Kiwi Ears Cadenza Review

The all-new $35 Kiwi Ears Cadenza is a stellar value and it's going to be another one of those products that makes me re-think the price to performance bands. There's been a few recent incredible great value IEMs like the 7Hz Salnotes Zero, the Moondrop Chu, and the CCA CRA, and this Kiwi Ears set goes head to head with them with a similarly good sound, but with my favorite all-around package.

First off, a few disclaimers. The product was delivered to me from Linsoul for review, and can be round at Secondly, the Kiwi Ears brand was tuned by a member in the community I frequently discuss things with, and we do share similar taste in headphones.

The Cadenza stands out from the other budget IEM favorites I mentioned above because it has the best cable of the bunch and its easily the best looking and best fitting in-ear of the crop. The cable is a simple black braided cable, but its simplicity and usability make it easily top CCA's CRAppy cable, and the Chu's funky thing, and the Zero's basic cable. The Cadenza cable also terminates in a nice looking L-shaped 3.5mm connector.

The Cadenza comes in 4 color options and the one I have here is the purple variant. Purple, being my favorite color, gives me a bit of bias, but they all share the same styling. The resin shells are very small, lightweight, and easily fit in my ears and never become a hindrance. They barely feel like they are in there.

Kiwi Ears went with a single 10mm beryllium dynamic driver on this one, and I wouldn't be surprised if its the same driver that is being used across many IEMs released in the past year. The tuning is a balanced U-Shaped profile that isn't unique to the products that came out in 2022, and follows my preference target pretty well with an extra elevation in the bass range.

In general, its a smooth and easy-to-listen product that I feel works well with many genres, and many will find it pleasant and enjoyable, I think. From a tonality standpoint, and especially at $35, there's very little to complain about, as it has very nice bass levels, smooth mids, and a nicely balanced treble range that extends to about 12.5KHz which is fine for most everything. There's no big cliff drop-off at 8 to 10 KHz that you'd fine with single dynamic drivers and budget IEMs of the past.

The frequency response isn't much different, if any, than other 10mm dynamic drivers as of late, like the Tin Hifi C2 and C3 and everything else they've released recently. But the comfort of this IEM makes it stand out. And for some reason, I do find this one to behave a little smoother, and a little more open, and perhaps that has to do with fitment within my ear.

One other thing that I think the Cadenza also does pretty well for this price range is that it has a good amount of punch and slam, which is partially helped by its elevated bass, but also that it just hits well on kick drums, and there's a good amount of decay with each hit. It can sound slow and sluggish at times, but I still find it pretty pleasing for something this cheap and this well tuned. These are things I did not necessarily always get with the Tin products with the similar driver setup and frequency response.

Final Thoughts

The Cadenza is another solid release from Kiwi Ears and is priced just right at only $35 USD. There's been a plethora of budget in-ears released with a 10mm "Be-coated" dynamic driver in the past few months. Most sound pretty similar, so choosing one based on other factors could make a better determination. The Cadenza has the right fit and looks, one of the better cables included, and just overall smoothest sound of the ones I've tried recently that is becomes an easy recommendation for these U-Shaped single DD units.