Kinera Idun

Rating:
4.3/5,
  1. audio123
    Hybrid Excellence
    Written by audio123
    Published Jul 13, 2018 at 2:19 PM
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Extension, Detailed, Build Quality
    Cons - Slight Lack in Bass Impact
    Introduction

    Kinera is a Chinese company that specialises in making iems and earbuds. They produce hybrid iems such as the BD005E and H3. After the recent release of SEED, they have released a new iem in the IDUN. I would like to thank Kinera for the review unit of IDUN. At the moment, the IDUN can be purchased on Aliexpress .

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    Specifications

    • Driver Configuration: 1 Dynamic + 2 BA
    • Sensitivity : 110 ± 3dB
    • Impedance : 32 Ohm
    • Frequency Range : 10 to 20000 Hz
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The IDUN comes in a black circular case which sports the brand logo. After opening the case, there are the iem, detachable cable, cable wrap and 2 packs of tips.

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    IEM Build & Design

    The IDUN is made of acrylic and it has a translucent black shell with smooth surface. It utilizes 2 pins 0.78mm connectors. For both the faceplates, there is a wood grain finish with the Kinera brand name in gold color. There is a vent at the back of the iem. The nozzle is slightly angled with 2 bores. The IDUN has an ergonomic design.

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    Cable Design & Build

    The 2 pins 0.78mm connectors on the cable have a black housing. There is indication of left and right through the blue and red stripe on the surface of the housing respectively. There is memory wire section. Moving down, there are matte black chin slider and y-splitter. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm straight gold plated and has a black housing that sports the brand name. There is strain relief.

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    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The IDUN has moderate sub-bass quantity and the sub-bass is extended fairly. The sub-bass reproduction takes on a pacey manner. Bass decay is rather quick and the agility contributes to the engagement level. The bass texture is rendered with moderate smoothness. The mid-bass has average quantity and the slam does not have a weighted feel. Each bass note is articulated well and there is precision. There is warmth that aids in the overall bass reproduction. The punch is rather sufficient and provides the necessary impact without hitting hard.

    Mids

    The IDUN has a lively midrange that helps to captivate listeners. The midrange showcases its flair well and vocals benefit greatly. There is a moderate amount of body and it does not sound thick. The midrange has good details retrieval. The lower mids has sufficient quantity to tackle male vocals and there are no signs of dryness or hollowness. The upper mids has extra forwardness for female vocals to sound intimate. There is slight harshness which provides a teasing bite. The crisp is good.

    Highs

    The treble has good extension and it is articulated in a precise manner. The clarity is good and there is no sibilance. The treble presentation is on the brighter side of things with an energetic nature. There is sparkle to inject excitement into the sound. The presentation has a good amount of air rendered. The treble showcases great definition.

    Soundstage

    The IDUN has a natural expansion for its soundstage and the width magnitude is good. The depth is slightly closed in. There is an open feeling. Positioning of vocals and instruments is rather precise.

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    Comparisons

    Kinera IDUN vs Kinera H3

    The IDUN has slightly less sub-bass quantity than the H3 but it is able to extend better. The sub-bass reproduction on the IDUN has the better balance. Bass decay on the IDUN is quicker with agility and it elevates the engagement level. The bass texture on the H3 is slightly smoother. Each bass note on the IDUN is articulated with a quicker attack and stronger hit. The mid-bass on the IDUN has extra body and the slam is delivered with weight. It sounds more satisfying. The bass performance on the IDUN has greater finesse and control. The midrange of the IDUN commands better details retrieval and it is presented in a cleaner manner. The IDUN has higher transparency level. The lower mids on the IDUN has more quantity than the H3 and it adds body to male vocals. The upper mids on the IDUN has extra forwardness which helps to liven up female vocals. For the treble section, the IDUN has better extension. It is able to demonstrate nice crisp and sparkle is more apparent. There is a more organic performance with the IDUN. The amount of air rendered on the IDUN is slightly more and it gives an airy feeling. The H3 feels more congested. Treble articulation on the IDUN has better precision. In terms of soundstage, the IDUN expands in a natural manner. The width magnitude on the IDUN is greater and the depth is less closed in.

    Kinera IDUN vs HiFi Boy OS V3

    The IDUN has less sub-bass quantity than the OS V3. The OS V3 has the better extension and the depth reached is greater. The rumble on the OS V3 is expressed in a more natural manner. The sub-bass reproduction on the OS V3 has good punch and impact is brought out well. Bass decay on the IDUN is quicker than the OS V3 and the agility helps to increase the engagement level. The bass texture on the OS V3 is rendered with more smoothness which gives a musical feeling. The mid-bass on the IDUN has more quantity and the slam is delivered with a weighted feeling. The midrange on the IDUN has more energy than the OS V3 and the definition is slightly better. On the other hand, OS V3 presents a lusher feeling. The lower mids on the OS V3 has more body than the IDUN and male vocals are presented in a thicker manner. The upper mids on the IDUN has extra forwardness and the boost improves the intimacy of female vocals. Moving on to the treble section, the IDUN is significantly brighter with a greater amount of air rendered. Crisp and sparkle are showcased better on the IDUN. The OS V3 has the control and it sounds smoother. Finesse shown on the OS V3 has the edge. Lastly, in terms of soundstage, the OS V3 is able to create a natural expansion. The IDUN has the greater width magnitude while the OS V3 has the better depth.

    Conclusion

    The IDUN is an energetic iem that is capable of agile bass presentation, lively midrange and sparkly treble. It is filled with effervescence which helps to captivate listeners. The top end has a teasing bite. In addition, the IDUN is constructed well with a gorgeous design and it comes with a hybrid cable. The Kinera IDUN is the latest addition to the lineup and its introduction represents Kinera’s effort in the hybrid iem market.

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    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
  2. B9Scrambler
    Kinera Idun: Make Mine a McIntosh
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Jul 10, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Design and build - Detailed, well-tuned signature - Comfort and isolation
    Cons - Plug aesthetics don't match the rest of the product - A bit too much mid-bass for my personal preferences
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    Greetings Head-fi,

    Today we’re taking a look at Kinera’s newest hybrid earphone, the IDUN Limited Edition (LE).

    In Norse mythology, Idun was the goddess of rejuvenation, dispensing fruit that sustained immortality among the gods and goddesses of Asgard. While not clear on what kind of fruit it was, apples seem to be the popular consensus which makes “Idun’s Apple” a fitting subtitle for Kinera’s release of this limited edition model.

    The IDUN uses the same general setup of the popular but divisive H3. It’s a triple driver unit with two balanced armatures and a single dynamic per side. The IDUN ditches the H3’s 2-in-1 armature for two individual armatures which cover the mids and highs. Like the SEED, their most recent release prior to the IDUN, the balanced armatures and dynamic drivers each have their own individual sound tubes which are clearly visible within the acrylic shells. The Limited Edition version of the IDUN being reviewed today will sound the same as the standard, mass produced model. What makes this version special is the use of stabilized wood for the faceplate. This gives each of the 40 or so examples released their own unique patterns. I happen to think the one I was sent looks quite fetching, though the standard pearlescent blue model has some serious appeal too.

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    Kinera promo image

    None of this matters if the IDUN doesn’t deliver on the most important front, sound. You needn’t worry, because it does. The IDUN delivers an awesome auditory experience. Let’s take a closer look.

    Disclaimer:

    A massive thanks to Steve at Kinera for reaching out to see if I would be interested in reviewing the IDUN and for sending over a complimentary sample of the Limited Edition version for this purpose. This earphone is still considered the property of Kinera and will be returned immediately if requested. The thoughts within this review are my own. They do not represent Kinera or any other entity. No financial incentive was provided to write a positive response or otherwise.

    At the time of this review the IDUN retailed for 139.00 USD / 185.46 CAD and could be ordered here through Kinera’s official store on AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...239.html?spm=2114.12010608.0.0.ff87485dNlQSvv

    Source:

    For at home use the IDUN was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, F.Audio S1, Shanling M1, or HiFi E.T. MA8 all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort. The IDUN is easy to drive and does not need to be amped.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Specifications:
    • Impedance: 32Ω
    • Sensitivity: 110dB+/- 3dB
    • Frequency Response: 10-20,000Hz
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    Packaging and Accessories:

    Since this sample was a pre-release limited edition model, it did not come with any packaging. It did come with the full accessory kit though. In all I received;
    • IDUN earphones
    • Kinera-branded metal storage puck
    • Silver-copper hybrid 8-core braided cable with 0.78mm 2-pin connectors
    • Three pairs of Sony-hybrid style silicone eartips (s/m/l)
    • Three pairs of medium bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
    • Velcro cable tie
    The storage puck is a nice edition being the same as that provided with much pricier earphones like the HiFiMan RE2000 and LZ A5. The Kinera branding and slogan (Make it Clear – Make it Real) are neatly lazer etched into the lid and look great. There is plenty of space inside for the earphones and accessories, maybe even a tiny DAP like the Shanling M0, though I don’t have one on hand to check. The Sony-hybrid style tips will be familiar to anyone that picked up Kinera’s H3 and are very soft and comfortable. The other set of tips will be familiar to SEED owners and use a stiffer, more textured material with a slightly wider bore.

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    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    The IDUN LE features custom-style, transparent black acrylic ear pieces that are nearly identical in dimension to the H3. The stabilized wood face plates are flawlessly integrated, as are the slightly recessed 2-pin connectors. Within the ear pieces you can see the tidy wiring leading to each driver, as well as the individual sound tubes for the balanced armatures and dynamic driver. The nozzle has a well-defined lip that does a great job holding tips on, addressing one of the criticisms users levied at the H3.

    The cable is absolutely gorgeous, just as all of Kinera’s cables seem to be, looking and feeling very similar to those used on the Astrotec Lyra Collection and Penon BS1 ear buds. The braid isn’t as tight as you’ll find some some competitors cables, falling somewhere between tight braid on the Simgot EN700 Pro’s cable and overly loose braid of the cable found on TFZ’s Series 2. Strain relief at the Kinera-branded, compact straight jack looks to be a simple piece of shrink wrap, but it works well. The y-split does not have any strain relief, though you do find a handy bead acting as a chin chin present. Leading up to the ear pieces you find some preformed ear guide that works well at keeping the cable securely held behind the ear. The plugs are the same as those used on the SEED and while they work well, I have some issues with them. Aesthetically they don’t match the rest of the design as they do not sit flush with the earpieces. There is about a 2 or 3mm gap that takes away from the sleek design Kinera applied everywhere else. The glossy black paint is also at odds with the matte black used on the y-split, chin cinch, and jack. The red and blue rings which indicate right and left channels are welcome though. I suppose it’s possible the full release will see these connectors replaced with something more fitting, but I doubt it given they’re already in use on the SEED.

    When it comes to fit and comfort, the IDUN is phenomenal. The smooth, edge-free shells comform to your outer ear without causing hot spots. The extremely low weight helps too. As with the H3, I found getting the best fit was as a simple as inserting them, then giving a quick twist backwards to “lock” them in place. Once set, the IDUN never moved around or broke seal and I didn’t have to fiddle around to get them back into the perfect spot after a length of time.

    As with the H3, the IDUN is one of the most well-isolating earphones I’ve come across. The pinhole vent in the back of the housing does let in some outside noise, but it is very minimal. Toss on some foam tips or Sony isolating hybrids with the foam inserts and you’ve got yourself a great way to block out the world around you. That said, both set of stock tips isolated more than well enough for use in noisy shops, transit, walking around the city, etc.

    Overall the IDUN is beautiful to look at, to touch, and to wear. I also sounds pretty good too as we’ll see in a second.

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    Sound:

    Tips: While I like the Sony tips for comfort, the other included tips sounded better. The slightly wider bore seemed to balance out the mid-/sub-bass balance a bit which was skewed more towards mid-bass with the Sony tips. Tossing on something with a wide bore, like those from JVC, reduced treble and bass presence but made the mid-range shouty. Comply Comfort tips (rounded ones) were my favorite of the bunch. They seemed to reduce bass and treble presence without gaining the shouty mids of the JVC silicone tip.

    The IDUN comes out swinging with a very well-tuned, u-shaped signature. Treble is emphasized most in the presence region just above 5k with emphasis dropping sharply from 8k on. This gives the IDUN a lot of clarity with just enough sparkle in cymbals, chimes, etc. to keep it interesting. It’s not a dry sound, or overly sharp. Some will surely find it bright, especially if sensitive to peaks where the IDUN’s are, but for me it’s done just right. Listening to Grand Funk Railroad’s “Inside Looking Out” the prominent cymbal work has just enough presence and is near perfectly balanced with Mark Farner’s distinctive vocal performance and Mel Schacher’s relentless bass.

    The mid-range sees a slow rise from the lower to the upper mids. They come out sounding well balanced on tracks with varying vocal ranges, such as Jessie J’s “Bang Bang” and Big Gram’s “Run for Your Life” and “Fell in the Sun”. There is no lack of micro-detail either. The IDUN lets K.A.A.N’s impressive articulation and subtle intakes of breath hidden within his insanely complex and accelerated rapping come through clearly on “KAANCEPTS” and other tracks where other less accomplished earphones trip up. Timbre is also improved over the rest of Kinera’s recent lineup, especially the H3, with instruments sounding like they should. They’re not quite as accurate here as the JVC HA-FXT90, but they’re not far off.

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    Image provided by Kinera: Black is IDUN, Purple is H3

    Where measurements show the IDUN having a strong sub-bass presence, I hear a clear mid-bass focus with an even roll off as you head into the sub-bass regions. This is quite evident on Kavinski’s “Solli” where the opening bass line comes across shy and is missing presence and visceral feedback. For bass freaks the IDUN is not. The presentation is punchy and articulate though, with a realistic decay on drums. Deep cuts don’t linger too long, dropping off when they should. Texturing is also good, but I would like a little more. Grungy stuff like The Prodigy’s “Nasty” feels a little smoother than it should. Their tunes are low-fi and gritty, and I just don’t get that from the IDUN. It’s too polite.

    Sound stage on the IDUN is spacious and open thanks to a slightly lean note presentation and the airy upper ranges. Imaging is excellent with the numerous drivers working well together to smoothly move sound from channel to channel with clear distinction. Layering and separation are also handled well, keeping the IDUN from sounding congested even on tracks like King Crimson’s “Starless and Bible Black” where the jazz session in the final few minutes tends to stress many earphones.

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    Select Comparisons: Volume matching completed with a Dayton Audio iMM-6

    Kinera SEED: The SEED with it’s two driver hybrid setup has a less balanced sound with a focus on mids and treble. It has a colder presentation with less bass, particularly mid-bass emphasis. The IDUN has more upper treble emphasis giving it a more natural sparkle and air to it’s presentation. The SEED seems to toss sounds further away from the head in my experience. Sound is noticeably more layered and instruments better separated on the IDUN, though the SEED is no slouch. Even though the SEED was a noticeable improvement over the H3, timbre on the IDUN sounds more natural yet. Overall the IDUN simply sounds more refined and mature, effortless in places where the SEED sounds like it’s trying too hard.

    In terms of build, the SEED is nicely constructed. The IDUN’s acrylic housings are significantly more upscale though. The SEED’s beefy braided cable is fantastic but again, the IDUN’s looks and feels more premium with it’s two tone color scheme, plushness, and flexibility. I also find the IDUN’s ear hugging shape more comfortable, though without a doubt there will be many out there that find the SEED’s more traditional shape more fitting for them.

    Kinera H3: The IDUN fixes all the H3’s issues; no extreme lower mid recession, vastly improved tone and timbre, less sharp and overly emphasized treble. I love the H3 and find it’s unique and high energy sound extremely fun to listen to, but there is no doubt the IDUN is in another league. I personally prefer the H3’s low end though. It has a lot less mid-bass than the IDUN which lets the sub-bass shine. I also find it slightly more detailed in the lower mids and more textured in the bass. Sound stage is pretty similar, as are layering, separation and imaging qualities with the IDUN showing minor improvements.

    Despite the similarities in build, the IDUN sclearly shows improvements. Coloring is uniform throughout the housing whereas there were some areas on the H3 where the red coloring was absent. The acrylic surrounding the 2-pin receptacle is neater and more tidy. The H3 gets points for the metal nozzles grill preventing dust, sweat, etc., from reaching the drivers, absent on the IDUN. The IDUN one ups the H3 with a proper nozzle lip.

    TFZ King Pro: The IDUN and King Pro make for great competitors despite their differing driver configurations; 3-driver hybrid vs. single dynamic. When it comes to bass, the King Pro’s is better extended with greater sub-bass emphasis giving listeners a more visceral experience than what you’ll get from the IDUN. The IDUN’s mid-range is clearer and more even to my ears with better lower and upper mid-range balance. The King Pro’s mids are a little thicker and more weighty though, giving up little in terms of clarity. Mid-bass bleed is more of an issue though, lacking in the IDUN. The IDUN is slightly brighter with more shimmer and sparkle on cymbals. Sound stage on the King Pro is more expansive but is lacking the same imaging precision and depth. Overall I find the IDUN the more analytic of the two. The King Pro’s bass and fuller mids make for a more entertaining, though less technically impressive sound.

    The King Pro is wonderfully built and while certainly more durable long term through the use of metal shells, it lacks the upscale look and feel of the IDUN’s acrylic shells. I appreciate TFZ’s smooth integration of their 2-pin connectors which are more cohesive and fitting to the overall aesthetic than Kinera’s. In terms of comfort, both are excellent though the IDUN’s light more form fitting shells take the cake. They also isolate much better.

    Simgot EN700 Pro: The EN700 Pro is one of my favorite earphones under 200 USD and makes for a great competitor to the IDUN. The EN700 Pro’s low end is skewed towards sub-bass vs. the mid-bassy IDUN. As a result, I found that the EN700’s low end seemed less prominent on tracks where bass is supposed to be downplayed. Mids are slightly less forward on the Simgot, but have a thicker presence and carry more weight. Micro-detail isn’t quite as impressive as the IDUN. Treble on the Simgot is notable less emphasized and has a more mellow, drier presentation to it. Detail is similar. Sound stage goes to the Simgot with similar imaging quality as the IDUN. Layering and separation gets a slight edge on the IDUN. The EN700 Pro find a good middle ground between the warm, bassy King Pro and brighter, more analytic IDUN.

    The EN700 Pro has a very cool and distinctive design reminiscent of planar magnetic headphones. Both are equally interesting to look at in my eyes. As with the King Pro, the Simgot’s metal shells have the long term durability down. Fit and finish goes to the IDUN due to a minor QC issue with the grills that I outlined in my review of the EN700 Pro. I adore Simgot’s integration of their cable and 2-pin connectors which is so well done, you can hardly tell they’re removable. Comfort is great for me on both with the Simgot taking a slight edge, though it isolates nowhere near as well as the IDUN.

    Campfire Audio Comet: The Comet and it’s single balanced armature has a more linear tune than the IDUN. It’s more as bright but lacks the IDUN’s treble roll off and as such shows greater extension. Bass isn’t as prominent nor does it dig as deep, though mid-bass and sub-bass balance is more even. Mids are more consistent too. Sound stage on the IDUN is much better with improved layering and separation, though similar imaging accuracy. Another area where the IDUN is superior is in micro-detail where the Comet feels smoothed over and lacking.

    As is the case with all Campfire’s products, the Comet oozes unique style and class, though it is definitely not for everyone. It’s stainless steel housings are flawlessly crafted with great fit and finish, though like with the IDUN the cable doesn’t integrate as well with the design as it otherwise could. As much as I like the Comet’s cable, the IDUN’s is much more premium looking and feeling, with a more plush and flexible sheath. Comfort goes to the IDUN without question. The Comet is fine, but utilizes a more traditional barrel shaped housing that sticks out a fair bit.

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    Final Thoughts:

    Kinera nailed aesthetics with the H3 and made great steps in the right direction with the tuning of the SEED. The IDUN is the cumulation of this experience, improving on the build and design of the H3 and the somewhat limited sonic focus of the SEED. It’s energetic yet smooth with engaging mids and punchy bass. Detail is impressive, as are it’s imaging qualities. Comfort and isolation are outstanding too. If I were to change anything, I would like to see the bass re-tuned slightly to show a more linear mid/sub-bass balance, and some additional texture couldn’t hurt. Connectors leading up to earpieces that better meshed with the IDUN’s slick looks would be nice too, but what they’re using here works fine.

    Overall this is an excellent entry into the market, well worth consideration if you’re looking to secure something under 150 USD. IDUN has got the looks and sound to match and shouldn’t leave you wanting much more.

    Thanks for reading!

    – B9Scrambler

    *If you enjoyed this review, head over to The Contraptionist for more just like it.*

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)
    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
  3. faceestrella
    Fertile Ground - Kinera Idun Review
    Written by faceestrella
    Published Jul 9, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build, Cable quality, Technical proficiency especially with regards to clarity
    Cons - Treble might fatigue some, Midbass to mids transition has a recess leading to dry lower mids, included tips could be better
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    Introduction: Kinera a relatively new company in the audio scene has been steadily releasing new products ever since their initial big offering the H3 came out. I have experienced the H3 and lauded the build, fit, and clarity but did note the somewhat unnatural timbre and hot treble. Moving on to the middle of 2018 and now we have the Idun; A model that Kinera slates as a step up, a step forward, continually building and applying what they’ve gleaned on their past models and has culminated here. The Idun utilizes a very similar shell to the H3, and the same driver configuration, the ever growing in popularity 1DD+2BA hybrid, with the dynamic and one balanced armature, the one handling the treble, being in house proprietary models, and the balanced armature handling the midrange is a Knowles 32873. All of it seems promising at $140, so for my full thoughts continue reading down below.
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    Specifications:

    Sensitivity: 112 +/- 2db
    Impedance: 32ΩConfiguration: Hybrid
    1 Dynamic Driver @ 7mm
    1 Mid Frequency BA
    1 High Frequency BA
    Cable: Hybrid
    4 Core Copper
    4 Core Silver
    Interface: 2-Pin 0.78mm
    Length: 1.2m
    Plug Type: Straight 3.5mm Gold Plated
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    Packaging and Accessories: The unit sent to me by Kinera is a limited promotional unit and therefore does not come with final retail packaging, which seems to be a unique looking hexagonal box. What I did receive was a round aluminium case, it came in black with the Kinera logo and slogan printed in white. Inside there was the Idun and 2 sets of tips. A pair of Sony hybrid type tips and some non-descript plain silicone tips. The tips are about par for the course in quality, though maybe in the full retail release they could increase the variety of tips to include foams or double flange tips. As for the case, it’s of a similar build to the one provided by iBasso and the interior is lined with a soft fabric to minimize scratches or other wear on the IEMs, furthermore it offers good impact protection however since this is simply and aluminium build it is not crush proof and may be prone to dents or small nicks. It is, however still a step above the soft cases and pouches other IEMs offer.
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    Build Quality:
    The Idun sports a semi-custom type shell made from acrylic and a stabilized wood faceplate stained in red for the limited-edition units, while the regular retail version while have a blue abalone face plate and a white pearl type face plate. Back to the unit at hand, the acrylic that comprises most of the shell is a smoked-out finish allowing most of the light to come through and revealing the internals of the IEM. The shell is free of bubbles and the point where the shell meets the faceplate is smooth, likewise the faceplate is stained red revealing the nuance of the grain on both the top and sides with a gold Kinera logo set on top of the wood covered in acrylic. The included cable meanwhile is something that shouts premium, 8 cores 4 copper and 4 silver braided together, with soft and pliable sheathing that is just a pleasure to hold and touch, the splitter is matte black metal and the 3.5mm plug is also metal and has the Kinera logo printed on it, overall the cable is of a calibre that is rarely seen even at this price point and is definitely great value. The only issue I can find is the ridge that holds the tips in place is slightly uneven in the left vs the right, otherwise a solidly built IEM, that has an overall attractive aesthetic exuding a premium vibe without going over the top and garish.
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    Fit:
    As I previously mentioned the shell of the Idun is very similar to the H3 shell, and this is one retention that is in fact a very good thing. The shell while being slightly on the larger side is shaped in such a way that for most ears it will lead to a nice snug fit offering very good isolation especially when the correct tip is paired. While the silicone tips provided were good pairings, my favourite pairing was using double flanged tips, these lent to really highlight the semi-custom fit and increased the isolation levels just above what other tips provided. Overall the fit is great and one of the best at this range, so long as you don’t have ears that are quite small.
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    Sound:
    All sound impressions were taken using a variety of sources, from an LG G6, Hiby R6, iFi xDSD, FiiO Q1 mk II and stock output of a laptop. The Idun can be easily driven by phones though it seems to appreciate the increase in power amps or DAPs can provide. The Idun presents another Japanese type tuning that is mostly balanced in tonality with slight tinge of brightness on the top end with a surprising amount of technical proficiency.
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    Bass:
    The sub bass of the Idun is good presenting a good amount of rumble that is always there when needed but restrained enough that it doesn’t overtake the entirety of the sound signature. The dynamic driver is obviously pulling it weight here because the delivery of the sub bass is made with the natural tone that only a dynamic driver can deliver with a decay that I can only describe as organic, not sluggish or dragging but not quick, in Closure by Maroon 5 the bass drum hits have that satisfying impact rumble that has the visceral impact that you want to have in this region. In fact, while not to a level that would appease bassheads the sub bass of the Idun will surely fit the needs of most everyone else. Moving on to the mid bass here is where the first sign of the Japanese-esque tuning rears itself, as the midbass heads towards the midrange there is a definitive recession that only begins to rise only as it approaches the 1k frequency, this results in a tamed midbass response that spaces out the bass and mids preventing bloom and congestion at the expense of some mid bass punch, this is quite apparent in the upper end of bass instruments like in Blame It On The Boogie the difference between the sub and midbass is quite apparent and while not anaemic at all, it is something to take note of, though again this is more a characteristic of the tuning identity. Overall it presents a moderate amount of well textured bass that is controlled and is enough for most tastes.
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    Mids: The tuning characteristics return for the mid-range with the previously mentioned recess affecting the lower mids, they are set behind a touch and are presented drier and while still there contrast the upper mids which are set more forward, so instruments and vocals comprising the upper spectrum of midrange frequencies are presented to be fuller sounding. Vocals like John Mayer in All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye just has a different feel, it’s not really recessed but you do feel it is noticeably thinner versus Sam Smith Not in That Way. Instrument wise guitars are generally well rendered and higher register instruments like piano have good definition along with the rest of the mid-range. There is an overall crispness to the mids and it is pleasant, not fuzzy or hazy, if not as lush as some might like for their tastes.
    [​IMG]
    Treble:
    Moving on to the treble, the Idun, thankfully unlike the H3 is not something I found to exhibit sibilance in normal circumstances, and the treble had a good amount of air and sparkle, rendering overall treble performance to be good if on the bright side as there is a good amount of energy present. Cymbal crashes likewise are crisp and have a pleasant amount crunch that just feels right and instruments at this end of the spectrum come off free from harsh peaks that would make one wince. Listening to Feel So Good by Chuck Mangione the trumpet is full and not shrill and the violin from Lindsey Stirling’s Crystallize has that attack in the busy sections that exhibit the positives of the energetic treble and toe the line very well in terms of not going overboard with the energy.
    [​IMG]
    Presentation: This I where I personally feel the Idun shines, not necessarily in the quantity of certain frequencies but rather the quality. The detail retrieval and clarity for an IEM of this level is top notch especially in the mids and treble even when songs get busy you can still point to details. The layering and separation is likewise a cut above most at this price point even during passages of songs that skew towards congestion. Soundstage is average if a little bit wide, and depth is quite good. 3D presentation I found for the most part accurate without anything sounding unnatural or out of place. It is hard to argue that the tuning direction and implementation here work hand in hand to produce the technical level that the Idun presents.
    [​IMG]
    Conclusion: Overall the Idun presents a true maturity for Kinera, without it leaving the identity it has forged, instead it builds upon it and refines it. Holistically from the improvements made in the quality of the case, the cable, the tuning it’s a major step forward. The Idun presents the Kinera flavour of the Japanese tuning (a similar style to the one utilized on the Campfire Polaris) presenting an overall balanced tonality, with enough bass to keep you satisfied, wonderfully detailed midrange, and an energetic airy treble that is miles better than the H3 before it. Aside from the lack of tips, and recessed bass to mid area, that is expected from this style, and the energetic treble, which aren’t really faults on their own but merely someone with certain preferences might want to account for, it’s hard to fault the Idun. It puts together a wonderful package, and something that looks like it may want to challenge the current stalwarts at its price range, and definitely a good option for the budding audiophile looking to finally breach and go beyond the $100 barrier.
    [​IMG]
      wiski and B9Scrambler like this.
  4. Kervsky
    Rejuvenation
    Written by Kervsky
    Published Jul 3, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced sounding, good clarity and detail, good fit, very nice cable, beautiful design, scales well
    Cons - Could have a bit more warmth specially in the mids and a bit more bass impact
    [​IMG]

    Introduction: Kinera is an audio company that has been around for quite some time, producing eye catching products from the most recent Seed to the well known BD005 (there are more I know), teased a month earlier, the triple hybrid Idun is their latest addition to their growing collection of IEMs. Idun in Norse Mythology (who is also known as Idunn or Iduna) is the goddess of spring or renewal and the keeper of the golden apples of immortality. And as some have stated before, this is a bit lofty in terms of naming hierarchy, from the Kinera Seed to a deity, but I get what Kinera is aiming for with the Idun and maybe this is what it will take to revitalize Kinera as a serious contender for your audiophile money.

    The Idun I have is the limited edition version, and while a regular version will be released soon after, both limited and regular will have the same configuration, internal parts, cables and tuning so this review will still hold for the regular version. The only difference with the regular is the face plate design and shell color, possibly more and/or different accessories as well as the spiffy packaging box, all for $139 USD. I would like to thank Kinera for the Idun which was provided as a sample for an honest and unbiased review.

    [​IMG]
    Borrowed from the Kinera Telegram group

    Specifications:
    Sensitivity: 112 +/- 2db
    Impedance: 32Ω
    Configuration: Hybrid
    1 Dynamic Driver @ 7mm
    1 Mid Frequency BA
    1 High Frequency BA
    Cable: Hybrid
    4 Core Copper
    4 Core Silver
    Interface: 2-Pin 0.78mm
    Length: 1.2m
    Plug Type: Straight 3.5mm Gold Plated

    By the above graph, there is a small scoop in the 500-800Hz and a rise in the 2,000-3,000 Hz frequency which may hint at a V or U shaped signature but we'll see later in the Sound Stuff section if this holds true. The Idun can be driven rather easily and loud enough with it's 112 sensitivity (give or take 2 decibels) and at 32Ω, the Idun is within threshold for mobile use (remember those old iPod earphones? They were 32Ω! ) Though from a bit of experience and literature I've read through the years, at around 32Ω (generally from 25Ω upwards) some ear gear may need better powered sources to give it's best performance.

    [​IMG]
    Artsy

    [​IMG]
    And Not So Artsy

    Unboxing: The Idun came in an aluminum and plastic case that contained the 3 pairs of standard silicone tips and 3 pairs of colored core hybrid tips, the cable and the Idun IEMs. The case is a nice container for the Idun as it's spacious and feels able to protect the contents from knocks and scratches which is a welcome change from the typical zippered rigid pouches. The tip selection is a bit underwhelming (thanks to Ibasso's stellar tip selection in the IT01) though the two types of tips are both good for variety and fit, something like foam and/or double flanges would help round up fitting the IEM in most ears. Also, as this isn't the complete retail package, Kinera has a chance to add or keep the existing accessories for their retail release, I'll update this section when the time comes

    [​IMG]

    Cable: The hybrid 8 core copper and silver cable is a very pleasant surprise and though the construction is a bit loose (No strain relief at the plug or interface plugs) it seems sturdy on my copy as I've already removed, re-attached and used the cable on different IEMs and DAPs. The cable is light at 22 grams, very flexible and is covered by an almost matte texture jacket that is not sticky. I've wondered how Kinera could afford to put this type of cable on the Idun at this price range but that's a mystery for another time. The 2-pin interface plug is (I believe) the same one on the Seed, a metallic screw on cover and plastic core with the pins made of gold plated copper with a red and blue ring to easily identify left and right plugs. The flat oblong cable splitter and bead like chin adjuster is made of matte plastic that is unbranded (which may or may not carry branding like the Seed on the regular release.) The 3.5mm jack is again, similar to the Seed cable jack, a metal jacket with the Kinera branding and gold plated plug. Note that there is a light plastic sleeve at the opposite end of the jack which covers part of the the wire and provides a bit of rigidity at the jack end.

    [​IMG]

    The Idun limited edition IEMs have stabilized wood face plates that are tinted like the color of a ripe apple skin, and you can easily tell it's wood with all the grain and ring details that is unique with each set. This is my first IEM with a stabilized wood plate and they look really gorgeous (specially under the right lighting conditions) though the standard edition will have a beautiful look all their own once it's released, you can check Kinera's sample pictures on Facebook HERE.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The smooth smokey translucent underside of the Idun is similar to the Kinera H3 shell where it's a near custom fit design that's very comfortable to wear and with no part poking painfully in my ear. It's comfortable enough for me to actually sleep with it in my ear or wear it for long periods of time. There is a single exhaust hole near the rear side of the IEM and internally, you can see that the wires used we're either SPC or silver. The nozzle tip has a good sized lip that helps keep various tips in place on the IEM and not in your ear (if properly attached), there are two sound holes for the 3 drivers inside and it's not protected by a screen so be careful with having stuff go in. The 2-pin receptacle in the shell is two halves of a circle and in my experience, is better at retaining it's grip through time than a single cut receptacle.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Stuff: The first time I tried the Idun, the mids were practically screaming "I am here! Notice me!" while the bass took a bit of a back seat in the awe department as the treble took second place; clear and present mids, sparkly highs, and good fast bass is what I'd describe it. Overall it sounded pretty good with a rather balanced tonality that seemed eager to show you every detail in the song without your ears bleeding in the process, and that's always a plus. To satisfy the believers, I've used (sometimes read as burned in) the Idun for 150+ hours on various music and evaluate them using Symbio W tips as I find them pretty balanced in it's all around enhancement of sound.

    Bass: Sub-Bass extension on the Idun is pretty good with a little above average depth that can be felt and heard well, the moderately quick decay helps clear up the bass and present a good resolution of tracks like The Day the World Went Away/Lithium and still give a nice amount of rumble. Mid bass is good and clear with a moderate punch that sounds natural and satisfying with tracks like A Foggy Day/My Curse. Overall, the Bass of the Idun has speed and good control that prevent's the bass from muddying the mids and has enough bass reach, impact and rumble to please listeners who aren't too fond of strong bass presence.

    [​IMG]

    Mids: Like I mentioned earlier, the mids are the main attraction on the Idun (for me), and at the same time, the most responsive frequency to the source of the IEM. On balanced to neutral DAPs like the R6, male vocals are neutrally placed, sound good and meaty with strong presence on rock/classic rock tracks and on tracks like Photograph, there is a warmth and body that gives Ed's voice a more intimate measure. On Dap's like the Zishan Z1 and my Huawei P9, male vocals can sound a bit less thick that they sound average to sometimes thin (on the iPod Touch 4th gen, it's almost really thin). Female vocals have a slight forwardness and enough warmth to sound intimate and natural with tracks from the likes of Adele or Sia, maidens with thicker vocals naturally sound even better on the Idun.

    Instruments sound good and crisp on the Idun, layering and separation here lends to really good transparency in any track played. This clarity can make you feel that the mids are a bit more forward as they have a higher than average reach, and resist congestion to deliver a well spaced and engaging experience.

    [​IMG]

    Highs: There is air and clarity with the treble of the Idun, and a good amount of extension that makes instruments sound natural, specially cymbals which bloom in their sound without sounding harsh in the process. This control extends to sibilance as there is no distraction on even the most sibilance prone songs. Strings, whistles, harmonics are crisp and sparkly in this area and provide an energetic accent to the music. With the R6 (and devices that have similarly high output impedance) on the Idun, the BAs shift a bit forward and can induce a little bit of sibilance while harsh highs are still controlled.

    Soundstage: The Idun has a wide and natural sounding stage that is horizontally wider than it is vertically deep, this reduces congestion by a good degree. Positioning of sounds, instruments and voices is accurate; overall, the Idun's soundstage is pretty good.

    [​IMG]

    Comparisons
    HiFi Boy OS V3 vs Kinera Idun
    (Both are using their stock cable and Symbio W tips)
    The V3 and Idun have similar tonalities and hybrid configurations but vary in reach and quantity. Bass extension on the V3 is nearly the same with an advantage with the V3 being a bit deeper but also a little slower in decay that lets rumbles last a bit longer and with more feeling. Trade-off is that the Idun has better clarity, and separation specially factoring in the faster decay that lets the bass stand clear of the mids. The V3 bass hits harder than the Idun at nearly the same speed with the Idun still being faster and a little bit more natural sounding.

    The V3 has an overall more restrained mid section than the Idun, where the Idun's tonally reaches higher and with more clarity than the V3, it can make the Idun sound almost more forward though the V3 has a more forward position vs the Idun's. The V3 has a bit more warmth and thickness than the Idun but there is more crispness on the Idun, and though both are able to retrieve a good amount detail, the separation and clarity on the Idun lends to a more spacious listening experience and a more intimate presentation on the V3.

    Kinera's Idun has higher reaching treble areas with a bit more air and separation which gives it more sparkle and clarity than the V3 which has a more restrained treble area which will benefit very treble sensitive people. Both are able to retrieve a good amount of detail and can aid in providing an energetic listening session. Sibilance and harshness control is similar thought he V3 is naturally better due to the more restrained treble area.

    Soundstage is horizontally wider on the Idun but vertically deeper on the V3. Both have accurate positioning and are good at reducing sound compression with the Idun a little bit better in layering.

    Ibasso IT01 vs Kinera Idun
    (IT01 is using the ALO Copper Litz and Spiral Dots tips, my stock IT01 is being re-terminated)
    The IT01 has a bit more difference in tone and ability than the V3 and Idun, for one, the IT01 being a large single DD, it can dish out more bass with deeper sub-bass extension and a slower decay for that sweet lingering rumble than the Idun, even with that, the IT01 isn't that far behind in articulation of details or bass clarity vs the Idun. Mid bass still finds the IT01 punching harder than the Idun though both are good at controlling the bass for accurate presentation and so it doesn't bleed into the mids, there is a bit more control with the Idun.

    With the mids, both the Idun and IT01 have a neutral positioning of vocals and sound with the IT01 being a tiny bit recessed with male vocals and a bit more neutral forward for females vs the Idun. The Idun has less restrained reach for the mids and offers a bit more clarity and detail retrieval than the IT01, crispness is similar with the Idun edging the IT01 by a fair bit.

    Highs on both the Idun and IT01 reach further up (higher than the V3 at least) with the Idun edging the IT01 by a bit more. The IT01 displays more control with regards to sibilance and harshness though both are able to portray sounds in this area as naturally as possible (ex. cymbal crashes bloom out vs cut off.) The Idun has more sparkle and crisp, and a little more clarity than the IT01 though both are able to provide a lot of excitement.

    Soundstage on both are good and wide, though the IT01 edges the Idun on horizontal width while the Idun edges the IT01 on vertical depth and their difference is rather small. Both are able to accurately place the locations of instruments, voices and sound though the Idun edges the IT01 in layering and air by a fair bit.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion: The Idun is a comfortable, good looking and moderately balanced IEM that provides a good amount of bass, satisfying mids, crisp highs, and have a good level of staging and transparency at a good price, there's little to not like (unless you're really a basshead or anything above moderately rolled off highs annoys you.) This is definitely a positive departure from the Seed and H3 in terms of sound, quality and overall value.

    Additional Notes: The Idun though easy to drive, scales well with adequately powered devices and may sound thin with under powered ones, while devices with high output impedance (of around 10 ohms or higher) can induce very slight sibilance. Nozzle tips also help better shape the sound of the Idun, with the Acoustune AET-07 being the best for my ears with "Sound focusing on wide-range clarity" and (compared to Symbio W tips which enhance overall frequencies nearly equally) bump up the bass without sacrificing the mids and enhancing the staging and clarity.

    Pros: Balanced sounding, good clarity and detail, good fit, very nice cable, beautiful design, scales well.

    Cons: Could have a bit more warmth specially in the mids and a bit more bass impact.

    Nitpicks: Cable could have strain relief for better durability, more tips, balanced cable option.

    [​IMG]

    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6 and Zishan Z1(for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)

    [​IMG]
    1. ngoshawk
      Brilliant review, mate. Stunning photog. Keep up the great work.
      ngoshawk, Jul 3, 2018
      McSchnauze likes this.
  5. kevingzw
    Razor Sharp Accuracy, Like the Gods Intended
    Written by kevingzw
    Published Jul 3, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautifully Finished, Long-term Comfort, Airy Highs, Almost Perfect Treble, Wide L-R Soundstaging, Clear Imaging.
    Cons - Lacks alittle bit of Mid-bass (just a tiny bit)
    A Preface:
    This Review is a representation of my humble opinion. YMMV!



    How I found the Brand:

    30420046_2060811127532090_5650592370694283347_o.jpg

    Kinera has been frequently featured on Massdrop and I soon discovered the brand through it's first offering; the Kinera H3. Considered as one of Chi-fi's greatest, the Kinera H3 was considered a competent contender in the already saturated market of Budget Hi-fi. At 100 USD for a triple-driver IEM, specs alone were enough for them to sell like hotcakes.

    Apart from a few hiccups in the sound signature (Thinny-sound, scooped mids), Kinera showed enough potential to be considered a serious brand that's out to capture some serious market share.

    A few months after my first encounter with them, Kinera made a surprise announcement on their official Facebook Page. In come the Kinera Iduns, a fully fledged upgrade to the Kinera H3; everything the H3 was supposed to be. Sporting a 8-Core, Silver-Copper Hybrid Cable and a Similar 2 BA + 1 DD Configuration, The Iduns are probably the spiritual successor to the already aging H3. The name alone had place cells in my brain firing up with majestic imagery of "Yggdrasil birthing the Apples of Idun; the fruits of Immortality" (probably due to my God of War binge on the ps4 prior to this discovery!) Naming Conventions and the Stunning Stabilized Wood faceplates alone had me sold. Did I mention that it only costs $129 USD?

    In the weeks prior to the Idun's arrival, I pre-ordered the package following the instructions provided to me through Kinera's official Whatsapp Group. A special thanks to Steve Tong of Kinera for being so amicable; your patience is fully appreciated.



    Specs:
    Driver Config: 2ba + 1dd
    Connector: 2-pin Connector
    Sensitivity: 112+2db
    Impedance: 32ohms
    Frequency Respone: 20hz- 20,000hz



    Packaging:
    Do take note that there were only 25 pieces of the Kinera Idun Special Editions open for public pre-order (apart from the units manufactured for reviewing purposes).

    The unit that I recieved is considered "incomplete", without the official printed Kinera box as the customers involved with the pre-order process opted for faster shipment vs waiting for the paper boxes to be printed. With respect to the given conditions, the packaging segment of this review should not in any way detract from the quality of the entire product experience.



    Accessories:
    1 X Kinera Themed Metal Case
    6 X Pairs of Silicon Tips (S,M,L)

    20180703_232547.jpg
    Black_Case_C.jpg

    Not the most flashy package, but it certainly has more than enough to get you started. The Kinera Themed Metal Case is a notable upgrade from the regular rectangular clam-shell zippered case provided with the Kinera H3. The Metal Tin case shares some remarkable similiarities to the CIEM Cases offered by Ultimate Ears (UE), an area worthy of praise considering the 129 USD price point.



    Build Quality:

    20180703_220229.jpg 20180703_220700.jpg

    The smokey acrylic shells finished with the "stabilized wood faceplates" are aesthetically comparable to the likes of expensive CIEMS offered by Top of the Line brands such as Ultimate Ears or Vision Ears. A commendable effort on Kinera's part. Do take note that this wooden variant is no longer available. The mass-market versions of the Idun will instead, feature a translucent blue/oyster and transparent/ pearl white design (refer to the image below).

    32144332_1631315553590561_4361020409794002944_n.jpg
    As far as acrylic shells go, it is beautifully finished, with no noticeable jagged/sharp edges. The lacquer applied is evenly layered across the shell's contours. Like all other acrylic shells, the material itself is semi-brittle and is prone to shattering if battered around like Thor's hammer. While it is not the most durable earphone around, it is more than substantial for daily usage.

    20180703_221826.jpg

    My only gripe about the shell is the placement of a pin-sized vent near the back of the shells (near the placement of the dynamic drivers) looks like a potential point of failure or sediment buildup (ear wax or dust) in the long term.

    20180703_222403.jpg


    The cable itself is incredibly supple and lacks any sort of memory. Very impressive for an 8-braid cable. The 2-pin connectors however, do look tacky and cheap. The "Red and Blue strips " on the left and ride connectors do not match the Idun's "rustic" theme that it has going for it. The 3.5mm Termination lacks a lengthier strain relief apart from a tiny bit of heat shrink. The metal Y-split/Choker could've featured an Idun-themed logo for added brand identity. With the price point in consideration, the minor complaints that I've had can be easily overlooked.



    Comfort:
    20180703_222437.jpg

    The Kinera Idun's use an almost identical shell structure to the Kinera H3 and other Chi-fi "Psuedo" Customs offered on Ali-Express. I am highly suspect that the schematics used to produce shells like the Idun's are openly shared online for IEM Manufacturers to use freely.

    The fit of the Kinera Idun is more than perfect, with the nozzle fitting snugly in the Ear Canal with the right tips while the shell sits comfortably on the Concha. The lightweight nature of acrylic also aids in long-term wearability. The cables are feather-light and is barely noticeable. The Idun's are easily one of the most comfortable IEM's I've ever heard the pleasure of owning.



    Sound Description:
    Gear used: Aune X1S 32bit DAC/Amp
    Spotify Premium (320 kbp/s)
    LG G6 (ESS Quad DAC)
    Shanling M0

    Tracklist:

    Valkyries by Bear Mcreary (God of War OST)


    Asylums for the Feeling by Silent Poets


    Respect Commander by Jack White


    Fare thee well, Miss Carousel by Townes Van Zandt


    Miss Macross by MACROSS 82-99


    Lows:
    The Dynamic Driver is definitely doing its job in the sub-bass department. The lows are delicately balanced; offsetting the unatural timbre of the balanced armatures being used. However, the mid-bass punch decays almost rapidly in an inoffensive manner, utilizing more sub-bass to create a more pronounced low end without overstaying its welcome. This will certainly miss the mark for bassheads but as far as balance goes, the Lows are adequately full.

    Mids:
    Unlike the H3's with it's paper thin mid-range, the Idun features a mid-range that is rich in tonality but is as equally inoffensive as its low end. It is present and ever forward but it isn't emphasized in any way. In line with "Kinera's" dedication to balance, the mids are just there. One thing to note is the speed to which the mids decay; they attack and decay rapidly with little sustain thanks to the forward nature of "balanced armatures".

    Highs:
    This is the star of the show. The Idun's are not afraid to push the highs to soaring heights. The highs are wonderfully extended, with crisp "s" notes heard clearly without ringing too loudly to be considered sibilant. There is alot of air and sparkle in the highs to create the illusion of increased separation between the vocals and the instruments. Despite it's forward nature, the lows and the mids somehow coalesce to form a very realistic/coherent soundscape.

    Treble:
    Treble tends to be a bit of a sore spot for me. I tend to react to forward treble negatively no thanks to its nature to resonate poorly in my ears. This is one area that the Idun has nailed. Treble response has a "wet quality" in opposition to cheap chi-fi earphones that tend to be "brittle and inflexible". It captures the fundamental snap of most intruments and pitchy female vocals without the gharrish ringing effect that occurs when it decays too slowly.

    Soundstage and Imaging:
    I have to laud the Idun for it's soundstaging and imaging capabilities. L-R seperation is wide and expansive, featuring reference level seperation among different instruments without the need to be hyper-focused. Height is a notch above average and fares considerably well. Thanks to the unrestrained highs and sparkley treble, separation between each characteristic instrument is remarkable.



    Scalability:

    20180703_222801.jpg

    On the Shanling M0: With the ultra-low output impedance of 0.7 ohms, the Idun's paired with it just nicely, achieving a stable damping factor. The Noise-floor is silent as it should be. If the highs or treble are too strident for you, the Shanling's more mellow nature helps to smooth out the peaks that may seem too "shouty" for some.

    thumb_59654_phone_front_medium.jpeg

    On the LG G6: The LG G6 features an incredibly clean sound section that emphasizes a neutral tuning with precision imaging. As per usual, the noise floor is non-existant. Unfortunately, the Iduns have a nominal impedance of 32 ohms, which isn't enough to trigger the "High Gain" output setting of the LG G6. Nevertheless, the LG G6's more realistic presentation complements the airy nature of the Iduns. This is by far my favorite combination for long bus rides!


    20180703_223037.jpg

    On the Aune X1s: For obvious reasons, the Kinera Iduns sound the greatest with dedicated headphone amplifier/DAC Combo. Surprisingly, the 10 ohm output impedance didn't seem to affect the Iduns that much apart from a slightly flabbier bass response. The Kinera's sound alittle cleaner than the LG G6 or the Shanling with the Aune but there really isn't much need for the Idun's to undergo amplification considering the diminishing returns when it comes to scalebility.



    Comparisons:

    20180703_223214.jpg

    Idun vs IMR R1: The IMR R1 is my TOTL, flagship pair of Dynamic Open-back earphones, Currently, I'm rocking the Blue filters (Airy Treble, Balanced) on my pair.

    The IMR R1 is more resolving in its presentation. The decay isn't as snappy as the Kinera Idun. It lacks the speed and verve that the Kinera Idun has brought to the table. The highs are more analytical on the Idun. Isolation on the Idun's is noticeably better than the open back IMR R1's (I refuse to use them in the closed configuration as it changes the tonality too greatly).

    However, the IMR R1 is more coherent and it has soundstage that is far too massive to be compared to the likes of the Kinera Idun when its vents are fully open. Instruments and vocals are seperated with an almost speaker like quality in comparison to the Kinera Idun. Timbre representation is uncanny and hyper-realistic.

    Do take note that this is not exactly a fair comparison considering the IMR1 is easily 4-5 times the price of the Idun. The Idun's still put up an admirable fight. A shame that I have to sell them soon to make way for more earphones!


    TLDR:
    The Kinera Iduns are a phenomenal piece of Chinese Hi-fi. This is most definitely a step in the right direction for Kinera. I believe Steve has nailed down the "fundamental" Kinera house sound; an engaging, balanced signature. I look forward to Kinera's future offerings (particularly their new flagship 8-BA IEM, the Odins!)
      wiski, Adide and B9Scrambler like this.