LEAR LUF Kaleido;
LEAR was first established in The People’s Republic of China in 2008 and was marketed and directed by Hong Kong Forever Source Digital. There first product was an in-ear earphone which was called the “LEAR LE-01”. This product has created according to LEAR with the target to show customers that it is possible to create high quality sound for a reasonable price.
Since 2009 LEAR’s ownership has been transferred to Hong Kong Forever Source Digital.
Lear Official Webpage: https://www.lear-eshop.com/
The LEAR LUF Kaleido IEM was provided to me by LEAR as a review sample. I am not affiliated with LEAR or any third person beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido is available on LEAR e-shop under the following link for 216,59 USD.
Purchase link: https://www.lear-eshop.com/products/kaleido
Package and Accessories:
The LEAR LUf Kaleido came in a mediumj sized black cardbox, which is containg the following items;
- 1 x LEAR LUF Kaleido In-Ear Monitor
- 1 x Silver Plated Copper Cable (SPC) with MMCX connectors
- 1 x pair of Foam Eartips
- 3 x pairs of Black Silicone Eartips
- 1 x pairs of Gray Silicone Eartips (Pre-installed)
- 1 x Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- 1 x Carry Case
The LEAR LUF Kaleido comes with a stylish hard case which is made with of ABS material and covered with matte black protection coating. The inner side of this hard case has a soft rubber coating, which has a nice neon green color. This hard case is waterproof that makes it to a save place for the LUF Kaleido and cable and accessories.
The box is also containing a microfiber cleaning cloth and 4 pairs of silicone ear tips + 1 pair of foam tips.
The cable of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is made of a 4 braided Silver Plated Cooper (SPC) wire and has MMCX (micro-miniature coaxial connector).
The 3.5mm single ended (TRS) headphone jack is gold plated and has is L- angled profile. The only down side of this cable are the Left and Right markings, which are hard to identify.
Design and Build Quality:
The LEAR LUF Kaleido Universal IEM has a semi custom acrylic shell with a smooth surface, that looks and feels very well made.
The Acrylic housing has a marine blue color except the faceplate, which has a golden LEAR logo and with a colorful appearance. The colorful surface on each faceplate, reminds me to a muster you can see inside a Kaleidoscope that could be the reason why LEAR chose the name Kaleido.
They are two bores on each monitor nozzle for the two way configuration (one for the dynamic driver and one for the 2x balanced armature drivers).
The cable of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is detachable and is using MMCX connectors. The MMCX (micro-miniature coaxial) connectors are having a very good workmanship, which are not loose or hard to detach.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
The semi custom housing of the LEAR LUF Kaleido has a medium size, which is not big or too small. This IEM is very ergonomic and comfortable to wear and fits perfectly on my ears. I didn’t have any issues, even after listening periods of 4-5 hours (with breaks for every 30 min). The noise isolation was above average after some intensive test in environments like metro, bus or train.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido features a specially-adjusted hybrid system of 2 balanced armature drivers combined with a 7mm diameter dynamic driver.
The design includes a three-way electronic crossover with acoustic low-pass filter, which integrates the output of both the balanced driver and dynamic driver.
- Driver : 2xBalanced Armature + 7mm Dynamic (Drivers are custom tuned by LEAR)
- Freq. Response : 10Hz-20kHz
- Impedance : 10ohm @1000 Hz
- Sensitivity : 109dB @1mW
- Soldering : Hi-Fi grade 4% silver solder.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido is a quite sensitive IEM, which is very easy to drive. It has an impedance of 10 Ohm that makes it to an ideal earphone for the use with portable sources like Smartphones, Tablet’s or DAP’s with week amplifier.
a) In Ear Monitor : LEAR LUF Kaleido, DUNU Flacon-C, BRAINWAVZ B400
b) DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hidizs DH1000, Hifiman HM603s
c) Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
- Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
- Gothart – Jovano, Jovanke (Spotify)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
This review is written after a burn-in of approx 90 hours. I have used the stock silicone ear tips, which came pre-installed on the LEAR LUF Kaleido.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
The LEAR LUF Kaleido has a relative warm tonality with a V shaped sound signature, which has a soft and relaxing presentation.
The 7mm dynamic driver which is dedicated for the low frequencies of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is producing some high quantity of bass with pretty good rumble and punch that gives the overall presentation a touch of body.
The sub-bass of the Kaleido is reaching to a quite low register and is strong in its presentation. The bass that is produced by the dynamic driver sounds controlled and has an average speed and extension.
The mid-bass area of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is not aggressive and is adding instruments additional warmth and body. The overall bass speed is satisfying with genres like Pop music or Edm, but can be a bit slow in some complex songs like Liquid Tension Experiment 2’s “Acid Rain”, where some IEM’s with balanced armature have an advantage.
The midrange of the LAER LUF Kaleido is warm and smooth and could be described as velvet like presentation, where instrument and vocals are slightly recessed but having an emotional presentation. The detail retrieval is above average due the recessed midrange presentation, but the mildly tuning of this region makes it ideal for genres like pop, rock (ballads), acoustic and jazz.
The midrange is missing a touch of transparency and airiness but there is a nice lush presentation, where especially female vocals like is Hannah Reid (London Grammar) and Laura Pergolizzi (LP) have an intimate and sweet presentation.
One of the good features of the LUF Kaleido is the control of the midrange, which I have tested out with Liquid Tension Experiment 2’s “Acid Rain”, where its performs above over its price point.
The upper midrange sounds dynamic and is not very upfront, which is avoiding an aggressive presentation and makes the LUF Kaleido ideal for long listening periods.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido is not a very bright IEM, but the transition between upper midrange and treble is well done. The treble range sounds controlled and has a moderate level of extension, without any aggressive peaks, which avoids sibilance or harshness. This tuning allows the listener to enjoy the music for longer listening periods.
The overall detail level of the treble range is above its price point, but is missing some additional sparkle for my taste, which could move the LUF Kaleido to the next level. The upper treble range has pretty good resolution and is ideal for the listening of instruments like violins, pianos or side flutes.
The Soundstage of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is expanding in a natural way without to be claustrophobic or exaggerated in width. There is an above average depth and enough space for vocals and instruments, which is also quite precise with its presentation.
Vs. DUNU Falcon-C
Both IEM’s have V Shaped sound signature, with strong bass presence, while the sub-bass of the LEAR LUF Kaleido has more quantity and a better sense of power. Both IEM’s are very controlled in this area but the LUF Kaleido has slightly better extension. The bass range of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is more prominent and makes the overall sound presentation fuller then those of the DUNU Falcon-C. The mid-bass area of the LUF Kaleido has more boost around 500 Hz, while the Falcon-C has more boost around 300 Hz, which is adding DUNU more clarity.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido sounds warmer and fuller in the midrange area then DUNU Falcon-C, which has a thinner presentation. The Falcon-C has the upper hand for clarity and transparency, while the LUF Kaleido sounds a bit veiled in this regarding. Vocals and instruments sounding a bit more recessed with the Falcon-C, where the LUF Kaliedo is more intimate. The LEAR LUF Kaleido is representing male and female vocals in a romantic way due its additional warmth in the midrange area, while the DUNU Falcon-C sounds cleaner and with slightly more detail. The LEAR LUF Kaleido has the upper hand in the upper midrange register, which sounds more controlled and with less sibilance and harshness, then those of the DUNU Falcon-C.
The treble range of the DUNU Falcon-C sounds airier and has extra sparkle, while the LEAR Luf Kaleido shares better control and naturalness. The treble tuning of the Falcon-C makes its overall presentation more lifelike and it has also the upper hand extension. The upper treble range of the LEAR LUF Kaleido is slightly more controlled and has the smoother presentation.
When it comes do soundstage performance; the LEAR LUF Kaleido has the slightly wider soundstage, while both IEM’s performing quite similar in depth.
Vs. BRAINWAVZ B400
The LEAR LUF Kaleido with its Hybrid driver configuration is a warmer sounding IEM with more sub-bass quantity than the BRAINWAVZ B400, which is producing its bass with balanced armature drivers. The sub-bass of the LUF Kaleido extends better and is reaching to a lower register, while the B400 has pretty good control in this area. The bass of the LUF Kaleido has makes the overall presentation thicker and lush, where the B400 sound more balanced but a bit too dry for my taste. The mid-bass tuning of the BRAINWAVZ B400 has slightly more clarity then those of the LUF Kaleido, which sounds otherwise pretty good in this area.
The midrange of the LEAR LUF Kaleido sounds sounds thicker smother and warmer then those of the BRAINWAVZ B400, while the LUF Kaleido is missing some hint of transparency and clearness, compared to the B400 that excels better in this regarding. The BRAINWAVZ B400 sounds slightly more detailed, airy and open while the LUF Kaleido is more intimate and emotional in the midrange, especially with female vocals. Both IEM’s sounding quite controlled in the upper midrange area, where the LEAR LUF Kaleido has less stress and sibilance then B400.
The treble range of the BRAINWAVZ B400 sounds slightly brighter and energetic than those of the LEAR LUF Kaleido, which has the upper hand for control and naturalness. The resolution and detail retrieval of both IEM’s are nearly identical, but the B400 has the slightly better treble extension. The overall treble presentation makes the LEAR LUF Kaleido to a more comfortable IEM for long listening periods. Instruments like cymbals, pianos and violins sounding warmer but more organic with the LEAR LUF Kaleido.
When it comes to soundstage presentation; the LEAR LUF Kaleido offers a slightly wider stage, while the BRAINWAVZ B400 has the upper hand for depth.
The LEAR LUF Kaleido is an eye catching In-Ear Monitor with great build quality and relaxing presentation, which is sold for a reasonable price, especially if you chose the CIEM variant.
Pros and Cons:
- + Wonderful housing
- + Great build quality
- + Nice accessories package
- + Good bass performance
- + Warm and relaxing presentation
- – Missing of some transparency
- – Maybe a tad too warm