Kiwi Ears Quintet Review: One of My Favourites

Pros: Separation and Layering, Tonality of the mids, Soundstage, Punchy lows, Airy Highs, Snug Fit, Reliable Build Quality

Cons: Can get a little tiring with the forwardness of the highs, Vocals

Driver Setup: 1DD + 2BA + 1 Planar + 1 PZT In-Ear Monitor

Price: US$219


Disclaimer: The Kiwi Ears Quintet 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 Quintet. The Kiwi Ears Quintet is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.

I’m coming to review the Quintet right after the Quartet. The Quartet was a rather bass-heavy warm-sounding IEM that tries to be a jack of all trades at its relatively budget price point. The Quintet, based on price point, is a step up from the Quartet and switches things up in the driver configuration. It’s now a quad-brid with 4 different types of drivers in a relatively small package. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how it fares.


The packaging is almost identical to the Quartet. It also has the same zippered hard case encasing the 4-wire braided cable. The cable quality is a step up from the Quartet, aesthetically and build-quality-wise. The entire package isn’t anything to scream about at this price point, but I’m not too fussed about it, as long as the IEM and cable quality aren’t compromised.

Build Quality and Fit

The Quintet takes on a very different vibe from the design language of the Quartet. It has a very mature, serious and some may say boring design and colour palette. It has a matte silver metal plate sitting above a black resin shell that is shaped to fit snugly inside the ear canal. This is in contrast to the bright colours and pattern of the Quartet, seeming to symbolise the difference in tunings for the 2 IEMs. The fit of the Quintet sits much deeper and snugly than the Quartet, and while I really liked it, people who don’t like their IEMs to be too intrusive in the ear may want to take note.


Frequency Response of the Kiwi Ears Quintet


  • Lotoo Paw S2
  • Fiio BTR7

Music listened to

  • Eagles
  • Kanye West
  • Gryffin
  • INXS – Need You Tonight
  • McFly – Memory Lane
  • The Carpenters – A Kind of Hush
  • The Fat Rat
  • Kygo
  • etc


I found the bass very tastefully done. It was palatable in quantity and clean in the mid-bass. It packed a nice punch and a very crisp texture, which was how I usually like it done. It is by no means near bassy and some might find it a bit lacking in note weight due to the more subdued midbass. The sub-bass extension was nicely done and does a good job playing a supporting role to the rest of the sound, ensuring it provides enough warmth to support the rest of the tuning. Listening to songs by The Fat Rat, it had nice transients in the percussions and packed a nice punch to keep the music really fun without muddying the more complicated/busier sections.


I really enjoy the layering of the mids, and how the soundstage gives. The speed and clarity of the Quintet’s sound make the instruments come across very clearly. I especially enjoy listening to saxophone and guitar lines in songs by The Carpenters, The Eagles, and many other bands. Well-recorded tracks shine with the Quintet, especially those with multiple musical lines and layering of instruments. One weakness of the Quintet’s mids would be the vocals. Compared to some other tunings, the clinical nature of the Quintet’s tuning can make certain vocals come across as overly digital or “emotionless”. This is a bit of a nitpick on tonality though, The vocals do come through clear and forward enough and remain relatively enjoyable otherwise. One thing to note is for poorly recorded tracks, it would be very apparent on the Quintet.


Combining the Micro Planar Transducer (MPT) driver and the Piezoelectric (PZT) driver contributes to the unique timbre of the upper mids and the highs of the Quintet. What I really enjoyed was the preciseness of the highs and how the decay seems to be pinpoint accurate on the high hat hits and snares. The treble extension is executed very well, and the Quintet has very good microdetail retrieval and gives the percussive notes the air and sense of space. What is potentially the Achilles heel of the Quintet is that some might find it borderline sibilant. Personally, I find it to hit a sweet spot, but I can see that it can be a little fatiguing for longer listening and it wouldn’t be my first pic if I had a longer, chill, listening session.


The PZT driver is said to be able to add to the overall soundstage of the Quintet. I am unsure how much of it can be attributed to the specific inclusion of that driver but I do acknowledge that the staging on the Quintet is on the wider side for an IEM and I really enjoy it for that. It makes the sound much more sophisticated and less congested for the individual layers to shine.


The Kiwi Ears Quintet doesn’t attempt to win favours through flashy looks or gimmicks. Despite its stacked specs and a seeming mish-mash of drivers, everything comes together and plays its role as though in a real quintet, and puts out a beautiful, elegant, and precise performance where each member of the quintet plays their role perfectly and does not attempt to outshine each other. To complement the technical excellence of the Quintet, the price point is a rather attractive one in retrospect, proving to be an earphone with strong technical capabilities without breaking the bank. While it will not be everyone’s cup of tea with its crisp and sharp tuning, it was certainly something close to what I looked for in an IEM, and with reliable build quality and shell, topped off with an excellent fit, the Quintet easily makes it into my personal list of favourite IEMs.

Overall Grade: A+


Click HERE for our grading list for earphones

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *