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LEAR Kaleido

Rating:
4.08333/5,
  1. ExpatinJapan
    Trip the light fantastic
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Oct 10, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - easy fit, light weight, coherent
    Cons - prefers a decent source to shine
    LEAR - Kaleido Review
    - Expatinjapan


    [​IMG]

    LEAR - Kaleido review
    - expatinjapan


    https://www.lear-eshop.com/products/kaleido?&locale=en

    I saw the LEAR Kaleido and was attracted to it instantly. It was like a smexy blue black unicorn mixed with My Little Pony and sparkles.
    Certainly not garish in a way If there had been simple glitter involved but as you can see the colorful highlights are rough flakes and chunky bits of reflective glory encased in smooth acrylic.

    The blue black nicely serving to offset and enhance the colorfulness and providing an excellent juxtaposition.
    The LEAR Kaleido has a smooth approach, with mids that are soft and rolling, treble that is very forgiving with a bit of low end sub bass rumble in the jungle. Its not the usual 2BA one DD V shape that has become all so predictable these days. The Kaleido is a new look to a common configuration that is lush and fatigue free.

    [​IMG]

    `The LEAR Kaleido features a specially-adjusted hybrid system of 2 balanced armature drivers combined with a ⌀7mm dynamic driver .
    The design includes a precisely calculated three-way electronic crossover with acoustic low-pass filter, which smoothly integrates the output of both the balanced driver and dynamic speaker .
    In this system,the dual balanced armature drivers can handle medium to high frequencies with ease, and the dedicated 7mm dynamic driver which made with pure copper coil , neodymium magnet and high-quality PET diaphragm offers a powerful bass result!
    The addition of a rich bass to the smooth, natural-sounding medium and high frequencies means that the lowest, deepest tones are perfectly in balance with the precision and high quality of higher ones, a result that pure dynamic earphones are very difficult to achieve.
    It creates a feeling of fullness, with an elastic bass range that allows listeners to enjoy strong, dynamic genres of music while simultaneously benefiting from the addition of balanced armature drivers.
    This hybrid system allows you to enjoy the superior performance and ensuring a rich and fulfilling listening experience that will never leave you bored again.' - via the LEAR website



    Usual unboxing pron prelude

    [​IMG]

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    The LEAR Kaleido comes with a screw top case that has a hard outer shell
    and a soft rubber inside to protect your earphones.

    [​IMG]

    A simple tightly braided C2MKIII silver plated OFC copper cable with a rubber-ish sheath
    and MMCX connectors to a SE 3.5mm.
    *Other cables I have seen are white/translucent and I am informed that they are the same.
    Specification:
    LEAR's custom tuned dual Balanced Armature + 1 LEAR's ⌀ 7mm Dynamic Driver hybrid design
    Soldering with Hi-Fi grade 4% silver solder.
    Frequency Response : 10Hz-20kHz
    Impedance: 10ohm @1000 Hz
    Sensitivity: 109dB @1mW

    [​IMG]

    Build

    I found it hard to capture the true look of the Kaleido with my pitiful photography skills, but as you can see from the earlier stock picture the results is glamorous and stunning.

    Acrylic and lightweight they slip easily into ones outer ear, fit should be easy for most as they are of a small to medium size. They are silky smooth and I experienced no irritation.

    The shells as well as the nozzles are the smaller side of things. I ended up using the stock tips for this review as shown below.
    As regular readers know my go to tips are the JVC Spiral Dots, and whilst I did try them out and enjoyed the added treble reach and slightly larger soundstage, the security of the well fitted stock tips with their solid inner ring ala Spinfits style meant that I would prefer to not have my Spiral Dots fall off and get stuck in ears.

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    Price
    HK$1,699.00 or US$217.00

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    Sound

    The Lear Kaleido is a musical, warm, lush earphone. No drastic V shape here. An understated energetic approach here. Nothing too in your face.
    I enjoyed the laid back approach the Kaleido has, I found it non fatiguing to listen to for long periods of time.
    The bass is quite delicious, even slightly colored to an extent, especially the sub bass reaches the lowest and has a nice rumble to it rather than being punchy.

    It is not super fast and has a nice leisurely pace to it,

    The treble is dialed back more than is common and I would not pair this with a warm dap, though neutral daps seem to be becoming more and more the norm these days anyway. Its is natural in its approach and provides enough to give that detail and transparency where needed.
    The mids are a mix, present enough to give it some body and lend life to vocals yet slightly recessed also. It seems to have more upper mid range to my ears.

    Width and depth is around average/medium yet there is also a sense of spaciousness within.

    [​IMG]
    Lots of tips included.

    I didn`t try the foams, they come in straight medium length, and short and rounded.
    The Black tips give a bit more body and treble extension.
    The clear tips a bit more warmer.

    Overall

    The LEAR Kaleido is a great IEM. Suitable for mini audiophiles, high enders who want a chilled vibe session and also the more profane mobile phone users.

    Easy to drive, nary a hiss and a satisfying black background.

    I found the fit easy, light and comfortable.

    JVC Spiral Dots are my usual go to tips for fit and preferred sound signature, I found the stock tips comfortable and well fitting, I ended up using the black silicone the most.

    The Kaleido leans towards the warm side of things, its very forgiving, smooth and velvety.

    Dap matchability is a must, I enjoyed it with Opus#2 (most recent firmware) , iBasso DX200 with amps 1 & 4 (with ALO Audio cable and iBasso adapter) and the Hidizs AP80 for instance.
    I found a brighter dap such as the Opus#3 gave the treble more presence and also lent more towards a V shape. I would recommend a neutral or near neutral dap as a complimentary pairing, but we all have different ears :wink:

    Daps aside I tried it also with my ipod Touch 6G (using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr), whilst it performed well with dedicated daps I could detect less resolution, graininess and a more compressed sound stage on various tracks when used with the ipod touch 6G.
    Perhaps some of the more recent phones with their high end dacs might be more of a pleasing experience and combination.
    The LEAR Kaleido has more of a chance to shine when combined with a decent dap.

    In closing the LEAR Kaleido is an earphone that can be pleasing for many a casual user I would expect. There is nothing terribly offensive about the sound, no sibilance or screeching highs, no flabby or overpowering bass, enough mids to give the vocals that swing but without entering into muddiness.

    It is an earphone that is lovely to look at, small enough to fit most ears well, has an engaging sound which is coherent and performs great when paired with a decent source.



    "You can go into Mark Twain's material and prove anything you want. He was against war. He was for war. He was against rich people and he was for them. He was a kaleidoscope."
    - Hal Holbrook

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    Thank you to LEAR for sending Head pie the Kaleido for review
      rayliam80 likes this.
  2. zolyniakm
    LEAR Kaleido - you will like what you see and hear
    Written by zolyniakm
    Published Sep 11, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - good overall sound quality; warm, musical approach, that is easy to listen; nice soundstage; build quality and fit; this IEM just looks great; easy to drive; nice case
    Cons - warm, full and smooth signature isn't for everyone, there should be more eartips in set
    LEAR Kaleido 1.jpg

    LEAR Kaleido - you will like what you see and hear

    LEAR is a brand established in 2008 in China. It belongs to the Hong Kong Forever Source Digital company (initially company dealt with management and marketing, but in 2009 completely took over LEAR after their successful debut with the LE-01 model). LEAR currently is one of the most important manufacturers of earphones in Hong Kong, as evidenced by the receipt of "Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies" award (in 2005 and 2007)

    LEAR specializes mainly in hand-made IEMs - models that are available in universal and CIEM (Custom In-Ear Monitors) versions. In company offers also a good selection of high-quality cables, Moreover, LEAR has it's own reshelling service.

    Large part of the company's offer consists of CIEMs with BA drivers, but most famous model is prodobly BD4.2, equipped with two dynamic drivers, four balanced armatures and special knob to modified sound signature.

    Currently, LEAR is preparing BAMDAS5 model, which - as the first in the world - is equipped with as many as five dynamic drivers. More about these products can be found on the company's website or the LEAR channel on Facebook.
    Lear Kaleido #4.jpg
    I will write about LUF-Kaleido, which is one of newest addition to LEAR's offert. They drew my attention mainly with their appearance, but I was also curious about the producer's announcement. Tatco Ma from LEAR explained to that this hybrid solution is the result of company's work on more affordable hand-made models, that could be good option to use with smartphones and entyr-level DAPs.

    Kaleido are available in both the universal fit version (LUF-Kaleido) and CIEM (LCM-Kaleido). This review is for universal option, which is priced at 1699 HKD (less that 220 USD). You could buy it by LEAR's website.

    Technical specification:
    • Drivers: dynamic (7 mm, PET), 2 x BA (custom tuned).
    • Frequency Response : 10Hz-20kHz
    • Impedance: 10ohm @1000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: 109dB @1mW

    Packaging
    Earphones are packed in a cardboard box, which looks quite ascetic - on the black surface there are only the company's logos and information about a particular model (on the side). The set - not counting headphones and cable - is composed of:
    • protective case with company logo;
    • 1 pair of LEAR foams (LF3 variant);
    • 1 pair of silicone double density tips (M);
    • 3 pairs of silicone tips with a large hole (S, M and L);
    • headphones cleaning cloths.

    Silicone tips are quite standard. It is a pity that the company has not added double density eartips in S and L sizes. They compensate this with good quality foams that resemble those prepared by Campfire Audio rather than Comply solutions (they are less porous and have a smoother surface).
    LEAR Kaleido 2.jpg
    There is also nice protective case made of ABS. It has a black, matt coating that provides a secure grip. It's interior is lined with green silicone. The case has quite a large capacity, so earphones fit without any problem.

    Build quality
    Kaleido's shell are made of acrylic with a smooth, shiny surface that does not irritate the skin. The front panel is ideally suited to the chamber and draws attention with its appearance. By default, the gold LEAR logo and the pattern of shiny multi-colored petals are visible on it.
    Lear Kaleido #15.jpg
    I must admit that I liked the appearance of the shells and I wouldn't change it. Users who care about personalization, however, have this option. LEAR - for a small extra charge - allows you to modify the CIEM version as well as the universal one. Available colors and patterns can be checked on company's page.

    Housings are semitranslucent so that the elements placed inside them are visible. There is standard MMCX connector that has been securely embedded in shells (they do not rotate very easily). A single vent hole is placed next to connector.
    Lear Kaleido #6.jpg
    The housings are very well contoured. "Neck" has been slightly tilted. There is a bump, thanks to which the shells rests more firmly in most users ears, but at the same time could disturb few others. Kaleido are not particularly small, but rested comfortable in my channels, so I can listen to it for a long time.

    Isolation is quite good. Kaleido are good comapions to walk around city with them, but those earphones will not cut you off completely from the sounds of the surroundings.
    Lear Kaleido #5.jpg
    Cable is made with high purity OFC copper. Kaleido were sold initially with quite stiff cabel, that cause "microphone effect". That solution was replaced with C2 MKIII cable with braided wires and soft protection, but I can't tell more about it.

    Sound quality
    Test platform includes: iBasso DX150 AM6/AM7, FiiO X3 and X5 series, Shanling M0 and M2s, xDuoo X3 II, Samsung Galaxy S8, ZTE Axon 7, Sony Xperia X, Astell & Kern AK XB10. All evaluation are made after 150 hrs of playing time using mostly private FLAC files library and Tidal Hi-Fi.

    Kaleido characteristics by smooth, "V-shaped" sound signature. The main focus has been put on lows, that clearly warms the sound. Accents in the upper midrange and lower highs have to balance signature, but earphones still feature a slightly darkened sound.
    Lear Kaleido #10.jpg
    Subbass reach quite low and - apart from its lowest parts - is clearly strengthened. There is tight, but not hard character. Subbass area is well controlled, quite precise and mostly does not mark its presence needlessly.

    The middle bass is also elevated and attacks with nice authority, but have got smooth and easy to listen texture. Lows may not be the fastest, but aren't too slow. Kaleido dont have problems with getting the right form of bass for a given genre - it could be massive or pulsate quickly. Lows are the strong point of Kaleido's sound signature.
    Lear Kaleido #13.jpg
    Mids are clearly weighted, smoothed and warmed in lower parts. Kaleido present quite nice amount of details, but you need to listen carefully to catch them. Separation is good, but not great (I can't describe mids as overlly concentrated). The vocals are clear and have a nice textures. Male singers never sound dry and there is nice amount of body. The accentuated upper midrange makes female voices sound a little more intimate. They do convey emotions quite well, but arent too forward and dont sound very airy.

    Highs aren't the most stretched and extended. It is mainly highlighted in the lower part, but aren't aggressive or overly bright. Highs are smoothed and sounds quite natural. They may lacks a little in terms of details and crisp, but occasionally there is delicate harshness. Sopran is present, but mostly as a "background of presentation". Kaleido doesnt sound airy, but the amount of air is just fine to dont make sound too thickened.
    LEAR Kaleido 3.jpg
    Soundstage is very good. The width isn't huge, but still above averange. There is good depth that match width. Kaleido also nicely differentiate the height at which the instruments appears. Sound is pleasantly suspended in space and soundstage is "filled with sound not black spaces". As the name suggests, is like watching a painting in a kaleidoscope.

    Kaleido aren't proposition for those seeking neutral sound signature. Those are very musical with clearly warm and slightly darkened presentation. LEAR IEM wont be first choice for classics, but it performs well in popular music genres, especially EDM. For my taste it lack a little in terms of highs for metal music, but lighter rock generes sound pretty good.

    Tips and sources
    Tonal balance depends on the depth of application (anatomy) and the selected tips. In my case the SpinFit CP-145 provided best comfort, insolation. Here's how other silicone tips modified sound for me:
    • silicones with a large opening - less amount of midbass, more clearity in midrange and treble, vocals are less forward and there was a little harshness in few songs;
    • silicone with a double density (from the set) - more emphasized middle bass, fuller and compacted mids and clearly smoothed top (too warm for me);
    • RHA double density tips - the sound between the aboves, with a slightly harder bass impact and more pronounced vocals;
    • SymarinEs Symbio W - slightly less mid bass, tigher lows and a brighter highs with a little wider soundstage.
    Although I do not like foam eartips, I must admit that the LEAR LF3 was good. These provide a harder but still well-marked bass and a more lucid middle and a little more recessed top. They work much better than Comply, which darkened sound and smoothed out details.
    Lear Kaleido #16.jpg
    Kaleido is characterized by low impedance and good efficiency, thanks to which even weaker DAPs and smartphones have no problems with driving them, properly. Although they may require a bit more volume than many similar hybrids. Good DAPs will provide better control of higher mids.

    LEAR earphones dont require secific synergy. Bad idea will be only overly warm sources and analitical ones with very bright highs. Good for me was DX150 with both AM6 and AM7, but I also like how it sounds from Shanling M0 and Galaxy S8.

    Comparison:
    Lear Kaleido #8.jpg

    1More Quad Driver - Kaleido have more extended lows with more subbass quantity, but lows are more detailed on 1MQD. Kaleido has more body in mids and more forward vocals. Mids in Quad Driver in comparision are more linear and more laid back. 1More'y have a more extended and smooth, but also more peaky highs. Quad Driver present bigger soundstage with more air and better separation, but Kaleido is a little better in layering and positioning.
    LZ A4 (black/blue filters) - Lows in LZs are faster, hits harder and shows more detalis. Kaleido has more smooth lows. LEAR's IEM have fuller and warmer mids with more natural vocal presentation. A4s sounds thinner and more laidback. LZs have more extended and airy highs - there is better separation and more details. Soundstage is wider on A4. LZs dont have big adventages in terms of layering.
    DUNU Falcon-C (SpinFit) - Falcon-C extended deeper and has quicker and better textured bass. Kaleido has a bit more subbass and higher bass, lows are also smoother. The lower midrange in Kaleido is fuller, smoother and less detailed. Vocals are more forward on LEARs. Falcon-C's mids are more linear and neutral. Highs in Falcon-C are noticably more extended, brighter and reveals many more details, but are more aggressive. The stage in the DUNU model is slightly wider and has better positioning, but Kaleido's sound is more layered with better depth.
    Periodic Audio Be - Beryllium have more subbass, faster lows with more impactful attack. Mids on LEARs have more body and are smoother. Kaleido shows fuller and less airy vocals. Be have more extended highs, stronger separation and shows more details . Kaleido's soundstage have better depth and provide a more spatial and layered sound. Beryllium have a slightly wider and more aerated soundstage.
    Oriveti New Primacy - Kaleido has a fuller and more massive bass with a smoother texture. Lows in ONP are faster and more detailed, There is also more tigher attack and lower reach. Kaleido's mids are fuller, smoother. New Primacy shows more details, have more pronounced vocals. LEAR has a stronger accentuated lower highs. ONP show more extended and detailed highs. Both got nice layered stage, Positioning is better on ONP, but it sound more distanced.

    LEAR Kaleido sounds fuller with thicker mids and less extended highs in comparison to models mentioned above. They are less fatiguing - easier to listen for long time.

    Summary
    LEAR Kaleido 4.jpg
    Kaleido turned my attention because of unusual (and really attractive) look, but soon turned out thats design isn't only advantage of these headphones. The LEAR product is carefully made and very comfortable, and in the set you can find a good quality case.

    The bottom line is that Kaleido just sounds very good. Sound is musical with good quality bass and present, but non-aggressive highs. The LEAR headphones are easy to listen and attract attention with a rich spatial presentation.

    People looking for earphones that are distinguished by their sound and appearance, should check product of a company from Hong Kong. Especially, that the price is quite affordable for a hand-made construction of this type.

    Disclaimer
    Thanks to Tatco Ma from LEAR for providing review sample of the Kaleido. All opinion are my own. Original, polish version of review was published at gadzetomania.pl
      siruspan and Vaiet like this.
  3. Zelda
    Lear Kaleido - Triple Hybrid
    Written by Zelda
    Published Aug 7, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Review: Lear Kaleido (Universal fit)

    kaleido 1 (2).JPG
    Overview

    The LUF-Kaleido (or Kaleido, in short) is one of the newer models from Lear, well known Hong Kong based audio company. A company that has been in the portable audio market for years offering a nice variety of products, from in-ear sets (both universal and custom fit), cables and amplifiers. The Kaleido uses the rather popular triple hybrid setup of one dynamic and two balanced armature drivers, with a less standard design which is also customizable in color and faceplate options. A nice looking earphone that doesn’t compromise much with the sound bringing a warm, rich and smooth presentation which is fun to listen.

    WebsiteLear (English)

    Kaleido product page: Universal & Custom


    Specifications
    • Drivers: 7mm Dynamic & Dual Balanced Armature
    • Frequency range: 10 Hz ~ 20 kHz
    • Impedance: 10Ω @ 1000Hz
    • Sensitivity: 109 dB @ 1mW

    Price: Universal fit, HKD 1700 ~ U$D 216; Custom fit, HKD 2000 ~ U$D 255.

    kaleido (2).JPG

    The Kaleido IEM is not the first Lear product I listened to, but yes the first to get a full review. I got it as a replacement for other of the Lear items, and while it took some time, it definitely was worth the wait. The earphone arrives in the usual Lear packaging which consists of a simple black color cardboard box with minimal writing that is not trying to impress at all and is more than fine in my opinion. The earpieces arrived securely arranged inside a foam pad with no cables attached. The eartips selection is minimal, with only 3 pairs of standard silicone tips (medium size already attached) and 2 foam tips. Should be noted that the medium tips are different than the small and large for whatever reason. There is also the Lear round case which is of very good quality and holds inside the own Lear latest C2 MKIII cable, which is a sliver plated copper cable. (The additional 2.5mm balanced cable is an extra)
    By the way, it’s pretty obvious, but anyway ‘LUF’ stands for ‘Lear Universal Fit’ (and yes, the Custom option is LCM).

    kaleido (3).JPG

    Design and build quality

    The Kaleido is probably the best built of all the Lear earphones I’ve tried (haven’t tried the upper models yet). The earpieces are designed like custom in-ear models, made of thick acrylic material, and in this case, with a translucent blue color that allows to see the inner drivers’ setup. The shape is not standard at all with a custom-like design. The faceplates here are the standard ones used for the Kaleido, but of course can be changed to any other design as well as the color theme. The nozzle has a good angle with this custom-like universal shape with a two bore design for each of the drivers, though it is a bit short and lacks the grip to hold some aftermarket eartips.

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    Despite the specific form factor, the Kaleido fits as any other universal IEM. The unusual shape was not a challenge at all, though the fit can be tighter than more rounded IEMs, and so the seal can be too strong with some tips. Isolation level is good, at least above average for daily use, while comfortable enough and with no driver flex issues. Getting the correct seal was critical with the Kaleido in order to achieve the best sound results; the included silicone tips were fine, but I opted for wide bi-flanges, wider single tips or even Spinfit.

    kaleido (6).JPG

    kaleido (8).JPG

    As for the cable, the included one is the last Lear C2 MKIII in a standard MMCX setup which with most cables I tried had a very secure connection. From a company that also makes upgrade cables the included cable is of good quality and can be bought sold separately. The wire is of silver plated copper and consists of four strands softly twisted. It carries almost no noise when moving around and is very comfortable to wear and while not really needed, the memory wire works fine.

    kaleido (10).JPG

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    Sound Quality

    With the most common hybrid setup of single dynamic & dual balanced armature, the Kaleido takes an interesting but not so unusual sound tuning, yet with good technical characteristics, mixing detail, resolution and a very solid fun factor. A strong and warmly tuned dynamic unit for lows along with smooth, sweet and engaging mids and highs from the BA counterpart. Not the popular lively V-shaped presentation, and does sound more laid-back and forgiving than other IEMs on its same price range I’ve recently tried.

    The dynamic driver may not be too large with just a 7mm diameter, which can be found as tweeter on some dual dynamic sets instead as a woofer, however, the low end is nothing small at all. In fact, the bass is weighty, very solid and too present. Quantity wise it is more than plenty, rather boosted at the mid-bass region with a present lift at the upper bass blending with the low midrange. Provided a tight seal with the correct eartips, the bass wouldn’t struggle much to classify as heavy-bass, and some bassheads might find a nice option with the Kaleido. It doesn’t stop in just the amount; the quality is very good too. It has good separation, dynamics and layering, but still with a thunderous level of rumble that may get too powerful if asked for. Sub-bass is almost as present, but takes a bit of second place in forwardness; it has good reach at the lowest notes, but not too much depth overall. Speed is not too high, and the Kaleido doesn’t have an aggressive attack, but yes a smooth decay. With the provided eartips or with Spinfit options, the bass can get more congested, though using wider bi-flange helps to achieve better layering and tighter low-end with wider range and depth.

    Following the strong bass response, the midrange does sit behind in the whole presentation. However, thanks to that the midrange is rather warm and full, and not a thin or distant as with more classic v-shaped triple hybrid IEMs. The strengths of the balanced armature is easy to notice, having the speed, articulation and good level of resolution. Lower instruments are a bit over darkened by the bass lift and can sound too thick with warmer sources, and with a similar effect on the male voices too. Upper instruments, on the other hand, have a cleaner texture and likely, female singers are presented with a sweeter texture. The midrange as a whole does not stand out too much, but it is smooth, engaging and carries a nice sense of musicality.

    For reference, the Kaleido has slightly more forward mids than the Brainwavz B200, and is more resolving and detailed too. The Vsonic GR07 Bass is more mid forward though more linear and leaner with a brighter tonality towards the upper mids. The LZ A4 shows a similar presentation (depending on the filters used, of course), and even if the A4 can be set up for a more upfront midrange, the Kaleido has more natural tonality.

    Highs keep a similar good balanced with the midrange with just half a step more forward as to give a more lively sound effect, yet remains smooth and laid-back. Extension is decent and there’s enough amount of sparkle, though the more relaxed nature and slightly darker tonality limits the sense of air. The positive characteristic is that the Kaleido has almost no hint of sibilance or harshness, just a hidden sense of grain being more low-treble focused than anything.

    Stage is not particularly large or wide despite being a triple hybrid IEM, even so the presentation does not sound closed or congested. The level of detail is good in the BA type, accurate but not far from the analytical type; yet not best in class, probably due the more dominant low end that hides some of the treble, but the details are still presented in a natural way.

    kaleido 1 (1).JPG

    Source matching is not an issue with the Kaleido, though I’d pick a less warm/dark source to reach a better balance out of it. Surprisingly, there were no real changes taking the 2.5mm balanced output of the Aune M1s. However, the different cables did had some effects on the Kaleido for either a brighter or smoother tonality, but the best pick is still the included Lear C2 cable.
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  4. Moonstar
    Pure Romance
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Jun 7, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Wonderful housing,
    Great build quality,
    Nice accessories package,
    Good bass performance,
    Warm and relaxing presentation
    Cons - Missing of some transparency,
    Maybe a tad too warm
    LEAR LUF Kaleido;
    Pure Romance



    Introduction:

    LEAR was first established in The People’s Republic of China in 2008 and was marketed and directed by Hong Kong Forever Source Digital. There first product was an in-ear earphone which was called the "LEAR LE-01". This product has created according to LEAR with the target to show customers that it is possible to create high quality sound for a reasonable price.

    Since 2009 LEAR's ownership has been transferred to Hong Kong Forever Source Digital.

    Lear Official Webpage: https://www.lear-eshop.com/

    [​IMG]



    Disclaimer:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido IEM was provided to me by LEAR as a review sample. I am not affiliated with LEAR or any third person beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.



    The Price:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido is available on LEAR e-shop under the following link for 216,59 USD.

    Purchase link: https://www.lear-eshop.com/products/kaleido



    Package and Accessories:

    The LEAR LUf Kaleido came in a mediumj sized black cardbox, which is containg the following items;

    • 1 x LEAR LUF Kaleido In-Ear Monitor
    • 1 x Silver Plated Copper Cable (SPC) with MMCX connectors
    • 1 x pair of Foam Eartips
    • 3 x pairs of Black Silicone Eartips
    • 1 x pairs of Gray Silicone Eartips (Pre-installed)
    • 1 x Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
    • 1 x Carry Case


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    The LEAR LUF Kaleido comes with a stylish hard case which is made with of ABS material and covered with matte black protection coating. The inner side of this hard case has a soft rubber coating, which has a nice neon green color. This hard case is waterproof that makes it to a save place for the LUF Kaleido and cable and accessories.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The box is also containing a microfiber cleaning cloth and 4 pairs of silicone ear tips + 1 pair of foam tips.


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    The cable of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is made of a 4 braided Silver Plated Cooper (SPC) wire and has MMCX (micro-miniature coaxial connector).


    [​IMG]

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    The 3.5mm single ended (TRS) headphone jack is gold plated and has is L- angled profile. The only down side of this cable are the Left and Right markings, which are hard to identify.


    [​IMG]



    Design and Build Quality:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido Universal IEM has a semi custom acrylic shell with a smooth surface, that looks and feels very well made.

    [​IMG]


    The Acrylic housing has a navy blue color except the faceplate, which has a golden LEAR logo and with a colorful appearance. The colorful surface on each faceplate, reminds me to a muster you can see inside a Kaleidoscope that could be the reason why LEAR chose the name Kaleido.


    [​IMG]


    They are two bores on each monitor nozzle for the two way configuration (one for the dynamic driver and one for the 2x balanced armature drivers).


    [​IMG]


    The cable of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is detachable and is using MMCX connectors. The MMCX (micro-miniature coaxial) connectors are having a very good workmanship, which are not loose or hard to detach.


    [​IMG]



    Fit, Comfort and Isolation:

    The semi custom housing of the LEAR LUF Kaleido has a medium size, which is not big or too small. This IEM is very ergonomic and comfortable to wear and fits perfectly on my ears. I didn’t have any issues, even after listening periods of 4-5 hours (with breaks for every 30 min). The noise isolation was above average after some intensive test in environments like metro, bus or train.


    [​IMG]




    Features:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido features a specially-adjusted hybrid system of 2 balanced armature drivers combined with a 7mm diameter dynamic driver.

    The design includes a three-way electronic crossover with acoustic low-pass filter, which integrates the output of both the balanced driver and dynamic driver.


    [​IMG]



    Technical Specifications:



    • Driver : 2xBalanced Armature + 7mm Dynamic (Drivers are custom tuned by LEAR)
    • Freq. Response : 10Hz-20kHz
    • Impedance : 10ohm @1000 Hz
    • Sensitivity : 109dB @1mW
    • Soldering : Hi-Fi grade 4% silver solder.


    Drivability (Impedance):

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido is a quite sensitive IEM, which is very easy to drive. It has an impedance of 10 Ohm that makes it to an ideal earphone for the use with portable sources like Smartphones, Tablet’s or DAP’s with weak amplifier.



    Sources:

    a) In Ear Monitor : LEAR LUF Kaleido, DUNU Flacon-C, BRAINWAVZ B400

    b) DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hidizs DH1000, Hifiman HM603s

    c) Albums & Tracks used for this review:

    • Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
    • Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
    • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
    • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)

    • Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
    • Gothart – Jovano, Jovanke (Spotify)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)

    • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)

    • Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)


    [​IMG]





    Sound Analysis and Comparisons:

    This review is written after a burn-in of approx 90 hours. I have used the stock silicone ear tips, which came pre-installed on the LEAR LUF Kaleido.



    Sound Signature and Tonality:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido has a relative warm tonality with a V shaped sound signature, which has a soft and relaxing presentation.



    Bass:

    The 7mm dynamic driver which is dedicated for the low frequencies of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is producing some high quantity of bass with pretty good rumble and punch that gives the overall presentation a touch of body.

    The sub-bass of the Kaleido is reaching to a quite low register and is strong in its presentation. The bass that is produced by the dynamic driver sounds controlled and has an average speed and extension.

    The mid-bass area of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is not aggressive and is adding instruments additional warmth and body. The overall bass speed is satisfying with genres like Pop music or Edm, but can be a bit slow in some complex songs like Liquid Tension Experiment 2’s “Acid Rain”, where some IEM’s with balanced armature have an advantage.



    Mids:

    The midrange of the LAER LUF Kaleido is warm and smooth and could be described as velvet like presentation, where instrument and vocals are slightly recessed but having an emotional presentation. The detail retrieval is above average due the recessed midrange presentation, but the mildly tuning of this region makes it ideal for genres like pop, rock (ballads), acoustic and jazz.

    The midrange is missing a touch of transparency and airiness but there is a nice lush presentation, where especially female vocals like is Hannah Reid (London Grammar) and Laura Pergolizzi (LP) have an intimate and sweet presentation.

    One of the good features of the LUF Kaleido is the control of the midrange, which I have tested out with Liquid Tension Experiment 2’s “Acid Rain”, where its performs above over its price point.

    The upper midrange sounds dynamic and is not very upfront, which is avoiding an aggressive presentation and makes the LUF Kaleido ideal for long listening periods.



    [​IMG]



    Treble:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido is not a very bright IEM, but the transition between upper midrange and treble is well done. The treble range sounds controlled and has a moderate level of extension, without any aggressive peaks, which avoids sibilance or harshness. This tuning allows the listener to enjoy the music for longer listening periods.

    The overall detail level of the treble range is above its price point, but is missing some additional sparkle for my taste, which could move the LUF Kaleido to the next level. The upper treble range has pretty good resolution and is ideal for the listening of instruments like violins, pianos or side flutes.



    Soundstage:

    The Soundstage of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is expanding in a natural way without to be claustrophobic or exaggerated in width. There is an above average depth and enough space for vocals and instruments, which is also quite precise with its presentation.



    [​IMG]



    Comparisons:

    Vs. DUNU Falcon-C

    Both IEM’s have V Shaped sound signature, with strong bass presence, while the sub-bass of the LEAR LUF Kaleido has more quantity and a better sense of power. Both IEM’s are very controlled in this area but the LUF Kaleido has slightly better extension. The bass range of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is more prominent and makes the overall sound presentation fuller then those of the DUNU Falcon-C. The mid-bass area of the LUF Kaleido has more boost around 500 Hz, while the Falcon-C has more boost around 300 Hz, which is adding DUNU more clarity.

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido sounds warmer and fuller in the midrange area then DUNU Falcon-C, which has a thinner presentation. The Falcon-C has the upper hand for clarity and transparency, while the LUF Kaleido sounds a bit veiled in this regarding. Vocals and instruments sounding a bit more recessed with the Falcon-C, where the LUF Kaliedo is more intimate. The LEAR LUF Kaleido is representing male and female vocals in a romantic way due its additional warmth in the midrange area, while the DUNU Falcon-C sounds cleaner and with slightly more detail. The LEAR LUF Kaleido has the upper hand in the upper midrange register, which sounds more controlled and with less sibilance and harshness, then those of the DUNU Falcon-C.

    The treble range of the DUNU Falcon-C sounds airier and has extra sparkle, while the LEAR Luf Kaleido shares better control and naturalness. The treble tuning of the Falcon-C makes its overall presentation more lifelike and it has also the upper hand extension. The upper treble range of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is slightly more controlled and has the smoother presentation.

    When it comes do soundstage performance; the LEAR LUF Kaleido has the slightly wider soundstage, while both IEM’s performing quite similar in depth.



    [​IMG]



    Vs. BRAINWAVZ B400

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido with its Hybrid driver configuration is a warmer sounding IEM with more sub-bass quantity than the BRAINWAVZ B400, which is producing its bass with balanced armature drivers. The sub-bass of the LUF Kaleido extends better and is reaching to a lower register, while the B400 has pretty good control in this area. The bass of the LUF Kaleido has makes the overall presentation thicker and lush, where the B400 sound more balanced but a bit too dry for my taste. The mid-bass tuning of the BRAINWAVZ B400 has slightly more clarity then those of the LUF Kaleido, which sounds otherwise pretty good in this area.

    The midrange of the LEAR LUF Kaleido sounds sounds thicker smother and warmer then those of the BRAINWAVZ B400, while the LUF Kaleido is missing some hint of transparency and clearness, compared to the B400 that excels better in this regarding. The BRAINWAVZ B400 sounds slightly more detailed, airy and open while the LUF Kaleido is more intimate and emotional in the midrange, especially with female vocals. Both IEM’s sounding quite controlled in the upper midrange area, where the LEAR LUF Kaleido has less stress and sibilance then B400.

    The treble range of the BRAINWAVZ B400 sounds slightly brighter and energetic than those of the LEAR LUF Kaleido, which has the upper hand for control and naturalness. The resolution and detail retrieval of both IEM’s are nearly identical, but the B400 has the slightly better treble extension. The overall treble presentation makes the LEAR LUF Kaleido to a more comfortable IEM for long listening periods. Instruments like cymbals, pianos and violins sounding warmer but more organic with the LEAR LUF Kaleido.

    When it comes to soundstage presentation; the LEAR LUF Kaleido offers a slightly wider stage, while the BRAINWAVZ B400 has the upper hand for depth.


    Conclusion:

    The LEAR LUF Kaleido is an eye catching In-Ear Monitor with great build quality and relaxing presentation, which is sold for a reasonable price, especially if you chose the CIEM variant.



    Pros and Cons:

    • + Wonderful housing
    • + Great build quality
    • + Nice accessories package
    • + Good bass performance
    • + Warm and relaxing presentation

    • - Missing of some transparency
    • - Maybe a tad too warm


    [​IMG]


    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :

    https://moonstarreviews.net






    ....
      karanehir35 likes this.
  5. cleg
    Smooth sound with a hint of treble
    Written by cleg
    Published Mar 30, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - design, build quality, price, pleasant sound
    Cons - a bit on softer side
    Pretty long ago I've had an outstanding experience with Lear's IEMs: AE1d, LUF-4, BD4.2 — all of those models offered perfect price/quality ratio. Lear also released few exciting models with NatroSound technology. But for last few years I didn't hear much from Lear, but meanwhile, they've released few worthy models, one of which I'd like to review today. It's 3-driver hybrid model Kaleido.
    1-Main Pic.jpg
    First of all, I'd like to thank Lear for providing me with the Kaleido sample for exchange to my honest and unbiased review.

    First of all, let's talk about "boring" parts: everything is okay. A package is neat, and accessories set is pretty big (4 pairs of silicone tips, a pair of foams, microfiber cleaning cloth and extremely stylish storage case).
    2-Box.jpg
    Now, on to more exciting parts: design of Kaleido is stylish, actually, they justify their name — faceplates have the kaleidoscopic effect. From photos, I was afraid that IEMs would look too shiny, but in real life, they are pretty OK to wear even in homophobic countries like ExUSSR ones. If you prefer some other design, Lear offers tons of customization options for the affordable price.
    3-Accessories.jpg
    Lear nailed the design, the shape of Kaleido is ergonomic, and they're providing a good fit and a bit above average nose isolation. You can get Kaleido in the universal body (for about $220), or as a CIEM (for about $260), the price difference is subtile, so Lear's models can be an excellent introduction to the world of custom IEMs. I've chosen UIEM only because it was almost impossible for me to make an impression.
    4-Close.jpg
    Cable is replaceable, and it's a bit firmer then modern-world wires should be. It's OK as a stock option, but for long listening sessions and regular street wearing, I'd suggest you get some other cable (by Lear or a third-party one). Lear uses universal MMCX connectors, so finding proper option will be simple.

    But of course, most important is the sound.
    5-Sides.jpg
    For evaluation, I've used following gear.
    - Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as a DAC/amp
    - Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 with Fidelia as a source
    - Lotoo PAW Gold, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000

    I gave Kaleido 72 hours of burn-in, but they don't require such a long "warm-up."
    6-With xDuoo X20.jpg
    Regarding general representation, Kaleido stays aside from the sound of "typical hybrids," Lear decided to make them softer sounding for those who don't like sharp and aggressive upper mids.

    Bass isn't the fastest, but it's not slow either, it has pleasant weight, and great in representing textures. It's pretty deep, so all of the necessary rumbles are here. Low register instruments separation is on standard level.
    7-Stylish Shot.jpg
    Mids are a bit recessed, as IEMs have the typical V-shaped signature, so it's not a model for the fans of critical listening and neat-picking, but in a vast majority of cases, they have enough resolution. Mids are a bit on the softer side, but added warmth suits many genres. Kaleido is pretty good in staging, they bring vocal a bit forward, adding a pleasant sense of depth to the sound. Width and depth of imaginary stage are about average.

    Treble is pretty detailed and manage to add a necessary level of "sparkle" to the sound of this IEMs. Attacks and decays are a bit simplified, but the resolution is pretty normal and "in general" treble sounds very natural. Treble manages to balance overall representation.
    8-Again with xDuoo X20.jpg
    So, once again, Lear managed to create pretty interesting IEMs, combining the stylish look and pleasant sound signature for those, who like a bit relaxed representation.
      PlantsmanTX likes this.
  6. audio123
    Lear Kaleido - Auditory Kaleidoscope
    Written by audio123
    Published Jan 22, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Smooth Bass, Relaxing Midrange, Beautiful Design
    Cons - Slightly less extension
    Introduction

    Lear Audio is a Hong Kong company that specializes in making handcrafted iems, be it in universal or custom form. They started since 2008 and have a variety of products. I would like to thank Lear Audio for the review unit of Kaleido. At the moment, you can purchase the Kaleido at https://www.lear-eshop.com/products/kaleido .

    [​IMG]

    Specifications

    • Drivers Configuration: 2 Balanced Armature Drivers + 1 Dynamic Driver (7mm)
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
    • Impedance: 10 ohm
    • Sensitivity: 109dB@1mW
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The Kaleido comes in a black package with the words “LEAR Universal Fit In-Ear Monitor” printed at the front. At the top of the package, there is a sticker which shows the model name. After opening the package, you can see the iem and storage case. The storage case has a smooth exterior surface and its interior is made of soft rubber. It contains a silver plated copper MMCX cable. The accessories are limited.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IEM Build & Design

    The Kaleido shell is made up of acrylic and there is a smooth surface. On each of the faceplate, there is the LEAR logo printed on it in gold colour. The faceplate has colourful flakes. The shell is translucent dark blue. The nozzle is slightly angled with 2 bores. The Kaleido is light weight and I am able to fit it in my ears comfortably.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is 4 core braided and it is made of silver plated copper. It uses MMCX connectors with a translucent housing. On the MMCX connectors, there are L & R markings to differentiate between left and right respectively. There is a memory wire area section in which the cable is enclosed in a transparent heat shrink tube. It is not very flexible due to the metal inside that helps to form the shape. The chin slider and y splitter are translucent. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated right angled with strain relief.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The Kaleido has a moderate sub-bass extension and it is being extended with a smooth rumble. The extension may not be very deep but it is able to bring out the impact. The quantity is moderate and sufficient. Each bass note is being delivered with a slight weighted feel and the presence improves the dynamics. The punch is good without being too offensive. Bass texture is rendered with ease and there is a nice creamy feeling to it. The decay is rather quick and the attack is engaging. Moving on to the mid-bass, it operates in a laid back approach. The slam is being expressed in a soothing manner and there are no signs of aggression. The bass is captivating and it is relaxing to listen to.

    Mids

    The midrange operates in a smooth approach. The lower mids has a nice quantity to it and male vocals do not sound dry or hollow. It is being expressed with a good control and there is a lush feel. The upper mids has moderate forwardness and the mastery enables female vocals to be presented in a matured presentation. There is intimacy. The transparency of the midrange is moderate. There is definition with an apt standard of details retrieval. The midrange has a mellow feeling and vocals are delivered in a pleasant manner.

    Highs

    The treble is being extended moderately. There is no sibilance and harshness. The Kaleido’s treble does not have the greatest stretch but it showcases its control by preventing the treble from sounding aggressive. The smooth nature makes the treble soothing and results in a fatigue-free listening. The crisp is well presented. The sparkle is lacking. There is a good amount of air rendered and it helps to reduce the density. The details retrieval is moderate.

    Soundstage

    The Kaleido has a natural expansion to its stage and the width has a great magnitude. The depth is not very close in and there is a good amount of space rendered. Positioning of vocals and instruments is fairly accurate.

    [​IMG]

    Comparisons

    Lear Kaleido vs iBasso IT03

    The Kaleido has more sub-bass quantity than the IT03 and its sub-bass extension is less than the IT03. The IT03 is able to extend its sub-bass deeper and there is more punch to it. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more body to it and its slam is more weighted. The IT03 has the upper hand in terms of agility. Bass texture on the Kaleido is smoother and there is a soothing feeling. The bass decay on the IT03 is faster. The lower mids on the Kaleido has more body and it sounds fuller than the IT03. This benefits male vocals. The upper mids on the IT03 is more forward and clear. There is better details retrieval on the IT03. Kaleido expresses its upper mids in a more controlled manner. IT03 has more crisp and definition here while Kaleido has the edge in its mastery. Female vocals are more exciting on the IT03 and intimate on the Kaleido. For the treble section, the IT03 has more extension than the Kaleido with a greater amount of air rendered. There is significantly more sparkle on the IT03. The treble on the Kaleido is smoother. Lastly, Kaleido has a more natural expansion in its stage. IT03 has a greater magnitude. The depth on both is quite similar.

    Lear Kaleido vs Oriveti New Primacy

    The Kaleido has similar sub-bass quantity as the New Primacy and the extension on the New Primacy is greater. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more quantity and it is able to create a more impactful slam. The bass texture on the Kaleido is rendered with extra smoothness. Bass decay on the New Primacy is slightly quicker and with such agility, there is a quicker attack. The lower mids on the Kaleido has slightly more body than the New Primacy and this helps to prevent hollowness in male vocals. There is a good execution of the midrange on both. The upper mids on the New Primacy is slightly more forward with better definition and crisp while the Kaleido approaches it in a conservative style. The transparency of midrange is higher on the New Primacy with extra cleanliness. The treble on the Kaleido has more body and the New Primacy extends its treble better. The amount of air rendered is fairly similar. Treble on the New Primacy is brighter. There is no sibilance and harshness. Lastly, the New Primacy has a more natural expansion and the magnitude of stage width is similar. The depth on the Kaleido is not too close in with a greater amount of space.

    Lear Kaleido vs Oriolus Forsteni

    The Kaleido has more sub-bass quantity than the Forsteni and the extension on the Forsteni has a greater magnitude. There is more sub-bass body in the Kaleido which helps to give a weighted feel. The Forsteni is clinical in this aspect. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more quantity and the Forsteni has a tighter slam to it. Bass texture on the Kaleido is smoother with finesse while bass decay on the Forsteni is quicker with agility. The Kaleido is more musical to listen to. The lower mids on the Kaleido has more body than the Forsteni and it is able to do male vocals justice. Male vocals are expressed nicely without sounding dry. The upper mids on the Forsteni is more forward with extra crisp. However, Forsteni tackles female vocals better and it sounds sweeter. The treble on the Forsteni has a better extension with more clarity while Kaleido has the edge in the body and mastery. Forsteni is more prone to sibilance and harshness. Lastly, both are quite similar in its stage width and the Kaleido is more natural in the expansion. The depth on the Forsteni is less close in with more space.

    Conclusion

    The Kaleido is a hybrid iem that is able to produce smooth yet impactful bass. The midrange and treble takes on a velvety approach which ensures a fatigue-free listening. It operates with lushness. The Kaleido has a very beautiful design and the fit is good. Overall, the Lear Kaleido showcases great musicality.

    [​IMG]

    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
      rae39852 and Moonstar like this.