Kinera Celest Pandamon Review
Kinera Celest Pandamon Review
Never judge by the looks
Pros: + Balanced, neutral tuning
+ Linear bass response with sub-bass extension and good technicalities
+ Natural timbre and realistic tonality
+ Musical and engaging
+ Very open sounding like a full sized headphone
+ Superb mid-range tuning
+ Smooth but not subdued treble
+ Comfortable and lightweight
+ Good quality detachable cable
+ Nice pack of accessories
Cons: – Not the most resolving and refined
– Lacking in transparency
– The bass is somewhat hollow
– Mediocre passive noise attenuation
– Potential fit issues
– A bit fragile construction
– Grotesque appearance
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the Celest Pandamon is $59 and you can order it from the Linsoul online shop.
Kinera Celest Pandamon
The Celest Pandamon is a budget friendly earphone by Kinera Audio that uses an enhanced Kinera SPD 2.0 driver providing the following acoustic quality improvements:
First overall frequency sensitivity is enhanced by 3db to be an even mobile phone friendlier IEM.
Second, they have abandoned the BA driver of their first iteration of the SPD for a square planar driver in the SPD 2.0 which is capable of delivering full frequency range, self-sufficient to provide a complete listening experience, eliminating any possible frequency interferences or unwanted acoustic effects.
Build quality and fit
The Pandamon ear shell adopts a new design, using a circular hollow faceplate with a unique sense of mechanical aesthetics.
The hollow cavity has a strong sense of three-dimensionality visually, which is a perfect integration with inner mechanical artistry.
Pandamon uses resin as the shell material and finely selected 304 stainless steel on the faceplate, each one going through multiple process including precision engraving, nickel electroplating and UV coloring to ensure a balanced & natural color tone, smooth and shining body with intricate and long-lasting metal feature.
They have used the Pandamon logo on the faceplate giving it a unique appearance that will appeal to gamers and younger users but it is not that aesthetically pleasing for the mainstream crowd.
The earshells are very lightweight (3.5g each) and have a long extending sound tube that helps with the fit but the lack of an anatomic shape and the somewhat hollow and too circular body might result in a loose fit for a certain type of ear anatomy.
If you achieve a secure fit then they stay in place during head movement and they are extremely comfortable but they offer a mediocre passive noise attenuation.
Cable and accessories
The Pandamon features a 2-pin detachable cable that is made of four strands of oxygen free copper and has a good overall quality for the price with low microphonic noise while it doesn’t get very easily tangled.
The accessories include two types of eartips in three sizes each, a storage pouch, a cleaning brush and a Pandamon amulet imbued with magical powers.
The ear-tips are the Celest custom 221 eartips (black) for enhancing treble and the 608 (red/black) for balanced sound.
The Pandamon has a 9Ω impedance with 108dB of sensitivity and it is extremely easy to drive from all portable sources including your phone.
As always an entry level USB DAC dongle is highly recommended for getting the best possible sound quality.
I have used a couple of different ones like the FiiO KA1, iBasso DC03 Pro and the iFi Go link.
The Pandamon was left playing music for more than 60 hours before listening evaluation.
Judging by the looks alone someone would expect the Pandamon to have a bassy or a heavy “V” tuning but this is far from the truth.
Surprisingly so, the Pandamon has a neutral reference and slightly warm sound signature that is contrasted with its youthful appearance.
Sub-bass extension is good for most types of music without too much of a roll off and then is followed by a quite linear frequency response without severe mid-bass emphasis and mid range bleeding.
Instrumental tonality is very accurate and realistic while clarity and separation are very satisfying for a budget friendly earphone.
The bass is a little hollow sounding but well controlled, tight, fast with a planar type of texture which is not very visceral and full bodied but not too lean or dry either.
Dynamic behavior is also surprisingly good, not that impactful and powerful but still enough to convey with realism a fully swinging symphony orchestra.
The mid range follows the same type of a balanced and linear tuning where voices and instruments are reproduced with a natural timbre and lifelike tonality.
This is a relaxed, engaging and very musical mid-range without tonal shift extremities and upper-mids emphasis.
It is harmonious and colorful with plenty of emotional involvement and good overall transparency.
Listening to solo piano music, like Beethoven’s bagatelle “Fur Elise” was absolutely fantastic, the piano sounded realistic and coherent from the lower to the higher registers with plenty of harmonic variety, colorful overtones, sharp attack and clear articulation.
The treble is quite safely tuned, it is smooth without alarming peaks and harsh sounding tones but you wouldn’t call it subdued either.
It is not that extended and will certainly not appeal to people who like a sparkling and luminous treble but the thing is that it is not that lacking in energy or airiness and the Pandamon is by no means a dark or slow sounding earphone.
Detail retrieval is sufficient enough, time decay is relaxed and realistic, the timbre is without metallic elements and the texture weight is kept on the same level of intensity with the lower frequencies.
It would be a lie to suggest that the Pandamon is resolving and refined or the most transparent in the treble but you can’t ask for more at this price point.
The best achievement is that there is a great cohesiveness throughout the whole frequency range with good tonal balance and integration so listening to acoustic music can be very satisfying, at least from a tonal point of view.
Additionally the Pandamon is very open sounding, like a full sized headphone, with plenty of air around the instruments, it never sounds congested and while it might be somewhat lacking in positioning accuracy and imaging precision, you can always trace the correct place of each instrument.
In the end
Never let the outer appearance be the judging factor of anybody, this is something that I learned in my life for people and it seems that it also holds true for earphones!
The Celest Pandamon has a sound tuning that is in opposite antithesis with its grotesque appearance.
Actually is one of the most balanced and naturally tuned earphones of the entry level category with a very smooth, musical and engaging character without lacking that much in technicalities and overall transparency.
Don’t let the looks fool you, get a pair, wear the included Panda amulet and be prepared to feel the magical powers of music.
Copyright – Petros Laskis 2023.