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QoA Adonis New : More Than Meets the Eye

QoA, a sub-brand of Kinera mostly makes mid range IEMs. They don’t have IEMs under $50 and doesn’t move beyond $700 either. Known for their beautiful looking shells QoA has made a few superb IEMs too. Their Margarita has to be one of the best EST based IEMs around $500, known for its musical and aggression free presentation it redefined what a nicely tuned EST IEM can deliver. The last QoA IEM I worked on, Aviation, was excellent too. It has the warmth and high quality sonics for just $200. Both of them look excellent too.

What I have with me is their latest hybrid IEM. A follow up to the Adonis, I thought it might be Adonis 2.0 but they named it Adonis New. It’s very similar to the Adonis. We get same set of drivers but with different specifications and build quality. The 10mm DD is traded for a more precisely tuned 9.2mm Titanium film DD. 1 Knowles BA for mids and a QoA custom BA for high are just borrowed. QoA has put their best foot forward and made this spectacular looking IEM with pinecone and resin. I thought they might want to price it a bit more premiumly but it’s just $180. It’s slightly confusing, Aviation is $200 but has one more BA, how does this work? Let’s find out!!

Get one from these links:

https://www.kineraaudio.com/product/qoa-adonis-new

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004612437604.html

ACCESSORIES AND UNBOXING:

This is typical of Kinera, we get a large box. Take the papar cover out, open the box and we are treated with the IEMs, two set of tips (colored are balanced while the purple tips are vocal centric) and the beautiful purple faux leather hard carry case upfront. There is barely anything left to imagine, except the cable which is placed inside the carry case. We get some documentation and a 3.5mm modular plug ends the list of accessories out of the box.

BUILD QUALITY:

My oh my!! What a Beauty!! Just look at it, purple resin with Pinecone infusion looks fantastic, giving each shell a unique pattern and design. We get a kind of semi-custom type shell with a mild wing design for good grip and stability inside the ear. There are literally no issues with build. Thanks to the smaller size and curves as right places, I had no issues with fit or comfort. This nozzle is slightly on the shorter side yet doesn’t have any fitting problem. I love the support and stability given by the cable too.

CABLE:

If the shell is one of the most beautiful, this cable is the most beautiful one I have seen on any IEM ever. Yes, some of us do not care about this but some of us do and this is the most aesthetically complimenting cable I have ever seen with an IEM. It’s a 5N, 4 core SPC cable. The cores are a bit on the thicker side, are tightly braided yet supple and a lot more flexible than Hype 2, EA1000 and Dunu Falcon Ultra cables. It’s not bouncy and barely has any microphonics to worry about.

Kinera has a used a different locking mechanism for the modular jacks. They have used high quality metal jackets everywhere and that’s great but I feel the 4.4mm jack is a bit on the heavier and larger side. Y splitter though is not big and the cable slider works nicely.

PAIRING:

I have used this with a handful of sources but Adonis New doesn’t change a lot with warmer or analytical sources. Yes, we can get better air and separation but that’s coming from the source. Adonis doesn’t want a lot of power as it sounds cleaner and more technically capable with the DDhifi TC44 Pro than the Ifi Hip DAC 2. I will suggest using a clean and balanced source with the Adonis New and you are good to go.

SOUND QUALITY:

Hmm, okay, this single DD and dual BA set-up can sounds basic but guess what, there are a lot more expensive IEMs with this kind of setups and we should be more concerned about the output rather than what’s inside and the Adonis New doesn’t disappoint. It has a W shaped signature with some of the best clarity and details under $200. I am loving it’s technical abilities, amplified by it’s excellent transparency. It’s 9.2mm DD doesn’t feel lacking, nor does the BA drivers. We get neutral tonality and timber. This IEM strikes one of the most accurate balances between warmth and brightness. It is neither warm nor bright but one can use a slightly warmer or analytical source to add flavor.

I am using stock balanced tips, DDhifi TC44 Pro E2 for this review.

BASS:

QoA has tuned this 9.2mm DD to near perfection. First thing that catches my attention is it’s dynamic abilities. If a track doesn’t have heavy hits, slow bass or sub-bass notes it delivers one of the cleanest mid-upper to upper bass notes. It’s ability to control wooly and muddiness is exceptional.

Oh no, don’t worry, Adonis doesn’t lack sub-bass extension or rumble. We get one of the best extension and very good rumble but this lower end is driven by the mid bass. It’s not bloated but it has the highest amount of definition and resolution. This is kind of flagship like mid bass performance. We get very good body, weight and good area of impact but it’s the accurate decay speed, one of the best layered delivery and texture makes it special.

This is not a bass-head IEM or not a bassy one either, it’s an accuracy and clarity oriented IEM. There is no ever-present bassy feeling here but if the track has heavy hits, Adonis New won’t hold back.

MIDS:

One BA is doing all this? Really? Fan-iffing-tastic work by QoA here. It has one of the best mid range clarity under $200. What I love the most is the balance. We get a W shaped signature but the dips aren’t deep and the pop with vocals aren’t exaggerated giving Adonis New a fairly balanced presentation (After trying IEMs like Shuoer S12 pro, Dunu Talos and Fiio FD5 I appreciate a well tuned IEM that doesn’t cramp instruments for air). I like the fact that even when this IEM has a bit of hard edged, square type notes without much rounded feeling, none of the notes are taken away from the comfort zone. There is literally no excess energy or sharpness to worry about. We get very good transparency, nice micro details, clarity and finishing definition but none of the instruments are sharp or thin. Unlike a few popular hybrid IEMs one doesn’t have to worry about the metallic ring with Adonis New. Tonality and timber are dead neutral.

Vocals as I mentioned earlier do have slight bit of pop and have one of the best resolution and definition under $200. We get very good texture too. I would have loved a bit fuller and throatier notes. Both male and female vocals are a bit on the tighter and precise side.

HIGHS:

Highs are handled by a custom BA by QoA and the output is very good. We get agile and aptly lively presentation with very good details and clarity, mostly. The only down side is the slight lack of extension or energy at the upper treble region or else lower and mid treble enjoy very good definition, right amount of sparkle and transparency. We get very good separation and layering too. I love the way it places instruments behind vocals and vice versa, creating an excellent contrast and a well developed image. I love the way it places one instrument over another yet both the instruments have excellent clarity and contrast. It doesn’t lack air between instruments thanks to accurate and precise instrument placement.

STAGE AND IMAGING:

Last time I worked on a QoA IEM, I had a big stage and the Adonis New is no exception. We get well rounded stage with an aptly wide X Axis expansion. It’s illegal to expect a lot of Z axis expansion yet we get decent movement in this axis too.

Bass notes move in and slightly upward, making way for the lower mids. Most of the vocals and some instruments originate inside the head and move out. Further placed instruments do originate outside the head and stay out. The only odd thing is, at times vocals can feel like its placed on top of a few instruments, while it does exhibits the layering and technical abilities but it can feel slightly odd. We get even instrument distribution with very good air between them. Imaging too is high quality with very good body and formation. Cue placements are accurate and so are the sonics which is enhanced with the extra bit of air and precision.

COMPARISON:

VS Hidizs MP145:

This is one of the best IEMs under $200 but it has a few problems. Use the Red filter and everything is smooth, treble is darker but the bass and tonality are very good. Use the silver filter and we get very good clarity but the mid range is lacking energy and height. This comparison is done with the red filter.

First of all, Adonis has better sub-bass extension and more weight behind the notes while the area of impact is smaller, we get similar rumbles, the quality of notes are slightly better on the Adonis New. Mid rage is where the MP145 is smoother and thicker which favors the male vocals but female vocals and instruments are more accurate with the Adonis New. Tonality wise, MP145 is thicker and more organic while the Adonis New is slightly on the neutral and natural side. Treble is darker on the MP145 with the red filter but with the silver filter we get a bit of extra energy and better air between instruments. Adonis slots in between the two and it has very good air.

It’s a tight win for the Adonis new, it doesn’t depend on filters to extract the best out of it.

VS Falcon Ultra:

One might think a single DD might be at disadvantage but this DD is fire!! Known for its accuracy and precision, Falcon Ultra has a W shaped signature which gives a bit of pop to the vocals but the instruments around it might sound slightly less forward.

If we start with the bass, both are very good with extension but Adonis New has bigger area of impact, more rumble and weight behind the notes. Falcon ultra though is the cleaner and more technically capable one with better dynamics. Falcon Ultra can sound a bit thin and sharp in the mid range while the Adonis new is smoother but does not lacking with the energy, giving it a more robust presentation. Falcon Ultra can sound a bit thin and lean with male vocals but female vocals are great and it’s the opposite with Adonis New. Cohesion and timber are better on the Adonis New. Treble is where the Falcon ultra clearly pulls ahead with more energy and air between instruments. It is livelier with better sparkle and transparency while the Adonis new lacks a bit of energy but is more comfortable and less on the face. Falcon ultra has better layering and bigger stage too.

If you want a more technically capable IEM, Falcon Ultra is the one to get while the Adonis New is the better all-rounder and easier on the ears.

If you feel adventurous, here is my comparison review video with Falcon Ultra and ISN Neo 5:

LetShuoer S08:

The only purpose of this comparison is, should you spend the extra $80 for the Adonis New? It’s an interesting discovery. Here is my comparison review:

CONCLUSION:

I haven’t heard the Adonis but this 2nd gen is in a space of it’s own, its not just a beauty but has one of the most complete performance too. For what it’s offering, it’s an outstanding IEM. I have heard a lot of IEMs in this price range, most of the popular ones, market favorites like EA1000, OD200, KiwiEars Quintet, MP145 and Falcon Ultra but this does something different from all of them.

New Adonis is like a blend of Falcon Ultra, EA1000 and OD200. It has flaws of none and strength of all of them. This IEM is nearly flawless, it’s got everything, if the Falcon Ultra and EA1000 were a bit thin and less musical, Adonis is warmer. If the OD200 lacks a bit more definition, Adonis does much better. For an IEM that is priced at just $180, this is something spectacular. There are only two things I think this could be slightly better, 1st is the slight lack of upper treble energy and 2nd is it’s slight lack of subtly. This slightly hard edged presentation is not bad, it enhances clarity, definition and transparency but if it were a bit more subtle it would have been flawless.

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Picture of 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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