Moondrop Kato Reviews & Discussion

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by shotgunshane, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. muse

    muse Facebook Friend

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    Sorry, two things that I forgot to mention:
    • The fit of the Kato is a very different experience from the B2. The Kato has a smaller physical profile and will require you to shove it in for a deeper insertion and good seal. I was able to achieve it but I'm a bit skeptical how it would maintain seal with more vigorous movement, and I can foresee that some people might have problems with it. B2 has larger shells that nestled in my ear perfectly.
    • The Kato comes with an excellent cable which I may have believed to be some aftermarket stuff if someone had duped me beforehand. I'm not a proponent of boutique cables at all but it surely doesn't hurt
     
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  2. mxmxd

    mxmxd Rando

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    Thank you for your impressions! I preordered the KATO, but am still wondering if I should cancel and just get the B2 Dusk. Have you heard those im comparison? I currently use CCA C12 on my EarStudio ES100, but want more resolution and clarity, while I still like a good sub-bass.
     
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  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The quality of the Kato dynamic driver is much better than the dynamic in the Dusk and B2 models. I can see a case for choosing the B2 over Kato if you’re wanting a more neutral reference. Otherwise I’d choose Kato over either for sheer driver performance, as well as the more natural timbre and coherence of a single dynamic.
     
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  4. muse

    muse Facebook Friend

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    Sorry, I can't help you out here because I'm neither familiar with your current setup nor have I tried the B2 Dusk before (though I suppose they must be quite similar), and I'm not sure what your preferences are. Bear in mind that this audition was with Pixel 3A streaming Spotify. I have no idea how the IEMs would scale with better gear.

    I would defer to members who have heard both the B2 Dusk and Kato, and highly recommend that you don't put much stock in whatever I wrote.
     
  5. lemon07r

    lemon07r Rando

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    Cant speak for the KATO but I do have the B2 Dusk and Starfield which is basically for all intents and purposes probably what we can call an inferior KATO with a very very similar tuning.

    I love my starfields more than the B2 dusk, I just like tuning the tuning a lot more but if you want "more resolution and clarity" I doubt even an "upgraded starfield" like the KATO (if that's what it is) will compare to the dusk. If you are trying to get bang for your buck the KATO is still 1/3rd cheaper, but I still doubt it will come near the dusk/b2 in resolution, clarity, imaging and soundstage. As for sub bass.. the Dusk does have a fair amount more sub bass, the KATO bass is a lot more rounded and balanced from what I can tell in graphs and if it's anything like the starfields I own.

    Now for some BA vs DD ramble and conspiracy theory (you should ignore all of this probably since none of this is actually verified and just a thought of mine). Personally I dislike BA/hybrid IEMs, they sound weird to me, especially once turned up more in volume, some call it BA timbre? I've seen it talked about by others who have had way more IEMs, like BGGR, so it's not just me. I took the time to learn a little about BA drivers out of curiosity, and there was an interesting tidbit I accidently stumbled upon. Apparently its common for manufacturers to double up on the same BA driver for the same frequency range (usually the high range) to reduce distortion (THD) as BA driver's distort badly at higher volumes. I found some sonion BA datasheets to verify this, and I was seeing things like 5% THD at 1/3 power. Made me wonder if the distortion is really that bad in actual IEM use, but it seems most of them are rated around <1-2% THD (the blessing 2 is <1%), but then looking at DD iems, the cheaper ones under a hundred bucks that I skimmed over all had around <0.5%-1% specs, but above that you have stuff like the hana, oxygen, kato, fdx1, etc measuring around <0.1-0.2% THD which I find pretty impressive. Makes me wonder if that weird BA timbre I notice is from the drivers being pushed a bit too far and distorting, would make sense if it was. I bet there are some well tuned and more expensive configuration hybrid iems have already been designed to avoid this pitfall if it exists, but I have yet to hear a ba/hybrid iem that didnt sound weird to me at the listening volumes I like. EDIT: also some more food for thought https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...hd-n-or-why-both-tell-us-almost-nothing.9544/
     
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Spend the better part of my afternoon learning REW. This looks fairly comparable to my AudioTools measurements minus the bass rolloff. The treble peak isn't troublesome so perhaps some coupler resonance exaggerating a bit.

    Kato with Stainless Steel Nozzles

    Moondrop Kato Silver Nozzle.jpg
     
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  7. luisdent

    luisdent Facebook Friend

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    i use rew, and i generally see peaks around 10k. i fiddle to try and get the consistent, but i rarely hear anything i see in that area... my graphs are at http://www.dent.reviews you can see most have some level of bump at 10k or very close. you can easily prove this is resonance by measuring again with the depth a littler more or less. in almost every cases it will shift to 9k or 12k. i then try to get the result around 10k for consistency, which is generally where they fall anyway.
     
  8. econaut

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    My 2017 Andromedas are for sale right now, because I rarely use IEMs and I think I prefer DD bass.

    But having a "good enough" IEM at hand seems reasonable and the Kato sounds very promising.

    I think I know what I will get/gain in comparison to the Andromedas (some DD slam), but not sure where the Kato lacks in comparison. Resolution and transients, for sure, but anything else I might miss?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  9. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Haven't heard the Kato yet but I imagine treble extension and quality. Andros were the best I've heard there. Also I think you can be all but assured that you can add timbre into the plus column for the Kato, given DD.
     
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  10. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    For anyone waiting for pictures/comfort impressions - the Matte Steel version has an expected ship date of Oct 28..
     
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  11. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Acquaintance

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    Thanks. Was there a listed ship date for the chrome version? My label printed on Sept. 30th but hasn't shipped.
     
  12. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    Sounds like production was slower than Moondrop anticipated. I ordered the matte steel version via Apos and they sent the below message (props to Apos, super amazing customer service here)

    "
    This is Ren from the Support team @ Apos Audio.

    We have received an update from our team and Moondrop Kato has unfortunately been about a month behind schedule and it will likely take several weeks to improve.

    The speed of production has been extremely slow compared to what Moondrop has originally anticipated due to the complexity of the design as well as the component shortage in the supply chain.

    We will be receiving high volume of shipment of the Kato by end of next week, and we are hoping to be able to have this order fulfilled by October 22. Your order is currently scheduled to go out as soon as the inventory replenishment shipment arrives.

    I've also gone ahead and upgraded the shipping from Priority Shipping to Express Shipping for you. Just so your order can arrive as soon as possible despite the delay during fulfillment.

    This is not ideal, and we apologize for the delay and inconvenience this might have caused. As a token of our appreciation for your patience and understanding, I have gone ahead and issued you a credit of $10 to your account which can be used for your future purchases.

    In the meantime, feel free to let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.

    Sincerely,
    Ren
    "
     
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  13. mxmxd

    mxmxd Rando

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    Another review:
     
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  14. TamHo

    TamHo Rando

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    How does the Kato compared to your Andros? thanks
     
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  15. lemon07r

    lemon07r Rando

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    I really want to see a Kato vs oxygen/Hana 2021 vs timeless 7hz comparison.

    My Kato arrives in 2-4 days but I don't own the other two iems I'm interested in sadly.
     
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Just a reminder for those considering buying the Kato. We will be getting a Kato loaner very soon so you can hear them for yourself.

    Along with the Moondrop Aria.

    :)
     
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  17. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    Interested to see the MATTE stainless steel in person:
    Screen Shot 2021-10-20 at 10.56.57 PM.png
     
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  18. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    ^
    The Cybertruck of IEMs!.
     
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  19. lemon07r

    lemon07r Rando

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    Just received mine, impressions soon
     
  20. RestoredSparda

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    Received mine as well. Thought I would share a photo of the upgrade cable that was available. I recieved the 2.5mm balanced connector.

    I've only listened for about an hour but echo the reviews so far. Sounds like a more impressive Starfield. My favorite improvement is the larger headspace. My one major complaint about the Starfield was its very closed-off sound.

    The tips are indeed small. I usually use a medium, however the largest size in the box fits me perfect. The new tips are very comfortable. My box also included 3 sizes of comply-like memory foam tips. I most likely won't use them as I find them a pain to insert.
     

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