Kinera URD Review : Masterfully tuned

SOUND QUALITY:

URD has a 8mm titanium crystal diaphragm coaxial dynamic driver paired with two custom made 11021 BA driver and two est65db01 composite dual electrostatic drivers and the combined output of these drivers is beautiful to say the least.

This IEM looks beautiful but it sounds better than it looks. What matters is how the IEM sounds and the URD performs admirably here, it is one of the most engaging and cohesive sounding IEM I have heard in a while. It has an emotional touch which is rare with IEMs in this price. It doesn’t miss out on anything either unless you want critical listening and that too can be tackled by replacing the cable with Effect Audio Eros S.

URD has a vocal forward tuning with fuller and meatier notes with a well balanced spectrum that doesn’t cross the finer lines inbetween being smooth and sharp. It maintains it’s composure and accuracy like a champion. Its lukewarm feeling might not bode well with the ety seeker but for everyone else this IEM has plenty to offer. Let’s dive into details.

P.S. I have used Shanling UA3, UA5 and Beam 3 plus for this review. URD has it’s wide bore off white tips on.

BASS:

Yes, URD has a musical tilt but the lower end is not mindlessly bassy or wooly. It’s not the tightest but doesn’t loose control either. What I like about URD more than Fiio FH9 is it’s dynamism. It easily manages to keep individual notes interference free from adjacent notes. If the track has upper mid notes it doesn’t get highjacked by mid bassy notes. And the best thing is URD doesn’t lack with Sub-bass either. It has very good rumble and presence and goes deeper than the FH9. Mid bass isn’t overly heavy but has a fuller and punchier feel to it. The area of impact isn’t big but it’s fairly heavy. Upper bass too is very well defined with plenty of details. I love the way URD manages to deliver layers of bass notes, filled with texture and details. Each note has excellent definition and resolution.

The only thing one can complain about is the slightly slower decay speed. It’s not fast like Precision based IEMs but it’s a musically tilted IEM and even then it doesn’t let the notes get wooly. It allows the notes to precipitate and then hits with calmness.

MID RANGE:

If you are not using a warm source URD has a lot of details to offer and what impressed me a lot is the way it remains colourless while maintaining excellent timber and tonality with both instruments and vocals.

Those two BA drivers assigned for the mids are doing an admirable job. There isn’t a single overly sharp or loose note. It’s balancing ability is as good as the DUNU SA6, the difference here is URD has fuller and smoother notes while maintaining fantastic back and foreground notes aided with high quality sonics. Both male and female vocals are accurate with sharpness, if you are a critical listener you can perceive that the bases of these notes are a bit wider but the the finishing or peak is highly defined. All this leads to superb texture on body and high quality details.

Instruments are slightly less energetic than the vocals but still have high quality transparency and clarity. There is no details missing but micro details are slightly less vivid. Here too URD maintains excellent dynamics and the precise instrument placement is a joy. There is no upper mids to worry about either, it does gain energy but there is no offence from any note. URD is playful, it doesn’t want to bite you but doesn’t get overly mushy either.

HIGHS:

URD has a calmer and less attacking higher end with a lively enough presentation. URD just doesn’t want to attack, it doesn’t miss or lack any details, notes just don’t have the extra bit of finishing energy to them making it an sweet sounding IEM. One might think this IEM might lack some extension then, but no, URD doesn’t lack with treble extension. It maintains the slight bit of energy gained with the upper mids and maintains it till the upper treble region, this energy dips a bit at the upper treble region but is still highly relevant. It is neither aggressive nor calmer as it strikes a beautiful balance which retails the right amount of energy and sparkle while fending off unwanted peaks or energy. Still the extra bit of sharpness which provides a bit more resolution to the instruments is not missing. Notes too are not as thick or loose definition and resolution like the DUNU Zen.

The transition phase from upper mid range to lower treble region is excellent with any loss in transparency or clarity and I love the way URD manages to keep any agitated notes and clumsy feeling away.

STAGE AND IMAGING:

If you were looking for an IEM with an well expanded stage under $700, look no further than URD. It has one of the most developed and well defined stage under $1000. There is no compression or busy regions in the stage and the instrument distribution is much more even than competing IEMs like Thieaudio Monarch and Fiio FH9.

URD has a well rounded stage with very good X-axis width. Most of the instruments are placed out of the head and the note’s height increases as they move further from the head. Thanks to the well defined instrument placement URD has excellent imaging capabilities too. It’s sonicality and cue placement is admirable.

EFFECT OF CABLES:

If somehow you feel this IEM is not delivering the desired level of transparency, clarity or extra bit of attack with the treble notes, feel free to switch to the Effect Audio Cadmus. URD pairs admirably with Cadmus, this cable give URD a bit moo lower end body but tightens it up, brings more resolution across the spectrum and the treble region gains good amount of energy. While the stock cable has smoother highs, Cadmus brings more sparkle and taller notes. This cable helps the URD gain some stage height too.

If you want these things Cadmus is the one to get or else the stock cable already pairs well.

COMPARISONS:

VS DUNU EST112:

EST112 is one of my favourite mid range IEM, it barely has a thing that I dislike.

I was thinking that URD might be very similar to the EST112 but I am wrong. URD is a bit more musical, bit more forgiving and doesn’t have the leaner feel of the 112. URD is both dynamically and sonically far superior. It way URD places notes delicately is not provided by 112. The extra bit of texture with vocals are better with URD. It has bigger and wider stage and the separation and layering is a level above. It’s back and foreground contrast is much more defined too.

EST112 has a bit more tighter and taller notes with a more accuracy minded tuning. It has a intimate and taller stage with a bit of uneven instrument distribution with most of the instruments placed closer to the head.

Overall, URD is a more refined and mature sounding IEM with fabulous control and excellent balance of accuracy and musicality.

VS FIIO FH9:

In my eyes, FH9 is the best effort from Fiio till date. It is a simpler hybrid IEM with plenty of details and clarity but is a more fun sounding IEM with a V shaped signature. It has a bigger power end with similar decay speed. Sub-bass extension and rumble are slightly better on the URD while the mid bass body and punch is heavier on the FH9. Mid range are fairly different in both the IEMs. While the FH9 has a bit thinner and slightly metallic timber with a bit of backward projection, URD has slightly forward vocals with a more accurate timber and tonality. While the URD has better texture on the body FH9 has a bit of finishing definition. Treble is where both these IEMs differ the most. URD is a bit laidback with reasonable energy and liveliness, FH9 is a bit on the aggressive side. If you want livelier and agile treble notes FH9 is the one to pick.

URD has a far superior stage with better separation and layering with better air between instruments. Both the IEMs are very capable with imaging but the URD shows its superiority with better Sonics and subtleness, It has better contrast of back and foreground instruments.

CONCLUSION:

It’s not easy to sum things up for an IEM that you like a lot. I usually do not prefer IEMs tuned for musicality but URD is something really special. It barely has anything wrong in its approach. Yes, if you want a very accurate and lean sounding IEM URD is not for you, but for everyone else it has plenty to offer. Its end to end extension is fantastic, its control over notes is top notch and tonality and timber are very accurate too. Stage is wall expanded with superb sonics and separation. There is barely anything not to like about this IEM.

Reviewing this IEM has been a delightful experience, kudos to Kinera. Just sit back and enjoy.. calmly.. no drame, just pure music with a emotional touch.

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Suman Sourav Meher

Suman Sourav Meher

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!

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