Driver Setup: 12mm Planar Driver
Disclaimer: The Kiwi Ears Melody was provided to us at no charge courtesy of Linsoul. However, this was done in understanding I was to give my honest thoughts and opinions of the Melody. The Kiwi Ears Melody is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.
The Kiwi Ears Melody is the company’s first planar earphones. Kiwi Ears also mentioned that tuning-wise, the Melody is quite deviant. Straying away from “the normally neutral tonal balance” in their other IEMs, the Melody was declared to be “truly a bass lover’s dream”. It seems like the mission they had with the Melody was to push the Planar driver to deliver the maximum quality and quantity it could at the reasonable price point of US$90. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Accessories (Score: 6.5/10)
This time from Kiwi Ears, you won’t be getting any cases or pouches. However, the cable is a nice 4-wire braided cable with thick cores. That is pretty much it besides the standard silicone tips.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 7.5/10)
For a relatively budget set, the build quality is quite decent with a metallic faceplate and a resin shell. The design is very bland and understated but it’s not something I would pick on. The simple design of the shell helps give it a predictable and comfortable fit as well. The nozzle is a little on the short side so for a deeper snug fit you might want to opt for your own eartips with longer and firmer stems.
Sound (Score: 8.0/10)
Frequency Response of the Kiwi Ears Melody
- Lotoo Paw S2
- Fiio BTR7
- SMSL M200 – Schiit Magnius
Music listened to
- BORNS – Blue Madonna
- Kanye West
- Michael Buble – To Be Loved
- The Eagles
- Cory Asbury
The standout of the Melody has got to be the bass. It’s a very interesting approach to a planar earphone considering my experiences with the Timeless. The bass on the Melody is thick, deep, and unashamedly boosted. There is quite a significant amount of rumble as well. The detail is also being delivered as much as possible, and generally not considered muddy (for its price). Bass lines are rather well defined and pretty satisfying to be able to hear a new take on some of the songs in my library.
The mids are a little suppressed and pushed back in the overall sound signature. The vocals sound okay but have little character or texture. The mids certainly aren’t the star of the show. Details from the midrange melodies still manage to come through quite well and the Melody is technically competent to handle complicated mids. If you are looking for an earphone to do more in the upper mids or mid-focused then perhaps you might need to look elsewhere, for example, maybe something like the 7Hz Sonus.
The treble is present and extends well, though I would say it plays very well into the sound to not give off any hint of sibilance, harshness or thinness. This helps build a tuning that bass lovers would be able to listen to for hours on end. There is enough sparkle in the highs, that come through in the cymbals and high hats for the sound to not be too dull.
One of my bigger gripes of the melody would be the tonality and timbre of the sound. Due to the bass-boosted tuning, it definitely is not the most natural-sounding pair of earphones. The weighed-down mids were quite a bit of a disappointment for me as well, though this may very well be an issue of personal preference. Detail retrieval is on par with what one would expect at this price range.
I was quite intrigued with what Kiwi Ears Melody would do with their first Planar earphone, and with my previous experiences with Planar earphones, I must admit I was taken by surprise. The tuning of the Melody was certainly not what I was expecting. It took me a while to get used to it, and all things considered, I would say don’t come into the Melody thinking you want a planar earphone. Instead, I would say to explore if the tuning of the Melody would suit you.
Objectively, I wouldn’t recommend the Melody straight up for everyone as it seems to be a rather niche preference, and things like detail retrieval, soundstage, and tonality aren’t stellar enough for it to compete at such a saturated price point. The Melody is a niche take on the planar driver and for under $90, it does quite a good job at delivering value for the basshead or bass lovers, for whom there may not be that many other options currently that deliver good quality and detail.
Overall Grade: B
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