MOONDROP KATO IEMs + Kinera Leyding Cable Review 8

MOONDROP KATO IEMs + Kinera Leyding Cable Review

Packaging & Accessories »



I am still new to the world of in-ear monitors (IEMs), and there clearly are more new brands popping up now than ever before, especially as it pertains to the so-called world of ChiFi/Chinese HiFi. It can be quite hard to make a name for yourself thus, but MOONDROP clearly managed to do so. The company is just under a decade old now, and a combination of clever marketing backed by products that get recommended by media and paying customers alike means it is quickly becoming a brand to consider. There are even rumors of a set of MOONDROP headphones in the making, so the company has lofty expansion goals, too. I've been wanting to test MOONDROP IEMs for a while now, and it was a happy coincidence that HiFiGo, a similarly new audio distributor, got in touch about the all-new MOONDROP KATO. Thanks to HiFiGo and also MOONDROP thus for making this happen!

The MOONDROP KATO was not even the first sample from the brand I received, and some of our readers may have seen a teaser of the MOONDROP Aria (2021) review pop up for our Patreon subscribers. Such is the nature of things that the KATO is new enough to merit prioritization, so it got bumped up the publication schedule. In fact, it is so new that it only just left the pre-order stage with an extra "K-cable" offered to those willing to commit early. As it turned out, the K-cable was holding things up, so HiFiGo offered to send the KATO by itself from the MOONDROP brand, but then threw in an equally new aftermarket cable—the Kinera Leyding. This review goes over the MOONDROP KATO primarily, with the Kinera Leyding adding some splash and color to the mix. The KATO stands for KXXS Advanced Technology Optimized, a reaching acronym MOONDROP created to simply confirm this is a successor to the brand's previous solution in this price range. How well does the KATO behave, and how best does it help introduce the brand to TechPowerUp? We find out today as we begin the review with a look at the product specifications in the tables below.


Shell:Cast MIM stainless steel in polished or matte finish options
Driver Units:10 mm Ultra-Linear-Technology (ULT) dynamic driver with 3rd-gen diamond-like carbon (DLC) composite diaphragm
Sensitivity:123 dB/Vrms (@1 kHz)
Frequency Response:10 Hz–45 kHz (free field), 20 Hz–20 kHz (effective)
Impedance:32 Ω ±15% (@1 kHz)
Cable:4-core star-stranded silver-plated copper coated with high-permeability, ultra-low dielectric coefficient materials
Cable Connectors:3.5 mm TRS plug to source + two 0.78 mm 2-pin plugs to earbuds
Cable Length:4 ft/1.2 m
Warranty:One year

Kinera Leyding Cable
Core Material:Oxygen-free copper (OFC) + copper alloy with 5N silver plating
Braid Way:8-core 3-dimensional braiding
Diameter:1.0 mm/core
Strands:24 strands of 0.05 mm alloy copper with 5N silver plating + 14 strands of 0.06 mm OFC
Cable Skin Material:Soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Interface:0.78 mm 2-pin or MMCX
Plugs:4-pin detachable plugs: 2.5 mm balanced/ 4.4 mm balanced/ 3.5 mm single-ended
Plug Material:Copper with 24-karat gold plating
Plug Internal Connection:6N Ohno continuous cast (OCC)+ silver-plated OCC mix
External Metal Part:Aluminium alloy anode
Cable Length:122 +/-2 cm
Cable Structure:Litz + multiple structure + twisted strands
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May 18th, 2022 20:27 EDT change timezone

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