This is Kotori Audio Dauntless pre review / first impressions and pros / cons. I’ll be covering amped and cable rolled sections in the review. Thanks to Kotori Audio for the review sample. Disclaimer: This sample is provided by Kotori Audio, my opinions are unbiased as always and all is out of my perspective. Your experience might be slightly different.
Before I begin, I must tell you what Kotori means and the bird on the backplate is. Kotori means “little bird” in Japanese. And Dauntless is showing the little birds demeanor.
First of all 50/100 off your smartphone is enough for 65/100 sound level. This is a clear indication of its efficiency. But at the same time 90/100 sound level is not earhurting. But Kotori Dauntless is coming to life now. Timbre is bright and organic. I wouldn’t call what I hear metallic.. Absolutely crispy and so so harsh treble and slightly thumpy bassess. But gotta admit the bass is lacking in body. Mid band is not that lowered down at its tuning. So instruments and vocals aren’t that recessed. I have good clarity and more than good instrument separation with the little bird which has no fear. Soundstage is wide yet there are no vents. But that wide scene is somewhat deep, not high.
Vocals are near and both details plus layering is high.
Instruments have body
Separation is high
Wouldn’t be my pick for dubstep or electronic bassy genres
Do not expect a bass rumble beneath the main line
Bright timbre is not for many Western people.
Box and Contents, Kotori Audio – Dauntless and the cable
Box is a nice white cardboard dual colored box. Accessories are just enough to the purpose.
Dauntless is a tiny sized non vented cased 2 pinned case. Looks like 3d printed while keeping ergonomy in mind.
The cable is fairly usual with no unusual features. In fact looking inadequate. But this is the first iem they had released. I hope they won’t do this mistakes.
- Form: IEMs.
- Drivers: 1 x 10mm dynamic driver with PU+PEEK Composite Membrane (made in Japan)
- Impedance (Ohm): 12.2Ω @1kHz 100dB.
- Sensitivity (dB): Not stated.
- Frequency Response (Hz): 20 Hz – 20 kHz.
- Removable Cable: Y.
- Source Jack: 3.5mm.
- Cup/Shell Jack: 0.78mm 2-pin.
Dauntless is a non vented case iem. This would seem like an amateur decision normally. But looks like Dauntless had managed to turn into an advantage. Timbre is bright to neutral and organic. Bass lack slam and its pretty foreseeable to the absence of venting. Wouldn’t be a good pick for electronic basses. Basses must absolutely “breath” to give out that vibrating sensation. Tonality is quite good despite the ventless design. This goodness looks to benefit 3d imaging. Instruments have their bodies. And instrument separation is more than very nice. You can select the different strings the guitarist pulls on high quality recordings. Mids are great at the little bird Dauntless. Notal weight is average. Neutrality all over the songs save it’s slight lean to high frequencies. Treble is not at an extraordinary level of HM but I never had moments when I wished for more at treble. Roll offs are adequate. Smooth jazz is perfectly flowing through it save the somewhat tiny stage.
Amping and Recabling Kotori Audio – Dauntless
Amp is Qudelix q5k as usual. I am sensing a need for power as 45mV is not resulting at high volume levels but enough for me. Layering and tonality both improved as well as the treble resolution. But frankly basses are what most benefited after receiving substantial power.
I used a 6N Pure Copper cable. The timbre “settled down” and gained what I call maturity. (Whether good or bad is debatable) But effects are lesser than what amp got it.
Kotori Audio – Dauntless Review Conclusions
A very nice and brave first try. Not sparkling with treble or vibrating with electronic bass. But neutrality got the best of it. I suggest Kotori Audio read and consume this review so they won’t repeat their mistakes again. Hint: See HZSound – Heart Mirror. It was a solid example.