Disclaimer: Mr. Yamagishi didn’t kill me for not returning Donguri in the allotted time frame. the Ocharaku Flat-4 KAEDE Type II was loaned me for the purposes of this review. It goes for 81.000¥. (+-$650USD). You can learn more about it here.
UPDATE: certain spelling and grammar errors have been fixed. The concluding paragraph was lazily written and has been tightened up.
I love well-made, well-designed, good-sounding earphones. And, the original, limited-production KAEDE was as antithetical to the typical overwhelm-the-shelves marketing typical to this island.
KAEDE was a throwback to a bespoke Japan. But after 200 units, it was gone with the wind. KAEDE Type II is its direct successor. It’s sound chamber and outer maple veneers are just as woody. It’s still got two 10mm dynamic diaphragms between its plastic butts, and the same 28mm-long phase correction tube. And come to think of it, it comes wrapped in exactly the same sort faux-silk hanky, which is in turn, packed into the same carefully-crafted wooden box.
Little has changed since KAEDE I. First, the seam in the y-split is finer and the the butt end of the jack flares out a bit. It comes with Spin-Fit ear pieces of various sizes and two pair of comfy Comply ear tips.
KAEDE II still wears like the bolts that keep the head on Frankenstein’s creature. The good news is that KAEDE II is light; and generally, it stays put. But KAEDE Type II juts out and picks up wind noises. It lacks a neck cinch to keep the cable from flopping about. My solution is to twist the earphones around each other till the cables join below my chin.
But you knew already that KAEDE doesn’t wear firm. You already know that it doesn’t isolate that well. For all intents and purposes, it is an open-backed IEM. The reason you’re reading this review is to find out _what_, if anything, has changed when KAEDE went unlimited.
Sound impressions after the jump: