Letshuoer Cadenza 4

Cadenza 4 is a new midrange contender from Letshuoer and it comes at $249. Can it square up to the competition and its sibling?

Introduction to the Letshuoer Cadenza 4 Review

Reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4

Around a year ago I reviewed the Letshuoer EJ07M, a fun IEM, that did have some issues. Despite a rather spiky response, I enjoyed it a lot on my trip to Georgia. Together with the Mojo 2, they gave me hours of music. I still have them on my roster, but I swapped the Mojo 2 for something else. I think it says something, doesn’t it?

In my review, I have expressed hope for Letshuoer to improve in the future and they haven’t left me hanging. Recently, a package arrived at my doorstep. Inside, a fresh, reasonably priced IEM. The reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4, unlike her bigger sister Cadenza 12 won’t drain your retirement account. It’s a 3 BA + 1DD hybrid that promises to set a tone in the $249 IEM market. Which probably is one of the most competitive in the whole audio industry.

The reviewed earphones are a new breed from our Chinese partners. Made partly from metal and partly on their world-class resin 3D printers from HeyGear, they promise to be the newest hot stuff. Together with that, I had the pleasure of finding the new Nebula upgrade cable from the guys at Letshuoer. Thanks! I have received my set designed as a demo, before the official release. You’ll see this review shortly after easter (lol, nope). Enough with pleasantries, let’s get a dig in.

Packaging

The sleeved box reminds me of the box that Chord Qutest arrives in. It has an open top that welcomes us with a sealed envelope. Inside, there is a warranty card and a manual in Chinese, English, and Japanese. Underneath the papers, you can find the IEMs in a foam cutout. On the box’s front, you’ll find a drawer, containing 2,5mm, 3,5mm, and 4,4mm plugs and a case. It is the standard cylinder, that Letshuoer uses. I wouldn’t say I like it, it’s completely impractical. I wish they thought of something you could put into your pocket. Same thing with the EJ07M and DZ4.

In this case, you’ll find a stock cable, made out of silver-plated copper. The length is standard 1,2m. It’s okay for a stock cable, but the swappable plugs are fire. The included tips are of a very basic quality. While I couldn’t complain when paired with a cheap DZ4, here, with tested Letshuoer Cadenza 4, I would expect something nicer. They work, but you’ll quickly go for something aftermarket.

Together with the Cadenza, I have received the Nebula cable. It’s packaged in a nice, black box. Inside, ah yes. My favorite cylinder case. The cable features a 4,4mm plug and it’s made out of Taiwan-made, 6N monocrystalline copper. On the other side, we have a 2-pin connector, a standard in Chinese IEMs. The ear hooks have a steel wire that holds their shape and allows for adjustment. The cable is soldered with Letshuoer’s proprietary solder with silver mix. It is priced at $169.

Design, Tech and Build Quality

Nozzle of reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4

The first impressions are solid, nothing fancy though. It features a simple, laser-engraved faceplate. The body is made out of 3D printed body color (white Caucasian body) resin, like in the DZ4. The earbuds feel much more substantial though. You can tell it’s full of goodies. You might be wondering if it’s actually beneficial to make IEMs out of resin instead of metal. There is no simple answer, but I’d say it has its pros.

If the material is high quality and thick enough it’ll display excellent vibration damping properties. Add to that it’s easy to be precisely manufactured, you can understand Letshuoer’s decision to go that route.  There is one pressure relief hole in each, which makes it a semi-open design.  Inside we’ll find a 3D-printed structure holding the drivers and connecting them through the acoustic tubes to the nozzle. Speaking of drivers, we have a nice set here.

The hybrid construction starts with a 10mm dynamic driver. Its diaphragm is plated with beryllium for extra stiffness (and bling). Then we have one Sonion BA and 2 Knowles BAs for midrange and treble respectively (my assumption). It’s worth noting that the tested Letshuoer Cadenza 4 has a 4-way crossover, so the 2 Knowles BAs don’t work in parallel. I would say a 3D-printed chassis with a nice set of drivers does feel like a steal for that price. The electrical parameters are friendly. Universal, albeit pretty low impedance of 15Ω will work fine with any portable amp. A sensitivity of 102 dB was specified with no power declared, but it is a pretty sensitive IEM, not an issue of driving it.  

Sound of the reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4

I really wanted to call it the „smooth operator”, but so did probably all of the other reviewers. Well, cons of being late to the party. It is a fitting name though. I can see Letshuoer’s engineers polishing their craft. The EJ07M or S12 were both solid IEMs but there was always “something” in the sound.

The Letshuoer Cadenza 4 feels like a new chapter for this company, as its response is smooth like butter. It quickly was promoted to one of the IEMs that I could just pop in and use for a whole day with zero fatigue. Which was very nice, since I’m moving to cities and I spent more time on a train than I wished for. Together with FiiO’s BTR7, or the Questyle M15, the reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4 was an amazing companion in those hours. The most important characteristic of this IEM is how universal it is. Both in electrical parameters and sound. A balanced, smooth response will allow the partnering electronics to shine through. 

The LR-Nebula Cable

Well, a high-quality copper cable delivers the expected results. It brings in some nice warmth and fills the bass with more heft. It also improves the detail retrieval compared to the original cable. It’s decent, but I wouldn’t buy it solely for the Cadenza 4 because of its price. Also, I don’t like a piece of wire stuffed into ear hooks, it feels whack. For this price, I’m expecting a bit more refined construction. Grab when discounted, because the copper and connectors are good!

Bass

Starting with a punch, I reached for  Choke on the Ashes of your hate by Machine Head. Those dudes kick ass! Go to their live show if you can. Sadly, this year I’ll miss it, so do it for me. This song really brings me back to The Blackening and Unto the Locust music-wise. The opening drum passage is absolutely crazy. Reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4 does a good job of reproducing the energy and positioning of the bass. While bass is not the main course here, it does an excellent job of giving the midrange its foundation. During the whole song you’ll spot drum passages mixed with directionality shifts, which I find adds a nice flavor to metal drums. Keeps them away from being one note-y and repeatable. While listening to Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys, the drums presented a nice, slightly rounded punch. Letshuoer Cadenza 4 won’t give you extremely low and big lows. Energy is focused in the midbass, adding a drive to the music. Bassheads won’t be satisfied, but most people will find it more than adequate. 

Midrange

The most fun I have with Letshuoer Cadenza 4 is in the midrange. Vocals are playing the main part in this show. Anthony Kiedis’ voice in Otherside by Red Hot Chilli Peppers comes in direct and clean. I like the amount of detail I get, while still having a nice body to the sound. The cherry on the top was Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane. The raw, bold vocal of Grace Slick comes in hard, but never overwhelming. The Letshuoer Cadenza 4 balances energy and smoothness with the grace (see what I did there?) of a more expensive IEM. I appreciate the smoothness and control of Letshuoer’s newest offering. I tried some modern recordings like Kanye, or Dua Lipa for comparison and I’m happy to report that with heavily modified vocals the result is also very positive. I do feel that Letshuoer Cadenza 4 covers some smaller mistakes for us, trying its best to provide us with a smooth experience.

Treble

Is on the softer side. I can feel it easily when listening to Trivium’s cover of Master of Puppets. By the way, it is a nice cover. You can clearly hear that the edge of cymbals is taken off, giving a softer sound.  With cymbals that aren’t that compressed, such as those in Dave Brubeck’s Everybody’s Jumpin’ there is a lot of subtleties and airiness sustained. In terms of warmth, it is on a similar level to the midrange and bass. A touch of warmth that not only calms everything down but more importantly brings it together. Just don’t expect anything spectacular. The treble of reviewed Letshuoer Cadenza 4 is an honest day’s work, nothing less and nothing more.

Soundstage

For the price, we get a really mature sound staging style. Everything is kept in proportion, whether it’s thunderous drums from Machine Head, or jazzy cymbals from Brubeck’s Time Out album. Sound reaches outside of the ears and is presented in front of you. Not inside your head. You should already know that’s my jam. For the price, color me impressed. Outside its price range, it’s still pretty good! Another huge pro is the lack of a “hole” right in the center. Many IEMs, not even affordable ones, tend to have a split in the middle. It is apparent in passages like Drums in Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate by MH mentioned before. With Letshuoer Cadenza 4, the sound smoothly transitions from side to side. The precision is also very admirable. You can pinpoint every beat to its exact location. The airy jazz recordings are indeed airy. Treble spreads evenly around you, filling the space with its gentle snaps. Hard to find anything to critique here, to be honest.

Comparisons

Letshuoer S12

Brother against brother! S12 is one of my go-to recommendations for a beginner. This might change today. I think that while significantly more expensive, the Cadenza 4’s value is much better. Of course, the S12 has this amazing slam and texture of a planar drive we all love. It gets the job done especially in bass. But, and that’s a big but: everything else on the C4 is much better while being easier to drive.

The midrange of the S12 feels flat and grainy in comparison. It does pull a similar level of detail, which is worth the praise. With Treble, the story is essentially the same. Cadenza 4 delivers a smoother and more well-rounded experience. Sound staging is a clear loss for the S12. It’s not even close. If you have the budget to make the jump, I highly recommend it. Oh, and it is as comfortable as the S12!

Dunu Vulkan

Dunu’s terrific Vulkan is one of my top choices for fun IEM. I  was so eager to compare the two, let me tell you! So, let’s start with the obvious stuff. Two different worlds. Like fire and water, like me, and being financially responsible. Vulkan gives us bold, potent bass with thick and energetic mids, topped off with sparkly treble that cuts through the richness. Cadenza 4 is a lazy day on a lake. Softer, significantly smaller lows, full and warm midrange, and rolled off, yet satisfying treble. It’s basically as different as can be.

Value-wise, both are excellent. The Vulkan is a much bigger and heavier IEM, so comfort-wise it might not be for everyone. I also find it more different to drive, even though both IEMs scale with electronics pretty well. Dunu’s accessory pack is of higher quality, I’ll give them that. The Cadenza 4 joins Vulkan on my most recommended list.

Pairings

Questyle M15

This excellent dongle handles the Cadenza 4 with one hand behind its back. No sweat! They come together very nicely. Cadenza 4 being midrange forward and M15 having it slightly recessed make a natural pairing.

The characteristic of M15 that shines the most through this IEM is excellent sound staging and midrange dynamics. I would call the M15 an overkill for Cadenza, you can certainly get the most out of it with a more affordable source. Both power and quality-wise. But, since I already have it…

FiiO BTR7

This is the perfect match for the Cadenza 4. At least one of the best, haven’t tried everything there is, right? Both as a dongle and BT device it made the Cadenza move. Dual ESS Sabre DAC pumps excitement and dynamics, while this IEM brings smoothness and culture. In terms of sound, it has a very similar signature to the M15.

The bass is leaner a bit and there is not that much warm goodness in the midrange. The tone is not as good. But to be fair, it’s not a huge difference and I would be hard-pressed to spend more than the value of BTR7 for the Cadenza 4. I believe it is the right choice, based on my listening sessions.

BTR7’s review is coming soon.

Letshuoer Cadenza 4 Review – summary

Based on my experience with Letshuoer, I’m happy to tell you that out of the IEMs I heard, this is the best in terms of tuning. It’s a very mature, forgiving, yet engaging product. Soud-wise, we are talking about universal, smooth, midrange-focused sound. The bass is good, and a bit soft around the edges. Midrange steals the show combining refinement, dynamics, and warmth. The treble, a bit rolled off, pulls its weight very well. It will work with anything very well in terms of sound and electrical compatibility.

The comfort is very high, allowing for long listening sessions with no discomfort. Added accessories are decent, but I can see Letshuoer stepping up their game here. Especially that unusable case. Overall, for $249 Candenza 4 is an excellent value. If you are looking for a jack-of-all-trades IEM to start your journey, it’s an absolute steal.

Recommended.

Big thanks to Letshuoer for providing us with the Cadenza 4 for this review. I wasn’t paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product, all of the above is just my personal, unbiased opinion. 

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