Introduction

Lear Audio is a Hong Kong company that specializes in making handcrafted iems, be it in universal or custom form. They started since 2008 and have a variety of products. I would like to thank Lear Audio for the review unit of Kaleido. At the moment, you can purchase the Kaleido at https://www.lear-eshop.com/products/kaleido .

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Specifications

  • Driver Configuration: 2 Balanced Armature Drivers + 1 Dynamic Driver (7mm)
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 10 ohm
  • Sensitivity: 109dB@1mW

Unboxing & Accessories

The Kaleido comes in a black package with the words “LEAR Universal Fit In-Ear Monitor” printed at the front. At the top of the package, there is a sticker which shows the model name. After opening the package, you can see the iem and storage case. The storage case has a smooth exterior surface and its interior is made of soft rubber. It contains a silver plated copper MMCX cable. The accessories are limited.

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IEM Build & Design

The Kaleido shell is made up of acrylic and there is a smooth surface. On each of the faceplate, there is the LEAR logo printed on it in gold colour. The faceplate has colourful flakes. The shell is translucent dark blue. The nozzle is slightly angled with 2 bores. The Kaleido is light weight and I am able to fit it in my ears comfortably.

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Cable Build & Design

The cable is 4 core braided and it is made of silver plated copper. It uses MMCX connectors with a translucent housing. On the MMCX connectors, there are L & R markings to differentiate between left and right respectively. There is a memory wire area section in which the cable is enclosed in a transparent heat shrink tube. It is not very flexible due to the metal inside that helps to form the shape. The chin slider and y splitter are translucent. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated right angled with strain relief.

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Sound Analysis

Lows

The Kaleido has a moderate sub-bass extension and it is being extended with a smooth rumble. The extension may not be very deep but it is able to bring out the impact. The quantity is moderate and sufficient. Each bass note is being delivered with a slight weighted feel and the presence improves the dynamics. The punch is good without being too offensive. Bass texture is rendered with ease and there is a nice creamy feeling to it. The decay is rather quick and the attack is engaging. Moving on to the mid-bass, it operates in a laid back approach. The slam is being expressed in a soothing manner and there are no signs of aggression. The bass is captivating and it is relaxing to listen to.

Mids

The midrange operates in a smooth approach. The lower mids has a nice quantity to it and male vocals do not sound dry or hollow. It is being expressed with a good control and there is a lush feel. The upper mids has moderate forwardness and the mastery enables female vocals to be presented in a matured presentation. There is intimacy. The transparency of the midrange is moderate. There is definition with an apt standard of details retrieval. The midrange has a mellow feeling and vocals are delivered in a pleasant manner.

Highs

The treble is being extended moderately. There is no sibilance and harshness. The Kaleido’s treble does not have the greatest stretch but it showcases its control by preventing the treble from sounding aggressive. The smooth nature makes the treble soothing and results in a fatigue-free listening. The crisp is well presented. The sparkle is lacking. There is a good amount of air rendered and it helps to reduce the density. The details retrieval is moderate.

Soundstage

The Kaleido has a natural expansion to its stage and the width has a great magnitude. The depth is not very close in and there is a good amount of space rendered. Positioning of vocals and instruments is fairly accurate.

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Comparisons

Lear Kaleido vs iBasso IT03

The Kaleido has more sub-bass quantity than the IT03 and its sub-bass extension is less than the IT03. The IT03 is able to extend its sub-bass deeper and there is more punch to it. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more body to it and its slam is more weighted. The IT03 has the upper hand in terms of agility. Bass texture on the Kaleido is smoother and there is a soothing feeling. The bass decay on the IT03 is faster. The lower mids on the Kaleido has more body and it sounds fuller than the IT03. This benefits male vocals. The upper mids on the IT03 is more forward and clear. There is better details retrieval on the IT03. Kaleido expresses its upper mids in a more controlled manner. IT03 has more crisp and definition here while Kaleido has the edge in its mastery. Female vocals are more exciting on the IT03 and intimate on the Kaleido. For the treble section, the IT03 has more extension than the Kaleido with a greater amount of air rendered. There is significantly more sparkle on the IT03. The treble on the Kaleido is smoother. Lastly, Kaleido has a more natural expansion in its stage. IT03 has a greater magnitude. The depth on both is quite similar.

Lear Kaleido vs Oriveti New Primacy

The Kaleido has similar sub-bass quantity as the New Primacy and the extension on the New Primacy is greater. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more quantity and it is able to create a more impactful slam. The bass texture on the Kaleido is rendered with extra smoothness. Bass decay on the New Primacy is slightly quicker and with such agility, there is a quicker attack. The lower mids on the Kaleido has slightly more body than the New Primacy and this helps to prevent hollowness in male vocals. There is a good execution of the midrange on both. The upper mids on the New Primacy is slightly more forward with better definition and crisp while the Kaleido approaches it in a conservative style. The transparency of midrange is higher on the New Primacy with extra cleanliness. The treble on the Kaleido has more body and the New Primacy extends its treble better. The amount of air rendered is fairly similar. Treble on the New Primacy is brighter. There is no sibilance and harshness. Lastly, the New Primacy has a more natural expansion and the magnitude of stage width is similar. The depth on the Kaleido is not too close in with a greater amount of space.

Lear Kaleido vs Oriolus Forsteni

The Kaleido has more sub-bass quantity than the Forsteni and the extension on the Forsteni has a greater magnitude. There is more sub-bass body in the Kaleido which helps to give a weighted feel. The Forsteni is clinical in this aspect. The mid-bass on the Kaleido has more quantity and the Forsteni has a tighter slam to it. Bass texture on the Kaleido is smoother with finesse while bass decay on the Forsteni is quicker with agility. The Kaleido is more musical to listen to. The lower mids on the Kaleido has more body than the Forsteni and it is able to do male vocals justice. Male vocals are expressed nicely without sounding dry. The upper mids on the Forsteni is more forward with extra crisp. However, Forsteni tackles female vocals better and it sounds sweeter. The treble on the Forsteni has a better extension with more clarity while Kaleido has the edge in the body and mastery. Forsteni is more prone to sibilance and harshness.  Lastly, both are quite similar in its stage width and the Kaleido is more natural in the expansion. The depth on the Forsteni is less close in with more space.

Conclusion

The Kaleido is a hybrid iem that is able to produce smooth yet impactful bass. The midrange and treble takes on a velvety approach which ensures a fatigue-free listening. It operates with lushness. The Kaleido has a very beautiful design and the fit is good. Overall, the Lear Kaleido showcases great musicality.

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