The Kinera Freya is Kinera Audio's latest venture based on a deity, and we are going to break down everything you need to know.
Kinera is a Chinese company that boasts an impressive line of in-ear monitors (IEMs) that always bring something to the table in terms of both look and sound.
What’s in the Box?
Right off the bat, the box sets the tone here with an immediately arresting and trademark hexagonal shape. The color scheme is a gorgeous blending of blues purples and pinks, that looks like it might be right at home in a visual art exhibit
Clearly, Kinera is a company that is never going to skimp on any aspect of presentation, and as such they’ve included a generous amount here upon delivery. When you pop open the box you’ll first see some paperwork including a manual, and also a couple of notes which go pretty above and beyond the standard here, but more on that in just a bit.
When you’ve reached the box proper, you’ll see several different compartments that contain all of your various components, including your IEMs, 3 pairs of Kinera ear tips - small, medium and large sized - your carrying case, an attachable quarter inch adapter, a cleaning tool - and most uniquely, an attachable USBC dongle. There is also a second Apple compatible dongle inside the case.
The case itself is unsurprisingly also quite nice looking and continues the color scheme of the box and the earpieces. It is water and shockproof to provide for the ultimate safety to your IEMs, and lined with microfiber on the interior to keep them pristine for long periods of time. It also has some stitching throughout that you can see here and is a compact circular shape. Inside is the other dongle that I mentioned, as well as 5 extra pairs of final audio type E eartips, which is a really clutch inclusion here.
Design and Fit
Now, to return to those notes included in the packaging that I set aside just a moment ago, so that we can talk about some design here, which is easily the most notable element, for obvious reasons. These are the most intricate and artistic looking earpieces I have probably ever come across.
One of the notes included here describes the design philosophy and concept behind the Freya in some pretty interesting and exacting detail. Freya is a figure in Norse Mythology who is the goddess of love and beauty. Each of the colors on the housing is hand painted and represents a specific characteristic, such as red for beauty, purple for tenderness, gold for fearlessness and so on. According to the paperwork here, each earpiece takes approximately three hours to paint by hand, so each model has a bit of variation, making it truly one of a kind.
The second note is a personal message from the lead artist and designer of the Freya who breaks down the process for creating the design in even more detail, and assures you that the Freya is not just a product, but an expression of art.
When I first actually put these in, the first thing I noticed is that the earpieces themselves are quite large.The housing is made out of a nice feeling high quality resin plastic, and they are fairly bulky and definitely stick out somewhat. The nozzle is also what I deem a little larger than the usual, so it can be a little tricky slipping different ear tips on and off, but they certainly won’t fall off on their own.
Despite the size, I found the shape to be pretty ergonomic - and the weight here is extremely light. I don’t have an exact figure, but it is very easy to forget that these are in after a while as they just do not have any kind of heft to them.
The cable is nothing that notable, just a pretty solid stock braided cable that you could easily replace if you are so inclined. It features a two pin connection and does contain high purity copper for low noise high signal transmission.
We also unboxed the Kinera Freya IEM. Please see it below
Drivers and Technology
As for what’s inside of these, The Freya is a hybrid model, which means that it contains a configuration featuring a mix of different kinds of drivers.
This particular configuration is four drivers - which is a little unusual, as typical you might more normally see 5, or just single one.
The Freya utilizes a single 7mm micro dynamic driver to handle it’s low end frequencies- this is a special driver patented by Kinera which represents one of the smallest ever dynamic drivers to be used in an IEM.
The other three drivers are balanced armature drivers - two of which handle the mid range frequencies, and one for the treble.
The Freya utilizes an internal crossover to distribute frequencies between these drivers and retain the sharpness and definition of each of these bands.
The frequency range here is a standard 20 HZ to 20KHZ and the output impedance is just 22 ohms, so these will be very easy to drive and have some robust sound, even if you will not be pairing with an amp.
Now on to the sound quality, beginning as always with the soundstage. The stage is adequately rich and spacious with a nice amount of projection that extends just beyond the space of the shells here. This leaves plenty of room for good instrument separation and a very nice layer of frequency bands that keeps everything in its space and feeling audible, yet distinct. Even elements like big clusters of orchestral strings will have a distinct identity and space here.
The low end here feels satisfyingly robust, with the small size of the specialized micro dynamic driver not sacrificing any thump or weight here. If I had to describe its character, I would say that I found the sub bass to be just a tad rolled off in favor of a more prominent mid bass focus. Low end like bass guitars and electronic synths/kick drums were still hefty. This means overall low end frequencies have a good amount of clarity and articulation, it just won’t be the growliest IEM you’ve ever tried.
As you might expect given the driver set up of this unit, the mid range frequencies are really the area where the Freya shines the most. They are given a bit of a forward push here which really accents and brings out crips, fine details in rhythm section instruments and vocals.
In something like Rose Colored Boy by Paramore, which features lots of busy mid range electric guitar parts along with some synths and edgy female vocals, each of these elements asserts itself in a way that is pronounced but maintains a really pleasant balance and mixed interlay between them. Material that is heavily overdriven or distorted may peak out too much here, but in most cases it was a great quality to the signature that I really enjoyed.
In line with this bold quality of the moods, the high end is a little softer here and seeks to smoothly round out the top of the frequency range. The quality is generally very airy as opposed to something more high impact. There’s still a great amount of fidelity and presence of detail, but those looking for a strong sense of sparkly extension may find upper range vocals and instrumental touches to be a touch too ephemeral and open.
If there’s one thing that a unit named the Freya needs to achieve, it is beauty, and there’s no question as to Kinera’s success in this regard. This is a truly unique and aesthetically striking unit that also delivers a detailed and pleasant signature sure to please fans of hybrid units.
These will be great for you if
- you like the one of a kind design
- you like a great mid range prominence and definition
These may not be for you if
- the size of the housing is a deal breaker
- you want a more explicitly emphasized bass
Get your Kinera Freya IEM at Audio46 today!