Even though the Kinera Odin isn’t a new release, it is still an exciting offering, with 8 balanced-armature drivers per side with the price set at $799. Let’s see how do they perform in 2021.
Sound quality for the price
The Odins that I’m using for this review is borrowed from a friendly shop (MP3Store in Poland – thanks!), so apart from the IEMs themselves and the carrying case (which is included in the original packaging), I don’t have anything else. But, I’ve seen the original box and trust me – it looks beautiful. It has a hexagonal shape and is painted navy blue.
Inside, you can find:
– the case,
– seven pairs of eartips,
– a cleaning brush,
– the 6,35mm adapter.
The only thing that seems lacking is a soft pouch, to be honest. Overall, it’s a nice set of accessories, but nothing extraordinary.
Build Quality & Comfort
The build quality of the earphones itself is quite good. The outer shell isn’t thin, so it shouldn’t break, but there are tiny air bubbles inside, as you can see in the photos. They’re not big, but they’re easy to notice if you’d take a closer look. The golden leaves inside make such a good impression that it’s a really mesmerizing and marvelous 3D effect. The connectors are set on the same level as the shell. They’re not really tight, but they hold the cable steady. Nozzles are pretty thick and short. They expand pretty quickly so that some tips might slip off it. I had that problem with Final Tips E, so if you would like to use some aftermarket tips, buy T500 size. The tips attached are also the Final E, so I don’t know if something’s wrong with mine.
As you might expect with 8BA inside, the Odins are big and stick out of the ear pretty hard, but their weight is broadly balanced, so they don’t fall out.
The cable is quite debatable. I really like how it feels in hand. It’s soft, fluid, and comfortable, but the 3,5mm connector is enormous and can be irritating when used with a DAP in the pocket. The second thing is the standoffs that are mumbling when they’re moving. I can hear that when the music isn’t loud or in the pause between tracks. Besides that, the cable is fantastic. I don’t feel it on the neck, and it isn’t tiring for the ears, even if it’s pretty thick.
The overall sound quality is great, but it needs a great matched source because some parts are really dependent. Except for the midrange, it’s always amazing. The sound signature’s shape is W, but it is way more my kind of playstyle than FiiO FH7, which is quite similar but brighter and crueler for the listener in the treble. Odin has a little more recessed midrange, especially the lower one, but it provides a warmer and more delicate style. Vocals are way sweeter, juicier, and intimate.
The bass is thick, precise, and clear at the same time. It isn’t the most substantial bass I’ve heard. For my taste, it could be a little more pushed to the front. But, being objective, that’s one of the clearest lows with a great, but not excellent detail reproduction. It isn’t the part that always provides the dynamic and the beat, only with the sources that sounds like that, for example, the iBasso DX160 or xDuoo XD-05 Plus. If you’re a basshead, Kinera Odin won’t please you with the rich, enormous bass that will make your head shake to the music. On the other side, if you prefer calmer bass with a great body, it can be an earphone for you.
The midrange is, as mentioned before, delicately recessed compared to the FH7. That isn’t a huge difference, mostly when the vocals still stay on the front. The higher part takes charge compared to the lower one, implying that it’s the most crucial part in the middle frequencies. It is smoothed but provides many emotions in the vocals, especially those like Lady Gaga or Tove Lo. Also, guitars are impressively exact, with an extraordinary detail reproduction. If you’re a fan of guitar music, you can be sure that Kinera Odin will please you at this point. Every single riff sounds like a masterpiece, even those that weren’t recorded well. Some can call this a sweetening, but I wouldn’t say so. That’s just presenting the music from its better side.
The treble absolutely depends on the source. With the iFi iDSD Signature, which is a transparent DAC/Amp, it sounds pretty natural, with round edges but nice sparks betweenwhiles. When I plugged the Odin’s into the iBasso DX160, the treble had hidden in the shadows with even rounder edges. Finally, with the EarMen Eagle, the softness disappears. It becomes fast, technical, bright, and sometimes cruel. As you can see, Kinera Odin has a very flexible sound signature in the treble region. Happily, the detail reproduction and the overall extension stay on a very high level all the time.
The soundstage isn’t the most substantial part of Kinera Odin. It isn’t the best in terms of width and height. Everything remains very close, but as the distance isn’t significant, the imaging can shine. All subjects fade through each other, making it more intimate and not such an ultra correct and polite soundstage.
The same problem with the soundstage size appears with games. If you’re looking for earphones that can help you determine the directions, I would go for something else.
COMPARISON TO CAMPFIRE AUDIO VEGA 2020
In a few words, Vega’s sound is way more bass-focused earphone, with better details in lows and the treble. Kinera Odin has a way better midrange in terms of the details, more exact, and more natural. Personally, I prefer the midrange timbre of the Vega. It is more focused on the lower part, not the higher, like Odin’s. The soundstage is more significant in the Vega, but separation and imaging perform better in the Odin.
COMPARISON TO CRAFT EARS FOUR
Again, completely different sound signatures and methods to devolve the sound to the listener. Four’s way is with a lot of air, magic, dynamic and pure fun. Odin has a calmer disposition and a midrange that provides better detail reproduction. When the soundstage sizes are absolutely different, with Craft’s bigger one, the method to show it is similar. Both don’t have pinpoints and make a feeling of fading through the individual sound sources.
Well, that’s an essential part of the review as the Kinera Odin can act like two other earphones using different DACs and Amps.
iFi iDSD Signature provides the safest sound presentation, but it lacks the bass. The rest of the sound is well, great and correct. Maybe not boring, but with traits that can be understood as ones like that. It’s a great setup for listening to alternative rock, jazz, and acoustic music.
iBasso DX160 is my favorite choice for Kinera Odin. It provides more fun, makes the bass more tangible. Vocals make a short step behind, and the treble gets rounder, more delicate. The soundstage delicately closes itself for the width but opens in terms of depth, which is nice.
EarMen Eagle, a technical source, makes the sound colder but affects the treble negatively. While the bass gains speed, midrange doesn’t sweeten like before, the treble goes to the sharper presentation, it becomes brighter and not pleasant to listen to in most music genres.
I fell in love with Odin’s at first glance. But it didn’t end there. The sound is also awe-inspiring. Many listeners’ love the “W shape” sound signature, especially with the high sound quality that Odin provides. If you love an excellent midrange, that’s absolutely one of the best IEMs at this price range you can choose. Remember to provide them a well-matched source, to get the lows and treble sound the way you like the most, and they’ll serve you well.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Bqeyz Spring 1, FiiO FH3, FiiO FH7, Craft Ears Four, Meze Rai Solo, Shozy Form 1.1, Bqeyz Spring 2, Meze Rai Penta
- Sources– iBasso DX160, iFi iDSD Neo, iFi iDSD Signature, EarMen TR-AMP, EarMen Eagle, Shanling UA1, DDHiFi TC25B, Cayin N3 Pro, xDuoo XD05-Pro