Little Dot Cu KIS IEM Review
Little Dot CU KIS Review
Little Dot was founded in April 2006 by Mr. Yu Quan Yang. Little Dot has developed many popular products like Amplifiers, DAC’s, CD Players and many more and have many loyal users around the world.
- Webpage: https://littledotus.com/
The Little Dot Cu KIS is the Flagship In-Ear Monitor of the company that features a Hybrid driver configuration with a Dual Diamond Dynamic Driver that has a 10mm diameter ADLC (Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon) diaphragm + 2 x Customized Twin Balanced Armature Driver. The name KIS came from Little Dot’s principle, Keep Improving and Sincere.
I would like to thank Little Dot for providing me the Cu KIS sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Little Dot beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the Little Dot Cu KIS around 729,99 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;
- Little Dot Cu KIS: https://littledotus.com/?product=cu-kis
Package and Accessories:
The Little Dot Cu KIS came in a black cardboard box with the Little Dot Cu KIS branding on the top.
This box does include the following items:
- 1 pair x Little Dot Cu KIS In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable Cable with 2-Pin Connector
- 3 pcs x Headphone Adaptors (3.5mm TRS, 2.5mm TRRS, 4.4mm TRRRS)
- 6 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 pairs x Foam Ear Tips
- 1 pcs x Shirt Clip
- 1 pcs x Case with Circular Shape
- 1 pcs x Case with Rectangular Shape
The box is including 6 pairs of Silicone Ear Tips and 3 pairs of Foam Ear Tips which are stored in small pouches in black color.
The package of the Cu KIS does include 3 types of L angled headphone adaptors which are the 3.5mm balanced to 3.5mm Single Ended, 2.5mm balanced and 4.4mm balanced adaptors.
The circular shaped storage case is made of plastic material and has the product logo which is a Fairy on the top.
The rectangular storage case is also made of plastic material and has some brandings and product specific details on the top.
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The Little Dot Cu KIS is a hybrid In-Ear Monitor that features a multilayer looping structure to solve the reverberation and also enhance the resolving ability of Cu KIS. The monitor shell of the Cu KIS is made of aviation-grade aluminum material with an anodic oxidation surface that has a finish in red color.
The monitor shell is a combination of three (3) main parts, which are the front part, the rear part and the sound nozzle.
The surface of the front (faceplate) part features the Little Dot Cu KIS logo that is a fairy in black color. Here is also a vent on the top near the c female connector.
The sound nozzle has a slightly angled with a fine metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of small particles such like dust, earwax, etc.
On the top of the monitor shell the 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin female connector for the insertion of CIEM type male connectors.
The Little Dot Cu KIS comes with a 4core detachable cable that is made of 6N purity OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) wire material. The cable has a nice braided design with a pretty soft insulation with low amount of microphonic effects.
The 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin male connectors do have a plastic housing in black color with a short strain relief for extra protection.
There cable sports a metal Y splitter and plastic chin slider in black color.
The cable comes with a 3.5mm TRRS balanced headphone jack has a strait profiled metal housing in black color. The 3.5mm Balanced Headphone plug can be converted in to 3.5mm Single-ended, 2.5mm TRRS Balanced and 4.4mm TRRRS Pentaconn Balanced plugs thanks to the adaptors, which are included in the accessory package.
Both the monitors and the cable do offer a high quality workmanship.
Fit and Comfort:
The Little Dot Cu KIS has relative small monitor size with a pretty ergonomic shape, which makes it ideal for long listening periods at home and on the go. When it comes to the isolation, I can say that the Cu KIS has an average performance.
- Driver Type : 10mm Dynamic *2 and armature tweeter *2
- Connector type : CIEM 0.78mm 2-pin
- Distortion : <0.05% @ 1000Hz
- Frequency range : 12-40 kHz
- Sensitivity : 105+/-3db
- Impedance : 18 +/- 2.7 ohm
- Plugs : 2.5/3.5/4.4 balanced gold-plated plug, and 3.5 mono gold-plated plug.
The Little Dot Cu KIS has an impedance of 18ohm and sensitivity of 105dB, which makes it ideal for sources with relative weak amplifications such like Smartphone’s, Tablets and smaller sized DAP’s, but shows its true potential if you pair it with more powerful sources like a Portable Amplifiers or powerful DAP’s like DX220 MAX or FiiO M11 Pro.
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : Little Dot Cu KIS, Dunu Dk-4001
DAP&DAC’s : iBasso DX220 MAX, FiiO M11 Pro, xDuoo XA-10
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- 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)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Spotify)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (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)
- 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 Little Dot Cu KIS has a W-shaped sound signature unlike the widely used V shape tuning that was always popular. The subbass and upper midrange is highlighted / dominant, while female vocals are more upfront than male voices. The Cu KIS can be descried as a hybrid IEM with a strong subbass response, pronounced upper midrange and fatigue free/forgiving treble character.
This review is written after a burn-in period of about 200 Hours which is the minimum period that was recommended by the company due to the nature of the ADLC (Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon) diaphragm. The Cu KIS was mainly paired with the FiiO M11 Pro & iBasso DX160 and have used the stock silicone era tips which are included to the package.
The Cu KIS shows a powerful, deep and good extending subbass response, which has a warm tonality. The subbass rumble is on an average level and is not on an overwhelming level.
The subbass area is slightly more pronounced compared to the midbass region. You can hear and feel the deep and energetic subbass reproduction of the Cu KIS while listen to songs like Lorde’s “Royals”, Massive Attack’s “Angel” and Armin Van Buuren’s “Vini Vici”. The subbass intensity decrease in a controlled manner, which does helps to make the general presentation more spacious and detailed.
The midbass region of the Cu KIS shows less intensity compared to the subbass area, while it has a pretty strong and impactful response. The midbass quantity and intensity will satisfy most listeners with exception bassheads. What makes the Cu KIS special in this area is the pronounced but fast response. A fine adjustment to the lower and upper midbass regions makes it possible to maintain a good sense of speed, control and tightness, which makes the Cu KIS also detailed and fairly balanced in this area.
The performance of the Cu KIS in terms of bass speed and tightness is above average from rock to metal music. Here are no negative conditions such as looseness or muddiness, the bass is very clean and transparent. The Cu KIS is able to produce a natural tonality while listen to percussion instruments such like a bongo or drums. Percussion instruments do have a natural tonality and do sound pretty controlled. Other Instruments like the bass guitar do sound fast, pronounced and bright towards the upper register.
The lower frequency region is one of the main attractions that have an above average performance.
The midrange of the Cu KIS is slightly recessed due to the W-shaped sound signature, but the pronounced upper midrange tuning helps to compensate this situation. The Cu KIS shows a neutral midrange tonality with good sense of transparency, clarity and detail retrieval.
Vocals & Instruments:
Little Dot Cu KIS is in general successful in terms of vocal performance. Male vocals do sound a bit recessed compared to female vocals due to the lower midrange tuning that shows an average level of intensity and fullness. Male vocals like Dave Gahan up to B. B. King and Eric Clapton do sound pretty clear, smooth and detailed thanks to the midbass tuning that doesn’t pressure the lower midrange region.
Female vocals are one of the highlights of the Little Dot Cu KIS that do offer a quite transparent, detailed and lively presentation. It is possible to hear every emotion in vocals such as sadness, enthusiasm or softness, thanks to the well pronounced upper midrange tuning, while you can also experience an audible sharpness and sibilance while listen to soprano female vocal because of does strongly highlighted/energetic upper midrange tuning.
The Little Dot Cu KIS has a lively and clean instrument tonality shows a slightly warmer tonality than normal. Instruments are not too bold or thin, right in the middle of the two.
Pianos are slightly bright, accent and vibrant, while the transitions from the lower midrange towards the upper midrange register are fairly smooth. Acoustic guitars are slightly warm, transparent and musical. It was especially enjoyable for me to listen to guitars in Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album. Other instruments like violins are slightly bright and a bit harsh in the upper register.
The Little Dot Cu KIS offers an above average performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The Little Dot Cu KIS has a strong upper midrange emphasis with a peak between the 2 – 4 kHz regions. The general tonality of this area is neutral and transparent, which is an important factor that adds the Cu KIS a nice sense of detail and airiness. The upper midrange is more pronounced, dynamic and energetic compared to the treble area. This tuning makes the general midrange presentation also pretty energetic. The Little Dot Cu KIS shows a good performance in terms of control and detail in moments where the instruments play with higher distortion.
The Little Dot Cu KIS has a slightly recessed, soft and forgiving treble character, which is not as highlighted like the subbass and upper midrange regions.
The treble intensity, extension and detail retrieval drops from the lower treble region towards the upper treble area, while the most detailed part of the treble range is located in the lower treble range around the 4 – 5 kHz region. This is the reason why the treble range doesn’t sound harsh, sharp or aggressive. It sounds very controlled and does not tire. The general extension in this area is a bit short and the intensity is on an average level.
The sufficient amount of air that is produced in this area ensures that this region doesn’t sound too much muddy. The treble range are not very natural, however it doesn’t have a metallic timbre.
Although there is not a lot of noticeable emphasis and sparkle in this area, the detail from the lower and close to centre of the treble range is on a sufficient level.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The stage of the Little Dot Cu KIS offers a good sense air and headroom for a fairly precise placement of vocals and instruments. The soundstage of the Cu KIS is pretty wide, while the depth in on an average level.
Little Dot Cu KIS verus Dunu DK-4001
The DUNU DK4001 has a close to neutral, slightly warmish and colored tonality. The overall presentation is fairly balanced and musical. The bass of the DK4001 has good depth and speed, while the midrange is warmish in tonality and the upper midrange & treble is region is soft and smooth in its character.
The general tonality of the Little Dot Cu KIS is more neutral and clear. The subbass region of the Cu KIS shows more depth and a higher sense of extension. The subbass of the DK-4001 shows good depth but has less intensity. The midbass of both In-Ear Monitors are pretty strong and tight, without to show any negative situations like a midbass hump.
The midrange of the Dunu DK-4001 is a bit more pronounced and shows a warmer tonality with slight more coloration. The Little Dot Cu KIS has a closer to neutral and transparent midrange character. The lower midrange of the Dk-4001 is more accented compared to the Cu KIS and has the upper hand when it comes to the male vocal performance.
The upper midrange of the Little Dot Cu KIS had the edge in terms of intensity, extension and detail retrieval, which gives it the upper hand for female vocals. The upper midrange of the Dunu DK-4001 shows a softer and more relaxed character. The treble range of both In-Ear Monitors shows an average amount of intensity, extension and detail retrieval.
The soundstage of the Dunu Dk-4001 offers a better sense of depth, while the Little Dot Cu KIS is more successful when it comes to the wideness and airiness of the stage.
The Little Dot Cu KIS is the flagship IEM of the company with a stylish & unique looking monitor design that shows an energetic and detailed sound presentation with focal point in the subbass and upper midrange area. It offers a solid bass performance with great sense of speed and control and is able to produce a good level of detail retrieval and clarity in the upper midrange register that will sound a bit too aggressive / energetic from time to time.
Pros & Cons:
- + Solid Bass Performance (Speed, Control, Detail)
- + Overall Detail Retrieval
- + Good Build Quality
- + Rich Set of Accessories
- + Stylish & Unique Design
- – Treble Roll-Off
- – A bit aggressive/energetic in the Upper Midrange register
- – Average Soundstage Depth
Thank you for the Read!