LEAR is a brand established in 2008 in China. It belongs to the Hong Kong Forever Source Digital Company. Lear is one of the top earphone manufacturers in Hong Kong. They are specialised mainly in the Hand Made in ear monitors that are available in Universal and CIEM. In this review let’s see about one of their offerings known as the LUF – Kaleido.
Drivers: 1 Dynamic Driver 7mm + 2 Balanced Armature Drivers
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20KHz
Impedance: 10 ohms
Sensitivity: 109dB @ 1mW
- Hard plastic case with rubber lining
- Eartips and Cable
DESIGN AND FIT:
The whole in-ear monitor is made of resin and the faceplate has some attractive design. The faceplate has a nice sparkly touch by adding sparkling glitters sprinkled over it. They are very glossy in appearance and hence very prone to scratch. They are a universal fit in ear monitors hence the fit is very nice. The nozzle is an extension of the body which has no lip from the ear tip placement hence the fitting of the ear tips are hit or miss. They are connected via the MMCX connector which is again problematic in the long run and only time will tell how long they will last.
The stock cable is very crappy and I don’t know why they have included a steel wire in the ear guide which doesn’t make sense at all! I need to use an aftermarket cable for my testing.
The case is however very nice, with a screw type lid and the inner portion of the case is lined with the rubber which protects the earphones from getting scratched.
The overall sound signature of the Kaleido is Warm. It’s neither v shaped nor balanced hence this sound output is unique to me. The bass frequency is quite a bit boosted and the midrange is also slightly recessed. The highs extensions are average with smooth high end. Let’s deeply dive into each frequency of how they perform.
The low end of the Kaleido is very warm and the quantity of bass is very rich. The sub bass extension is not as good as the OH10 but overall as a warm earphone this is quite good. The mid bass however sounds very nice. They sound fuller and boosted a bit more than the sub bass. The mid bass provides the nice fuller sounding effect and the body to the mid section.
The sub bass digs deeper but it’s not as fast as expected. The rumble is not very evident and sounds muffled. The quality of the bass is good enough with nice layering, separation and resolution. The sub bass rumble could have been better but it’s slightly disappointing to me. The rumble lacks the slam and the attack. The weight is however nice in the Kaleido. The attack is not faster here and overall they are slow in presentation hence this can be a pleasing choice to those who want a nice quantity of bass.
- Jetlag Corporation (Remastered) – Aes Dana
- Russia On Ice
- Enemy Prayer – OSI
The mid section even though they are recessed a bit due to that elevated mid bass the mid section sounds fuller and thicker. They don’t sound thin like a usual chifi v shaped earphone. The vocals are nicely placed but the tonality is very cold. The warmth of the mid section is overall nice but sounds very dark and intimate.
The guitar strikes finne and the drums hits naturally but the airiness and the space between the instruments are completely lacking. The mid section sounds very musical and relaxing. The BA is able to give a nice resolution, texture and detail to the mid section. The mid section sounds slightly laid back thus very nice for casual listening. Due to that boosted mid bass the vocals might sound very thicker and warm thus providing a very dark sound overall.
- ALLEGRO – VIVALDI:THE FOUR SEASONS
- BELIEVE IN LIFE – ERIC CLAPTON
- NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN – FLEETWOOD MAC
The treble is observed the same as the mid section with a very relaxing sound profile and darker sound output. The treble is slightly pushed forward when compared to the mid section thus providing the slight brilliance in the top end and some sparkle. The resolution is average and the extension is underwhelming. There is no sense of air in between the instruments hence the soundstage feels very much congested. The slight boost however gives a slight lively feeling while listening but overall I still consider this a dark sounding pair of earphones. The treble is overall very relaxed, smooth and with average technicalities.
The positive aspect of this earphone is that they are devoid of any sibilance or harshness hence those who need a very relaxing pair then this would be a good option to consider.
- ANNA MOLLY – INCUBUS
- MR BRIGHTSIDE – THE KILLERS
The soundstage is pretty normal and has average height, width and depth. I find this to be close to an intimate soundstage and the imaging is quite good. The instruments are placed precisely and sweep nicely from the right to left smoothly.
The separation Is however not great since it lacks the sense of air in between the instruments and the resolution in the vocals seems to be lacking due to the absence of airiness.
The Kaleido, an offering from the Lear Audio, is targeted towards the people who expect an enormous quantity of bass over the resolution. This is not everyone’s cup of tea but this will be liked by people who love relaxed treble with quantiful bass. They sound very warm, slightly darker tonality with relaxed treble and mid section. The mids are laid back with lack of aggression and even the slam is not harder in this Kaleido. Overall the sound is average for me and this may vary to your listening hence giving this a try is not a bad option at all. For the price of 220USD it seems very expensive to me since there are a lot of other competitors which sounds even better.
PROS AND CONS:
- Plenty of low end
- No shrillness or sibilance
- Smooth treble
- Average resolution and soundstage
- Low end lacks the slam and attack
- Horrible stock cable
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.