When I encountered See Audio‘s Kaguya IEM, it already had big shoes to fill. Having reviewed their highly impressive Neo model, I knew the brand was capable of creating a pretty impressive listening experience. The Kaguya’s dazzling looks quickly pulled me in before I even had a chance to try them on, and I wondered whether these could measure up to their $1,399 price tag. As I pressed play on the first song, my hopes were high.
What’s in the Box
- See Audio Kaguya
- Pelican 1010 Micro Case with Clip
- 3.5mm to 1/4” converter
- 3.5mm female to dual 3.5mm male converter
- Cleaning brush
Look and Feel
The Kaguya are yet another stunning IEM from See Audio. These have a translucent lavender body with an opalescent on design on the back. Paired with their gold lettering and sleek shape, the Kaguya carry themselves accordingly with their price tag. Their molded shape makes for a comfortable fit that is secure while making minimal contact with the ears. Most listeners should have no problem getting these to settle in and get a snug, firm fit.
The Kaguya contain 8 Sonion drivers per ear, 4 electrostatic and 4 balanced armature. These drivers are arranged in a three-way frequency division, with the balanced armature drivers split equally between the low and mid frequencies and the electrostatic drivers used for the highs. They use a 6-N OCC Litz silver-plated cable.
These have a frequency response of 20Hz-40kHz and an impedance of 28Ohms
Similar to See Audio’s Neo, the Kaguya has highly realistic, intimate imaging. The live, in-person feel created by their organic layering and thorough sound separation makes for a captivating listen, sure to bring some new life and space to even the most “perfect” mixes. The Kaguya’s width extends far past the narrower walls a typical IEM offers. Its soundstage does a great job of creating an immersive sound that utilizes reverb, room sound, and background elements to produce a large sense of ambience and engulfment.
The Kaguya may not be a distinctly bassy IEM, in that it will not give a huge boost to the low end. However, it has a noticeable fullness to its bass along with the ability to reach further down the spectrum when presented with heavier compositions and sub frequencies. I’ve been coming back to Bjork’s bass-tactic “All is Full of Love” for many IEM’s low end, and while the Kaguya doesn’t take the more rumbling approach many others have, its contained depth was equally satisfying. These let the low end breath a bit, but definitely keep it at bay to ensure nothing else is getting swallowed. I’m not apposed to an IEM that lets the bass take the reins at times, but I equally appreciate those that consistently keep it in its place.
Listening to Tei Shi’s “A Kiss Goodbye,” the subtle bite of the Kaguya pushes the breathy, fluid vocal line forward just as far as is necessary to gain extra present without over-exciting the mix. Underlying the vocals, the song’s percussion groove is carved out and defined in a way that makes it more apparent, with a gratifying pop. The Kaguya’s midrange is extremely clean and well handled. The high mid is slightly boosted, just enough to add some extra recognition in the 1-2kHz range without any resonance or metallic texture. The low mid is lighter on its feet, with its warmed up timbre lightly blanketing the low frequencies.
The Kaguya’s definitely a bright IEM, giving us a distinct gloss and shine to most tracks, especially those already offering it some substantial high end material to work with. Details and textural elements will be much more apparent on this IEM. Listening to First Aid Kit’s “Waitress Song,” the strumming sound of the guitar, shakers, top end of the snare, and breathiness of vocals are all enhanced. The brightness Kaguya has retains a smooth, silky character despite its noticeable extenuation. I’d recommend this IEM for those looking for a brighter sound that stays far away from any sort of hissing.
The Kaguya furthers my great impression of See Audio. It delivers on all fronts of the luxurious, fine-tuned sound one would expect at this price point, and never seems overwhelmed by less conventional compositions. Its ability to bring realism and extreme immersion to each song is something hard to achieve, but See Audio seems to have done it here.
You can purchase See Audio’s Kaguya at Audio46