The Imperial URD is the newest in Kinera’s line of popular In-Ear Monitors. Keeping with their theme of naming IEMs after figures from Norse Mythology, Kinera named these IEMs after Urd ( /Oord/ ), the being that dictated the fate of every living thing, including the gods themselves. For $620, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. Today I’m going to see if these IEMs live up to their celestial namesake.
What’s in the Box
- URD In-ear Monitors
- 78 2-Pin Cable
- 5 Sets FINAL Type E eartips
- 7 Sets Silicon eartips
- 2 Sets Foam eartips
- 3 Detachable adaptors (2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm)
- Clean Brush
- Storage Case
- User Manual
Look and Feel
Kinera stays consistent with its design aesthetic throughout its line of products, and URD is no exception. The packaging feels regal and features small phrases referencing its mythological inspiration. The IEMs themselves feel great and come with a wide range of eartips to suit your preference. While the design is a little flashy for my own liking, the housing of the URD looks like a work of art. The smooth 3D printed backplate has a pleasing color scheme with a marble, coastal design. Most importantly, they feel durable and built to last.
The URD utilizes 2 titanium crystal diaphragms for low end, Kinera’s specially tuned 11021 driver for midrange, and 2 Sonion new generation EST65DB01 composite double electrostatic units for treble. The Kinera 11021 is said to help act as an intermediary between frequencies, bringing out smooth vocals and bass response. By including a larger number of specialized drivers, Urd is able to achieve more sensitivity and clarity throughout the frequency range.
The URD has a frequency response of 5 Hz – 50 kHz and an impedance of 20 Ohms.
The soundstage on the URD feels great and has a nice sense of realism to it. The stereo field is smooth and inoffensive. That being said, a pleasant soundstage is a double-edged sword, and can sometimes sacrifice contrast in the original mix. While rarely noticeable, I felt that the soundstage could use more depth at times when the mix utilized wide/sharp panning for effect. This is all a matter of personal preference and depends on your intended listening experience; it’s like watching a horror movie vs. a comedy. Both have their merits and situation, but it really depends on what you like and desire at that moment. Overall, the soundstage is clear and provides a pleasant listening experience.
The low range on the URD adds to its smooth sound character. While mildly subdued, the lows are clear and provide a good foundation for the mix. Bass parts and kicks still hit when they need to and the sub character, while gentler, can still have a large presence when it needs to.
Kinera knew what it was doing with its 11021 midrange driver. The URD has a clear mid response that does a fantastic job of bringing out lead parts in mixes and compliments the highs and lows well. There’s a slight dip in the low mids that helps reduce the overall harshness and boominess of the sound. Kinera said the midrange driver was designed to be supportive for the sound, and I have to say I agree.
One of the most important aspects of having a smooth sound character is having a clear, inoffensive high range. The Imperial Urd manages to find this balance quite well. While some areas of the highs were noticeably cut to achieve this, I also never heard a single harsh high frequency over several mixes; that’s quite an impressive feat.
The Imperial URD was created with a sound character in mind and does a superlative job at tastefully achieving it. Listening on the URD was incredibly pleasant and brought out some great parts of my favorite tracks. While I think it could use the slightest bit more grit and dimension, it really comes down to your own preference. This is a great IEM for somebody looking to hear their music from a new perspective. One thing is for certain, Kinera has a wide range of what they’re able to accomplish sonically and knows exactly who they’re making it for.