New Head-Fier
MOONDROP Kato (Matte Gray). Perfection comes from Krypton
Pros: Sound, Bass, Mids, Upper, Neutral comfortable sound, Design of shells, Presentation and accesories, Soundstage, Strong shells, very quality cable, ergonomic shells
Cons: Small case for IEMs

For thousands of years, the Kryptonians have always strived for high aesthetics in everything they make. In this case, their new work under the name KATO is no exception. Space packaging design with polygonal elements is mesmerizing

The image of anime girls on the box makes some people laugh, but personally I really like it, this is the style of the Moondrop company. This style is already beginning to be imitated by some earthly companies, and any imitation is the popularity and recognition of users of all civilizations

Picking up the KATOs themselves, we see the Kryptonian polygonal armor enclosed in the IEM design. Perhaps this is one of the most beautiful armor designs (IEM shells) that I have seen. When you see them in photographs, there is an irresistible desire to possess them, and when you take them in your hands, you never want to let them out

The broken and at the same time complete shape of the shells inspires and delights. Shells have an anatomical shape, not large in size, ideally fit in 95% of the ears of the Kryptonians and representatives of the human race

KATO accessories are also worthy of close attention, in particular new eartips "Spring Tips" with a radical design and construction, as well as an incredibly aesthetic and high-quality cable, it is thick and soft, it completely lacks the microphone effect

Kryptonians have installed a completely new DLC (3rd-Generation Diamond-Like Carbon Composite Diaphragm) DD 10mm in Kato with improved technical and sound capabilities

The inhabitants of Krypton are very fond of technical, neutral and detailed sound. With good elaboration of high frequencies, having a good level of layering, bodily and natural mids and of course weighty and very deep bass. On krypton, sub-bass is very much appreciated, velvet and going to the maximum depth, bass with good attacks and not going into the lower middle. Overall tuning has a slightly V-shaped tuning

Musical instruments of Kryptonians and Earthlings sound very natural, with good separation of plans. The imaginary stage is wide. The overall tonality is neutral and comfortable for long-term listening...you can hear how a star explodes in a neighboring galaxy and forms a supernova (electromagnetic radiation, after all, there is no place for a vacuum in space and there is no place for sound), you can even determine from which side alpha and gamma radiation emanates from of this explosion. You always know the positioning of the instrument and the distance to the listener, as if you were sitting in the concert hall of the Kryptonian Philharmonic

KATO are absolutely universal IEMs and present all styles of music equally well, the main thing is that the material is of good quality. Low bitrate music plays hazy and lackluster

The Moondrop lab has done a very serious job on the packaging, accessories and the Kato itself, from design to customization. These are not ideal IEMs, because there are no perfect things, but they can be your main drivers at home, travel and work

This is the best sound of single DD under $ 200 that I have heard (I will not compare here)

I recommend that you try the path of the Kryptonian, perhaps you will not light up the letter M on your chest for life and in the future you will change your principles and preferences many times, but the fact that KATO will leave a big mark in your heart, I am sure of it

Moondrop Lab Bravo!👏

Having touched the great, remember that great has no limit! ©

#SHENZHENAUDIO #MoondropKato #MoondropLab #IEM #IEMs #Headphones #MoondropIEM @MOONDROP @shenzhenaudio

Otto Motor

Headphoneus Supremus
Moondrop KATO - Finally got it right
Pros: Smooth, coherent, balanced sound with a slight tone colour; excellent value.
Cons: Included “Spring Tips” too small for some ear canals


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so this is your second full 5 stars head-fi review it seems Dr. Kraus
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
I thought it was my first :).
it was the Sony MH755 I believe, because I remember that :smile_phones:


100+ Head-Fier
Kato Prime? --- a quickimp
Pros: tuning
tonal balance
natural timbre
great imaging
driver's tactility
wide open sound stage
good instrument separation
good depth (for a single dd)
Cons: fit

KXXS Advanced Technology Optimized

Tonality: 6.3/9
Technicalities: 6.6/9
Preference: 7/9
Overall: 6.6/9 (B+)

(this is useless but to give the idea. the star rating is the price to performance)

my preferred signature is neutral with or without bass boost, with an exception for a little warm-tilted, or mild V-shaped but honestly, I'm a "signature agnostic" because anything can work. I listen to mostly everything but currently lusting more on the modern sub-genres of Jazz, Progressive Rock & Metal, Drone, Noise Rock, No Wave, Minimalism, Totalism, modern recording of Chamber, Orchestra, Concerto, or Modern Classical at large.

(total 6 mins read)

Moondrop KATO or “KXXS Advanced Technology Optimized” is the newest Moondrop’s release which appears as their new flagship single dynamic driver that’s clearly a follow-up to the famous KXXS in and out. I think it’s priced handsomely at $189.99 (same as the KXXS) for the great package that’s bundled with its excellent performance.

it sports a 10mm ULT dynamic driver (Ultra Linear Technology) that is claimed to achieve “unparalleled linear distortion performance with outstanding in both amplitude-frequency response and phase-frequency response to restore the timbre and sound stage better”. the specially made new silicone Spring Tips also “helps to optimize the timbre while improving comfort and sound leakage”.

it has a quite impressive back story of the new-old tech that’s been developed at Moondrop for years. their own new DLC composite diaphragm design is also said to "exceed the performance of Beryllium" with a combination of special materials that can enhance the extension details of high frequency and the dynamic range, the damping, and transient. from the Kanas to Aria, yes, I could believe all of that.


upon removing the waifu cardboard sleeve, we're greeted by the silver word "KATO" on the double door mid open matte black box that is looking more 'matured'

the sound signature of KATO can be described as neutral with bass boost with a little colored mid-bass (bassier VDSF target). one may call it a mild v-shaped depending on one’s sensitiveness to the bass. being an all-rounder, I think this is one of the best mid-tier single dynamic drivers I’ve ever come across so far as being a newcomer to this head-fi side of the HiFi world. so, pardon the lack of experience with the other single dynamic drivers in existence and the unusual audio terms.


KATO with Spring Tips vs VDSF target

FR & tonality
in my opinion, the bass is nicely tuned with a little emphasis on the mid-bass. it has good tactility though not as crisp or sharp to compose a solid & impactful bass reproduction, especially with the steel nozzle. the bass attack is quick enough but it seems a little blunt & a bit light in the energy where it's a tad shy on the punch and slam. don't get me wrong, it still punches and slams with a physical kick, deep rumble and all but, it’s just a little subtle to my preference.

the bass quantity is about right with a good quality texture that never bleeds to the mid-region. the bass is boosted & colored but I’d not consider KATO as a bassy set, and if to be more nitpick, I’d say the bass is the 'least special' about KATO especially when the steel nozzle is attached, but overall I do like it. I like it more than any other single dynamic I’ve tried. more on the technicalities later.

the mid-range is rich and engaging yet a little laid back. the female vocal is forward as usual yet sits even closer to other instruments behind it. some of the shoutier snare drums are now tamer. although a bit relax, it's still a tasteful mid-range reproduction with its natural decays. the male vocal is bold & strong as it is supposed to be, thanks to the mid-bass emphasis. it's full-bodied yet it can be as smooth and airy which is very coherent up to the upper treble. I’d say perhaps the mid-range is the weakest part of KATO that could use a bit more 'bite' but it’s not bad really.

the treble is the best part of KATO though not as well-extended or super polished. it still feels airy & spacious with an organic timbre that’s delicately crisp & smooth. I bet it’s pleasant enough to please any type of appetite. there's not even one time it gets sibilant or feels dry though sometimes it can sound wispy on the hi-hats, but that is all. in the end, I feel like the measurement graph doesn’t do justice to its overall response & how it reacts on different nozzle materials.


the meaning of "KATO" printed behind the left door

Technicalities +
It's very important to get THE RIGHT SIZE of the Spring Tips for the best performance and to get the most natural presentation out of KATO. I find the other 2 sizes don’t give the same level of performance that might affect the technicalities and that may change my judgment 90 degrees.

I prefer the brass nozzle as it gives a sense of better transient response, with a definitely better imaging & separation while slightly reducing the sound stage width. it feels tighter, faster & punchier. these different nozzle materials certainly affect not only the timbre but also most part of the technicalities on a tiny scale.

the overall response from the steel nozzle somehow reminds me of SeeAudio Yume at times which previously I had difficulty in judging for its performance while liking the tuning and some technical aspects of it. the brass nozzle unmistakably corrects many of the 'mushy' or 'blunt' issues with the steel nozzle. the tactility is actually very good with its natural short decays and it's not particularly ‘mushy’ but rather ‘rounded’ transients. well, the steel nozzle is perfectly fine but I find the brass is overall a better "wave conveyor" or sympathetic resonator in this case.

the imaging is very good with an above-average depth and the separation is very visible though can get a little smudgy when the song gets busy, but that’s occasional. it's very smart of Moondrop to properly stretch the stereo field as wide as possible so it’d get less congested with better separation. in my opinion, the imaging capability is one of KATO’s best traits that’s good in definition & visual projection.

KATO also has good macro & microdynamics as can be seen (heard) on Tia Cabral’s vibrato & Eddie Daniels’ Baiao Malandro string section to the woodwind. the brass nozzle is simply great, especially for brass instruments. I can hear & feel the microdynamics easily which are perfected by the brass’ sensitivity and its timbre (density). the brass nozzle is a perfect match for the new driver, which is a very nicely tuned dynamic driver. sometimes I also think that the driver is uniquely sensitive where it behaves differently to a higher volume of loudness.


Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk vs Moondrop KATO raw size comparison

there's nothing wrong with KATO tonally or technically. it's a fine piece of engineering & craftmanship on its own, from the tuning to the nozzle design. while being a competent earphone that excels at many departments, it’s still lacking in certain areas in objective measurement.

recently I reviewed the 2021 Tanchjim Hana and if my memory serves me right, Hana is a more energetic and a more forward yet leaner sounding set than KATO. I can say that Hana has a narrower sound stage with decent technicalities though I like its treble energy and its natural timbre. KATO is a tad crisper with a better imaging capability and a wider sound stage. I honestly like both of them perhaps on different occasions but now I'm leaning towards KATO that's charging an extra $10.

comparing to the Blessing 2 Dusk, I find KATO is overall smoother with natural tonality that is more pleasant at a higher volume of loudness. it has an organic timbre that feels less ‘dry’ especially on the treble region against the glassy BA timbre of Dusk. KATO also has better macro & microdynamics than the hybrid with 4 BAs, the Dusk.

the sound stage is wider on KATO with an ‘open’ presentation that gives a sense of plenty of space to breathe though not as clean as the Dusk’s while the Dusk is more spatial on the image projection. the imaging & separation capabilities are surprisingly not far behind yet not as sharp or snappy as Dusk’s but KATO boasts a larger ‘image size’. it has good detail retrieval too but it's not up to the analytical level of the Dusk.

however, I can’t say that the Dusk has an overall better resolution just because it’s more detailed. perhaps a bit better on the treble extension but technically they both have a slightly different frequency response focus and different things to highlight on the same song replay. for example, I love the reproduction of some chamber music like Vivaldi's Four Seasons on KATO better than the Dusk, and some modern recordings like Fear Before the March of Flames' High as a Horse on the Dusk better. KATO is also a bit ‘forward’ and occasionally it can get a little congested on busy passages. even though having a lesser mid-bass amount & smaller image size, Dusk punches and slams harder.

simply to say, if you want to focus on your music, if you want a slightly more detailed, analytical yet musical neutral monitor, save a bit more and get the Dusk. it's a legit sweet deal that you could be happy with for a long time, or you can get the KATO if you just want to purely enjoy the music mindlessly without sacrificing not more than say 6% of the technicalities, with less money. (don’t quote me)

kato vs b2d.png

Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk vs Moondrop KATO (steel nozzle) - frequency response comparison courtesy of Crinacle

of unimportance+
I can say that the build is... nice? I can appreciate the hand grinding, polishing stuff but I don't really like the flashy or mirror-like aesthetic. thankfully Moondrop just released a new matte finish that's more 'low profile' which is acceptable by me. the mirror silver finish is also fingerprint and scratch-prone. the fit is fine but not the comfiest. the geometrical shape on the shell doesn't really work with the fit and it might cause discomfort to the wearer for a long period of time. I think the shell design at the back and the fit are not great. at least to me.

much to my surprise that for the first time Moondrop includes some really good necessary accessories as stock. with the right size, the new silicone Spring Tips work perfectly close to my favorite Azla Sedna Earfit Light though I need some time to accustom myself to its elastic nature. the cable also feels great and is nicely made though the famous Faaeal Hibiscus cable seems a better one. the exchangeable tuning nozzle system is a bonus which might be useful for many but frankly, I just need the brass nozzle. at first, I think the whole package is generous, but it really is a ‘necessity' which I don’t bother to talk about normally.


the whole richer package than other mid-tier Moondrop IEMs which is a necessity for today's standard

I think KATO is a very good single dynamic driver IEM that performs really well within a large part of my library, period. honestly speaking, I’m leaning towards KATO than Blessing 2 Dusk in terms of imaging size, timbral balance & coherency. the lack of its technical performance is very much acceptable because it’s not really the worst thing in the grand scheme of things.

*this review unit is provided by Shenzhenaudio for the tour and loaned to me by my buddy Heng. so I thank him and Shenzhenaudio for the opportunity. I have 100% control of my words and am not compensated by any party.

get KATO here

key songs (it’s a different list every time because I have a really huge library)
minimal trio (3 instruments):
My Disco - Land (aluminum guitar & bass)​
Neil Cowley Trio - Couch Slouch (piano jazz & upright bass)​
GoGo Penguin - Raven (atmospheric yet rhythmic piano)​
Zu - Ostia / Carbon (baritone bass & saxophone)​

Eddie Daniels - Baiao Malandro​
Sera Una Noche – Taquito Militar​
Sinne Eeg - We've Just Begun​
Ibibio Sound Machine – Give Me a Reason​
Shining – In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster / The Red Room​

Muddy Waters - Big Leg Woman​
Scott Walker – Corps De Blah​
Mastodon - The Wolf Is Loose​

Lee Ritenour – River Man​
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive​
Billie Holiday - I'm A Fool To Want You​
Spellling - Always / Turning Wheel​

blues/jazz/classical/live recordings:
Jean Frye Sidwell – I Left My Heart in San Francisco​
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley​
Gil Shaham & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - Vivaldi: the Four Seasons "L'inverno" - 1. Allegro​

St. Vincent – Cruel​
Fear Before the March of Flames – High as a Horse​
Future of the Left – You Need Satan More Than He Needs You​
Mastodon – Sleeping Giant​
Mogwai – Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever​
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@ywheng89 thanks to you buddy. I love it. I love KATO & Kato Prime lol :ksc75smile:
I've been considering KATO versus B2D. In terms of warmth and coherence, sounds like KATO may be better for me?
@Sunstealer definitely! B2D suffers coherency issues, a little bloated midbass, thin mids, and "glassy" BA grain/distortion.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: + Mature Moondrop signature - bright and balanced
+ Rich note-weight and timbre that is consistent across the frequency
+ Scales positively with DAP power
+ Instrument separation
+ Wealth of accessories
Cons: - Sandwiched between Aria and Dusk
- Heavy shell
- Scratch prone shells

The Kato is a one dynamic driver iem advertised as the new flagship of Moondrop and the successor to KXXS. During the pre-order phase, a K-cable is also included free of charge. Now the Kato promises a lot of improvements over previous models: New driver, nozzles, tips, and cables. Are all of these really an upgrade?

Disclaimer: I purchased this with my own money without affiliations.



"It was me, Dusk!"


It can be said that Kato is excellently tuned with no apparent weaknesses. It is a Dusk after all.

The improvement is that even the 6khz peak was removed, which was my long time complaint about the Moondrop's VDSF curve. Scooped out that 5-7kHz peakiness without introducing new problem. The bright neutral signature reaches full maturity with the Kato: More bass. Less trebles. No 6k spike. I doubt anyone can say that Kato has imbalanced tonality, but there are still reasons to dislike the Kato, Mainly matters of taste:

1. You are offended with the early treble 3khz peaks
2. You want more bass

It will boil down to how one's music collection and how one wishes to listen to it.


Natural timbre is the name of the game for single DDs, and Kato is very capable in that department. The mids in particular is the star of the show. You will find vocals and guitars to take center stage more so than other instruments. I am particular glad that Moondrop finally doesn't discriminate towards male vocals (sideway glance at S8 and Dusk). They sound just as full and natural as female vocals.

The Kato is decently resolving for a single DD. Delivering enough details to keep the inner critic at bay, but the key factor here is the DD timbre and center soundstage. The excellent timbre extends from bass to trebles without discriminating towards particular regions. Recently I've heard a lot of different drivers which are supposed to be "faster", but at the price of awkward timbre. Beryllium (Mangird Up). Planars (7hz timeless). The Kato isn't as "fast" as the aforementioned, and retain sufficient amount of note-weight and expansive soundstage. Almost the best of both worlds.

Soundstage and positioning are quite good. I haven't had single DDs for a while (although I purchased 3 of them recently: Mele, Timeless, Kato). What I am getting out the Kato is that the tuning coupled with the positioning of instruments creates an easy listening experience. There isn't too much brute force resolution like the S8. I find my attention drifting in and out of the music as I try to get some work done.


What I like about Moondrop is that they're always looking for things to improve. It may take time, but they do improve. I remember the days where my S8s were just socketed in a foam cut-out with a ghetto cable. Those days are gone. The Kato box opening experience is phenomenal. You are given not one cable, but two decent ones. With tips, nozzles, and cables to play around with. All at the same price as the KXXS.

Spring tips - Free version of Xelastics? A bit thin and non-isolating for external use however. I fell back to regular silicone tips. I wish they made the plastic flange thicker for bass retention and to block noise.

Nozzles - I prefer steel more than brass. It attenuates the cleanliness of Moondrop's house sound. Notes feel clear-cut and less prone to extended decay.

Cables - Stock seems fine. One of Moondrop's best stock cable yet. The wire sheath is thicker than necessary IMO... but I guess it will more resistant to wear and tear / oxidation.

The 3rd party K-cable is 8-braid and quite unwieldly at that. Quite decent. Sounds slightly warmer and more open than the stock. I prefer stock cable since again note definition is more clear-cut.


Sources: WM1A, ROG5, laptop

Music / What I just jammed to:


Yoasobi - 夜に駆ける
ACG/Jpop. The genre Moondrop was made for.


Hideaki Tokunaga - 夢は夜ひらく
Jazz vocalist. Male vocals sound just as good as females. Unlike Dusk / S8.


Mora Life 通勤天国 - ドラムが背中を押す→START (DSD 2.8Mhz)

Bass benefits from DAP power here. Kickdrums kicking like a mule.


うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面 & 二人の白皇 歌集 - キミガタメ 2016 (DSD 2.8Mhz)
One of my all time OST favorites. Kato begins to lose resolution on the busiest parts of the track, but we are on the limits of a 1 dynamic driver when it's between Kato and an entire orchaestra.


The Kato is an excellent offering at its price range. Refreshing my knowledge about single dynamic drivers and their charisma. Butter smooth and easy to listen to.

It's amazing to see Moondrop being able to defeat their old products over and over again. Not only improving upon the sound quality, but the overall package as well. At the same retail price. It's like watching Goku and the endless super sayan forms that he keeps transforming into. As a long time fan however, I'm interested to see them beat S8 and B2.

That's all folks. See you next.
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Hey, nice review. I see you have heard the timeless, could you please DM me a comparison between timeless & kato. Thanks.
  • Like
Reactions: mgunin
I'd also love to read this comparison


100+ Head-Fier
Moondrop KATO's Review
Pros: Smooth and Organic
Very good mids performance
Decent detail retrieval and technicalities
Lavish packaging
Good soundstage
Very easy to drive
Cons: Bass quantity might be a little shy (not an issue for me)
Moondrop KATO Review



KATO has been teased several times in Moondrop’s facebook page. Featuring swappable nozzle and also new eartip designed specifically for it. Namely the Spring tip. I am very lucky to have received Kato for the purpose of review. Let’s find out if it is worthy to add into your collection.


The packaging as usual has the Moondrop’s anime style boxing. I had to tore the box a little just to get the inner packaging out as it was so tight and I couldn't get it out. LOL.
Once you unbox the inner packaging, you are greeted with a very well presented packaging. An ear tip carrying case consists of the new Spring tip as well as foam tip. A carrying case, extra nozzle

The stock cable that comes bundled is a high purity copper silver plated cable in a 4 core stranded structure. The cable itself is very soft and doesn’t tangle easily despite it looking a little thicker than the usual cable

10/10 for the packaging


Build and Comfort

The unit that I received is a Mirror Finished unit. Fingerprint magnet for sure if you ask me, at the same time it is also a beauty to be looked at. There is also another unit with Matte finish if you prefer that.

Comfort wise, I have no issue with it as the size is just nice and fits my ears well. No hard edges protruding that causes discomfort. I wore them straight for 4-5 hours straight during my test and comfort and soundwise makes me don’t want to take them off!

Overall a 9/10 for build and comfort



Foobar2k -> Audioquest DragonFly Red -> Moondrop KATO (Spring Tips+Stock Cable)
Cayin N3 Pro (Solid State) -> Moondrop KATO (Spring Tips+Stock Cable)


Driver: 10mm-ULT dynamic driver
Diaphragm: the 3rd generation DLC composite diaphragm
Socket: 0.78-2Pin sunken design
Housing: MIM stainless steel
Nozzle: stainless steel *2, brass *2
Cable plug: 3.5mm stereo single-ended plug
Frequency response range: 10Hz-45kHz (IEC61094, Free Field)
Effective frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz (IEC60318-4, -3dB)
Impedance: 32Ω±15% (@1KHz)
Sensitivity: 123dB/Nrms (@1KHz)
Distortion: < 0.15% (@1khz, AES17 20khz, A-weight)

*I listen to a wide range of songs thus I don't fixate on a single sound signature. I like whatever sounds good to my ears. F.Y.I, not a graph guy here. So if you are looking for objective measurements you may skip my review..

The tonality to my ears sounds neutral and warm. Overall presentation is very organic and smooth to listen to, they are very immersive, that is probably due to KATO’s deep soundstage. The timbre here sounds very natural and organic. Doesn’t sound harsh even at high volume for some JPop tracks. Out of the box, the bass is a little lean, after burning them in for a while and they are a lot punchier and tighter, everything started to smoothen up.

  • The bass here is realistic, you will not be getting those boomy bass where it’s bloated and muddy
  • Tight and punchy
  • The quantity is just right, not too much that make it sound boomy nor muddy, basshead need to look elsewhere
  • Sub bass presence can be felt on EDM tracks like Armin Van Buuren’s Ping Pong, but don’t expect it to be basshead level, it is adequate for you to enjoy the track. At least for me
  • 9/10 for the bass presentation

  • The vocal is very natural, not shouty at all
  • Good amount of body and sufficient warmth to give that kind of smoothness to the overall presentation
  • To my ears the mids are very well done in the sense it doesn’t give off any kind of harshness or any peak that i can heard/detect
  • 9/10 for the mids as well

  • Very smooth sounding
  • Not harsh and no sibilance
  • Good amount of details and micro details
  • Very good treble extension as well
  • Less energetic due to it being smooth in nature, not a concern for me as i preferred the overall smooth presentation
  • Overall very smooth sounding and there’s nothing to complain about it
  • 9/10 for the treble presentation

  • Soundstage is good, feels very wide and depth is not lacking, i have that kind of immersive feeling when listening to KATO
  • Imaging is good as the instruments can be pinpointed easily
  • HRTF experience is also very good. Doesn’t feel in your head kind, does have some 3D to it
  • Instruments separation is also above average and you will not find them overlapping the instruments nor vocals
  • 8/10 for soundstage and imaging

  • Very easy to drive, even off Apple’s lightning Dongle
  • Benefit from good source
  • Good synergy with AudioQuest’s DragonFly Red
  • Doesn’t benefit much from more power as swapping over to a balanced SPC cable doesn’t seem to give a very audible difference in terms of dynamics. Stock single ended cable is good enough in my opinion

Comparison with Steel Nozzle vs Brass (We’ve Just Begun by Sinne Eeg)
  • Bass response sounded more or less the same to my ears
  • I do notice that the reverb effect is a little more pronounced on the Brass nozzle compared to the Steel nozzle, feels a little more 3D
  • Brass sounded more open compared to Steel to my ears
  • The difference is very minor but audible

Comparison with Tanchjim’s Hana 2021
  • The reason for this comparison is because both of them are at similar price points.
  • Hana 2021 sound a lot more energetic
  • Hana 2021 can be a little too aggressive on high volume
  • Slightly brighter than KATO
  • Less body in the bass
  • Treble is crisp and sparkly on the Hana
  • Detail retrieval and imaging,both KATO and Hana is more or less the same to my ears
  • Both are in the similar category, ultimately you need to look at which signature or tuning you are leaning to.

Final Thoughts

There are several contenders in the price bracket of KATO. I don’t have them all and I only managed to listen to Hana 2021 and compare it against KATO. My preference is leaning towards KATO due to it being so much smoother than Hana 2021. Hana 2021 has too much energy to my taste, at some tracks where it is supposed to be laid back but when i listened to it using Hana, the excessive energy was put off to me, where by KATO presented the song the way it is intended, laid back and smooth.

KATO managed to nail every genre that I threw at it, at least in my library which consist of metal, rock, jazz, classical music, ost, jpop etc etc. It definitely is an all rounder to me.

Many people kept asking if this is an upgrade over Aria or a sidegrade. I don’t have Aria with me anymore but based on my memory, KATO is way better than Aria in terms of detail retrieval, bass reproduction and soundstage and imaging.

A solid 4.5/5 from me. Highly recommended!


*A big thanks to ShenZhen Audio and Cloris for including me in this tour, if you are interested in getting the KATO. Do make sure to check out the store linked below:

*Non affiliated
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@Gustavo1976 nice buddy!
I prefer the matte design as well. Haha
How does Kato compares to Fiio FH3 in terms of sound signature, soundstage/imaging and especially in the bass/sub bass performance?