Moondrop Kato Reviews & Discussion

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

  1. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    How did it work wrt customs with you guys? Some posts online said that Shenzhen audio marks packages down (which I wasn't expecting).
     
  2. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    Thanks for sharing. I went for the matte steel, and am very excited to see some real-world photos. I am guessing you went with the standard finish?

    The cable looks great. For folks that are wondering, Apos confirmed to me that these K line cables from Moondrop will be available to purchase separately in the coming weeks. (I went 3.5mm SE but want a balanced one as well eventually)
     
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  3. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Looking for an upgrade from airpods now that apple music is lossless. @shotgunshane how do you find kato when driven by an apple dongle?
     
  4. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I bought my Illumination from Shenzhen Audio. I have no idea how they marked it but I didn’t have to pay anything extra when DHL delivered. But typically USA is very lax about that.

    Kato is very enjoyable from anything. What the Apple dongle lacks is ability to drive/grip the low end well with any dynamic driver, but the slight bass boost of Kato has me not minding too much. So not bad for what it is; of course it’s much better with desktop rigs.
     
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  5. oidua

    oidua Rando

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    Some IRL pictures of the matte version:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I’m curious how rough or smooth the matte finish is. I like that the facets show better in the matte version versus mirrored finish, but in some pics I see a pebbled like finish, which seems slightly rough.
     
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  7. lemon07r

    lemon07r Rando

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    I already posted my full impressions on hifiguide and headfi. Decent iem, but not for everyone I think, including myself. It is definitely an upgrade to the starfields but the tuning is more aimed at all the people knocking on the starfields for having too much bass, or too tame treble. It fixes all those things but for me they sound a bit too thin now, and the treble hurts my ears a little cause they aren't as tame as the starfields (I also prefer the mid bass focused bass shelf of the starfields, while most others will probably prefer this new flatter bass shelf of the kato). On the other hand I like these a bit more than my fdx1 for when I want better technalities, etc. The fdx1 has a metallic timbre and the details sound overboosted, as if it were designed for ppl hard of hearing. Sure it's great at what its good for, but the kato is too, and without the metallic timbre, or the anemic bass if the fdx1. I call the kato the middle ground between the great tuning of moondrop iems and the technalities of the fdx1. Still not entirely my cup of tea, but I can see a lot of ppl (most ppl in fact) preferring the kato over my actual preferred set, the starfields.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  8. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    Another matte expectation management post:
    Shenzhen audio told me last week that the matte kato will be available on Monday but I didn't get a ship notification so I followed up and they were missing the K line cable. They offered to ship the cable later, but today they tell me the matte version will not be available for some time and offered to swap my order for the polished version.

    Seems like production issues? Either way I'm disappointed/confused with the communication here
     
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  9. econaut

    econaut Facebook Friend

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  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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  11. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    @JayC , Moondrop confirm matte finish production issues on Facebook:

    DBC26C86-B941-4BD3-975D-02645893B41C.jpeg
     
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  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Moondrop replied on HF thread that they will not make anymore matte finish Kato’s after this next batch. Too difficult to get right.
     
  13. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    If its any solace for you matte folks, I'm still waiting on delivery of my plebe shiny version.
     
  14. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    They could look like dog shit as long as they sound good IMO.
     
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  15. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Heck, if they print the shells to look like poop emojis they could charge more!
     
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  16. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    So long as they don’t offer scratch and sniff shells
     
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  17. Inoculator

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    Guess I got lucky, my matte finish arrived yesterday and they are gorgeous. Grab the matte while you can if you want something a bit more rugged-looking that you don't have to worry about smudges or scratches with. Already finding that to be a big bonus over my previous IEMs with plastic shells, not worried about damaging these, and like that the nozzles can be removed for cleaning. K Line upgrade cable is superb stuff, I am interested what the price point will be on them when sold individually (Apos let me know that should be soon).

    [​IMG]

    This is my first time jumping back into trying IEMs in a couple of years. I tried some of the Pinnacle stuff, and the Massdrop Plus awhile back, but found IEMs did not agree with my ears. I kept considering jumping on the Starfield to try IEMs out again, but kept not pulling the trigger. After some glowing reviews of the Kato and the tempting price point I decided it was worth giving it a try as I find closed backs still do not work for my ears for prolonged listening and sometimes I need some isolation.

    I have only listened for a few hours, but overall initial impressions are positive. The silicone eartips are super comfy, but the sizing is baffling. I first tried the medium as with previous IEMs I used the Medium Small spiral dots, thought I got an ok seal, but things sounded terrible. Went to the big ones and that was the ticket, everything came together. I did find when I tried to lay down and listen to them that I lost a good seal (I am an IEM noob, maybe this is just an IEM thing?). When I got a proper seal/fit these are very non fatiguing and feel great. They might just be a bit too airy and diffuse for my tastes, but that could still be a seal concern, or maybe I just need to drive these with a different source/amp (just using LG V60 via USB Audio Player Pro/Roon/Spotify) I am loving the staging and imaging with these, everything just sounds very well sorted. Will give some extended impressions as I spend more time with them.

    EDIT: Slightly off topic, but one thing I find really interesting is how the Kato reveals just how much better USB Audio Player Pro sounds from the LG Quad DAC vs Roon/spotify...like dramatically better. A discrepancy that my regular portable go to Porta Pros never really revealed. Screw Androids difficult to bypass audio mixer.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  18. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The Spring silicone tips run on the small side. Plus the Kato sits pretty shallowly, so larger tips are usually needed with shallow fit.

    In my estimation, what better amplification beings to the table is better driver control, so bass notes have a better sense of oomph and texture.

    Those matte facets look great @Inoculator
     
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  19. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Only listened to these for a couple hours but first impressions are outstanding! Most surprisingly good iem I’ve ever heard (I don’t mean the best I mean the biggest positive surprise). Very good build and SQ for 190$.

    will have to do more listening but these seem like they could be the portable iems ive been looking for. The shallow fit could be an issue as even my biggest tips fit kind of loose.

    More impressions later just a teaser for now.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  20. RestoredSparda

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    Agreed. Running these balanced brought the bass out for me (fiio btr5) Very full low end and airy top end now. Super enjoyable listen across all genres so far. A good seal is also critical.
     
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