Kiwi Ears Quintet Review
Kiwi Ears Quintet Review
Kiwi Ears is Chinese brand that is specialized in the production, design and development of In-Ear Monitors for audiophiles, sound engineers and musicians. The motto of the brand is “LIVE THE MUSIC”.
The Quintet is a pretty unique In-Ear monitor in terms of driver configuration. The Quintet features 4 different types of drivers that is a combination of 1x 10mm Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) Diaphragm Dynamic Driver, 2x Custom Balanced Armature (BA) Drivers, 1x Planar Magnetic Driver, and finally 1x Piezoelectric (PZT) Bone Conductor, which makes 5 drivers in total for each earpiece. These dr ivers are located inside semi-custom resin shells with a metal faceplate on the front and that do have 2-Pin connectors on the top
I would like to thank Linsoul and Kiwi Ears for providing the Quintet In-Ear Monitor for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Linsoul or Kiwi Ears beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price of the Kiwi Ears Quintet Hybrid In-Ear Monitors is 219.00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package & Accessories:
The relative small box of the Kiwi Ears Quartet has cube shaped design in black. The main box has the Kiwi Ears branding on the top warped with a cardboard sleeve that sport the product illustration and some product related brandings on the top.
Inside the box are the following contents/accessories;
- 1 x pair of Kiwi Ears Quintet In-Ear Monitors
- 1 x Detachable Cable with 2-Pin Connectors
- 6 x pairs of Silicone Ear Tips
- 1 x Zipper Case
- 1 x Print Material
Design & Build Quality:
The monitors of the Kiwi Ears Quintet do have a semi-custom shape that do show a combination of 3D printed resin material (main body) and metal (faceplate), while the design is pretty plain and lightweight.
The metal surface of the faceplates does have an anodized fisnish in silver color that do have the Kiwi Ears (right earpiece) and Quintet (left earpiece) branding on the top.
Each monitor features 5 drivers that have a unique Hybrid Driver configuration, which has a combination of 1x 10mm Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) Diaphragm Dynamic Driver, 2x Custom Balanced Armature (BA) Drivers, 1x Planar Magnetic Driver, and finally 1x Piezoelectric (PZT) Bone Conductor.
The inner surface of the monitors has an ergonomic shape and the sound nozzle has a regular diameter that makes it compatible with a wide variety of ear tips. On the top of each nozzle is a filter in order to prevent the insertion of dust and ear-wax.
On the top of the monitor shells are the 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin female connectors that do show a tight and secure connection.
Here are also two small openings for dedicated for pressure relief purposes.
The detachable cable of the Kiwi Ears Quintet is made of Oxygen-Free Silver-Plated Copper wire material, which has a brown insulation. The cable is pretty lightweight and has a braided design.
The detachable cable comes with 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin male connectors that are protected with a metal housing in black color. The right connector has a red color indicator while the left side is transparent.
The cable sports a 3.5mm headphone plug that is protected with a straight profiled metal housing with the Kiwi Ears logo on the top. It features a transparent plastic strain relief for extra durability.
The build quality of both the monitors and the detachable cable is pretty decent!
Fit, Comfort & Isolation:
The Kiwi Ears Quintet has a monitor design that is quite ergonomic with its semi-custom like shape. It fits pretty well to my medium sized ear concha and doesn’t hurt them after long listening periods. The passive noise isolation of the monitors is on an above average level, ideal for the use in relative noisy environments such like a bus or train.
- Model : Quintet
- Driver Configuration : Hybrid Driver Configuration
- Driver Combination : 1x DD + 2x BA + 1x Planar + 1 PZT Bone Conductor Driver
- Frequency Response : 20Hz ~ 30 kHz
- Sensitivity : 106dB
- Impedance : 32Ω
- Connector Type : 0.78mm Diameter 2-Pin Connector
- Plug : 3.5mm Single Ended
- Cable Length : approx. 120cm
Drivability & Pairing:
The Kiwi Ears Quintet is a relative efficient IEM thanks to its impedance of 32Ω and a sensitivity of 106dB, which makes it compatible a wide variety of sources including USB DAC dongles, DAP’s, Smartphone’s and Tablet’s.
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : Kiwi Ears Quintet
DAP&DAC’s : FiiO M11 Plus ESS, HiBy R6 PRO II, Moondrop MoonRiver 2 TI,
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Tidal)
- 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)
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- 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. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Nobody Weird Like Me (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Bear McCreary’s – Valkyries (Deezer HiFi)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (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)
- 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)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The Kiwi Ears Quintet is a quite sophisticated In-Ear Monitor in terms of driver technology that features a 1x DLC diaphragm Dynamic Driver for the Lows, 2x Custom Balanced Armature Drivers that are dedicated for the Midrange, Upper Midrange and Lower treble region, while 1x PZT (Piezoelectric) Bone Conductor driver is responsible for the upper highs. The Quintet shows a powerful and deep bass response, with clear and well-defined midrange, and nicely bright and airy treble presentation. The soundstage on the other has is another highlight that gives the music a lot of room to breathe.
This review has been written after a burn-in period of 80 Hours. I have used the stock cable and the black silicone ear tips that are included to the package. My sound impressions below are based on my experiences with sources like the FiiO M11 Plus ESS, HiBy R6 PRO II and Moondrop MoonRiver 2 TI.
The Kiwi Ears Quintet’s bass response is one of its major sonic highlights. It is well-extended, powerful, and textured, without being boomy or bloated, which makes the overall presentation of this area highly entertaining. The bass slams with authority and decays relative quickly, resulting in a clean and precise sound. The general bass tuning is pretty decent, which makes the Quintet ideal to listen with a wide variety of music genres.
The subbass region is the focal point in the lower frequency region. The Quintet is producing some truly earth-shaking rumble in this area that was quite audible in songs like Bear McCreary’s “Valkyries (God of War OST)”, Lorde’s “Royals”, Bro Safari UFO’s “Drama” and Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right”. The midbass region is less highlighted compared to the subbass region, which sounds in general pretty clean and impactful, while it is fairly controlled so that it does not bleed into the midrange. Instruments like snare drums, bass guitars or toms do shave a good level of fullness.
The Kiwi Ears Quintet shows a slightly warmer than neutral midrange tonality with a fairly natural timbre. Both Instruments and vocals are reproduced in a pretty airy and transparent manner, along with a good amount of texture and resolution. Overall, the midrange tuning of the Kiwi Ears Quintet is excellent. It is well-balanced, natural-sounding, and suitable for a wide range of musical genres.
The lower midrange is moderately highlighted and offers an efficient grade of body and depth, while listen to male voices such like Sting, Dave Gahan as well as Eric Clapton. Instruments on the other side such like an acoustic guitar or viola are shown in a pretty musical way. Overall, the lower midrange tuning of the Kiwi Ears Quintet is well-balanced and tasteful. It adds warmth and body to the sound without making it muddy or cluttered.
The upper midrange of the Kiwi Ears Quintet has a decent amount of clarity and resolution. It shows more presence compared to the lower midrange and offers a higher grade of resolution. Female vocals such like Sertap Erener, Adel, Diana Krall or Randy Crawford are reproduced in a pretty lively and emotional manner. Pianos, violins, and flutes on the other side do sound nicely vivid, textured and do have a good level of extension, without getting sharp or overly bright.
The treble range of the Kiwi Ears Quintet is produced with its PZT (piezoelectric) Bone Conductor Driver and can be described in general as pretty clear, detailed and well-extended. It is able to reproduce intricate details, even in complex tracks, without becoming overly harsh or sibilant. It shows enough energy and dynamism that is needed for genres like classical music, jazz or metal, while listen to instruments such like strings, woodwinds or percussions.
The treble response of the Quintet is slightly elevated in the lower treble region that adds the Quintet a slightly bright sound signature and help to bring out the presence and clarity of vocals and high-pitched instruments such like trumpets, violins bassoons or flutes. The extension and resolution of this area is in general above average.
The treble response of the Kiwi Ears Quintet is elevated in the upper treble region that improves the sense of air and sparkle. High-pitched sounds area produced with a decent level of accuracy, which is a quite remarkable ability of the Quintet for an IEM at this price range. There is a small dip at around 6 kHz that helps to reduce sibilance and harshness and makes the Quintet smoother and listenable for longer listening periods.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The soundstage of the Kiwi Ears Quintet shows an above average level of wideness, depth and air that gives the music a nice sense of realism and scale. The performance of the Quintet in terms of separation, layering and imaging is quite decent. The localization of instruments in songs like classical music is pretty realistic and easy for a product at this price tag.
The Kiwi Ears Quintet is an In-Ear Monitor that offers exceptional sound quality and performance at a pretty competitive price. Its unique hybrid driver configuration, impresses with its deep and powerful bass, clear and well-defined midrange, and its bright and airy treble, while the spacious and realistic soundstage atmosphere, giving the music a nice sense of room to breathe. At the end, I can say that the Quintet is a unique and sophisticated IEM that offers a great listening experience.
Pros & Cons:
- + A Very pleasant to listen to Sound Profile
- + Unique Driver configuration that delivers powerful a bass, clear mids and textured treble
- + Open Soundstage Atmosphere
- + Decent Fit
- + Excellent Performance at this Price level
- – Not the most eye-catching monitor design
- – A cable with interchangeable headphone plugs would be welcome
Thank you for the Read!