Treble is slightly bright but not to the extent to sound uncontrolled or over the edge. They have good presence, and they’re slightly forward at times. But there’s no harshness. Cymbals sound very nice and they’re well accentuated. The only thing I can criticize is the overall extension of trebles. But do note that I’m used to CIEMs nowadays that cost 1000$. So no worries, you get your trebles in a good shape and presence over this area. As always, things get better or worse with different sources, but just know that this won’t give you the amazing extension like high level monitors provide.
One thing I also noticed is the positioning of the trebles. Overall stage positioning is quite realistic with the Kinera IDUN but trebles are exceptionally good in this regard. Highs have good presence yes, but not in a way to get ahead of everything. They stay in their position which is slightly back of the stage. This provides a good stereo image and realism. Trebles are slightly thinner than I prefer, but I think I’m nitpicking here for this level of an IEM.
Transparency and clarity of the Kinera IDUN is its highlights, together with a nice, wide sound stage with good deepness as well. So you have a great 3D imaging plus good positioning of elements in the songs. For this price I cannot complain in any way whatsoever. Separation is higher than I expected, with a nice black background. Of course it’s not something like a reference monitor, compared to them this could be “grey-ish”. But in this price, this background and separation performance should be praised.
Detail retrieval is very nice. You hear the micro details in the song with ease. Speed is good, but with very fast tracks it may not be the best IEM of course. Full BA setups perform better in this regard. It also has good dynamics, but overall it could be better maybe? Well, I’m not sure for this price, it could’ve been too much to ask for, but when you hear a great budget IEM such as this, you always demand more somehow. Only lacking point about this IEM is the extension on trebles, I can forgive that for its great performance on the rest of the spectrum.
In terms of pairing I absolutely fell in love with its performance paired with Lotoo Paw Gold. It sounds so natural, effortless and high level. Of course people unlikely would pair a 140$ IEM with a 2000$ player. But to make a point, Paw Gold has good amount of midbass and that compensates the slight deficiency of the Kinera IDUN on midbass area. Overall bass of the Lotoo is also extremely good, both for quality and quantity, so it exploits the dynamic bass driver to the fullest.
Other than PG, ZX2 wasn’t a great pair since it doesn’t have much midbass for the sake of the sound stage. Other points are pretty good though. I also recommend the M3s from Shanling. It’s a great DAP with a very very natural sound and good midbass level. M2s would also play well for you with its warm character.
An amplifier is not necessary with the Kinera IDUN, but bear in mind that it requires some power, more than a typical IEM. Yet, it’s nothing to worry about, as all DAPs would get it to desired volume levels.
Congratulations to Kinera for putting up this kind of a development with this IEM after their first hybrid model, H3. They addressed every complaint in terms of overall balance of the spectrum, and overall control. This is more like it now. A great sub 200 IEM that shines with many genres with a great bass response and clarity on mids, as well as well accentuated treble response. Some things are still there like the slight lack of midbass, and a little bit thin lower treble region. But these I think could easily be tolerated for what this IEM puts on the table.
I’m always happy when a manufacturer takes the feedback from the field and fixes those issues as much as it can. Kinera has just done it with the Kinera IDUN, and I’m sure there’ll be even more surprises from them in the near future, like a 8BA flagship monitor maybe? We’ll see about that and of course will keep you posted.
Thank you for reading, Berkhan out.