Kinera has been in the business for a while. They started with BD05 an entry-level straight barell IEMs but then came up with one of the most talked about hybrid IEM of it’s time, Idun. From there, Kinera took off like a jet fighter. They invested in R&D and made some of the most complex and capable IEMs with EST drivers. I have previously had a go at some of their mid range IEMs but was left a bit unimpressed with them. But what I have with me here is their mid range EST based entry, URD. It has one more driver than one of my favourite mid range IEMs, Dunu EST112. What no other brand can compete kinera with is the shell design. In the mid range, Kinera have been making some of the most beautiful looking IEMs. Skuld and Nord were lookers too and the URD has it’s own unique design and looks impressive.
Priced at $650, URD goes head on against the Fiio FH9 and Campfire Holocene. The closest est based IEM I have with me is the EST 112 and that might get a few comparisons too.
Get one from These links:
UNBOXING AND ACCESSORIES:
Just like other Kinera IEMs, URD ships within a hexagonal box with a paint scheme similar to the IEM. I like this presentation. It’s different at least, giving the whole package a distinctive look and feel. Open the box and most of the accessories present themselves along with the earpieces, stuffed in foam. 5 pair of final tips, 2 pair of foam tips (M/S), and the additional modular plugs is at the surface while the cable and sets of wide bore off white color tips (4 pairs) and spinfit type tips (3 pairs) along with a cleaning tool are placed inside the beautiful looking carry case. I am seriously impressed with this case, it has to be the best looking case that has ever shipped with an mainstream IEM.
HOW IS THE CABLE:
URD ships with a beautiful looking dual core cable with a modular plug system. It complements the earpiece’s design aesthetically. One can switch between 4.4mm, 3,5mm and 2.5mm plugs with minimal effort, it’s as simple as plug and go. This cable uses 6N OCC silver plated and gold plated wires. This dual core cable looks strong and can withstand some abuse. According to Kinera gold and silver combo smoothens the roughness in sound and it seems they have succeeded. It has skin friendly layer of TPU on each core which is fairly soft to touch but makes the cable a bit less supple giving it some memory issue but thankfully there is little to no microphonics to worry about.
BUILD QUALITY and ERGONOMICS:
URD is one of the most beautiful looking IEMs I have ever reviewed, yes the Norn was a looker too but the URD doesn’t back track at all. Visually it can top any list thanks to its crystal lookalike back plate and resin dipped shell with various patterns and shapes.
It scores high for build quality too. Urd has a semi custom type shell which will fit most of the ears. It’s longer nozzle and ergonomically designed inner shell provides a secure and stable feel inside the ear. I have to give it to its slightly longer nozzle and stock wide bore tips for their excellent traction, This nozzle isn’t exactly wide and can fit T400 bores with ease. There is no shoddy feeling to this IEM either. Let it be the cable or connectors, all have a very sturdy feel. Just make sure that you don’t drop it on hard floors, this IEM might not survive that.
PAIRING WITH SOURCES:
When it comes to pairing Kinera URD is somewhere in between. It gets aptly loud with most of the sources, even with mobile phones but the tonality and timber tend to suffer. If those are maintained the separation and resolution suffer so pairing for this IEM a point to bother about.
Even something like Beam 3 Plus with 240mw of power doesn’t pair well with URD. The tonality and timber suffer with this. Notes feel a bit compressed, especially in the mid range but the whole spectrum is more precise with it. It’s not like analytical sources doesn’t pair well with the URD as the Shanling UA5 and Fiio KA3 doesn’t have any problem with anything. They drive this IEM with ease and maintain natural timber and note’s body.
According to my observation URD doesn’t pair well with thin and neutral sounding sources, it needs a bit of warmth or brighter source with taller stage to maintain its basic nature.
Sound Quality, comparisons and conclusion on next page.