KiwiEars Orchestra Lite


New Head-Fier
The Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite: this changes everything!
Pros: Excellent Imaging
Great Detail
Good Resolution for the $
Cons: Stage isn't the largest
Dynamics aren't the best, but passable
The Orchestra Lite… We’ve been waiting for an IEM to come along like this one for a while, and for $250 dollars, this changes everything! Let’s get inToit!

_DSC1719 edits small.jpg

If you pick up the Orchestra Lite, what you get is a beautiful-built, all-balanced-armature unit- featuring two custom ultra-tweeters, four midrange B.A.’s, and two large subwoofer drivers for the lows. The crossover and the drivers themselves are visible through the clear resin shell, which utilizes a flush 2-pin connection. The cable these come with is nice and soft, and the included tips all sounded good making very slight adjustments to the sound. I would have liked to have seen a metal chin sinch rather than the plastic one and a modular termination included for balanced power delivery; but these don’t really require any power, yet they are influenced by source tonality. General timbre and note weight are neutral, but comparatively thinner and leaner off something like the 789, dead neutral off the Hiby FC3, or somewhat thickened and warmed off the iFi 6XX Signature amplifier. The shell itself has a very balanced weight to it (neither too heavy nor too light), and size, although somewhat chunky, is less so than something like the Blessing 2. It fits well within my medium-sized ear cavity, and I like the green swirled faceplate that I was sent by Linsoul, but there’s also an option for a swirled iridescent blue if you prefer.

_DSC1722 edit small.jpg

With regard to sound, go back and watch almost any other review of the Blessing 2 by practically any internet parrot artist; I mean “respected reviewer,” and that misinformation will likely be more applicable too, and more informative of, what to expect with the Kiwiears Orchestra Lite. The stage here isn’t notably large, but not overly restricted at the same time. So, the stage is not really the reason to pick up this set. Still, the Kiwiears Orchestra Lite performs technically well within its somewhat constrained soundscape. Separation is deceptively decent, depth reasonably respectable, and image distinction good. Transient reproduction is also relatively natural for an all-BA set. Dynamics are somewhat soft and therefore might be lacking to some, but more acceptable compared to an IEM like the Blessing 2, even though that set has a dynamic driver-driving its’ bass.

_DSC1724 edit small.jpg

So why pick up the Orchestra Lite? Well, off the right source, detail and clarity here are off the charts for $250 dollars. You hear things in recordings with these that only more expensive sets reveal. Even so, this is a bit of a double-edged sword, as the Orchestra Lite does expose impoverished recordings, poor mixes, and track inaccuracies. Nevertheless, these are an excellent entry point to higher fidelity in-ear-monitor sound, and a definite upgrade path from an IEM like the TRI Starsea. The level of clarity here is beyond the Moondrop Kato and closer to the Variations. And when we get to comparison’s we’ll be taking a look at this bad boy in comparison to one of my favorite IEMs: the Final Audio B3... So, stay tuned for that!

_DSC1727 edit.jpg

If the Orchestra Lite is lacking detail anywhere, it is in the bass; however. This is BA bass… And although its good BA bass, BA bass does often lack some detail and body compared to a dynamic. Still, there is just enough bass quantity and detail here for me to be happy, even if bass heads surely wouldn’t be. The Orchestra Lite kind of chugs along to the beat- providing just enough low-end warmth to add both substance and character. The sub-bass is not overly representative, but the Orchestra Lite did surprise me on certain tracks, and even kept up well with unexpected genres like rap. So it does decently when called upon to do so. Nevertheless, bass guitars could sound thin at times, and I wouldn’t call the bass of the Orchestra Lite overly expressive in either its personality or clarity.

_DSC1729 edit.jpg

The mid-range is always clear though, and slightly forward in its character; in general, leading to a more intimate observation of the sound. Despite its intimacy, sounds layer atop each other well, and sonics rarely, if ever become cluttered. Distinctiveness of individual sounds is a noteworthy characteristic of the mid-range on the Orchestra Lite, and this includes vocals which are always well-centered in the middle of the sonic landscape- prominently featuring for both male and female voices alike, although certain low-timbred male vocalists suffered on occasion- like Christ Stapleton, who’s voice was not as accessible I would have expected on a number of tracks. Even so, peripheral details were well developed, detailed, and consistently popped out to my ear.

_DSC1738 edit small.jpg

The treble was less consist; however. While it should satisfy most, truth-through-treble seekers might find the Orchestra Lite somewhat lacking in its later treble and air. The upper-end extension, although fairly natural in its presentation, does roll off rather audibly, and the tail of the treble does lack representation exponentially as it extends out past 10K or so. People who find the persona of later treble emphasized sets irritating will likely have little to complain about with the Orchestra Lite, as there is generally enough treble material presented here without ever mistakenly going overboard or over the line with its brilliance. In other words, I never found my ear stretching to listen for additional treble information, but I could have done with some additional air and extension.

_DSC1750 edit 2 small.jpg

In comparison to one of my other favorite IEMs, the Final Audio B3, the Orchestra Lite is more restricted in its soundscape and not nearly as expansive. It’s also a bit more intimate and forward in its character, but more separative in its approach. Detail, resolution and clarity are similar between the two, but micro details appeared to pop out more on the Orchestra Lite, while the B3 was more coherent in its styling. The bass on the B3 was also generally less thin, more full-bodied, and additionally representative across the lower range of the frequency response. General note weight was also a bit more robust despite the B3 having only 2 drivers compared to the Orchestra Lite’s 8. The Orchestra Lite is also more sensitive to both drive and more influenced by amplifier tonal character than the B3 is; changing its tonal character more like a chameleon from the neutral line from source to source.. Both benefit from a bit of power, but the Orchestra Lite’s stage became larger in comparison to itself when being driven by balanced sources, while the general presentation of the B3 was more consistent not matter its source type. So, the Orchestra Lite is a bit of a different in its presentation, but at least keeps up with the more expensive set in a number of ways.

_DSC2044 edit small.jpg

Overall, at $250 dollars, the Orchestra Lite is an incredible value for the money. It’s revealing and detailed in a manner that plays like more expensive competition. It may not have the biggest soundstage, and its treble extension may be limited, but it articulates technically well within its provided listening space. And even though I’ve done my best to provide you all with some good images of this set, it’s even prettier to look at in person than it shows up on film, and comes with a nice accessory package to accompany its solid build. At the price, it will most likely be my #1 recommendation for some time, that is until something better comes along. In order to get notified of such a set, make sure to subscribe and click that notification bell in order to get alerted when I upload videos. Subscribing to the channel doesn’t cost you a thing, and it really helps The Neighborhood grow so that I can continue to deliver high quality content to you all. It also really helps this video get distributed to all those that may benefit from it if you like it and watch it completely. Lastly, check out the links in the description below for other Neighborhood access locations, and give me a follow there as well. And with that, I’m out… for now…

Thanks for watching inToit Reviews! Don't forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to help the channel grow!


Check out the Review on YouTube: The Best Audio Review Reviews the Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite on YouTube!
  • Like
Reactions: o0genesis0o
Hey, you are the fox guy on YouTube. I bought the A4000 because of your review :dt880smile:

But yeah, these Orchestra Lite IEMs punch way above their price.


Headphoneus Supremus
KiwiEars Orchestra Lite - Tranquility
Pros: + Exceptionally balanced tonality
+ Excellent midrange
+ Almost no shoutiness, sibilance, or treble glares
+ Good detail retrieval
+ Good instrument placement
Cons: - BA bass lacks physical sensation
- Upper treble is not as extended
- Definition and separation of musical notes could be improved
KiwiEars Orchestra Lite. USD 250. 8 BA drivers on each side. Emerging manufacturer with a promising track record.

How good is the Orchestra Lite, really? Let’s find out.



  • The goal of my reviews is not to “judge” IEMs from an ivory tower. I aim to tell you where they reside within a straightforward scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). I focus on the poorly-defined-yet-important “technical performance”, which I believe to be the hallmark of exceptional IEMs.
  • Scores are assigned by A/B tests against representative IEMs, regardless of the retail price. For instance, a 3/5 IEM performs within the level of other 3/5 IEMs, irrespective of whether it is $50 or $1000.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • This review is based on a review sample from Linsoul (Thank you!). I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Linsoul or KiwiEars. Orchestra Lite retails for around $250 at Linsoul website.


  • Driver: 2 BA bass (Knowles CI-22955) + 4 BA mid + 2 BA treble (KiwiEars Custom BA drivers)
  • Crossover: 3-ways
  • Connector Type: 2-pin 0.78
  • Impedance: 16ohm
  • Sensitivity: 112dB

Non-sound Aspects​


Orchestra Lite comes in a medium-sized box with a simple presentation. No anime waifu or FiiO’s sci-fi theme here. If I were to nitpick, I would say the presentation does not do justice to how nice and expensive-looking the IEMs actually are.


The accessories of Orchestra Lite are straightforward. You have a cable, generic silicon tips, and a canvas case. The case itself is rather compact but functional. I managed to store the IEM with a beefy aftermarket cable and a few interchangeable audio plugs without much difficulty.


Speaking of cable, the stock cable feels great. It looks good. It’s soft, not microphonic, and very well-behaved. I have no complaint about the physical handling aspect. Unfortunately, the stock cable features a 3.5mm jack, so I couldn’t take advantage of the balanced outputs of my music players and DAC/amp. It is a shame because all my sources offer better sound quality with balanced output. The Orchestra Lite can take full advantage of such improvement.

(KiwiEars, it would be great if you could give us the option to choose a 4.4mm balanced cable in the future).


Without a doubt, the earpieces are the stars of the show. They are crystal clear, even more so than the famous Moondrop Blessing 2. You can easily see all the drivers, crossover circuitry, sound tubes, and Etymotic acoustic filters used for tuning. The faceplates are semi-translucent with swirly white resins, creating an interesting 3D illusion. Both faceplates and earpieces are well-polished. I couldn’t find the seams with my nail.


A potential issue of Orchestra Lite is its size. These are very large IEMs, easily matching the size of the chunky Moondrop Blessing 2. However, I found the fit of Orchestra Lite to be more comfortable than Blessing 2, possibly because the nozzles of Orchestra Lite do not extend as far as Blessing 2.

It should be noted that Orchestra Lite is a fully-sealed IEM. On the plus side, you will have more noise isolation than usual IEMs with air vents. On the negative side, you will feel a suction effect when you put them on, and pressure builds up after a few hours of listening. If you are new to wearing IEM, these might not be the most comfortable pair.

How it sounds​

Sources for listening tests:

  • Fiio K7 (for all A/B tests)
  • Shanling M6 Ultra
  • Hidizs S9 Pro
Local FLAC files ripped from CDs or bought from Qobuz were used for most casual listening and A/B tests. My playlist for A/B tests can be found on Apple Music here.


Tonality and Timbre: 5/5 - Excellent​

Frequency response of Orchestra Lite. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.


Tonality or “tuning” is where objectivity and subjectivity meet. Objectivity exists in the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs. They are created by sweeping a signal from 20Hz to 20kHz and measuring the corresponding loudness coming from an IEM. Unless a human operator deliberately tampers with the microphone or the data, FR does not care about the price or prestige of an IEM and, therefore, is “objective.”

However, human listeners are not microphones. Our ears and brain interpret the sound and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” It is also beneficial to remember that when you play a note on a musical instrument, multiple sounds (fundamental and harmonic) appear simultaneously and mix together. Achieving a life-like balance between frequencies and adding a tasteful amount of imbalance (“colouring the sound”) is the hallmark of an excellent tonality.

First thing first, look at that beautiful channel matching! Well done, KiwiEars.

Now, the sound. The best words to describe the tonality of Orchestra Lite would be flat, smooth, and low-key.

By flat, I don’t mean the “shouty mid, no treble, no bass” flat of some (in)famous IEMs tuned to a diffused field target. No, the flatness of Orchestra Lite means that all parts of the frequency response feel balanced. The midrange, where most of the music “lives”, is adequately highlighted but not at the expense of other frequencies. The bass is present when the music or video calls for it but never overstays its welcome nor intrudes upon the midrange. High-pitch instruments, such as cymbals, hi-hats, and chimes, cut through the mix yet never get too loud or harsh.


You might think that “flat” is boring. I say flat is justice. A benefit of the flatness of Orchestra Lite is the beautiful midrange.

How can I say… The midrange is not warm, not cold, and indeed not harsh or shouty. For instance, the voice of Cat Stevens in the beautiful song Father and Son sounds oh-so natural and realistic. The acoustic guitar sounds real, with equal loudness across the lower and upper strings. Female vocals, such as Elaine Paige’s in Memory, are vibrant and nuanced but not overly emphasised to the point of shouty. With the Rasputin cover by Aurora, the voices of both Aurora and the backup vocals are slightly richer and ever so slightly less “edgy” that Moondrop Blessing 2. To borrow the term used by a fellow reviewer, I would say vocals sound sweet on Orchestra Lite.

The successful midrange performance of Orchestra Lite carries over to acoustic instruments.
The concert flute of Emmanuel Pahud in the Flute Partita in A Minor, BWV 1013: IV. Bourrée anglaise sounds rich and full without being boomy or harsh. Cellos, such as in the Prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite No.1, sound like cellos and carry the right amount of body. Orchestra Lite sides step the mistake of some IEM, such as the EAxEA Gaea, of making the midrange too thin that sucks the life and richness out of cellos.

I can continue, but I think you get the point. The midrange is good. The beauty of Orchestra Lite’s midrange is also reflected in its frequency response: flat lower midrange and correct ear gain that peaks around 2.5kHz, 8.5dB above 500Hz.


The second key characteristic of Orchestra Lite is smoothness. To understand smoothness, it’s helpful to talk about the opposite, “ice pick.” For instance, IEMs with strong peaks, such as the old-timer ZSN Pro X, can make specific instruments or even parts vocals randomly louder than the rest of the music, creating the sensation of being stabbed in the ears. Peaks are inevitably followed by dips, preventing you from hearing details there.

The smoothness of Orchestra Lite stems from the lack of prominent peaks and dips. The result is not only a comfortable experience but also more detailed and nuanced music, as nothing is masked by others. It should be noted that Orchestra Lite does not deliberately dull your music. If your music is harsh and sibilant, the IEM will present such harshness.

The flat and smooth tonality of Orchestra Lite gives it a low-key presentation. By that, I mean there is little variation or contrast between different instruments or frequency spectrums in a mix. Suppose you are familiar with photography or videography. In that case, you can imagine the sound presentation of Orchestra Lite as a raw photo or footage. All the information is there, but the contrast and vibrancy are low. Something like JD7 or AFUL P5, on the other hand, feels like a JPEG that has been processed from the raw photo with enhanced colour and contrast.


The treble response plays a huge role in creating that low-key presentation of Orchestra Lite. The lower treble region, which centres around 5kHz, is less emphasised than usual releases. This tuning softens note attacks, such as plucks of guitar strings, impacts of sticks on drum heads, and the sounds of bows catching violin strings. I prefer more zings and snaps, so my first impression of Orchestra Lite’s presentation was not positive. However, credit where credit dues, none of the instruments sounds blurry or lifeless, so it’s likely that KiwiEars have achieved a neutral amount of lower treble.

The mid-treble region around 8kHz, which influences the rendition of cymbals, hi-hats, and chimes, deserves more attention. There are two points that I like about this region. Firstly, the loudness of cymbals, hi-hats, and chimes is quite balanced against the rest of the band. For instance, tracking a pattern on cymbals or hats is easy. At the same time, these instruments are never too loud or harsh. Vocals are also free of sibilance if your source material does not have a lot of sibilances.

Secondly, Orchestrate Lite has an intriguing balance between the lower and mid-treble, bringing out extra nuances and details from cymbals, hi-hats, and chimes. Usually, with cymbals, I hear a loud and bright “clang!” when the stick hits, but I don’t hear many details between consecutive cymbal hits. The Orchestra Lite does differently: the initial impact is not as loud, but I can hear the decay end of the cymbal hits, such as the vibration and subtle clicky noises that the cymbals make against their stands.

Of course, the pulled-back 8kHz region has its drawback. The most noticeable is the lack of zing, energy, and “sparkle.” I can see how some listeners find this presentation boring.

I am less happy with the upper treble or “air” region: it is too rolled off. I don’t know the physical limitations that led to this tuning choice, but the IEM takes a 5dB boost around 16kHz via EQ like a champ. Doing so also reveals the additional perceived resolution and soundstage I couldn’t hear in the stock tuning.

Conclusion time: this is a hard case. On the one hand, there is beauty in how Orchestra Lite balances frequencies on both a macro and micro level. On the other hand, the controlled treble response might come across as boring, and the rolled-off treble air does hide some finer aspects of Orchestra Lite’s technical performance. To me, the pros reluctantly but ultimately outsize the cons. 5/5 - Excellent.

Resolution, Detail, Separation: 4/5 - Good​


Resolution is a fascinating subject due to the difficulty of pinning down what it really is. 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. Generally, a smooth frequency response and good drivers give the best resolution.


Orchestra Lite does a great job of revealing the nuances and details of the music, especially the midrange details. For instance, I can easily hear breath, articulations, and details in the voices of Aurora and the backup vocals in Aurora’s Rasputin cover. The retrieved micro details are ever-so-slightly above the venerable Blessing 2 and not far behind top performers like the Andromeda 2020.

One aspect that I found Orchestra Lite does better than expected is micro dynamic, the tiny fluctuation of the loudness of vocals and instruments. For instance, with The Dragonborn Comes, I can hear more details in the vocals and instruments with my Andromeda, but I can hear more ebb and flow in the music with Orchestra Lite.

Where Orchestra Lite falters is the definition and separation of musical notes. As I mentioned in the tonality section, there is a softness to the presentation of Orchestra Lite. Such presentation makes bands or orchestras more “together” rather than more separated. For instance, when I listen to any piece of music with multiple instruments, I can track individual instruments easier with the Andromeda than the Orchestra Lite. I don’t think EQ can fix this problem because the stock Andromeda already has a muddy, bloated midrange which reduces its clarity and separation, whilst Orchestra Lite’s tuning is clean.

Still, we can appreciate the Orchestra Lite as a highly resolving option within its bracket, even edging out the venerable Moondrop Blessing 2.

Conclusion: 4/5 - Good.

Percussion Rendering: 3/5 - Average​

Percussion rendering reflects how well the tuning and technical performance of an IEM work together to recreate realistic soundof a drum set. Good drum hits have a crisp attack (controlled by frequencies from 4kHz to 6kHz), full body (midbass frequencies around 200Hz), and physical sensation (sub-bass frequencies around 50Hz). Good technical performance (“fast” driver) ensures that bass notes can be loud yet detailed. IEMs that cannot control bass very well tend to reduce the bass’ loudness to prevent muddiness.


There is not much to discuss about the bass of Orchestra Lite. Handled by two BA woofers, the bass response of Orchestra Lite is clean and can be thumpy when the music calls for it. For instance, the Harry Potter vs Luke Skywalker rap battle by the talented folks at ERB can get my foot tapping. Orchestra Lite renders ever beat sharply with clear attack. The loudness of the bass is also appropriate, though I personally prefer a bit extra.

The bass quality is where I have problem. As most (but not all) implementations of BA woofers, Orchestra Lite lacks the physical sensation of bass slam. Let’s take my favourite bass test track, Despacito, as an example. Blessing 2, which has one dynamic driver as the woofer, creates a suction-like illusion before slamming with the first bass drop around 1:25. The Orchestra Lite simply renders a snappy, equally loud “boom” sound, and then gives up. On the plus side, the BA bass of Orchestra Lite is a bit cleaner and more controlled.

Conclusion: 3/5 - Adequate.

Stereo Imaging (Soundstage): 4/5 - Good​


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. Some IEMs present a wide but flat soundstage. Some present a “3D” soundstage with layering, depth, and height. 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”)

The size of Orchestra Lite’s soundstage is good but not impressive.
With the help of spin fit tips and a good DAP or DAC/amp, the soundstage can extend outside my ears and has decent depth and height.

How Orchestra Lite utilises soundstage makes these IEMs interesting to me. Orchestra Lite is good at placing instruments on the stage with easy-to-recognise direction and distance. This IEM can place sound across the soundstage rather than being limited to left-centre-right.

There is a sense of depth and layering to the soundstage of Orchestra Lite. This ability is beneficial in games. For instance, in the CS Go gameplay video recorded by Throneful, I can quickly pinpoint the footstep and direction of gunshots around the player. I also have a good experience playing No Man’s Sky on the Nintendo Switch with Orchestra Lite. Movie clips also sound excellent.


How does Orchestra Lite compare to top performers like the Gaea and the Andromeda? The soundstage size is a major difference. For instance, Andromeda has the uncanny ability to put certain sounds, such as the beeping sound at around 5:00 in the gameplay video above, into the environment around me. The Gaea can sometimes trick me into thinking that the soundstage comes before me rather than around me. Orchestra Lite does not have these kinds of soundstage presentations. The accuracy of the instrument placement is also slightly better with the Andromeda. For example, I can pinpoint not just distance and direction but also the height of the gunshot with the Andromeda.

Conclusion: 4/5 - Good.

Source Pairing​



Orchestra Lite is a sensitive IEM. It can get loud with anything and does not introduce hissing noises. In this sense, Orchestra Lite is an easy IEM to drive.

On the other hand, these IEMs do show an audible change in bass response and soundstage imaging between audio sources. The soundstage becomes more flat and congested when I pair Orchestra Lite with my AP80 Pro X. This mini music player performs similarly to most dongle DAC/amps with two ESS DAC chips. I find music that relies on size and imaging not enjoyable with this pairing.

I had a better experience with FiiO K7, Shanling M6 Ultra, and the Topping G5 DAC/amp. The brighter G5 pairs best with the subdued Orchestra Lite. What I find interesting is that the Orchestra Lite is transparent enough to let me hear the difference between the balanced and single-ended output of my Shanling M6 Ultra. That’s why I replaced the stock cable of Orchestra Lite with a 4.4mm cable and ran it balanced exclusively.

Some Comparisons​

In this section, I compare Orchestra Lite with AFUL Performer5 (P5). You can use my ranking list to compare Orchestra Lite with others. Due to the way I rank IEMs, if two IEMs score the same, they perform more or less similar.


The characteristics of these IEMs are reflected by their faceplates. Orchestra Lite is flat, low-key, and tranquil, like pond water. P5 is fiery and exciting. The tonality of voices and instruments rendered by both IEMs is similarly natural and realistic. However, P5 is more vibrant, contrasty, and exciting. If you like a robust and physical bass response, P5 stomps Orchestra Lite. P5 is also noticeably smaller and thus more comfortable to wear than Orchestra Lite.

Where Orchestra Lite regains ground is soundstage and vocal rendition. Orchestra Lite can project a sizeable 3D soundstage when driven by a good source. P5, on the other hand, has a small soundstage even with the same music player or DAC/amp. I also find the vocals and instruments sound a bit smoother and more nuanced with Orchestra Lite. Even though P5 is also smooth, it boosts the ear gain higher, so, at times, vocals can get harsh. I also like cymbals and hi-hats on Orchestra Lite more than on P5.

So, which one to get? In my opinion, it depends on where you are in your audio hobby journey. If you are starting out, jumping directly to a “matured” IEM like Orchestra Lite might be too much of a shock from consumer extra-bass products, and you might not appreciate the sound. Something vibrant with a strong bass response, like P5, is a good starting point. If you have been around the hobby for a while, you should spend some time with Orchestra Lite to see what the “balanced” tuning is all about.

Orchestra Lite is a better option if you play games, especially FPS.


How good is the Orchestra Lite, really? At first, I was not convinced. However, the smoothness and balanced tonality of Orchestra Lite eventually won me over. Look elsewhere if you like a robust bass response or a vibrant sound signature. However, suppose you like vocals and want a “well-tuned” IEM. Suppose you are looking for an IEM for gaming, especially competitive FPS games. In these cases, Orchestra Lite receives a high recommendation from this reviewer.


  • Exceptionally balanced tonality
  • Excellent midrange
  • Almost no shoutiness, sibilance, or treble glares
  • Good detail retrieval
  • Good instrument placement

  • BA bass lacks physical sensation
  • Upper treble is not as extended
  • Definition and separation of musical notes could be improved

Updated: March 18, 2023
Last edited:


100+ Head-Fier
Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite's Review
Pros: Balanced Sound
Good imaging capability
Speedy bass
Cons: Stock cable somehow is limiting the performance of the Orchestra Lite (Swapped over to a Copper Mixed with SPC and it sounded more open on the top end)
Treble might be too safe for some

Kiwi Ears released their flagship IEM last year which is the Orchestra. Today, we have the Orchestra Lite, which shares the same driver configuration (8BAs) as the Orchestra, but at half of the asking price, i have not auditioned the Orchestra before so i am not able to do a comparison to it.

In terms of build quality, the shell is slightly big which is expected because it houses 8 BAs, faceplate is nice, it has a good and solid feel to it. It doesn’t have any vent on the IEM itself, so pressure build up might be an issue for some, I do not have any issues with the pressure build up fortunately. In terms of fitting and comfort, they do fit well and have a very good seal as well.

The packaging is quite straightforward and eye-catching, however, I am a little bummed to see the bundled accessories, the eartips are the normal kind of ear tips which can be found from various budget IEMs, same goes to the carrying case. It doesn’t really matter for me because I have many other cases, but I would at least expect a better looking case and accessories for the asking price.


Gears used for this review
  • Earmen Angel Dac/Amp
  • iFi Gryphon
  • Macbook Air M2 3.5 Out
  • iPod Touch 5th Gen
  • Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite Stock cable and Eartips
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
Orchestra Lite sounds a little warm to my ears, well bodied overall and the bass response is just nice, not overly emphasised or lacking. The treble however is the achilles heel in my opinion, slightly dark to my ears, but it is smooth and easy to listen to. Sporting 8 BAs, there is somehow some slight BA timbre there, but not to the point where it’s really bad and noticeable right away, but nothing overly distracting and fairly natural to my ears


  • Orchestra Lite’s bass response is quite linear, or rather precise
  • Sub bass does rumble when the track calls for it, but slightly lacking in terms of extension, still offers sufficient enjoyment for EDM unless you are looking for basshead kind of bass response
  • As is to be expected from BAs, the speed is very good and it has no issues handling complex tracks, my favourites go to whenever I want to test the bass’s speed, Metallica’s Lux Aeterna and Slipknot’s People = crap! All performed very well
  • Mid bass has enough punch to it but of course it can be better
  • Mid range is detailed and lush to my ears, sufficient warmth to it
  • Instruments which resides in the mid range has good note weight to it and full sounding
  • Upper mids are never harsh or shouty and they’re tuned rather safe
  • Vocal presentation is neither too forward or recessed
  • Both male and female vocal has good texture, female vocal is a little bit more forward compared to male vocal
  • Treble on the Orchestra Lite is well done, some might find them lacking (dark), some might prefer this sort of tuning, for me personally, i’d prefer a bit more sparkles and air
  • What do you get from this sort of tuning is that it is smooth and never offensive, also no where near sibilant
  • Detail retrieval is good and the nuances can be picked up easily (in Hans Zimmer’s Why So Serious, there are something that sounds like a rattle, it can be heard easily), but do not expect it to be very analytical
  • Soundstage is good but not exceptional, slightly out of your head with good depth, a little lacking in terms of height but good overall
  • Imaging is the strong point for a full BA set, instruments can be pinpointed easily and very good separation and layering capability
  • Orchestra Lite is not hard to drive, but it does scale with power despite being a full BA set
  • It pairs well with a neutral source like the Earmen Angel with relatively low output impedance
  • Source with high output impedance will cause it to hiss, i experienced no such issue with both xDSD Gryphon and Earmen Angel, even Apple’s Dongle
Final Thoughts
The Orchestra Lite no doubt is a good product, when I first listened to it, I have to admit that nothing really stands out, but as I listened longer with it, it started to grow on me and appreciate the way it is. Orchestra Lite is not for basshead nor trebleheads, it is for someone who want something in between, it works well for most of the genres out there, I have listed to Slipknot, Metallica, Billie Eilish, Faye Wong, Joji, Beatles and a lot more with the Orchestra Lite and they turned out alright with it. Recommended set!

*Orchestra Lite is being sent over for the purpose of this review. I thank LINSOUL for the opportunity. I am not influenced in any way to produce this review nor do I receive any monetary compensation.

Head over to the following link if you are interested in getting a pair!

Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite - Non affiliated

Are you reading my mind? Because your impressions are exactly like mine :dt880smile:
@o0genesis0o hahaha!
How do you like them buddy? Looking forward to your impression as well


Previously known as TheDeafMonk
KiwiEars Orchestra Lite A 8 BA Chill-Centric IEM
Pros: - Absolutely stunning clear resin shells and faceplate- looks very premium
- Shell shape is designed nicely a bit on larger side for smaller ears
- Cable is very nice , soft and flexible, more importantly tangle free.
- Non offensive tuning , not too elevated bass nor highs.
- Female and Male vocals are well presented.
- Balanced Armature bass is fast and snappy with good weight.
- Excellent for certain Genre's like modern Jazz or Easy listening vocals.
Cons: - Non vented shell could cause a vacuum effect with pressure build up in ear.
- Shell Shape might be too big for small ears.
- Cable doesn’t come in 4.4 or 2.5 balanced option.
- Sub bass extension is lean and wont play well some genre's
- Treble-heads need not apply and the Orchestra Lite is Light on top end as well for overall extension and air.
- Case is throw away or at least good for tips because its small size. Very hard to cram the IEM and cable in there.
- Micro and Macro details suffer from lack of high frequency energy.
- Slight BA Timbe if your sensitive to this.
- Bass guitar sounds a bit thin from lack of lower mid bass energy.
- Cable might not be the best pairing for the Orchestra
- Source Picky.
KiwiEars Orchestra Lite - A 8 BA Chill-Centric IEM

KiwiEars Orchestra Lite SPECS:
Hand crafted shells in two colors. Blue and Green
Custom Knowles Balanced Armature drivers 2 for Sub/Bass, 4 Mids. ,2 Highs
3.5mm 7N OFCC Copper cable.

SHOUT OUT TO Linsoul for providing me this review sample.
More information can be found here and non-affiliated purchase link:

YouTube Video Review can be found here: KiwiEars Orchestra Lite - A 8 BA Chill Affair

Subjective Part of my Audio Review -

I share my impressions as I hear them with my ears.
As all our ears are different shapes & size so what I hear as bright or bass heavy -you might hear as dull and Vise-Versa; just something to be mindful of.

My version of what my perfect balanced IEM is: Good Sub Bass, with a warmer tone weight but faster and a nice transition into lower bass that adds the correct note weight to male vocals without too much bleed to effect female vocals with too much added thickness. I want to hear guitar plucks sounding with good intensity and tone.
Male vocals should sound correct and female vocals not to thin or forward.
Highs need to good extension and no sign of sibilance.
Instruments need to have correct tonality and sound natural.

For reference my favorite IEM is the Xenns Mangird UP with it's EST drivers that add sparkly enhancement only and not forced in a smooth natural way I prefer the fast speedy bass of the Beryllium Coated Driver.

My music Library is widely varied from; Metallica, Great White, Cowboy Junkies, Pink Floyd, Adelle, Melisa Ethridge, Fleetwood Mac, Five for Fighting, Manskin, Poncho Sanchez, Jimmy Smith, Chopin, The Crystal Method just to name a few. When not listening to my test tracks the majority is Jazz or Alternative Rock especially Female Rock. Lorde, Halsey, Alanis Morrisette, Evanescence.

All depends on my mood. If I want to chill out I listen to artists like the, - The Who, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Dire Straits and Dead Can Dance just to name a few.
If I want to have a beer and just get lost then some Jazz , Miles Davis, Poncho Sanchez, Jimmy Smith, Ray Brown Trio.
If I want to rock out then some AC/DC, Bad Co, Great White, Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, Metallica.
And Those Times I want to get into vocals then Lorde, Halsey, Biff Naked, Alanis Morrisette hit the spot.
I mention all this so you get a sense of my library and what I like when I make my audio impressions other than the playlist

Sources: E1DA SG3, Shanling UP5, Geshelli JNOG J2 with AKM4493 chip. Truthear SHIO (Dual Cirrus Logic 43198 DAC Chips)
DAP/TRASPORT: From Lenovo Laptop with Tidal, iBasso DX160 (Dual Cirrus Logic 43198 Dac Chips), Samsung S22 Ultra with DSD Files.
Amps: LoxjiP20 & XDUOO MT-604 tube hybrid amps and Topping A90D Amp 4.4 Pentagon Balanced Out - Unless stated
Tips Used for the Orchestra Lite that I found best results for me was the Moondrop Spingtips L very wide bore.
Cable I used Stock and Hakugei Joyful voice Tri-Element 4.4 Balanced

My Format that I like to use is that I will list the music tracks I used & why with my musical impressions of the playback using that track with the notes I took during my time with the KiwiEars Orchestra Lite.

*My Notes are not meant to be full sentences just my thoughts written down at the time and transposed.
**Remember these are critical listening notes write it as I hear it, not overall impressions**
***Listening done with RED NOZZLE and 4,4 balanced off of Topping A90D, Geshelli AKM J2 Dac as source with iBasso DX160 as transport only 3.5mm to COAX Dig out.

Total Time 3:03:35 - 35 Tracks

#1 "Beautiful Blue" by Holly McNarland
(I love Holly's vocals should be crips clear vocals with the right edge to here vocals)
"A great vocal presentation"

#2 "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman
(I love her voice and the way it is recorded listen for the strums on the guitar - I have seen Ms. Chapman live a few times; so In my mind, I try and remember how she sounds like 5ft from me as I was blessed to experience)
" Guitar was bang a bit thin but perfect vocals, missing a bit of air and extension, backup singers were nicely presented in the mix"

#3 "Paradox" by M.E.B.
(Great female vocals listening for accurate piano at 0:11, bass hits at 0:28 and vocals at 2:00)
"Bass hits were nicely done fast with a decent weight"

#4 "Rock Me" by Great White
(80'S Baby, Double Kick drums at the beginning of the first track I am listening to how fast it hits how solid is the bass and what's the decay like. An ideal replay here would be fast, powerful bass with nice note weight to feel it in your chest so to speak if you were at a concert.) ( With "Rock Me" same thing but I am listening for the bass guitar drops on this track it should be quite low)
"Bass missing some lower weight. Intimate stage very open still and the bass hits were fast."

#5 "Wheat Kings - Remastered" by The Tragically Hip
(Sense of stage and Male vocals)
Very small stage. Could have used mores highs lots great clarity and vocals and guitar pulls."

#6 "Chemical Mentalist" The Crystal Method
(Bass, more bass fast and lots of it - How does it do end of the story - Huge Smile or poo emoji?)
"Nicely done surprised with bass."

#7 "Its Time" by Labrinth, Sia, Diplo
(3 very different singers and their voices come together. I use this because it’s a cool track and at higher volumes lesser IEM's get sibilant. Piano doesn’t get washed out and Vocals at 2:30 should blow your little mind)
"Good sense of space tonality of all three vocals. You could tell when there was one singer or all in the mix. Piano has the correct sound and could clearly be heard in the mix and did not get washed out"

#8 "All My Friends Are Here" Joe Satriani
(In this track you can hear Joe playing dead Center with the busy and very separated L & R licks added in and then he brings you back to center with some crazy and very hard-to-play Descending A Major rifts! As Joe described this song as "A rock guitarist trying to control a wild beast"
"Did the A Major with nice descending clarity"

#9 "The Antidote Is In The Poison" GoGo Penguin
(Modern Jazz at its best. Powerful, Dynamic track full of emotion and snappy bass. Fantastic track to listen to how well Micro Dynamics are conveyed and get a good sense of the IEM's ability to convey that to the listener.)
"Stage shows its intimate presentation but nice smooth playback"

#10 "Angel" by Massive Attack
(Say it with me - massive textured bass drops )
"Not made for this but it tried."

#11 "Bring Me Some Water" by Melissa Ethridge
(I like this track to hear Melissa's voice and see if the transducers (speakers) reproduce her voice to how edgy I think it should be.)
"Showing sits strength Vocals!"

#12 "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" Annie Lennox
(A Bach-inspired Hammond Organ M102, I seriously love it and its unique sound with Annie's voice this is so cool)
"So Mesmerizing but Extension and sparkle."

#13 " So Cold " Holly McNarland
( Vocals on this track are further back in the track and L & R upfront good track for testing depth of stage and vocals - Sub Bass at the very beginning has a nice drop.)
"Very nice well done"

#14 "Shape Of My Heart" Sting
(in this track I am listening to the sound of the guitar pulls and slides. How well does the IEM give an emotional presentation of the mix between the vocals and the bass.
"Ok weight on Pulls , ++ Stings voice."

#15 "Wishing You Would Stay" by The Tea Party with Holly McNarland
(Love this track. With this song and this band, it was the first time having a guest vocalist. Holly McNarland has a great voice and I have seen her live a few times front and center getting sweat on. Listening for Holly's voice being forward in the mix and not sibilant.)
"Vocals were very well done the star of the show"

#16 "Avenue A" Tom Cochrane and Red Rider Live from the Symphony Sessions
(This track with more resolving IEM'S you can hear the guitar pulls and slides with a sense of open spaciousness and grandeur)
"Smaller stage very natural"

#17 “Eden” Hania Rani
( The way Hania has recorded this track with the mics on the strings in the body of the piano is incredibly unique and such a unique presentation you can hear the string's tension at the beginning, Bass kicks in at 1:40 and goes low that’s what I am listening for)
"Piano notes were light not perfect , the secondary mics were clearly noticeable."

#18 “Summertime” Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
( This Track has both legendary artists Simply listening to Louis and Ella’s voices and of course, the Piano and trumpets how accurate and lifelike )
"Trumpets have a bit off tone and sharpness + resolution, Ella + louis were spot on."

#19 “Blue Train” Poncho Sanchez
( Trumpets here are silky or should sound that way with good timbre, overall mix how does it present, and of course Poncho’s drums )
"Could listen to this all day."

#20 “ My Girl “ Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(Listening for instrument placement and stage and this track gives a good sense of dynamics and excitement with lots of dynamics in the mix)
"Xylophones again nice everything was so smooth not huge but a fun playback." Missing micro dynamics

#21 "Iconic" by Alanis Morissette
(More edgy female vocals to give you the chills)
"Alannis voice was done correctly"

#22 "The Day That Never Comes" Metallica - Live with the SFO from S&M2
(Big open stage good depth of stage excellent recording with a excellent orchestral opening)
"Small stage but nice note weight."

#23 "Tricycle" by Flim & BB's
(Turn this one up and wait till 0:28 seconds- Have Fun Dynamics test)
" Not a great replay micro dynamics and excitement "

#24 "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
(Great song to listen for stage and imaging)
" A bit shouty and sibilant"

#25 "Team" by Lorde
(Female vocals if your lover of those this is a great track)
"Love her voice here"

#26 “ Wake Up “ Oliver Mtukudzi
(Oliver Mtukudzi is an African Musician and prolific guitarist and Vocalist. He sings with a mix of South African styles sometimes in English sometimes mixed like in this track and includes the traditional drumming styles of the Korekore. TUKU MUSIC at its finest – Listening for vocals, bass lines, and clarity – and because it is just fun! Right at the beginning you have some very cool snaps and instrumental)
"Natural vocals at beginning + Oliver's voice was perfect , good depth between singers front Back Up female vocals and Male Main."

#27 "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits
(Intro and dynamics or distant thunder, and Iconic Mark Knopfler's vocals Bass hits at 2:12)
"Thunder at beginning was missing boom!"

#28 "Keith Don't Go" - Live Version by Nils Loftgren
(Acoustical Guitar absolutely amazing recording - Tonality and male vocal clarity)
"Yup coming into the right genre."

#29 "Somebody I used To Know" by Goyte & Kimba
(A huge stage and Vocals listen for excellent separation and stage, Vocals at 1:38 and female 2:38 and micro-dynamics
"Vocal killer"

#30 " Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo" by Bélla Fleck & The Fleckstones
(Excellent recording and Bango bass should hit hard and low with nice mic of piano weight)
" Banjo man done nicely"

#31 " New Orleans Is Sinking " By The Tragically Hip."
Listening to Gord's Voice without enough MB his voice will sound thin on this song.
" Great male vocals maybe a tad thin"

#32 " T.V. Song" By The blue Man Group
The whip at beginning has to sound real, then the PVC B.M.G. stereo separation and then 10' big ass drum hits at 1:26
" No big boom boom as expected"

#33 "Electrified II" by Yello
How well does the playback just trip you out and pull you into the stage and presentation think Ferris Bueller's` Day Off on LSD
"Yello was fun"

SUMMARY & FINAL THOUGHTS FOR: KiwiEars Orchestra Lite. (OHL)
The OHL is such a beautiful IEM , well built and is like eye candy.
But we don’t listen to our eyes.

Overall I was super impressed what 4 BA could achieve and how well they can be put together for coherency which on the OHL was done well some slight BA timbre but I am ok with that.

I was having a hard time on long listening sessions as I am one of the weird ones that’s gets pressure build up in my ears and have to lift the top of my ears once and a while to relieve the pressure. This only happens to me on the two BA sets I have and I assume it because the shell is not vented.

The stage is intimate with average width and height but on certain tracks the OHL can present a sense of height.
I found the Orchestra Lite was a bit source picky and likes a more resolving source more so than a warmer one.

I also needed to use one size smaller ear tips so I would not get that pressure build up and thus killing a bit of the Bass.

Overall the KiwiEars Orchestra is a big improvement in tuning with its second rendition and a great step in the correct direction for this company. I would have loved to hear more resolution and have a bit more overall macro details add some exertion in there and more sub bass. Oops I did it again - I am trying to instill in the Orchestra my preferred sound signature instead of just enjoying what it does well.

What is the KiwiEars Orchestra Lite? A vocal centric IEM that excels at is vocals and a well tuned beautifully crafted IEM that you can simply chill out to without too much bass overpowering the mids and not too much stage or super articulate details to pull you away from simply closing your eyes and getting lost!

Thanks so much, Cheers from the Tone Deaf Monk.


  • 20230306_145913.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_151633.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_151451.jpg
    902.5 KB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_152537.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_152550.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_152557.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230306_152635.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • graph (8).png
    graph (8).png
    303.3 KB · Views: 0
Last edited: