I have been busy working with a handful of IEMs in the $200 price range. All from Chinese makers. Three of them have Planar drivers and one of them came from a brand new maker, Kefine. Their first product is a Planar based IEM named Klanar. Its hard to know where Kefine wants to focus on but they have started with a planar based IEM. It uses a widely adopted 14.5mm planar driver which can be found inside both Sivga Nightingale and Hidizs MP145. Priced at $119 it comes in only one color black and this IEM has a few unique traits to it. We do not get a typical planar type tuning or presentation which is a surprise to me. I will compare it with MP145 and Shouer S12 pro.
Get one from these links:
UNBOXING AND ACCESSORIES:
We get a straightforward unboxing experience here. Open the box and we have the ear pieces stuffed in foam while the carry case with all the accessories inside it is placed under it.
We do not get anything fancy here. There is 7 pair of tips placed inside the carry case along with the cable.
BUILD QUALITY AND ERGONOMICS:
This is one of the most impressive aspects of this IEM. We get a black anodized aluminium shell made with precision of a 5 axis CNC process. The best thing is it’s neither heavy nor big which is a rarity for the planar IEMs at this price. While the S12 pro was average in size it was heavy and the MP145 is neither of these. We do not get a semi custom type shell but the shell is ergonomically designed to fit most ears. Interestingly we get two vents on the inner shell and the nozzle filter looks nice!!
Build quality is very good and it feels sturdy. The nozzle could have been a bit deeper but the light weight is easy to handle and feel stable inside the ears. There isn’t a lot to discuss about the design but I am happy with it’s simplicity.
We get a very good looking 4 core litz black and brown cable with mixed cores. Black cores have SPC while the brown cores have OFC cable inside them. Each core has 54 wires within them. Even though the unit got has a 3.5mm cable I will suggest you guys to get the 4.4mm cable. In any case the cores are exactly same.
I like the way this cable behaves. It’s supple and soft to the touch. It has no memory issues, not bouncy and there is no microphonics to worry about. Parts used on the cable are of good quality. The 2pin connectors have plastic body but the 3.5mm jack and Y splitter have metal jackets and they look nice. I won’t call this elegant but it does compliment the looks of the IEM.
PAIRING WITH SOURCES:
It’s hard to believe but this IEM has one of the most efficient planar IEMs. It barely complains about the source used and sounds really good even with weaker sources like mobile phones. Its sensitivity is a bit on the lower side at 105db but the resistance of just 16ohm is what makes this IEM easy to drive. With more powerful sources like Fosi Audio DS1 and Shanling UA5 we do get a bigger stage, better transparency and clarity but that’s the ability of the source too.
In simple words, use whatever source you have and Klanar will not sound bad.
I was expecting a budget tuning with a KZ PR1 hifi like tuning but to my surprise Klanar bare sounds like a planar IEM. It isn’t dull or mushy like 7hz Timeless and isn’t sharp and aggressive like Shuoer S12/pro or Talos (in hybrid mode). This IEM has impressive performance for a casual listening. It is highly engaging without being overboard at any juncture. Yes there are a bit of lack of energy at some junctures but for casual listening there is nothing that feels missing. It has no aggression, no unwanted sharpness, it’s not mindlessly bassy or overly smooth and it’s the balance of all these things that make this IEM standout.
We get a W shaped signature with a neutral to warmish timber and pleasing tonality.
I am using Shanling UA5 and Hidizs DH80s for this review.
This 14.5mm driver is highly capable and delivers full and wholesome bass notes. I wasn’t very optimistic here because the driver type but it has the chops!! We get very good sub-bass extension and rumble. The mid bass is fuller with good weight. Area of impact is not as big as MP145 but we get punchier, more focused notes with better layered feeling and air movement. Thanks to its accurately paced decay, notes are engaging yet accurate. It has one of the best control and accuracy. We get slower decay than the tighter and precise Sivga Nightingale and marginally slower than MP145 with balanced filter, letting the notes gain the right amount of weight, restricting them from getting unreasonably heavy.
I am impressed with its dynamics too. It easily hits upper bass notes without any softness but it doesn’t deny softer after decay residue if the track has it, superb performance from a IEM in this price.
Klanar thanks to well balanced nature has a better mid range performance than V shaped Shuoer Hidizs MP145 and Shuoer S12/pro. It delivers a pleasing mid range that has a bit of W shape to it. Vocals are slightly forward but the instruments are not lacking definition or clarity. Unlike the competing planar IEMs we get a more pleasing, fuller, less sharp and coherent presentation. It doesn’t feel sharp or thin or edgy like S12 pro or thick and unresolving like Timeless. Klanar doesn’t change the track’s nature but does tame the sharpness a bit. It can bite but they don’t hurt. We do have a bit of dip in energy in the post vocals region but that doesn’t leave a sense of something missing. Upper mid has the right amount energy, delivering nice details without being harsh.
Vocals too are lucious and tasty. They have the right amount of poise and are on the more emotional side. Both male and female vocals have the juiciness and texture with pleasing tonality. We are treated with a lush and cohesive timber. Vocals have fuller and less sharp body than both Shuoer S12 and Dunu Talos.
This is where the Klanar sounds different than it’s competition. It has softer attack, good energy and extension. We have decent energy till the mid treble as the upper treble is a bit more relaxed and sounds slightly more smoother, giving it a laid-back feel. There is no excess mid treble emphasis or lower treble dip to give prominence to a particular part of the highs. And over all this Klanar manages to maintain uniform energy, it doesn’t feel sparkly or dull. Layering and separation are decent and has good air between instruments with a clean and clear floor.
STAGE AND IMAGING:
We get a bigger than average stage which has good expansion in every direction with a nicely rounded feel. We do not have tall notes but the width is very good. Instruments are mostly placed near the head but there are no clumsy or less airy feeling to worry about. We get evenly distributed notes and part of the spectrum feels busy. We get very good imaging but they are slightly less cleaner than MP145 because is it’s fuller and wider bases. Sonics are above average but it’s not sharp or very dynamic.
VS Shuoer S12 pro:
The biggest difference is signature here. S12 pro wants to attack and deliver sharp and transparent notes with a bassy feel.
Klanar has better control over bass notes and much better dynamics. S12 pro is a bit bloated. Mid range is much better tha. The S12 pro and it’s weakest point is it’s thinner and less developed vocals where. Klanar is more balanced and tonally pleasing with much better timber and tonality. Treble of the S12 pro can be super sharp and sibilant. Klanar is forgiving and relaxed. If you want a relaxed listening without being hounded by sharp notes and on the face kind of presentation, Klanar is the one to get.
VS Hidizs MP145:
I have no problems in crowning this as the “Most beautifully tuned Planar based IEM”. No other planar IEM sounds this good. Pick anything discipline and this IEM will not disappoint. Unless you have unrealistic expectations, this IEM does nearly everything right. It has excellent bass body, exceptionally good rumble, high quality details, super good extension at both ends, has very good resolution, details and all this without being sharp or aggressive.
If you like calm, smooth yet engaging presentation and doesn’t like excess attack, this 14.5mm planar driver IEM is the one to look for.
If you want to nitpick, the stage isn’t huge and the notes are a bit less tingly than other planar IEMs and there is a dip just after the vocals that take away the extra bit of wow factor. If you can overlook this, Klanar is one of the most pleasing and an excellent IEM for budget buyers.