In the world of Chi-Fi, we keep seeing many new releases every month, and there are so many earphones that I cannot keep up with it, but today we have something really special that I really HAD to cover.
The Kiwi Ears Quintet may just seem like another hybrid IEM, but the special thing about it is that has a Dynamic Driver, a planar driver, 2 balanced armature drivers, and a piezoelectric driver, so if you were confused about which driver technology to go for, you basically have everything that’s available on these earphones.
These were sent to me for review by Linsoul Audio, and they cost 220 US Dollars on their website, which doesn’t seem that high for something like this.
So let’s see if this soup of drivers actually sounds good, because just having 5 drivers on each side is one thing, and implementing this configuration well is another
Inside the box, you’ll of course find the earphones, and then there’s a hard carrying case inside, there’s a paper manual. Inside the case, you’ll find the 2 pin removable cable which feels alright.
Then you’ll find 6 sets of eartips, and these are small, medium, and large sets of narrow and wide bore eartips, which we will talk about later.
The design of the Quintet is quite understated for something that is so ambitious. I like how their black body contrasts with the silver matte metallic sides, and there isn’t a lot to say about the looks of these earphones, except that they don’t feel that big for something that has 4 types of drivers.
We have a 2 pin removable cable system with these, so you can change the cable or make these wireless, and the cable that comes with these also seems fine.
Now the shape of these earphones is slightly different from your usual multiple driver earphone, so even though these are not that big in size, they fit your ears in a way that makes them go kind of deep in your ear canal, and so you get really solid isolation with these, to the point where I can hear my own breath even when I inhale very lightly.
I personally get really amazing fit with these, but I think that if someone doesn’t have ears that are shaped as perfectly as mine, their experience might differ, because these also fit like a custom IEM in the average shape of human ears.
The comfort for me has been really great, and the cable doesn’t have a thick loop that goes over your ears, so even with glasses, I have been able to wear these for hours without issues.
As for their power requirements, you should be able to drive these pretty much with anything, but they sound better while using the low power mode on my RME ADI-2 Pro, and they sound kind of harsh on the high power mode, so something that is designed to power IEMs, or something that has an IEM suitable power mode should be used with these. (there was no noise, even on the high power mode).
You are going to learn a lot of new terms as you study the driver configuration on these earphones, because the dynamic driver is a Diamond like Carbon unit, the planar driver is a Micro Planar transducer which they say is the first implementation in the industry. There are 2 balanced armature drivers on each side, and finally there is a piezoelectric bone conductor to increase the perceived detail.
All of this sounds really sciencey, but I have to admit that it does sound very convincing to me.
So let’s finally talk about the sound quality, and I have to make it clear that just having more types of drivers doesn’t mean that an earphone is going to sound better, and there are plenty of earphones that are single dynamic driver, and still they have a whole cult of people who swear by them.
So when I read about these, I was thinking that these may not sound as impressive as they read on paper, because tuning 4 different types of drivers is a really difficult task, and there are many overlaps in frequencies that have to be taken care of, so something as ambitious as these at the 200 dollar price tag has a good chance of being an average to bad product.
But I was really surprised at how the Quintet sound, because not only they sound very cohesive, Kiwi Ears has also managed to keep the sound signature very well tuned for my ears.
Most of the times, the complaint I have with IEMs is that they have a V or U shaped sound signature, and especially with Chi-Fi IEMs, they have a tendency to turn up the treble to make them appear to sound more detailed, but I have always disliked that sibilant tuning, and it just ruins the enjoyment of listening for me.
But the Kiwi Ears Quintet is tuned for people who like a balanced sound, and I really like what they have done here.
Now it is of course not completely flat in a clinical way, and there may be some emphasis in the bass or treble here and there, but it is all done within very acceptable limits for people who like balanced sounding earphones, and I am a person who is super picky about sound signatures, so I am really glad that they decided to go with this approach.
The experience that I am sharing is with the wider bore eartips that come with these, but if you like a more V shaped sound, you can also use the eartips with the narrow bore, so I found that to be a very cheap and effective way to allow you to choose your preferred sound, instead of removable filters or tuning switches that we see in some earphones.
So starting with their bass, it is perfectly balanced in my opinion, and it does hit hard, but if you are a bass head, then it may not be the presentation you like.
The bass actually goes quite deep, and it is very well separated from other frequencies, and you can hear the sub bass extension easily on these, which may also be a result of having such an excellent seal in your ears. The speed of the bass is also really excellent, and these are just perfect to listen to EDM.
The mids on these are also nice, and vocals do have a lot of detail, but male vocals can sound a little thin on these instead sometimes. You can try boosting the frequency range around 400Hz with an equalizer if you feel like you want to add some weight in the male vocals, but something like my older Audiosense AQ3’s do have fuller sounding male voices, even though the Quitent is overall a superior product,
Again, the vocals are very detailed on these, and female vocals sound really nice, but it’s just that the sound signature and timbre of these earphones can make male voices feel not have the body that you may find in warmer sounding earphones.
Talking about the treble, we again have plenty of detail and micro details here, and all the special drivers added do show their qualities which results in a very technically impressive sound.
I am very treble sensitive, and I generally prefer a smooth and warm presentation, and the Quintet never delivered the treble to a level that I don’t like, even though I do feel that their treble levels make them feel slightly bright sounding.
I think they are really great for all genres of music, but EDM, classical music, instrumental music, and songs sung by female artists will just sound amazing on them.
The presence of their sound stage is very ‘in your head’, and they have a center image that feels very much at the center of your head, but they do have very good separation, so even within the limited width of soundstage we have on them, you can differentiate between the placement of sounds very easily, and different sounds are very well defined at different places, so you can hear different instruments from the center of your head to the edges of your ears, which is pretty good.
These are a kind of earphones which sound impressive when you first hear them, but then you start noticing more details and micro details.
I have been really impressed by the Kiwi Eares Quintet. When it comes to audiophile headphones and IEMs, their raw technical ability doesn’t matter as much as the character of the presentation in their sound, and I think that the Quintet is an earphone that just has an amazing presentation, along with superb technical capabilities.
Everything from their design, comfort & build, to their sound delivery has been really great for their price point of around 200 US Dollars, and having this kind of a driver configuration in this price range, that has also been implemented perfectly is just so nice to have.
If I could change something, then I would have preferred fuller & more natural sounding male vocals, but I think that all other areas of their sound delivery shine bright enough for that to not be an issue for most people.
So I will have links to buy these in the video description, thanks to Linsoul Audio for sending these for a review. Give the video a thumbs up if you liked the video, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the next one.
⭐ Buy from Linsoul: https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwi-ears-quintet?sca_ref=3566814.kWBbbfVZdJ
⭐ Buy on AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DdJQyFZ