Kinera Norn 1DD+4BA IEMs

abheybir

100+ Head-Fier
Kinera Norn: My Personal Favorite
Pros: 1. Musical, Fun and slight V-shaped Tuning
2. Very Good and Natural Low Frequency Response
3. Crisp and Sparkly well extended Highs
4. Weighted and Full Bodied Notes
5. Very good passive noise isolation as of nozzle design
6. Comfortable and eye-catchy design
Cons: 1. Mids can be recessed/relaxed at times but it's just part of its signature so totally personal preference
Introduction:
Kinera is a brand of YuTai Electronic Acoustics, that has been in the business for more than 10 years now. Based in Dongguan, China, YuTai is a pioneer in 'Bone Conduction' technology. In last few years , Kinera has produced a series of exceptions products which include Odin, Idun, Seed, BD005, Idun Deluxe and single dynamic driver SIF.

Norn is the latest jewel in crown. It is a 5 driver(1DD + 4BA) hybrid in-ear monitor with stunning looks and killer design. The ear-pieces are an absolute delight to look at. With a hand crafted design and mirror finish face plate and name NORN etched across it in golden, it looks extremely premium for an entry level IEM. Its lightweight and comfortable on ears due to its acoustic structure. I personally like the fit and the nozzle design which serves very good passive noise cancellation.

It is bundled with an 8 core-192 strands Silver-plated copper alloy cable with PVC outer insulation. The cable feels sturdy and compliments the shells perfectly in look and feel. The cable is equipped with universal 0.78 mm 2-pin connectors and a balanced 2.5 mm termination plug. The package also comes with one unit each of 2.5mm to 4.4mm and 2.5mm to 3.5mm connector and a very premium looking carry case.

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Disclaimer:
I have received as part of review circle sent from HifiGo in exchange of honest reviews. All impressions of sound are subjective to my own listening and my sources and is based on my experience with IEMs of similar hardware configurations and price range. One can purchase it from the following link.

Sources:
For this review the unit has been paired to A&K SE100 (ES9038 Pro) and Shanling M6 (AK4495EQ) without any other amplification.

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Highs:
The high frequency response in Kinera Norn is excellent. The treble shines out very well and bring out all the micro-dynamics crisp in this region. This is definitely not an IEM for treble sensitive people, I can say that easily just on my initial listening as I am very much treble sensitive person but to me the Norn has tuned just perfectly in this region. The highs extend very efficiently to that particular region where it's just sufficient to give you enough sparkle without causing any harshness of fatigue. The attack and decay is very fast in treble which equally compliments the extensions in bass and gives a very satisfying overall experience. The layering and separation of instruments like cymbals is good and makes them sound very crisp and clear making this IEM very much engaging.

Mids:
The mid frequency range felt nicely done, there is good resolution and contrast in this region. The notes have a bit of additional weight perhaps due to the presence of the dynamic drivers which delivers an excellent vocals. I felt the mids have taken a hit in this region and this maybe because of slight V shaped tuning but with that said I don’t mean that mids are recessed or overshadowed by other frequency response. The percussions extend very nicely to treble region. The resolution is above average and have good amount of detail and air in them.

Lows:
Bass the best part of Kinera Norn. The speed, attack and resolution is top notch thanks to the dynamic driver Kinera has deployed. The kick and punch is just perfectly done I must say with no overshoot in any region. The bass extension is very good and helps Norn to get additional weight to the notes. The overall lower frequency spectrum is evenly distributed and despite of any track there is no incoherence felt at any point of time. The rumble at deeper layer of sub bass feels quite natural and full of texture. This is neither a IEM for basshead as nothing here in this region is overdone, nor it is any bass shy IEM. In my personal preference it has managed to hit the perfect tuning spot of bass just the way I like. I really enjoy my favorite album of Enigma on it specially the track "Callas Went Away" which has very nice low frequency transitions and was extremely enjoyable.

Technicalities:
The staging capabilities of Kinera Norn are pretty good. Width is above average and has nice depth to it. There is right amount of glare in the separation which makes every instrument stands out very well. The overall tonality is towards the intimate and airiness suffers a bit as of closed design.

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Final Verdict
In a nutshell, Kinera Norn has been tuned slightly V-shaped keeping consumer audio into account as well along with audiophile audience. The highs are very well done along with the bass response where as mids are tuned bit relaxed. Overall tuning is towards the intimate side with good separation capabilities. The look and feel of the IEM along with its all the accessories is very premium. This is one of the IEMs which got my attention at first glance and not failed to amaze me afterwards. Kudos Kinera, definitely this is going to be my next daily driver soon!
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PereiraLucas
PereiraLucas
How do you compare Dunu Zen x K. Norn?

Wich is the Bass King? Detail, speed, quantity, Sub or Mid focus)



Great Review.
abheybir
abheybir
@PereiraLucas : Tough Battle. Zen is focussed towards the mid-bass and the upper bass with a very good mid-bass texture, the sub bass has good presence without any elevation. Where as Norn has quite nice sub-bass extension and good quantity bass but overall I would say Dunu Zen is a Bass King based on the overall quality of bass.

Ace Bee

Headphoneus Supremus
Kinera Norn - In a Music Booth
Pros: Juicy bass
Clean and resolving mids
Brilliant and extended highs
Very good stage depth and height
Competent layering
Cons: Slight lack of space between different notes
Lack of stage width
Introduction:
Kinera has been in the audiophile trade for quite a while now. Although I have not tried any other iem of Kinera except Idun, which I did not like very much. However, when Norn was released, I honestly got mesmerised by the design. I only hoped the sound was as beautiful as the exterior.

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Specifications:
Drivers: 4BA + 1 Dynamic Driver
Drivers Configuration: 2 Knowles BA + 2 Kinera Custom BA + Custom Titanium Diaphragm DD
Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
Sensitivity: 110dB.
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Rated Power: 3 MW
Distortion: <3%.

Disclaimer:
I had some money spare, and thought about giving the Norn a try and purchased it, out of a whim. It wasn't bad, but I have since sold it because I have got better gear

Accessories:
A very good cable with 2.5 mm balanced plug, with 4.4 mm balanced and 3.5 mm single end adaptor included,Kinera got all the bases covered.
The faux leather case with magnetic flap was quite good as well.


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Build and Fit:
The build of Norn is perhaps one of the most beautiful, if not The Most Beautiful I have seen till date. In hand it looks even more impressive. The shells are of medium size with medium length nozzles. Solid acrylic build invokes confidence. Because of the medium size and nozzle length, the fit is quite good in my medium sized ears. Very comfortable and snug fit.
The cable was also quite good, terminated at 2.5 mm balance with 3.5 MM SE and 4.4 mm balanced adaptors for a complete solution. The cable is quite supple, and yet strongly built.

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Sound:
The sound profile of Norn is decidedly W. Kinera has tuned the Norn really well that even though sound i very dynamic and grabs your attention right off the bat, it never gets irritating with unpleasant peaks.

Low:
The custom titanium diaphragm DD packs a solid and full punch. Let’s just say you will not be missing Bass on this set. Low frequencies are packed with plenty of power to make you go WOW at the first listen. Midbass slams are full bodied and powerful, and have moderate speed. Same goes for Subbass rumbles - they reach very deep, and provide the atmospheric feeling, but do not linger longer than necessary. Kinera has tuned the driver so efficiently that it produces bass with plenty of power and yet in a very controlled way. Suffice to say that due to the control none of the lower end textures gets lost, rather they are guaranteed to provide satisfaction. I love a powerful low end and I was supremely satisfied by it.

When it played the Battlestar Galactica Season 2 OST - Prelude To War, the bass drums rumbled and roared with enough force to rattle my jawbones. And yet disappeared just as quick, not muddying up the mids and highs.

Steven Wilson - Pariah has a beautiful bassline towards the end of the track, Norn played it to the front of the mix with enough meat on the bones.

In The Dark Knight - Why So Serious, from 03:25, the subbass rumbles are thick and creates an almost tangible feeling of pressure around the head.

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Mid:
Norn has a W shaped sound profile, and hence the mids are slightly pushed forward. Although definitely not in your face. I would say Kinera did a fine job positioning the mids here.
Coming to tonality, the mids have a slight warm touch. Notes are very slightly on the thicker side, aiding them with a good presence. Notes are also quite crisp and detailed, which is even more enhanced by the body.
String instruments do sound extremely pleasing, as do the vocals. Male vocals have nice depth and body, and female vocals have good extension and brilliance. In fact, Kinera has not preferred one segment over another here. However, I could not detect any sibilance - so props to Kinera for that.
Overall, the mids were quite musical yet detailed to my ears. It most definitely did not feel dry to me.

The Battlestar Galactica Season 2 OST - Prelude To War has some cello/bass which emit deep and resonating notes that set up a nice background. Norn reproduces the notes with fullness and musicality. Also, the snare drum rolls were very much crisp and detailed and easy to pick up in the mix.

Leonard Cohen’s voice in Hallelujah does sound wonderful, with enough depth and weight, along with all the textures.
In Silversun Pickups - The Royal We the electric guitars and the vocals are a bit thin and has a tendency to get peaky/sibilant on occasion. However, Land expressed the underlying energy well without the discomfort of peaks.

Yao Si Ting’s voice in Scarborough Fair is highly energetic, and has a brilliant sizzle which can get piercing on poorly tuned iems. However, Norn payes it very well without any sibilance. The energy does not seem cut off, and yet it does not get uncomfortable.

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High:
Brilliant highs with enough extension and sparkles to satisfy me. Honestly - this sums up my impression about the highs. The notes are very nicely crafted. No smudges, no uneven edges. Just very finely crafted high notes. The focus is mainly on lower treble, but upper treble is not severely rolled off, and has good presence. Notes do not feel thin and brittle. I crave for the last bit of brilliance in highs, without experiencing any uncomfortable peaks that pierces. Suffice to say that Norn delivers that. Not in spades, but yeah, definitely delivers that..

Metallica - The Four Horsemen has some intense cymbal and hi-hats playing throughout the track, and Norn made them sound brilliant, as they should, without any peaks.

In the case of Steven Wilson - Pariah, the background high notes breathe air very well, and the cymbal crashes stay at a respectable distance while not getting lost behind the strong bassline.

Technicalities:
I have almost nothing against Norn. Separation is quite commendable - each individual note has its own crafted space in the headspace created, and nothing smudges others. Each note is also very carefully reproduced with a nice dimensionality. Understandably, no details are missed.

Why, then, do I say “almost”? Because, if you have noticed, I never once mentioned the word ‘airy’. Reason behind is that even though Norn exhibits very good separation and note details, the soundstage width is...less than my preference. Stage height and depth is quite good, but because of the lack of width, the headspace largely stays within the head, does not extend beyond it, and hence fails to provide that last bit of grandiose.

Comparisons:
Vs. UM 3DT - Norn wins in note definition, separation, bass impact and depth hands down. 3DT does not stand any chance. However, 3DT excels in providing a very open presentation with a much wider and grander stage that extends well beyond the head. Mids and highs will depend on individual preference though. Norn mids have slightly more warmth,and male vocals have slightly more weight. However, 3DT does not fall far behind, and the slightly more neutral mids has its own charm. Regarding highs, Norn definitely has more sparkle and brilliance, but 3DT has a unique high frequency representation that sounds energetic and yet not fatiguing. Norn highs brilliance is more attacking, whereas 3DT is more musical.

Vs. TSMR Land - Really unfair comparison, as Land bests Norn in all fields. More physical and atmospheric bass, more realistic mids, more extended and detailed highs, wider, deeper, taller and more three-dimensional stage. But well, it costs more than Norn also.

Conclusion:
All in all, the Norn has its own niche at around 500 USD price. Those who do not need a very open sounding presentation,but rather prefer an intimate sound with commendable separation and layering, with carefully defined notes and a fun presentation, Norn is for you!

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05.vishal

New Head-Fier
Norn: A Beautiful Experience
Pros: 1. An excellent overall tonality.
2. Extremely well-built cable.
3. Very pleasing presence.
4. The bass has a nice texture to it.
5. The highs are non-fatiguing and yet have an energy to them.
6. Mids are more than enough
7. Soundstage is wide enough with ample height present as well.
Cons: 1. The price at which Kinera Norn sits, it has more than few worthy adversaries.
2. The mids, although more than enough, still leave you feeling that this can be further improved by EQ.
Kinera is a known Brand in the Audiophile community. Their emphasis on beautifully crafted IEMs which sound equally majestic is their forte.

The Product which I will talk about is the NORN, which has a 4BA+1DD configuration.

Disclaimer:

This was sent by Hifigo as a part of a review tour. I will review the iem using my own sensibilities and experiences You can buy the Norn here.

Build:

As always, Kinera Norn is a looker. The shells are painted with red and white paints which bring out a beautiful color combo and enhances the overall presentation of the IEM. Although I did not see any L or R indicators on the shells. It has a good enough cable that has a 2.5mm termination and comes with 2 different connectors for 3.5 mm and 4.4 mm. SO overall, an excellent package.

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Fit:

The shell may appear to be bigger in size, but the fit is exquisite.



Features:

  • Premium Five Driver Setup (1DD+4BA).
  • Titanium-plated PU composite high-poly fiber diaphragm.
  • Front cavity 3-tube crossover.
  • Reflective Mirror finish back cavity.
  • Beautiful Hand-Painted design.
  • Outstanding acoustic performance.
  • Universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors.
  • High-purity cable.
Technical Parameters:

  • Impedance: 32 Ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB.
  • Rated Power: 3mW.
  • Distortion: <3%.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-40kHz.
  • Cable Length: 1.2m.
  • Plug: 2.5mm Balanced
Sources:

  • F.Audio FA2
  • Ifi Audio Nano BL
  • Lotoo Paw S1
  • Audirect Atom 2
  • Samsung Dongle Dac.
  • Samasung Galaxy S10
  • Sony Discman.
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Sound:

Lows:

Test Tracks:

  • Raavan by Amit Trivedi (
    )
  • Chandralekha By A R Rahman (
    )
  • Cold Heart By Elton John and Dua Lipa (
    )
  • Levitating By Dua Lipa (
    )
The Lows are the highlight of Norn. The Sub-Bass is excellently placed and the Mid-bass has a feel to it. The complete bass presentation has both quality and quantity. There is no bass bleed and yet the bass is more than enough to satisfy the needs of a basshead.

The first Track is an addictive Trance track that has an energy to it. If the lows in the IEM are not good then it becomes muddy and dark. But in this case, Norn had it covered and the result: a 60 minutes long session with the first track in repeat.

Those who know the Chandralekha, know it was a track built for this day. The awesome sound arrangement and mixing still rivals the tracks from today. I would suggest giving this a try on Norn and then you will know what I am talking about.

No matter what you throw at Norn, you are going to be impressed.

Mids:

Test Tracks:

  • Tum Itna Jo Muskura rahe Ho by Jagjit SIngh (
    )
  • Shaam se Aankh Me Nami Si Hai By Jagjit Singh (
    )
  • Aasmani rang By Bhupinder & Chitra (
    )
  • Pani Pani Re By Lata Mangeshkar (
    )


The mids have ample presence to them. The vocals are forward, and the timbre is natural. The mids have sufficient air to them and the complex tracks have been dealt with craft. No congestion felt whatsoever.

For me, Ghazals are the tracks to test the mids and vocals. So how does Norn perform you ask? The answer is exquisite. The laid-back nature of the ghazal tracks offers a very nice presentation. The vocals are forward and lush as well.



Highs:

Test tracks:

  • In you Eyes (
    )
  • Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins (
    )
  • Hold Me Now by Thomson Twins (
    )
  • True by Spandue Ballet (
    )
The highs are energetic and non-fatiguing. The feel is airy and real. The highs really extend a lot and still, they are non-piercing. The feel is so satisfying that I never felt like removing the Norn from my ears. The Cymbals and the guitar notes come out with precise placement and presence.


Soundstage:

Considering the overall sound signature, the stage is wide enough but the depth in sound is just average. The Height of the soundstage is also good and that rings out an overall good headroom experience

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Conclusion:

I recently had AAW ASH for review and Kinera Norn Trumps it in every aspect. In the already crowded IEM bazaar, this is an item that will stay for a long time. This is an awesome pair that complements itself with a good enough cable that has a 2.5mm termination and comes with 2 different connectors for 3.5 mm and 4.4 mm. SO overall, an excellent package.
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JQuB3

New Head-Fier
Kinera Norn
Pros: Excellent presence in sub-bass and mid-bass regions.
Well-built cable.
Bold aesthetics.
Cons: No L/R indicators on the earpieces.
It is a tad bit pricey.
Disclaimer:
The Kinera Norn was sent to me by HiFiGo.com as part of a review tour in my country, in exchange for my honest opinion. I am neither paid by nor affiliated with HiFiGo or Kinera in any way and have no incentive whatsoever, for writing anything positive or negative about the product. The views shared in this article are my personal views based on the week or so I spent with the product.

Introduction:
I got interested in Kinera as a brand after I got a chance to try out their BD005 Pro. Hence, I was very excited to be part of the review tour of the Kinera Norn. Just like the BD005 Pro, the Norn doesn’t disappoint either. Let’s have a quick look at the specs before getting into impressions.

Technical Parameters:
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB.
  • Rated Power: 3mW.
  • Distortion: <3%.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-40kHz.
Features:
  • Five Driver Hybrid Setup (1DD+4BA).
  • Titanium-plated PU composite high-poly fiber diaphragm.
  • Front cavity 3-tube crossover.
  • 0.78mm 2-pin cable with 2.5mm BAL termination.
  • Adapters to convert termination to 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm BAL.


Frequency Response (FR):
Norn FR.png


Aesthetics:

In terms of aesthetics, the Kinera Norn is quite bold. The hand-painted design and the mirror finish give it an exquisite look. The stock cable (0.78mm 2-pin with 2.5mm BAL termination) complements the IEM quite well both aesthetically and sonically. Kinera has also included adapters to change the termination from 2.5mm BAL to 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm BAL. I can’t really talk about any other accessories or ear tips that come with the unit, since the unit I received was unboxed and minimally packed.

Tip rolling:
After my usual ritual of tip rolling, I decided to proceed with the Flare Audio Universal memory foam ear tips for the Kinera Norn. Other tips that I tried the IEM with (and eliminated) are:

  • Sony Triple Comfort (EP-TC50) – Too boomy.
  • JVC Spiral Dots SF (EPFX11) aka mushroom tips – Kills the bass, elevates treble.
  • JVC Spiral Dots ++ (EPFX10) – Almost as good as Dekoni Universal, but the bass quantity was less
  • Flare Universal – Lays good emphasis on the bass, making it sound natural for the most part. Doesn’t de-emphasize the treble either. (Recommended)
  • Dekoni Mercury – Same as Spiral Dots ++
  • Flare Audiophile – Similar to the mushroom tips, but with better bass presence

Sound:
The Norn requires considerable power to be driven to potential. It seemed underpowered with the Sony NW-ZX507. However, it sounded excellent with the FiiO M11Plus LTD. The IEM delivers as per the FR graph. In terms of tuning, the Norn is quite well balanced with the mids being a tad bit recessed. This provides for an interesting experience as we get some good bass response along with mild sparkles. The Norn is at a sweet spot between fun and engagement.

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It has sufficient presence in the sub-bass and mid-bass regions to enjoy the grinding beat of “Sirens of the sea - sonorous mix” (). Vocals are quite good, both male and female. There isn’t any kind of bleed from the bass region or any sibilance when it comes to female vocals. Separation is quite good. I was easily able to distinguish between different instruments in “Raat ke dhai baje – Kaminey” (), which is quite a feat, as several IEMs fail to distinguish between the instruments in this track. Listening to Bollywood in Spatial Audio (
) on Apple Music was a delight. Tracks like “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar – War”, “Nashe Si Chadh Gayi – Befikre” and “O Re Piya - Aaja Nachle” sound marvelous on the Norn. Be it the energy in the voice of Vishal Dadlani in Jai Jai Shiv Shankar or the dreaminess in Arijit Singh’s voice in Nashe Si Chadh Gayi, the Norn conveys it beautifully.

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Conclusion:
Apart from some minor issues like the lack of an L & R indicator on the earpiece, I think the Norn is a very good IEM for the price segment. I’d definitely recommend the Kinera Norn to anyone who is looking for an IEM that is both fun and engaging at the same time.
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Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
Kinera Norn - A Pink Dynamite
Pros: Excellent Bass with Nice Texture
Engaging Mid Section and Sparkly Treble
Sound stage Width and Height
Build, Design, Fit and Cable
Nice Technicalities
Cons: Price
Kinera is the chinese audio manufacturing company which is highly praised for its beautifully crafted in-ear monitors with exceptional sound quality. Their previous products are the IDUN, SEED, ODIN and the Flagship Iem NANNA. The latest product in the Kinera In ear monitor lineup is the NORN which is equipped with 4BA + 1 Dynamic Driver Hybrid HiFi Audiophile In-ear Earphone where the dynamic driver is Titanium-plated dome PU composite high poly fiber diaphragm. In this review lets see in detail about the Kinera Norn.


DISCLAIMER:

This unit has been provided to me as a part of a review circle organised by the Hifigo Team in exchange for the honest reviews on the earphone. I have not been influenced by any means to manipulate the review and these opinions are completely mine and subjective. The views on this product may differ based on the source and gears you use to test this product.

CONTENTS:

Since this is a review unit I received only the case, earpiece and the final audio eartips, hence the complete details of the packaging are not mentioned in this review.


DESIGN AND FIT:

The design of the Kinera Norn is absolutely gorgeous. The faceplate looks very eye-catching and stunning. The pink colored theme looks very nice with the glossy finish in the faceplate that looks like a gem. The overall size is very compact and lightweight. The faceplates are hand painted thus providing that premium feel while touching it. They fit very well into the ear canal and even if you have small ears this doesn’t cause any problem in the fit. The Black coloured stripes running across the pink band in the top and bottom looks absolutely gorgeous. The Kinera Norn branding is done on the faceplate in the golden letters in the Game Of Thrones style which looks classic and attractive. A single pressure vent is given on the side of the earpiece.

The fit is very nice where the isolation is very good while isolating a good amount of external noises. The cable looks very sturdy and premium to touch. The cable is an imported 26 AWG coaxial wire used as the conductor with PVC outer insulation. It consists of 8 wires of 192 strands of silver-plated copper alloy in spiral weaving. The cable has universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors and a balanced 2.5mm termination plug. They have also included the 2.5MM to 3.5mm adapter cable to utilise the unbalanced termination to directly play via the smartphone.


SOUND:

The overall sound signature of the Kinera Norn is slightly V shaped. My previous encounter with the Kinera was the BD005 Pro and it pretty much disappointed me. It has a boomy bass with the recessed midrange with sparkless treble. Since this Norn being an expensive one from the brand I’m having a big hope on this product. Let’s see whether this earphone really lives up to my expectations in this review.

MY SOUND PREFERENCE: A slight V shaped with more sub bass emphasis, engaging and forward vocals with sparkly,energetic and airy treble.

SOURCE: The Norn is pretty easy to drive so no need for Amps to amplify the sound. The sound is pretty fine straight out of the mobile jack. But to get the most out of the Norn I have used an external dac amp.

iPhone – Audirect Atom 2 USB Dac

The Norn gets easily loud enough and I can’t go beyond 50 percent volume on my iPhone which is pretty nice considering it is an expensive set with 32 ohms.

BASS:

Fantastic……Marvellous…..Delicious!!!! The bass in this earphone is pretty sweet to listen to. The sub bass and the mid bass coherency is pretty nice and linear. The sub bass is well separated from the mid bass without any bleed into the Mid section. The bass overall has nice clarity and resolution. The separation and the texture in the low end is impeccable. This is one of the best low end experiences I had in this audiophile journey. This Norn has the same low end performance like that of the Ikko OH10 and even better than that with added texture and separation.

The sub bass is very delicious here. I’m a bigger sub bass fan than the mid bass. The sub bass gives that sweet rumble in the low end. The rumble is well controlled and textured in the Norn.

  1. Black Gold – Hans Zimmer
From the start of the track you can feel the thump in the bass. They are felt very clearly in the Norn which literally tickles your ears! At 1:01 the sub bass digs deeper and deeper which just makes your ears tickled. The piano notes and the violin are separated very well in this track.

I have heard this track a lot of time but hearing through this earphone gave me a new experience giving me a lot of background details. At 4:45 the low end is very sweet to hear with the background instruments nicely layered while the low end drop beats sound very sweet.

  1. BIGFOOT – MALFNKTION
I go to the bass track to test out the control and speed. The low end is very impactful and has very good control. The vocal in the background is nicely heard while still maintaining the impact of the low end drops. They just bangs your ear canal with the nice thumpy effect.

The bass is very tight and under control with good speed. Behind the low end drops there is the sound of the soft drum which is heard very clearly without any muffle.

  1. BLOT! – RUMINATE
At 1:50 several instruments are played and they just move smoothly from one channel to the other while maintaining the low end under control with good speed and clarity. The texture of the bass is excellent and the overall resolution and the separation is extravaganza!

Overall the bass is very satisfactory with excellent resolution, separation, texture, control and speed. I loved the low end in this earphone. Nice transition from the sub bass to the mid bass without any mid bass bleed. The mid bass sounds clean and precise. The sub bass is elevated than the mid bass which gives that nice rumble and clarity in the mid section. 10/10 for the bass department in the Kinera Norn. Fantastic Job Kinera!


MID SECTION:

The mid section sounds nice and forward with beautiful male and female vocals. The tonality is extremely addictive and natural. The timbre is realistic and non metallic or anemic presence is observed. The piano notes and the guitar strings strike very naturally and energetically. The mid section is very energetic and engaging. In most of the V shaped earphones the Mid section feels lifeless and soulless but this one is an exception in this case! The mid section has nice air and space in between the instruments giving the life and soul to the track.

The addictive natural tonality combined with the forward midrange, energetic and engaging instruments make this pair a very delicious to listen and a great recommendable pair in my list

  1. The Gift Of Music – Dream Theatre, The Answer – Dream Theatre
The guitar strikes very naturally and the drum hits precise and tight. No loose hits of the drums are observed. The vocals sound very natural with a natural and realistic tone. The acoustic guitar sounds very nice and beautiful. At 1:40 the violin sounds very well separated and layered very well.

  1. Santeria – Sublime
The guitar sounds precisely in the right channel and the vocals in the center. At 0:35 the guitar strings shift to the left channel too and sounds very nice and natural. The drums in the background are precise and tight along with the nice piano notes in the background. The Norn just provides nice energetic and engaging listening sessions with this track.


TREBLE:

The treble section in this earphone is sublime. Since this is being a slight v shaped the highs are very crisp and clear. They have an enormous presence of air in between the instruments and nothing feels congested. The high extension is done very well and nothing causes the harshness here. During my listening I haven’t experienced any kind of sibilant.

The resolution and the detail retrieval in the high end are above average and very pleasing to listen for longer periods of time. The fatigue factor is not an issue here since it’s more or less completely absent here even though it has a lot of treble energy. The treble just hits the sweet spot of mine and definitely it’s one of my most satisfying iem in the upper end section. The cymbal strikes naturally with precise strike and placement.

  1. The Last Of The Real Ones – Fall Out Boy
The electric guitars and the drums in the background are depicted well while the vocal is nicely centered with no harshness while listening even when the vocal becomes very loud. This track is a very busy track yet Norn was able to separate them well and the background instruments sound very nice. At 2:27 when the background vocal starts which appears like screaming but the Norn made them very beautiful to listen with nice dynamics and smoothness.

  1. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
My go to track for testing out the cymbal strike where it strikes very naturally with good hit and speed. Very pleasant to hear and very much easily audible without the need of raising the volume.

  1. Happy – Pharrell Williams
This is another track to test out the cymbals and the Norn just did it excellently. Absolutely can’t find any harshness with this unit and it is very pleasing to hear for longer periods of time which is very nice to see. The overall separation from the background and the main vocal is impeccable.

  1. Sacrilege – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The electric guitar strings sound without any harshness and the high notes of the piano sound very nice with nice smoothness. Even the vocals sounded very textured and no graininess was seen. The drum hits and the background instruments are portrayed very well even with a lot of complex things going on this track.

TECHNICALITIES:

SOUNDSTAGE: The soundstage is very good considering the height and teh width. The depth is average but the width is very nice giving a lot of room for the placements of the instruments. The height is very nice too thus providing the OST tracks a massive soundstage effect.

  1. What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World – Hans Zimmer
Wow!!! First this track should be included in the bass section since thus has a nice sub bass rumble and the Norn clearly gave me that satisfaction additionally it also portrayed a nice sense of tallness and width in the overall track. Very impressive work by Norn.

  1. Le Mans 66 – Marco Beltrami
The cymbals on the right side and the bass guitar on the left side are portrayed very well thus providing a nice sense of width in the soundstage aspect. The tallness in the track is observed evidently. The depth is however not as big but the overall listening experience is very nice. At 2:05 the silence starts and you can observe the width and the tallness evidently here.

IMAGING: The imaging is pretty impressive in this Norn. The instruments nicely sweep from one channel to the other smoothly and the transitions are very nice and smooth. The instruments can be easily pointed out even in the busy track with a lot of things going on in the track.

  1. I Want You Back – Jackson 5
The drums on the right side and the cymbals and the acoustic guitar left side at the start of the track are depicted very nicely. later the side gets switched very smoothly with excellent transition change. The instruments are nicely moved in between the channels.

The macro details and the dynamics are very impressive in the Kinera Norn without compromising the Micro Details too which is very impressive to see in the Norn.

VERDICT:

Norn, the latest offering from the Kinera is very impressive and a top recommendation from my side. The sound is very dynamic with a lot of energy and an engaging factor. The thing that lacked in the Ikko Oh10 is fulfilled by the Norn by bringing the Mid section forward and giving them the soul by making them engaging and energetic. The low end is very impressive with excellent sub bass rumble and the mids bass here sounds pretty clean. The treble has nice energy without reaching that fatigue limit. Overall I’m very impressed by the sound of the Norn. From the build, design, cable, sound etc this thing just ticks all the boxes that i need. Technicalities wise they are very good too considering the width and the tallness it possesses in the soundstage department with excellent imaging capability.

This pink beauty might make you think it is a calm queen but this thing is definitely an energetic monster! 5/5 from my side and i absolutely loved this pair, indeed it’s an absolute pink DYNAMITE!

machinegod

New Head-Fier
Pros: Excellent high quality bass reproduction.
Gorgeous one of a kind aesthetics.
Technical abilities.
Cons: A bit too boosted upper midrange.
Genre picky.
Disclaimer : This was sent by Hifigo as a part of a review tour. But all thoughts and opinions are my own. You can buy the Norn here.

Build & Fit
If it is one thing that Kinera always nails, its the looks and build quality. The norn is beautifully designed with splashes of red and white, resembles a blood splatter on ice. The embossed printing, color palette and aesthetics are right on the money.
The supple high quality SPC cable also comes with 4.4mm and 3.5mm adaptor cables, the stock cable being terminated in 2.5mm. I believe that all IEMS in this price range must come with a cable that has flexible terminations out of the box (via switchable cable/adaptor cables). The shell is slightly on the bigger side but not enough to worry about. The bigger size is also partly due to the driver config of 4BA and 1DD. What is even more surprising is the 7mm micro DD
inside achieves a magnetic field intensity of 1.5T.

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Amp Needs
At 110dB/mW @ 32 ohms, it is rated at 3mW only. It can be powered off any portable source, no dedicated amplifier is needed.

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Sound Quality
I know, I know, frequency response graphs are not the arbitrator of sound, but in this case it sounds exactly like its graph.
The bass is deep, deep enough to claw at the earth with clear rendition of texture and finesse. There is very little bloat though, which is surprising given the amount of it. The subbass has finesse, deep reach and is speedy with quick decay. This is an IEM fit for a basshead. The overall tuning of the Norn can be described as a sharp "U" shaped. The midrange isn't recessed but takes a slight step back and picks back up sharply in the upper midrange region. This does two things : add a lot of energy and glisten, make it punishing for rock/badly mastered music in general. However, the Norn performs brilliantly in electronic music and is one of the best I have heard in an IEM when it comes to this genre.
The speedy and thumping bass paired with the energetic upper midrange adds an openness to the sound that is a treat for electronic music lovers. Unfortunately for old school rock or genres that have substantial grit and rough edges baked into them, the Norn is not forgiving enough and the boost in the upper mids is clear as day. The treble region is mostly smooth and pleasant without any awkward resonances, and when it comes to presentation,
the upper midrange presence reigns over the overall treble forwardness.
Another aspect of Norn's sound quality that is befitting of its asking price is the technicalities. It has great layering and imaging capability. The soundstage is fairly wide, it is nicely cast outside of your ears with good amount of layering that enhances the feeling of depth in the stage. Overall resolution for Norn is pretty solid as well. It performs great in the technicalities section.

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Conclusion
The Norn is among the finer Kinera IEMs I have heard yet as of writing this review. It's got solid technicalities and a unique aesthetic vibe to it. It's tuning is not a smooth compatibility for all genres but really excels in all forms of electronica and modern pop music.

asifur

100+ Head-Fier
Kinera Imperial NORN : The Bass King!
Pros: + Great looks
+ good Build & Comfort
+ Deep and energetic Bass
+ Forward Mids & Vocals
+ Good package & Accessories
Cons: - Separation & clarity could be better
- Soundstage is rather narrow
Kinera Imperial NORN : The Bass King!

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Summary:

Kinera Imperial NORN
seemed quite enjoyable with Deep energetic Bass and forward Vocals & midrange. It is likely to appeal to the younger people who enjoy the deep thump & slam of a club dance-floor or enjoy live performances - but are stuck at home during these COVID days.

Disclaimer:

This review unit was sent by Kinera for the purpose of an honest review.
Everything mentioned in this review are purely my own based on my experiences with the IEM.

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Introduction:

In March 2021, Kinera launched their new Imperial Line of IEMs and NORN is amongst the few IEMs of that lineup.
Kinera Norn is the latest hybrid pair of in-ear monitors from the brand with great looking shells.
The shells look nice with a glossy finish and hand-painted design.
It houses a 1DD + 4 BA setup tuned to provide a great sound performance to the targeted crowd.
I will refer to it as the NORN in rest of the review.

The Kinera Imperial NORN is priced at $509

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Specifications:

Specifications are as below:

https://www.kineraaudio.com/product/kinera-imperial-norn

Features:
  • Premium Five Driver Setup (1DD+4BA).
  • Titanium-plated PU composite high-poly fiber diaphragm.
  • Front cavity 3-tube crossover.
  • Reflective Mirror finish back cavity.
  • Beautiful Hand-Painted design.
  • Outstanding acoustic performance.
  • Universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors.
  • High-purity cable.
Technical Parameters:
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB.
  • Rated Power: 3mW.
  • Distortion: <3%.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-40kHz.
  • Cable Length: 1.2m.
  • Plug: 2.5mm Balanced.



Design & Build Quality:

I think the NORN comes with great looks, lightweight and ergonomic. the hand-painted shells look premium and feels great in hand too.
In terms of build quality & comfort - the NORN is great for the given price range.

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Packaging & Accessories:

The NORN with a great looking box in the red & black combination and quite good looking. The box is filled with ample amount of goodies including leather case, 3.5mm and 4.4mm adapters, Final E series ear tips and other ear-tips, etc.
Just one thing I would like to mention here is that I found the 4.4mm adapter not working properly which Kinera replaced immediately.

Package Contents:
  • One pair Kinera Norn IEMs.
  • One silver-plated copper cable.
  • Six sets of Silicone ear tips.
  • One set of Foam ear tips.
  • One unit of 2.5mm to 4.4mm connector.
  • One unit of 2.5mm to 3.5mm connector.
  • One earphone carry case.
  • One user guide.
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The Stock Cable:

The NORN is bundled with a premium audio cable to provide an interruption-free sound signal to the earpieces. Imported 26AWG coaxial wire is used as the conductor with PVC outer insulation. It consists of 8 wires of 192 strands of silver-plated copper alloy in spiral weaving. The cable has universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors and a balanced 2.5mm termination plug..

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The Frequency Graph:

The frequency graph as per Kinera website is below and clearly shows the very slight V shaped signature that it carries.

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Items Used for this Review:

DAC/AMP:
@iFi audio Micro iDSD Signature,
DAP/Source : Cayin N6 Mk2 with T01 motherboard, @Shanling M6 PRO (Ver 21)
Streaming Source: QOBUZ

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Ear Tips:
I've tried tip-rolling with a variety of tips including Final Audio E Series Transparent Red, @SpinFit Eartip CP145 and JVC Spiral Dots. I've found JVC Spiral Dots to suit me preferences best and have used that mostly.
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Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews... I would like to thank @Otto Motor for his contribution here.




Let's now talk about the quality of Sound....

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The BASS:

The Bass is the strongest trait of the NORN. It is very deep, dense, rich and muscular. The deep thump & slam can be experienced in tracks like : "Anna R. Chie (Remastered) - Konstantin Wecker" and “Chocolate Chip Trip – Tool” - whereby you can actually feel the deep thump & slam of the Drum attack followed by good transients and decay. It's like you're in a club and the deep bass you can actually feel like standing close to a sub-woofer. Very enjoyable experience.


The MIDS:

Midrange is where the NORN strives to be different from many others – The overall midrange and specially the Vocals are quite forward. This gives a quite immersive experience and the mids are dense, rich & muscular. Instruments sounded natural. Guitar plucks are followed by great transients in tracks like: "Porch Swing - Trace Bundy" and "Rickover's Dream - Michael hedges" to make it enjoyable. However, this rare tuning comes at the cost of losing much details of the drums and lower clarity due to the prominence of the midrange.


The TREBLE:

Treble is quite enjoyable and non-fatiguing. Cymbals sound natural and tracks like “Chocolate Chip Trip – Tool” sounded great and the track was very enjoyable.
The treble has enough details and texture. Overall treble performance is commendable. However having said that - detail retrieval could have been better.


The SOUNDSTAGE:

The NORN has a slightly narrower Soundstage but with great depth. It is as good for tracks that require intimate or on stage listening. However, not so good for live concerts. Tracks like: “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sounded like it was happening in a big hall rather than the wide stadium effect.


Imaging & Timbre:

The NORN also comes with good timbre performance. However, when it comes to instrument separation, details retrieval or clarity - I found it to be quite average. Tracks like: “Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) - The Beautiful South “or “Hello Again - Howard Carpendale & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” though having natural timbre suffered from lower clarity & separation.

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Comparisons:

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Kinera Imperial NORN vs CA Mammoth vs DUNU SA6:

The DUNU SA6 and Campfire Audio Mammoth both come at very similar price of $549 and while the Mammoth is a hybrid with a 1 DD + 2 BA architecture - the SA6 is an all BA IEM. The NORN being a hybrid comes with higher number of BAs than the Mammoth and also a dynamic driver based bass that is missing on the SA6.


Bass:

While the DUNU SA6 has good details and clarity, the Mammoth comes with detailed clear & bass with lot's of texture & good amount of depth and density.
However, the NORN just comes with a much deeper and dense bass than either of the above and while some may prefer the clear & detailed bass of the Mammoth with good depth - many others including myself may prefer the very deep bass performance of the NORN.

Mids & Treble:

The midrange & treble is just a DUNU SA6 strong trait. While the forward midrange of the NORN is not recessed, it does have much lower clarity & details. Thought the Mammoth comes with enough details and separation - the midrange itself is a bit recessed. So, it's a mixed experience here obviously led by the SA6 but many youngsters may prefer the forward vocals of the NORN also.


Soundstage & Timbre:

This is where the Mammoth shines bright with massive staging in terms of width, height & depth. Clarity & details retrieval are great for the price. Separation is also great with a great sense of direction. The NORN is a wider stage than the SA6 but in terms of clarity & details retrieval and separation the SA6 is much better performer. The Mammoth takes the crown here.

The above comparison felt like comparing Burgers with Pizza & Steak. Each has it's own perks and appeals to a different crowd.

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Conclusion :

The Kinera Imperial NORN is an enjoyable IEM and I'm sure would appeal to many people and youngsters who prefer this specific tuning and sound signature.
but, it is not everyone's cup of tea. It will be popular in certain genres like I mentioned above in many cases and people of certain regions will prefer this sound signature. It's just not fully my type though I have enjoyed this experience thoroughly.
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Riyan
Riyan
Interesting Review with nice comparison.
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N
nickdhrubo
The SA6 will probably be a better performer according to my taste in this price bracket.
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Tashphii
Tashphii
Amazing review! And Norn is such a looker!
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SHOOTINGTECHIE

100+ Head-Fier
KINERA NORN- An Airy Beauty!!
Pros: 1) More air in instruments
2) Energetic Treble
3) Taller soundstage
4) Great separation
5) Good punchy midbass
Cons: 1) Mids lack intimacy and energy too
2) Subbass needs more powerrrr
3) Leaner notes
The story of Kinera stats from 2011, when the YuTai Electronic Acoustics was officially established in Dongguan, China. Their first hybrid Driver iem Was Kinera BD005 back in 2016 but the most notable was their Kinera Nanna in 2019 which got very good reviews everywhere. Now they improved upon it and delivered a Nanna 2.0 which also has great reviews. Now Kinera is very fond of mythology, the iem’s name speaks for themselves haha… For my review came their mid-tier segment 1DD+ 4BA champ- THE KINERA NORN(or Nornir- who are the 3 sister goddess of destiny in Norse mythology and they determine the fate of Gods and human beings all - a little history lesson :p).…

But do they change my destiny?? We shall find out by the end of this subjective review…

DISCLAIMER- The Kinera Norn is provided by the courtesy of HIFIGO as part of review tour in INDIA. But this subjective review of mine are my own thoughts and I am not being paid anything to say positive or negative about this iem. That said I want to thank HIFIGO and a close friend of mine (I know you, stalker :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ), for giving me an opportunity to hear it!!! You can find the store link here (not affiliated, of course LOL)

SPECS-

  1. Impedance: 32Ω
  2. Sensitivity: 110±2dB
  3. Rated power: 3mW
  4. Cable Length: 1.2m
  5. Plug: 2.5mm
  6. Driver: 1DD+4BA – 2 Knowles BA & 2 Kinera Custom BA + Kinera Custom Titanium Diaphragm DD
  7. Earphone Connector: 0.78 2Pin
  8. Cable- a 2pin SPC cable
Hence really easy to power !!!

UNBOXING EXPERIENCE- Now, I need not remind you but customs in INDIA are not friendly at all haha!!! Plus shipping is a pain, hence I got the iem in a small leather carry case with Kinera embossed in the middle (synthetic leather probably) with all its accessories.
Nothing big of an unboxing experience but you can check out the contents here to see what it comes with and how grandeur it looks, but I missed it 😥 (dont mind me the iems till in the bag :ksc75smile:)
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BUILD-
  • IEM- Now the iem seems to made of light weight acyclic with an hand painted artwork… For me though this feels like the Gas clouds in the universe artwork or lava flowing from through an ash laden land. This I am sure will turn a few eyes around when you roam around in your iem at least when this COVID ends haha!!! Nozzle is quite long around and the lava or gas cloud whatever you prefer flow right till the end haha!!! The nozzle has a 3 tube crossover design with each being separate. They have used a back cavity mirror reflection structure for better conduction and no loss.
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  • CABLE- The is a SPC cable (silver plated copper), consisting of 26AWG coaxial wire and PVC outer coating. The cable is made of 8 wires of 192 strands of silver-plated copper alloy weaved in spiral form. It comes with universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors and a balanced 2.5mm termination plug. It’s very light and also has a chin slider. The cable felt non microphonic to me and didn’t retain shape at all (a plus in my book). This R and L here on the 2pins with Red for right and Blue for left, nothings written on the connector. The termination plug though has beautiful white font Kinera written on it. For some reason though, it feels weak and feels like it will tear off if you yank it but it doesn’t 😉
  • CONNECTORS- Now there a two more connectors – One is a 2.5mm female to 3.5mm male interconnect and the other is a 2.5mm Male to 4.4mm pentaconn interconnect (I think this should have been the default rather than the 2.5mm). They seem to have been made of the same wire and has beautiful Kinera in white, written over the termination plugs.
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  • CARRY BAG- A synthetic leather (it feels like that) with beautiful embossed Kinera written over it !!!
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  • TIPS- Now I got the Final Audio E tips for the review and if you buy this new you will get a whole bunch of tips (Now choose your Pokémon!! ASH! haha!!!) From my testing the final audio E tips really help and narrow bore tips like BGVP E01 brings mid much more forward and might be to someone more liking…
  • OTHERS– well they do include a nozzle cleaning tool and lots of tips haha!!! and some booklets.(User manual-I know, I know LOL :beyersmile:)

HOW DO THEY SOUND-

BASS-
SIGNAL IN THE NOISE – GO GO PENGUIN- This is really good fast music with drums and those guitar hits in the sides and slowly going into the mids…Then the piano in the mid with fast keys on right and long keys on mid to left Really lovely stuff (Thanks to Andrew from TheHeadphoneShow on youtube, for introducing me to this).

The bass on this is really good. The kick bass hits your heart and makes you listen forget and listen to it, it has the punch which makes you go, wow!!! It has natural tone to it with big body. The decay is fast and timbre is really good. Then comes the snare drum – its much more defined and has a good amount of texture added to it. You can feel the timbre of the snare drum a lot and yes this also does have a faster decay but has that metallic timbre of BA feel. It feels a little lean on the notes here (except kickbass), and has the same thickness throughout from beginning to the end of the notes and at the very end has a fast decay. But the notes are dynamic with change in loudness easily felt. Then piano and the drums combo comes very nicely through the middle of the track and the separation is excellent showing no mid bass bleed at all… Love this. The separation is really great considering hihats and cymbals going through are really nicely separated with those kick drums going on till the first part of the music that is till 2:30 mins. After this comes my fav the double bass and ohh!! its so much good with those strings being heard all nicely and well separated for each stroke. The kick bass and double bass are sometimes aligned but even then, the separation is really nicely felt… Wait for the slow uptake of double bass solo from 4:11min and the slow addition of other instruments. The decay is faster on those strings though but the timbre is airy and a bit metallic for my taste. This though overall seems to have lean tonality; I don’t mind it that much but I would have liked to see a little slower decay so as to have a room filling experience!!!

SUBBASS-
BLENDER- YELLO (Haha!!) -
Now this has subbass presence from around 56 sec mark felt more on the right side and goes on for a lot longer!! Now I chose this track to check how much do they emphasize it and how does it do with vocals and other instruments. For instruments you could try from 2:09 mins.

The subbass is good, it has a nice body and textured feel. You can really feel the you right ear moving and go along with the song easily. It has similar faster decay and doesn’t leave a presence much, which I would have liked to see a bit more. Now yes, this won’t give you whole separate subwoofer feeling like it does in my speakers but this aren’t no slouch. Its enough for my ears but a little more emphasis won’t be bad either!!! Remember though, this still isn’t bass head level though haha!!!
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MIDS-
VOCALS-

1) FEMALE VOCALS- SKYFALL-ADELE AND MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS-RENEE OLSTEAD-
Adele has a really voice and the track I used has a lot of piano and other instruments and make this very nice song to judge vocals and bleed. While the other vocalist, Renne, this songs of hers, has that sibilance factor to it. She emphasizes the ‘S’ a lot…​
Now for this Iem, the vocals are bit backward from the bass and other instruments tending to give a “V” shaped sound signature. The vocals have a lot of texture and they have added air to them till the notes last. It seemed a little The vocals are lean for my taste but the energy was great. The change in pitch of the voice is doable and the sudden thickness that she imparts is rather not felt that greatly unless you are looking for it. But for second song, the sibilance is tiny bit felt with the “sss” but then again her voice is like that haha!!! The emotion in her voice is there but its far away for my taste and V shape lovers might like this. I would have loved a thicker presentation here but this isn’t that bad and the separation is excellent making us feel having a wider soundstage…​
2) MALE VOCALS- WHIRLWIND-SAM RYDER & AINT NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH-II DIVO, MARVIN GAYE
The male vocals are lean but thicker voices benefit from being balanced here. The male vocals though are kinda a bit more near than the female vocalists. The energy in their voice is felt pretty nicely and the males textured voice is much better portrayed, the change in pitch is also better felt too. The second song has two vocalists and its easier to distinguish them while they both sing which is really good!!! They have an added air to them too but lack the thickness that one of them has. The vocals go along with instruments pretty well and the slight nuances are seen through easily making it an easy listen. A thicker presentation is definitely required but that depends on taste and might not be for everyone…​
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MIDS-
HUNTING GIRL-JETHRO TULL; YOU BROKE MY HEART AGAIN-JAX JONES, TEQKOI, AIKO; EINAUDI EXPERIENCE- LUDOVICO EINAUDI, DANIEL HOPE, I VIRTUOSI ITALIANI –

Mids are airy and full of energy. The guitars and other wind instruments benefit from this. Upper mids here have an Upper hand here pretty much, (get it, get it haha !!!) with having that extra energy and lean tonality going in their favor. The piano and other instruments which are in the lower mids and supposed to have a thick body, are at an disadvantage, now don’t get me wrong , they don’t sound brittle but they don’t sound thick either. The energy of lower mids is fine though and they are well textured with good inter-note differentiation. The dynamics are fine and the smaller nuances are easily felt too. The timbre is good and there is reverb but with a faster decay, though it does have an metallic BA timbre feel(which is very light felt). Its separation is really good though and the notes are crisp till the very end!!!

TREBLE-
SIGH- PRAFUL; CIGARETTES IN THE THEATER - TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB and DO IT AGAIN- STEELY DAN- I use these tracks extensively to test the treble tonal accuracy, positioning, speed and separation.

This is where this iem shines through. The treble is full of energy , bright and has good extension too. The faster decay helps with the speed of the notes. The added air adds a bit of realism and it’s not sharp. The notes are very dynamic and nicely separated throughout the entirety. The busy tracks are well differentiated in this iem which is becoming a recurring theme here. The tonality is of a leaner nature here but thats okay!!! A little bit thicker notes would be more in my taste with a slightly slower decay… But alas I can live without it and it’s a great performing one nonetheless.
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HEADSTAGE-
THRILLER- MJ, THEME FROM LUPIN III ‘78(2002 VERSION) AND NICOTINE- ANI DIFRANCO

It’s a V shaped iem overall, with-
  1. X axis- This iem is nicely wide, its not too wide though. The added air and V shape helps us make feel it’s a lot wider.
  2. Y axis- This iem is tall and notes do reach up there, and they are even well differentiated in height which is really good!!!
  3. (-ve)Yaxis- The depth isn’t that great, it is very limited to just below the vocals and doesn’t extend. It rather has more depth at the edges coming inwards sometimes but not too much.
  4. Z axis or Stage depth- It has a little bit of stage depth but not too much, but the separation and imaging helps a lot for what it lacks here.

IMAGING, SEPARATION AND RESOLUTION-

These are pretty good in imaging, there’s an accurate placement of each instrument I feel like. Everything is seen and felt through too. The obvious instrument placement is felt nicely but those placed on z axis are described more on the y axis more. The separation is really good between the instruments, even the notes are well separated. There is no mid bass bleed and each of the gong with hihats or even with tambourine and hihats or even with cymbals its easier to say which is which!! The resolution is pretty great too, the added air helps the instruments have space and makes them easily felt, the smaller nuances are also seen but it’s a bit difficult to feel them, unless you are looking for them. This isn’t, a too resolution heavy iem but the amount it shows is shown pretty nicely without being overbearing which is a +1 in my book.

Comparison with DUNU SA6-

PROS of DUNU SA6-

  1. Better vocals and mids
  2. Subbass is better
  3. Treble is smoother
  4. More energy in mids
  5. Wider and has depth
  6. Overall thicker notes
PROS of NORN-
  1. More air in instruments
  2. Treble energy is more
  3. Taller soundstage
  4. V shaped
  5. Tiny bit more separation
SUMMARY- If you are a fan of V shape and like air among the instruments with more energy in the treble , this iem is for you!!!
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suman134

Headphoneus Supremus
Good if not very good.
Pros: Punchy and wholesome lower end. Nice treble details. Very good overall details.
Very good cable and set of accessories.
Cons: V shaped sound. Mid range notes could have been fuller.
INTRODUCTION:

Kinera, one the most prominent Chi-fi brands in the market has been making some excellent IEMs lately. They have been making plenty of waves. I hadn't been able to get my hands on Kinera IEMs, thanks to Pulkit bhai who took me in his Hifigo review tour.

The Norn I am reviewing here is priced at $449 at the time of writing. It houses 1 7mm dynamic driver and 4BA drivers. Even when Kinera has been tight lipped about the crossovers I think we have at least 2 here.

I am comparing it with DUNU EST112 and Shanling ME700 lite in this review.

Get one for yourself from here: https://hifigo.com/products/kinera-norn-1dd-4ba-iems

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PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:-

Even when I did not got the retail package because of the tour nature of the IEM, I would like to believe that the IEM ships with a good looking cardboard box with fancy designs on it and some promotion material on it with an interesting unboxing experience.

In addition to the earpieces and cable, I did receive a flap carry pouch, a pair of Final audio tip and couple of cable adapters for the 2.5mm cable.

HOW IS THE CABLE:-

I usually rant about cable but I find the Norn cable to be one of the most supple I have seen on a $500 IEM. It has the aesthetic too. It complements the IEM nicely. In technicality it is an 8 core high purity silver plated copper cable with 192 strands of 26awg SPC wires inside and PVC insulation on the outside. The cable slider looks elegant.

Thanks to the supple nature it barely has any microphonics to worry about and winding the cable is easy since it does not have any memory problem. It has metal jackets on the 3.5mm jack, Y splitter and 2pins giving it a more premium feel. The cable guides are supple and has no problem holding on to the ear and I didn't have to adjust it every now and then.

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BUILD AND ERGONOMIC:-

To start things off, I like the fit of the Norn. It is comfortable and slightly smaller than both EST112 and Shanling ME700 lite. The all resin build is very confidence inspiring. Do not drop it on hard floors and these earpieces will survive. The main attraction of the Norn is its hand painted face plate. It is an eye candy for sure. It is one of the most beautiful looking IEMs for sure.

The nozzle is slghtly on the wider side and I am not sure if the Final tips as default are a wise decision since it has a T400 size tip. Thankfully the nozzle has nice depth giving it an aptly deep and secure fit. It has a nicely contoured body with a slightly aggressive wing on the inner side providing reasonable traction inside the ear. A small pressure releasing vent can be found on the side of the body.

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SOUND QUALITY:

Kinera Norn houses a single 7mm dynamic driver aided by 1.5 Tesla magnetic flux, Japan imported Daikoku pure copper coil and Titanium-plated composite high-poly fibre diaphragm material and it is paired with 4BA drivers. Out of these 4, 2 are custom Kinera drivers and the other two are Knowles drivers.

With all these thing inside, it has a V shaped signature with a voluminous lower end, laid back mid range, and a bit elevated treble region. I love the way it presents a fun and musical side. It does have a bit of gloominess across the spectrum which restricts some dynamics and body.

BASS:

Most impressive part of Norn is its exquisite lower end. The single 7mm dynamic driver delivers a fuller and rumbly lower end. Sub-bass extension is good but the body or volume at this region is not the best. Some BA IEMs like the Audiosense T800 and Fibae 3 are better with sub-bass but when it comes to mid bass body and rumble Norn is miles ahead. The impact is not hard or dry, it is more pleasing and on the softer side which makes it fairly satisfying. The day speed is not slow or anything but is not the fastest. This slight slowness lets the note precipitate better giving it nice body and weight. It has no upper mid hump or anything to talk about, it nicely blends into the lower mid region. All in all the Norn has very good control over the lower end.

MID RANGE:

Things get moody here. The transition from the single DD to the dual BA drivers is aptly consistent but the dip of energy is perceivable. The crossover region can be indentified without much problem. It doesn't need a trained ear. Thankfully the lack of energy doesn't translate into lack of transparency, details or relevance.

It has no problem with micro details and separation, the whole mid range enjoys very good clarity and transparency and even after delivering very good details it does not sound sharp or aggressive. It lacks a bit of body and weight with instruments. Norn does not have the added depth and extra weight of EST112 and Shanling ME700 lite, limiting its dynamics. It is on the dry and slightly less jolly side. Both male and female vocals sound crisp and clear with a natural tonality, it does not emulate an organic or warmer tonality like Fibae 4 or EST112. Texture and emotions portrayed by the Norn is slightly less engaging due to the thin body. It does like to keep things as neutral and colorless as possible. Norn has no problems with the upper mid energy, in fact it has a dip just before the treble region which keeps any kind of aggression at bay.

I have to mention that layering and separation is very good and does not lack much air in between instruments.

HIGHS:

BA drivers used here have done their job. Even when Norn carries a bit of dryness and lack of body into the treble region it has much better notes height providing more relevance. All this can be attributed to more energy and it leads into better dynamics and a cleaner feel.

Norn has very good treble extension and maintains good energy till the end but does dip just after the mid treble region. It has very good details retrieval and doesn't miss out on anything while keeping the timber neutral. Cymbals and pianos have very good transparency, don't expect it to sound very organic or loaded with texture but manage to deliver reasonable engagement. Separation and layering is up to the mark with good air and space between instruments. The treble stage is well spread, assisted by good sonicality. If you like tingly instruments, Norn will not disappoint.

STAGE AND IMAGING:-

Norn's stage size is more intimate even with balanced out. It does have very good height, nice depth but it's the X-axis width which makes things more intimate. If you prefer a more closed in sound, it should be good. Most of the instruments are placed inside the head while some treble instruments have out of the head projection. There are no anomalies to worry about here since density of instrument distribution and is even without any hollow feeling.

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COMPARISONS:

VS EST112 and Shanling ME700 lite:



CONCLUSION:-

Norn is good for the price, especially at $449. If this is the only IEM you have, you won't mind anything, it has the details and everything but once you switch to something more capable like DUNU EST112 or Shnaling ME700 lite things get tough for Kinera Norn.

Norn has a good lower end and even though it lacks a bit of dynamics in the mid range its sonicality in the treble region is very good. It's the mid range which needs work. The lack of note's body and dry feeling is not helping the experience, unless it is the thing Kinara wanted to deliver (which is doubtful). A bit more juice and fullness will make even more lovable.

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