Kinera Freya Review – Metamorphosis

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Pros – 

Sensational Artisan design, Natural bass tuning, Powerful and smooth vocal presentation

Cons – 

Lack of treble bite, Average bass quality, Hazy localisation

Verdict – 

If you’re looking for powerful vocals complemented by a light and atmospheric presentation, the Freya is a beautiful and nicely refined example.


Introduction –

Like many of the more esteemed manufacturers out there, Kinera started life as an OEM before branching out into their own brand. As such, their foray into unique designs was built atop a solid foundation and their first IEM, the H3 was an instant hit. The company has since released a few models, some standouts, some showcasing some very polarising tonalities. What underpinned them all was a focus on quality over quantity both with regards to driver setup in addition to their fairly clear cut product line-up – many ChiFi manufacturers having a rather confusing wealth of products. The Freya is one of two new IEMs released by Kinera in Q2 2020. It sits a step above the IDUN with a more elaborate 4-driver setup. Furthermore, the Freya implements a gorgeous artisan design, one of the most premium and eye-catching on the market.

The Freya comes in at an RRP of $249 USD and is available for purchase on HiFiGO.

Specifications –

  • Drivers: 3x BA + 1x DD
  • Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 110dB +/- 2dB
  • Impedance: 22 ohms
  • Distortion: < 5% (1kHz, 100dB SPL)

Disclaimer – 

I would like to thank HiFiGO and Kinera very much for providing me with the Freya for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

The Pitch – 

Custom DD + Tweeter

The Freya utilises a 3BA + 1DD hybrid setup. The midrange is covered by a dual Knowles setup while the bass and treble are both covered by Kinera custom drivers; a 7mm micro-driver and single balanced armature.

Hand-Painted Shells

The overwhelming response to the first promotional images of the Freya was for good reason. Each Freya is hand-painted, taking a whopping 3 hours process per piece. The results are frankly stunning and will be further detailed below.

Design –

Of course, we have to discuss that design. The housings are a stunning combination of gold flake and swirled resin that looks quite unlike anything else whether you spring for the white or black variant (both sonically identical). The shells are reasonably large but very well-shaped with a faux-custom design. They remind me in some ways of iBasso’s shells in terms of sculpting but appear to be a unique shape. The housings are very lightweight, but the finish is immaculate with zero bubbles, seams or roughness – a simply superlative gloss coat that showcases deep colour and texture.

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The cable connects via 0.78mm 2-pin. The stock unit is a 2-wire OFC copper unit with internal braiding. The jacket is very soft but also quite rubbery and it frankly feels a bit cheap. Though an aesthetic complement, a nicer, sturdier cable would have better suited an earphone of this price. Nonetheless, microphonic noise transmission is relatively low and the cable has fairly low memory, coiling easily for storage and resisting tangles well. The jack feels well relieved and the pre-moulded ear guides were soft and comfortable if fairly soft.

Fit & Isolation –

With their heavily sculpted design, the Freya provides a very confident fit. It does contact some of my outer ear but didn’t form hotspots even after several hours of listening as a result of their smooth and curved design. They follow the curvatures of my ears well and provide great fit stability as a result, especially in conjunction with their lightweight design. They are quite large, protruding noticeably from the ear. A small vent is visible at the top of the earphones, though they weren’t especially sensitive to wind noise during my testing. This also opens up an avenue of modification for the sound – more on that later.

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The nozzles are large with a tri-bore aperture and provide a shallower fit overall which further contributes to wearing comfort. Isolation remains quite good for a hybrid earphone and definitely suitable for commute. Of course, a fully-sealed design will perform a good deal better here if you’re a frequent traveller. One strange issue to note is a strange pinging within the housing when tapped or bumped – as if something is loose inside. Kinera and HiFiGO assured me that my unit performs as normal. I also didn’t find it to affect sound quality, but this is certainly a quality I haven’t experienced on other in-ears. Driver flex also isn’t apparent.

Next Page: Sound, Comparisons & Verdict

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.

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