The audiophile wired universal IEM category has become incredibly competitive over the past decade with at least 2 dozen global brands offering high-end models that can really empty your wallet. We’ve listened to some of the best from Audeze, Noble, Jerry Harvey Audio, Final, FiiO, and so many others worth seeking out.
Spending almost $2,300 on wired universal IEMs is a huge investment and we highly doubt that anyone considering products like the LETSHUOER Cadenza 12 are not going to pair them with a quality DAP from Astell&Kern or FiiO. The impedance is rather friendly and a good Dongle DAC could be a worthwhile alternative to a $3,000 DAP as well.
LETSHUOER have been producing high-quality in-ear monitors (IEMs) since 2016; the very affordable planar magentic S12 IEMs are very popular and the company is best known for its SHUOER Tape Electrostatic IEMs that are rather remarkable considering what they sound like for under $200.
Their new flagship IEMS, the Cadenza 12, have been conceived from the ground-up by their in-house audio engineers and feature the following high-specification components:
- Ergonomic Titanium Chassis
- 10mm LCS Kevlar Dome Dynamic Driver
- Sonion Super-tweeter Balanced Armature Drivers
- Knowles Tweeter Balanced Armature Drivers
- Sonion Mid-woofer Balanced Armature Drivers
- Acoustically-tuned Six-way Crossover
- 204-Strand Copper/Silver Hybrid Cable
The Cadenza 12’s unique 12 driver configuration comprises both dynamic and balanced armature units — a 10mm LCS Kevlar Dome Driver unit together with 11 high-performance balanced armature drivers from Knowles and Sonion — arranged together in a precisely designed six-way crossover.
This final driver combination and its corresponding crossover are the result of many hours of testing by LETSHUOER’s acoustic teams, ensuring that the Cadenza 12 offer a competitive alternative to the best universal IEMs from Noble, Audeze, and Jerry Harvey Audio.
The Cadenza 12 feature an ergonomic chassis made of a titanium alloy; the final shape of which is based on the analysis of thousands of sets of ear shapes. This alloy is strong, whilst also low in density, which results in the Cadenza 12 being both lightweight and having a significantly low chassis resonance, which ensures a much cleaner sound profile.
The Cadenza 12 come with a high-purity hybrid cable comprising of 204 strands of 6N monocrystalline copper/silver in a hybrid-weave construction.
This combination of different metals was chosen by the LETSHUOER audio engineers to ensure signal integrity thanks to an extremely low in-cable impedance.
Dependent upon audio source output, thanks to the supplied modular termination plugs, users are able to select the cable termination from the included 2.5mm (balanced), 3.5mm (single-ended), and 4.4mm (balanced) plugs.
|Headphone Type||Balanced IEM (In-Ear Monitors)|
|Driver Type||1 x 10mm LCS Kevlar Dynamic Driver|
7 x Sonion Balanced Armature Driver
4 x Knowles Balanced Armature Driver
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 30kHz|
|Impedance||16Ω (+/- 1%)|
|Sensitivity||110dB/mw (+/- 1%)|
|Cable Type||204-Strands 6N Monocrystalline Copper/Silver Hybrid|
|Termination Options||2.5mm Balanced|
In the box:
- 9 x Ear-tips
- Headphone Cable
- 2.5mm Balanced / 3.5mm Single-ended / 4.4mm Balanced Connectors
- Cadenza Leather Earphone Case
- DIY Detachable Earphone/Accessories Box
- Cleaning Cloth
- User Guide
- Warranty Card
- Product Cards
- Limited. Edition Cadenza 12 Cooper Plate
Price & Availability
The LETSHUOER Cadenza 12 are available from March 2023, priced £2,279 / $2,299. Purchase direct from letshuoer.net or Amazon.
Related reading: Shure KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphone System Review
February 15, 2023 at 5:54 pm
I feel like some of these types of audio pieces fall in the “jewelry” category – tailored to an audience of a few, absurdly expensive, and conspicuously designed as to call attention to itself…and no resale market (e.g. diamonds). Your sub-line about “burning a hole in your pocket” is spot on.
Anecdote: my wife once spent a small fortune on a ring, and later had buyers remorse (I could buy three of these IEMs for what she paid), and learned the hard way that diamonds are a linear buy in only one direction. They are bought but not sold and commercial buyers will only offer a small fraction of what you paid new. YMMV.
I still enjoy reading about the unobtanium products. (⊙.⊙)
February 15, 2023 at 7:09 pm
They definitely fall into that category and they are not even close to being the most expensive in the category. We’ve turned down some requests to review $5,000 IEMs because the audience for them is so small.
All of that being said, their affordable IEMs are really impressive. Certainly, some of the best sub-$300 earbuds I’ve heard from anyone outside of FiiO and Linsoul in that range.
February 15, 2023 at 10:31 pm
I’ll check out other IEMs you mentioned as my wireless Sennheiser’s don’t want to stay in my ears when moving around or eating (excessive jaw movement) with any sized tips.
It may also be a good vector to include in IEM reviews…good/not good for activities/sports, etc. (or maybe you do and I hadn’t noticed).