Kinera is the chinese audio manufacturing company which is highly praised for its beautifully crafted in-ear monitors with exceptional sound quality. Their previous products are the IDUN, SEED, ODIN and the Flagship Iem NANNA. The latest product in the Kinera In ear monitor lineup is the NORN which is equipped with 4BA + 1 Dynamic Driver Hybrid HiFi Audiophile In-ear Earphone where the dynamic driver is Titanium-plated dome PU composite high poly fiber diaphragm. In this review lets see in detail about the Kinera Norn.
This unit has been provided to me as a part of a review circle organised by the Hifigo Team in exchange for the honest reviews on the earphone. I have not been influenced by any means to manipulate the review and these opinions are completely mine and subjective. The views on this product may differ based on the source and gears you use to test this product.
Since this is a review unit I received only the case, earpiece and the final audio eartips, hence the complete details of the packaging are not mentioned in this review.
DESIGN AND FIT:
The design of the Kinera Norn is absolutely gorgeous. The faceplate looks very eye-catching and stunning. The pink colored theme looks very nice with the glossy finish in the faceplate that looks like a gem. The overall size is very compact and lightweight. The faceplates are hand painted thus providing that premium feel while touching it. They fit very well into the ear canal and even if you have small ears this doesn’t cause any problem in the fit. The Black coloured stripes running across the pink band in the top and bottom looks absolutely gorgeous. The Kinera Norn branding is done on the faceplate in the golden letters in the Game Of Thrones style which looks classic and attractive. A single pressure vent is given on the side of the earpiece.
The fit is very nice where the isolation is very good while isolating a good amount of external noises. The cable looks very sturdy and premium to touch. The cable is an imported 26 AWG coaxial wire used as the conductor with PVC outer insulation. It consists of 8 wires of 192 strands of silver-plated copper alloy in spiral weaving. The cable has universal 0.78mm 2-pin connectors and a balanced 2.5mm termination plug. They have also included the 2.5MM to 3.5mm adapter cable to utilise the unbalanced termination to directly play via the smartphone.
The overall sound signature of the Kinera Norn is slightly V shaped. My previous encounter with the Kinera was the BD005 Pro and it pretty much disappointed me. It has a boomy bass with the recessed midrange with sparkless treble. Since this Norn being an expensive one from the brand I’m having a big hope on this product. Let’s see whether this earphone really lives up to my expectations in this review.
MY SOUND PREFERENCE: A slight V shaped with more sub bass emphasis, engaging and forward vocals with sparkly,energetic and airy treble.
SOURCE: The Norn is pretty easy to drive so no need for Amps to amplify the sound. The sound is pretty fine straight out of the mobile jack. But to get the most out of the Norn I have used an external dac amp.
iPhone – Audirect Atom 2 USB Dac
The Norn gets easily loud enough and I can’t go beyond 50 percent volume on my iPhone which is pretty nice considering it is an expensive set with 32 ohms.
Fantastic……Marvellous…..Delicious!!!! The bass in this earphone is pretty sweet to listen to. The sub bass and the mid bass coherency is pretty nice and linear. The sub bass is well separated from the mid bass without any bleed into the Mid section. The bass overall has nice clarity and resolution. The separation and the texture in the low end is impeccable. This is one of the best low end experiences I had in this audiophile journey. This Norn has the same low end performance like that of the Ikko OH10 and even better than that with added texture and separation.
The sub bass is very delicious here. I’m a bigger sub bass fan than the mid bass. The sub bass gives that sweet rumble in the low end. The rumble is well controlled and textured in the Norn.
- Black Gold – Hans Zimmer
From the start of the track you can feel the thump in the bass. They are felt very clearly in the Norn which literally tickles your ears! At 1:01 the sub bass digs deeper and deeper which just makes your ears tickled. The piano notes and the violin are separated very well in this track.
I have heard this track a lot of time but hearing through this earphone gave me a new experience giving me a lot of background details. At 4:45 the low end is very sweet to hear with the background instruments nicely layered while the low end drop beats sound very sweet.
- BIGFOOT – MALFNKTION
I go to the bass track to test out the control and speed. The low end is very impactful and has very good control. The vocal in the background is nicely heard while still maintaining the impact of the low end drops. They just bangs your ear canal with the nice thumpy effect.
The bass is very tight and under control with good speed. Behind the low end drops there is the sound of the soft drum which is heard very clearly without any muffle.
- BLOT! – RUMINATE
At 1:50 several instruments are played and they just move smoothly from one channel to the other while maintaining the low end under control with good speed and clarity. The texture of the bass is excellent and the overall resolution and the separation is extravaganza!
Overall the bass is very satisfactory with excellent resolution, separation, texture, control and speed. I loved the low end in this earphone. Nice transition from the sub bass to the mid bass without any mid bass bleed. The mid bass sounds clean and precise. The sub bass is elevated than the mid bass which gives that nice rumble and clarity in the mid section. 10/10 for the bass department in the Kinera Norn. Fantastic Job Kinera!
The mid section sounds nice and forward with beautiful male and female vocals. The tonality is extremely addictive and natural. The timbre is realistic and non metallic or anemic presence is observed. The piano notes and the guitar strings strike very naturally and energetically. The mid section is very energetic and engaging. In most of the V shaped earphones the Mid section feels lifeless and soulless but this one is an exception in this case! The mid section has nice air and space in between the instruments giving the life and soul to the track.
The addictive natural tonality combined with the forward midrange, energetic and engaging instruments make this pair a very delicious to listen and a great recommendable pair in my list
- The Gift Of Music – Dream Theatre, The Answer – Dream Theatre
The guitar strikes very naturally and the drum hits precise and tight. No loose hits of the drums are observed. The vocals sound very natural with a natural and realistic tone. The acoustic guitar sounds very nice and beautiful. At 1:40 the violin sounds very well separated and layered very well.
- Santeria – Sublime
The guitar sounds precisely in the right channel and the vocals in the center. At 0:35 the guitar strings shift to the left channel too and sounds very nice and natural. The drums in the background are precise and tight along with the nice piano notes in the background. The Norn just provides nice energetic and engaging listening sessions with this track.
The treble section in this earphone is sublime. Since this is being a slight v shaped the highs are very crisp and clear. They have an enormous presence of air in between the instruments and nothing feels congested. The high extension is done very well and nothing causes the harshness here. During my listening I haven’t experienced any kind of sibilant.
The resolution and the detail retrieval in the high end are above average and very pleasing to listen for longer periods of time. The fatigue factor is not an issue here since it’s more or less completely absent here even though it has a lot of treble energy. The treble just hits the sweet spot of mine and definitely it’s one of my most satisfying iem in the upper end section. The cymbal strikes naturally with precise strike and placement.
- The Last Of The Real Ones – Fall Out Boy
The electric guitars and the drums in the background are depicted well while the vocal is nicely centered with no harshness while listening even when the vocal becomes very loud. This track is a very busy track yet Norn was able to separate them well and the background instruments sound very nice. At 2:27 when the background vocal starts which appears like screaming but the Norn made them very beautiful to listen with nice dynamics and smoothness.
- Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
My go to track for testing out the cymbal strike where it strikes very naturally with good hit and speed. Very pleasant to hear and very much easily audible without the need of raising the volume.
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
This is another track to test out the cymbals and the Norn just did it excellently. Absolutely can’t find any harshness with this unit and it is very pleasing to hear for longer periods of time which is very nice to see. The overall separation from the background and the main vocal is impeccable.
- Sacrilege – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The electric guitar strings sound without any harshness and the high notes of the piano sound very nice with nice smoothness. Even the vocals sounded very textured and no graininess was seen. The drum hits and the background instruments are portrayed very well even with a lot of complex things going on this track.
SOUNDSTAGE: The soundstage is very good considering the height and teh width. The depth is average but the width is very nice giving a lot of room for the placements of the instruments. The height is very nice too thus providing the OST tracks a massive soundstage effect.
- What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World – Hans Zimmer
Wow!!! First this track should be included in the bass section since thus has a nice sub bass rumble and the Norn clearly gave me that satisfaction additionally it also portrayed a nice sense of tallness and width in the overall track. Very impressive work by Norn.
- Le Mans 66 – Marco Beltrami
The cymbals on the right side and the bass guitar on the left side are portrayed very well thus providing a nice sense of width in the soundstage aspect. The tallness in the track is observed evidently. The depth is however not as big but the overall listening experience is very nice. At 2:05 the silence starts and you can observe the width and the tallness evidently here.
IMAGING: The imaging is pretty impressive in this Norn. The instruments nicely sweep from one channel to the other smoothly and the transitions are very nice and smooth. The instruments can be easily pointed out even in the busy track with a lot of things going on in the track.
- I Want You Back – Jackson 5
The drums on the right side and the cymbals and the acoustic guitar left side at the start of the track are depicted very nicely. later the side gets switched very smoothly with excellent transition change. The instruments are nicely moved in between the channels.
The macro details and the dynamics are very impressive in the Kinera Norn without compromising the Micro Details too which is very impressive to see in the Norn.
Norn, the latest offering from the Kinera is very impressive and a top recommendation from my side. The sound is very dynamic with a lot of energy and an engaging factor. The thing that lacked in the Ikko Oh10 is fulfilled by the Norn by bringing the Mid section forward and giving them the soul by making them engaging and energetic. The low end is very impressive with excellent sub bass rumble and the mids bass here sounds pretty clean. The treble has nice energy without reaching that fatigue limit. Overall I’m very impressed by the sound of the Norn. From the build, design, cable, sound etc this thing just ticks all the boxes that i need. Technicalities wise they are very good too considering the width and the tallness it possesses in the soundstage department with excellent imaging capability.
This pink beauty might make you think it is a calm queen but this thing is definitely an energetic monster! 5/5 from my side and i absolutely loved this pair, indeed it’s an absolute pink DYNAMITE!
PROS AND CONS:
- Excellent Bass with Nice Texture
- Engaging Mid Section and Sparkly Treble
- Soundstage Width and Height
- Build, Design, Fit and Cable
- Nice Technicalities
This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C
I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.