The Kiwi Ears Cadenza is a single dynamic driver IEM utilizing a large 10mm Beryllium diaphragm driver. The diaphragms of dynamic drivers are the moving membranes that produce the sound driven by magnets within the driver. Thus, the thinner, lighter, and stiffer the membranes are, the faster responses the diaphragm can achieve, resulting in higher audio resolution and clarity across the frequency range.
The Cadenza features a 2-pin connector. It comes standard with a 4-core braided copper cable with a 3.5mm single-ended termination. The quality is acceptable for the price. It’s soft enough for handling, but a little on the thin side. The connectors are metal which is good.
We can see that Kiwi Ears tried to follow the Harman target curve for the Cadenza, how successful though is for debate.
The bass frequencies have a quite simple delivery in the sound signature. The timbre provides the goods in terms of clarity and heft, making for a colorful tone that textures the frequencies with a considerable amount of detail. Bass guitars receive a special highlight, with a booming extension that is more focused so as not to cause muddiness. You can feel the instruments pulsate outward, but it is kept to a tight space that results in a more articulate bass range.
While I don’t believe there to be any recession from the mids, they do lack a bit of drive. This makes for a well-presented but a little too easy-going for my tastes. Although for a $35 IEM, it still feels like the mids are doing more than they should. Instrumentals were resolving and pleasantly detailed, offering clean acoustic and electric guitar tones. Vocals also have an intimate resonance, helped by a significant lift in the mid-bass that gives male performances more depth.
The treble region mostly takes the midrange approach to relaxed but not recessed. It’s actually pretty applicable how the high-end response never seems to dip into dullness, as the frequencies still come off with a balanced tone. They’re mainly flat, in a way that presents evenness across the sound signature. They receive even less gain than the mids, but still, provide good accentuation in some areas.
It would be a little ridiculous to expect anything substantial from the soundstage of a $35 IEM. That’s why the Cadenza is so reliable as a budget IEM. Its ability to deliver a stereo field that is wide, layered and dimensional appears completely uncompromised. A little uncomplicated, but it doesn’t need to be in order to give you a spacious image. Instrumentals showcase a fine level of positioning in the left and right channels, displaying linear patterns of accuracy that are still enjoyable. In terms of depth and height, the imaging doesn’t exactly deliver, but it retains a clear presentation of its elements that are easy to localize.
You really can’t go wrong with a bargain IEM like the Cadenza. It gives you a clear and consistent sound profile that is so easy to just sit back and enjoy. Some detail may be missing in a few regions, but its response is more than what you pay for. If you’re looking for an IEM on a stricter budget, I think the Cadenza is one of the safest choices to bet on.