noise did leaks into the ears. Or shall we take it as a good “Ambient mode” feature? So ya, if you want to stay aware when using an IEM, Celest Pandamon is a good choice too. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to try out Celest Gumiho, and really unsure how well of the revised SPD 2.0 progressed from the first version, but then, I do hope that, Celest could keep on working hard on improving the SPD drivers, as there are still more room for improvement. Nevertheless, I do like the Celest Pandamon, and I do think that, Celest is doing a good job in researching and producing such unique sounding IEM.
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Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
The Epic Pandamon
Pros: Smoking fast transients
Clean, fast and swept personality without being sterile
Great soundstage due to open-back design
The first 2.0 Square Planar introduction by Kinera
Wicked imaging accredited to transient abilities
Comfortable and lightweight at only 4 grams a piece
Correct-level, accessible, even and complete playback
Single full-range planar device cohesion
Amazing note fall-off into the stage
Great over-all tonal ability and timbres
Low-cost for a planar IEM
This almost deserves a full 5 stars
Mid-range focused
Smooth and complete treble with no funky business
Extra ordinary bass imaging (you'll see)
Cons: Wild beast inspired name, faceplate and marketing angle
Replays exactly what you give it, meaning give it thin files and get thin playback, though the opposite with substantial audiophile files
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There is no denying the Pandamon’s faceplate is startling, I mean have you ever in your life seen such a thing? Giant red eyes and fangs……seemingly science fiction as up-top his head he has a pair of Oakley sunglasses on. Ridiculous really………am I right? And while maybe there is a youngster target audience for such a faceplate, the user group is probably 18 to 25 years old. Yet, I asked for the Pandamon, and for good reason. That reason was the Celest Gumiho. This was Kinera’s previous planar model, causing a ruckus being it was a BA hybrid and it was questionable if the 10mm Square Planar Driver even qualified to be called a planar in the first place?

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kinera-celest-gumiho.26076/reviews#review-29411


The Gumiho was also named after a mythical beast, only it was a 9 tailed fox, and came in at $49.00 instead of the $59.00 the Pandamon is.

Kinera Pandamon

10mm (2.0) Square Planar Driver In-Ear Earphone


  • Professional Tuning & Excellent Bass Performance
  • 3D Cavity Design
  • Exquisite Ear Shells & Circular Hollow Panel
  • High-Quality Oxygen Free Copper Cable


$59.00
https://www.linsoul.com/products/kinera-pandamon

Linsoul website: https://www.linsoul.com/
Linsoul Aliexpress Store: https://ddaudio.aliexpress.com/store/2894006
Linsoul USA Amazon Store link: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=A267P2DT104U3C

Disclaimer:
I want to thank Kareena of Linsoul for the love and the Pandamon Universal IEM review sample.

Disclaimer:
These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Samsung Android Smartphone 3.5mm output

Review summary:
So you don’t have to read a long rolling review I can sum this puppy up really fast. This Pandamon with its refined 10mm planar driver has better transients than similarly priced full-range dynamic drivers. The musical information gets in and out relatively fast, that’s why people buy planar IEMs! Yet different than the Gumiho which came before, this Pandamon is only a single 10mm planar and has been tuned to have less contrasts and dislocations than its BA + Planar younger brother. While the Gumiho offers brighter highs and deeper lows, the Pandamon moves forward with a more involved and detailed midrange. In fact as I listen to the Pandamon right now, this minute, not only is the midrange section notable, but the highs and lows are absolutely fine too. The main two features I walk away with is that the Pandamon imaging is big, and relishing in quick transients! A cleaner response than similarly priced DDs, and even better transients than double the price DDs.


There you have it.

The Kinera Celest Pandamon Planar Universal IEM


Back to this strange faceplate. I view Kinera/Celest as looking for notoriety with this look. There needs to be a way for the Pandamon to distinguish itself from everything else out there. We may own a few IEMs, yet it a retail setting, looking over an ocean of product, you can start to realize where this Pandamon faceplate design comes in. Kinera wants sales, and making something unique is the way to get there. You can only imagine seeing the Pandamon out in public, it totally gets noticed for how it looks, and that was what they were going for. This, or a subtly different style of mass marketing will surly continue with stranger animals, and even more surrealistic looks. What happened to me was I loved the Gumiho sound, I found it offering a sound way better than its humble price. So when they announced that they were working with this square 2.0 10mm planar driver to somehow lose the need for a BA, I was intrigued. And more than intrigued, but fascinated upon seeing this release, a more even-steven response, and the fact that it was an open-back design sealed the deal, I had to review it.

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Open-back:
Really when you look around there aren’t too many open-back IEMs, there are tons of open-back headphones, but very few IEM offerings. In fact I only own a few, the TRN Bax, the HOOK-X and the KZ PRN HiFi to name a couple. Still there is also this gray line where they are starting to put multiple vents, and making vented models even more common to really smear the line of what is an open-back and what is not. The TRN TA1 Max comes to mind, heck if you study the giant air-vents on the Gumiho, rarely do you ever encounter vents so big!

Packaging:
Going with the theme here you get quite a few little trinkets. The entire box leads way to this story of the Pandamon, the extras include the complete set of 6 ear-tips. The spring-loaded pouch that the cable comes in, the metal Pandamon ornament? There is also a nice booklet and cleaning brush.

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Build:
While it looks metal, it’s not. Though the 3D printed shells offer a lightweight and comfortable affair, being only 4 grams each, the Pandamon is a joy to use. The faceplate is a chrome covered plastic, yet that is what you want to keep weight down. Of course the screws on the faceplate are not functional, but the faceplate screens are real! Yep, Beautiful screens on the front join with the vent on the back to create air-flow. The name Celest is emblazoned across both ear-facing sides as is the R or L marks. The nozzle screens are much like the Gumiho model, in fact they look identical from the outside. Such screens are one piece with an interesting pattern and a dot in the center. The benefit to this is you never have to worry if the screens will come apart, as every once in a while there will be a deterioration of nozzle screens causing just the edge them to fall apart, or course not here as they are one piece. The two pin receiver works well, as does the nozzle lip to hold ear-tips on. I ended using my shallowest profile extra wide-bore tips. There is an interesting feature as once in a while longer ear-tips are needed to provide a seal, yet due to the weight, size and shape of the Pandamon my favorite ear-tips work-out. Accessing wide-bore tips means the soundstage is the widest possible as the bass is also diminished, yet due to there being ample bass response all was fine. As always nozzle length, and angle are of supreme importance here, and I addressing fit with shallow length wide-bore tips shows an example of exceptionally great fit! While fit is always personal, here the Pandamon comes out to be a careful and useful shape, despite the wild faceplate.

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The cable:
While nothing to write home about in looks, the cable is functionally fine and handles well. I used it for preliminary sound checks then moved on to a cable that could accommodate 4.4mm balanced amplifiers and continued the review as such. In some ways the Gumiho seemed to come with a nicer looking cable, yet the Gumiho cable wasn’t quite so controllable. As seen in the pictures here the Pandamon cable is easily put into a coil.

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Note the Gumiho cable:
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Modification of faceplate:

If the character design on the faceplate really bothers you, you can always place a small sticker shaped like a dot directly in the center. Where the vents are conveniently place out to the outskirts of the design, an area (for the Pandamon character) is only in the very center for the design. Such a trick of modification is simple and an easy thing to do if the faceplate bothers you that much. Once you hear the sound of these (like most audiophiles) you will be willing to take some extra steps to make them your very own. That’s right, these are so special sounding and thorough in frequency response, you will find it worth it to go the extra effort if wanting to take them out of the house. Though keep in mind the sound occlusion from outside noise is not that great, so that would be something to think about if wanting take the Pandamons out for a stroll. And even something to think about if you needed to block excess noise while in your house, as the Pandamons are really open-back, but more than that, they seem to block noise even less than other open-backs I have. The benefit is of course the better than average soundstage, and the special image placement and transient response able to be achieved with through the open-back design.

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The Kinera Celest Gumiho v the Pandamon:
The Gumiho was the first to grab my attention and for good reason. The sound was big, way bigger than the small size or shape would have you guess. Laying the ground work for Celest success, the Gumiho could almost do no wrong. You don’t have to read my review to know that the midrange was simply OK. With the Kinera Celest Gumiho offering a brighter treble fully taking the stage, as well as a fully evolved bass department. This wild juxtaposition of both brighter treble and authoritative bass created added contrast and deep emotional triggers if you really want this style of bass. Seemingly coming out of nowhere in the stage, far out to the right or left these bass exaggerations? When it comes down to it the Pandamon is slightly more efficient it seems, has a more linear response, and slightly more forward midrange. While both IEMs are responsible for a big sound, both could be judged as having wonderful bass, which just goes to add soundstage size in the end. Truly though with how different they are, the response doesn’t really make them complementary in contrast. Meaning if you had only one of the two you should be fine. It’s truly hard to recommend just one though, as I almost can’t choose which one I like better? The fit of both is fine, though when it really comes down to it the Kinera Celest Gumiho is the strangest shape. Look where the two pins go on it. Yet both offer supreme comfort in fit, you kinda feel the edges of the Kinera Celest Gumiho.

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The Pandamon Graph:
As you can see by the two graphs the response is still very different, yet you can hear how they are family. That 9 kHz peak in the Gumiho sounds real. Also the 2 kHz to 3.6 kHz pinna gain is there also, but the overall effect is more noticeable grain, probably due to how the treble BA response is dovetailed in, or just a characteristic of the BA driver. The suggestion is basically if you were treble sensitive to the Gumiho, you should be fine with how the Pandamon handles the treble now. Where spacialy the Gumiho has more treble projections into the stage, they are slightly less natural and almost forced, where the Pandamon comes off more together and even. While looking at the Pandamon graph you could be forgiven for thinking the upper treble was slightly reserved, when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. In-fact the absolute clarity performed by the single 2.0 10mm square planar driver puts many DD drivers to shame, being able to have a single driver really do it all and perform amazing bouts of interaction in the upper treble. While both the 1.0 10mm square planar and this new 2.0 10mm planar driver share the same style of timbre, that’s what makes them family.

Speaking timbre:
There is probably a hint of planar timbre here and there, still both vocal and instrument examples in my testing show a fabulous involving tone. In fact this timbre seems better than many full scale planar inventions. The best way for me to study timbre is to go to both acoustic and electric guitar playback and simply ask myself, does this sound real? And in fact there is a wide range of it sounding real, as this is not as absolute as you would guess. While considering timbre of instruments, there are many other values (other than timbre) that come into play. What I’m trying to say is maybe timbre would be great with a single full-range driver, but then the transients ruin the rest. So in the end it’s alway a combination of values that need to be taken into consideration.

Speaking stage:
Not only is the FR a great style of balance, that balance is carried over into how instruments are parlayed into the stage. While the Gumiho seemed to offer a slightly more flamboyant, almost excessive stage, the Pandamon shows a connected response, in that every musical element flows together, and there is no found dislocation of display. This will not come to notice until you find a super extreme example of playback.

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"Ripples in the Sand"
48 kHz - 24 bit
Hans Zimmer

OST DUNE

Here is an example of the togetherness encountered upon playback. I’m using the ISN G4 cable in 4.4mm balanced from the Walkman WM1A with MrWalkmans software. The bass while fully engaging and provocative, leaves room for other IEMs to play it more drastically, more contrasty. It’s less physical than I have heard it before, yet more complete and in a way more correct. Really in this song I’m hearing the Pandamon balance almost for the first time. For the first time I’m hearing that this is a single driver, and it’s wonderful. The bass drop at 00:05 hits as reserved and spatially placed, yet cool due to speed. Yep these are both fast and forgiving. How can you have a driver be forgiving in such a song? Because it’s amazingly coherent. Please go find me $59.00 coherence elsewhere and show me the results. There is just an accessibility to this song, it’s correct, yet a lighter version than I have been hearing it with other IEMs. Meaning the bass is low and fast but there are no sharp edges that go with the surrounding accompaniment? This togetherness is smooth and takes the cake. This is real and the deep bass throbs at 2:02 out to the reaches of the stage………..full-on, and go to cement my findings of listenability. It’s in-fact the separation into the stage and the transients found within each approaching and leaving instrument. The vocal additive also makes me understand the how’s and why’s of people buying these and being happy. With budget planar purchases people enjoy the benefits in comparison to the sloppiness of single full-range DDs. Present for all to hear, this cohesiveness that out-cohesives the comparably priced single DD offering or….really more expensive priced single DD offerings……lol. Yep, truly uncanny this style of playback!

Besides the cohesiveness found here, it starts to have you totally defend this driver idea. I mean many at the start were suspicious of the un-orthodox methodology to build the 1.0 and 2.0 square driver idea. These don’t have the same build as regular planar IEMs, plus they are square shaped. But the proof here is in the sound, the guarantee is in the sound, that Kinera/Celest really pulled-this-off. This is both a correct, even and complete tone, yet it’s still somewhat original sounding………and that is what I like, a slight difference in personality that both the Gumiho and Pandamon have.

Treble:
Never spicy or ever boring for that matter. Just slightly laid-back and not necessarily doing the spread-out sonic creations of BA sparkles, but the speed is always apparent. Supplied total note weight, yet every sound is getting out of the way for the next approaching sound. This is unmistakably planar sounding. Yes, the offerings are thinner than some playback, yet other stuff in the response makes up for such characterizations. Often the treble elements are there but not fully formed nor created, as a thinner creation of reality, yet timbre is close to correct anyway. Treble is just not what you would call substantial sounding.

Bass:
It’s fast, really fast…….yet going about its business there almost isn’t time for the driver to concentrate on filling stuff out complexly. These are sketches, not paintings. Still just like a good sketch, retrieved is amazing detail, and this hidden bass effect. Hidden bass arrives as a surprise due to wicked fast transients, such spectacles are fully worth the price of admission. Waiting in the outskirts this incredibly fast and technical bass arrives and unexpectedly stays momentarily then leaves just as fast. This pace travels from the bottom up, blanketing the entire signature. Though my favorite part of songs is when there is a pause......there just becomes this bass drop, it’s so rewarding and substantial!

Midrange:
You know as well as I do this is truly a midrange experience. Though the real truth here is you almost have to pick your music. The reactionary ability of the Pandamon is picky as to file quality. So find your thickest file and the Pandamon will make the best music from it. Choose an older thin file and if not harmonically complex or lacking substance, and that’s what is retrieved. In a way this is reality, yet some ear-monitors make better cake from the files of lesser ingredients. Yet choose your big spectacular files and witness a spectacle of playback, and to think this style of sound cost just $59.00! I can disregard that faceplate, these don’t have sound occlusion for outside anyway. The biggest accomplishment here is the completeness and the cohesiveness. Everything is accounted for, but it doesn’t add anything to your thin lacking files. The Pandamon kind-of eats up authority and demands those style of songs, yet at the same time everything is on the quicker side of the street, that at times the midrange is lacking some weight and heaviness. It’s the spacial projection and quick fall-away that gets you the thrills, as this is simply Pandamons character in the end!

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Conclusion:
Ahh, Pandamon, he is a legend or at least they are propping him up to be? You can see this deformed panda character is attempting to add some kind of personality to the playback. To many who have never heard better, this will be like a new dawn with a joyous style of perceived audiophile playback. I can’t help but imagine the younglings ponying-up to the plate and paying the asking price, only to be thrilled and breaking their audiophile cherry inside of Pandamon playback. It will definitely be something for many. And while the Pandamon simply goes about its paces playing back whatever its given to chew-on. At the same time modern popular music seems to be the ticket for success. The Pandamon seems to be one of those IEMs that eats up the authority inside a song. Give it authority and it will replay as such, though try and make a thin crust pizza.........and it just may come out too thin in the end. Provide the needed goods and reap the rewards. Another favorite part of the playback has to be both fit and soundstage. Just a big wonderful world for all this imaging to go down in. The way the open-back repositions those sonic characters far out into the stage, the way you can study such work from many an angle, the way Pandamon lets the music breath. In fact this breath of playback is incredibly special, being I just went through about 4 IEMs, (single full-range) DDs, where this breath of life avoided them. Of course they did other magic tricks, but still separation and spacial abilities come with a style of added value. Yep, all character traits are not considered equal. When that unexpected song starts up and you have the Pandamon in your ears.........you will realize what I’m saying………………….yep, you will realize what I’m saying!

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Specifications

  • Plug: 3.5mm
  • Driver: 10 x 10mm SPD
  • Interface: 0.78 2pin
  • Sensitivity: 108db
  • Wearing Type: In-Ear
  • Frequency: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 9 Ohm
  • Cable Lenght 1.25m
Last edited:
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
Probably because they learned the difficulty of applying a coating to this type of shell. Meaning the original Gumiho was suppose to come in 8 styles, but white and black in flat texture had too many issues with the paint being uneven, so they reduced the offering to 4......1) black 2) black design 3) white and 4) white design.

Oh, you mean make one with no Pandamon! Yes, that would be good, as they sound wonderful!
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Carpet
They now have a plain faceplate version and it's on sale too!:astonished:

Since I don't have an SPD, I weakened.:ksc75smile:
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
@Carpet

Congratulations! You won't be sorry here.

Honestly they offer a totally agreeable audio display (while really mostly mid-centered) there is just enough interaction to make them fun, while following the rules and never being offensive. The open-back and SPD make for a unique listen and the size and comfort issued are perfect. You paid less than $59....good job. Really they deserve 5 stars!
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Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Celest Pandamon Review
Pros: -Accessories
-Fit (for me the fit is great, also a con)
-Natural timbre
-Near neutral
-Fast transient response
-Clarity & Resolution
-Nice with details
-Punchy & tight low-end
-Very open and airy sounding
Cons: -Look (I’m sure some do not enjoy the look)
-Fit (I’m sure this will not fit everyone perfectly)
-Not for big bass lovers
Celest Pandamon Review
Celeste Pandamon


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Intro

I received the Celest Pandamon from the fine folks at Kinera in exchange for my full and honest review and I intend to do just that. I will always provide an unbiased and truthfull account of any set I receive. So, thank you Kinera! I will do my best to explain exactly what I hear and feature the Pandamon in a way which helps the reader get a gauge for what exactly they are getting when purchasing this set. With that, here are my impressions of Celest Pandamon. Thank you very much for reading.

Side Note: Please read Mahir’s review of the Pandamon HERE

Pandamon?

The “Pandamon” is known affectionately as the “Iron Eating Beast” which was first recorded in book form as a Chinese fantasy tale “The Classic of Mountain & Sea. You will find this depiction in the pamphlet inside the box with a brief description. Apparently, the Pandamon has extremely brilliant military records with extraordinary combat capabilities. Enemy weapons can easily be crushed by this iron-eating bear’s teeth. I’m sure there is much more to this tale but, I’m a Father and really don’t have the time to read further than a Google search. Forgive me.

The “Pandamon” is also a puppet Digimon? I write that but I’ll be perfectly honest… I know very little about this Digimon world or if Kinera chose this depiction (Digimon) of the Pandamon at all. I’m sure their idea of the Pandamon comes mostly from the classic tale. Regardless, the Pandamon is basically a character Panda bear who is pretty badass! As I’m sure you’ve already gathered by the appearance of this set.

Who is the Pandamon?

So, who is Pandamon? How does his character relate to the earphone, or does the tuning prescribe to these character traits at all? Perhaps Celest simply latched onto a catchy character theme to grab the attention of the younger generations. Anyways, the Pandamon is said to be a “lone wolf”. He is mostly expressionless, dismissive and stone cold at all times. Known for being abrupt, brusque and abrasive with absolutely no charm whatsoever. I’m sure the picture imposed on the faceplates gives this away a little bit. I’m gathering this fella isn’t too kind. The Pandamon strikes with powerful force, is very fast in attack and is consummately, decisively and positively lethal! The first thing I wondered was… “Does the tuning of the Pandamon relate to the Character?” Well, I’m overly curious, let’s check out how the Pandamon actually sounds. Fellas and Ladies, the Celest Pandamon…

Celeste Pandamon

Gear Used

Shanling UA2
IFi Go Blu
Qudelix 5k
Ibasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2
Shanling M6 Ultra

Full Review can be found HERE

Test Gear
Left to right: Ifi Go Blu / Shanling M6 Ultra / Ibasso Dx240 / Qudelix 5k / Shanling UA2

Packaging

Celest went with a very well-conceived packaging. Very thoughtful of them. No, it isn’t the most luxurious box of accessories, but it is well schemed to go along with the running theme, and that is… The Pandamon himself. Still, for $59 US dollars the packaging is very nice and above what I think you would normally receive. On top of that the unboxing was well thought out and very creative.

Quick Unboxing

The box is rather small with a graphic imposed on the cover sleeve of the angry Pandamon seemingly growling or howling in the moody moonlight. Above the picture is a plastic clear window which gives us our first look at the earphones themselves. Listen, I don’t care if you like the style, picture, character theme or not, if you can’t agree that this is a very well laid out and very eye-catching design then… we must be very different from each other. I Know my former self, if I was 15 years old, I would think this set is DOPE! I say that and truthfully it isn’t my favorite design as I do like more of a bold and minimalist approach but… I can dig it. Let’s put it this way, I understand the approach and to whom the Pandamon is marketed at.

Take off the sleeve and you’ll see a copy of the graphic on the front of the box but this time it looks almost like a penciled traced image. Within this image are the earphones themselves snarling at you in a cardboard cutout. Pick up the cardboard layer and underneath you’ll find the case. Inside the case is the eartips, cable and nozzle cleaning tool. Under the case you’ll find a Keychain of the exact image of Pandamon… How thoughtful and smart is Celest or “Kinera”. Finally, the last accessory is a pamphlet with a quick description of Pandamon, some specs of the earphones and some other boring stuff. All in all, Kinera did a fine job with the presentation. Well done!
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Eartips
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Pandamon eartips
The eartips provided are actually of great quality. The first set I’ll talk about is a medium-wide bore ear tip which looks identical in size, color, form, rigidity, and just about everything else as the Fiio Bass tips. Now, the Fiio Bass tips are basically the same as KBear 07 tips so… The included tips I’m referring to are basically a different colored Kbear 07 tip. Anyone who follows me at all knows I love the KBear 07 tips so for me, this is great. Anyways you get three pairs (L, M, S) of the Fiio lookalikes. The next set is a very nice and rigid set (L, M, S) of wide bore eartips. Really these are great tips. They have a very firm flange which is perfect for sealing in a shallower fit. The inner bore is very firm as well which is great for sound. Another very nice addition by Kinera.

Carrying Case

Pandamon carrying pouch


The case provided is a soft faux leather type pouch which opens in an almost spring-action by squeezing both ends. The feel of the pouch is very nice. Now, your earphones will barely squeeze inside as there isn’t a ton of room in there, but I was able to get them in and so… All is good. I certainly wouldn’t think this case would be able to protect your earphones from drops or bangs as there isn’t much in the way of physical protection, it’s a pouch after all. Still, it is great for putting into a pocket which makes carrying around your earphones very easy. Perfectly pocket sized.

Cable

Pandamon included cable


The included cable we have seen before. In fact, it seems to be the exact cable given with my Tripowin Olina as well as a few others. Not a bad cable by any stretch. Also, not the best. Aesthetically this cable may not be perfectly matched but truthfully for the price it is a nice addition. The cable itself is a 2-pin, gray colored, 4-core SPC cable which ends with a 3.5 single ended jack. For this review I primarily used a Hifihear black 8-core SPC cable because it ends with a 4.4 balanced termination so I can use this set with my balanced sources. Not to mention that a balanced jack enables me quite a bit more power.




Full Review can be found HERE

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Build / Design / Internals / Fit

Design

The Pandamon are not a large set of earphones. Built in a circular shape the faceplates are made out of stainless steel and done so in a semi-open design. The faceplates have a very youth-oriented look with the devilish looking face of the Pandamon gnarling at you with deep-red and viciously angry looking eyes and pointed teeth. This is not a cute panda. Now, I could see many people loving the look and design language. In the same breath I could see many not liking this look at all. I have to assume that this design will be at least a little bit polarizing to the audio community. It doesn’t bother me at all, but I wouldn’t pick this design if it were me creating the Pandamon to my own preferences. It is a hair too much for me but again, so many people will think this set looks downright tough looking and will suit them perfectly.

Pandamon Shell design


Build

The shell housing is made out of a 3D printed black colored resin which offsets the Faceplate nicely. There is also one other small vent near to the nozzle. Speaking of the nozzles, they are slightly angled which makes fitting them into my ear very easy and nice. The grill on the nozzle appears to be the exact grill provided on the Celest Gumiho. Overall, the build is solid. It isn’t premium or decadent or beautiful, but it is good enough for me to call cool-looking and durable feeling in the hand. The Shells are very light which I happen to really enjoy and make long listening a fatigue free experience.

Pandamon Build
Pandamon Build
Pandamon Build


Internals

The Celest Pandamon is outfitted with what is called an SPD driver, AKA SPD 2.0, aka Square Planar Driver. From what I’ve read the SPD used is made by Kinera measuring out to 10mm. The Gumiho used SPD 1.0 and needed a balanced armature driver to accompany it for the highs, but the 2.0 SPD is actually a full spectrum Planar driver. It is able to reproduce a full frequency range which benefits from better coherency of sound.

Celeste Pandamon

Drivability

The Pandamon is rated at 9 ohms, with a sensitivity of 108 decibels. Yes, this set can be driven to decent volume from less powerful sources but to truly get the most out of the Pandamon you will need a well out-putted and strong dongle dac at the very least. The Shanling UA2 does a very nice job of giving the Pandamon enough dynamic presence and begins to open up the sound with increased low-end energy as well as a wider soundstage.

Portable Use…

For a mobile option I tried out the Fiio UTWS5 and I did not have the best experience with that setup. It isn’t a bad sounding pairing but simply not enough juice and headroom to really pull out the Pandamon’s strengths. So, for a better mobile option I tried out the Qudelix 5k as well as the IFi Go Blue and I found both to have plenty of power for this set. I am always trying different styles and ways of listening because I want the best I can get in different situations. A portable option is important to me, hence, I always put it in my reviews. The IFi Go Blu has fantastic synergy and forms a nice union of auditory delight on 4.4 balanced with Pandamon.

A Bit More Juice

Pairing with the Shanling M6 Ultra or the Ibasso DX240 were both very solid options. I tried out both medium gain & high gain with both Daps and found the Pandamon certainly scales well with power and is very transparent to the source tonality. I didn’t hear any distortions or unwanted peaks with more power either. Like I said, a good dongle dac with reasonable power will be more than enough. Like any planar the Pandamon benefits with some juice. All things considered the Pandamon is not the most difficult planar type of earphone to drive like some sets we have seen in the past.

Celeste Pandamon attached to the Shanling M6 Ultra



Quick Sound Impressions

The Pandamon presents a nicely balanced take on my music. Near neutral with a slight warmth and more U-shaped to my ear. I hesitate to call it mid-centric, but it is close to that in my opinion. I hear an emphasis in the upper midrange which adds some sparkle to female vocals. The Pandamon has a balanced low-end approach but remains punchy and defined. Bass hits pretty hard without any muddiness. The treble has good energy while remaining non-offensive without any undue peaks. Obviously, I will elaborate much more in each of these areas as you read-on. The stage is nice, and details are not lost on the Pandamon either as the sound is very clean and airy and mostly balanced, so that no one area of the mix takes great dominance.

Celeste Pandamon

Bass

The bass as a whole is not over-emphasized or extended or obese in its quantity. The low-end is lean, tight, textured and precise. There is a greater rise in the mid-bass but neither area is left unheard or unfelt. I am a fan of this tight and speedy bass.

Sub-bass

I will make this quick. The sub-bass does have a roll-off beginning roughly around 50hz, but I’ll be honest, it doesn’t entirely show itself as such. I still hear enough haptic feedback and rumble for tracks which call for it. However, make no mistake, this is not a bass head’s type of juddering shudder down low. Still, there is plenty to suit my needs as well as many others as a song like “Paradigm” by The Head and the Heart, has plenty of deep vibration. I think the Pandamon shows up very well on this track with a tight and deep rumble. The sub-bass is speedy and makes its presence felt enough to enjoy.

Mid-bass

The mid-bass has a faster attack/decay/sustain in my opinion than most dynamic drivers but replays much in the same way as far as timbre is concerned. Weezer did a remake of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. The first thing you hear is a huge string of kick drum booms and then followed shortly after by a deep bassline. The kick drums have a slam to them which comes across as a round thud and decays in a more natural way which is pretty satisfying. Mostly the mid-bass hits with good authority and a cleaner edge for an SPD Driver. Nothing overly pillowy, hollow or fuzzy but actually the mid-bass gives off decently good definition and separation from the sub-bass.

Celeste Pandamon

Midrange

The midrange seems to have decent note weight throughout, especially in the low mids. The midrange is more forward and out front. I consider the Pandamon to have a richness to the midrange but also good resolution for an iem priced at $59. There isn’t any sibilance or graininess or metallic note edges. I also wouldn’t go so far as to say the midrange is a detailed midrange, but it is punctual and precise enough for my library with an organic and rich sound. Overall, the mids are smoother than they aren’t and easy on the ears. I would consider this a warm but lush midrange which comes across natural to my ears.

Lower-Midrange

The low-mids have a bit of spill over from the mid-bass which provides some warmth and weight offering a full sounding male vocal. Males are pretty robust and come off natural to my ear as well. “Where I Find God” by Larry Fleet replays well on the Pandamon as Larry’s sharp country twang has a nice correctness and intelligibility which isn’t clouded by veil but instead has a nice bite but also a warmer sounding richness to his voice. I wouldn’t call this a high-resolution lower midrange but there is good definition and a nice body to male voices.

Upper-Midrange

The upper-mids has the greatest emphasis, which adds some levity to the entire mix. Almost like a vibrant warmth if you will… and a nice timbre as well. Females are pretty forward but not to any detriment as they sound nicely breathy and vivacious with some shimmer to them. There is an emotional and atmospheric element to females. The Pandamon do not come across as a budget planar at all to me as most instruments and vocals are positioned nicely and rendered more organic in this region.

Celeste Pandamon

Treble

The highs are energetic enough yet aren’t so emphasized to cause fatigue. This is a non-offensive and safer sound than many budget iems that we’ve seen. There is a natural sounding roll-off which really presents instruments nicely. Resolution is good throughout the treble which really helps to offer a clean upper 3rd. It isn’t the hardest edged or sharp upper region at all but there is a crisp nature replayed in a safe way, if that makes any sense. Truthfully, the treble has a smoother sound all the while not losing out too bad in the details department. Nothing metallic or sibilant or grainy and nothing super piercing.

Cymbals and HI-Hats both trail off nicely and with a good enough body depending on the track and how forward they are in the mix. Generally, they sound legit, with a nice chisk and appropriate decay. They aren’t lost with rolled-off attenuation, and neither is percussion, piano, violin etc. The treble is decently detailed which is mostly due to the balanced type of tuning and nice clarity throughout. All in all, the upper 3rd does a nice job at countering the rest of the spectrum and adds good levity to the overall sound.

Celeste Pandamon attached to the Shanling M6 Ultra

Technicalities

Soundstage

The stage has a nice width with an average height and even some depth. Nothing colossal and not some enormous venue in your head but a good-sized stage that paints a nice psycho-acoustic picture. We go too far with stage size in the iem world, really. It will only get so massive. What the Pandamon has going for it is this open sound, a neutral and airy sound which has nice clarity and a speedier driver which almost opens up different portions of a stage… almost. It’s a nice stage. I’m sure the semi-open back plays a big part in this area.

Separation / Imaging

Discerning different elements within an imaginary stage is pretty easy listening with the Pandamon. Even on more congested tracks this set just speeds right along and does an admirable job of delineating front to back and side to side fairly easily. Layers can be heard, and, in most songs, I can hear decently partitioned instruments and voices. Placement of those instruments is as it should be. Remember this is the least we should be asking of our iems. They should image pretty nicely. Separation and definition of elements around a stage is the trickier task and the Pandamon plays above average in these areas in my opinion. I’m sure there are some chaotic tracks which they cannot keep up with and some blurring will occur but in my library these did pretty well.

Details

For a smoother sounding iem the Pandamon pick up details well. No these aren’t detail monsters, but I can hear some of the finer minutia within my songs which is great. In general, the Pandamon will come across with a more organic and not as dry and analytical as some higher detail iems. That said, resolution and clarity is such to present macro type details rather easily. Again, not a detail beast. Yes, it’s a type of planar, and yes, this driver has good speed and good clarity, but it is simply tuned to a smoother gradient across the spectrum.

Celeste Pandamon with HifiHear cable

Is the Pandamon worth the asking price?

Well, this is an easy answer with a couple caveats. First, this set will already throw off many people by the appearance alone. If I were designing this set, I wouldn’t have gone with such a youthful and bold faceplate imagery. You lose half the community with this alone. However, if the design is not being considered and audio is the only parameter we are going by then... most certainly the Pandamon is worth the $59. 100% yes. To be honest I don’t find the look too off-putting, and I can wrap my head around the design, but I do think it may be a hair too in your face and young to compete outside its target demographic. Many audio-heads come into their element with some age under their belt, it’s just the truth. Still, I really enjoy the sound, the Faceplate doesn’t bug me too much personally, and so I say...yes, the Pandamon is worth the asking price.



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Conclusion

I want to thank Kinera again for sending out this review unit. It means a lot. I had a good time listening to my library with the Pandamon. Even if the look doesn’t exactly line up with my tastes, I can appreciate the sound. Obviously, the look is the Achilles heel of the Pandamon as it will not suit everyone. However, the tuning is what separates this set from some others in its price range. Near neutral, organic, clean sounding and smooth in a mostly non-offensive manner. There is a mildly aggressive sound which can be dynamic and very fun. No this is not a bass-head banger or treble-head bright, but it is balanced and can cover many genres very well. Technically the Pandamon is pretty nice, and it is mostly a smooth sailor which doesn’t kill my ears with glare or sheen. I’d say that Kinera once again did a very fine job with the end result in the tuning.

Other perspectives

Please, listen to, watch or read other perspectives about the Pandamon and take in other perspectives. I am only one man and have my own preferences which to some degree affect every review that I complete. We all have different likes & dislikes, different gear, different hearing capabilities and we all have a different audio journey which greatly impacts our views. With that I want to thank anyone who chose to read my thoughts and I certainly hope it helps at least a little bit in your purchasing decisions. Take good care and stay safe.
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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
The Review OF The Celest Pandamon
Pros: 1. Dynamic sounding
2. Forward Mid-range
3. Organic Bass
4. Musical presentation
Cons: 1. Lack of treble extension
2. Hints of sibilance in the treble
3. Technical performance

Review Of The Kinera Celest Pandemon


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Introduction


It has been established that Celest, a sub-brand of the renowned Chinese company dealing in electroacoustic products Kinera, produces affordable planar drivers that aren't precisely planar but have similar properties. Due to Celest's debut of Gumiho, many audiophiles have applauded their innovative approach, which is quite distinct but effective. I will be reviewing a new IEM named Pandamon that was recently released. But first, let's clear up a few things.

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Disclaimer


**Since this unit was sent by the kind people at Kinera, I am grateful to them. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, visit this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as "Pandamon."
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the Pandamon based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.

Specification


The Pandamon has an SPD driver, just like the Gumiho, but no balanced armature driver. In order to make up for the responsiveness, Pandamon uses a new 10mm SPD driver that has been improved by Kinera. The spherical shells have a resin and plastic construction. The shells are of good quality, and the faceplate, which is semi-open and has grills on it and an angry panda face in the middle, is made of interesting-looking stainless steel. Although I needed larger size eartips to fit properly and get a decent seal, the shells seemed to fit nicely. The cable is a four core OFC cable with 96 strands, 0.78 mm connectors, and a 3.5 mm termination socket. The cable has a pleasant feel to it and is not readily tangled. Celest 221 voice eartips, Celest 608 balanced eartips, the detachable cable, a carrying pouch, a Pandamon bookmark, and a cleaning tool are among the additional accessories that come with Pandamon. Technically speaking, the impedance is 9 ohms and the sensitivity is 108 dB. 20Hz to 20kHz is the range of the frequency response.

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Sound


The Pandamon has a milder V-shape sound with good intensity at higher frequencies. These have better lower mid range and mid bass tones, making them sound more genuine. With sound technical skills, the Pandamon performs tonally better. Morover These, in my opinion, present in a delicate manner. While the mid range is quite forward and musical, the treble is bright and energising. The bass has a strong, punchy, and organic side. Let's explore the sound in detail.

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Treble


Although the treble area is not very wide or airy sounding, it has a dynamic presence. Vocals and instruments in the upper treble have a hazy presence; they sound detailed but come out as reserved. Though the presentation does have a clear approach, it is not boring. The voices certainly become sibilant and heated, but they don't stand out in the mix or feel exhausting. The same can be said for the instruments; cymbal crashes splash across the area, but again because to the timid character, only sibilance is audible. I think the mellow upper treble defines the over reaction while preventing an obnoxious sound. In order to find out, I EQ'd, and my results were accurate. The singers or instruments sound bright and crisp, and the lower treble is packed with good vitality. The vocals in particular have a timbre that reminds me of nature; nonetheless, despite their dull sound, they retain a natural vibe. Although the instruments sound a touch hollow and don't extend well into the upper treble, they play out nicely. Overall, the treble area has a calm and clear tone.

Mid Range


When it comes to the middle range, it has a forward presentation and a positive, spirited vibe. Probably identical to the lower treble, but with more vigor and a livelier approach, is the upper midrange. The upper mid range has a clear, musical sound. The vocals and instruments work well together in the mix to keep the song from sounding forced. The instruments occasionally have a metallic sound to them, yet the vocals have good note density. Good body and density in the lower mid range improve the presentation of the upper region. The instruments feel muted, and the vocals are dense. The sounds don't come out clear or distinct, and the presence is also lacking in details. The lower mid range also has a relaxed attitude. The mid range is presented in a dynamic, energizing, and rich manner overall.

Bass


The bass region has strong punches and slams, although the overall control is a tad slack. I don't mind because it gives the reaction a more organic feature and makes it sound more natural overall. Although I don't think the sub bass extension goes all the way deep, the bass focus is more in the sub bass zone. The lower mid range benefits from the pleasant presence of the mid bass, which gives vocals and instruments greater body. Nevertheless, the basslines lack clarity and detail. Both the punches in the sub bass region and the mid bass are banging but lack any effect. The rumbling sensation is scarce and rarely manifests. Poor details and texture in the bass. The bass area is presented organically overall and with sufficient wallop and impact.

Technical Performance


When it comes to the technological aspects, it doesn't appear to make a good impression overall. Although the stage is large enough to sound vast, the imaging could be better. While the resolution is weak, the separation is average. The notes' pace is sufficient.

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Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation


Although the soundstage is large and spacious, it doesn't sound open. The imaging has a harsh quality and isn't completely clear. The distance between the two is sufficient for the elements to breathe, yet frequently it is not noticeable.

Speed & Resolution


Although the detail recovery and resolution are not high, the sound is not dull or monotonous. Although it occasionally deviates from the intended concept, the decaying pace of notes is loose like a dynamic driver but the speed of notes assaulting is quick like a planar.

Sound Impressions


Sources


Tempotec V6 - When used with the V6, Pandamon produced a calm, clear tone. The midrange had a lively, expressive tone whereas the treble was quiet and lay back. It was fascinating enough because to the bass's variety of punches and slams. Compared to other pairings I made, the one with the V6 had a superior sound.

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iFi Hipdac - When combined with the hipdac, Pandamon's midrange and lower treble sounded more energizing and vivid. The tonality of the entire range became more natural, the bass became more pronounced and pounding, and the technical capabilities remained the same with the exception of the imaging becoming clearer. But with this coupling, sibilance is introduced in the midrange, particularly in the ultra midrange. I therefore prefer living with the V6 pairing.

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Tracks Used


Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
George Benson - Affirmation
Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
Daft Punk - Derezzed
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Jay Z - Holy Grail
Erbes - Lies
Nitti Gritti - The Loud
Juelz - Inferno

Conclusion


As I wrap up this assessment, I can clearly see how the Pandamon differs from Gumiho in a number of ways, including sound. Though it still has to progress, the sound has elements of both planar and dynamic sound. I'm pulling for them. I can suggest this IEM to anyone looking for a comfortable-sounding IEM.

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nxnje

500+ Head-Fier
Celest Pandamon - Never judge a book by its cover!
Pros: - Neutral, warm, non-fatiguing yet pretty fast and natural overall
- Open back design avoids pressure issues and seems to help with soundstage width
- Comfortable
- Good stock cable
Cons: - Sub-bass could use more “oomph” and extension, less details than its predecessor (Gumiho)
- Polarizing design may be a no-go for many, and may induce people to avoid buying these
- Cheap feeling: using some metal on the faceplate would have been a good idea
- Open-back style means you cannot use them outdoor in busy situations due to poor isolation, so if you only use IEMs for practical reasons while outside then these may not be for you
- Stock tips are decent but many may need to use longer third party tips

Introduction​

After releasing the first SPD set, the Gumiho, Celest is back with another release.
They have improved the SPD and developed a SPD 2.0, which is the full range driver used in their newest release: the Celest Pandamon.
Just to introduce you to the name of the IEMs, “Pandamon” comes from chinese mythology and is also known as the "Iron Eating Beast", so that's why there's a sort of "metallic panda" on the faceplate.

Disclaimer: the sample was provided by Celest for free in order to write an honest review. I do not represent them in any way and this is not promotional content.
At the time of the review, the Celest Pandamon were sold for $59 on
Kinera Audio official website.

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Technical Specifications​

  • Configuration → 1 x SPD 2.0 (Square Planar Driver™)
  • Sensitivity → 108dB
  • Impedance → 9 Ohm
  • Frequency Response → 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
  • Cable → 4 cores OFC 1,25m cable with 0,78mm PINs, no microphone. It’s possible to buy the Gramr Boom Mic cable separately.
  • Connector type → Straight gold plated 3,5mm jack connector

Packaging​

The packaging is smaller than the one used for Gumiho(s), and it’s well designed and catchy with the panda painting printed on the box.
It contains:
  • The Celest Pandamon
  • The cable
  • Two sets of tips: 3 x 221 tips, 3 x Celest 608 tips
  • A Celest branded storage bag with magnetic closing
  • User manual
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Design and Build Quality​

The Pandamon are made of a mix between resin and plastic, and the result is a very lightweight yet cheap-feeling shell. Don't get me wrong, the build quality is not bad, but they are so lightweight that they almost tend to feel fragile in the hands even though they are pretty sturdy and well built.
The faceplate is pretty showy, with a polarizing look that many will probably dislike, and to be honest I am among those who don't dig this design. At the end of the day, considering the fact that the Pandamon are open-back, I am gonna use them exclusively indoor, so the design is not a problem at all, but it’s safe to say that those who don’t buy these because of the looks have got an understandable point.

There is only one pressure hole on the internal side of the shell, and the faceplate has an open grill. The nozzle, which also has a lip, is of average diameter and length.

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Cable​

The cable is good, but it’s a sort of step back from Gumiho’s cable. This is also soft to the touch, but not as pleasant in terms of aptic feedback, and the tighter twists of the cable make it look slightly cheaper. The chin slider is still present.

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Comfort and isolation​

Comfort is good when the right tips are found, and although the stock tips are already pretty different from each other, some may need to use longer third party tips.
Isolation is not something to consider. It’s not bad nor good, it’s average if we consider that these are open back: not something I’d use outside.

Sound​

How do these sound?
This should be the main reason for reading this reviews.

TEST GEAR
  • DAC: Topping E30
  • AMP: Topping L30
  • Mobile phones: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Dongle: Apple Type-C dongle
  • Portable DAPs: Benjie S8/AGPTEK M30B
  • Other sources: Presonus AudioBox iONE
Do they need an amp?
The Pandamon are pretty easy to drive and don’t strictly need an amplifier. When plugged to an amplifier, though, they scale pretty well and bass and staging are positively impacted.

Sound signature
The Pandamon are a warm-neutral set with a lush and relaxed midrange.

Lows: sub-bass does not have a visceral rumble, nor it digs extremely deep, but the lowest registers are well controlled and come into the game when needed. Bass is not the most textured around, but its speed is good and the way it is reproduced is a mix between a dynamic and planar timbre. It sounds pretty natural and balanced in almost every genre.
If you are a basshead, these are definitely not the way to go, but those who seek for balance will like the Pandamon.

Mids: lush, analogue-ish, frontal when needed and not recessed at all. Instruments are well separated and it seems like Pandamon can handle (even if not effortlessly in some cases) most tracks. Timbre is on point even if not 100% perfect, but definitely an improvement from the previous Gumiho. Male vocals are balanced and have the right amount of warmth and female vocals are quite good too. There is less energy on female vocals than on the Gumiho, but this time the sibilance is close-to-zero and they are very intimate.
Overall, a well balanced warm-ish midrange.

Highs: highs are not sharp, definitely on the non-fatiguing side, but pack a fair amount of details. Now that the configuration only features a single driver, and that the tuning is smoother and more balanced, some details have been lost, but the benefits in the listening experience are really tangible. Those who are treble sensitive should not worry about the treble here, and there’s still a good amount of air that doesn't make these sound closed-in or claustrophobic (this is also possible thanks to the open back design).

Soundstage is decent, even though it could use a bit more depth and height. Imaging is precise and every sound flows from a place to another with almost no pinpointing issues.

How included tips affect sound
- Celest 221 (black): brighter highs with neutral bass
- Celest 608 (red x black): more neutrality overall with a bit more bass than 221

Some comparisons (tips used for comparisons are the wide bore tips):
Celest Pandamon vs Celest Gumiho
The two sound very different but share a part of their timbre due to using the same kind of driver.
The low-end is more pronounced on the Gumiho, with better sub-bass extension and some rumble. The Pandamon are more linear on midbass also with “ok” sub-bass extension but more control overall. Bass speed is almost on par.
The midrange is slightly more recessed on the Gumiho, while Pandamon have more balanced and more natural mids. Male vocals are better on the Pandamon in terms of timbre whereas female vocals are more energetic on the Gumihos even though the Pandamon are free from sibilance, which instead is not uncommon on the Gumiho. The instrument separation, also, is very similar, although the slightly airier sound of the Gumiho seems to be helpful.
Highs are more detailed on the Gumiho, but also more fatiguing. The Pandamon win in terms of coherency and they are practically non-fatiguing, which is a good news for treble sensitive people that found the Gumiho to be a bit hot at times.
Soundstage is slightly deeper and taller on the Gumiho, while width favors the Pandamon. Imaging is very similar, maybe the Gumiho win for a very slight edge.
Build quality of the Gumiho is slightly better as they feel generally sturdier, and their design is also less showy than Pandamon’s. Not to say that Pandamon are bad but they feel a bit cheaper than the Gumiho.
Comfort is on par and isolation is better on the Gumiho thanks to their closed-back design (better for outside usage, Pandamon is more suited for indoor listening sessions).
Stock cable of the Gumiho feels a tad more premium.
The Gumiho perform slightly better from a technical standpoint due to the hybrid configuration, especially speaking about detail retrieval, but the advantages of the single SPD are tangible and the improvements on timbral accuracy and overall tonality are really a step forward in the overall listening experience.
What to prefer between the two? Well, it also depends on the signature that one likes more: if the listener is leaning more towards a fun and more engaging signature, the Gumiho are better suited for that, whereas if one is treble sensitive and is looking for a more balanced and neutral set, then the Pandamon are the way to go.

Celest Pandamon vs QoA Gimlet
The Pandamon are again more balanced, with the Gimlet taking the lead in bass and sub-bass quantity. Speed, tho, is better on the Pandamon that manages fast transients effortlessly when compared to the Gimlet.
Mids are more recessed on the Gimlet, while Pandamon’s approach is leaner with more forward and frontal mids. Male vocals are more natural on the Pandamon, whereas female vocals are more lively on the Gimlet. Instrument separation is better on the Pandamon.
Highs are more relaxed on the Pandamon but the Gimlet are also well done. Extension is better on the Gimlet even though fine details are not that different. The thing is that the Pandamon’s approach is even smoother, with an earlier roll-off in the upper treble, but the details are still similar: we can safely say, then, that with a brighter tuning the SPD driver could retrieve more details than the Gimlet.
Soundstage is not something in which both of these shine particularly, even though the Gimlet seem to portray depth in a better way. Imaging, instead, is better on the Pandamon.
Gimlet’s build quality is hands down much better and also the design, although pretty showy, is less polarizing than the faceplate “look” of the Pandamon.
Comfort is on par, maybe sightly better on the Gimlet, that also have better isolation thanks to the closed design.
Stock cable is almost the same except for the color, so there isn’t a real winner.
If we speak about technical performance and neutrality, the Pandamon take the lead, but if we purely speak about fun and music enjoyment (along with a closed design that one may prefer to use the IEMs outside), the Gimlet are very good contenders.

Final Thoughts​

There’s no doubt that Celest has been working hard on their technology and their products, and it’s also obvious that they have been listening to the feedback of customers and reviewers to improve their offering.
The Celest Pandamon is the perfect example of something born from a mix between good technology and attention to customers: everyone said the Gumiho were a bit artificial-sounding because of the BA, sometimes hot and prone to sibilance, and Celest did was removing the BA and instead using a full range SPD, re-tuning the set and eliminating artificialness and sibilance.
The design is definitely questionable, but I can say that the improvements are clear and even though some minor technicalities have been sacrificed to get here, the result is very good: a well tuned, non-fatiguing IEM that stands out for good performance and nice overall balance.

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Mataudiophiles

New Head-Fier
Pandamon S.P.
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Kinera Celest Pandamon

Prelude:

Celest presented its unique S.P.D driver for the first time in the gumiho model, which was a hybrid with a closed design in a duet with a proprietary balanced armature. They announced then that they would soon show a new version of headphones based on a single S.P.D. transducer. This is how Pandamoon was created. The model is equipped with a single S.P.D transducer with a diameter of 10x10mm. The design was also changed from closed to open and the price increased from 49 USD. for a reasonable $59

Unboxing:
So let's unpack pandamoon and see what we have in the set. Along with the headphones, we get a small and neat box, with a bag for storing headphones, made of eco-leather. A bookmark with a panda motif and two sets of tips: s, m, l. There was also a cleaning tool and a 4-core spc cable with a 3.5mm plug and 0.78mm connectors.
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ergonomics:

Convenience has been improved and it's much better compared to the gumiho, it's already quite good in this regard. When it comes to insulation, for the sake of the open design, it is neither bad nor good, it is just typical for such a solution.

Sound:
Bass: Compared to the gumiho, tonality and balance have been greatly improved in every aspect, including the lower registers, where the bass has been smoothed out and balanced against the midrange and the rest of the frequency range. This is a good procedure because the whole thing now sounds much more even and clearer. Bass is present, but does not interfere with its presence in the midrange. Midrange: It has been much evened out and is no longer so withdrawn in relation to the rest of the band. Vocals are natural and balanced. Instruments sound full and natural. Close to neutral here, but the whole thing was slightly brightened in my opinion. We can count on a lot of details, clean and well-positioned sound, which is very good in this price range. Treble: They are neutral, natural and not fatiguing. String instruments are present and do not disappear in the background, at the same time we do not have a sharp or unpleasant sound here. Which works great for long listening sessions and when we are more sensitive to sharp treble.
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Comparisons:
Celest Pandamoon ($59) VS Ceest Gumiho ($49)
As I have already noticed during my review, the pandamoons gain in balance, clarity of transmission and tonality. If you're looking for a highly entertaining tummy, then gumihos will be better, but if you're interested in analysis and even playing, Pandamoons will definitely take the lead in this case. Both pairs of headphones are great and have different tuning in my opinion, one if you can't have both then go for gumiho when looking for entertainment, and if you're looking for balance head towards pandamoon.

Synergy:
For my tests, I used tidal music from a private playlist and the following devices:
DAP: iBasso DX170
DAC/AMP: xDuoo poke II
Dongles: Dunu dtc-500, iBasso DC06
Reciver: Qudelix 5k, Oriolus 1795S

Summary:
Celest pandamoon are headphones, distinguished by the type of transducer (10mm S.P.D) and open design. They will bring a lot of joy to lovers of an even, balanced sound for reasonable money. In fact, compared to the gumiho, the tonal balance, stage and ergonomics have been improved. I recommend this model to anyone who is looking for a natural and close to neutral sound. They also do not require much when it comes to electricity, which makes them quite universal and versatile when it comes to the usability aspect. This is a big qualitative leap compared to the previous version, but not because the previous version was bad, but because a completely different tuning was used. More neutral, linear, which allows us to really adjust our choice to our individual preferences. The Gumihos are great headphones that I love and the pandamoons are great for reference listening.
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Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Good
Pros: Good natural timbre, neutral-ish signature with good clarity and details
Cons: Lightweight all plastic build, looks are kind of gaming oriented and not for everyone. Pouch is really too small to be useful.
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The packaging is cool, just like the original Celest Gumiho it comes with a matching charm and similar accessories, the cable is a different style more function than form but still I like it. the design is very comfortable and provided me with a good seal and therefore good isolation. The faceplate is unique, and the cyber panda may not be for all but I for one think it was pretty cool looking. I'm not going to sugar coat it they feel cheap, and build is lightweight, so care should be taken storing them. I think they are sturdy enough, but the Gumiho was much more solid.

Sound:
Getting past the subjective look and light build one finds a competent and enjoyable IEM.

Bass: The Sub-Bass presents with a neutral presentation is has good speed and texture but is lacking in deepness. This is not a bass head IEM, Bass here in general is more quality than quantity. This is not a bad thing as the bass is still really good and super clear and detailed. Mid-Bass is speedy, punchy and a little more prominent than sub and lends some warmth to the Pandamon.

Mids: Are forward with good body and weight, separation and details are quite good for something in this price range. Lower Mids have some warmth but not too much just enough to make them sound really pleasant. Male and Female both sound natural and have adequate thickness and energy. There is a little brightness in the upper Mids but even with female vocals it never is shouty or harsh.

Treble: has good air and sparkle but is mostly detailed and smooth with good control, it presents neutral and has a good extension without fatigue.

Soundstage
The soundstage is particularly good with equal width and depth and far above average details and separation, it is accurate in placement and works well for movies and games.

Afterthoughts: The pandamon is a well-tuned Neutral sounding IEM with a youthful appearance and good technicalities, it works well for games and music, and it is an excellent bargain for those looking for this type of signature.

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suicideup

New Head-Fier
Celest Pandamon Review!
Pros: - The most “neutral” sounding IEM Celest has done so far.
- Neutral, midcentric at times, non-fatiguing sound signature.
- Fast, clean bass response.
- Open, forward, lush mids.
- “Natural” extended treble.
- Excellent technical performance for its price (well-tuned SPD advantage/s I guess).
- Immersive soundstage for its price (at least to my ears).
- Easy to drive.
- Excellent fit and comfort.
- Very good packaging and accessories. The metal bookmark returns!
- Another unique IEM release from the company that quite stands out from the market.
- Visually-pleasing, industrial design cue/s (subjective).
- Probably my favorite IEM existed this year under 100 USD (obviously subjective).
Cons: - Faceplate design isn’t for everyone (but I like it though) (subjective).
- Bassheads may find the bass too "clean" or "lacks subbass" (subjective).
- Cable is a bit of a downgrade compared to the Gumiho in terms of twist/braid structure.
- I would’ve preferred a pancake/hard case for its price (nitpick).
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Celest Pandamon Review!
Good day! After 5 days of casual and critical listening, here’s my written review for the Celest Pandamon. Metal Yin-Yang!

(Random Fun Fact: The whole motif of the Pandamon is based on a giant panda named "Mo", a creature Emperor Wanhu had in his garden along with other interesting creatures. Variously transliterated as "mo," "mé," or "mih," this creature had teeth strong enough to bite through iron, copper, and the joints of bamboo and could chew the nails off a city gate. Its stomach acids could easily dissolve these tough items, hence the name "Iron-Eating Animal." Mo were said to have lived in the areas of Sichuan and Guizhou (especially on Mount Emei in Guizhou), and sometimes ate tripods and cooking utensils if these were mistakenly left out by travelers, hence its metal faceplate and black IEM housing. The name Pandamon, however, seems to be a reference to a Digimon character of the same name.)


Disclaimer:
  • Kinera sent this unit to me in an exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Rest assured that this review will do its best to devoid from any bias/es as much as possible.
  • The following remarks and observations shall be made and owned only by me.
  • No monetary compensation is/was involved before, during, and after the period of creation of this review.
  • Your mileage may (and always, will) vary.

Burn-in time: 4-8 hours per day, 5 days.

Source/s used:
  • Hiby R3 Pro Saber
  • Tempotec Sonata HD V
  • Venture Electronics Megatron
  • Non-HiFi smartphone (Infinix Note 12 G96 Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018))
  • Local Files via Foobar, YouTube Music, Deezer, and Qobuz with UAPP.
IEM/Earbud/Setup configuration: stock translucent grey-red eartips, stock cable, any form of EQ or MSEB off, 40-60% volume, low gain and high gain,with and without extra amplification.

Sound signature:
  • The Celest Pandamon, unlike the Gumiho, attempted a more neutral response this time. To my ears, it can sound "midcentric" at times due to the forward mids presentation while keeping the bass controlled and not emphasized too much on most of my test tracks and casual music library, but it is safe to say that it will sound more or less "neutral" in most cases, depending on the pairing. It may sound “dry” for some people especially those who use bassy or warm IEMs on a daily basis but not for me, probably because I mostly use my Etymotic ER3SE during critical listening sessions as my “reference” IEM. Once again, the SPD benefits come into play with this IEM, which is technically competent for the asking price.
Lows:
  • The lows are almost linear, almost Etymotic ER3SE/XR-like, but not quite; it is textured, quick, and clean, and never lacked presence in my opinion. Midbass and subbass levels are roughly equal in quantity, with the midbass having a slight dominance in some cases, resulting in a punchy bass presentation. Although bassheads may prefer more quantity to the subbass, it has never lacked for most genres and will deliver well-done, clean bass regardless of genre.
Mids:
  • As for the mids, it is open and forward most of the time during my assessment and casual listening period. There is a tinge of warmth here but well done, just like on what most people hear with the Etymotic ER2XR; it never got recessed or drowned out, even on complex passages. Despite being open and forward, it retained the adequate thickness, detail, and smoothness of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran’s voices. The upper mids are slightly more elevated when compared to the lower mids, exhibiting above-average clarity, air, and sparkle without any instances of fatigue or sibilance. In my opinion, the mids of the Pandamon are one of the best mids I’ve heard within this price bracket if you’re looking for well-presented, forward mids.
Highs:
  • Moving on, the treble is well-extended but not as elevated as the mids, with good clarity and air. The cymbal crashes in this set are well done, and they never lack the crash and splash that I look for during my tests. Detail retrieval is average, as it can easily pick up most details.
Soundstage, Imaging, and separation:
  • The Pandamon, like the Gumiho, is an excellent value in this category. The soundstage is expansive and immersive, with plenty of height and depth. My guess is that because the shell seems to sport a semi-open back design, but I am uncertain. Nevertheless, it is wide. Separation and layering are above average, as they never struggled badly on my busy test tracks. Imaging is also precise, allowing for very accurate instrument and vocal positioning.

Sound Comparison/s:
  • Vs the Celest Gumiho
    • The Gumiho is noticeably bassier and has recessed mids when compared to the Pandamon. The mids are also meatier or thicker on the Pandamon. It is also brighter in terms of treble, probably because it has a BA driver, whereas the Pandamon does not. The rest are more or less the same, with the Gumiho having a bit more wider stage but lacks the immersiveness when compared. In my opinion this isn’t an upgrade nor a sidegrade, but a different flavour.
  • Vs the Tinhifi C2
    • The Tinhifi C2 is brighter and less neutral when compared to the Pandamon. It also has less smoother sound and warmth. The soundstage is wider on the C2, but lacks the immersiveness the Pandamon has.
  • Vs the Dunu Titan S
    • The Titan S is also brighter, more u-shaped, and has more extension on the treble when compared to the Pandamon. Bass is more present in terms of quantity on the Pandamon. Soundstage is wider on the Titan S and less immersive when compared.

Pros:
  • The most “neutral” sounding IEM Celest has done so far.
  • Neutral, midcentric at times, non-fatiguing sound signature.
  • Fast, clean bass response.
  • Open, forward, lush mids.
  • “Naturally” extended treble.
  • Excellent technical performance for its price (well-tuned SPD advantage/s I guess).
  • Immersive soundstage for its price (at least to my ears).
  • Easy to drive.
  • Excellent fit and comfort.
  • Very good packaging and accessories. The metal bookmark returns!
  • Another unique IEM release from the company that quite stands out from the market.
  • Visually-pleasing, industrial design cue/s (subjective).
  • Probably my favorite IEM existed this year under 100 USD (obviously subjective).
Cons:
  • Faceplate design isn’t for everyone (but I like it though) (subjective).
  • Bassheads may find the bass too "clean" or "lacks subbass" (subjective).
  • Cable is a bit of a downgrade compared to the Gumiho in terms of twist/braid structure.
  • I would’ve preferred a pancake/hard case for its price (nitpick).

Verdict

The Celest Pandamon is quite a banger for a year-ender IEM in 2022. Celest once again nailed the uniqueness of this IEM in terms of its motif, presentation, and sound quality. Despite being a relatively new type of driver technology on the market, I'm starting to like how Celest crafts and tunes their SPD. It did not try to sound identical to the current IEM market, wherein most sets sound the same, u-shaped sound to each other, just with different emphasis. Instead, Pandamon attempted to achieve "true" neutrality in the budget IEM realm, and they got it really close in my book (and ears)—truly one of the few I find interesting and worthy of my overall recommendation!


Pairing recommendation/s:
  • Source: Rated at 9 ohms, I find the Celest Pandamon easy to drive. But for better results and pairings, a neutral or warm sounding dongle fits this well.
  • Eartips: The eartips are soft and comfy enough for daily usage. However, you may use your preferred third party eartips.
  • Cable is more than enough for the most part, but you can always use your preferred cable.

Thank you for reading!

Non-affiliated link here:
https://www.kineraaudio.com/product/celest-pandamon

Additional Photos here:


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