A few weeks ago, I waxed poetic over the sound of the affordable Kinera Sif, a $37 earphone that delivers huge sound. Today I’m taking a look at the most expensive Kinera earphone, the flagship Odin. Retailing for a not-too-cheap $799, the Odin promises a clear and realistic listening experience. But can this earphone deliver?
Kinera Odin Review
The Odin comes in a hexagonal box with a bunch of accessories. A carrying case, 1/4” stereo adapter plug, and cleaning tool are all included. You even get ten pairs of eartips (including five pairs of Final E-Type tips).
Freeing the Odin from its cardboard prison, I’m impressed by the solid good looks of this earphone. Each earpiece has been flecked with reflective bits of metal and features a glossy layer of acrylic.
Within the earpieces themselves, Kinera has managed to stuff 8 micro-BA drivers. A rather wide nozzle compliments this setup, attenuating the sound as it travels to the ear.
An included cable joins to the earphones by way of a standard non-recessed 2-pin connection. At a standard 4 ft (1.2 m), this cable features a rugged braided design that terminates in a 3.5 mm plug.
In terms of size, the Kinera Odin feels a little on the large side. Roughly mimicking the size of the Empire Ears models in overall size, the Odin may not be an ideal match for small ears. However, comfort-wise, I have no complaints. In my own ears, the Odin sits quite comfortably, while also offering a good deal of isolation.
In the lows, the Kinera Odin offers a real sense of depth – one that allows drums and bass to hit with impact and emotion. Despite this punch, though, an undeniable level of clarity or precision remains present. The resultant sound marries a tactile sense of bass to a highly detailed and resolving low end. While not he most colorful or emotive sound I’ve ever heard, the Odin still sports the clearest low end you’ve ever heard in an earphone below $1000.
Here the Odin doubles down on its detailed presentation, leaning slightly forward. Instrumentation and vocals sound fantastic, with a meatiness and fullness to the sound that seems surprising in such an inexpensive earphone. Complimenting the sound here, the mids remain clean, too, without compression or distortion. While it might sound just a little sharp, the Odin’s midrange still delivers a ton of contrast, complimenting the rest of the frequency range and giving this earphone one hell of a sound.
The high end on the Kinera Odin sounds fantastic. Like other Kinera models, there’s a little something extra at play here, giving notes a particular shine or sparkle that other earphones just seem to lack. Instrumentation sounds impressively detailed, but female vocals seem to take on a life of their own. This iconic sound gives the Odin a solid edge when it comes to pop, rock, and electronica, or any track where female vocals figure prominently.
With a good sense of depth and some sense of space, the soundstage on the Kinera Odin isn’t bad at all. While nowhere near the open-sound you’d find on the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro or the new Grado White Headphones, the soundstage remains impressive for an earphone. With simple compositions especially, the Odin does a good job of putting enough space between individual instruments and vocalists. However, on more complicated tracks (like symphonies or the odd orchestral suite), this soundstage can still feel just a touch too narrow.
The more I listen to the Kinera Odin, the more impressed I am with the earphone. While not the equivalent of something like the new, luscious, seductive Fourte Noir by 64 Auidio, the Odin gives a good account for itself. This earphone proves a “flagship” designation doesn’t stem so much from money as it does sound quality, and there’s no clearer or more realistic-sounding alternative at the Odin’s price point.
Easy to drive, you won’t need an amplifier with the Odin. Even on an iPhone, I doubt you’ll push volume higher than 30-50%.
If you’re looking for clear, clean, fun Hi-Fi listening at an affordable price, pick up the Kinera Odin ASAP. At $799, you simply cannot find a better earphone with this sound profile at this price.
However, if you’re a diehard basshead who wants to feel the molars rattle when the beat drops, skip the Odin and buy the Empire Ears Bravado. At $599, this earphone delivers WAY more bass, though you can expect a drop in detail if you’re coming from the Odin.
For most other listening tastes, including folks who want a ton of accuracy or a bit of mid-high emphasis, the Kinera Odin clobbers its competition. Due to the sheer amount of detail here, it’s the perfect earphone for folks who tend to be a little persnickety when it comes to sound quality, or who just want the most detailed sound possible for under $1000.
While not as cheap as other Kinera models, the Odin delivers a mesmerizing performance for a $799 earphone. Sure, more expensive alternatives could give you a better sound, but for under $1000, nothing can touch a sound this sumptuous. Our take? Snatch one of these up double-quick if you’re in the market for affordable hi-fi.
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