Today we are taking a look at the $499 USD Kiwi Ears Orchestra In-Ear Monitors.
Disclaimer: Linsoul sent us the Orchestra IEMs for this review, free of charge. I only covered customs taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own. You can find more about them here. Let’s get to it.
There is not much information available on the internet about the Kiwi Ears company. However, as stated on the product page on the Linsoul website, Kiwi Ears is a newly formed company and they have chosen musicians and studio engineers as their target audience. The Orchestra is an interesting monitor, its marketing focus is on the tonal balance and resolution. The Orchestra has 8 balanced armature drivers on each side. Linsoul mentions that all the Kiwi Ears earphones are hand-made and crafted by a small team of engineers. Let’s also point out that you don’t have to worry about issues such as warranty and repair service because Linsoul offers a 1-year warranty on the earphones you buy from them. You can get more information about that, here. Let’s get to the review without further ado and find out all about The Orchestra, together.
Kiwi Ears’ Orchestra features 8 balanced armatures. The company used full-size Sonion dual subwoofer drivers for the low range and they custom tuned 4 mid-frequency drivers for the midrange. As for the treble, two ultra-high frequency drivers were used. All the drivers work in complete harmony thanks to Orchestra’s 3-way passive crossover. On top of that, the unit features individual sound bores for the low, mid, and treble ranges. The drivers are from renowned companies like Knowles & Sonion.
Driver: Balanced Armature, x2 High, x4 Mid, x2 Bass
Crossover: 3-Way Passive
Housing: Custom Resin
Nozzle: Wide, Mesh Grille
Cable: 4-core Oxygen-Free Copper – 1.2M – 3.5mm – 0.78 2-pin
Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20KHz
Packaging & Accessories
The Orchestra comes inside of a square, black cardboard box. The box has no artwork and Kiwi Ears did not list any details about the product, anywhere on the box. It is a simple box with the Kiwi Ears brand name etched on top in silver.
Opening it grants you access to the foam compartment where the IEMs and the accessories are present. Up to this point, the unboxing experience feels a little light, there is nothing to be excited about the product until you see it.
First look at the IEMs lets you know that you’re in for a treat. The IEMs look very nice because of the Kiwi Ears’ unique faceplate design. The faceplates are made of several 3D UV-sensitive fluorescent black panels that turn blue when exposed to UV light. These panels are nicely textured and shine under direct light sources. I really like original ideas such as this one as they give the IEM a unique look and feel. Kudos to the team of engineers behind this design. It is hard to do something truly unique in a market like the audio industry.
The Orchestra comes with an indigo leather carrying case. The case looks very premium and high-quality. The Kiwi Ears brand name is present on the top side and the case has magnets so your IEMs are quite safe during transport. Additionally, the case is quite hard and will not squish your IEMs if you accidentally drop it. The inner side of the carrying case is finished with a soft suede type of material to prevent your earphones from being scratched.
Kiwi Ears also included a fine-looking 4-braid oxygen-free copper cable in the package. The cable features 0.78mm 2-pin connectors and is finished with a gold-plated 3.5mm plug. The ergonomics and microphonics of the cable are decent however it is not a particularly thin cable. As for the tips, my unit came with 3 pairs of silicone tips in S-M-L sizes. The tips are nice and semi-stiff with wide bores.
Apart from those, you get a warranty card and a quick start manual with the unit. In my opinion, Kiwi Ears could include couple more tips in the package and maybe throw in a carrying pouch while they were at it. It is apparent that Kiwi Ears put a lot of thought into the design but the accessories and the package is somewhat limited for the price tag.
Design, Build & Fit
Let’s talk about the design and fit of the Orchestra. First of all, the IEMs are completely hand-made from top to bottom. The textured little panels in the faceplates look extraordinary under the light. Since they are hand-assembled, every Orchestra IEM looks slightly different from each other.
Furthermore, the unit is made of good quality resin and it feels rigid in hand. I am not sure whether they filled the shell completely or not but it feels very durable. The unit has a metal mesh wax filter just over the 3-way sound bores. The nozzle is wide and my JVC Spiral Dots aftermarket tips fit well.
The Orchestra is not a particularly big or small earphone, it rather has a medium-sized body compared to IEMs with 8BA drivers on the market. In fact, it is roughly the same size as the Etymotic’s 3BA IEM, the EVO. The Orchestra features an anatomical shape that looks like a custom-in-ear monitor. It is apparent that the team of engineers behind this product optimized the shape for the human ear to provide maximum comfort and seal. The IEMs nicely sit inside my ear concha and do not pressure the antihelix area. It fills my ears due to the curved nature of the IEM and provides very good passive noise isolation. Frankly, I can’t see any imperfections on the shell so the craftsmanship is great. While I was looking for imperfections and such, I spotted a metal air vent just under the 2-pin socket. I suppose it serves Sonion’s new dual subwoofer drivers. Very interesting!
Overall, I can say that the Kiwi Ears’ team of engineers nailed the design and the fit of the Orchestra and I think you won’t encounter any problems, fit and durability-wise.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.
Page 1: Intro, Kiwi Ears, The Orchestra, Packaging & Accessories, Design, Build & Fit
Page 2: Sound Signature, Low, Mid, High, Technical Performance, Source & Tips Selection, Comparisons, Last Words