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Kiwi Ears Quintet

Kiwi Ears Quintet

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8.1 TOTAL SCORE

Kiwi Ears Quintet

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Kiwi Ears Quintet

In summary, my experience with the Quintet has been thoroughly enjoyable, and for those who appreciate an analytical sound with impressive technicalities, it competes admirably with some of the best options in its price range.


Sound Quality 8
Bass 7
Midrange 8
Highs 9
Technicalities 9
Isolation 8
Design 8
Build Quality 8
Comfort 8
PROS
  • Fantastic Details Retrieval
  • The Best Treble Technicalities
  • Wide Soundstage and Good Imaging
  • Neutral Midrange
  • Versatile Performance
  • Good Carry Case
CONS
  • The Sub-Bass Performance Falls Short of Excellence
  • The Lower Mids are Slightly on the Lean Side
  • Deficiency in Both Sound Depth and Note Weight
  • The Stock Cable could be Better with a 4.4mm Option

KIWI EARS

Kiwi Ears, a recently established company, has swiftly gained recognition in the audiophile community. The brand is renowned for its in-ear monitors (IEMs) that prioritize a balance between price and performance. These IEMs are available through Linsoul, and Kiwi Ears has successfully made a mark in the audio industry by emphasizing quality and offering good prices.

SPECIFICATIONS

Drivers: 1 Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) dynamic driver, 2 balanced armature (BA) drivers, 1 planar magnetic driver, and 1 piezoelectric (PZT) bone conductor
Impedance: 32Ω
Sensitivity: 106dB
Frequency Response Range: 20 – 30000Hz
Cable Details: 1.2 Meters, High-quality Oxygen-free Silver-plated Copper Cable
Cable Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm
Cable Termination: 3.5mm Stereo Cable
PRICE: $219

Kiwi Ears Quintet

QUINTET

In the realm of audiophile wonders, the Kiwi Quintet stands out, boasting a symphony of four distinct driver types. Fueling its sonic prowess are a DLC dynamic driver, dual balanced armature drivers for mids, a planar magnetic driver, and a piezoelectric bone conductor. Unconventional in its approach, the 10mm DLC driver serves as the sub-woofer, while the Micro Planar Transducer (MPT) adds a unique twist to treble frequencies, steering away from the commonplace BA or electrostatic tweeters found in most contemporary IEM models. Not to be outdone, a piezoelectric driver steps in, accentuating ultra-treble details and enriching the overall sense of spaciousness.

On the design front, the Quintet follows the well-trodden path of the ChiFi industry. Embracing the standard 3D-printed resin shell, adorned with a distinct metal faceplate, the Quintet exudes an aesthetic that aligns with its peers in the price range. The shell, crafted from dark opaque resin reminiscent of the Quartet IEMs, conceals the intricate drivers within its depths.

Despite their separate identities, the metal faceplate and resin shell are seamlessly fused with precision. Running a fingernail across the surface reveals the tactile contrast between the two materials, yet no visible seams disrupt the sleek exterior. The anodized finish of the faceplate, with a subtle “Quintet” logo on the right and the stylized Kiwi Ears emblem on the left, not only boasts understated aesthetics but also showcases remarkable resilience in daily use, remaining impervious to fingerprints and devoid of micro scratches.

Kiwi Ears Quintet

PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES

  • Kiwi Ears Quintet IEMs
  • Detachable 2-pin 0.78mm cable
  • Zipper carrying case
  • 6x pairs of silicone ear tips

The packaging for the Quintet is presented in an intricately designed cardboard sleeve, prominently featuring an image of the IEMs along with stylized logos. Once the sleeve is removed, a modest black cardboard box greets you, adorned with the distinctive Kiwi Ears logo on the front. Upon opening the box, the IEMs and all accompanying accessories are revealed.

In addition to the IEMs and the stock cable, the package includes a compact, cloth-covered hardshell case and a generous assortment of ear tips. This comprises a total of 6 pairs of ear tips.

STOCK CABLE

The stock cable accompanying the Quintet features a robust 4-core composition of oxygen-free silver-plated copper, equipped with a 3.5mm single-ended plug and a standard 0.78mm 2-pin connector. Crafted with precision, the cable exhibits durability and a sleek, glossy finish. Its semi-transparent sheath, subtly tinted in black, offers a glimpse of the silver-plated copper wires within.

While the stock cable delivers commendable sound quality, I found it to incorporate somewhat economical materials, particularly noticeable in the heavy metals present on the plug and chin strap. This prompted me to switch to the more comfortable Moondrop Lan’s cable. A desire lingers for a cable akin to the comfort and lightness offered by Orch Lite, along with the inclusion of options for a 4.4mm balanced cable.

Kiwi Ears Quintet

BASS

The bass on the Quintet is decent a commendable balance between quality and quantity. With a notable sub-bass presence and textured mid-bass, it achieves a clean, precise, and incisive bass response, distinctly separated from other frequencies. Delivering a satisfying punch and crisp texture, it offers sufficient rumble and impact, though it may not cater to the preferences of dedicated bass enthusiasts.

The meticulous tuning extends beyond the bass, enveloping the entire mix in a seamless and natural sound profile that took me by surprise. The bass’s texture and nuances are particularly remarkable, enhancing the overall allure and intelligibility of the notes’ impacts. This results in a forceful, hard-hitting, and exceptionally well-controlled presentation of the bass, eliciting a gratifying and authentic response.

MIDRANGE

The Quintet’s midrange embodies a neutral and transparent quality, lending a bright hue that particularly benefits certain female vocals. The mids exhibit decent articulation and resolution. In the lower mids, a substantial presence adds depth, partly owing to the warmer tonality in the lower frequencies. This enriches male vocals, providing them with ample rumble and authority while maintaining excellent texture and resolution in vocal nuances.

The upper midrange exhibits a vitality equivalent to that of the lower treble, yet it resonates with a deeper and more satisfying quality, adding crispness and precision to the overall sound. Instruments like guitars benefit from this, becoming highly intricate, lean, and edgy, complemented by a subtle touch of shine. This striking contrast, particularly against the rich and robust low-end, contributes to a harmonious balance in the overall weight of the sound signature. The bass guitar delivers a strong and weighty impact without compromising on subtleties. Whether in the higher or lower midrange, the smooth response maintains tonal balance. The overall response of the midrange is characterized by a melodic, open, and natural sound.

Kiwi Ears Quintet

TREBLE

The treble spectrum of the Quintet boasts an airy and vibrant quality. Cymbals and percussive wind instruments are showcased with notable energy, featuring a well-extended treble that exudes great airiness and sparkle. The overall presentation of the treble is characterized by agility.

In terms of brilliance, both in quality and quantity, the Kiwi Ears Quintet stands out as one of the exceptional sets, excelling in sparkle and treble air. It exhibits a generous amount of harmonics, coupled with a remarkable quantity of air, contributing to an impressive and engaging treble performance

SOUNDSTAGE & TECHNICALITIES

The Quintet delivers a wide soundstage, slightly leaning towards width with moderate degrees of depth and height, providing ample space for discerning instrument placement. The distinct separation of musical elements enhances the clarity of sound origins, and the varied characteristics of each element contribute to an improved listening experience. The imaging is vivid and precise, striking a well-balanced contrast that remains engaging without becoming overwhelming. Furthermore, the Quintet excels in creating a perception of depth, elevating the overall soundstage experience. In summary, the soundstage is slightly above average, with particularly noteworthy depth.

Moving on to technical performance, the Quintet impresses significantly in the sub-$250 USD range. It renders a detailed, spacious, and open soundstage, allowing for a clear distinction between different elements. Not only do the notes strike with speed, but they also dissipate swiftly, contributing to an overall impressive auditory experience.

COMPARISONS

Kiwi Ears Quintet

KIWI EARS QUINTET VS KIWI EARS ORCHESTRA LITE

Orchestra Lite embodies a focus on delivering a smooth and well-bodied sound, ensuring an overall silky-smooth experience with notable body and detail retrieval. The technical prowess of the Quintet surpasses that of Orchestra Lite, particularly excelling in soundstage and separation. Subjectively, my preference leans towards Orchestra Lite due to its warmer tonal character, whereas the Quintet offers a more neutral profile with a subtle warmth, as observed in my listening experience.

Orchestra Lite lacks a vent, which may lead to pressure build-up and discomfort for some individuals over time. Additionally, the shell size is slightly larger for Orchestra Lite. However, as mentioned earlier, I find Orch Lite to be quite comfortable, experiencing no fatigue during use.

Thieaudio Hype 2

KIWI EARS QUINTET VS HYPE 2

The Quintet serves as a brilliant testament to the art of compromise, giving rise to a stellar all-around performer that, while lacking standout prowess in any specific frequency range, manages to exceed expectations. What sets the Quintet apart is its mastery of an uncommon fusion: a grandiose soundstage and pinpoint imaging, accompanied by unparalleled clarity and treble extension within its price tier. Both of these IEMs possess an undeniable uniqueness. This isn’t my initial comparison between the two, and I must honestly affirm that my observations remain consistent with previous tests.

In the realm of vocals, the Hype2 emerges as the champion, boasting a more natural tone devoid of any hint of synthetic overtones. The bass, while generally balanced, leans slightly towards the sub-bass in the Quintet, while the Hype2 exhibits greater authority in regular bass and lower midrange. The Hype2, with its fuller sound and nuanced tonal sophistication, may command a higher price, but for many, it could represent a superior value.

Overall, my personal subjective preference – I prefer Hype 2.

CONCLUSION

KIWI EARS QUINTET

The Kiwi Ears Quintet stands out as an exceptionally technical IEM, catering to enthusiasts seeking a high-fidelity sound signature. It distinguishes itself by achieving a rare blend of expansive soundstage and precise imaging, accompanied by outstanding clarity and treble extension within its price range. The bass exhibits remarkable speed and composure, the midrange offers transparency, and the treble adds a light, shimmering quality, resulting in an engaging and pristine sound.

In summary, my experience with the Quintet has been thoroughly enjoyable, and for those who appreciate an analytical sound with impressive technicalities, it competes admirably with some of the best options in its price range.

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