Kanon (Kanen) MD-51 Review

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Reviewed Nov 2009

Current Price: N/A (discontinued)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32 Ω | Sens: 100 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cord: 4′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Generic bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (1/5) – All plastic build. Chrome paint tends to chip and there are gaps between the plastic parts. Cloth-wrapped cable is decent enough but lacks proper strain reliefs. Driver flex is a major annoyance
Isolation (1.5/5) – Below average
Microphonics (2.5/5) – Not too bad when worn over-the-ear; bothersome otherwise
Comfort (2/5) – Hard to wear over-the-ear, short nozzle, some sharp molding artifacts

Sound (2/10) – Listenable but not special in any way. Poor treble extension and clarity, with some harshness lower down. The mids are veiled and dry but not too bad for $5. Soundstaging is nonexistent. The bass has more impact than most stock Earbuds but lacks control. Not an offensive sound, but not something I would listen to by choice.

Value: (4/10) – The Kanen MD-51 is similar in sound to many stock buds but with slightly more bass impact. It’s not easy to find better options for the penny price but adding another $5 on top can yield a far better earphone.

Pros: Cheap, nice cables, reasonable isolation, may be an upgrade from stock buds
Cons: Awful build quality, driver flex, no real strengths to the sound


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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