QoA Margarita Review

Technical Performance

The sound stage is good with nice width and depth, and the staging might be the best part of this IEM together with separation. You don’t have fantastic layering though, as the instruments sometimes sound 2D so you don’t get that flagship-level layering.  You get a studio-like impression which is quite good but not as spacious as the Nanna. but it’s good for the price.

The background is quite dark which I found very successful. The IEM has good resolution and micro details. The instrument timbre is one of its strong suits except for the lower midrange, and thanks to its good background quality everything separates nicely so it’s easy to pick every element of a song.

Overall resolution is quite good among the other IEMs in this price range but there are better ones for sure. So I think overall it has good technicalities on some parts, but it’s limited in certain aspects. Coherency is not the strongest part of the Margarita, as it feels like drivers doing different things and the result is slightly complicated.

Effects of ”RUM”

The upgrade RUM cable is quite impressive from QoA and it fixes most of Margarita’s problems. I know that gathering a budget for the audio hobby is not always easy, but I strongly recommend this cable with this IEM.

First of all, the bass response is more balanced. You have better sub-bass control and midbass presence, so the midrange foundation is less of an issue compared to the stock cable. You also get better dynamics across the spectrum, as well as better-defined mids and treble.

So my advice for you would be to throw away that stock cable and get this IEM with the RUM upgrade. There’s better coherency, more open and airy midrange, and better transparency. The whole presentation sounds more cohesive and evenly distributed, perhaps more ”natural” if you like.

Comparisons

Kinera Nanna Review

The Nanna has excellent treble and bass, a similar mid-range in presentation, but with better transparency, fulness and energy. It’s overall better in every aspect and has a certain character in its sound. Margarita lacks that character so unfortunately, it’s not a direct alternative to Nanna. However, the staging, background blackness, detail retrieval and separation are carried over to this model nicely.

Kinera Urd Review

Apart from the more exciting and fantastic design of the URD, every other aspect is similar in terms of build and design, as well as fit. URD has better packaging, better cable and a better carrying case with the addition of Final Audio tips.

Sound-wise the URD is more balanced and studio-like. It’s more on the neutral side with a dry and clinical approach, whilst the Margarita is more fun, especially in the bass, and it has a brighter treble. The transparency and resolution in the midrange are better in the URD. But the URD has a character problem as I mentioned in its review. While it has good technicalities, the presentation is dry and not rich.  The Margarita at least has some fun in it, with very impressive bass and good clarity.

Conclusion

The new Margarita, with QoA RUM cable, is a very capable IEM. When you think about the total cost of 649$ with the upgrade cable though, there may be better options in this highly competitive market. You can even get a Unique Melody Mini MEST for $599, a FiiO FH9, or even a Meze Audio Advar. Those IEMs are quite strong performers in their respective ranges.

But, if you enjoy listening to movie soundtracks, RnB or EDM music, the rumbling bass and the fun approach of the new Margarita provide a nice experience. I wish QoA would’ve charged a bit less for the IEM and given the RUM cable as the stock cable of this model.

Page 1: Intro, About, Design, Package
Page 2: Build, Design, Fit, RUM Cable, Sound Quality
0/5 - (52 votes)

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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favorite Jazz recordings.

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