The Kinera Norn has a nice sound performance for the price. If you don’t have the budget to go with the Nanna model, you can get the Norn for a smaller price and you can have even more fun with it. Kinera is improving every year with better and better IEMs. The Nanna (1.0) was a huge success to me and let’s see if the Norn continues to impress in its particular price range.
The Norn sounds very clean, crisp, and dynamic. It has a good kick and rumble in the bass, good quantity in the treble region with a slightly bright approach. The overall presentation is very crisp, quick, and very resolving with good transparency. It’s a dynamic, sparkling, and clean-sounding IEM with great transparency.
Lows are impactful, but it’s surprisingly quick with great PRaT. It is more focused around mid-bass but you have a nicely controlled and textured bass for this price. The speed here is the most surprising part and the bass overall is not muddy or boomy. So it has nice decay and good recovery overall. So this custom dynamic driver does not actually behave like other dynamics that we’re accustomed to. It’s very quick for a dynamic driver.
This driver has excellent control and it’s actually closer to a BA driver type of bass than the classic DD response. Of course, it’s not the same as a BA driver. It still has more punch and rumble than that, but lows are not as fat as I expected, and they’re certainly not overdone. This has been a nice surprise overall. Bass has excellent texture and richness. The sub-bass area does have a good definition as well. Overall this custom driver is an excellent piece of work and I absolutely loved the bass response.
Overall I found the bass tuning to be pretty well and it’s I think a great all-rounder bass. You can enjoy Norn’s bass from Jazz, Classical and Alternative to Pop, RnB, and EDM. However, if you ask my opinion, I would say that it suits more to Pop, RnB, and EDM. Some mainstream music to be honest.
Mids are a bit laid back because of the crisp nature of the treble, which simply attracts more attention than the mids. The instruments sound breathy, the vocals sound lively and engaging. But I would’ve liked the mids to be closer to the front of the stage. They’re a bit dominated by the lower treble region. From one perspective, it does not produce the mids in your face, but on the other hand, the mids are a bit far back. Yet, it still has liveliness together with good transparency.
The note size is a bit small as well, so this is not a great timbre in terms of instrument reproduction. So I didn’t find the mids too musical. The resolution in this area is very nice though. Mids have good detail and a good amount of air and space. However, while the tonality is acceptable in this price range, I find it a bit tinny and cold to some point. The mids could’ve been a bit warmer with more body. Thankfully there’s good transparency and definition so, despite the tonality issues, the mids are still good as a whole.
I think the mids should’ve been more defined and more full-bodied.
Treble is very impressive of course not on the same level as the Nanna but it’s still very very impressive. The extension is well done and the treble resolution is quite nice. There’s plenty of articulation and air. I think high frequencies are the best part about the Norn. You have great energy and brightness here as well as good transparency. Treble detail is very impressive and highs overall are clean and crisp.
However I think the whole lower treble region is a bit boosted to improve overall clarity, and sometimes it’s a bit aggressive depending on the recording and the source device. The treble is under control and it’s not too fatiguing or prone to sibilance, but it’s still just a tiny bit over the top to me.
You might find yourself a bit bored after a long listening session because it’s a bit bright in some cases. It all comes down to the preferences here. If you’re after a highly musical IEM with great body and warmth, then this is not the best option. Treble has great clarity and sparkle with excellent micro detail performance. Again, the only negative thing for me here is treble being a bit too splashy.
The review continues on PAGE 3 with technical performance and comparisons.