Review : Ocharaku Flat-4 KAEDE Type II – Tremendous Wood

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.

The Earphone

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:

Review : Ocharaku Flat-4 KAEDE Type II – Tremendous Wood
4.4 (88.89%) 18 vote[s]

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

10 Comments

  • Reply June 4, 2015

    carlos

    Thanks for the review. Kaede II has become a favorite of mine and I find it to be one of the best Hip-hop phones I have ever tried, regardless of form factor. I’m really curious now about the AKA version of the Kaede II. Any chance you’ll get a listen to it?

    • Reply June 4, 2015

      ohm image

      I can ask, but I doubt I’d get to try them back to back.

      • Reply June 4, 2015

        carlos

        Would be an interesting comparison to see if the 2mm makes any difference. I’ve read that insertion depth affects higher frequency reproduction within the ear canal the most. Wonder if this may be a reason some people find the treble still too “hot” on this phone.

        • Reply June 4, 2015

          ohm image

          Good question. I will do my best to get a loaner.

  • Reply June 15, 2015

    Ian

    How are the microphonics on these IEMs?

    • Reply June 15, 2015

      carlos

      The cable is not very microphonic. But because they are meant to be worn cable down and don’t have a cinch you’ll probably hear it a little if you are walking around with these. I only use them sitting indoors (seems like this is what they were designed for) and I have no issues with microphonics at all.

      • Reply April 18, 2016

        ohm image

        The new Sakura Plus has a neck cinch that works brilliantly.

    • Reply June 19, 2015

      ohm image

      What carlos said. Not very microphonic. Very soft, supple, and inert. I twirl the cables around themselves in absence of a neck cinch.

  • Reply March 20, 2016

    Tom

    Where can I buy them?

    • Reply April 18, 2016

      ohm image

      There are a very few places outside of Japan where you can buy them. Headfonia Store _may_ be one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.