KIWI EARS Singolo

littlenezt

100+ Head-Fier
Very Good Options But....
Pros: +Tuning
+Bass Resolution
+Build
Cons: -Fitting / Comfort
-Accessories
Kiwi Ears Singolo
1DD
$79 ($51.35 now)


Before I even start this review, let me thank Linsoul for sending me the unit in for review.
Rest assured, my review is 100% my own personal opinion.

Unboxing
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Build Quality

The Singolo has a transparent resin shell which looks pretty good IMO, the resin is also not hollow so it feels pretty solid in hand and in ears.
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Around the back side of the shell you can see the KARS, in theory this helps with bass response.
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As for the cable it’s just decent, nothing special really.
Comfort

This one is quite controversial, some people don’t have any issues with the comfort, while I personally can’t even get a seal using the stock eartips.
Luckily I can get a good seal with the DUNU S&S Tips.
After getting a good seal, wearing comfort is pretty good, no hot spots on my ears at all.

Sound
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Tested using FIIO BTR15, KB3, Stock Cable, DUNU S&S Eartips.
Music is mostly from Apple Music (J-POP, J-Rock, RAP, Metal, Jazz)

Tonality in general : Bass Boosted Neutral

Bass : The Singolo has a very clean bass response, the boost is only around sub-bass areas just like your typical crinacle collab IEMs.
The bass has very good depth and decent punch, not the most punchy bass I’ve ever heard.
Though I must say the bass quality is quite impressive for the price.
You get a lot of information like the humming and rumble is pretty good for the price. Thanks to the KARS.
Keep in mind, if you’re a basshead, you will definitely feel the bass is kinda lacking for sure.

Midrange : Neutral, not warm, not bright, just right, not shouty nor sibilance either.
The Singolo has a very good midrange presentation IMO, it is not too aggressive nor too laid back that it becomes boring, it's just right.

Treble : Smooth, not really extended, IMO the treble here is just like a complementary of the sound, not the main focus of the Singolo.
It’s not bad by any means, but it's just decent, that’s it.

Technicalities
Good for $70
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Stage : Wide for its price. (Very good)
Stage layering is also present, the shape is symmetrical in width and depth.

Imaging : 2.5D sounding (Good)
It has that 2.5D sounding characteristics that I always use to describe in the Imaging section.
It’s not holographic, but not really 2D sounding either, it has decent layering to its sound but not quite holographic, that's what I meant by 2.5D sounding

Positioning & Separation : Good
I can pinpoint and separate sound without any issues, though the Singolo does not have the sharpest object pinpoint capabilities, but it’s usable for gaming like Valorant.

Detail Retrieval : Good
The Singolo has very good bass detail, good midrange detail, and decent treble detail.
Probably the main focus of the Singolo here is Bass and Midrange Quality.

Comparison

Tanchjim 4u ($70)

The 4u has a full metal build, with shiny faceplates that easily attract fingerprints and scratches.
4u selling point is that it has 4 different bass tuning, while the Singolo only has one tuning and KARS.

Sound wise, the 4u has a better treble quality while the Singolo has better bass quality,
The 4u with its stock atmosphere tuning has more mid bass boost compared to the Singolo, but the bass quality is better on the Singolo, the humming and rumble and bass resolution is also superior in Singolo.

Though treble wise, the 4u has better resolving capabilities compared to the Singolo.

So probably the easiest way to decide is which one you prioritize.
Bass? Go with Singolo
Treble? Go with 4u

Conclusion

Can I recommend the Singolo?
Maybe?
If you’re an individual who appreciates good bass rumble and resolution you will probably like the Singolo.
It offers a very good bass quality thanks to KARS implementation and good midrange tuning for its price.
It’s also currently on a discount just in case you wanted to give it a shot.
Though one thing I must mention, be ready to swap eartips to get a good seal.

Thank you for reaching this far.

Just in case you're Indonesian or understand Bahasa Indonesia, you can watch the review here


-littlenezt.
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Zerstorer_GOhren

500+ Head-Fier
KIWI EARS SINGOLO: Aiming Towards Neutrality
Pros: ● Lightweight yet solidly built resin shell chassis.
● Aside from better sub bass presence, The KARS also minimises some occlusion effects thus driver flex issues will not occur.
● Quite an ear tip-dependant as it affects the sound quality output.
● While it can be amplified with sources with decent power output, this set scales well on better power output with high gain mode as it doesn't sound distorted at all.
● It includes two types of ear tips inside the box.
● Clear sub bass presence with a fairly texture mid bass while maintaining a clean bass response.
● Neutral, transparent and tidy midrange presentation.
● Smooth and inoffensive treble response.
● Not a hint of harshness and sibilance.
Cons: ● Quality of its stock cable.
● Included stock ear tips will not give you that intended tuning of this set that you need some third party ear tips.
● A bit hollowed mid bass (stock ear tips)
● Lean and recessed midrange (stock ear tips)
● Absolutely not for treble heads as it doesn't have that brightness on its treble response and also, treble air is rather modest in my opinion.
● Lacklustre on its overall technical performance.
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KIWI EARS IEMs are currently one of the most featured products here in my review content in both my own blog and in an audio forum site that I usually hangout and quite active in some topic threads. Since the KIWI EARS Cadenza, I've always been interested in its upcoming model releases ever since.

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And now, KIWI EARS releases their latest entry-level IEM and it is also a collaboration with one of the most influential audio reviewers in YouTube, Crinacle. This is KIWI EARS SINGOLO and it is a single driver configuration IEM with some interesting passive resonance filter technology on it.

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The SINGOLO has a custom 11 mm dynamic driver with LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) diaphragm that were sourced from Japan. LCP is known for its tensile strength and firmness for better transient response that conveys a clear and crisp sound while retaining its natural timbre and tonality. Aside from its dynamic drivers, KIWI EARS also implemented their own passive resonance filter called KARS (Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System) in which based on a Helmholtz resonance principle in which is an airflow resonance phenomena in a chamber that is also applied on both physics and acoustic engineering. In the field of acoustics engineering, the Helmholtz resonance is also applied in principle on bass-reflex Hi-Fi speakers and it is also known that our own mouth with some instruments like Jaw harp is practically a Helmholtz resonance. The KARS will improve and regulate the air pressure within its acoustic cavity to deliver a more consistent and solid bass response with a tighter and well-controlled deep rumbling sound.

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The internals were encapsulated in a 3D-printed resin shell chassis that takes a shape on a standard UIEM-type mould. This form factor will give the best possible fitting for most ear sizes but its brass nozzle seems to be relatively short and stubby that might be problematic to some ears. It has a blue-ish hue with some glitters on its faceplate while it has a clear cavity base where you look upon the driver and maze-like acoustic tubing. Like all KIWI EARS models, this set has a standard 2-pin connector as its interchangeable mechanism.

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As for fitting and comfort, the SINGOLO is quite fits well into my lugholes as it really rest comfortably without any discomfort issues, but for those ears aren't particularly suits well with short stubby nozzles, try eartip-rolling on this one, ear tips with long stem ones might work. Good passive noise isolation is possible to achieve as long as you have ear tips that will give you the best sealing.

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About its stock cable that was included with this set, it is relatively on the thinner side when it comes to texture and that said cable, while it is quite supple to hold, the quality isn't on par to some other IEMs in the same price range as some its competitors have thicker, better materials and resistant to entangling. The cable is probably made of silver-plated oxygen-free copper with a clear PVC-coated insulator with an L-shaped 3.5mm termination plug.

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The product packaging of SINGOLO is quite elementary like all KIWI EARS sets in the entry-level segment. Even the quantity of accessories is fairly scanty just to cover some basics on using this set.

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Here are the following contents inside of KIWI EARS SINGOLO's packaging box:
  • Pair of KIWI EARS SINGOLO IEM transducers.
  • Stock cable
  • Three (3) pairs of black wide bore silicone ear tips in different standard sizes.
  • Three (3) pairs of white narrow bore silicone ear tips in different standard sizes.
  • User's manual

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The KIWI EARS SINGOLO can be amplified with sources with decent power output in usual normal gain mode but to show its full potential and better dynamics, a better sources with better and more powerful Hi-Fi DAC/Amp would be a better choice for this set as it quite scales more on power.

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In terms of tonality, these are some matters I should address that this set is quite ear tip-dependent as it influences the air conduction from its sound waves. Narrow bore ear tips will give a mild U-shaped bass-boosted sound profile while the wide bore ear tips will give a tad brighter mild U-shaped sound. A third party ear tips like the Divinus Velvet will give a bit more of a balanced-neutral sound with some bass boost on it.

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(Graph was provided by @baskingshark, credit to his effort on this one.)

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LOWS/BASS:

This bass section is probably the most prominent part of its overall frequency range. It's more focused on the sub bass part than the mid bass region as it has more reverberating with good depth and incisive bass response.

Like I mentioned regarding its sub bass presence, I clearly felt the reverberation and rumble from certain instruments like synthesisers, low tuned bass guitars and drum machines. Meanwhile on its mid bass part, I consider it as sufficiently textured although it sounds a bit hollowed on wide bore ear tips for some reason. Bass guitars sound sombre and resonant while double bass has a bit broader sound on it but if we use the wide bore ear tips, it sounds a bit dull and hollow. Bass kick drums have these rumbling and eerie sounds on every stroke, but again, using a wide bore on this one will make it sound rather hollow. On bass and bass-baritones, while they have a sufficient heft and some richness, they don't have that darker tone, sounds a bit too light that its doesn't have that plush and wool-like texture on their vocals but surprising I clearly hear to vocals ends which a quick vibrato that resonates well.


MIDRANGE:

I really thought that sounds too recessed at first impression but as I listened to it for a longer session, it has only some slight notch on the midrange presentation as it sounds clear, neutral and transparent as it was intendedly tuned. Mostly vocals and some of the instruments will sound clear and natural on this one and due its ear tip dependant ilk on it, narrow and balanced bore will give a tad fuller and texture sound on most male vocals and mostly on brasses and percussions while wide bore ones will give more emphasis on females vocals and woodwinds instruments.

Under male vocals, almost all types of voices of this particular gender will sound a bit too lean on wide bore ear tips. All of my sound character descriptions in this category will be based upon both narrow-bored and balanced-bored ear tips. Baritones have plush and smooth sound quality on their vocals while tenors have brassy, rich and emotive sound on them and then, countertenors have smoother, light and graceful sound. The contraltos which is a female vocal type will sound fare well on this type of ear tips as it will give more weight and richness on this particular vocal type. On female vocals, narrow and balanced bore ear tips will somehow give more smoother, golden and velvety on mezzo-sopranos while sopranos will sound more creamy, emotive and rich on their voices. Wide bore ear tips will make them more lively and fervid on mezzo-sopranos while it adds more silvery and gleaming on sopranos.

On instruments, narrow and balanced ear tips will give a fuller and organic sound on brasses and percussives that I will describe briefly on each individual instrument.

Brasses:

Trumpets - Sounds full and rounded
Trombones - Fairly solid and dramatic sound
Horns - Velvety albeit a bit mellow.

Percussives:

Tom-toms - Resonant sounding with sufficient warmth
Snare drums - Has a hard and penetrating sound.
Tenor drums - Sombre and sonorous sounding
Kettledrums - boomy and rumbling although a bit mellow.

I also want to add cellos on this one too despite being a string instrument, it has a sonorous, silky and calming sound in which I consider it as a natural with its tonal note versatility.

In wide bored ear tips, it appears that it added some emphasis on timbre definition on woodwinds and some string instruments.

Woodwinds:

Concert Flutes - Mellow, rich and brilliant sound
Piccolos - A tad penetrating and shrill sounding.
Clarinets - Too vivid and shrill sounding.
Saxophones- Reedy and incisive sounding.

Strings:

Guitars - Quite balanced and some buttery, some tracks with acoustic guitars sound more crisper and dry sounding.
Violins - Vibrant, brilliant and a tad metallic sound on every motion on its bowstrings.
Harps - Resonant, sharp and metallic sounding.

The sound of the piano of this one is quite well-balanced and pretty even tone so as to maintain a consistent timbre on its note keys while having an articulate resonance and sufficient rich and sweet tone.


HIGHS/TREBLE:

Again, I will bring up its ear tip dependent state of this set as it somehow truly affects the treble response from each type of ear tip bore. Wide bore will give a tad more brighter sound that the elevation on upper-mids up to the brilliance part of the treble region will give more crisp, detail and definition on vocals and attack of instruments but at expense of having a shrill, piercing and intense sound that might be bothersome to most treble sensitive folk.

Both narrow and balanced bores will give smoother, evened and well-balanced treble response but there's a caveat, it loses some energy and clarity while it lessens the shrill and piercing sound on vocal and instrument definition.

Both ear tips won't give us that airy treble extension on its brilliance and moderate sparkling sound (narrow bore ear tips will even lessened but not to the point of being a dull sounding). Cymbals will sound lustrous and resonant while hi-hats have its short full and buzzing on its distinctive chicky sound. On percussive chordophones like glockenspiels (keyboard) and celestas, the former has a sufficient shimmering and lustrous sound while the latter one has a mellow and sweet sound.


SOUNDSTAGE, IMAGING AND OTHER TECHNICALITIES:

It seems that technicalities aren't SINGOLO's strongest asset given how it performs in this aspect as it projects a rather intimate head stage dimension. It has a fairly average sound field size as it has median lateral span, average height ceiling and less depth on its overall sound/speaker stage.

On its stereo imaging, it projects a typical two-dimensional presentation in a less defined layering of frequency and dynamic tones of instruments and vocals that it somehow affects the separation performance. So playing a complex track with multi-instrument performance will be less appealing on this set.

Coherency of its dynamic driver appears to be excellent in this regard as it is able to execute a fast and responsive transient performance without any distortion. Resolution capabilities on this one is rather a mixed bag as it is one of the less resolving single dynamic driver IEM I've ever tested. Its micro-detail definition is rather blunted that it is quite inadequate to retrieve some details and nuances from an audio track but its macro-dynamics appears to be decent on its compression.


PEER COMPARISONS:

EPZ Q1 PRO

  • Like the SINGOLO, this set also has a single dynamic driver and a shell chassis made of resin but it doesn't have some special features like the KARS on the SINGOLO. Its 10mm dual chambered dynamic driver has a composite diaphragm composed of PU and LCP materials, and it was encased in a more compact UIEM-type resin shell chassis. Compared to the SINGOLO, the quantity of inclusion is relatively meagre but at least it has a storage pouch in which the former doesn't have one and also the stock cable is a bit better.
  • The EPZ Q1 PRO has more coloured tuning as it has a U-shaped sound profile with a bit of warmth of its overall tonality. Compared to SINGOLO, this set has a more punchy bass response, a reasonably textured midrange which is more flexible on vocals and instruments in terms of timbre and tonality, and a smooth and less airy treble presentation. On technical capabilities, this set has a bit more spacious head stage in width, height and depth in a concave-like stereo imaging presentation in a not so well-defined layering on its soundscape. But at least, compared to SINGOLO, this one is more resolving in both macro-dynamics and micro-detail capabilities.

EPZ x TIPSY STAR & ONE
  • Another set with similar construction build with SINGOLO as it also has a single dynamic driver set-up and it also encased in a resin shell chassis, but difference are that like its Q1 PRO cousin, it has composite diaphragm on its dynamic driver, its resin shell chassis is pretty more compact in size, and similar quantity of included accessories inside of its packaging box.
  • STAR & ONE has a U to V-shaped sound signature (depending on gain mode) as it has more well-bodied bass response, a tad warmer but more midrange presentation and a brighter treble response as it has more sparkle and airy treble response. On its technical performance, compared to the SINGOLO, this set has a wider sound/speaker stage, similar stereo imaging presentation, it has satisfactory layering and separation, and its overall resolution capabilities is a bit better.

KEFINE DELCI
  • While it also has a dynamic driver configuration, it was encased in a metal alloy structure which is made of aluminium alloy. Inside of its dual cavity dynamic driver, it has a composite diaphragm made up of DLC and PU material. The DELCI has better included accessories as it has a sturdier stock cable and a storage case.
  • The DELCI's tonality has a warm U-shaped that makes it relatively an analogue-ish sound profile. Compared to the SINGOLO, it has more coloured sound as it has more punchy and tactile bass, a warmer and textured midrange for fuller and lush voices especially on male vocals and brass instruments, and also smooth and inoffensive treble presentation although it has a moderate airy extension. On its overall technical performance, this set can project an average to above average sound/speaker stage, a concave-like spatial stereo imaging in decently layered soundscape with fairly separation of instruments and vocals, and a similar resolving capabilities with the SINGOLO in terms of micro-dynamics.

As I concluded this review, this is one of the sets that doesn't have that impact in my initial testing but as the test goes by with some modifications like ear tip rolling, I understand and got some idea on what particular tuning that this set is aiming for if you got the proper ear tips to put into it. That KARS technology that was implemented here is probably its selling point and somehow it really works.

Once again, to sum up this assessment, the KIWI SINGOLO is definitely one of the sets that will be on the side of “acquired taste” type of tuning in which might be pleasing to the ears of some audio enthusiasts who seeks uniquely tuned set (Fortunately, I am also that kind of audio enthusiast). But regarding the quality and quantity of accessories, I hope that KIWI EARS will improve in this category as they are still quite elementary and rudimentary on this one.

KIWI EARS SINGOLO is exclusively available only in LINSOUL, you can check out the non-affiliate link below.


★★KIWI EARS SINGOLO - LINSOUL★★


For more KIWI EARS products, here are some of the previous product reviews on the said company.

■ KIWI EARS CADENZA

■ KIWI EARS QUARTET

■ KIWI EARS QUINTET

■ KIWI EARS FORTEZA

■ KIWI EARS MELODY


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SPECIFICATION:

MODEL:
KIWI EARS SINGOLO
IMPEDANCE: 32Ω
SENSITIVITY: 106L8dB
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz – 20KHz
CABLE LENGTH: 1.2M
PIN TYPE: 0.78mm 2-PIN CONNECTOR
PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm
DRIVER UNIT(S): (1) DYNAMIC DRIVER


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

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


P.S.

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

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


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Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Comfortable in sound
Pros: Good clean Bass with decent Midrange and vocals, build is solid and good looking.
Cons: Underwhelming accessories, treble response and short nozzles.
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Specifications

Model: Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo.
Driver: 11mm custom dynamic driver + KIWI Acoustic Resonance System (KARS).
Frequency response: 20Hz- 20kHz.
Sensitivity: 108dBSPL/mW.
Impedance: 32Ω.
Capsule material: Resin.
Cable length: 1.2 meters.
Connection interface: 0.78mm.
Plug type: 3.5mm SE.

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The Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo is another collaboration from Crinacle with his signature sound and an interesting innovative technology the (Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System).
The Medical grade resin is comfortable and despite the short nozzles I found the isolation good as well as the fit. The Singolo comes with the units, a cable and some tips. accessories are sparce and the silver-plated cable is just fine but nothing special. It does have those odd 7Hz style curved horn shaped two pin connectors. The Singolo has a 11mm custom LCP dynamic driver that was made in Japan for them.



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Here are my impressions of the Kiwi ears Singolo:

Bass: is the subject of focus here. The 11mm driver and Helmholtz resonator give a clean and deep Bass response with Sub-Bass front and center with good depth and a healthy rumble, Bass in general is well textured and Mid-Bass has a speedy and notable impact but is not the most accurate.

Midrange: While not the most technical the Mids do have a natural tonality and present almost Neutral. There is a little recession in the lower Mids and a mild warmth, upper mids are transparent and neutral for the most part. body and vocal energy are above average.

Treble: The Highs are relaxed with a decent but lackluster amount of energy and sparkle, there is enough air and details but ultimately it is a smooth and relaxed extension.

Soundstage: Is decently Wide with less depth and good imaging and separation. this is not a technical IEM but it does good enough here.

Equipment Used:
I use a large variety of devices but mostly I used the Fosi SK02, Burson Funk, Tempotech V6, Pixel 8 pro, Pixel 7, the Questyle M15, ifi GoBar, Diablo-2 and Gryphon for most of this.

My final thoughts:
I like the enjoyable signature of the Singolo for Jazz and K-pop music, not that it didn't work on rock and Pop, but I think there are others in the price range that do a better job. that said the Bass is fantastic on these. I think they would be a good travel companion.

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o0genesis0o

Headphoneus Supremus
KiwiEars Singolo - Great technology hamstrung by fit problems
Pros: + Bass
+ Technology
Cons: - Fit
- Lack of treble energy
It is very likely that your experience with this IEM would be very different from mine.

The most tricky thing about reading and writing reviews of IEMs is that they are personal audio devices. The “personal” aspect here goes beyond one’s preference for a a particular musical genres, a band, or a singer. No. It’s the shape of one’s ears, the place where they listen to music, the device from which they get the audio signal, and even the loudness at which they listen that paints a very different sonic picture for each listener.

That has been the case for every IEM, but these new IEMs from KiwiEars, the Singolo, are more challenging than most. It is a shame because behind the challenging fit lies an impressive skill in shaping the frequency response of a dynamic driver that is almost unseen until now.

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Forewords​

  • What I look for in an IEM is immersion. I want to feel the orchestra around my head, track individual instruments, and hear all of their textures and details. I’m not picky about tonality, as long as it is not make the orchestra, violin, cellos, and pianos sound wrong.
  • I rate IEMs within with a consistent scale from 1 (Poor) to 3 (Good) to 5 (Outstanding). An overall ranking of 3/5 or above is considered positive.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • Terms used in my reviews are consistent with the glossary by Headphonesty
  • This review is based on a review sample from Linsoul (Thank you!). I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Linsoul or KiwiEars.
  • The unit retails for $79 at the time this review was published. Unaffiliated link: https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo

General Information​

At the heart of Singolo is a single 11mm dynamic driver (DD) with a Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragm. You might have already heard LCP drivers in some Sony IEMs or the classic Moondrop Aria 2021. The diameter of the DD is slightly larger than usual, but other than that, its simply a decent DD. The way KiwiEars tunes this driver is where things get interested.

Looking closely at the transparent shells of Singolo, you would see an 3D-printed sound tube connected to the back vent of the DD. This tube folds upon itself multiple times before connecting to a small vent hole on the IEM shell. KiwiEars calls this system “Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System” (KARS).

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You might ask: “what’s the big deal?”

I’m glad you asked. Let me geek out a bit. If you have ever dabbled in DIYing a pair of flathead earbuds or modding your IEMs, you would have undoubtedly engaged in tuning DD to reach an agreeable frequency response. The thing about DD is that there is not much you can do (or at least I can do) to force it to conform to a target, besides applying a parametric EQ profile. Here are some ways you can tune a DD:

  • Change the driver: each driver has its own characteristics and idiocrasies that you can take advantage. Ideally, you would want a driver to be as close to your ideal sound as possible as the starting point.
  • Change the shells: unlike balanced armature (BA) drivers, DD relies a lot on the shape of the shells, particularly the acoustic chamber that holds the driver. For example, in the flathead earbuds world, one of the trick is drilling a hole at the back of the shells to create a bass tube at the back of the driver (are you seeing that KiwiEars KARS resemblance?)
  • Chock the back vent with filter: As you know, a DD generally has an opening at the front to release the sound and a vent hole at the back to release or balance the pressure behind the diaphragm. When the pressure is higher, the diaphragm is more “dampened.” One way to increase this pressure is to put a thicker filter to “choke” the driver. This trick makes it harder for the DD to vibrate, which can lead to “tighter” transient response.
  • Chock or open the front vent next to the nozzle: this prevents the excess pressure from escaping, significantly increase the midbass and lower mid. Alternatively, you can increase the openess of the front vent to reduce the bass.
  • Putting foams and filter in the nozzle: this might be the most familiar trick used by manufacturers. The idea here is to cut back the energy in the treble region. If you can change the inner diameter of the nozzles, you can change the shape of the upper midrange too. Again, for amateurs like myself, this activity is more trial and error than exact science.
Looking at these options, it’s obvious that KiwiEars has applied the first option by choosing a particular LCP driver for this project. The KARS system simultaneously implements all of the remaining options to shape the frequency response of Singolo. Here, instead of using a filter, KiwiEars use the air volume inside the KARS tube to dampen the back vent. In conjunction with another tube at the front of the DD to release excess energy coming out of the DD, KiwiEars can precisely fine-tune the response of the DD without relying on any foam or nylon filter, thus preserving the integrity of the transients.

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Another purpose of the KARS tube is acting as a Helmholtzs resonator. As you can see, when the diaphram inside the DD vibrates, it would vibrate the air volume inside KARS tube. When it vibrates, it can make sound (think of the time when you blow air across the opening of a bottle). By carefully control the parameters of this resonator, KiwiEars can push the resonance frequency of the system down to the subbass region. Another IEM utilising this technique was AFUL Magic One.

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In summary, by careful manipulation of the KARS tube, KiwiEars managed to create a single DD IEM that is tuned almost identically to “well-tuned” multi-driver IEMs, such as Monarch MkII from subbass up to around 6kHz. And they did it without any electronic crossover, any foam or nylon filter.

To me, this is quite a feat of engineering.

Non-sound Aspects​

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Packaging and accessories: Quite modest. In fact, I would say Singolo is downright below average on this aspect. Inside the small box, you have the earpieces themselves, a flimsy 3.5mm cable, and two sets of ear tips that likely wouldn’t work with your ears.

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Ear pieces design: This is where all of the woes of Singolo come from, in my opinion. On the plus side, the earpieces are quite small and smooth, so they wouldn’t create any ear pain. On the negative side, the nozzles of Singolo are simply too short. Moreover, the bulk of the DD tend to force the nozzle to sit at a slightly awkward angle. As a result, short ear tips likely fail to seal because they don’t reach deep enough into the ear canals. Longer ear tips might not be able to seal either due to the angle of the nozzles. As you know, if you cannot get a seal, an IEM is not usable.

Ear tips recommendation: Let me describe how the lack of seal sound before we talk about some good ear tips. With the stock ear tips, I cannot consistently seal the ear canal, leading to a “no-bass” experience. With SpinFit CP100 and W1, the stickiness of the tips make it feels like I have achieved a decent seal, and it is true that I can hear some bass. However, there is a strange hollowness in the lower midrange, and the soundstage feels oddly wide but hollow. Moreover, the upper midrange can sound harsh with some tracks.

In the end, I settled for two options:

  • Comply foam tips
  • Divinus Velvet silicone tips

Driveability​

Singolo is not hard to drive. Its impedance (32ohm) and sensitivity (108dB/mW) are neither too high or too low, putting it within the sweat spot of many portable DAC/amp devices. However, it does sound better with better DAC and more powerful amplifiers. Using Victory (Live) from the Live album by Two Steps from Hell as an example, I hear the following changes:

  • Apple dongle: Singolo sounds acceptable but not particularly interesting or good. “Slightly mushy” would be the keyword that I use to describe the presentation across the frequency spectrum.
  • HiBy R3II (4.4mm, high gain): The mushiness is mostly gone. I also start to hear some resemblance of depth and layering in the stereo imaging (i.e., separation between closer and further sounds in a mix).
  • iBasso DX300 (4.4mm, medium gain): Singolo sounds quite good. The bass line is highlighted. Bass attacks feel sharper and more defined. Instruments are more spread out across the stage.

Subjective Experience​

Testing setup:

  • Sources: DX300
  • Cable: NiceHck Black Cat 4.4mm
  • Ear tips: Comply foam tips
Timbre, tonality, and tonal balance: Singolo embodies the almost cliche “well-tuned” signature with a distinct bass shelf, flat lower midrange and a slight tilt toward the upper midrange. However, it lacks the treble extension after around 8kHz. I sometimes joke that this IEM is a simulation of hearing lost that younger audiophiles would eventually have.

In practice, it means this IEM is unlikely to sound “wrong”, unless you haven’t been able to achieve a proper seal. The piano in Goldberg’s Variations by Lang Lang sounds balanced and realistic, making it relatively easy for me to follow individual voices. Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra sounds correct and natural, though lacks a certain “shine” that I expected due to the more subdued treble response of Singolo (no, silicone tips do not improve the situation here).

However, the timbre of the violin is a bit off, as if there is a bit imbalance towards the upper midrange and likely a bit too much energy around the 3kHz, when I listen to four seasons by Janine Jansen and ensemble. The same observation was found when I listen to Bomsori: Violin on Stage album. The situation was a little bit better with Bach: Sei Solo by Leonidas Kavakos. Still, if you pay a lot of attention of violin, this IEM is not an ideal option.

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The theme of slightly unbalance midrange carries over to vocal musics. For example, when I listen to = album by Ed Sheeran, I miss a bit richness in his voice and find that the shoutiness of his voice was highlighted more than my preference. At the same time, there is a lack of “shine” of high-frequency energy. To put it bluntly, Singolo makes this album sounds a bit dull. On the plus side, it provides a very comfortable listening experience, almost free of sibilance even with harsh recordings in this album like “Shivers.”

In summary, I would consider the tonality of Singolo to be good (3/5).

Bass and perceived dynamic: The bass of Singolo is a highlight of its presentation. For instance, when I listen to Gundam Build Fighter OST by Yuki Hayashi, I can hear and feel positive and definite “thumps” from the bass line. Some tracks such as Iori Hobby Shop is downright entertaining with Singolo due to the physical sensation of the bass notes. My only complain is that the perceived dynamic of Singolo is not as impressive as bass response. Simply put, the transients (volume spikes) are not snappy and sharp, likely due to the more subdued treble response.

Still, I would say the bass of Singolo is pretty great (4/5).

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Resolution: To me, “resolution” can be broken down into three components: (1) Sharpness, incisiveness, or “definition” of note attacks (see the figure above). (2) The separation of instruments and vocals, especially when they overlap on the soundstage. (3) The texture and details in the decay side of the notes. The first two give music clarity and make it easy to track individual elements of a mix. The last provides music details and nuances.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed by the resolution of Singolo. Whilst the zero dampening design does a decent job at preserving the micro details at the decay end of the notes, the perceived resolution was held back by the weaker performance of both the definition of note attacks and separation of instruments and vocals. In direct comparison against the Moondrop Aria, I was disappointed to find that not much progress has been made on the resolution front.

At the end of the day, the resolution of Singolo is acceptable (2/5), but uninspiring.

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Stereo imaging and soundstage: Stereo imaging or “soundstage” is a psychoacoustic illusion that different recording elements appear at various locations inside and around your head. Your brain creates based on the cues in the recording, which are enhanced or diminushed by your IEMs, your DAC, and your amplifier. In rare cases, with some specific songs, some IEMs can trick you into thinking that the sound comes from the environment (a.k.a., “holographic”)

There are not much to say about the stereo imaging ability and soundstage shape of Singolo. The stereo image is not blurry but not particularly pin point. The soundstage is mostly in the head with more width (left-to-right separation) than depth (front-to-back separation) and height. Layering is not significant due to the weaker instrument separation. Even when boosted by the DX300, the stereo imaging and soundstage of Singolo is acceptable (2/5) but left me wanting more.

Multimedia usage: Given the uninspiring soundstage performance with music, I did not have much expectation for the performance of Singolo in FPS gaming. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how competent it is. In both CS Go and CS2, I can sense the direction and distance of the sound from all angle, even the front where most IEMs tend to sound flat and closed in. The muted treble response also reduce fatigue.

Frequency Response Analysis​

Frequency response of Crimson against Helios and the Harman in-ear target. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Above 8kHz, the measurement might not be correct. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.

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It is helpful to think of an IEM as a filter that highlights or subdues different parts of the incoming audio signal. This effect can be measured objectively by the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs, which measure how loud an IEM is at different frequencies from 20Hz (bass) to 20kHz (upper treble). Subjectivity is how your ears and brain interpret the effect of that filter on your music and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” There are some “rules of thumb” when it comes to tonality, but most interesting IEMs usually bend the rules masterfully.

Usually, I would have elaborated analysis and discussion. However, I think the graph speaks for itself in this case.

Conclusions​

I’m conflicted about the Singolo. On the one hand, it demonstrates a fascinating level of technical expertise that is objectively verifiable. On the other hand, beside the great bass response, the actual sonic performance does not reach beyond the “acceptable” level established by the old guards like the Moondrop Aria. And then, we have the fit problem mentioned by many users. Whilst I’m very enthusiastic about the technology and technique presented here, I cannot recommend Singolo in 2024 unless you are would like to support the company and the tuner.

What I like about this IEM:

  • Bass
  • Technology
What could be improved:

  • Fit
  • Lack of treble energy
Absolute Sonic Quality Rating: 3/5 - Acceptable

Bias Score: 3/5 - I’m lukewarm about this IEM

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Updated: May 12, 2024

cqtek

1000+ Head-Fier
Subwoofer For Bass-Heads
Pros: The Kiwi Ears Singolo try to carve a distinctive niche for themselves among so many similar IEMS.
- Voluminous and powerful bass, thanks to the good innovation of the KARS.
- Soft but well extended and natural treble.
- Pleasant and musical tuning from the midrange onwards.
- Very good comfort and ergonomics.
- They arouse a mixed feeling, sometimes they seem quite good, sometimes not so good.
Cons: They need some break-in, power and volume to "wake up" the midrange and high frequencies.
- Technically average.
- Sound somewhat compressed in layers.
- Specialised profile, not for all tastes.
- Very sparing in accessories for the price.
Introduction

Kiwi Ears are a small international group of engineers with the sole aim of producing the best sounding audio solutions for musicians and audiophiles. They focus on developing the latest driver technology innovations with refined tuning strategies that reveal all the nuances of music and performance. This time, they have collaborated with Crinacle, one of the world's most reputable audio critics, to create the new Kiwi Ears Singolo. The Singolo is a custom 11mm dynamic driver IEM featuring the revolutionary Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System (KARS). KARS is a discrete bandpass filter that manipulates the airflow to the driver, regulating the low-frequency output. This patented innovation features an elaborate labyrinth-like network of tubes that has been designed based on numerous scientific and physical models to perfectly calculate the right resonance point for the Singolo transducer. The KARS makes a tight subwoofer shelf possible, something that was previously impossible in a single-transducer IEM. Unlike traditional crossover filters that use multiple transducers with RC (resistor-capacitor) networks, KARS uses Helmholtz resonance to regulate their tuning. The airflow to a dynamic transducer regulates how much the diaphragm can respond, but also requires additional calculations of flow rate, direction and volume. The KARS allows precise regulation of this airflow to manipulate the sound as desired. While capacitors and resistors provide a calculated medium for crossover solutions, they also add unwanted artefacts to the sound in the form of distortion, especially when using cheap SMD components. With KARS, the sound you hear comes directly from the transducer itself, resulting in a pure, higher resolution audio experience without the encumbrance of passive electrical components. KARS is 3D printed to an accuracy of 1.0 micron. The Singolo incorporates a custom Japanese liquid crystal polymer (LCP) diaphragm driver. This 11mm dynamic transducer has been custom created for the KARS, with unique front and rear acoustic chamber profiles. The Singolo is tuned according to Crinacle's tonal signature. It is a synthesis of all the best tuning profiles found in the world's most successful headphones over the years. With an 8 dB sub-bass boost, the bass is incredibly punchy and powerful, but cuts off impeccably at 300 Hz. This allows for a neutral midrange that articulates the natural sound of vocals and instruments without any artificial distortion. The treble follows the perfect compensatory curvature of the pinna, with a clean peak at 3 kHz and a natural roll-off into the upper treble.
After all that talk, let's see how the Crinacle Kiwi Ears Singolo really perform.

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Specifications

  • Model: Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo.
  • Driver: 11mm custom dynamic driver + KIWI Acoustic Resonance System (KARS).
  • Frequency response: 20Hz- 20kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 108dBSPL/mW.
  • Impedance: 32Ω.
  • Capsule material: Resin.
  • Cable length: 1.2 meters.
  • Connection interface: 0.78mm.
  • Plug type: 3.5mm SE.
  • Mouthpiece inner diameter: 4mm.
  • Suitable ear tip size: 4-4.5mm.
  • PRICE: $79.00 USD.
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Packaging

The Kiwi Ears Singolo comes in a medium-sized box with a mix of blue and black background. Its dimensions are 146x122x38mm. On the main side you can see, at the top, the logo of the brand and also the Crinacle logo. In the centre there is a real photo of the capsules on gold ink brushstrokes. At the bottom is the model name and a short description of the model, all in white ink. On the back, at the top left, are the logos of all the certifications held by the product. To the right is the brand logo in large print. In the centre, the model name and description are repeated. At the bottom are the brand name, e-mail address, web address and distributors. Removing the cardboard cover reveals a black box with a silver brand logo in the centre. After opening the lid you can see the IEMS with the cable inside a black foam mould. Underneath is a black cardboard lid with the brand logo in silver. Under that cardboard is the rest of the cable and accessories. In a nutshell:

  • The Kiwi Ears Singolo x Crinacle.
  • A silver-plated single-strand cable coated with clear PVC.
  • Three pairs of black tips sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of white tips sizes SxMxL.
  • One instruction manual.

And nothing else. For a set costing around $80, there is no storage bag or pouch. The cable is just average, with a tendency to stiffness, although I like the curved design of the plug sleeve, as well as the 2Pin 0.78mm connectors, and the cylindrical metal cover installed on all these parts. The tip set is standard, completing a limited accessory set for the price.

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Construction and Design

The capsules of the Kiwi Ears Singolo are made of resin. They do not have a semi-custom shape, but a classic one, with a triangular outer shape with rounded corners and a smooth, but continuously curved inner side. The outer face is blue on a fluid micro glitter base that varies in shades of blue to white, with almost pinkish tones in between. In the centre is the brand logo in silver. The capsules are relatively thick compared to the small-medium size of the set. The inner face is completely transparent, emphasising the visibility of the internal construction and those ducts that make up the KARS. You can see a duct that connects the driver output face to the base of the driver and then that labyrinth-like duct that connects a plate above the base to the output at the edge of the capsule. Enlarging the photo you can see the steps of the KARS made with 1 micron precision. The driver is relatively large, 11mm, coated in metal, while on the side near the apex you can read the name of the brand written on that cylinder. The inner side is very rounded and the transparency allows you to see the driver diaphragm at the base of the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is metallic, with a minor diameter of 5.3mm and a crown of approximately 6.55mm. The total length is around 4mm and they are protected by a multi-perforated metal grille. Finally, the 2Pin 0.78mm connection interface is fully integrated into the rim of the capsules and is gold-plated.
The cable is a simple transparent strand whose conductor looks like silver-plated copper. It is somewhat stiff although not very thick, which is classic when it comes to this translucent PVC coating. All connector sleeves are curved and made of a whitish plastic. They are small parts with a cylindrical metal cover. The gold-plated 3.5mm SE plug is located near the cable outlet. On the 2 Pin 0.78mm connection interface it is at the base of the two gold-plated pins. The pin is at 90 degrees while the sleeve of the 2Pin connectors does not reach that many degrees, although it is clearly curved. The splitter is a smooth metal cylinder and the pin is a translucent plastic piece with a double through-hole. It is effective enough to hold the adjustment.
As you can read in the introduction, Kiwi Ears seems to have gone all out on the interior design of the capsule, with the patented KARS replacing any electronic crossover filter. In the end, it looks like a simple labyrinthine duct that has been seen in other IEMS. Otherwise, the capsule's exterior design is pleasing, very rounded, with generous nozzles in diameter although somewhat short. The cable, given the price and the scarcity of accessories, could be better. There is no choice of balanced plug.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

The size of the capsules is small-medium, somewhat thick. Their weight is very light. All this, together with a very rounded shape, fits very well in the pinna. The problem comes with the diameter of the mouthpieces and their length. Their projection is very good, as is their inclination. But the thickness can be a bit big for some ear canals. Not for mine, whose diameter is quite large. Using my large tips filled with a lot of foam, I get that classic occlusive and long-lasting surface insertion. The good shape of the capsules limits rotation and the isolation, using my homemade tips, is very good. However, it is clear that the use of these specific tips, together with the diameter of the mouthpieces, can lead to some fatigue over the hours, despite the large size of my ear canals. Nevertheless, the ergonomics are more than remarkable and quite durable.

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Sound

Profile


The profile of the Singolo is somewhat peculiar, oscillating between a V-U, with that excitement in the sub-bass and midrange. However, the highs are quite nuanced and, perhaps, that is the crux of the matter. Thanks to the KARS, the bass is the star of the show. Designed to sound like a subwoofer, the Singolo's bass is big, voluminous and wide, even if it has a distinct drop-off as it enters the low-midrange. The first half of the midrange feels a little sunken and the midrange stays there until a gentle rise up to 4kHz. From that point on, there is an abrupt drop and the treble softens up a lot. It is not a dark profile, but rather a more nuanced and softened profile in brightness, sounding a bit dry and sparse, a bit forced.
Finally, the Kiwi Ears Singolo are somewhat difficult to move.

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Bass

Without a doubt, the bass of the Kiwi Ears Singolo is big and voluminous. The low end is certainly intrusive and permeates the entire soundstage. It's a bass with range, medium speed, that lingers in the room. It is relatively agile, but its strength and effect is felt in the air and in volume, it stays in the head and is not so quick to collect itself. This makes the spin more impressive, but the hit is effective, well-drawn and very punchy. It is not a dry hit, but juicy, but relatively well defined. It has a good dose of texture, plenty of bounce and power, both physical and sensory. And that shows in the very low frequency pure tone test. The low end is quite sensory with an audible undulating part. But, that sensory point possesses a good degree of power that comes to stun, like a dull kick. You can clearly perceive the power in the sub-bass and its sensory power. As the frequencies increase, this energy becomes more audible, but remains shattering and vast. Are the Singolo IEMS for bass heads? From their overwhelming behaviour in the sub-bass, I would say yes. That mix of sensory and physical power, coupled with the volume it generates, makes me think it can be included in this category.
Finally, in the test of dirty bass, unfiltered bases, complex and mixed bass lines, the Singolo's proved remarkably adept. Despite the grandeur of their bass, it is true that their intonation stops at the point where the midranges begin. From 20Hz to 250Hz there is a 10dB drop designed to deactivate the bass in the midrange. Does it succeed? It's tricky, but it works up to a point. On the plus side, the Singolo's are able to execute complex passages with a good level of definition, without clumping and without sounding drowned out or muddy. Admittedly, there is a lot of rumble and it is not one of the fastest basses to recover. But there is some ability to follow the lines, as long as they are not too fast. But, it is also true that the lines can get stuck together due to their own power and the volume they occupy in the atmosphere. This makes it not the cleanest when it comes to reproducing fast bass lines or layers. But, so much power is not easy to make disappear.

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Mids

The brand itself says that "the bass is impeccably cut at 300Hz. This allows for a neutral midrange that articulates the natural sound of vocals and instruments without any artificial distortion." The truth is that the first half of the midrange feels relatively sunken, more so, if the music has bass. In electronic music with vocals it is clear that the power of the bass affects the ambience and tends to crowd out the vocals. For a male range that already feels medium-distance, with a lean body, a somewhat dry sonority due to limited harmonics, the Singolo would not be the best choice if you want to enjoy it. When the bass is not very present, there is a tendency to want to turn up the volume to bring these male voices closer, because their sonority, although somewhat sparse, is felt in an analogue but muffled way. This implies a release of full sibilance, but leaves them with an unjuicy, mostly dry, dark-leaning body. On the other hand, the female voices don't stretch towards brightness either, despite the emancipation of the pinna gain. It is true that they are favoured, but they remain on a plane that is not entirely protagonist. Feminine sibilance can become subtly visible in those songs prone to it. But it's a thick, rounded, nuanced sheen, never penetrating, and brief.
In the rest of the instrumentation, this dull, dry, nuanced quality persists. In my opinion, the natural sound is more vivid and also more sparkling, without being annoying, of course. However, the Singolo's are too secure in this respect, as well as being somewhat distant. Do they sound good? As I say, there is a tendency to turn up the volume to enhance the fullness of the midrange and, as long as the bass doesn't appear, they can come across as fuller and more balanced. At that point, more enjoyable midranges appear, slightly soft, dark, yet musical. But that does not detract from the imbalance in the bass.

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Treble

To describe the high end, I refer again to the manufacturer's notes: "The treble follows the perfect compensatory curvature of the pinna, with a clean peak at 3 kHz and a natural decay towards the upper treble". Are the treble natural? Perhaps I could say they are naturally smooth. It is true that I have been commenting that the sound is muffled, dry and nuanced, that the harmonics are not felt very much. However, if we talk about pure treble, it is true that it is there and expressed in a more natural way than I had thought. With that initial peak at 4kHz and a steep drop of another 10dB, the treble is stretched into the air zone by means of a controlled undulation. The result is a high end that doesn't have a lot of energy, but is more homogeneous and realistic than expected, sounding smoothly natural and analogue. It is also descriptive and extensive enough to provide a good level of information. The downside is that the treble also feels a bit off from the midrange, hence the harmonic hollowness in the central range. In addition, their low energy also means that more power is needed to perceive them individually. The effect on the rest of the music is that their presence is relatively average.

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Soundstage, Separation

The scene is predominantly frontal, a clear sense of volume at the bottom giving it a good level of depth. However, it is not too wide. There is a correct lateral sensation and not too much headroom. The feeling is of a more compact and unified sound, where the separation is not very obvious, nor is the layering or stratification. Beyond the volume and space occupied by the bass, the midranges feel homogenous and fairly cohesive, something that keeps the sound from being too technical or possessing too much resolution. If the songs have enough treble, the ensemble responds in a more airy way. Otherwise, the feeling of dryness, sparse and relatively dark sound, will detract from the detail. With corresponding power, detail can come to the fore and the sound becomes cleaner. But, even in that scenario, the detail is somewhat coarse and not very well defined, declaring a medium resolution and a rather average technical behaviour. It is clear that the Singolo are more musical and fun in their bass section, than technical.
The image is just OK and not very remarkable in this department either.

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Comparisons

TKZK Ouranos


The TKZK Ouranos struck me as IEMS that were in the middle of the tuning of the late 2022 and early 2023 TinHiFi's (T2 DLC 2022, T4 Plus, C2 and C3). They were the softest in treble and with a bass in the middle. Personally, I have to say that I liked them a lot. Their ergonomics are a notch above the Singolo, due to their semi-custom shape. The cable is almost on a par, although the Ouranos is stiffer. In terms of accessories, both are very sparse, but the Ouranos come with a small cloth bag. The current price of the Ouranos is $55 compared to $79 for the Singolo.
What can you see from the comparison of the two frequency responses? You could almost say that the Ouranos are a Singolo with a softened subwoofer. Their curve is more balanced and rounder, with slightly more irregular treble. Subtly more sensitive, the Ouranos' profile seems more homogeneous, balanced and fuller. There is some similarity in the way the bass of the two IEMS performs, neither is too fast and the power control found in the Ouranos gave it a certain amount of joy and vigour. In the Singolo this character is clearly enhanced and it does feel like a more exaggerated Ouranos in the sub-bass, but also less compact and staying more in the room. The LFOs work quite well on both IEMSs, executing the pure tones very well, but with that familiar sensory and physical superiority of the Singolo. But so much power is difficult to dissipate and with a texture that is also complex to smooth out.
The midrange is more disconnected from the bass on the Ouranos, but they have that nice, musical warmth, which gives it more body, a more physical part and more presence. The first half of the midrange is closer in the Ouranos and male voices appreciate it. In the Singolo there is a point of sinking in that first half of the midrange, which unbalances the central range, leaving a certain gap. At that point, the Ouranos seem more natural and with better timbre. They are relatively equally dark. That they are thinner in that first half gives a point of clarity to the Singolo, less warmth in exchange for being leaner and thinner. That warmth of the Ouranos is also transmitted to the midrange and the female voices also feel fuller and rounder. I think the midranges, despite the dark and warmth of the Ouranos, are better than on the Singolo. However, the highs of the Singolo are better achieved than in the Ouranos. They don't sound the same, despite the similarity. I find the high end of the Ouranos a bit more strident, while the Singolo's treble reproduction is more homogeneous, even coherent. In the Ouranos I feel a certain disconnection in some points, while the Singolo show a more balanced behaviour throughout the range.
On a technical level the Ouranos dare to hint at the micro level. Despite the darkness and its softness, there is more space between layers and a richer background can be glimpsed. In it, certain details can be noticed. Those same details are more buried in the Singolo's because they sound flatter and tighter. That level of layering gives the Ouranos more of a sense of depth throughout the range. Therefore, I think there is a point more resolution and detail, even though the Singolo's seem more defined because they are thinner.
The scene is more voluminous in the Singolo, but I find the presentation of the Ouranos to be more spacious, with that better layering. Their better balance between bands means that, by giving them more power, there is no imbalance and you can see the size of their scene and better laterality.

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Conclusion

Every brand seeks to innovate and in this regard, I find Kiwi Ears' work in creating the KARS commendable. It is clear that their bass is distinctive, creating IEMS that combine a power for bass heads, along with a tuning that tries to be smooth and natural. Thanks to the KARS, the Singolo's bass comes close to the behaviour of a subwoofer. But that very power makes them a specialised IEMS, which distinguishes them from an all-terrain IEMS. Kiwi Ears may have sought to create IEMS for bass heads, but without sacrificing a certain degree of naturalness and realism. In this sense, it succeeds in the treble. However, the clear intention to disconnect the bass from the midrange makes the first half of the middle range relatively hollow. On the other hand, it is more musical and smooth than technical. And in the price range in which it moves there is a lot of competition with very good resolving abilities. But I think the Kiwi Ears Singolo need not compete with them, but with that other IEMS range for bass heads that lacks that more audiophile level. The Singolo's niche is in that area, not in the wide range of IEMS based, more or less, on the Harman curve. And that is where they excel and should be taken into account.

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Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Hidizs S8 Pro Robin.
  • EPZ TP50.
  • Burson Audio Playmate 2.
  • Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.

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

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Purchase Link

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You can read the full review in Spanish here

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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
Definitely A Killer But For Some! The Kiwi Ears X Crinancle Singolo
Pros: 1. Warm neutral sound
2. Laidback and relaxed treble
3. Rich and full-bodied mid range
4. Flexible and robust bass response
Cons: 1. Lacks in treble energy
2. Lacks in some technical aspects

Review Of The Kiwi Ears X Crinacle Singolo


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Introduction


Kiwi Ears is a brand that has successfully established itself in the audiophile industry, receiving high accolades for its products and the value they provide. As I previously stated, with the exception of the original Orchestra, I have reviewed every single product that Kiwi Ears sells and they have never disappointed me in terms of sound quality. People already appreciate offerings like the Quintet and Cadenza for their favorable and balanced tuning. However, I believe they have delved further into different styled tunings to appeal to a broader range of audiophiles, which they accomplished well. Not only did they manufacture IEMs, but they also released the Allegro, a reasonably priced dongle dac that was well-received. They recently collaborated with Crinancle to create a one-of-a-kind release under $80 that employs a distinctive but not new method. The IEM is called as Singolo, and I was fortunate enough to receive a pair for review; but, before starting, I would like to clarify a few facts.

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Disclaimer


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


Specification


The Singolo features a large 11mm custom Japan-made LCP dynamic driver on each side, and Kiwi Ears has implemented their new K.A.R.S technology, which appears to have introduced an elongated tubing structure for pressure release and airflow, with the understanding of Helmholtz resonance to regulate the tuning and manipulate the air pressure release to deliver the favourable bass response Kiwi Ears was achieving. The Shells are entirely manufactured of medical resin, specifically to apply their K.A.R.S technology and custom-built drivers. The shells are tiny and simple to slip into the ears, and the comfort is excellent even after extended listening sessions, however the nozzle adjustment may cause fit issues, as one of my friends experienced until he changed ear tips to ensure sufficient isolation. The bundled accessories are of lower quality than those offered by competing IEMs in this price range. As a result, I feel that the majority of the funding was spent on collaboration and IEM development. The accessories include a variety of eartips and a two-pin connection cable with an L-shaped 3.5mm termination plug. According to the technical specs, the impedance is 32 Ohms and the sensitivity is 108dB. The frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz.

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Sound


The Singolo's tuning tends toward a naturally warm tone that becomes increasingly pleasurable to listen to with each second. The bass response is optimized to sound larger, bodied, and genuine. Whatever I said, it wouldn't have mattered if the technology that the corporation was pleased to deliver to us wasn't effective. But, after giving it a good amount of time to understand and find logic, the only thing I was able to understand was that the driver used is of high quality, as is the use of the K.A.R.S technology, which is the implementation of acoustic tuning from the back of the driver to accentuate the air pressure, allowing for a dip around 200Hz-400Hz without affecting the natural tone that resides in that region. The whole response sounds genuine, lively, and right in every manner conceivable. The only issue I have is with the treble, yet it is what makes the Singolo sound great. Let's go further into the sound and learn more about it.

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Treble


To be honest, the Singolo's treble area lacks excitement and sparkle in the mix, but ample air and extension compensate for this, giving the treble region a solid presence. The response is also not the best in terms of note clarity or sharpness; however, the tuning tends to follow a natural and soothing response; personally, I don't like such a response dipping around 9kHz to 15kHz, subduing the tingling nuances and crispness of the notes, but it does make it sound more friendly and full-bodied while also keeping the listener engaged with a wholesome and natural sound. The upper treble extends sufficiently to provide enough air and space for the singers and instruments to breathe, making them seem open and alive. The lower treble, on the other hand, creates a pleasant interaction that the listener will find engaging. The lower treble contains enough energy to make the singers and instruments seem lively and upfront without being too hot or peaky, nor does it introduce any sibilance or tinniness. The notes have a more complete responsiveness and depth, sounding pleasing and melodic. As a result, the overall presentation of the treble range is soothing, natural, and enjoyable to listen to.

Mid Range


In addition, the way the treble is adjusted harmonizes the bass and mid-range response balance, resulting in a clear and distinct response, if I were to examine the response as a whole. The mid-range enhances the voices and instruments enough to make them feel present and easy, while also providing a large sound with an open response. The treble and bass are adjusted in such a way that they never interfere with the midrange's clear and natural sound. The upper mid-range resonates with the lower treble, resulting in a more weighty and prominent response; the vocals, whether male or female, have a vivid and fuller response; and the instruments have a rich and rounded response with a distinct quality that enhances the vocals' presence, making the response musical and pleasant. I should also point out that the slightly shy response of roughly 1kHz to 3kHz region contributes to the spacious sound. The lower mid-range has a strong presence, allowing for good note weight and density, making the response sound thick and solid without becoming muddy or mumbly. Both the voices and the instruments sound rich and distinct, lending weight to top frequencies while compensating for the natural tone quality. Maybe the spike between 300 and 600Hz brings that warmth to the tones. As a result, the mid-range response sounds full-bodied, rich, and open.

Bass


When it comes to bass, I have three key points to discuss: the technology employed, tuning, and the quality of the driver. Starting with the technology used, Kiwi Ears refers to it as K.A.R.S technology, which is the implementation of air pressure through elongated tubes to produce a more enhanced yet effortless bass response without interfering with any other region's natural quality of notes, essentially a cheat code that impresses me because no matter how many times I hear the Singolo, the region that is affected is not actually affected. The bass is tuned properly Harman, with sub-bass focus and enough mid-bass intensity to compensate. The sub-bass digs deep and hits hard, with plenty of rumble and power. The mid-bass has enough presence to make slams and thumps effective and engaging. Even if the notes aren't particularly precise, their number makes the response feel genuine and substantial. The rounded and weighted notes offer positive properties, allowing for a dynamic and engaging response. To be honest, I was skeptical at first and then perplexed since, while the response is packed with a powerful presence and each note conveys considerable differentiation without compromising integrity, it does not sound detailed or clear. I experimented with EQ and discovered that even when the sub-bass response was heavily emphasized, the driver did not distort or lose its composure. The best part is that even after heavily emphasizing the bass response, the mids remained completely clean and unaffected by the bass impact. This discovery finally led me to the conclusion that the driver utilized was of high quality and maybe wasn't intended to serve such a purpose. Overall, the bass area has a robust, forceful, and dense sound.

Technical Performance


So when it comes to technical agility, I am afraid to say that Singolo is not a remarkable IEM, mostly audiophiles search for clarity and details around this price range and there are many IEMs around this saturated segment. Therefore I believe this pair produce a more tonally pleasing sound. However do not get me wrong, due to such saturation and spreading information across the globe doesn’t make it fair for me to say that Singolo suffices and has decent technical quality as I do find them on par with its peers. The areas where I find it interestingly different are the imaging, layering and separation. Let’s discuss in specifics.

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Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation


The stage is spread out enough to sound spacious and open, due to the fact that the response is spread out from more in the left and right side rather than front or back. The impressive part is the imaging which brings precision and clarity with great distinction between the notes which overall produces a very potent and strong sense of the presentation. The separation between the notes is accurate and allows me to effortlessly pinpoint where the sound is coming from.

Speed & Resolution


Coming to the adequate resolution and details, the macro details are easy to surface yet the micro details suffer to come across. The attack and decay of the notes resolves at a natural pace which makes it sound more realistic even after not much refinement in the mix.

Sound Impressions


Sources


Sony WM1A - While listening to the Singolo with WM1A, the response seemed more expansive, with stronger treble extension and less emphasis on bass presence in the mix, resulting in a more dynamic and large sound with hint of warmth. The female vocals were given more importance, while the instrumentation complemented them. The stage felt more equally distributed across the surrounds, making it sound more lively and expansive with correct note placement. The mid-range notes, however, sounded slightly thin and were presented lightly.

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Tempotec V6 - While listening to the Singolo with V6, the midrange response seemed significantly accentuated, and the bass was well-controlled yet weighty. The treble was a tad hazy in presence but nonetheless thriving. The whole presentation conveyed an intimate, direct, and engaging tone.

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Simgot DEW4X - While listening to the Singolo with DEW4X, the response appears cleaner and tonally leaner, while the notes sound closer, bringing the details and resolution to a higher level. The control over the vocals improves the overall tone of the response. The instruments also sound more engaged, with an overall open and energetic tone. Another component to consider is the treble, which sounds more polished and linear. Overall, the response sounds more lively and balanced in terms of detail, positioning, and staging.

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Quloos MUB1 - While listening to Singolo with MUB1, The overall response had a distinct and resolved sound, with a significant focus in the mid-range area, which enhanced the voice impression and delivered a more clear, crisp, and transparent sound; the same can be said for the instruments, albeit the impact of the notes was not as powerful. The treble was more present, with finer details, yet the air and extension felt the same. In contrast, the bass seemed less lively in the mix, but it was accurate and well-controlled. The intricacies were easily revealed, but their effect lacked the brightness of the notes and their strong presence.

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Tracks


Millet - Anytime Anywhere
Anri - I can’t stop the loneliness
Kohana Lam - A Few Sentimental
Kohana Lam - Loving Me, Loving You
Uru - Kimino Shiawasewo
Uru - Kamihitoe
Kujira Yumemi - Kenka
Majiko - Kokoronashi
Anly - Sukinishinayo
Kohama Lam - A Few Sentimental
Kohana Lam - Loving Me, Loving You
Miliyah - Kono Yumega Samerumade
Rokudenashi - The Flame Of Love
Yu-Peng Chen - A New Day with Hope
Yu-Peng Chen - Another Hopeful Tomorrow
Yu-Peng Chen - For Riddles, for Wonders
Valentino Khan - Satellite
Kai Wachi - Happier By Now
Jawns - Erotica
ISOxo - how2fly
Kai Wachi - Happier By Now
Weeknd - Popular
YUNGBLUD - When We Die(Can We Still Get High)
Bring to Horizon - Kool-Aid
Middle Kids - Bend
FLETCHER - Leads Me On
Loathe - Aggressive Evolution
The Weeknd - Save Your Tears
Sigrid - Burning Bridges
AURORA - Black Water Lilies
AURORA - Runaway
X Ambassadors - Renegades
Lupe Fiasco - Words I Never Said
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can’t Hold
Goyte - Somebody That I Used To Know
Jay-Z - Run This Town
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Ladytron - Ghost
Travis - Love Will Come Through
LINKIN PARK - Somewhere I Belong
DJ Shadow - Six Days (Remix)
Hoobastank - The Reason
Ricky Martin - I Don’t Care
Tool - 7empest
Tool - Vicarious
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Zack Hemsey - Vengeance
Elton John - I’m Still Standing
The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin
Micheal Sembello - Maniac
Guns N’ Roses - Sweet Child O’ Mine
A.R. Rahman - Kun Faya Kun


Conclusion


To summarize this review, I believe Singolo is a uniquely introduced in-ear monitor that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences who can acquire it without hesitation to supplement their collection or for the first time test a really well tuned IEM from a highly complicated driver and its implementation. Singolo is a very well-tuned IEM based on a remarkable driver and genuine technology. Though I would stir away if I were searching for clarity and the details in this pair, I would still ask to give it a shot like I did. So, Kiwi Ears has once again earned my recommendation.


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nikbr

500+ Head-Fier
Seductive Despite Being Singolo
Pros: Transparent shells are always a plus – here especially since you can see the 'magic tube'
Medium size - acceptable considering it is a decently large 11mm DD
A well-judged overall balance
Bass keeps up with the low lows while being punchy too
Vocals are present
Very good soundstage width
No apparent timbral issues
Fairly priced
Cons: Not the one for tech- or trebleheads
Very sparse accessories
Only a 3.5mm cable
Plasticky feel (but lightweight)
Short nozzle can be an issue for some
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Having had the possibility to try so many different sets in a relatively short time I felt obliged to go ahead and express my gratitude by trying to help some lost souls out there, just as I was when I first stumbled upon this weird hobby about wired earphones – so yesteryear! … I thought. Possibilities are seemingly endless and only by getting to meet the right people did I manage to jump onboard the train heading the 'right' direction without getting off-track thousands of times along the way. Make sure to understand the helping person's preferences and you too can find your footing and hit the ground running in no time.


A Quick Intermezzo About Me

I won't bore you for too long with personal trivia, however my quick & short background resume goes as follows. Currently I am 27 years old and more in awe of sheer power of music by the day. I have always been moved by music just that slight bit more than average, I'd say. My spending started with a roughly 200€ Bose bluetooth speaker back in my first grade of highschool. What an extraterrestrial thing that was in early 2010s. And it keeps on playing to this day – a true testament of quality. Also sounded fantastic back then, nowadays … yeah, not so much. Lots of BT speakers, TWS, car audio speakers, IEMs, etc., later bring me to this day when I truly consider myself an audiophile. What brings me the most joy beside listening to music is singing, so I am currently participating in a choir and challenging myself with solo vocal covers (check the links in my signature to hear my projects). Unsure where all this leads, but the journey itself is marvelous and life is nothing but a journey.


How The Review is Structured

I will start off by mentioning the packaging and accessories, then place the showcased IEM in my special trademarked graph accompanied with other similarly priced IEMs I own and know well. Then I continue by giving it a score on certain qualities to help reach the final star score. Those that are seriously considering a single dynamic driver that is very affordable, please read the song examples below too to get as much of a feel on what one could expect. I really try my best to cover a wide variety to paint the sonic picture of the set for as many of you as possible.

I will mention some songs of varied genres and try to convey what one can expect from the Kiwi Ears Singolo. As sources I have been using my FiiO BTR7 on high gain and Venture Electronics RA2B-FE + Prime DAC. Certainly no lack of power and quite a different taste on both. Listening was done at a volume ranging between 80-90dB. I am using stock cable to keep it original in that regard and Divinus Velvet medium-sized eartips. I always review with fresh ears – no other IEM gets any ear-time while I am desperately collecting my thoughts regarding the reviewed item.

Disclaimer: I received this unit free of charge via Linsoul in exchange for a review. I am in no way incentivized to speak highly of this set. Should this review tip you over the edge and you decide on this IEM as your next purchase, I welcome you to check it out here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo


Packaging & Accessories

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Packaging and accessories really won't tip anyone over the edge in their decision to purchase the Singolo. Having the cable already connected is a nice little touch to save you those awfully long seconds from unpacking to hearing the thing you purchased. Tips selection is very sparse and I honestly did not feel like trying them at all and went straight to the Divinus Velvet. Hearing all the bad experiences with how these fit I was skeptical. Lo and behold, they fit me absolutely wonderfully. It is a very shallow fit, but bass does not suffer, nor do I get any nasty treble peaks, but more on that in my song examples.

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Let's Get Going!

Graph & Scores


This trademarked graph I came up with does not come with a thick user manual. All you need to know is that sets further left are warmer than sets further right, and sets higher up are better technically than sets lower down. Those little yellow lines on both axis represent where sets with average technicalities and neutral overall balance lay. I have also added three other single DD representatives - the Venture Electronics SIE, Simgot EA500 LM, and EPZ Q5 to help form a better perception of how the Singolo fares in comparison.

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Here are my scores on the Singolo in individual categories. All three subcategories of each of the frequency spectrums can be rated 1-5. Keep in mind that I am scoring regardless of the price, so cheaper sets getting a 3 in any given subcategory is already good going. I had to approach this in a simplistic manner so to keep it easy to understand and compare sets. Since this is my third single DD I have reviewed, we are starting to get a good picture of how the scores are turning out.

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7 Song Examples For the Curious

Song #1:
First minute of this song offers a quick sample to test piano, bass, trombone, and sax timbre as well as female vocals and the perception of stage.

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Creep by Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox feat. Haley Reinhart

Song starts with a calming female vocal with lots of breathiness. On the Singolo vocally nothing stands out as a sore thumb, nor does it wow with highly articulated and deeply detailed presentation. Sibilance region is nicely adjusted so to still have that truthful bite that certain letters or combinations of letters carry. Often this 6-7kHz region backs off too much and while it does avoid sibilance it also messes timbrally with whichever instrument that extends up higher or has its overtones extending into that region. Well judged on the Singolo. Her voice is a bit smokier and not as rich as I know she can be on other sets which I would ultimately prefer, but that is just as much a matter of preference as 'correctness'. I would hazard a guess that is down to the rather quick drop-off right after the pinna gain peak. Going into »what the hell am I doing here« the open »heeeeere« can be too aggressive and rather uncomfrotable on some sets, but not so on Singolo. While it isn't as nuanced as it could be, it does not sound off in any serious way. Arrangement consists of various instruments, of which every single one requires timbral accuracy to maintain your attention. Singolo is very decent in this regard. What I find subpar however, is note weight through the mids and treble. Bass does not have the same issue and is a satisfying listen for both the bass and drums in this piece. Sincerity of bass is very good for this price category – it does sound decently rounded and does not affect low mids in any negative way despite decent extension in both subbass rumble and midbass attack. But more about bass on some other songs. Mids are where the set needs to shine to really bring this song the justice it deserves. The magic of mids is slightly lacking, but overall nicely judged in quantity, especially pinna instantly seemed to me to be done in a tasteful manner – graph sort of agrees in that it shows a very lengthy extension all the way from 900 to 3500Hz where it reaches a +9dB rise. Treble lacks in smoothness and any microscopic detail won't really be displayed here. Not too welcome in this tune with two brass instruments which should counter the strongly presented bass section. It feels a bit single-pointed just as the graph would seem to suggest as well – a large drop-off after 8kHz and a singular sharp peak at ~15kHz. This sort of treble tuning will be totally personal on whether your ears like it or feel awfully offended by it. A combination of hearing health, ear canal shape, fitment, and eartips all contribute to how this peak works out for an individual. Either way, expect to miss a good deal of details up top. Overall I have to say this song left me just a bit too cold for a very good score, so a 4.5/10 it is.

Song #2:
Angelic male vocal slowly transforming into a sharp male vocal and the usual rock accompaniment. Allows to better understand different sets' capability of perceived emotion, layering, timbre, etc.

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Castaway Angels by Leprous

Guitar leads the way. I am very specific with guitars and love their breadth of ability to awaken a wide variety of emotions. Individual guitar plucks are not as storytelling as I would like, but it is timbrally right on. The slight lack of those sweet overtones is down to the slower pinna if I were to point at the culprit. Background hum that invokes a creepy atmosphere is easy to follow but a bit single-pointed. His vocal joins in a quiet and tranquil way to leave lots of space to develop afterwards. Male vocals are judged very well and the previously annoying smokiness I mentioned in the previous song's thoughts is not an issue here. Positioning of vocals is decently forward which allows for this sense of the vocalist being the leader while all instrumentation has sufficient space around him. In the wilder and more crowded spots of this song it becomes a tiny bit messy, but never sharp or overzealous. Here we do feel just a bit limited in the pace of the driver and the fact it is a solo performer with no BAs to take some weight off of its shoulders. Microdetail is not really a thing, but I cannot hold this against it. Overall tuning balance is of much greater importance. I would be reaching for another set for this song, however it is not a case of having to skip it, and hence a 6/10.


Song #3:
What a gorgeous tune to listen to … while testing bass texture, layering, soundstage characteristics, and restlessly dissecting each performer's work, like us audiophiles do. Tenor sax, trumpet, drums, piano, and bass all have something to say.

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Check Point Charlie by David Chesky

Such a well produced jazz masterpiece with huge soundscape and very separated instrumentation that should never be in each other's way. It requires a great stage width especially, I feel. Singolo is very impressive in that regard, easily fooling my brain to ompletely dislocate the sound from the actual earpiece where it's born, obviously. Both left and right extremes do sound on the absolute extremities of head width and well beyond in certain instances – piano which plays on the far left side throughout the piece seems to be 5m away from me. Depth is not as well presented, but the generous width is what rectifies that to an extent. Individual instruments – bass, drums, piano, tenor sax, and trumpet are themselves, meaning no awful timbral incorrectness was found during my listen. Now, if I were to nitpick, and that's what us audiophiles are masters of, piano's note roundness and weight is not as sincere as I would ultimately like for it to sound even more real. Trumpet and sax have their sharper edges slightly rounded off too, so to not sound too piercing – carefully and intelligently approaching upper mid to low treble area while tuning is a good way of cutting harshness when tech at hand simply cannot reproduce the absolute clarity and note definition. I could honestly recommend Singolo to those who are this sort of jazz aficionados, it's a score of 8/10.

Song #4:
If this does not bring me close to tears on the set, the set is doing something wrong either in guitars, female vocals, or overall sonic balance.

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All About You by Sophie Zelmani

Back to a deeply emotional guitar intro. Singolo is very nearly right on mark, alas it misses a bit of microdetail to really get my goosebumps going. Lower guitar notes are full and gorgeously rounded and cannot really be faulted. Those also wonderfully support her vocal which comes in with authority in that it is much more pronounced than the guitar both in positioning and volume. She has a story to tell and Singolo makes me listen, however soon thereafter I get pulled back to enjoying the well presented low end without any bloat and vocals are slightly put aside. This tune ought to bring us grown men close to tears or at the very least make our mind wander in trying to think who in our lives could be singing something as powerful to us at any point. Singolo does not possess the ultimate in capturing listener's attention to the fullest, thus a score that reflects the good presentation which falls short in emotion – 6/10.

Song #5:
Upbeat pop rhythms with plenty going on.

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The thrill is gone. by RAYE

Careful high mids are a must in order not to overpower the lows which carry the rhythm and allow the treble to do the dance. Bass is very nicely driving the whole song along and I honestly don't feel like much is missing. It could, of course, be a bit more textured, but I cannot hold that against the Singolo at the price point. Main vocalist is well placed while I could ask for just a tad more drive or precision of all first note impacts just to make her story even more believable. Treble is nicely judged in quantity, however it is easily Singolo's least impressive part. Lacking in transient speed and that ethereal sweetness that better (and usually more expensive) single DDs, let alone BAs or ESTs, can deliver. I am thinking about something like the IE600 here and plenty others I'm sure, but I prefer to mention sets I have heard myself. The fact that it is well tuned in the upper frequencies is of much greater importance in this instance. This song often makes me want to listen to it again even after finishing putting my thoughts onto the keyboard, but in this case it just did not impress me enough. Still, a good score due to not finding anything bothersome, 7/10.

Song #6:
Oh, welcome crazy bass lines, please make yourselves comfortable along with tasteful drops and story-telling male vocals about an ill-intentioned lady.

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Love is a B*tch by Two Feet

The width I have already praised before is very welcome in the intro of this tune as well, since it features a rainy cloud moving around in circles – forming two circles to be exact. The rain itself is lacking in the aforementioned detail retrieval to really get a sense of all those droplets hitting the ground, but that is secondary. His vocal and the bass drop are differently presented where his vocal is of this silky breathy quality whereas bass spares no heft and comes swinging all guns blazing. Low end extension is very well done thanks to the length of that tiny but effective tube, I would dare say. Male vocal is definitely nicer to my ears than female vocal on the Singolo – the slower pinna gain and quicker drop after pinna peak does not affect male vocals as much. Treble is again a bit of a weakness that lowers my overall score, but this song captures Singolo's character nicely overall, so I can bestow upon it a 8.5/10.

Song #7:
Definitely a competitor for best song title. It also gets the juices flowing and makes it impossible not to tap your feet. Or nod your head. Or both.

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God is in the Soundwaves by Armin Van Buuren, Xoro, Yola Recoba

Lots of spacial cues right from the beginning which are handled well by Singolo as far as width is your first dimension you care about. Those clapping sounds are just a little veiled and not the most nuanced due to our slow pinna gain I would imagine. Her vocal is highly post-produced and feels that way on the Singolo which is good. Going into the drop bass has no trouble punching and rumbling and I think everyone but the most faithful bassheads will be happy here. Overall, this song is done well but suffers from one-dimensional soulless treble to really get me grooving. 7.5/10.

This concludes my song examples and hopefully you found some information that proves useful to your decision-making in the everlasting dilemma of To Buy or Not To Buy.



To Sum Up The Kiwi Ears Singolo


Singolo is the single DD for those that are on the search for a nicely balanced sub-100€ IEM which delivers a satisfying bass upon which other frequencies can dance. It is a nicely cohesive sounding pair which is usually a single DD strength. Male vocals are just a bit more correct than female vocals. Mid and treble detail are average, but no annoying peaks or dips mean a very nice casual listen. I would advise those with preference for natural, smooth and layered treble to audition before buying if possible. Same goes for the ones with shorter nozzles as their nemesis.

Thanks for reading and stay wonderful.

s0undcheck39

New Head-Fier
Spring freshness without the aggravation
Pros: neutral tonal balance
excellent sub bass extension
quiet, cohesive sound character
interesting stage construction and an "airy" effect
Cons: poor accessories
modest midrange without specific accents
dull, academic presentation of the material
April. What are your associations with it? March cats licking their wounds from hormonal battles; taking advantage of this, birds start their polyphonic trills to the delight of melancholics and the sadness of insomniacs; leather jackets, sunglasses, first skirts and pretty high-heeled girls. It's spring! The air is saturated with the first freshness, still modestly piercing the thickness of receptors departing from the winter coma, everything around wakes up and begins to breathe in the rhythm of the city and nature. A great companion in such a time and mood can be seen in the heroes of our today's review - Kiwiears Singolo IEM.

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Accessories

Our kiwi-birds are presented in a simple but nice cardboard package. Under the outer jacket we are met by a quality box, which contains a rather modest delivery set: the IEMs themselves, a thin 2-core cable made of silver-plated copper, two sets of eartips. To be honest, the cable and the eartips were put on the principle of “that'll do”. Of course they are not KZ-style, but not far from them, alas. The exterioк box makes much more impression than the set itself. You've met by your clothes, but it's too early to send you off...

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Design, fit, usage

We are faced with very compact, comfortable in hands and ears earphones. And concerning the accessories, it's already a step forward. Pleasant shimmers of Fire-bird's tail on the dark faceplates - blue, blue, yellow, brown; transparent case for curious fidgeters; lightness, dimensions, quality of joints - all of the Singolo's kind. The design is calm, but you can get stuck on it, especially in the sunlight or other extrior lights. Or just explore the insides, clearly visible through the transparent shell.

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The fit in the ears is excellent and unnoticeable, passive noise isolation is at 4.5 out of 5 even in the subway trains. And this is with barely formed anatomic shells, that's excellent and unusual! They fit perfectly!

The nozzle has a well marked edge, the eartips won't get lost, the diameter is medium, suitable for the use of most tips. Compensation hole is present at the outlet of the acoustic resonator housing. There is no vacuum effect, driver-flex or other unpleasant issues.

A special mention should be made for the 2pin connector of this paricular pair of the IEM: disconnecting cables in the left channel can be done only by Archimedes if there is a fulcrum, however, it is a matter of time, patience and strength. The audiophile must suffer (c).

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But as it is easy to guess the most interesting thing is under this transparent hood and is not hidden from prying eyes and spring heightened consciousness.
The manufacturer proposed a new-fashioned scheme of 11 mm dynamic radiator with LCP diaphragm of its own tuning and Kiwi acoustic resonance system (KARS).

It's high time for wonders and discoveries, my tiny explorers:

KARS is not a gimmick – it is a discrete band-pass filter that manipulates airflow to the driver, regulating low frequency output. This patented innovation features an elaborate labyrinth tubing network that has been designed after numerous scientific and physical models to perfectly calculate the appropriate resonance point for the Singolo’s driver. KARS makes a tight sub-bass shelf possible; something that has been previously impossible in a single-driver IEM. The bass quality, quantity, and texture are all incomparable to any other tuning strategy used in a similar driver format.
Unlike traditional crossover networks that uses multiple drivers with RC (resistor-capacitor) networks, KARS instead uses Helmholtz resonance to regulate its tuning. Airflow to a dynamic driver regulates how much the diaphragm can respond, but also requires additional calculations of flow rate, direction, and volume. KARS allows exact regulation of this airflow to manipulate the sound as we desire. While capacitors and resistors provide a calculated means of crossover solutions, they also add unwanted artifacts to the sound in the form of distortion, especially when cheap SMD components are used.
With KARS, the sound you are hearing is directly from the driver itself, which translates into a pure and higher resolving audio experience without the hindrance of passive electrical components. KARS also eliminates the need for driver venting meshes, which has been traditionally used to regulate airflow into drivers. These meshes have low tolerances, causing unit-variances, as well as weak durability. KARS’ precise engineering eliminates this potential for imbalances and delivers a uniform sound in every unit.
The specific length, dimensions, and right-angled corners of KARS had to be scientifically calculated and tested to control the sub-bass shelf. KARS is precisely 3D-printed with a 1.0 micron precision. The labyrinth regulates airflow to the rear of the dynamic driver chamber, tightly controlling the back pressure to the diaphragm. This achieves two things simultaneously - it accurately regulates the sub-bass and bass response, and it also regulates pressure ventilation within your ear, which allows more comfortable and pressure-free listening. Finally, KARS allows a calculated removal of rear wave reflections from the driver, reducing wave cancellation and creating a higher quality sound.

You know, just like another “Kiwi wins. Flawless victory". Let's see whether we face the "audiality" at the end of round two.....

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Characteristics

Drivers - 11 mm dynamic LCP, KARS resonator system
Sensitivity - 108 dB/mW
Frequency range - 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Impedance - 32 ohms
Cable - 0.78 mm 2pin silver-plated copper, 2 conductors

Sound

Sources (3.5 mm output):

- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (CS47L93);
- Abigail DAC (CX31993);
- Zishan DSD DAP (AK4495) mode;
- Kiwiears Allegro DAC (ES9028Q2M).


Tests were done with audiosense s400 and tri clarion eartips, with which Singolos showed an excellent level of sound, noise isolation and comfort. The IEM are not tight, despite the 32 Ohm impedance, with a player is naturally better at the edges of the range, for better disclosure is necessary to get at least a simple USB-C DAC, they sound without problems but even by a smartphone.

The sound profile was created in cooperation with a well-known representative of the audio reviewing community - Crinacle, which is reflected in the name of the model.

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Bass

Singolos can be characterized by a decent elaboration of the lower range of the spectrum. Both the sub and mid-bass zones flow smoothly from each other, showing a decent level both quantitatively and qualitatively. The character is not bass-heady at all, but the sub has an excellent depth and delineation in moderate volume. Transition to the mid is merged, no rumbles and extraneous noises, bass guitar is fast, attacks and punch are characterized by a balance of detail and pressure. I'dlike specially note the lower bass, as it pleasantly tickles the eardrums, as for me - the classic dynamic presentation, that's we like it for!

Mids

The transition to the middle is seamless. The lower mid is of medium density, which allows you to get away from any turbidity in this area, without losing in solidity. The cellos seem to float in the air, the lowest registers of the instrument are moderately prescribed, there are as many of them as necessary, without excess or lack, with well-drawn overtones and layering. The contrabass won't take your breath away, just good. The violins are lively but not shouty, the pitch is natural and calm. Leading guitar growls, neither mean, nor Teddy-plush like a Labrador in a bull terrier mask.
Legs won't dance, that's not what iIEM are about. The vocal part of the spectrum can't be distinguished in any definite way with regadrding the performer's gender, it is also average, bright high female vocals will be a bit more intimate than in reality, while low male voices are presented with some lack of mass and energy. The placement of the vocals relative to the instruments is on the one level in the stage. The upper mids and sibilant zone is comfortable for extended listening and seems to be below average to my sensitive ear. No rubbing, whistling and other perverted fantasies of a misanthropic speech therapist. In general, the mids are not starry, but at the same time not sagging and not pushed back at all.

Highs

It's an interesting effect of the resonator's work, or just tuning of the classical DD, but the high frequencies pleased with their purity and clarity. You won't see lush tails here, everything is simple but clean, such a bright room with a cosmetic repair and a clean wide window lit by the spring sunshine. Drum attacks are clear, cymbals scatter in a pleasant rustle. On fast genres a slight muddiness and mushiness is possible. Relaxed character is more evident here, which does not spoil the general perception of upper frequencies and, in general, the whole musical canvas. The detailing is above average, I have no special complaints.

The subjective stage has a circular shape, with a parity in depth and width. A little euphoria from the separation of instruments is guaranteed. The pitch is smooth, safe, academic, with a hint of volume and air both between instruments and vocals, and in general when rendering the virtual stage. I don't know how to explain it, but you can clearly feel this layering between individual musical elements and images. Everything is smooth and good when analyzing private aspects of sound, without blockages and prevalence of any range, and in general there is an effect of presence and some kind of volumetric depth with division into echelons and this very “air”.

In summary

Singolo is an average iem by all means, but it surprisingly combines modest individual characteristics and particularities in a common merged and pleasant picture, not straining at long listening distances.

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I would recommend it for classical, instrumental and medium vocal oriented music, light rock, jazz and funk; not for any extreme speed and overloaded styles. Although...listen to everything and relax, it will definitely work with Singolo!

I would like to express my gratitude to #Linsoul for providing the iem for the review!

Thanks for your attention! Stay tuned =)

ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Kiwi Ears Singolo's Review
Pros: Fun and Rumbly bass
Inoffensive treble yet retains sufficient energy to not sound dark
Clean mid range and smooth pinna gain
Cons: Bad bundled accessories (Ear Tips and Cable)
Does everything alright, nothing stands out in particular (Subjective)
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General/Packaging/Comfort/Build
Kiwi Ears is no stranger within the community, names like Orchestra Lite, Cadenza, Melody and Forteza should be very familiar to most within the community. This time around, they have decided to have a collaboration with Crinacle , known as Singolo. The driver is a 11mm dynamic driver with KARS. What is KARS? It stands for Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System. I will not explain how this works, in short, it works as a filter to manipulate airflow to the driver to control the low frequency output. You may find out more info about the KARS from the product page itself. The packaging comes in the usual Kiwi Ears styled package. Within the box it consists of eartips and cable as well as the IEM itself. Build quality is rather solid with beautiful faceplate, the shell itself is neither too big nor small, very good isolation and comfort based on my experience throughout the listening session for approximately 2-3 hours. Nozzle however is on the shorter side and tip rolling can help if you’re experiencing fit issue.

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Equipment and Software used

  • Fiio K9 AKM
  • Kiwi Ears Allegro
  • Hiby FC6
  • Macbook Air M2
  • Apple Music/Tidal/foobar2k
Foreword
My review is solely based on what I hear via my equipment and I never consider my reviews to be objective in any way rather a subjective approach. Do take into consideration that everyone’s ear anatomy is not the same, so the psychoacoustics perception might be different as well, but i believe it will not stray too far

Sound Impression
Upon first listening impression, the bass on the Singolo is what strikes me first, don’t get me wrong, it's not a bad thing, i’m not a basshead myself, but the bass performance is really good, it’s clean and controlled, sub bass focussed rather than mid bass, with good texture all around for the asking price . Timbre sounds quite natural to my ears. Out of the box listening experience, the bass and highs feels very uncontrolled and fortunately, i left the Singolo on my burn in rig overnight and the bass texture and highs are noticeably better, in terms of control and smoother highs

Bass
  • Fairly good speed and doesn’t sound bloated or muddy when listening to busy tracks such as Slipknot’s People’s = crap!
  • Sub bass has okay-ish extension considering the price. not bass head kind of rumble but sufficient and has good control, it rumbles when the track calls for it, with a good seal, it is actually very fun
  • Mid bass lacks a little punch but overall it is alright
  • Doesn’t bleed into the mids
Mids
  • The mids are slightly recessed but still lush sounding to my ears
  • Vocals are neither too forward nor recessed, and they’re not shouty
  • Male and female vocal has good texture to it and doesn’t sound thin
  • The bass doesn’t bleed into this range which is good
  • Pinna gain is rather safe and never shouty even when the volume is being cranked up
  • Overall, they’re quite clean and this is evident on some of Crin’s collab
Treble
  • Treble is smooth and non offensive, but retains enough energy to not sound dark
  • The con is that the resolution is just average the same goes to detail retrieval as well
Soundstage/Imaging
  • Soundstage is slightly out of your head with good width, depth and height perception is good
  • Imaging is good as the instruments can be pinpointed easily even during busy track, certain complex orchestral track might not perform that well
  • In terms of technicalities overall, Singolo has average technicalities
Driveability
  • Singolo is not hard to drive but it does scale very more power, in terms of dynamics and bass control
  • Most of the entry level/mid range dongles will do just fine but desktop setup will push the Singolo to its max capability
Comparison (Tin Hifi T2 Mk2)
  • T2 Mk2 is a neutral bright sounding set
  • Treble has plenty of energy and sometimes it can be a little too much depending on the tracks
  • Soundstage is rather average in terms of height and width perception
  • Note weight is on the slightly thinner side compared to Singolo
  • Overall, the T2 MK2 is quite analytical compared to Singolo which has some warmth and a smoother treble response

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Final Thoughts
All in all, the Singolo does everything alright and it doesn’t really stand out among the competitors. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying the Singolo is a bad set, let me put it this way, if you already have something in this price range, Singolo is more or less a side grade, however, if you’re new to the hobby and this is the kind of sound signature that you are looking for, by all means, get the Singolo. The only gripe i had with it is the bundled accessories, the stock eartips and cable are really bad (subjective) and it doesn't bring out the performance of Singolo.

*A big thanks to Linsoul for sending this over for the purpose of this review. Thanks for the support and opportunity as always

Head over to their store if you are interested in getting a pair:

Kiwi Ears Singolo- Non affiliated

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thaslaya
thaslaya
Spot on review and great pictures!
ywheng89
ywheng89

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Has an interesting low-end like Cindy Crawford
Full-range 11mm LCP Diaphragm delivers smoothness and full-range accountability
Probably one of the safest, yet still interesting tunes, which still holds character
Smooth treble without any harsh sparkles
Nice forward Pinna Gain which offers imaging and adequate separation
Relaxed attitude allowing for all day or night listening
Cohesive and correct timbre and reverberations
A smooth style of pace resulting in musicality over technicalities
Not the most vivid character, yet offering honest sincerity in tone and realism
Cons: A smooth style pace resulting in musicality over technicalities
IEM nozzles slightly too short, which can be rectified by longer ear-tips
Ear-tips not of functional quality, neither wide-bore white or wide-bore black
Not the biggest stage dispertion
The Kiwi ears Singolo
Redcarmoose Labs April 17th, 2024


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A clean tune
What does that mean? It simply means it is an IEM which has been tuned free from nonsense. A stature belonging to both even and correctness……..maybe even completeness. As such this sounds easy, but like riding a bike for the first time, a zig can result in a zag and you can fall-over. As such Kiwi ears has collaborated with the luminary known as Crinacle in order to utilize his tuning ideas and expertise. The results, while not perfect, are a NOOB’s dream. Yep, this Singolo does quite a few things right. This idea of correctness has some leeway in composition, yet this even tailored tune walks a specific line…….where others may fail by not adding enough bass, or thinking they are correct by making a smooth treble, yet still missing something? The masses take and the resulting group opinions can start to become a waterfall of sorts. Yep, everyone has a computer nowadays and they utilize it to voice their take on a specific IEM………where the proof comes out in the wash, so to speak.


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Kiwi ears:
I have reviewed a number of Kiwi ear IEMs as of late. My only real off-tune was the Kiwi ears Forteza.

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kiwi-ears-forteza.26755/reviews#review-32736

Sadly (and this isn’t just my take) the Forteza was tuned to have this wild arraignment of two 10mm DDs and 1BA. In which one DD was lows, one DD was mids and a single BA for the highs. This in fact looks good on paper, yet the end tuning results were a mess, with that single BA shooting out inside the mix to proclaim this wild forwardness and brash steeliness. Released around the first of the year, it was in-fact my very last Kiwi ears review, gaining all of 3 out of 5 stars.

For as much as the Kiwi ears Forteza does wrong, the Singolo does it right. Yep, and you may think this is all subjective, that maybe it’s just me? Well, keep in mind Hybrids are my favorite methodology to make IEMs………and I absolutely loved the Kiwi ears Quintet. Really though you have to hand it to Kiwi ears for thinking out of the box. Yep, they are renowned for never making the same IEM twice, except for the Orchestra and Orchestra Lite. Yet this Singolo is remarkable, simply due to homing in on the cohesiveness of a single DD, and being in many ways the opposite of the Kiwi ears Quintet. Where the Quintet was four different methodologies of drives. And it kind-a did sound complicated like it had a 10mm DD, 2 BAs, 1 Planar and 1 Piezoelectric running…..because it did. Yet they somehow balanced the whole adventure. To me the Quintet is one of the very best values out there, becoming a high-detail-monster, all for the admission price of only $219.00.

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kiwiears-quintet.26582/reviews#review-31155

And finally I must talk about the Melody. This was Kiwi ear's idea of what a Planar should be. Again another incredible IEM. I mean in many ways you could purchase the Singolo, the Quintet and the Kiwi ears Melody and have a lot of bases covered. Meaning each IEM is well tuned yet has its very own intrinsic sound personality due to driver types. Where each IEM is special, and has personality, yet at the same time offers a slightly different way to experience your music.........while each still being correct.

Just to get this out there, of all the planar IEMs I’ve tried, the Melody goes in the top 4 ever. This being my 218th review, I have heard my fair share of gear, yet the Singolo was still a welcome surprise. In fact at this point I am slightly jaded, where I see I’m getting another collaboration and in the price-point the Singolo lands and I say, well OK.

Yet Crinacle is my favorite collaborator……….it is just you really start to wonder if you have been there already, and done that already. Well, I can say the Singolo was a welcome surprise. More mature than the Zero 2, and more complete than the Zero MK1, better bass (and more note weight) than the 7Hz x Crinacle: Salnotes Dioko. What can I say? Truly this Kiwi ears Singolo is one IEM that even Crinacle has ended-up topping himself.

This is the best I have heard from Crinacle!


$79.00
https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo

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Now you’re probably wondering how it is different from a few IEMs out there, and I will get to comparisons. But first I’m going to talk about ear-tips.

Ear-tips:
The Singolo is one of the most ear-tip dependent IEMs I have ever heard. And I decided early on to not try and figure out why, because the why is irrelevant, it is what it is…….so lets learn about ear-tips.

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Left to right:
Top row: The silicone long wide bores, and the TANGZU Divinus Velvet silicone
Second row: My favorite silicone purple wide-bore ear-tips, then the Singolo wide bores

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My ear-tip generalizations:
So if you are like me you have long standing (ear-tip) preferences from years of experience. You see, part of this IEM game is to learn about yourself, and which components work-out to provide the very best results.

Learning:
In doing so, you still must try and keep an open mind, as new brands of ear-tips are always emerging. But to simplify stuff here, I have a favorite set of ear-tips. In the pictures they are the ones with purple centers. As such they are very shallow-donut, getting the nozzle-end close to your ear-drum, yet also holding the nozzle end near the edge, so that the dispersion of sonics gets the widest stage, never adding too much bass to mess with the pace. I have used these tips for close to 70 different IEMs in use through-out my reviews. Though they are not perfect. As getting the IEM so close physically to the ear, can have issues with the outside of the ear pushing back, creating a lack of air-tight fitment. I also kind a feel due to the outer length being short, it in itself can at times shorten the amount of outer surface area (material contact) with your ear tissue, which in turn can limit fit freedom of movement while an air-tight fitment is still achieved.

2nd most used:

That is where the wide-bore silicone (longer) ear-tips come in handy. They will have a longer length which will make-up for any shortness of the nozzle. So the results are having the IEM sit farther out from your ear, yet still correct as the length is correct and positioning is perfect, with most shorter nozzle IEMs. Thus you don’t hear the outside fighting with the IEM in position to lose air-tight fitment. This was the ear-tip used almost exclusively with the Kiwi ears Singolo.

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TANGZU Divinus Velvet silicone ear tips:
It must be stated that in many ways the Divinus Velvet is special. Contrary to what you may guess, one test is to try the ear-tips with no music playing first. This way you can judge the ambient outside noise coming in around the tip-placement. The Divinus have a strange way of making the treble airy, and the best way to compare is obviously changing mid-song with your standard favorite ear-tips. What can I say, much of this has to do with what kind of bedsheets you’re used to. Get a new style of material and it may take a while before your mind lets you perceive the realities in store. But if you note the Divinus Velvet's back portion sound tube opening, it is the smallest circumference in the group. See the small circle? This actually expends out along the nozzle wall to become of a regular size.

While not quite as long as the (above) silicone long wide-bore, they have a nice sound and are my second most used ear-tips with the Singolo. Second most used as they don’t have the mid-length girth like my preferred wide-bore longer tips do, so they feel slightly less secure. As it turns-out (always) the middle structure and pressure pushing outward is key to liking ear-tips and gaining fitment. If the tip in question (regardless of personal size) doesn’t exert quite enough back-pressure from side-wall material and make-up, the resulting air-tight fitment can be marginal…….as (the problem) found with both pairs of included ear-tips.

Included tips:
Laughably the included tips showed their wall-thinness in the pictures, unexpectedly. This is the reality of how they are. Upon first opening the Singolo box, it was refreshing to find two sets of wide-bore ear-tips, yet with further usage, it was determined the build quality was just not substantial enough. I mean sure they will work for the NOOB, only there is a chance that even that owner can substitute the included tip for a different wide-bore.

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Left to right:
Top row: The silicone long wide bores, and the TANGZU Divinus Velvet silicone
Second row: My favorite silicone purple wide-bore ear-tips, then the Singolo wide bores

The affecting components:
Ear-tips, cable choices, DAP character choices and EQ all go to dial-in the desired tone. Obviously IEM DIP-switches also add to the change of tone when included with a design.

As such these concepts are on-going and present repeatable results for the enthusiast. The concept of stage resulting from a wider nozzle (ear-tip) end. The bass curtailment is found with a wider nozzle ear-tip, or the opposite………..of deeper bass response with a narrower stage found from narrow opening bore ear-tip. The cable choices, while often questioned by half of Head-fi, also go to add their distinct personalities of bass pace, or stage displacement. The make-up and design construction of cables can change the stage perception and even imaging, which just by its nature can be accented by the ear-tips.

Such changes start obviously with the source file, of it being an older recording, or new, with new stage broadening effects and resolution. But along with the file we find amplifier technology (which can just be their innate properties) bringing the tonality and stage into different proportions. As such…….my reviews of ear-tips become only my singular experience, along with amplification and cables, bringing about a style of synergy in the end, that combined with individual ear-canal anatomy and neurological preferences, becomes of only a suggestion at best. Yet there is Head-fi. Yep, a place where many subjective ideas become quantified into a style of objective reality by many people singularly finding parallel ideas to take place. That is one important reason Head-Fi is hear, to share success stories.

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IEM Comparisons:
Here I do side-by-sides to locate the quality differences between a few similarly priced IEMs.

Left to right
Top row: Kiwi ears Singolo, TANGZU FUDU
Bottom row: The 7Hz SONUS and the SIMGOT EA500
LM Edition


The test subjects:
1) Kiwi ears Singolo: 1DD-11mm LCP: $79.00 (comes in black or blue) 4 grams each:

2) TANGZU FUDU: 1 DD-10mm x 2BA: $89.00 4 grams each:

3) The 7Hz SONUS: 1DD-11.3mm x 1BA: $59.99 (choice of black, red or grey) 5 grams each:

4) Simgot EA500 LM Edition: 1DD-10mm Lithium Magnesium: $89.99 11 grams each:


Before I get started, to reiterate themes from a prior comparison, the FUDU was the odd-man-out.......being it needed an audiophile DAP or Dongle to come alive, yet other than that, each of these four choices was cream-of-the-crop as far as sound per dollar goes………being roughly the same price, each is special at what they offer in comparison to the crowded marketplace.

And really before we even get started (it must be said) that a choice of any of the four would be a win for the purchaser. People may question why I chose these three to compare to todays Singolo........... and the answer to that is they came out recently, and go to show the state of the art of under $100.00 IEM construction.

In fact while at times I will choose a more expensive IEM to try and highlight deficiencies in a product, none of that nonsense is needed here. The Kiwi ears Singolo is a perfect example of how to tune an IEM for broad likability. Yes, the Singolo has its own character, yet that character is likable, especially something to come to if you have been burned by too much treble heat or too much lumbering bass tones.........ruining pace. In fact the Singolo is a style of honesty and during these side-by-sides went one step farther to remind me of the sophisticated, and together, yet soft (polite) inviting tune that was the hallmark of the Zero MK1 and Zero MK2. I will do my very best to differentiate between the four. Using the Sony WM1A, SIMGOT LC7 cable in 4.4mm, and the longer wide-bore ear-tips to reduce any dissimilarities from how they are driven.

The FUDU:
Starting with the FUDU, this is why there is nothing else like doing these side-besides to try and ascertain a style of reality. Right off the FUDU seems easier to drive? That may end up trouble for the Singolo later in the review as typically the FUDU is hard to drive to maximum qualities. Still the FUDU contrasts are of splendor and offer bigger differences between the treble and bass. In fact the FUDU bass is clearer and of more substantial texture…….simply holding that Hybrid separation, especially in contrast to the actual BAs in FUDU action. While sure, I can go forward and say the Singolo is more coherent, that trait means very little at this point in time. I need to do more IEM changes to now concentrate on stage differences. Really the FUDU stage is bigger holding more detail and what comes with that is possible off-timbre, but to tell you the truth at this point I really don’t hear any……making the FUDU simply the better IEM, holding those extra details that comes with owning extra drivers and the separation that comes forth. I mean, sure the FUDU is famous for this style of bass, in that it is big, detailed to a point and separated…….we maybe (some of us) could have already guessed this…..but the difficulty in driving factor of the Singolo……that was a surprise, I will test it with a phone later in this review. In ending this comparison I can’t help but include the extended nozzle length which the FUDU holds, going deeper and more inline with a regular fit, with a larger selection of ear-tips. I mean I feel bad to use the word sleepy for the Singolo, but that is the very best descriptor when comparing the FUDU to it? Later in the music section we will learn of the Singolo’s good points, yet in this trial, the FUDU comes out ahead.

The 7Hz SONUS:
Here is the very definition of doing a lot with a little. I’m a little scared at this point with how our first test went? While the Singolo bass is pretty much even with the SONUS, it is holding longer fall-off and even more note weight up the line. As such the BA the SONUS sports is holding more separation into lesser perceived reverberations, though standing out in the mix, opposed to the singularity presented by the Singolo.

Here it is learned both the SONUS and Singolo have lesser bass thrusters than the FUDU, making them like closer brothers.

I mean it is almost not fair...........the levels of textures put out by the FUDU in action? Where once again another IEM besides the Singolo is also feeling bigger and better in relation to nozzle length. Where literally everything is closer to home with the Singolo. The vocals are not dislocated into any extra relief inside the stage. While sure there may be a hint of off-timbre that becomes the natural outcome with BA use, I can’t help but hear the tones finding more vividness and contrast when born?

While maybe they lack the realness of the Singolo, they are better heard and become slightly more audiophile. Sorry, I regularly like Hybrids the best, anyway…….for these exact reasons found.

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Singolo IEM tested by Crinacle himself

Simgot EA500 LM Edition:
Well, this should be a fun one, as now we are back to a DD, in this fiasco. Well the total first thing noted (maybe as expected) is the bass with the EA is lots like the FUDU.

Yet the vocals now are more pushed-out than the Singolo finding a place somewhere between our BA performers, while not quite as vivid as the 7Hz SONUS or FUDU, holding a more natural timbre………of course you knew that was coming.

So the question is which is better, the EA at $10.99 more or the Singolo?
The most different thing the EA does, besides bass, is it adds a 5kHz peak, which the Singolo does alternatively instead offering a smooth large scale rise from 3 to 4Khz.

Where in reality this Singolo slope starts even at 1kHz then smoothly travels up peaking at 3kHz to 4kHz before continuing further into 6kHz. When you combine the Singolo upper mids with the 68dB bass then you can see this easy going nature.

Where the EA is also there is more mid-bass found at 200Hz being 63dB where the Singolo is at 60 dB. Though I feel the most difference comes from the heard at 5kHz with the EA making a noted 72dB peak.

As such the extra energy from the EA500 LM takes notice and helps delineate aspects found in that critical part of the treble. Where these differences besides technicalities, go to make each IEM response very different. The EA 500 is more vivid and contrasty, the Singolo coming off more relaxed and tame.

What this does (combined with the 2.8 kHz peak) it goes to push EA vocals forward giving an almost style of BA separation and contrast to the EA sound.

What the results of all this mean to you my reader is that the Singolo can be found to be more relaxed and maybe even more cohesive in comparison to the EA500 LM.

The Singolo listen ends less fatiguing, and simply allows higher volume levels. Yes the stage is slightly less filled out with the Singolo, holding fewer levels of itemization.

Yet also somehow I was brought into my memories of the two 7Hz Zero’s both MK1 and MK2, going and showcasing a softer, smoother even organic display of Singolo character.

All this to the point I heard the EA500 LM taking on an overall metallic stance, that while proving better in overall technicalities (by far) those technicalities were flashy and almost to a point garish.

Where the Singolo simply was set back, and offered a humble yet even more true rendition of the tones, leaving the sparkles and fanfare to the showboat EA500 LM to do all the time.

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Conclusion:
Singolo and EA500 LM conclusion:
Wow, I really didn’t expect this style of altercation. Where sure the EA500 LM is basking in making stuff both more real-life and synthetic both at the same time. Real-life due to simply better imaging and faster transients, yet pushed into existence, where the Singolo was more true to timbre, yet offering a slower and more lazy, yet real rendition of tones. The Singolo was the more mature, older and wiser player, the EA the most brash and hostile provoker of the trebles. As such the treble EA peaks delineate a very different atmosphere, where it is the bar at closing when they have tuned-on every light in the house………..where the Singolo is those few moments after total closing when they energy of the night has died down……..and it is time to go home.


$79.00
https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo

Kiwi ears Singolo:

Driver: 11mm dynamic driver
Frequency response range: 20Hz-20KHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Cable Interface: 3.5mm
Plug Type: Detachable 0.78mm 2Pin

Disclaimer:
I would like to thank Kareena from Linsoul for the love and the Kiwi ears Singolo review sample.

Disclaimer:
These are one person's ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Disclaimer:
The Kiwi ears Singolo has been had burn-in for 168 hours.

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

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Samsung Phone 3.5mm
HiBy R3 II 3.5mm/4.4mm output and 3.1 USB Type-C output
GO bar Dongle 4.4mm/3.5mm

Wait, you really want to read some more?
OK.


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Construction:
What is KARS?
Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System. Basically it's a venting system which allows air into and out of the Singolo also at the same time adding resonances just like the round hole in an acoustic guitar.

As such the 3D printed body utilizes an exact chamber of convoluted tubing which is both connected to the outside and after a number of turns is also connected to the driver membrane area, so that there is no driver flex due to pressure build-up when attached to your ear. The nozzle ends are a metal alloy construction with a lip that holds ear-tips well. I get the impression after studying the Singolo that there is actually a separate chamber which takes up the whole underside of the faceplate. This has not been listed, but the top of the driver sound-tube enters the underside of the faceplate which is hollow. The top of the driver additionally has a sound tube which is a nozzle tube for the IEM sound to travel out of into the nozzle tip. So as of this year we are actually seeing many IEMs which make use of a part resin and resonance chamber combined pressure relief tubing. If you look you can see the start of the KARS system tubing originating from the underside of the driver which is open also to this resonance chamber. As such, what is different from IEMs in the past is very little air-space.

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As this is 80% a solid IEM in construction. As such there are good and bad ramifications to an invention, being that in case of a fall, the entire shell can crack with nothing left to repair. The good part is better control of tolerances and more finite control over construction, with less human handywork, being the Singolo is almost entirely 3D printed. In fact what this bass tuning does is offer a smooth and slightly non-paced result. The bass attacks have a rumble, yet inside of that rumble there is a slow swagger of personality, which is not exactly perfect, but lovable. I like to call it a birthmark. :)

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Where my best analogy for this style of bass is Cindy Crawford, that I for all-time will designate this bass as Cindy Crawford bass. Why? It is far from perfect, yet it is its lack of technicalities, which give it a sense of originality. Sure maybe the KARS system is performing this sonic act? Maybe it’s simply the 11mm driver size?

Whatever it is, it is the slight lack of strict detail………….is what we get………..yet full-on musicality are the results here. There is a lumbering of sorts………a twist, which is not holding an edge, it is of a softer and more polite demeanor. This KARS bass tone walks the pace through, and takes it homebound in moving swaying style……….becoming one-of-a-kind in bass tone.


Cable:
While there are no exact specifications as to the cable make-up, the included cable is nice, and a departure from what style of cable that have typically been included with Kiwi ears IEMs. This is noted by the L shaped plug, the 0.78mm 2Pins and the creation of their almost 7Hz design? Actually really strange to find, like 7Hz got in and switched cables on us?

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Weighing in at 11 grams the cable is not only ergonomic, it is light-weight. Seemingly going wherever you want, I can almost not imagine a better out and about cable to go with a Dongle or phone output? I hope to see more of this style of cable from other manufacturers in the future, as it is just nice. Note the small L and R demarcations prevalent.

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Standard phone use:
One of the biggest changes in IEM design since 2016 has been the basic attitude towards finding bass from a regular phone. I say this because really that has been a contrast to where many IEMs from the 2016 era always had the possibility of sounding thin and sterile from a phone. Well not anymore, and while probably the greatest feature in phone use IS the fact that we can tap into that KARS system bass response. With standard phone use the Singolo doesn’t have that drivability issue of the FUDU in the bass department. Nope, and while yes, the Singolo is hard to drive, we encounter such rebelliousness with having to max out our phone volume, yet are greeted with little or no distortion and a fluid big stage.

I can totally see folks getting the Singolo and being smitten with regular phone use. Second to the bass, it is the lovely midrange separation and textured imaging that make phone use a win-win. Now my testing method here wasn’t just to grab a phone, but I did a cable test with a full-fledged DAP before moving the 3.5mm over to the phone to gain contrast in results.

HiBy R3 II use:
With a blacker background we find enhanced imaging and increased stage from regular phone use. In fact the cost of the HiBy is way less than a regular phone nowadays, which makes it a no-brainer purchase here
.

The size, and battery life, and simple user interface…………. combined with a Swiss-army knife of options make the R3 II a must have if you ask me. The M signature response of the HiBy simply explodes the Singolo into musicality………I’m sorry but if you could see me moving my head to this sway and groove, you would understand.

Nowadays the price of equipment is secondary……...in contrast to exactly what you end-up choosing. Meaning its not how much you spend (to a point) it is just how much musicality you luck into with a new purchase.

So much of our little hobby has grown in sound quality for a value price, when the price of everything else in the world has skyrocketed. Just give me my Singolo and the HiBy R3 II and leave me alone……….I’m listening here. Oh, I almost forgot the SIMGOT LC7 is another add that fully actualizes the Singolo......adding a thickness simply from more wires in action. A medium budget cable which has perfect ear-hooks just like the included cable, though what it does besides more wires is has a modular plug enabling the 4.4mm output of the HiBy R3 II!

The HiBy R3 II with the GO bar Dongle:
While the battery drain of the GO bar is not a treat you want to use for super long listening times. The results of playback due to HiBy 3.1 TypeC USB means you have access to laptop and GO bar power level output results while out on the road. When you get to your location, simply ditch the HiBy and simply plug the GO bar into a laptop for (the identical) next level audiophile experience. Yep, this takes the cake with simply more (GO bar) constructed imaging and a slightly smoother style, a more sophisticated level of playback, only second to my WM1A or WM1Z. And if you're wondering if the Singolo scales up, yes it does. I could go on…….but this is not a review of the GO bar.


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Music:
All music tests were done with the (4.4mm plug option) LC7 cable, the Sony WM1A with MrWalkman’s firmware, and the slightly longer wide-bore silicone ear-tips.

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Ghost
Phantomime
Phantom Of The Opera (Iron Maiden cover)

48 kHz - 24 bit
Here is a song that is well recorded and showcases pace, timbre and stage. I was never a fan of the original song, but this version shows an ample amount of excitement. The opening showcases both guitar and a bass track which mirrors. While sure the guitar finds itself composed of multiple tracks into formation on the far right and stage left, the bass is dialed into where it should be, right in the center. Probably the most important start off is at 00:00 where there is a bass accent fully formed and clear, holding none of any style of lumbering or lack of pace. In fact the very first thing we key into is just how natural and real sounding our bass guitar work played out. Just the fact that the bass is more compressed here at the start and the wide guitar reverberations take precedence. I mean you want that click-clack of the bass to become centered as the tones are in center focus here. At 00:26 we realize that whoever covers this song it will always be Maiden sounding at the core……as that is who wrote it.

At 00:35 there is the introduction of balance, I mean a balance of so many separated and delineated entities taking each section of the stage as its own. In fact just the clarity found here is both a testament to the Singolo’s ability and the recording quality. But dealing with forward chord statements…….power chord statements no less………we are reassured as to the upper midrange tuning finding a welcome home, while still not critically blasting those tones into finite forwardness…….they are our friends……..we have made total peace with the power chords...........both in tone and placement into the stage. At 00:38 we hear the backing chorus basically doing a regular additive, adding dimension and polish.

At 01:03 the main vocals arrive. Tobias Forge has introduced us to an exquisite use of a cover, that while still sounding like Maiden, there seems to be extra creative room for Tobias Forge to make the song his very own. Basically to me a song that is (still questionably) better than the original. Here we find the Progressive Rock elements that were always in the background of NWOHM........only concentrated on in this Phantom OF The Opera Maiden song. Yep, this could be considered Progressive Rock, still walking that line with the added power chords of Metal………perfect. At 01:28 the Hammond B3 keys go into action to almost Jon Lord-ify the number. I mean what would this song be if they left the Deep Purple vibe out? Nothing……….that is where it would sit. Only at this point, just like the backing chorus, the B3 sounding organ is an embellishment and doesn’t come near taking center stage. At 01:54 we arrive at delight taking in the fast studio pan effect (reverb) put onto Tobias’s vocals. And to reiterate on that reverb, the reverbs here, especially with the guitar are natural and nice, holding a realism with fall-off and note weight, better than any Hybrids with BA noise makers, ever thought of doing. The notes of reverberation are simply longer and drawn-out to their conclusion. That is the Singolo in a nut-shell………provocative reverbs. That and believe it or not correctness both of tone and pace.

At 02:58 an epic lead takes place…….and we are given it all, nothing left out, at least in excitement of emotion anyway. Then more layers of guitar lead…..this is Tobias making a song for the concerts he plays………to keep the vibe of Metal alive and be true to it. And at 03:20 we somehow come face to face with the use of a Wah Pedal. Probably the pedal was in effect throughout, but has now identified itself as its very own instrument for the playing. Yep, seemingly walking out-front and taking control of the song. It is in these virtuoso instances that we find the soul of the moment, swept far away from our daily lives into the world of Rock.

At 04:05 we are greeted with a bass note, and actually this instance shows us the bass personality at hand, that while clean and correct, the bass is not in any way overboard, too much or too little. It is humble, yet correct and at this point (even polite)………..I realize I am at terms with the Singolo sound in total.

Finally we are (starting to be) brought to a style of climax, a climax inside a song that sounds almost like a climax all the way though. Just like the start of the song, there are the same instruments. There is a specific use of repeating themes which brings about a familiarity, yet at this point we are in the middle of a style of wind-up……..yep. The pace of the song seems to be brought into a speedier pace. It’s at 04:44 when all the listeners are now in sync, yep everyone knows the song, even if it was the first time they heard it. Eye contact is made with your partner and air-guitars take creation. You know that imaginary string instrument that somehow shows-up out of no-where.

Everyone rides onward into the power of the power chord, with slight smiles just in the corner of their mouth. This is, and will always (forever) be known as Rocking Out. At 05:02 the lead starts again, and because everyone knows it, the fingers go into action, playing each note….imaginary of course. Though at 05:20 a surprise happens……yep the leads are so good we are spellbound to listen…….they get respect and no more tomfoolery takes place. We stop as the real guitars are in the room……they require concentration……..and honor. At 05:29 another guitar approaches from the right…….a second guitar lead to join in……now they are tag teaming one, then another, then another……….it doesn’t ever get better than this. Finally, finally at 06:24 they are in unison, and filling the stage. Still we are not even finished, it is that over-the-top Progressive Rock Over-The-Top-ness. The excessiveness that too much is never too much…..ever.

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Hans Zimmer
Inception OST
Old Souls
44.1 kHz - 16 bit

There is delicateness to the beginning piano notes, that at 00:23 they hold an ambiance of reverb and the Singolo nails it. At 00:54 the bass drop occurs. That while even at this exact price point I have heard a bigger stage, more contrast by other IEMs produce a feeling of detail and get the next level of emotional involvement. Yet that is not the goal of the Singolo performance…….no here we are partaking of a purer performance, holding note-weight and timbre……reverberations and fall-offs. Maybe the name of this is organic? Yet there is an honesty which is un-arguable and consistent where it could be said that more stage gets you more immersion, and I will agree…….except this style of playback is also emotional, but not due to overall size, but more sincerity of life? Like if you needed exact background music while at work and didn’t need the flash, but still wanted a purity when that set of chords went and grabbed your thoughts. You in-fact would not question them, not the timbre, not the decays abound, nor the treble would ever creep into your workspace. Because we all know of the music genres that are distracting, that emit an energy that is too much for concentration to occur. Yet with the Ghost song we found enough detail and correctness, a finite pace that rocked-us-out. Yet here is the same, only the song chose the pace, one of a sleepier and romantic idea of a song. And that is two examples of both sides of the coin, a coin that is illustrating the profound easygoing yet well-rounded demeanor the Singolo can’t help but parley 100% of the time.

Package:
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Conclusion:
The Singolo walks that line, a line of both moderation and poise, of sophistication and temperament…….to become many different sounds by a changing of tips, yet all the ear-tips sound correct, only changing bass effectiveness and stage, midrange imaging and treble placement. Of course the widest and more shallow spread the stage out the farthest, yet the physicality of the nozzle didn’t allow me such freedom in use. So I chose the longer wide-bore silicones……and life went on. I mean this tuning is so (in a way) careful and soft. Soft due to the upper midrange Pinna Gain always being controlled. Even if you have heard as many IEMs as I, there is a place where you shake your head at just how careful this line is that they walked. That while impressive with bass, this still could be considered a vocal IEM, especially for those out there that are sensitive to forward vocals. And while sure, there are better technical IEMs for the same price, the technicalities take a back seat and are replaced by realism, not from wide-spread imaging but by correctness of tuning, that and timbre and ample reverberations. As such the Singolo plays great off a phone, that while maxed out in phone volume, we still have great bass sculpturing and that slightly bouncy roll and sway that makes the KARS system something we will hear again implemented. That for the NOOB the Singolo is really the ticket, as long as you can still find fitment with aftermarket ear-tips. And for the seasoned veteran in this game of acquisitions, the Kiwi ears Singolo brings an unstoppable character that is neither boring or too garish. To me, I kept getting déjà vu reminding me of the 7Hz Zero MK1 and even more MK2. And if you have read even a few of my reviews here, I hold those IEMs at the top of how to tune an IEM. It is through this midrange imaging that they stole my heart, and the Singolo is continuing that specific legacy into the future.

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Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
@Redcarmoose this is the story of my reviewing life. Balancing my wife's wishes and my mindless babble with my reviewing life... Lol. You do an amazing job though
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
@Ceeluh7,
Thank-you.
Yes, the balancing act. That you can't let this hobby take control over the important aspects of life and take too much away from those that love you. At least I don't want to find out what it is like to not be pestered, while I'm writing. I may not like the freedom of alone, no matter how much free time it then allows?
Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
Very well said.

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Beautiful shells, solid build
Smooth laid-back tonality that is relatively fatigue-free
Clean soundscape
Interesting KAR acoustic damping tube implementation, to tailor bass sonics and remove driver flex
Big sub-bass with no mid-bass bleed
Safe upper midrange and treble
Natural timbre
Cons: Dearth of accessories
Short nozzles may potentially affect fit and seal (may be mitigated with longer eartips)
Moderate drivability, may require amplification to scale
Not for trebleheads
Average technicalities
DISCLAIMER

Singolo 6.jpg


I would like to thank the Linsoul for providing this review unit.

The Kiwi Ears Singolo can be gotten here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo (no affiliate links).


SPECIFICATIONS
  • Driver configuration: 11 mm LCP dynamic driver + KIWI Acoustic Resonance System (KARS)
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB/mW
  • Cable: 2-pin, 0.78 mm; 3.5 mm termination; no info on cable material
  • Tested at: $79 USD

ACCESSORIES

Other than the IEM, these are included:

- 3 pairs of wide-bore silicone eartips (S/M/L/)
- 3 pairs of narrow-bore silicone eartips (S/M/L)
- Cable

The accessories are quite disappointing for something retailing at just below $100 USD: there is no provision of a case, pouch or foam tips, and there are definitely cheaper competitors that include a better accessory line-up.


Singolo 2.jpg


We have 2 variants of silicone tips - the wide-bore ones boost treble and soundstage, whereas the narrow-bore ones improve bass but with some compression in staging.


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We have no information on the cable materials, but this is a 2-pin one. It is on the thinner side but comes with a very functional L-curve distal terminal, with a chin cinch for grip. Microphonics are quite abundant although it isn't too tangly. The stock cable is more serviceable than something haptically pleasing, but CHIFI addicts should have some handy aftermarket cable lying around to replace this.

The rest of this review was done with the stock cable and stock wide-bore silicone tips. No aftermarket accessories were used, so as not to add any confounders to the sound.


BUILD/COMFORT

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The Singolo is fashioned from resin. The inner aspects are transparent, showcasing the internal drivers and acoustic tubes in all their glory. We have a blue marbled faceplate to grace the outer part of the housing. The earpieces are solid yet beautiful.

The shells are lightweight with no awkward protrusions on the insides. However, the nozzles lie on the shorter side, and those with larger ears may find that it doesn't seal well with the provided stock eartips, which are likewise stubby. Thankfully, tip-rolling with longer aftermarket eartips eg Spinfits or Final E types may mitigate this area.

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Isolation is bang average. I did not encounter any driver flex, which is a sign of good acoustic airflow.


INTERNALS

The Singolo utilizes an 11 mm LCP dynamic driver coupled with a KIWI Acoustic Resonance System (KARS).

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KARS is essentially an extended labryinthine acoustic tube - 3D-printed to a 1.0 micron accuracy - that functions as an acoustic damper via air pressure and through Helmholtz resonances, to down-throttle certain frequencies. This results in an increased sub-bass resonance with a taming of the mid-bass, as we will read below.

Additionally, the KARS regulates ear pressure, thus attenuating driver flex and assisting with airflow regulation. Lastly, the KARS technology also decreases rear wave acoustic reflection, which assists in improving clarity.


DRIVABILITY

I tested the Singolo with the following sources:
- Apple dongle
- Cayin RU7
- Chord Mojo 2
- Fiio KA11 dongle
- Fiio KA17 dongle
- Khadas Tone Board -> Schiit Asgard 3 amp
- Questyle M15 DAC/AMP dongle
- Sony Walkman NW A-55 DAP (Walkman One WM1Z Plus v2 Mod)
- Sony Walkman NW A-55 DAP (Walkman One Neutral Mod)
- Sony Walkman NW WM1A DAP (Walkman One WM1Z Plus v2 Mod)
- Smartphone

This IEM is moderately difficult to drive; amplification is recommended for scalability and optimal sonics.


SOUND & TECHNICALITIES

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Graph of the Kiwi Ears Singolo via IEC711 coupler. 8 kHz is a coupler peak.

Tonally, the Singolo can be described as neutral with a sub-bass boost. Compared to the measurebator's gold standard in the Moondrop Variations, the Singolo is not so recessed in the lower midrange (so it thankfully doesn't sound as sterile). This tuning choice is pretty pleasant and all-rounded for most music genres, and is generally free of harshness.

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Graph of the Kiwi Ears Singolo versus Moondrop Variations via IEC711 coupler. 8 kHz is a coupler peak.

We hear an 8 dB big sub-bass shelf, with a clean and bleed-free mid-bass that cuts off at around 300 Hz, courtesy of the KARS acoustic tube. The sub-bass is very visceral, assuming one has a good seal with eartips, with good rumble and resonance felt. Mid-bass is textured and fast, with zero smearing.

The lower midrange is transparent, with slight recession but no mid-bass encroachment. Upper mids are safe with just a 7 dB ear gain at this region, which translates to vocals that are forwards without shoutiness.

Treble is smooth and fatigue-free, with an early roll-off. This IEM may not be for trebleheads as such, but it is very safe with no sibilance, nor harshness. The Singolo is thus a well-suited option for longer listening sessions.

Timbral accuracy is pretty solid as per most DD setups. No complaints here.

The Singolo is more of a musical than technical set. It isn't classleading in micro-detailing or imaging, with some smudging of instrument separation noted in fast tracks with competing riffs. Soundstage is average in width, but has decent height and depth.

Amplification might assist in soundstage and dynamics to some extent, but overall, on a spectrum, the Singolo is more safe (some might even say boring) over something aggressive for head-banging fun.


COMPARISONS

The Singolo will be compared against some other budget single DDs. Hybrids, pure BAs and planars are left out of the comparisons, as the different transducer types will have their own inherent pros and cons.


Simgot EA500LM

The EA500LM has 3 tuning nozzles to vary the sonics and furnish more versatility, though all tunings still lie towards a brighter Harmanish tone.

The EA500LM is hence more boosted in the upper mids and treble, which may result in more clarity and resolution, though with more shoutiness, fatigue and sibilance.

In technical chops, the EA500LM has superior soundstage, micro-detailing, imaging and instrument separation.

The EA500LM has a less natural timbre, but is easier to drive, with a better accessory line-up.


Kefine Delci

The Delci is a bassy U-shaped single DD, which also has big sub-bass. The Delci has more mid-bass and lower mids, with more treble extension.

In technicalities, the Delci is more expansive in soundstage, with slightly better micro-detailing and imaging.

The Delci sounds a tinge more metallic in timbre. However, packaging and drivability go to the Delci.

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CONCLUSIONS

The Singolo is a musical single DD with a cool implementation of the KARS technology - something akin to an acoustic damper - which bestows a big sub-bass shelf with a clean mid-bass without bleed. This also eliminates driver flex as an added benefit.

Sound-wise, the Singolo sports a very safe tuning, which should be agreeable to most ears. There is no shoutiness, nor fatigue in the upper frequencies, with a transparent midrange heard. Timbre is natural as per its single DD roots. However, technical chops are middling and won't uproot any trees.

In external facets, the Singolo is downright beautiful, with its transparent resin housings allowing consumers to visualize the inner workings of this IEM. However, the overly short nozzles may pose potential fitting issues for larger ears - this may be mitigated with longer aftermarket eartips - and the Singolo isn't the easiest set to drive. To top it off, the accessory lineup is a disappointment for something near a 100 bucks.

In the big scheme of things, the Singolo parachutes into the competitive shark-infested sub-$100 USD single DD ocean, where there are a myriad of choices on offer; I would class this IEM as average but nothing market disrupting. The Singolo would be an option for folks searching for a fatigue-free musical beast that can be used for longer listening sessions, over something for head-banging fun or for critical listening. I do hope this KARS technology can filter down to future releases too, as this innovative concept may very well prove to be the future of IEMs.
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Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo Review
Pros: -Build is fantastic, truly, all resin with a 3D printed resonator

-A typically great Kiwi Ears design

-Absolutely impressive technology

-Very clean signature with good musicality

-Deep, authoritative sub-bass with punchy mid-bass

-Resolution in the midrange is great

-Forward mids, transparent, detailed

-Treble has good energy, resolute, unsullied

-Details for a single DD with a big sub-bass

-Separation is very good
Cons: -I don’t hear a distinct subwoofer type sound

-Not the most fun sound I’ve ever heard

-Accessories are not up to the price point

-Not everyone will want this type of bass shelf

-Midrange lacks energy and dynamism

-Macro-dynamics aren’t very expressive without higher volume

-Note weight is on the thin side

-Slight sibilance at times

-A tad too dry at times (is this a con?)

Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo Review



Singolo


Singolo

Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo

Intro

Hello, this is a review of one of Kiwi Ears latest budget oriented iems named the Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo which comes in at $79. The Singolo is actually a collaboration effort between Kiwi Ears and the popular reviewer, YouTube personality and mastermind of “In-Ear Fideltiy”…Crinacle. Crinacle has been a staple of the audio scene for quite some time, carving out a spot for himself among some of the biggest names in the hobby. Whether you like him or not, or whether you enjoy his work, or you don’t, he’s certainly on a pedestal within the audio community and carries a vast amount of knowledge and fanfare. So, of course the hobby will react to any release that features an “X-Crinacle” within the name. As honest as I can be, I’ve only ever watched a handful of videos from Crinacle and used his awesome database of frequency graphs… a lot. Not that I don’t think he’s entertaining and very insightful either, because I certainly do. Everything I’ve ever seen involving Crinacle has been something I’ve learned from, at least a little. He’s pretty funny too. At any rate, this is not a discussion on Crinacle, this is a review of the Singolo and I don’t want the rails falling off this thing already.

Kiwi Ears

It is difficult to say that you aren’t a fan of Kiwi Ears. How could you not like this innovative and hip audio brand? I for one have been a fan ever since I reviewed the Kiwi Ears Cadenza (Cadenza Review) a couple years ago. I did feel that Kiwi Ears crafted the best set that money could buy under $50 in the Cadenza, and it held that crown for quite some time. Of course it has since been dethroned, but that doesn’t take anything away from how special that set is and has been for audio in general. Also, it’s still a damn fine set for the price and still one of the best iems under $40 in my opinion. I also have owned a few other Kiwi Ears iems that I never got around to reviewing, like the Kiwi Ears Melody, Kiwi Ears Quartet as well. However, I did review one of my favorite iems that I’ve ever heard under $250 in the Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite (Orchestra Lite Review). I feel that the Orchestra Lite is a masterpiece for what it is and where it’s priced at. Even the Melody is one of the best planars that money can buy under $100. I suppose the point is that Kiwi Ears knows what they are doing and doesn’t seem to make many wrong moves. At least not from my vantage point. So, I was instantly intrigued to see what the Singolo was all about.

Singolo

Well folks, I am quite interested to check this set out in more detail. I want to see how well the implementation of the KARS (Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System) technology (along the principle of a Helmoltz resonator) works to actually create a sense of separation of the sub-bass in a single dynamic driver by cutting the 300hz frequency, and only the 300hz frequency. This would essentially, or better said… “perceptibly” give the Singolo that detached sub-woofer clean cut. If Kiwi Ears is able to pull this off, it’ll be very special. We’ve seen this before in the recent past with the likes of the Truthear X-Crinacle Zero (Mahir’s Zero Review) and the QKZ X-HBB Khan (Khan Review). There have been a few others but that’s neither here nor there. However, those were also dual dynamic driver earphones. Again, the Singolo is just as its name suggests… single… solo… Singolo.

I have no idea why Crin and Kiwi Ears tried to accomplish this feat. It reminds me of Aful’s wonderful attempt to tune the MagicOne with its single BA driver. It’s almost like they do it simply because it’s a challenge. I’d push back on that a bit because there are other reasons why one may want to go this route with a single DD, but that’s for later. Right now, I just have questions which need answering. Okay, let me burn this set in and I’ll see you in about a week and a half. The Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo…

Purchasing Links:

Linsoul
Amazon US

Singolo


Simgot EA500LM Review Pic (6).jpg

Aful SnowyNight / EPZ TP50 / iBasso DX240 / Shanling M6 Ultra / Fiio Q15 / Ifi Go Blu

Gear used for testing

Ifi Go Blu

Aful SnowyNight

EPZ TP50

Fiio Q15

iBasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2

Shanling M6 Ultra


Kiwi Ears Singolo Review Pic (59).JPG


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Packaging / Accessories

Unboxing

The unboxing experience is really not an experience at all folks. If there was some glaring gripe about the Singolo is that the accessories are absolutely entry level. This is a very strange thing to see at the price of $79. I don’t want to beat a dead horse on this and I’m sure that the money must’ve gone into the R&D, drivers, as well as the actual making of this earphone rather than the accessories. So, I give em a pass. Furthermore, I don’t really care as I tip roll and cable swap all the time anyways. At any rate. The box is rather small with a picture of the Singolo on the front, some stats and specs on the back as well. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Inside the box you’ll find the Singolo looking tough in foam cut-outs. Next to the foam is another box which contains the tips and the cable. Folks let’s just put it this way, I’ve seen better accessories for $25 iems. Okay, the horse is dead.

Singolo Unboxing
Singolo Unboxing
Singolo Unboxing

Eartips

Singolo Tips

Kiwi Ears provides a couple different sets of tips. Both sets are wide bore silicone tips, one set of three is white and the other set of three tips is black. Both sets (S, M, L) are shallow fit and both sets have very flimsy flanges. Folks, these are both useless to me. They truly don’t even try to seal in my ears. Just prepare to tip roll. I actually went with my standard KBear 07 tips which fit me like a glove.









Cable

Singolo Cable

This cable is also very utilitarian and is just…Not good. I don’t know how to say it any differently. I have zero idea why Kiwi Ears went this route, but I feel they should know that we as a community of hobbyists do enjoy better cables. The provided cable is very light… I’ll give them that. It feels like nothing on the ear which I’m sure some folks will enjoy. Not me, give me a nice, braided cable. They are ridiculously cheap anymore and I’m sure that most consumers will pay the extra $10 for a decent cable that looks nice paired with the Singolo. Anyways, the cable provided is a 2-pin cable, white, thin, and there’s nothing else I can tell you because there isn’t any more info on it. I actually paired the Singolo with a 4.4 balanced SPC BQEYZ cable that worked well with it both aesthetically as well as sonically.




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Singolo






Build / Design / Internals / Fit

Build Quality

The build quality is actually very good. When considering not just the structure of the iem but also what’s inside the iem you can begin to appreciate the approach as well as the outcome. The Singolo is made entirely of resin and crafted by way of 3D printing. Kiwi Ears actually had to use the method of 3D printing as it would be next to impossible to achieve the Helmholtz Resonator tubing internally without 3D printing. It’s too intricately designed. Also, the build is simply nice. The Singolo is a smaller earphone that is very smooth all the way around with a shallow length nozzle, or a shorter nozzle than usual as well, and so using tips which work for you is a requirement. I will say this again, I used KBear 07 Large sized tips as well as Tenmak Whirlwind wide bore tips during my listening. I do believe it is paramount that you seek out the best fit for any set, but in particular the Singolo. Anyways, the resin looks and feels durable and well-constructed, from the front to the back. Nice job Kiwi Ears.

Singolo Build
Singolo Build
Singolo Build
Singolo Build

Design

The design is gorgeous. The Singolo comes in two colorways, with a black option as well as a blue option like I have. This is a set with faceplates that starkly resembles a slightly less beautiful Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite. Still very nice looking though and one which certainly competes aesthetically with any set in its price point. That’s if you dig all resin builds. I enjoy that the Shells are crystal clear where I can easily see the inner workings. I can see the large 11 mm DD; I can see the resonator tubing as well and that is pretty cool. Honestly, it’s a nice looking iem that will look good on anyone strolling down the street, in the market, or simply out and about.

Internals

Okay, so the Internals are interesting. This should be one of the most legendary acoustic marvels if Crinacle and the folks of Kiwi Ears get this right. The driver is an 11 mm single DD that was custom built with an LCP diaphragm. Internally you have what’s being referred to as a Helmholtz Resonator which has the ability to cancel out, or seriously attenuate certain areas of the frequency. However, this isn’t like traditional methods of using mesh, dampers, etc. Crinacle saw to it to actually attenuate the 300hz frequency which would act and sound like a clean cut from the bass region. He boasts that this would leave a clean and neutral midrange. Very much similar to the tuning seen in dual DDs like the Truthear Zero, or the QKZ X-HBB Khan among others. There’s a big bass tuck and a scoop out of the 300hz region. You can see my pictures of the tubes within the Singolo which shows the KARS technology up close. I certainly hope this works.

Kiwi Acoustic Resonance System (KARS)
KARS is not a gimmick – it is a discrete band-pass filter that manipulates airflow to the driver, regulating low frequency output. This patented innovation features an elaborate labyrinth tubing network that has been designed after numerous scientific and physical models to perfectly calculate the appropriate resonance point for the Singolo’s driver. KARS makes a tight sub-bass shelf possible; something that has been previously impossible in a single-driver IEM. The bass quality, quantity, and texture are all incomparable to any other tuning strategy used in a similar driver format.
Unlike traditional crossover networks that uses multiple drivers with RC (resistor-capacitor) networks, KARS instead uses Helmholtz resonance to regulate its tuning. Airflow to a dynamic driver regulates how much the diaphragm can respond, but also requires additional calculations of flow rate, direction, and volume. KARS allows exact regulation of this airflow to manipulate the sound as we desire. While capacitors and resistors provide a calculated means of crossover solutions, they also add unwanted artifacts to the sound in the form of distortion, especially when cheap SMD components are used.
Kiwi Ears Promotional

Fit

The fit is where we may have some issues. For whatever reason Kiwi Ears gave us tips that simply are not good. So, getting a seal and a good fit does require (at least for me) some tip rolling. I’ve heard the horror stories online and in threads from folks who couldn’t get them far enough in their ears. The shell almost gets in the way and the nozzle may not be long enough. I don’t know. Anyways, they fit me fine. As long as I get some tips that work, the Singolo fits like a glove. So, I have zero idea how this set will fit you. Obviously, there are folks who’ve had issues. Again, I don’t know why. It doesn’t look like it’s some odd shape or anything. I guess we are all just built differently.

Singolo



Drivability / Synergy

To drive the Singolo I would say that all you need is a decent Dongle Dac. Heck, you could probably be fine using a phone with a 3.5 jack. With a rated impedance of 32 ohms and a sensitivity of 108 db’s (give or take), this means that the Singolo is a pretty sensitive iem. I actually used many different source devices while critical listening and found that sources with a slightly more neutral tonal color seemed to work the best for me. Devices like the Moondrop Dawn 4.4, the EPZ TP50, Fiio Q15 or the iBasso DX240. Each is closer to neutral and sounds great. Not that warmer devices will sound horrible or anything. It’s just my preference with this set.

Output

Now, the Singolo will slightly benefit from some more power output too. You’ll notice that the Singolo does seemingly stretch the stage a bit with more output as well as an increase in dynamics to my ears. Of course, my more powerful source devices are also my “better” source devices too. So, I think a little has to do with the output power, but I also feel that the sonic ability of a source device will make an even better and bigger contribution to the final result.

What do you need?

Just get a decent Dongle Dac. You don’t need some amazing setup to bring this set to its best fidelity. There are so many low-cost dongle dacs on the market anymore that finding a suitable one for the Singolo should be no issue if you can afford it. That said, if you simply cannot afford anything greater than the Singolo itself, then you will be fine with a simple phone.

Singolo



Sound Impressions

Bad rap…

Now we get to the polarizing part of the review. Folks, I’m just going to make a bold prediction. I’ll put on my Nostradamus hat for a minute on this one. The Singolo is likely going to be a set that you either really love, or really… not love. Some will have an issue with fit and others may have an issue with the tuning itself. Still, others will adore this set. Guys & gals… hear me out. The Singolo has gotten a bad rap and I’m not quite sure why. As honest as I can possibly be, the Singolo does not sound bad. It just doesn’t. I think the biggest crime that’s been committed here is that the Singolo doesn’t exactly sound the way that it was described and advertised to sound.

He said what?

Folks, I’m trying to make sense out of the chaos here. However, the biggest crime of all (my opinion) is that Crinacle actually said (out of his mouth) that Simgot (ya know, the brand that took a blow torch to the hobby) makes “mid” iems, aka; average, meh or blah iems. Yes, he said that. However, he then proceeded to make a… not perfectly amazing set himself. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Of course, he is promoting his product collaboration, which is fair. However, the community sees it as “self-involved ego” and people don’t take well to it. Whether that’s what it is or not I do not know, it just comes off that way. Yet this is nothing new and Crinacle shouldn’t be looked down upon for promoting his product. Maybe he could’ve refrained from putting down an actual awesome brand. Also, it isn’t professional to belittle another brand (who’s done damn well by the way) and then proceed to create something that is in FACT… kinda mid (as a whole package). I’m not mad at him though; he’s just trying to make his way just like the rest of us. I could never have anything against Crinacle, he’s a staple in the Audio community and given way more than he’s taken. From my point if view, that is. I respect him quite a bit, but this whole ordeal was odd to say the least. There, I wanted to lead with all of that so that I wouldn’t harp on it the whole review.

Is it good?

Now, is the Kiwi Ears Singolo a good sounding iem? Yes, it’s a decent sounding set. Is the Singolo good as a package? Yes, it is, but only if it was about $20-$25 cheaper. It’s priced a bit too high if I’m being totally honest…that’s it. Still, I really feel that this set has gotten a bad rap. It really isn’t a bad set. Is it my favorite? No, it isn’t. It’s not even my preference. Will folks enjoy this set? Absolutely, there will be people who love and adore this set.

How does it sound?

The Singolo is a slightly warmer sounding iem down low and has a more neutral sound after that. The bass is obviously north of neutral (8db bass shelf) but it’s also not so infused into the sound that it creates a veil. Altogether I hear a slight V-shaped sound, smoother than it is crisp, decently technical and pretty musical I suppose too. I hear an average stage with even some hints of depth. Separation is decent depending on the track, Imaging follows suit and detail retrieval is fine for what the Singolo is. Not bad at all.

That all said, the Singolo has a more fun signature. It has a deeper and more bulbous sub-bass with only a slight sub-woofer like effect, on some tracks… maybe. What I mean by that is the bass region does cut itself off from the midrange to an extent. Okay, I have to stop again, folks, the Singolo simply doesn’t really have that sub-woofer sound unless you are listening to tracks that really bring it out. Some are great, and I mean… really great. The Singolo does have that abrupt decline but not enough of a low-mid 300 hz scoop to make the sound detached and separated like we’ve seen on some dual driver sets which are tuned for it. Maybe not to the extent that Crinacle was going for anyways. So, the new tech does its job, but it only slightly worked.

Condensed Sound Between the 20’s

What the bass does sound like is a heavy sub-bass and a meaty mid-bass with a less-than sharp downhill mid-bass roll-off. More like a gradual hill. Again, not really a straight deep dive tuck with a deep cavernous scoop that doesn’t bleed at all into the mids. Not exactly anyways. Still pretty clean in the mids though. The midrange is only slightly recessed, it’s very clean and clear, a bit thin sounding, yet also it’s pretty laid back throughout without a lot of energy in the middle frequencies. Certainly not mid-centric, but vocals can be pretty nice. For me that means higher volumes though because there is a lack of vibrance for me. Perhaps it could use some vivacious gusto in the upper mids for some hobbyists, well, most hobbyists. The treble has some decent energy adding some levity to the mix and does have some toned-down brilliance to it. Detail retrieval certainly isn’t bad, though extension into the upper treble may leave a tiny bit to be desired. Altogether, this is not a bad set. I know you folks are hearing a lot from many reviewers, but I can assure you that the Singolo is not a bad sounding set. It simply has some real amazing sets around its price point. This also happens to be a problem for all under $100 iems.

Graph
Graph courtesy of Paul Wasabii, Thank You!


Singolo




Bass Region

This is the type of bass that isn’t regularly heard in the budget range. Without question this is a valiant effort by Crinacle and Kiwi Ears. I find the low-end to be fun. I would never consider the bass region as mature, tight, swift or defined. It’s none of those things. Well, not all the time. Of course, some tracks play differently, and some tracks will surprise you with the Singolo. Shoot, some tracks sound down-right amazing. That’s no joke. However, in general the low-end is almost flabby. I did say almost. Kiwi Ears made sure to keep it all together. This isn’t that hard edged type of bass with concrete note outlines that sounds precise in its slam. I also wouldn’t consider the Singolo’s low-end as transient swift. It is definitely more atmospheric in nature with a very nice rumble and haptic/tactile feel which works for more than a few genres. However, it also isn’t that well defined and mature sound I’ve gotten used to hearing at the under $100 price point. I’m not going to begrudge Kiwi Ears attempt here though. After listening I can usually start to wrap my brain around the sound and begin to enjoy the Singolo. Scratch that, over time I can see how folks would enjoy it as I did begin to enjoy the Singolo myself.

Sub-bass

The lowest of lows is exactly as the graph suggests, it’s deep, extended, and guttural with quaking bass that you can feel as well as well as hear. Certainly, the sub-bass takes the brunt of the low-end priority. I actually love a lot of my rap and hip-hop library listening with the Singolo as well as those deeper bass guitar riffs. In fact, deep and bulbous sub-bass comes up in songs in ways that may surprise you which makes listening to some songs almost new in a way. Now, the bass shelf only extends upwards about 8dbs give or take which doesn’t seem like a lot. Though with the less intense treble it does make it’s presence felt. Certainly not a basshead set. Maybe a hint softer on the edges, but the Singolo has a very compact and dense sub-bass note body. Listening to “Groove” by Ashley Monroe shows off the low droning bass guitar. This track also shows off the clean separation between the bass and the midrange. Ashley’s vocals are very clean and unsullied to my ears. Folks, the sub-bass has a nice texture, and it isn’t sloppy or too overwhelming either. I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about it. Unless of course you are allergic to a more lifted and extended “lowest of lows”.

Mid-bass

Now, the mid-bass has a good amount of beef to it with a decent slam which sounds pretty nice with kick drums on more exuberant tracks. Songs like “Billie Jean” by Weezer start out with those exuberant and raucous kick drums that will tell you exactly how your iems sound. It’ll tell you texture, speed, and quantity very well. The Singolo comes across slightly soft and with a slower, or better said… an almost natural decay through release. The leading edge at attack has a little bit of fuzz to it, which isn’t always a bad thing. Not really to my liking, but I’m not you. Also, quite a few sets can handle these drums and sound a bit more condensed, compacted, glass-lined and with more fullness. The Singolo doesn’t do drums quite how I like. I want more exact impact, more snap, and direct palpable slam. The Singolo is another set that mimics the analogy of a hammer wrapped in a sock. It’s pretty dense and full, but soft at the crest of the note. Most kick drums have that leading tacky edge which is followed by a big hollow boom with a weighted and resonant decay. The Singolo almost gets me there. Also, “2040” by Lil Baby & Lil Durk. This is another track which should boom with authority. For the most part I hear that. Maybe the Singolo is missing that last little bit of texture and amplitude, but it sounds good enough and makes me bob my head. It did its job.

Downsides to the Bass Region

The downsides for me are only a few. It really isn’t that bad folks. Especially if you enjoy this type of sound. However, I understand why reviewers would scorch it. Especially if they are judging it for its straight-up “quality”. So no, this isn’t the most refined, defined or separated bass. It’s a bit one-noted at times and doesn’t really follow faster bass passages very well. Also, to do a complete 180, there will be those who despise this much low-end activity. They will find it annoying and bothersome, and I understand that. To those folks I’d kindly advise them to move on. This set isn’t for you. Coincidentally, my entire purpose for these reviews is to try to help you figure out just that; is the Singolo for you, or isn’t it? For some, this bass will be heavenly, and I cannot just roll the Singolo through the mud just because it doesn’t fit my exact preferences. Granted, I honestly don’t find it bad at all and even quite fun. If any of you have been paying attention, the Singolo fits the criteria and preferences of the man who tuned this set. That’s the measuring stick folks. Not MY particular subjective wants and desires. The bass is deep, and it’s big. Yes, it’s also pretty unclear and ill-defined too. You already know if it’s for you or not. I told you this set would be at least slightly polarizing.



Singolo




Midrange

The mids come through with pretty good cleanliness against the bassy backdrop. Tracks without a lot of bass activity will sound very clean, refined even. However, even in bassier tracks the bass tuck “cut-off” is abrupt enough that the midrange does sound pretty distinct. Does this make it good? Maybe. I suppose it all depends on what you personally enjoy. Now, the Singolo isn’t exactly a “mid-centric” iem, and I do hear the slightest recession. Mostly in the lower midrange. Furthermore, there’s also a less vibrant energy in the midrange to my ears than on most good budget iems. This still doesn’t make it bad either, but it takes a minute getting used to. Especially if you are coming from most anything on the budget market of late, ie: Simgot EA500LM.

A few midrange notes…

The midrange is a mix of crisp and smooth. It’s lean in body, yet with good structure to the sound. It isn’t weak and lifeless, or too sapless and frail. Transients move along with a natural decay to my ears. Not super ductile or nimble, but also the Singolo isn’t sloppy at all, or sluggish either. There’s decent texture and the midrange is also pretty technically adept too. You’ll hear some mellifluousness as well, which rears its pretty head at times. The complaint against the Singolo is that it lacks some energy, especially in the upper mids where we are used to hearing that more exuberant and vivacious pinna rise. I don’t know if I agree completely. Perhaps it’s less shimmery than some sets? In addition, another knock against the midrange is that it comes across kind of flatter than most and lacking those expressive macro-dynamics. The bonus is that there really isn’t anything which causes offense to the tuning. Unless of course this tuning itself is offensive to you.

Lower-midrange

The low mids offer pretty nice male vocals. Of course, they aren’t as hearty as some sets which incorporate a slight bleed over from the bass region. You don’t have that brute weight like some sets (Rhapsody, Delci) and that is by design. What you are left with is supposed to be a cleaner male vocal with cleaner instruments in this region. I would say that this is pretty much what I hear. That said, I also hear thee slightest recession of this area and male vocals may also sound slightly thin and less authoritative. However, if you are cool with that then you’ll be cool with males on the Singolo. To be honest, they all sound pretty good. Maybe a hint thinner, but good enough. Maybe a hint recessed too, but this isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. Listening to Marcus King in the track “Save Me”, his voice comes across very nicely resolved. Yes, it isn’t as full bodied as some sets, but his voice does sound very good against the rest of the melody. The subtle but heavy bass riff never encroaches on the lead singer’s performance, while the electric guitar on the left side of the sound field can easily be heard, loud and clear. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by Home Free is an acapella cover of U2’s famous hit. This is the type of song that the Singolo really shines with. Once you hear those melodic and perfectly timed harmonies of each male voice you will understand. However, there are some males that simply feel as though they lack authority and energy. It’s hard to put my finger on all the time. Like something is missing.

Upper-Midrange

The upper midrange is where I really wish there was just a bit more energy. The Singolo doesn’t miss by much. However, this is where we start to see the issue I explained earlier. There are simply too many great sets within its price point that don’t have this issue. If you call it an issue. For me it’s subjective. It’d be one thing if the note weight was juicy, emotionally charged and more engaging. I don’t hear that though. Females tend to lack some vibrance and shimmer from time to time as well as weight and body. They aren’t as elated or lifted in their presence. Some tracks will sound better than others. Still, “More Hearts Than Mine” by Ingrid Andreas is a beautifully sung track that isn’t the most enthralling and energetic in tempo. The Singolo almost exaggerates this lack of enthusiasm. Ingrid’s voice needs some weight to it, in my opinion. Her voice and the inflections in her voice need that more shimmery engagement. It just isn’t there as I like hearing her. Then you have a track like “Oscar Winning Tears” by Raye which is recorded very well. More energy, bass, vibrance to a degree as well. This comes through with the Singolo. I also enjoy the bigger bass in this track which follows Raye’s vocals very well with the Singolo. The Singolo helps Raye’s voice to come across very clean against the bass foundation with an airy quality to it. So, there you go, some sound great while others… don’t.

Downsides to the Midrange

Of course, the biggest glaring issue that I have is a subtle lack of sprightliness and vibrance. The midrange can come across as ever-so-slightly deadpan and slightly less colorful or kinetic in its macro-dynamics than I would like. I have a hard time saying this though, because generally I do enjoy this set. If I turn the volume up enough, and simply watch what tracks I’m playing… then no big deal. The truth is, there are moments when the Singolo can sound flat-out impressive. Despite that, I have to keep going back to the overarching issue that Singolo faces. There’re too many sets that simply out-performs the Singolo at that $80 price point. Maybe if the price was $20 to $25 cheaper than I wouldn’t be as much of a weakness, or issue. I mean, detail retrieval isn’t abysmal in the midrange and the mids are very resolute and clean. So long as the track isn’t bass heavy then what you’ll have is a tidy and clean sound. Also, the midrange isn’t shouty, isn’t glaring, minimal sibilance, not metallic sounding either. Separation of instruments is decent to good. Imaging is actually quite good on tracks without heavy low-end activity as well. I’m torn folks and I shouldn’t be torn at $80.


Singolo



Treble Region

The treble on the other hand is actually pretty nice. Again, we don’t have any offensive peaks or ear gouging glare which is good to hear. This isn’t the most energetic treble as far as brilliance and lift is concerned, but there’s still enough vivaciousness to add some fun to the sound. The Singolo walks that fine line pretty nicely. Just enough brilliance without it coming across as “too much”. So yes, it’s a slightly less energetic treble then some iems at the price point, but the Singolo also had a good quality timbre. I find it comes across slightly crisp, but with decent contour of treble notes and there’s a little bit of bite to the leading edge of attack up top. Resolution is actually quite good here, and I also hear some nice detail retrieval for how downplayed the treble is. What you won’t hear is an annoying level of emphasis or forced resolution. Believe it or not the treble actually works well for the overall tuning. Like I said, the Singolo isn’t an outright bad set by any stretch of the imagination and the treble helps in this regard.

Not bad for what it is

Now, I don’t consider this a fast or transient agile type of treble region in a general sense, but for a budget single DD I think the treble region does just fine. Not as well in comparison to some balanced armatures, planar magnetic earphones or obviously est drivers (is there any budget est drivers?) However, the Singolo has good enough attack through release, as well as nice resolution, stage width and separation up top to tackle some more demanding treble tracks. Listening to Billy Strings in the track “Ice Bridges”, I find that the Singolo does an adequate job of handling Billy’s fast paced banjo play. Along with the banjo, the Singolo does great in parsing out separation of the other instruments for a single DD. I can hear the mandolin, chimes, etc. There are some moments of blending happening, but this is to be expected. For the most part it handles this and other tracks pretty well.

Again, I feel one of the strong suits of the Singolo’s treble region is its timbre and the way that the Singolo handles stuff like the secondary harmonics of a cymbal strike. I don’t hear anything even remotely splashy, but instead cymbals sound nicely bodied with realistic enough harmonics. Obviously, this can change from track to track. This really goes for most any instrument in the treble region that I zeroed in on during critical listening. Having said that, extension will leave a little bit to be desired. It isn’t ultra extended. I wouldn’t say it’s rolled off, but extension simply isn’t a “pro” of the Singolo’s tuning. But the timbre is good, instruments sound realistic enough, and I don’t hear anything metallic, too edgy, shouty or peaky. All In all, not bad.

Downsides to the Treble Region

If I were to cover some downsides or issues, I’d probably first say that treble heads will be left wanting here. This is not refulgent in shimmering luminance. The Singolo doesn’t have that edged and crisp bite. Treble notes don’t have that contoured structure and super defined body. Also, I’d say that extension is only average. Nothing that will draw out all of the tiniest of details. Not extended enough to stretch the stage either. The treble isn’t so laid back that I’d call it relaxed, but it’s leaning in that direction. All things considered, it isn’t deplorable and does fit the overall tuning well enough.

Singolo



Technicalities

Soundstage

The soundstage as a whole is about average. This isn’t a massive sounding iem that stretches the stage in width, but it also isn’t congested sounding. It’s average. Height fills out the sound field pretty well and depth is there too. The depth of field is not the type that adds a holographic or 3D type sound. Not completely anyways. Actually, the Singolo has its moments. At the end of the day, I would simply say that the psycho-acoustically rendered stage is average. Furthermore, average isn’t bad at all, it’s average. The stage doesn’t feel, or sound cramped at all which is the least of what we should be looking for.

Separation / Imaging

Separation of elements within the imaginary stage are well parsed-out and delineated from one another. The Singolo has a tuning which tends to create space and the sound is crisp enough and defined enough to create those distinctions. It’s a cleaner sound throughout the midrange which takes up the bulk of our listening. The bass may be a bit compressed and not as clinical in its approach, but it all comes together nicely. So long as the track you are listening to isn’t loaded in bass activity then separation of instruments and voices is not bad at all. Imaging follows suit almost to the tee. I find the Singolo actually has good imaging, so long as the low-end doesn’t get in the way.

Detail Retrieval

Detail retrieval is another area that I’d say is about average as a whole. Maybe above average midrange micro-details, but that is highly debatable. So much depends on the track you are listening to at any one moment. Less complicated tracks will obviously come through a bit better and more congested tracks will not sound as refined, defined, distinctly separated, and clean. Again, the bass will have a lot to say on how well you are able to perceive the subtleties within your music when the Singolo is in your ears. Again, I’d probably call the Singolo’s ability to draw out the finer details as average. I don’t want to commit to saying it is above average though it does have its nice moments.

Comparison
Simgot EA500LM / Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo


Comparison

Simgot EA500LM ($89)​

Simgot

This was an easy choice for a comparison. Well, it’s appropriate anyways. The set I’m comparing against the Singolo just so happens to be the Simgot EA500LM (EA500LM Review). Of course, it only stands to reason that I’d choose the one set that Crinacle referred to as “mid”. That set is one of, if not thee, best set under $100. This is ridiculously debatable, but I would assume that the great majority of hobbyists would agree that the LM is at least a top five under $100 iem. The LM is also a single dynamic driver set with a 10 mm lithium-magnesium driver and one of the sickest builds at any price point. I truly adore this set and feel that Simgot deserves all the accolades and praise that they’ve gotten. The EA500LM is actually the successor to the much-loved Simgot EA500 (EA500 Review) which itself had received the same amount of praise and rich adoration.

Differences

To begin, the LM is about $9 more but also comes with working tuning nozzles and one of the best builds that your money can buy for under $100. Made completely out of a high shine metal (stainless steel) that’s polished to a mirror finish. The Singolo is, as you know, an all resin iem and is very well built in its own right. However, I don’t think anyone would argue that the LM is simply more robust and clearly better built. Unless you need a lighter iem, at which point the Singolo would work for you as the LM is a solid and dense iem which is very weighted. As far as design and aesthetic, both iems are gorgeous. This would obviously come down to your own preferences. You may enjoy the clear resin with the beautiful Kiwi Ears design. Or maybe you are like me and cannot get over how tough and flat-out handsome the gunmetal high polished look of the LM is. Either way, they’re both dope. Now, the LM is much better accessorized with a much better cable, much better tips, and the LM also comes with a zipper case. So, from the outset, the LM is built better, arguably looks better, better accessorized, and even has tuning nozzles. Maybe “mid” means “awesome”.

Sound Differences

To begin, the LM is much closer to neutral than the Singolo which does have that big bass that warms the sound a bit more. The tuning nozzles can slightly change this, but the nozzles really won’t affect the tonal color all that much. The LM has a more defined and airy sound with a better balance of the spectrum. While the Singolo carries that heavy bass which does tilt the scales a bit to the left. Transients come and go more swiftly on the LM and do so with better precision. The Singolo tends to let a note run its course a bit more. You could probably say that the Singolo has the funner sound. Of course this depends on what you consider “fun”. Traditionally, this means bigger and more rambunctious bass, more V-shaped etc. However, I find the LM is much more melodic in sound with a better mix of technical ability and musicality.

Between the 20’s

Starting with the bass, the Singolo has a much heavier weighted, guttural deep and emphasized low-end. It’s deeper, slams harder too. However, the LM has the more mature bass while still having a moderate amount of thump. It’s quicker, better definition, more detailed. The midrange of the LM is richer and has better note weight across the mix and better detail retrieval. Between the two I feel that vocals come across better on the LM. It’s more shimmery in the upper mids and more engaging while the Singolo can sound flat at times and doesn’t have the same shimmer and vibrance. The treble region of the Singolo isn’t as lifted as the LM’s is. Now, the LM also has the possibility of coming across too bright for some whereas the Singolo isn’t offensive at all. That said, the LM is also more airy and open sounding too. Also, the LM has better extension into the upper treble within the air region, better note precision, definition too.

Technicalities

Technically speaking, the EA500LM is pretty much better across the board. Having said that, neither set is flat-out bad technically. Both sets perform well here. However, the LM is clearly more detailed across the frequency. It’s pretty obvious and easily discernible to me. Separation of instruments are nice in both sets too, yet the LM has an airier approach, better resolution to my ears too. Like I said, the transient behavior of the LM is tighter, more exact in its approach. I find imaging is also pretty nice in both as well, but once again, the LM doesn’t have that huge bass to mask over anything to the extent that the Singolo does. Finally, the soundstage has more depth on the LM.

Final thoughts on this comparison

Like I said, this was an appropriate comparison. I can say without a question in my mind that the LM is the set that I prefer. Also, I realize that this comparison looked much better for the LM, and it does stand to reason. I suppose that folks who are very sensitive to upper mid pinna glare and treble emphasis will take a second look at the Singolo. It’s much less offensive. Also, people who do enjoy that big and rotund bass that can really extend deeply may also want to check out the Singolo. However, for everyone else this is almost a no-brainer. I think that the LM is clearly going to reach a broader range of hobbyists and fit more genres better.

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Graph courtesy of Paul Wasabii, Thank You!


Singolo



Is it worth the asking price?

I will be short in answering this question. I do feel that Kiwi Ears is asking a hair too much for the Singolo. The Singolo is a decent set. However, I simply don’t think the Singolo competes with some of the sets within its price point all that well, for me anyways. Of course, I don’t know what all went into creating the Singolo. There could be a long and arduous back story that none of us are privy to which was rolled into the final price of $80. Who knows. The one thing that I do know is… the Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo doesn’t stand up next to the better sets in the under $100 price point. Yes, it is a decent set, and yes, I can vibe with them and enjoy them. However, I’d be lying if I said that the Singolo could equal the Kefine Delci, the Simgot EA500LM, and many more. There are simply better buys for your money.

Great sets in the price point

These impressions are only my own folks. I could understand someone really enjoying this set and could easily understand someone who loves the sound. I am not here to upset anyone. The truth is, the Singolo is not a bad iem. I realize I’ve said this multiple times and I believe that. I can easily enjoy listening to them. Again, it’s only when I am going through some of these under $100 sets that it becomes apparent that the Singolo is priced a bit high. When there exist sets like the Celest Pandamon, Artti R1, Artti T10, Kiwi Ears Melody, BQEYZ Topaz, Fiio JH5, Fiio JD7, Truthear Hexa, Simgot EA500, Simgot EA500LM, Simgot EM6L, BGVP P05, Muse Hifi East 6, EPZ Q5, EPZ X-Tipsy Star One, Letshuoer DZ4, TangZu Fudu Verse, Moondrop Aria 2, Tripowin Olina, Tripowin OlinaSE, Dunu Kima, Dunu Kima Classic and that is just to name a few. There are quite a few more that will either outperform the Singolo, or perform somewhat the same, but have much better accessories etc. So, nothing against Kiwi Ears because I have greatly enjoyed many of their iems, but the Singolo should have probably been priced a bit less. My opinion.



Singolo

Ratings (0-10)

Note: all ratings are based upon my subjective judgment. These ratings are garnered against either similarly priced sets or with similar driver implementations or styles with the unique parameters of my choosing. In the case of the Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo ratings below, that would be $60-$100 iems of any driver configuration. Please remember that “ratings” don’t tell the whole story. This leaves out nuance and a number of other qualities which make an iem what it is. A “5-6” is roughly average and please take into consideration the “lot” of iems these ratings are gathered against. $60-$100 US is a huge sized scope of iems, and so seeing a 9 should probably be pretty special. My ratings are never the same and each set of ratings tells a different story. Each time you read one of my ratings will be unique to that review. Basically, I create a Rating that makes sense to me.

Aesthetic

Build Quality: 9.0 Built very well, all resin.

Look: 9.4 Another beautiful Kiwi Ears Design.

Accessories: 5.7 Not very good.

Overall: 8.0

Sound Rating

Timbre: 8.8 Timbre isn’t bad.

Bass: 8.4 A fun and deep, bigger bass.

Midrange: 7.8 Clean, slightly thin, laid back.

Treble: 8.5 Non-Offensive with good details.

Technicalities: 8.2 Technically a nice set.

Musicality: 8.5 Musicality is very nice as well.

Overall: 8.4🔥

Ratings Summary:

Rating the Kiwi Ears X-Crinacle Singolo was tough for me. Each rating could be argued for various reasons. In fact, I argued with myself over most of them. The ratings could go either way based on perception, preference and what one considers “good” or “bad”. Welcome to every rating ever given… ever. It all depends on what the criteria is. Basically, I judged the Singolo against any and every iem between the prices of $60 and $100 US. In case you didn’t know, that’s a ton of awesome iems. I have many on hand to actually listen to and make a subjective judgment, which is nice. But also, it’s a long process that gets tiring after a while.

Explain Yourself!

Anyways, enough complaining. The Singolo is a pretty good set folks, and I stand by my ratings on this one. As you can see the Singolo is about 7 to 10 rating points off the best in the price point (if you’ve read any of my reviews). I gave the Singolo an overall “sound” rating of an “8.4”, which is basically an average of all “sound” scores added up and divided. That’s about what the Singolo is. Good, but not top tier.

Grains of salt

The two ratings I had the most trouble with were the “Midrange” rating, and the “Musicality” rating. I kept going back and forth between those two. Basically, for the “Musicality” rating it isn’t always easy subjectively rating such a thing. Let’s put it this way… define “musicality”. Let me know when you have a good and understandable way to describe it. Let alone quantify it in a rating value. Musicality is a fluff word that is wholly subjective, and its meaning fluctuates and changes between people. Truth is, I shouldn’t even have it on my ratings. Actually, I shouldn’t even do ratings to begin with. Oh well, moving on. The midrange is another rating that I was going back and forth over because there really are some beautiful moments with this set. There are times it sounds strikingly good. On the flip, there are also times that the Singolo sounds like a $18 iem. The good outweighed the bad, I gave it a “7.8”. The rest of the ratings are questionable, but they are also my opinion in the end. You may disagree and I wouldn’t argue with you at all. We all perceive music differently folks, please don’t let any “high on their horse” reviewer tell you different. So once again, these are just painstaking little grains of salt.

Kiwi Ears Singolo Review Pic (8).jpg


Singolo




Conclusion

I haven’t had such a hard time writing a review in quite a while. I’ve been so conflicted during this whole process. Do you know that there were nights that I felt the Singolo was flat out awesome? Also, there were plenty of times I was wondering what it was that I was smoking. That’s what the Singolo has been for me. However, in the end, when all is said and done… the Singolo simply isn’t one of the top tiers iems, for me. There are too many good to great sets that can be had for the same price and even lower. It’s a good iem, it’s a fun iem, but it’s also got some subjective gripes that I personally can’t unhear which drops it below those “best under $100” iems.

Other perspectives

Please listen to, watch, or read other thoughts about the Singolo. It will certainly be a benefit to you. Don’t simply rely on my words and my thoughts. We are all so very different. The next guy may absolutely love this set, and ya know what… they’re right. This is a hobby where every opinion is always correct. It’s all subjective and personal to the person listening. So please do yourself a favor and check out other perspectives. Also, I thank you for reading this review and I do hope it helps you. Okay, that’s about all I have. Please take good care, stay as safe as possible and always… God Bless!

Kiwi Ears Singolo Review Pic (39).jpg

ICYGENIUS

New Head-Fier
KiwiEars Singolo review of dynamic headphones by ICYGENIUS 🎧
Pros: Beautiful appearance and made of resin
Powerful and textured bass
Sub bass is deep and solid
Mid bass is punchy and does not interfere with the development of mid frequencies
The mids are quite transparent and warm and are presented very energetically and drivingly.
Timbres and overtones are good
Transient processes on drums show themselves well
High frequencies are detailed and have good resolution
Cons: Very simple accessories
The nozzle is quite short, if it were longer it would be better.
Not the most technical and analytical, but rather more musical and simply allowing you to enjoy the music without paying attention to various nuances
Introduction!
Hello friends!
Today in the review we will look at dynamic headphones from the company KiwiEars and this is a collaboration with the very famous reviewer Crinacle and I think you probably know him.
The headphones here come in a very small but nicely designed box, there is an image of the headphones themselves, and the name of this model is Singolo.
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And here are the technical specifications for the sound, an eleven-millimeter custom dynamic driver and a special acoustic resonance system, abbreviated as KARS, we’ll talk about it a little later, are responsible for the sound, but the sensitivity is 108dB and they received a 32ohm impedance.

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Let's take a look at what's included!
The headphones here have a standard 2-pin connector and are completely made of very smooth resin and in my case have a blue front panel complemented by interesting shimmers and the company logo, and the inside of the case is generally transparent, and here we can see the dynamic driver very clearly!
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Well, the usual compensation holes are not here, since their function is performed by this small KARS system in the form of tubes and it controls the air flow entering the speaker and, most importantly, it regulates the low-frequency range, since it is thanks to this that it was possible to achieve clean and powerful high-quality bass.
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And yes, I’ll answer right away that there is no problem with the vacuum effect; you don’t have to worry about that.
But the sound guide here is of medium diameter but not very long, because of this, with some ear tips they sit quite relaxed in my ears, but don’t be alarmed, as in the case, by trial and error you can find something that suits you and there are no problems it won’t.

Accessories!
Well, as for accessories, everything is quite simple.
1. We get a completely ordinary cable 1.2 meters long, with 2 pin connectors and a 3.5 jack plug.
2. Two sets of silicone ear tips.
3. And a manual for use.
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How do these headphones sound?

And now we come to the most important part of the review, the analysis of the sound of the KiwiEars Singolo headphones and there is really something to talk about here, since after all, the tuning here is not quite typical of what has come out recently among dynamic new products, and so let’s say in what then even they have their own uniqueness in this regard, since Krinakl decided to make, first of all, a powerful bass by increasing the low frequencies by 8 dB, but at the same time, I note that I did not see this model in some kind of fierce basshead with a bloated bass, which I think is correct solution, and of course it’s worth saying that in general the tuning here is U-shaped,with a noticeable predominance of warmth at mid frequencies with a slight relaxation in the lower middle, and the whole thing is complemented by neat and detailed high frequencies, and as you understand, the headphones are not bright, and have a rather neutral tone of presentation, they do not have any obvious bias that in the mids that in the high frequencies, and at the output we have a fairly balanced presentation since the upper mids and low frequencies are at parity here, and nothing comes out ahead of everything else, as is especially the case in bright headphones with excessive amplification of the upper mids.
Low Frequencies:
The low frequencies here are really good, the bass is my respect, it’s massive, textured, super booming with a smooth decay and a dedicated attack with good transparency, and what I liked was its obvious highlighted punch, but I’ll note without any excessive dominance over the mids, as it happens in real basshead models, that is, the bass does not cover or hide the vocal part at all, but on the contrary, it is clearly abstracted from this area and simply performs its extremely controlled work only in its own area without in any way interfering with everything else from opening up and I would like to note that if you are a fan of good,electronics or hip-hop, and in general genres where bass and kick are an important part, you should definitely like these headphones, at least due to such solid and punchy low frequencies
Mid Frequencies:
But the mid frequencies here have a rather interesting preserved line between warm, pleasant neutrality and at the same time with additional energy in the upper midrange so that everything does not sound lifeless and boring that is, here they still didn’t spare us and added that same energy with good retention of drive, which will be especially important for rock and metal, and I like that the vocals here are presented as I like, neatly transparent with good weight, coming a little ahead in the production along with the drums part, but at the same time there is no sibilance or shrillness in the vocal part, and the timbres and overtones here are very well developed, and the obvious clear attacks and transients on the drums here simply neatly complement the whole thing, along with the loops from the reverberation, which here do not end abruptly, but on the contrary, they turned out to be very extended, which is definitely pleasing, especially in this price category, and let me remind you that the headphones cost $80!

High Frequencies:
But at high frequencies it’s even more interesting here, they are presented with good conservation of energy and attack, that is, the cymbals don’t sound blurry, on the contrary, they clearly and clearly stand out in the overall mix along with the percussion, but at the same time, I’ll note there is no excessive brightness or bad timbre and the detail and resolution here are very good, although it seems to me that technicality and analytics have gone a little into the background here since in general the presentation here turned out to be neat, warm and a little smooth, and without such killer techics as for example in Simgot EA500LM where you can literally disassemble the entire composition into parts, here it’s as if we are simply given the opportunity to enjoy the composition without obvious hard audiophilia , just what I call it, you turn on the music and the headphones don’t throw various problems in your face with information of some obvious micro nuances, but at the same time they reliably and very verified literally convey all the information to you on a silver platter.
Stage and stereo panorama:
Well, as for the sound stage, it is average in terms of construction, but the instruments do not get lost in space, they sound very separate and there are no problems with their definition, and if there were a little more open sound here it would be absolutely great.
My conclusion on this headphones:
KiwiEars Singolo are very peppy dynamic headphones that are a completely universal solution for most musical genres and lovers of such a neutral, slightly bassy warm presentation should definitely appreciate them.
Aliexpress DD-Audio Store:https://aliexpress.ru/item/1005006652228298.html
Linsoul:https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo
I will be glad if you subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch this full review on KiwiEars Singolo!
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ICYGENIUS
ICYGENIUS
@passie42 I would like to get more information what you didn’t like about them, maybe you had too high expectations ? or maybe they really didn’t suit your taste, this really happens... well, at least in my review I only described what I experienced with this set
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
@ICYGENIUS this IEM is a nightmare to fit. I got good sound out of it but when the fit is wrong, I hear the same problems people around the audio world mentioned.
ICYGENIUS
ICYGENIUS
@o0genesis0o yes, it would be better if the nozzle was fixed, for example, I also had a problem with Pandamon 2.0 due to the short nozzle, I spent a long time selecting ear pads and often got bass leakage, but if you still managed to find the right one, then great

thaslaya

500+ Head-Fier
Capable Collaboration
Pros: + Fun, energetic tuning

+ Better treble extension than some previous Crin collabs

+ Technical performance

+ Attractive shell design

+ Lightweight, small, and ergonomic

+ Natural timbre especially on percussion and guitar
Cons: - Occasionally shouty/sibilant

- Can sound a bit cold/clinical at times

- Stock cable and tips

- Short nozzle length
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thaslaya's star rating system:
☆☆☆☆☆ - Best in class/buy it now
☆☆☆☆ - Highly recommended
☆☆☆ - Sound for thee, not for me
☆☆ - Can't see the appeal
☆ - Product is a failure

Disclaimer:
This product was provided to me by Linsoul in exchange for my impartial and honest review. I recieve no compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own. A special thanks to Carina at Linsoul for coordinating this unit for review.
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Non-affiliated link here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-x-crinacle-singolo

Gear used:
● LG v30+
● Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra
● Samsung dongle
● Hiby FC4
● Kiwi Ears Allegro
● Ifi hip dac 3

Source:
●Listening was done through Amazon Music HD or Ultra HD.
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Introduction:
Kiwi Ears have been working overtime lately with three new iem releases in the last 5 months (and that's not including their DAC/amp, the Allegro which I reviewed here). In November 2023, the planar iem Melody made its debut. Then in December, the budget hybrid Forteza released to less than stellar reviews. Now in March 2024, the company is hoping to bounce back with their first ever collaborative project, the Kiwi Ears x Crinacle: Singolo. It's currently available for $79 on Linsoul and it sports a single 11mm dynamic driver along with something called KARS (Kiwi Ears Resonance System) which is their new soundtube technology. This maze-like tube will look familiar to those that have seen or own the Aful MagicOne. Let's break down the Singolo and see how they stack up in the market today.
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Build, fit, ergonomics:
The shells are made of solid clear resin and come with either a blue or black faceplate featuring the Kiwi Ears logo. I recieved the blue colorway and the shell design is very attractive. The iems are small, ergonomically shaped, and lightweight. My biggest issue with the design is the nozzle length. I think Crinacle took to heart some of the fit issues people have had with his other collaborative iems ie: Blessing 2:Dusk, Truthear Zero/Zero:Red. Those sets have notoriously long and wide nozzles with a deep insertion; however, the nozzle on the Singolo is much shorter. In fact its too short. In my case, it's very difficult to get a deep enough insertion with the stock tips and they fail to seal properly. The included tips are also too short and flimsy to be paired with this particular iem. There are 6 pairs in the box but I think Kiwi Ears should have included the option of longer tips for deeper insertion as well. After lots of tip rolling, I was able to find a stable fit and seal with the large Penon Liqueur tips. The stock cable is a disappointment too. It's thin, tangles easily, and looks cheap. It doesn't feel good to use and doesn't compliment the fabulous build quality of the iems themselves. Also the cheaper Forteza even includes a small zipper case but there isn't one here with the Singolo.
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Sound impressions:
The Singolo has a v-shaped tuning with elevated bass and treble, the former being more prominent. The soundstage has good width and depth especially in the sub $100 bracket. There's also good technical performance but not quite on par with Simgot EA500LM. For listeners that prefer a warmer signature, they can sound slightly cold at times. The Singolo definitely benefits from amplification. They arent hard to drive unless, like me, you listen at high volume levels. There is a great synergy between the Singolo and the Kiwi Ears Allegro DAC/amp. Their strengths compliment each other very well. I found that pairing with the Hiby FC4 blunted the treble extension too much. Using the hip dac 3 with XBass is a great experience for bassheads and low end lovers.
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●Lows - The bass is undoubtedly boosted but remains well balanced between mid and sub. The sub digs deep (really deep when paired with XBass on the hipdac) without distortion. Seriouslly, the sub bass can extend very low when pushed. My go to track for testing this is Mountains by Hans Zimmer from the Interstellar soundtrack. My ear drums were vibrating like I was sitting between 2 subwoofers. The mid bass punch is not overwhelming but makes just enough of an impact to make it's presence felt. There is little to no bleeding into the mids that i can hear. Overall, I wouldn't consider it the cleanest or fastest bass but its very musical and has a way of enhancing the low end without compromising the rest of the frequencies.

●Mids - This area is a bit strange to me on the Singolo. The vocals are great and have a nice natural timbre but they sound a bit off due to their placement. They aren't recessed per se but it's more like they are placed slightly too far back on the stage as if the vocalist is standing behind the lead guitarist in a rock band. The vocals are then overshadowed somewhat by the instruments. Guitars, piano, strings, etc. sound fantastic and the detail of every key stroke and string pluck can be heard clearly. I do find myself wishing the vocals held a more forward position in the entirety of the mids but that's my personal preference.

●Highs - This area is not what I'm used to hearing from a Crinacle iem. The treble is well extended with a sufficient amount of air. They don't feel smothered by bass or roll off early like the Truthear Zero/Zero:Red. Percussion instruments like snare hits and cymbal crashes sound particularly great. They are not harsh and have a realistic timbre and decay. The high mids/low treble part of the frequency response is slightly boosted around 3.5-4kHz. This means there is a tiny bit of sibilance that can rear its ugly head on certain tracks so those that are treble sensitive may want to look elsewhere.
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Summary:
There are no shortage of Crinacle collabs to choose from these days and most of them share a similar tuning template. I am glad to say that the Singolo is a little bit of a departure from that same ol' Crinacle sound. The treble quality and quantity is superior to other offerings in the sub $100 tier such as the Truthear Zero models. The technicalities and timbre are fantastic for as well. The bass is of course boosted because, well, it is a Crinacle iem after all; however, at the end of the day, I'm not sure the whole package warrants the $79 asking price. It's not a bad iem by any means but there is a TON of competition nowadays and new releases are coming at a very fast pace. The Singolo's tuning and performance are not the things I take issue with; it's the fit and accessories. The sub par cable, shallow nozzle, and mediocre tips hold back what should be an easy and strong recommendation. So who is the Singolo for? Well, if you have fit issues with long nozzled iems, have alternative tips and cables to roll, or have $79 burning a hole in your pocket then I say go for it! Ultimately, it's a very well tuned, fun, and technically savvy iem that plays most music genres fantastically.
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KopitehC

New Head-Fier
A not so Singolo review
Pros: Great sub-bass if used with the right ear tips. Big bass sounding if fitted properly.
Cons: Price point on the high side, accessories provided can be better.
Stock eartips virtually e-waste
Overview:
The Kiwiears Singolo offers a bold sound signature with its notable 11mm Dynamic Driver. Partnering with Crinicle, Kiwiears has crafted an IEM that delivers a larger-than-life auditory experience.

While it exhibits some commendable qualities, there are areas that could benefit from refinement.

Sound Quality:

Bass: The Singolo boasts substantial bass response reminiscent of a dedicated subwoofer. The sub-bass frequencies particularly shine, delivering pronounced rumbles that add depth to the listening experience. Despite commendable texture, the mid-bass may lack expressive detail in comparison to other models in its price range. The implementation of a large dynamic driver mitigates bass bleed, contributing to a cleaner sound.

Midrange: The midrange is characterized by a V-shaped tuning, allowing the beats of the music to take precedence over vocals. Vocals exhibit a distinctive halo effect, adding character to the upper mids. While resolution is adequate, the Singolo excels in conveying the resonant qualities of acoustic instruments, enhancing the overall tonal experience.

Treble: Surprisingly, the Singolo delivers impressive treble extension, imparting an airy quality to the sound signature. Cymbals sound crisp and well-defined, contributing to a balanced audio profile. The controlled treble ensures clarity across the frequency spectrum.

Soundstage: The Singolo offers commendable width and height, creating an expansive soundstage that belies its physical dimensions. Depth and positioning are above average, enhancing the overall listening immersion.

Comparisons:

VS Simgot EA500LM: While the Simgot EA500LM demonstrates superior technical prowess with enhanced resolution and refinement, the Singolo holds its own with its engaging bass slam and texture. The EA500LM caters to listeners seeking a traditional sound signature, whereas the Singolo appeals to those desiring a more dynamic and fun listening experience.

VS Tangzu Dufu: While both the Singolo and the Tangzu Dufu share similarities in sound signature, the Singolo edges ahead with its pronounced bass slam and midrange texture. Despite comparable technical performance, the Singolo offers a more engaging sonic presentation.

Final Thoughts:

The Kiwiears Singolo impresses with its addictive bass response and engaging sound signature. With its large dynamic driver, it delivers a captivating auditory experience that resonates with music enthusiasts. While its sonic performance is commendable, the Singolo could benefit from additional accessories to enhance its value proposition. Overall, it stands as a compelling choice for listeners seeking a dynamic and immersive listening experience.

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mars chan

New Head-Fier
Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo: review and comparisons.
Pros: + Subwoofer-like bass.

+ Innovative acoustic design.

+ The non-fatiguing sound.

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Cons: - The bass may sound disconnected in some tracks.

- Lacks vitality and may seem boring to others.

- Imagery lacks accuracy.
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Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo: review and comparisons.

Kiwi Ears is a relatively young audio manufacturer based in China that produces low- to mid-priced IEMs. They recently released a cute-looking dongle DAC/amp called the Allegro.

Crinacle, based in Singapore, is a well-known reviewer in the audiophile community, particularly in the Chinese HIFI scene.

The Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo (80 USD) is the outcome of a cooperation between Crinacle and Kiwi Ears; Crinacle co-tuned it and receives a profit split.


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The package is adequate, but the accompanying accessories are subpar for the price; the cable is thin and tangly, and the eartips are overly soft and thin, lacking in quality. I understand that they must compromise accessories in order to provide us with the highest quality IEM while also recovering R&D costs and Crinacle's profit share.

The Singolo is not picky about pairing; it worked well with whatever sources, cables, or tips I tried. For this review and comparison, I used the Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha, Moondrop Moonriver 2, Moondrop Dawn Pro, and Topping G5 Dac/amps.

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The sound quality:

While the Singolo's graph looks good (see photo) and appears to be from much more expensive sets, you will never be fooled into thinking you are listening to a much more expensive set, such as the Moondrop Blessing 3, the Xenns Mangird Top, or the Simgot EA1000. For example, the overall sound quality is satisfactory for its price range.

The overall sound character is a warm U-shape, with more boost in the bass than the upper treble. The tuning is quite safe and will not cause tiredness to the listener. The tone quality is excellent, and the instrument and voice note weights are thick but neutral.

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The dynamics are slightly constrained and lack passion; this is a characteristic of U-shaped-sounding IEMs, in which the energy in the upper midrange is eased, making them ideal for relaxation. Some folks may find it boring-sounding.

Power handling is average. It is clean at low to medium-high volumes, but gets shouty at extremely high volumes.

The sound stage has adequate depth and width, but the overall size is average for the price; with a few exceptions, it outperforms $25 and below sets but falls short of $130 and up sets. There isn’t much dimension.

The imaging is also average for the price; the image edges sound fuzzy, are not clearly defined, and appear to mix into one another.

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Bass:

The bass sounds like a subwoofer in a nice 2.1 speaker setup. It sounds excellent to me, albeit a little disjointed at times, and I enjoy it. I believe their sophisticated acoustic design is effective and not a gimmick.

Midrange:

It has a relatively neutral sound with a flat frequency response; the upper midrange is recessed and lacks energy and vitality, but it will not tire you out because it is not shouty. The details are average.

Treble:
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It sounds smooth and without roughness even at high volume levels; it sounds non-fatiguing and safe; the lower treble is recessed and the upper treble is somewhat elevated, making the sound a little dry; detail retrieval and micro detail are average; and airiness is also average.

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Comparisons:

Compared to QKZ x HBB Khan (40 USD)
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The Khan is a cooperation between the company QKZ and another well-known reviewer, HBB, or Hawaiian Bad Boy. It was launched in early 2023.

Both have comparable graphs, particularly in the bass. I hadn't listened to Khan in a long time, so I revisited it for this comparison, and it sounds awful—not Aful, but awful. It sounds thin in note weight and goes shouty at higher volumes. It has good bass and sounds more dynamic and alive, but if I were to choose between the two, I'd choose the lesser evil, the Singolo.

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Compared to Moondrop May ($60 USD):

I use the May with a third-party cable connected to a dongle Dac/amp, rather than the original cable, which has built-in DSP, Dac, and amplifiers.

The May is significantly more musical and dynamic; it is superior in every way: the bass is more fleshed out, the mids have more depth, musicality, and dimension, and the treble has more micro details, air, and finesse. Suffice it to say, I prefer the Moondrop May.

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Compared to the QKZ x HBB Hades (80 USD):

The Hades is a recently released collaborative IEM by QKZ and HBB, or Hawaiian Bad Boy.

The Hades' intended demographic is bassheads, or people who enjoy extreme quantities of bass. The Hades' sound is much more bassier, and the midrange and treble can be drowned out by the quantity of bass produced. The bass is the focal point, with the mids and highs taking a back seat. The Singolo is more balanced and produces a natural sound.

For casual listeners, I strongly recommend the Singolo over the Hades; the Hades' sound is simply too specialized.

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Compared to Simgot EA500 (70 USD):

The EA500 is a popular IEM that has long served as the bar for sound quality in its price range. It has now been replaced by the EA500LM.

The EA500 is far more clear, dynamic, and melodious than the Singolo. However, the bass on the EA500 is lighter and becomes tiring for me after lengthy listening sessions due to its lean and bright sound balance. I prefer the Singolo's tone, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with the EA500 because it has better overall sound quality in my opinion.

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Compared to the Kinera Celest Pandamon ver. 1 (40 USD):

The Pandamon has been succeeded by the new Pandamon 2.0, or version 2. It produces a pleasant, neutral sound with less bass and upper treble than the Singolo. It features greater bass, middle, and treble detail, as well as a more transparent and expansive sound.

So, which one would I recommend. Pandamon, of course, sounds better to my ears, especially if you prefer a neutral-sounding set.

Pros:

+ Subwoofer-like bass.
+ Innovative acoustic design.
+ The non-fatiguing sound.

Cons:

- The bass may sound disconnected in some tracks.
- Lacks vitality and may seem boring to others.
- Imagery lacks accuracy.

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My only complaint with the Singolo is that the tuning is a touch too safe for my liking, resulting in polite sounding mids and highs. If the Singolo is a guy who is single, I'm concerned he'll stay alone for a long time because he's too nice.

Overall, the Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo is not a horrible sounding set; in fact, the mild politeness in its sound presentation is beneficial for calm music listening sessions; nonetheless, whether or not I recommend it depends on whether you prefer relaxed or energetic dynamics. This concludes my review and comparisons.

Happy Holy Week to everyone!

3-27-2024
Last edited:
thaslaya
thaslaya
I love the look of your shells. They have so much more brown mixed in than mine.
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