Kinera URD IEM Review
Kinera URD IEM Review
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”.
- Kinera’s Motto is “LIVE ONLY FOR HONOR”.
The URD is Kinera’s latest Universal IEM that features a Five Driver Tribrid Configuration, which is a combination of 2x Sonion EST + 2x Titanium Crystal Diaphragm Coaxial DD + 1x Kinera Customized 11021 Balanced Armature driver. Moreover, the URD come with Kinera’s new “interchangeable headphone plug design” and is also the first IEM on the market that features a “3D-Printed Stereoscopic Face Plate”.
Background of the URD Naming:
URD, like every other IEM by Kinera, has its spiritual connection with the Norse Myths. The acoustic engineers and the chief artists have done a study on URD (The eldest sister among the Norn, the goddesses of fate) which is in-charge of the past for the gods. She has her own well right under the World tree, called the Well of URD. The design and tuning for Kinera URD depict the URD from Norse Mythology.
I would like to thank Kinera for providing me the URD Universal IEM 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 MSRP price for the Kinera URD is 650,00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The Kinera URD comes inside a beautiful looking hexagonal box, which reflects the color pattern of the IEM. The box has some product related brandings, motives and mottos of the company o its surface, which gives it a pretty unique appearance.
Inside the box are the following contents/accessories;
- 1 x pair Kinera URD Universal IEM
- 1 x 2-Pin Detachable Cable (6N purity OCC + OCC Silver + OCC Gold Plated Wire)
- 1 x Modular Adapters (1x 4.4mm Balanced, 1x 2.5mm Balanced, 1x 3.5mm Single Ended)
- 5 x pairs Final Audio Type-E Silicone Ear Tips
- 7 x pairs Kinera Custom Silicone Ear Tips (K-07 Balanced & K-285-02 Vocal)
- 2 x pairs Foam Ear Tips
- 1 x Premium Storage Case
- 1 x Cleaning Tool
- 1 x Print Material (User Manual)
The URD comes with a pretty rich set of accessories that includes one 2-Pin detachable cable with a modular headphone plug design (1x 4.4mm Balanced, 1x 2.5mm Balanced, 1x 3.5mm Single Ended modules are inside the storage box) and a wide variety of silicone ear tips that includes 7 pairs of Kinera Custom Silicone Ear Tips (K-07 Balanced & K-285-02 Vocal), 5 pairs of Final Type-E tips and 2 pairs of Foam Tips.
Inside the box came a premium look storage case in turquoise color with the Kinera branding on the top.
The cleaning tool and the fancy looking print material are some nice additions.
Everything, from the Box to the Monitors, from the cable to the accessories looks simply premium & classy!
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The URD is another IEM with a wonderful design from Kinera, which gives you immediately the impression that you are hold something premium in your hands, which perfectly reflects the design philosophy of the company.
Inside the heart of the beautiful monitor are 5 Drivers with a Tribrid Configuration. It’s a combination of 2x Sonion EST + 2x Titanium Crystal Diaphragm Coaxial DD + 1x Kinera Customized 11021 Balanced Armature driver.
As mentioned before, the URD is the first Universal In-EAR Monitor on the market that features a 3D-Printed & Sculpted “Stereoscopic Face Plate” that depicts the “Well of URD”, which is part of a Norse Mythology.
The faceplate reflects the surface of a lake that is created with a special 3D printing process to make a depression in the middle of the faceplate. It’s gradually rising to the edge of the faceplate with total of 6 layers. By mixing special pigments of different shades, each layer of structure is separate cast and solidified. The green area presents the water surface of the “Well of URD” that nourishes the World Tree.
The left faceplate sports the Kinera, while the right faceplate has the URD logo on the top, which are both in gold color.
On the top of each monitor shell is the one 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin female connector that offer a pretty tight and secure connection with the male connectors of the detachable cable.
At the rear side of the monitor shell is a small opening to balance the pressure in your ears that will avoid any damages.
The sound nozzle has 3 bores on the top for the specially designed 3-tube frequency cross over that removes possible multi-driver distortion. The nozzle has a diameter of Nozzle size is 6.23mm, which makes the URD compatible with most ear tips.
The build quality of the monitors is amazing from the shell to the connectors; everything is of high quality craftsmanship that fulfills my expectation from an In-Ear Monitor at this price level.
The URD comes with a 2-Pin hybrid wire detachable cable that features a modular headphone plug design. The cable is made from 6N OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) Copper + OCC Silver Plated Copper + OCC Gold Plated Copper wires. The cable sports a soft transparent PVC outer insulation with very low amount of microphonic effect.
The 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors do have protective metal housing with a finish in gun metal color and do sport left and right markings (red for right & transparent for the left earpiece).
Near the 2-Pin connectors are flexible heat shrink ear guides on both sides that do offer extra comfort on the go.
The cable sports a y-splitter and chin slider with a fancy shape, which are made from the same metal material like the connector housing.
As mentioned before, the cable of the URD comes with a modular headphone plug design with 4.4mm Balanced, 2.5mm Balanced and 3.5mm Single-Ended termination plugs that are included inside the box.
The modular plugs do have a strait profile design and do sport the Kinera brand logo on the top.
Fit, Comfort & Isolation:
The Kinera URD is may not the smallest IEM o the market, while it offers a surprisingly good fit for a product with a pretty complex 5x Driver Tribrid configuration per side. It fits nicely in to my average sized ear concha’s, while you should need a small break after 2 or 3 hours. Each monitor weights about 5.5 grams according to Kinera’s specs.
The noise isolation is on an above average level, which makes it ideal for the use in relative noisy environments such like a bus, subway or train.
- Driver Configuration : 5x Driver Tribrid Diver Configuration per Monitor
- Driver Combination : 2x Sonion EST + 2x Titanium Diaphragm DD + 1 Kinera Custom BA
- Sensitivity : 107db±2db
- Impedance : 20 Ω
- Frequency Range : 5 Hz – 50 kHz
- Rated Power : 3mW
- Connector Type : 0.78mm Diameter 2-Pin
- Plug Type : Modular 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm
- Cable Length : about 120cm
The Kineral URD is a pretty easy to driver In-Ear Monitor that has an impedance of 20Ω and sensitivity about 107dB. This values makes the URD compatible with sources such like Smartphone’s, Tablet’s and DAP’s with relative weak amplification.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : Kinera URD, Moondrop Variations
Sources : iBasso DX240, iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon, Lotoo PAW S1
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- 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)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
What I can say about the Kinera URD’s sonic characteristics is that it shows a fairly warm, liquid and smooth overall sound presentation, with some precise interventions in to the lows, mids and highs to create some coloration for a relaxed, musically easy-going sound signature.
The URD has an impactful, smooth and fairly controlled bass response, a pretty transparent, airy and detailed midrange character, and a treble tuning that shows a good sense of clarity and resolution, while the extension is a bit short.
This review has been written after a burn-in period of approx. 70 Hours. Please note that my sound impressions below are mainly based on source parings with the iBasso DX240, iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon and iBasso DX300. I have used the Final Type-E Silicone Ear Tips and the Stock cable that are included to the package.
The lower frequency register of the Kinera URD do show a mildly warm tonality, while the 8mm Titanium Crystal Diaphragm Double DD that is responsible for this area offers a pretty fast, impactful and controlled bass response with a focal point that is concentrated in the midbass region.
The subbass region of the URD shows a moderate sense of depth, rumble and intensity, with above average clarity when I do listen to some of my reference tracks like Really Slow Motion’s “Deadwood”, Lorde’s “Royals” or Massive Attack’s epic song “Angel”. The subbass region is not too dominant or defused, which can be fine slightly tuned with the silicone tips that are included inside the package.
The midbass region of the Kinera URD sounds slightly more pronounced and detailed compared to its subbass area, which shows a tight, full bodied and controlled tuning. What I really like about this area is its authority and speed, which pretty good for an IEM that produces its bass with a relative small Double Dynamic Driver. For example, percussion instruments from drums to guitars are reproduced in a pretty fast and controlled manner.
The general bass response of the URD can be described as pretty tight, a bit loose yet fatigue-free. I found the softness and naturalness of the bass that is produced by the 8mm Double Dynamic Driver quite successful and the fact that the bass is not to dry and overwhelming is another positive character of the URD.
The Kinera URD has a pretty transparent and detailed midrange tuning, that has a slightly warmer than neutral tonality. What I really like about the midrange is the separation from the lower frequency register, which avoids negative conditions such like muddiness and adds the URD a quite airy atmosphere in this area. The URD offers a liquid, natural and musical midrange presentation from the lower to the upper midrange register.
The lower midrange region is shown with an efficient level of body and depth when I do listen to male vocals, such like Barry White, Isaac Hayes or Sting that are also reproduced in a pretty musical, slightly colored and lively manner.
The upper midrange on the other hand is pronounced yet controlled; so that female vocals like Edith Piaf, Adel or Sertap Erener do sound quite lively, transparent and pretty musical. Moreover, this tuning avoids any possible negative conditions such like sibilance or over-sharpness.
The Kinera URD has a slightly warmer and fuller than neutral sounding instrument tonality, which is a coloration to create a musical presentation. Instruments such like guitars and cellos do sound a bit bassy and pretty clean, while pianos and clarinets are natural and detailed.
Guitar solos with high level of distortion in Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets”, Slayer’s“Angel of Deaths” and Rush’s “Leave That Thing Alone” do sound quite controlled and detailed. Side flutes on the other hand are reproduced in a fairly lively and enthusiastic manner.
The Kinera URD is equipped with Sonion’s EST65DB01 Composite Dual Electrostatic Driver Unit that is dedicated fro the treble register. The treble region of the URD sounds in general quite controlled and has a mildly bright tonality. The level of airiness is on an adequate level, which is pretty enough for a relative clean and lively presentation.
The lower treble area shows a good sense presence, clarity and definition when I do listen to soprano voices or to instrument like hi-hats or snare drums. The level of, presence, authority and smoothness of the lower treble region fulfils my expectations from an In-Ear Monitor at this price range.
The upper treble region of the Kinera URD is able to produce an efficient level of airiness and sparkle while listen to percussions such like such like crash cymbals or snare drums, which are fairly countable and controlled. Pianos on the other hand are reproduced in the relative smooth and detailed manner, while the extension is a bit short when I listen to complex passages such like GoGo Penguin’s epic song “Raven”.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The Kinera URD has a pretty suitable soundstage atmosphere for a precise and realistic placement of instruments and vocals. The stage is quite airy and shows good sense of wideness, while the level of depth and height is on a moderate level.
Kinera URD versus Moondrop Variations:
Both the Kinera URD (2EST+1BA+2DD) and the Moondrop Variations (2EST+2BA+1DD) are IEM’s with TriBrid Driver combinations that are equipped with a detachable cable with 2-Pin connectors and a modular cable design.
The Kinera URD shows a slightly warmer and fuller tonality in direct comparison to the Moondrop Variations that is a bit more neutral, while both In-Ear Monitors do share a pretty similar overall resolution.
The subbass region of the Moondrop Variations shows a bit more depth, intensity and rumble, while the both IEM’s are pretty equal in terms of control/authority in this area.
When it comes to the midbass tuning, I can say the Kinera URD sounds more pronounced, impactful and musical in this register. The URD has the slightly edge when it comes to the speed and tightness, while both IEM’s do shows a similar performance in terms of bass control and layering.
The Kinera URD has a slightly warmer midrange tonality and is the IEM with the better sense of musicality in this area. The lower midrange of the URD offers a better level of depth and body, which is quite audible when I do listen to male vocals and to instruments like electro guitars, toms or cellos. The upper midrange of the Moondrop Variations is slightly more highlighted, bright and lively while listen to pianos, clarinets and violins or to female voices. The detail retrieval and extension of the upper midrange is quite similar, while the smoothness and touch of warmth of the URD makes it less prone to sibilance and harshness.
The Kinera URD shows a smother and fuller treble tuning that is in general more suitable for longer listening periods. The Moondrop Variations is a bit more energetic and dry in this area while it has the slightly edge when it comes to the clarity and definition of the lower treble register. The upper treble region of the URD sound more controlled and natural compared to those of the Variations, while the extension is a bit short, when I listen to instruments like hi-hats or ride cymbals.
Both In-Ear Monitors do offer a decent performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments and vocals. The Variations has a slightly more airy soundstage atmosphere with better sense of depth and wideness.
The Kinera URD is a piece of art with its beautifully designed and premium crafted monitors, which are also the home of a pretty sophistic TriBrid Driver Configuration, a combination of 2EST+2DD+1BA driver. When it comes to the sound of these beauties, I can say that it offers a liquid, natural and musical sound experience that you can enjoy for hours without take a break. What I also like about the URD is the very rich set of accessories, which includes various ear tips, a stylish turquoise storage case and high purity silver + gold plated copper cable with modular plug design.
Pros & Cons:
- + Easy-going Sound Signature
- + Entertaining Bass response with good level of Speed and Authority
- + Musical & Liquid Midrange Tuning
- + Smooth and Fatigue-Free Treble Character
- + Beautiful Monitor Design
- + Modular Cable Design
- + Rich Set of Accessories (Final-E Tips, Stylish Storage Case, Cleaning Tool, etc)
- – A bit more energy in the Treble Range would be welcome
- – Upper Treble Extension is slightly short
Thank you for the Read!