Na Na or Hell Yeah?
PROS: Premium build quality, attractive shell design, W-shaped vibrant and energetic signature, micro-detail retrieval, layering, very good unboxing experience, good quality accessories, different types of good quality stock ear tips.
CONS: Slightly brighter than neutral treble tilts the signature towards colder detail oriented tonality, slightly lesser than required bass slam and rumble, dip in the important 3kHz region of upper-midrange.
Kinera was established in 2011 as YuTai Electronic Acoustics in Dongguan, China. They developed the world’s first high resistance 5mm micro dynamic speaker for military hearing aids. In 2013, they began mass manufacturing balanced armature driver and became an internationally and locally renowned supplier of drivers. In 2014 till 2015, Yutai Electronic Acoustics has developed a number of patents for various driver technologies such as bone conduction. In 2016, they released the first hybrid driver IEM BD005 under the “ Kinera “ brand. Since then they’ve released several DD, BA, hybrid and tri-brid IEMs.
Links – Kinera Nanna 2.0 ($949, Official website)
- 2 Sonions EST + 1 Mids Sonions BA + 7mm Dynamic Driver
- Impedance: 60 ohms
- Sensitivity: 110dB±2db
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-50kHz
- 6N OCC with Silver Plated Cable
- 4.4mm Termination Plug
Included in the box.
- One pair of Kinera Imperial Nanna In-ear monitors.
- One Modular 6N OCC with Silver Plated Cable.
- Five pairs of Final Audio Type E ear tips.
- Six pairs ( RS-B45 & JH-FY009-B ) of Kinera Custom ear tips.
- Two pairs of Foam tips.
- Premium Genuine Leather Storage Case.
- 4.4mm to 3.5mm & 2.5mm adapter.
- Cleaning Brush.
- User Manual.
Different types of Eartips included in the box.
- Final Type E Eartips : Enhance bass.
- Foam Eartips : Rich vocals and deeper bass.
- JH-FY009-B Balanced Eartips ( Blue Colour ) : More balanced sound.
- RS-B45 Vocal Eartips ( Black Colour ) : Presents the original ‘intended sound of IEM.
Packaging and Build Quality.
Nanna 2.0’s packaging and unboxing experience is one of the nicest and a league above most IEMs in this price segment. Just the design, the way the bottom box separates and slides down slowly, the way the IEM is placed, Final-E ear tips, jack adapters and case are laid out in the box – everything is designed very tastefully to give the buyer a sense of luxury and money well spent.
Build wise, it’s a standard resin build with an attractive faceplate and venting for the dynamic driver. It’s perfectly in line with the premium build of IEMs in this price segment. Even though the nozzle is resin too and does not have a lip for the ear tips, it holds the ear tips quite well until the tips themselves get greasy with ear oil and start slipping out. A quick wash with soap for the ear tips and a quick wipe with diluted isopropyl alcohol on the shells has the nozzle locking in the tips perfectly again.
Cable – The Kinera Nanna 2.0 comes with a 6N OCC with silver plated cable. It’s not really as premium as the UP-OCC cables like the ones from brands like Effect Audio, Satin Audio and the likes but still one of the more premium cables included with IEMs under $-1000. It’s soft and supple with minimal microphonics.
Fit and Comfort.
Nanna 2.0 has a very comfortable fit but since its nozzles are slightly on the slimmer side, I have to use large ear tips for a nice snug fit. The cable does not have much downward pull and all of it combined make Nanna 2.0 an IEM that remains comfortable for hours on the end, so much that it almost disappears in the ears.
Graphs are measured using an IEC60318-4 (IEC711) setup. You can compare all the graphs on my IEM Graph Database here – Animagus Squiglink.
Summary – Nanna 2.0 has a slightly bright leaning W-shaped signature with a character that goes for a detailed, vibrant and clean presentation of music with a slightly colder and leaner tonality. It has a 6dB bass shelf, neutral lower-midrange, dipped twin peak upper-midrange with one peak at 2kHz and the other at 5kHz, slightly north of neutral lower-treble and fairly neutral upper-treble with good extension till 20kHz. Because of treble leaning tilt, it is the kind of IEM that you don’t need to boost a lot of volume to hear the details and dynamics and sounds resolving and detailed even at low volume levels.
Let’s dig in deeper…
Bass – Nanna 2.0 has a very well shaped 6dB bass-shelf but since its lower-treble sparkles slightly above neutral, the focus of the signature leans a bit towards the right. As a result, the bass has very clean, precise and detailed presentation but takes a step back and plays a supporting role instead. Slam and rumble are slightly on the neutral side, which might come off on the reserved side for lovers of bass but where Nanna 2.0 impresses is with its bass attack, speed and precision.
Midrange – Nanna 2.0 has very clean and neutral lower-midrange presentation with a forward, dipped upper-midrange with twin peaks, one at 2kHz and the other at 5kHz and with pinna gain around 9dB. Peaking primary peak at 2kHz and dipping the 3kHz region, which is around where the pinna gain should peak, leads to a slightly different tonality than absolutely natural and accurate. It can lead to Nanna 2.0 sounding slightly hollow when you first hear after an IEM that has a more accurate pinna gain peak but the ears adapt to its tonal character quite quickly. It’s a bit like how it is in the 64 Audio U12t but with a leaner presentation. However Nanna 2.0 presents instruments nice and forward because of the 9dB gain in the upper-midrange peaks and its upper-midrange presentation adds up with the rest of its FR leading to a signature than is a slightly coloured take on songs than reference.
Treble – Nanna 2.0 has a slightly north of neutral lower-treble and mid-treble which adds in sparkle, some sizzle and is the primary reason behind Nanna 2.0’s vibrant signature. It’s the kind that adds vibrancy, energy and excitement into the signature without adding in any sharpness or sibilance. But it’s also the kind that brings all the details forward and will not shy away from revealing sibilance if the song’s mix itself has it. Its upper-treble on the other hand is more neutral with good extension till 20kHz.
Technical performance – Nanna 2.0’s goes for a forward, vibrant, revealing and detailed presentation. Its brighter and sparklier than neutral signature greatly helps with micro-detail retrieval and perception of good resolution and layering. It has a decent soundstage but it’s not the widest or largest I’ve heard in the sub-$1000 price segment. It’s slightly on the intimate side when compared to IEMs like CustomArt’s FIBAE 5.
CustomArt FIBAE 5 (1DD + 2BA + 2 Planar).
F5 has a W-shaped leaning V-shaped signature whereas Nanna 2.0 has a bright leaning but a more neutral W-shaped signature. F5 a much stronger bass boost of 14dB that boosts not only the bass but also the 250-700Hz of lower-midrange. As a result, F5 has stronger rumble and punch as well as a slightly fuller lower-midrange presentation which presents with a bit more body than neutral. Nanna 2.0 on the other hand is more neutral with a cleaner and leaner lower-midrange presentation. Both IEMs have a dip in the most important 2.5-4kHz region of pinna gain but Nanna 2.0 has more gain in the upper-midrange and presents instruments a bit more forward as a result. Nanna 2.0 is slightly sparklier in lower-treble but F5 is much sizzlier with bigger boosting in the mid-treble region. F5 is also airier in upper-treble. F5 has a bigger soundstage that is quite a bit wider than Nanna 2.0. Both IEMs have very good micro-detail retrieval, layering and resolution but Nanna 2.0 comes across slightly colder and clinical and F5 a bit more coloured and fun.
ItsFit Fusion (1DD + 2BA + Magnetostatic).
They both fall under the same umbrella of W-shaped signature but are quite different in how they sound. Fusion has slightly more sub-bass rumble, mid-bass punch as well as slightly fuller sounding lower-midrange. Nanna 2.0 is a bit more neutral with a slightly reserved bass presentation. Even though Fusion has a dip in the 1-2.5kHz region of upper-midrange, its primary peak is around the more accurate 3kHz region whereas Nanna 2.0’s is at 2kHz. Both IEM’s midrange is a coloured take on a proper forward upper-midrange presentation but neither of them are reference accurate tonally. They’re both coloured and fun takes on pinna gain. Both of them are sparkly and sizzlier than neutral but Nanna 2.0 comes across slightly brighter. When it comes to technical performance, Fusion has a wider and deeper soundstage with slightly better imaging, left to right separation and layering but both have them are equally good at micro-detail retrieval and overall resolution otherwise.
Softears RSV (5BA).
Both RSV and Nanna 2.0 are tuned to be more neutral sounding monitors where both do something or the other better than the other. RSV has more sub-bass rumble, mid-bass punch as well as slightly fuller sounding lower-midrange. Nanna 2.0 has a more neutral bass shelf as well as lower-midrange. RSV has the more accurate pinna gain with its singular peak peaking at the accurate point – 3kHz. Nanna 2.0 on the other hand sounds more coloured in this region because of its twin peaks and a dip in the important 3kHz region. Post that, Nanna 2.0 sounds brighter, sparklier and sizzlier than RSV because of boosting in the 7-13kHz region whereas RSV sounds warmer. Nanna 2.0 has better treble extension up top. Both have similar soundstage width and depth boundaries but Nanna 2.0 has a leaner tonality and RSV, slightly fuller. As a result, Nanna 2.0 sounds cleaner and more open while RSV has a musical and romantic character. Nanna 2.0 gives the perception of better micro-detail retrieval and resolution because of its brighter character.
Kinera Nanna 2.0 offers a really good package and is an IEM for fans of brighter leaning W-shaped signatures. The packaging and unboxing experience are unparalleled in this price range and it even comes with premium Final-E tips. It has a slightly leaner signature with slightly north of neutral boosted lower and mid-treble adds in nice sparkle and sizzle tastefully and is one of the better Sonion EST driver implementations I’ve heard. The only downside I can see is it not having as much bass rumble and slam for lovers of bass, which can be a pro or con depending on the side of the spectrum you fall on. So, if you’re in the market looking for a hybrid/tri-brid with a clean signature that prioritises vibrancy and detail retrieval, give Nanna 2.0 a shot!
Gear used for testing and review.
- DAPs – iBasso DX240 | HiBy R6 III
- Phone – OnePlus 7 Pro with iBasso DC03 Pro, Tanchjim Space and HiBy FC4.
Artists I like and listen to.
- Rock – Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, Daughtry, Green Day, MuteMath, X Ambassadors, Dave Matthews Band, Vertical Horizon, Our Lady Peace, Lifehouse, Fall Out Boy, Breaking Benjamin, Muse, ACDC, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Biffy Clyro, I Am Giant, Normandie, Paramore, Slash & Guns N Roses, 3 Doors Down.
- Pop Rock – John Mayer, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, James Bay, Hunter Hayes, Niall Horan, Keith Urban, The Bros Landreth, Bryan Adams.
- Progressive Rock/Metal – Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Karnivool, Tool, Dead Letter Circus, Periphery, Lamb of God.
- Pop/Soft Rock – Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, The Script, Gavin James, Magic Man, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Oasis, Panic! At the Disco, TwentyOne Pilots.
- EDM – Chainsmokers, Zedd.