One brand that I constantly anticipate the next release of is Kinera. Their wide selection of IEMs has given me memorable listening experiences for the past few years now, and they’ve never seemed to let me down. Their latest release is the Urd, an electrostatic IEM priced at $650. There are both more expensive and less expensive options in Kinera’s catalog, so let us see if the Urd can stand out in any significant way.
What You Get
- One pair of Kinera Imperial URD In-ear monitors.
- One Modular 6N OCC + OCC With Silver Plated + OCC With Gold Plated Cable.
- Modular Adapter 4.4mm & 3.5mm & 2.5mm.
- Five pairs of Final Type E tips.
- Seven pairs ( K-07 & K-285-02 ) of Kinera Custom ear tips.
- Two pairs of Foam tips.
- Storage Case.
- Clean Brush.
- User Manual.
Look and Feel
You cannot have a Kinera IEM without having some of the best looking earphones on the market. The Urd has a particularly elegant design, combining six layers of shades and pigments to cast one solidified, three-dimensional design. It is unlike anything Kinera has done thus far, and again they out due themselves in terms of artistry and craftsmanship. The body of its shell retains the same design as other Kinera models, like the Nanna and Skuld, so the fit of those IEMs will strongly inform hoe comfortable the Urd is to wear. I haven’t had much issue with this shape in the past, but it really depends on your tip selection. I find sticking the earphone too far into your ears and you might start to feel the size of the housing present. However, if the housing floats just above your concha, then you shouldn’t feel it as much.
The Urd utilizes two Sonion electrostatic drivers, with two 8mm dynamic drivers and one midrange driver customized by Kinera themselves. Their dynamic units use titanium crystal diaphragms that add strength and texture to the signal flow. The custom unit from Kinera is a balanced armature positioned to relegate most of the midrange response. For the stock cable, you get a 6N OCC with silver-plated and gold-plated wire.
- Impedance: 20 ohm
- Sensitivity: 107db±2db
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-50kHz
A lot of Kinera IEMs really like to showcase a wide soundstage with immersive levels of spatial imaging, and the Urd is no different. It’s not the widest or the deepest Kinera has to offer, but you can still expect a decent amount of separation and layering to keep the image consistently engaging and easy to comprehend. Out of all their IEMs, the Urd plays it the most straight in terms of soundstage. The imaging feels natural and everything is positioned where it should be. It is the kind of soundstage that will appear true to the mix, but not always in the most gripping fashion due to its more restrained depth.
The bass response here establishes a solid frame for the frequencies to display their timbre. In terms of tone it is delightfully smooth, providing clear bass instruments in an enjoyable way. It has these rich grooves that are lifted up by a more subtle sub-bass texture. While its smoothness is particularly consistent, its impact can vary, as the transient response can be a bit slow. However, if you like to just engross yourself in a colorful bass, then the Urd has a lot to offer.
Not only does the Urd up the detail and clarity in the midrange, but it also balanced the sound signature in a pretty significant way. It knows exactly what parts of the mids to highlight without losing control over its timbre. Instruments and vocals feel like they can slice right through the mix without overlapping any other sound element. Not all regions of the midrange receive equal gain, as they are not going for a flat sound field, but the precision of its details are emphasized to great effect.
I don’t believe the treble region ever calls much attention to itself on the Urd. You get a sense of smoothness not unlike the bass that shares a persistent fidelity. It is a clear and pleasant response tuned to satify a wide range of listener sound profiles. Some areas seem to be rolled off toward the upper-highs, but its timbre retains a natural balance that feel mostly even and casual.
The Urd is another win for Kinera both in terms of sound and artistry. I was expecting a bit more depth to the sound signature, but what I got didn’t disappoint either. Its smoothness performed each track in a satisfying way, with enough detail and resolution to be engaged by. Their design philosophy is top-notch but its fit can vary based on size and tips. All around, I think the Urd is a solid option from Kinera that you shouldn’t miss out on.
· Wide stage
· Smooth bass
· Balanced mids
· Even highs
· Incredible design
· Balanced termination
· Ear tip selection
· Lacks some depth
The Kinera Urd is available here.