Hybrid in ears are always exciting to me. To know that I’m going to have that delicious and atmospheric bass response, is the most attractive thing about them. In my opinion hybrid design is the “new thing” with IEMs. Not that it’s a very new tech, but it’s certainly getting more popular. We see that with more hybrid IEMs hitting the market each and every day. And the best part about it is the competitive products in terms of price.
With their new hybrid design, Kinera is aimed to improve what they had with the H3, and focused on clarity with frequency balancing. As I told you, I can’t personally compare the previous model with the IDUN, but having a look at the FR Graph tells you some part of the story. The main complaint about the H3 was shaped around the overall imbalance, aggressive or somewhat lifted treble and tendency to sibilance. You can see the comparison with the H3 below provided by Steve from Kinera (black line represents the IDUN):
I’m not an expert reading or commenting on FR Graphs, and to be honest I think it only reflects a small part of the matter. But there’s an undeniable difference between the previous model when you look at this graph. From this screenshot, the IDUN seems to have a better balance and those peaks and deep points are now not there to annoy you. This of course is a very important development.
All in all the Kinera IDUN sounds very clear, has very good subbass and overall bass is very satisfying but not boomy. Mids sound clean, resolution is very nice and high mids & trebles are free of sibilance. Sound stage is very good (unsurprising from a hybrid) and separation is well done. Overall it’s a very good hybrid monitor for its price tag. Let’s get into the details.
I mainly used Sony ZX2 and Lotoo Paw Gold DAPs for sound evaluation.
Dynamic drivers usually give a more natural and “how it should be” type of bass, especially in or around this price range. So it would not have been shocking to hear a good bass performance from IDUN. After my tests, it indeed performs very good in bass department. It has a good deepness and it gives successful low notes. Recovery is very nice after the hit, and slam has moderate to high power depending on the recording. But that doesn’t mean this is a real basshead type IEM. It’s far from that. Even with somewhat bassy DAP like Paw Gold, it doesn’t bleed into mid range.
Overall bass control and quality is very good for this price range, but careful with your pairings. Some DAPs can sound boomy with this dynamic driver, so something like Shanling M3s or Sony WM1A would be nice pairings with a natural, controlled bass. With Paw Gold it still sounds nice but can get just slightly elevated in midbass area. Yet, you can miss some amount of midbass presence with pairings like the ZX2, since that DAP has deficient midbass level. But overall the bass of the IDUN is pretty much has everything you ask from a hybrid IEM. Good punch, good sense of space and layering, and naturalness.
As I said the Kinera IDUN is intended to sound clean and that you can see clearly on the mids range area. This is not a v-shaped monitor unlike the previous model H3. So there’s a much better tonal balance and mid accentuation. Vocals are clean, instruments shine when they have the stage, overall separation of instruments is very well. Of course a higher level DAP would get more of those qualities of the IEM as you know, so be selective about your tunes and source.
Upper mids don’t have a lifted response, they’re very much under control even on high volume, so this a self evident tuning success from Kinera. Upper mids have the clarity and presence, but they just end up where they should cut out and there’s no harshness that I faced. Again a little more midbass would do more justice to lower mid area, but I’m not sure it’s fair to get a near perfect sound presentation for 140$. Overall transparency and resolution is very nice. Timbre and tonality is good, but like I said, I would be even more happier with slightly more midbass.
The review continues and concludes on PAGE 3 with more sound impressions & comments on synergy.