We review the Kinera Orlog which is a 4 or 8-core 26AWG UP-OCC hybrid aftermarket IEM cable developed in partnership with Effect Audio. The 8-core is priced at $999 and the 4-core at $599.
Disclaimer: This was sent to us as a sample for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or services. We thank the team at Kinera for giving us this opportunity.
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Note, this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read up on here.
The Kinera Orlog 8-wire version is a very well-designed high-performance aftermarket IEM cable that tastefully colors the mid-bass and lower mid-range. At the same time, it does an excellent job of enhancing layering and imaging.
Cable collaborations are now becoming more and more popular these days and today’s review looks at two well-known companies in the audiophile world coming together to do just that – Effect Audio and Kinera Imperial (aka. Kinera).
Kinera is well known for its exquisitely designed IEMs such as the Nanna whereas Effect Audio is known for its excellent cables such as the Centurion and Eros S.
The Orlog represents a step forward for Kinera in particular as they seek to branch further out into the cable world whilst highlighting their willingness to innovate.
But how does the Orlog fair and has Kinera Imperial and Effect Audio made something special? Read on to find out.
The Kinera Orlog is an Ultra-Pure OCC dual-material hybrid composition cable. The dual-material hybrid composition refers to the fact that there are two different materials used within the Orlog.
The cable materials also have different plating which makes things even more interesting. This is quite unique as not many aftermarket cables feature a split of materials across all wires.
For an 8-wire cable, this means that 4 wires feature a gold-plated copper and silver-plated copper material whereas the other 4 wires comprise a pure copper and silver mix. The Orlog comes in a 4 or 8-wire configuration where each wire has a 26 AWG gauge.
The Orlog used in this review features an 8-wire configuration. Each wire is coated with Effect Audio’s UltraFlexi ultra-soft insulation which means that the Orlog is very soft and supple. The braiding on the Orlog is excellent with evenly spaced braids and sufficient tension throughout the cable.
The aesthetics of the Kinera Orlog is quite stunning. Kinera Imperial is known for their exquisite designs on their IEMs, and they have clearly transferred that knowledge and know-how into the Orlog.
The overall design of the Orlog is based on Norse methodology where the word “Orlog” means “fate” or “truth”.
The theme of the Orlog is centered around the Y splitter, cable plug, and connectors. On the splitter, the barrel has a black aluminum composition and the bottom of the barrel itself features a gold circlet of mountains depicting the Scandinavian landscape.
To finish, the Kinera Imperial logo is printed in the middle of the barrel. The cable ring has the same golden circlet of mountains with Kinera Imperial’s motto “Live only for Honor” engraved into it.
The connectors and cable plug are made from the same black aluminum material as the splitter. However, the connectors feature the gold ring of mountains on the bottom and the words “Kinera” printed on the outside of each connector.
They also come fitted with Effect Audio’s ConX system which allows the use of interchangeable connectors such as 2-pin or MMCX.
The cable plug comes in a 4.4mm termination which is made from gold-plated brass and has a similar finish however the Kinera Imperial logo and a black crystal of “truth” appear in the middle of the plug.
There are two different wire colors and finishes depending on the material of the wire. The gold and silver-plated copper wires have a silver and copper color finish whereas the pure copper and silver mix wire use a slate grey color.
Furthermore, the wires have different textures whereas the gold and silver-plated wires have a smooth, plastic texture compared to the copper and silver mix wire which has more of a matte or rougher finish.
Comfort on the Ear
The Orlog is very comfortable on the ear and easily goes unnoticed during use. This is thanks to the soft and supple nature of the cable which is due to its UltraFlexi ultra-soft insulation and 26AWG gauging.
Furthermore, there were no issues with cable noise or microphonics which paved the way for carefree listening sessions.
Packaging & Accessories
The Orlog’s packaging and accessories are very intricate, sophisticated, and detailed. The Orlog comes in a black box with light grey etchings of mountains carved into the front cover. This is topped off with the Kinera and Orlog logos and a felt-like texture for the box itself.
At the bottom of the box, is a sleeve that depicts the Scandic mountains in black which is outlined in gold.
After removing the sleeve, a small, black ribbon appears which, when pulled, slides out of a drawer-like compartment to reveal the cable and its accessories.
Simultaneously, the opening of the drawer-like compartment causes part of the front cover to rise to a 90-degree angle which is really impressive and provides that “wow” factor when unveiling the Orlog.
Included within the box is the Orlog cable itself, a black puck-style case made of synthetic leather, a warranty and information card, and Effect Audio’s ConX set.
The accessories included are quite impressive especially with regards to the case as it feels durable and easy to use in addition to the ConX set which adds versatility to Orlog as you are able to pair it with different IEMs.
The Orlog colors the sound by enhancing the mid-bass, lower mid-range, imaging, and separation.
The Orlog carries the hallmarks of a traditional copper cable which mainly focuses on the mid-bass and lower mid-range given that this is its main cable material however there is a little extra spice in the other regions due to the various types of plating and additional silver material composition.
The Orlog enhances both the sub and mid-bass frequencies by adding more quantity and quality. the sub-bass receives less coloration compared to the mid-bass which is the focal point of the Orlog.
Within the mid-bass, this becomes more forward as the overall quantity increases. As a result, the timbre becomes warmer. The effect on the lower mid-range is similar as it receives a slight bump forward and is delivered with sufficient volume.
The overall detail retrieval in the lower and upper mid-range is very good. String ensembles, guitars, and both male and female vocals, all sound natural and resolving. The treble coloration is not too apparent however there is a good level of extension and detail which comes off as slightly bright and above neutral.
The Orlog does not significantly expand the staging width or height of the IEM it’s connected to but rather improves the layering and separation.
As such, if the IEM’s default staging is wide and tall, this is slightly increased with adjustments to layering and separation.
The spacing between instruments and vocals becomes wider which results in better positioning and separation. As a result, there is a feeling of better placement of vocals and instruments to the point where you can imagine the stage in front of you.