Kinera Freya IEM Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kinera Freya IEM Review

 

 

Introduction:

Kinera Electronic Co. Ltd. is a Chinese company located in DongGuanCity – China and is specialized in the production and development of portable audio equipments like “In-Ear Monitors and Earbuds”.

 

The motto of the Company is “Make Clear – Make Real”.

 

The Kinera Freya is a beautiful looking hand crafted Quad Driver Hybrid IEM that utilizes 1x Single Dynamic Driver with a diameter of 7mm + 3x Balanced Armature Drivers (2xKnowles RAF-32873 & 1x Kinera’s Customized 30095 Series BA Driver).

 

Freya’s Story:

Freya – (“Lady”), was the goddess of love & beauty in the Norse Mythology. As a goddess of war, half of those who died in battle would come to her hall. The other half went to Odin’s hall, Valhalla. She was married to the great God Odin. When one day he mysteriously disappeared, she embarked on a journey traveling the nine worlds to find him. When she failed, she wept tears of gold. Her tears would turn to precious stones, called “Freya’s Tears.”

Crown: the earpiece design uses the beauty of red, the tenderness of purple, and the fearlessness of gold to express youthfulness, liveliness, full of vitality, passion, and also bloom a vibrant light.

Armor: The designer used the goddess’s favorite gorgeous golden dust to flow with Jupiter’s blue halo, making it miraculously shine in the night sky like a star in a galaxy. The two forms symbolize that she is sometimes glamorous and flowery. At other times, she is brave and fearless.

 

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Kinera for providing me the Freya sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Kinera beyond this review and all these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price & Availability:

The actual retrial price of the Kinera Freya is about $ 249,00 USD. More Information’s can be found under the link below;

 

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The Kinera Freya came in a very stylish hexagonal box that looks similar to a luxurious chocolate box with some product related brandings on the top and specifications/details at the bottom.

 

This box is including the following contents/accessories; 

  • 1 pair x Kinera Freya In-Ear Monitors
  • 1 piece x 4core Detachable Cable with 0.78mm Diameter 2-Pin Connectors
  • 5 pairs x Final E Type Silicone Ear Tips (XL/L/M/S/XS)
  • 3 pairs x White Silicone Ear Tips (L/M/S)
  • 1 piece x 3.5mm to 6.3mm Headphone Adaptor
  • 1 piece of USB Type-C/Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adaptor
  • 1 piece Cleaning Tool/Brush
  • 1 piece x Protective Case
  • 1 piece x Some Paper Material (community & contact cards, etc.)

The comes with a wide variety of silicone ear tips that includes 3 pairs of white and 5 pairs of Final Type-E tips.

The accessories package also includes a handmade, waterproof,  exquisite storage box. The exterior breathable material is soft, water-resistant, and shockproof. It protects the earphones from mechanical damage due to drops, impacts, vibration, and compression loads. The interior microfiber lining protects against scrapes and scratches.

The 3.5mm to 6.3mm & USB Type-C/Lighting to 3.5mm headphone adaptor and the cleaning brush are some nice additions.

 

 

 

Design, Fit and Build Quality:

The Kinera Ferya (Lady) is a hand crafted IEM with a beautiful design that utilizes a Quad Hybrid Driver configuration (3BA+1DD). Each single Freya is handmade and hand-painted. The exterior design of the earpiece is hand-sketched then hand-painted by the skilled designer.

The Freya is available in 3 (three) different color options, which are the Pink, Black/Blue and Black/Turquoise variant like my review sample.

On the front of the monitor shell is the so-called faceplate with a beautiful artwork and the Freya (right earpiece) & Kinera (left earpiece) logo on the top.

At the rear side of the shell is an opening (vent) for the 7mm diameter Dynamic Driver.

On the top of each monitor shell is the one 0.78mm diameter 2Pin female connector that offer a pretty tight and secure connection with the male connectors of the detachable cable.

The sound nozzle has three bores on the top, one for the Single DD, one for the 2x Knowles RAF-32873 BA’s and one for the Kinera’s Customized 30095 Series BA.

On the top of the nozzle are no filter, so that I suggest you to clean the openings regularly with the cleaning brush that is included to the standard package to avoid the insertion of particles like dust or earwax.

The resin shells of the Freya do have a very high build quality, which do fulfill the expectations of a product of this price tag!

 

Cable:

The Kinera Freya comes with a High Purity Copper wire cable that features a braided design. The cable has a soft transparent insulation with very low amount of microphone effect.

The 0.78mm diameter 2Pin connectors do have a metal housing in silver color and do features left and right color indicators (red for right & transparent for the left earpiece). The cable sports flexible ear guides on both sides near the connectors that offers extra comfort for on the go.

The detachable came of the Freya has a metal Y-splitter in silver color and a transparent plastic chin slider.

The 3.5mm TRS (3 pole) headphone jack has a straight profiled metal housing with carbon fiber pattern that features also a plastic strain relief for extra durability.

 

 

 

Fit and Comfort:

The semi-custom monitor shell of the Kinera Freya is pretty comfortable and was fatigue-free during some long listening periods (approx. 2-3 hours), while the performance in terms of noise isolation is on an moderate level.

 

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Earphone Type           : Quad Driver Hybrid In-Ear Monitor (IEMs)
  • Driver Configuration   : 3x Balanced armature drivers (BA) & 1x Single Dynamic Driver (DD)
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance                  : 22 Ω
  • Sensitivity                   : 110 ± 2db
  • Cable                          : High Purity Copper Detachable Cable
  • Connector Interface   : 0.78mm 2-Pin
  • Jack Type                   : 3.5mm (TRS/TRRS)

 

Drivability:

The Kinera Freya has a relative low impedance of 22 ohms and a sensitivity of 110dB (±2db) which makes it highly compatible with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s or Tablet’s that do have a weak amplification, while it shows its true potential with DAP’s, DAC/Amplifiers.

 

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • IEM’s              : Kinera Freya, Final Audio B2, Oriveti OH300, FiiO FH5
  • Sources          : Sony WM1Z, FiiO M11 Pro, HiBy R3 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

 

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • George Frederic Handel –Sarabande in D Minor (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • The Dave Brubeck Quarted – Take Five (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • No Doubt – Hella Gut (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Twerl – Lishu (Spotify)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The Kinera Freya is an IEM with a musical presentation which shows a slightly warmer than neutral tonality and some noticeable coloration. The highlight of the Freya is the midrange, while the lows and highs are the supporting actors of those IEM.

The review of the Kinera Freya has been written after a burn-in of process of about 70 hours. I have used the stock white silicone ear tips that where included to the standard package and have paired it mainly with sources like the FiiO M11 Pro & HiBy R3 Pro.

 

Bass:

The subbass area of the Kinera Freya has a warmish tonality and shows an average level of depth and extension. The subbass region of the Freya is less pronounced compared to the midbass and shows in general sufficient amount of intensity and rumble while listen to some of my reference songs like Lorde’s “Royal” or Massive Attack’s “Angle”.

The midbass region of the Freya shows a nice amount of warmth and is noticeably more pronounced compared to the subbass region. Instruments like acoustic guitars and kick drums do sound full bodied and are shown with a moderate level of speed.

The bass that is produced by the 7mm diameter Custom Micro Dynamic Driver sounds fairly control offers an efficient amount of impact and slam effect that will satisfy most listeners, while listen to many genres, from Pop to Rock, from Acoustic to Jazz music, but should not fulfill the expectations of bassheads.

I did not noticed any remarkable/audible midbass hump or negative situations like muddiness or mixings.

  

Midrange:

The midrange area is the highlight of the Kinera Freya and shows a quite forward character/tuning with focal point in the center of the midrange and upper midrange area rather than lower midrange region. The general tonality is mildly warmer and shows a slightly sense of coloration. The level of airiness and clarity is pretty good.

 

Vocals & Instruments:

Male vocals are positioned slightly behind female vocals and do come a bit from the background. Male vocals such as Dave Gahan, B. B. King or Eric Clapton do sound musical, pretty transparent and clear, without any noticeable hollowness or mixing, while the depth and intensity is on an average level due to the slightly roll-off in the lower midrange area

Female vocals are pronounced, pretty forward and detailed. Female voices like Edith Piaf and, Aretha Franklin or Diana Krall do sound lively, a tad warmer than neutral and quite emotion. The level of detail and clarity of female voices is successful. What I really like about the vocal tuning of the Freya is the nice sense of smoothness, which avoids any negative situation such as harshness or sibilance, without sacrificing the overall detail retrieval.

The instrument tonality of the Kinera Freya slightly warmer than neutral and is showing a lively and clean presentation. Instruments do sound in general neither to thick/bold or nor to thin and lose. Pianos for example are slightly bright, pounced and lifelike, while acoustic guitars are full bodied and musical. The acoustic guitar performance in Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album was quite pleasant to listen to it.

 

Upper Midrange and Treble:

The Kinera Freya has a pretty strong emphasis in the upper midrange with a neutral tonality, the overall presentation in this region shows a nice sense of transparency and airiness. The upper midrange transition are in general pretty soft and controlled, without any unwanted sibilance or harshness, which is a remarkable ability of the Freya in this area.

For example, instruments like violins are slightly shiny and the bow tractions are moderate fast and are reproduced with an efficient level of extension.

The treble range of the Kinera Freya has a fairly neutral and slightly bright tonality, along with a good sense of airiness and extension. The treble range is in most songs quite controlled, smooth and doesn’t shows any remarkable sharpness or harshness. The detail retrieval of the lower treble range is slightly higher compared to the upper treble region that shows a controlled roll-off after a peak around the 8 kHz region.

Instruments like hi-hats are slightly recessed, while crash and ride cymbals don’t show any mixings or muddiness. All type of cymbals sounds clear and detailed.

The smoothed character of the treble range makes the Kinera Freya ideal for longer listening periods, while it will may not fit the expectations of treble-heads.

 

 

Soundstage:

The Kinera Freya offers pretty good soundstage expansion along with a quite precise instrument/vocal placement and separation. The soundstage of the Freya shows a good sense of airiness and wideness while the performance in terms of depth is on an average level.

 

 

 

Some Comparisons:

 

Kinera Freya versus Oriveti OH300:

The subbass region of the Oriveti OH300 shows a greater amount of intensity and rumble compared to the Kinera Freya, which has also less depth and extension in this area. The Freya has the upper hand in terms of subbass control and speed. The midbass of both IEM shows similarities in terms of impact and extension, while the Freya shows slightly better clarity and control in this area.

The midrange of both IEM’s is forward oriented, while it is slightly more in the foreground/highlighted with the Kinera Freya that makes is more ideal for vocal lovers. The midrange of the Freya has in general a warmer tonality and sounds also more musical and emotional compared to the OH300, which is a bit too dry for my taste, but more detailed in direct comparison.

The upper midrange and treble region of both IEM’s is pronounced, while the Freya shows a slightly more forgiving and smooth character compared to the OH300. The OH300 offers higher detail retrieval and a better sense of extension, but sounds in return much sharper and unnatural/dry in this area.

The Kinera Freya has the upper hand in terms of soundstage wideness and overall airiness, while the OH300 is more successful when it comes to the depth of the stage.

  

Kinera Freya versus Final Audio B2:

The Final Audio B2 has a tad warmer, smoother and softer tonality compared to the Kinera Freya, which is otherwise also a pretty smooth sounding IEM. The subbass region of the Final Audio B2 shows slightly more depth and intensity, while the Kinera Freya has a tad more midbass impact and body.

The midrange of the Kinera Freya is in general slightly more upfront especially the upper midrange.  The lower midrange of the B2 shows slightly more body and depth, which makes I more successful for male vocals, while the Freya is superior in terms of female vocal performance thanks to the more highlighted upper midrange area.

The upper midrange of the Kinera Freya is more accented, controlled and transparent than those of the Final Audio B2, which sounds a bit too veiled for my taste. The treble range of the Freya sounds more airy and is superior in terms of extension and detail retrieval.

The soundstage of the Kinera Freya sounds airier has the upper hand in terms of depth and shows also a better sense of instrument separation. The Final Audio B2 on the other hand has the slightly edge when it comes to the depth of the soundstage.

 

Kinera Freya versus FiiO FH5:

Both the Kinera Freya and the FiiO FH5 do share many similarities especially in the midrange and upper treble region.

The subbass area of the Kinera Freya has noticeably less intensity, depth and rumble compared to those of the FiiO FH5, while the Freya is slightly more successful in this region when it comes to the clarity and control. The difference in the midbass region is not that dramatic, while the FH5 shows a bit more impact and body.

Both In-Ear Monitors do have forward oriented midrange tuning with a warmish tonality. The midrange of the Kinera Freya offers a better sense of clarity and airiness, while the FiiO FH5 sounds a bit fuller in the lower midrange and sharper in the upper midrange region.

The lower treble range of the Kinera Freya is more highlighted than does of the FiiO FH5, which gives it the upper hand in terms of clarity and definition in this area. The Freya offers also a slightly better sense of lower treble extension and detail retrieval. The FiiO FH5 on the other hand shows a bit more upper treble brilliance that gives it a slightly advantage when it comes to the detail retrieval and sparkle, while it sounds a bit sharp in this area.

The Kinera Freya is the more successful In-Ear Monitor when it comes to the wideness and airiness of the stage, while the FiiO FH5 has the upper hand in terms of soundstage depth.

 

Conclusion:

The Kinera Freya looks like a piece of art with its handcrafted and hand painted monitor shell that I really love to hold in my hand, which comes inside a luxurious hexagon box with lots of high quality accessories . Moreover, it has a pretty nice tuned sound character that will especially satisfy vocal lovers with its upfront, emotional and musical midrange presentation.

 

 

Pros & Cons:
  • + Musicality & Nicely Done Warmish Tonality
  • + Vocal Performance (Both Male & Female)
  • + Smooth Upper Midrange & Treble Tuning (Ideal for Long Listening Periods)
  • + It looks like a “Piece of Art” (Hand pained & Handcrafted Monitor Shell)
  • + Rich/HQ Accessory Package

 

  • – Bass Depth and Extension
  • – Lower Midrange Intensity
  • – Treble Sounds a bit to Smooth for some Genres

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

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