I have had my eyes on Kinera’s sister brand Queen Of Audio for some time now. Even though I have enjoyed many of their IEMs in the past, like the Mojito and Vesper, some of their output like the Affinity and Barbados Sunrise haven’t impressed me quite as much. Their newly released Margarita has a ton of promise, being QoA’s highest-priced IEM yet at $549. Does it fit well in the mid-fi market with so much competition to be had?
What You Get
- One pair of QoA Margarita in-ear monitors.
- One Modular 6N high purity silvered coated copper.
- Modular Adapter 4.4mm, 3.5mm, 2.5mm
- Seven pairs of Custom ear tips.
- Two pairs of Foam tips.
- PU Case with inner velvet protection.
- User Manual
Look and Feel
One of the things that Queen of Audio does better than a lot of IEM brands is eye-catching style. Every model is tied together by the same theme, which is booze. It makes perfect sense that they would go for a Margarita theme eventually, and now they have gotten to that point. There are two different variations of the Margarita, a gold and black version. My unit happened to be the black version, which didn’t fit with the theme as much as the gold seems to. Otherwise, this is a great design that fits well in QoA’s catalog. Even their simplest artistry pops out more than other IEMs. The housing is also the perfect size to feel nice and comfortable when worn. Other models like the Mojito feel a bit too big, but the Margarita has no issue sitting well with good support.
Inside of the Margarita is a hybrid system that combines dynamic, electrostatic, and balanced armature drivers. QoA opts to use their own custom BAs, combines with Sonion estats and a single 7mm dynamic unit.
- Impedance: 61 ohms
- Sensitivity: 109dB±2db
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-50kHz
Queen of Audio does a lot with a soundstage for their lower-priced IEMs, so I was excited to hear what they could do with a more mid-budget product. The Margarita provided me with exactly the sort of spatial imaging I wanted, delivering a clear separation between elements and a broader sense of dimension. It took me a couple of tracks for me to grasp its full potential, but I think it was all about hitting the right spot for the Margarita. This is a sound signature that seeks to envelop you while sticking to closer proximity to your headspace.
The Margarita isn’t as wide as other IEMs in this price range, but it makes up for it with its depth and spherical presentation. This soundstage is nowhere near linear, as the imaging encompasses a larger size, increasing the scale of each track. It also results in an effective wrap-around sensation for a more semi-holographic presentation of the music. Tracks with defined ambiance and background effects are well-highlighted on the Margarita, with selections like “Toshima Neighborhoods” by Nathan Kawanishi being a standout in my testing, offering controlled background noise that applies an immersive foundation to the low-fi beats.
Having listened to a majority of Queen of Audio’s IEM library, I think low-end warmth has been a common occurrence in their sound signatures. The Margarita deviates from this response a bit by giving you a tighter bass, but with significant power behind it. It carries a consistent weight throughout its tone, heavily leaning on the sub-bass for greater extension. There’s more depth to this bass than in any other Queen of Audio IEM and operates with a strict sense of control. Bass-heads will still enjoy this one though, as the Margarita has the largest shape in the frequency response, providing a gripping bedrock for the rest of the frequency response to propagate.
While they might not possess the same level of authority as the lows, the midrange is exceptionally resolving. Its frequency content is clean and natural, with vocals and instrumentals appearing with an air of realism. There’s a more equal level of gain dispersed throughout the response, putting each region of the midrange on a more even sound field. This helps bring a good level of definition to each individualized element, and they feel like they fall exactly in the place they need to be to showcase all the detail that the Margarita can provide.
The Margarita sharpens up for its treble, putting forth slight aggression and peakiness. I never found its extension harsh, but there are brighter spots to this timbre that put considerable emphasis on certain high-end textures. At its best, the highs can provide some sparkle that heightens the overall musicality of the Margarita, with the added drive giving the tone a more intense snap.
Queen Of Audio has a lot to offer in their selection of IEMs, and the Margarita might be one of their best. The soundstage and bass offer the biggest improvement from the brand yet, heightening the immersion and clarity of its sound signature. Combine that with a fantastic design and cosmetic flourish, and the Margarita becomes a mid-fi IEM to keep your eyes on.
|· Dimensional soundstage
· Tight and powerful bass
· Clean mids
· Quality cable with balanced adapters
· Stylish design
|· Highs can be peaky at times|
The Queen Of Audio Margarita is available at Audio46.
Compare the ranking of various headphones, earbuds and in-ear monitors using our tools.
Discuss this, and much more, over on our forum.---
MAJORHIFI may receive commissions from retail offers.