I have a guest iem named Kiwi Ears Orchestra from an old friend. Thanks for introducing me to this 8BA beast.
Box is simple. Different eartips and dark blue leatherette storage box. Since it is only a loaner I don’t know further details. But the simplest was Mangird Tea’s. Its Review here.
Box and the Cable
The cable is a solid point of it. Thick and multiple braided in light brown with a reddish hue. First connector is a plain metallic barrel, and neither the Y split nor the chin guard are fancy looking or textured. Odd choice for this price segment. However, the 3-way crossover compensates. We listen to the sound. Not the looks.
The construction is solid and comfortable on ear but never imagine laying down on it. (Evil Grin) The 8BA structure means some bulk you guess 😉
In the context of this review, I promise to keep everything to the level of a surgical show’n tell that will take two days. Because I want to enter my Kiwi Ears Orchestra review with a fresh mind.
Source is dx300 and UAPP M gain 40/100
First Limehouse Blues
Excellent live on stage transparency. Not a tiny second of bass bloat. Every instrument that strikes is sharp (not razor-like though) Extensions are crisp. One of the most HD sounding iems I ever tried although this ain’t HM.
The soundstage is quite large as if I am in the stadium. There is air between instruments. Layering is not super duper but crispness at the highest notes of treble remain. However they are not splashy. This is control.
Third Electro Suite
The bass and whispers are giving me shivers. The chaotic stage is a dark mass only these competent iems can resolve. And the alarm like basses at the end are the Mr. Octopuses metallic tentacles drowning me.
Electro Suite got me electrocuted and gave me energy to continue. I am hearing punchy basses with shimmering Electro treble effects. Nothing is melding within each other. However beyond 40/100 is giving me ear pain due to its generosity at trebles.
Fifth Playing God
A great complex track to finish the first impressions. Fusing math rock+prog rock+flamenco in with a bossa nova influenced ending is a track that must be respected // Broken rhythms and harmonic changes are successfully portrayed with Kiwi. The song is never turning into a mess of notes. Everything is here to track down if you can keep up with the guys’ masterpieces at what they play.
Another shot with legendary v30. Tracks are the same. So this downgrade is partly an AB partly unamping 😉
70/100 is barely enough for the same volume level at Limehouse. However I am hearing a lively presentation but the lower end is slightly up forward. Extensions still chime not disturbing but the already recessed background details are still recessed. But when it comes to instruments, especially the vibrato, it isn’t that edged as it was with dx300.
What is the main loss with using v30 as source? Notal weight.
Now Driving from my reference playlist. The presentation is direct and almost immersive. I am very close to the stage now. There is no loss of quality when listening on a dx300. However, the drums are blurry right now. The higher they rise, the more distinct they become. The timbre is dark like the live nighttime recording is too. The cheering crowd has fewer details now.
What is the main loss with using v30 as source? Presentation. But it’s debatable.
Electro Suite includes all whispers and effects. I start shivering as soon as the track starts with drums. The blown instruments at the background are feint. The soundstage is identical to that of Driving. But I’d seen how deep this instrument can go throughout those concert tracks. And the outro of this track isn’t impressive regarding the lower power (or higher impedance on its 3.5mm jack) of v30
What are the main losses with using v30 as source? Stage depth, dynamics, treble edges
And began the electronic bass benchmark song. Forwarder and more clear documentary intro. After the bass drop, I am hearing big basses but they have a hard time going deep. On the other hand, treble effects aren’t as tiring as they were in dx300.
What is the main loss with using v30 as source? Bass. Yeah bass. 8BA can’t bass sorry
Finally Polyphia Playing God. The guitars are nicely separated at the beginning, and after the drum begins, it’s still the same. But overall resolution is lower in v30. However, nothing is melting. Even with the relatively low power of v30 you are hearing everything (guitar tricks and broken rhythms) you should hear. Making sense is related to your knowledge.
What is the main loss with using v30 as source? Resolution
Kiwi Ears Orchestra Review Conclusions
In this 2 sourced review the highest fulfillment was with the dx300 due to its quad dac chip and the high power + lower output impedance it gave to the Kiwi Ears Orchestra. Or we can say that 8 BA drivers are meant to be fed by a wonderful and efficient source. I suggest you do the same too.
However I have to admit that even with dx300, I failed to find the “magical tunes” that will carry me away when I close my eyes. But this was entirely subjective and take these lines with a grain of salt. If you want to purchase it go ahead (non affiliated link)