>>I am brazilian and I speak portuguese, so forgive my english, I’ll use translator tools to help.<<
New release from Celest Audio, a subsidiary company of Kinera Audio. Celest has the mission of bring more accessible products with more playful features. Today’s review IEM will be the Celest Pandamon. The Pandamon is the second IEM that the company has produced and it has the SPD update to version 2.0.
Celest reviews (in portuguese language only): Celest Gumiho
Price: $59 USD
Cabe: No Mic
(1) Kinera 10mm SPD 2.0 ™ ( Square Planar Driver )
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz
Termination Plug: 3.5mm (straight)
Cable size: 125cm
Cable material: Four strands copper OFC
Connectors: 2Pin 0.78mm (detachable)
Shell: 304 stainless steel and resin
Nozzle diameter: 6 mm
Weight: 5.4g +17.2g (IEM + cable)
Eartips. Two types of eartips came and all two types in silicone, in sizes S/M/L. The “grays” (Celest 221 Vocal Eartips), and the “red and grays” (Celest 608 Balanced Eartips). The grays are in wide bore style, and as usual, I don’t like the sound given by this type of eartips (but it’s not a rule). The ‘red and gray’ are more normal, the hole is standard. Honestly for me the ‘red and gray’ ones are able to deliver the desired sound for Pandamon. Unfortunately, I felt that there was a downgrade in the eartips package of this IEM in relation to the Gumiho, because the “grey” eartips that came with the Gumiho didn’t come here. I thought that at least the eartips that came with the Gumiho was better than the two that came with the Pandamon. Anyway, here is the observation that the price of the Pandamon was higher than the Gumiho, and the Pandamon came with “common” eartips, and also with a balanced armature (BA) less in the construction of the IEM. Apart from that, I think isn’t necessary to purchase extra eartips to use with Pandamon (subjective).
-The evaluation was made with the “red and grays” (Celest 608) in size M.
Cable. I really liked the cable of this IEM, it reminded me in part of the cable of the Tin T3+, it has the same type of braid. From the Y-split to down, the braiding is all in the same direction, so it can open up the braids if you twist the strands to the opposite side. It’s a very lightweight cable, it has a smoother texture, it doesn’t tangle easily, it doesn’t take wavys along its length, it has a little microphonics (but nothing too serious, just the usual). It’s an excellent cable when you roll it up to store the IEM, it stays the way you rolled it up. The cable comes with the Chin Slider, and it really works very well, no doubt one of the best I’ve ever tested.
Earhooks. The earhooks are good, it has a good curvature. I always point out that this type of earhook that follow the wavys of the cable isn’t the best situation in terms of comfort, there were cases in other IEMs that I felt a slight pressure. But Pandamon is lightweight and this problem didn’t appear. I reinforce by saying that the ideal are smooth tube-shaped earhooks (for my taste).
Connectors. Pandamon connectors are 2-pin 0.78mm. They are of good quality and the aesthetics also pleased me very much. For the design of this specific IEM, I thought they should have used that connector that already comes out of the socket making a curvature, like the one on the TRN TA1 MAX (just to exemplify it). In my opinion, it would match this style of circular shaped earphones more. They come with the letter L & R to guide the person to fit. The body of the earphones also comes with letter indication.
The fit. Here is perhaps the most controversial point of this IEM – in addition to the aesthetics of the faceplate, which wasn’t something I liked very much. We know that this is subjective, but what happens is that Pandamon didn’t have a fit like I imagined. In fact, it’s not that the fit has problems, but that I thought there was a lack of “resin” in the body, that is, the IEM didn’t get to be “seated” in my shells, it kind of gets “loose”. It’s like I have a really big ear and there’s space left between the body and the bottom of my shells. Evidently there is a lot of things happening here: the body of the IEM is circular, it doesn’t have that semi-custom shape, the nozzle has a certain length, and that together with the length of the eartips, hence the result was this, an IEM with “incomplete” fit. I never thought this would be a problem, given that other IEMs usually tend to generate some pressure point because of their sizes. To better exemplify: the eartips and the nozzle guarantee stabilization, but the body of the earphone is kind of “floating” inside my ears. The insertion I found average, and the isolation I found low.
Comfort. The comfort is great, practically the IEM doesn’t even touch my ears. He is also very light, doesn’t create weight in the ear. The resin is of good quality, gives a good polishing feeling to the touch. The IEM have a circular shape which is very good, it didn’t create any pressure points on my ears. It’s such a great IEM for long listens, I almost didn’t even realize I was wearing an IEM in my ear during my music sessions.
The Pandamon comes with the same additional accessories as the Gumiho: a carrying bag with a neoprene-like fabric (but with a soft touch), a cleaning brush, and the pendant with the image of Pandamon. There’s not much to comment here, you know that I prefer another type of case to store the IEMs (rigid or semi-rigid), and for be honest, the one that came with the Pandamon is a bit complicated to store the IEM, I think it’s too small.
The sound of CELEST PANDAMON I consider as Warm-Neutral. Despite being an IEM with a more playful in the aesthetic, the Pandamon doesn’t follow the same sound style, here we don’t have a fun or energetic sound, but something more calm and “passive”. Pandamon also distances itself from Gumiho’s sound, there it was a more V-Shape sound, here we have a more relaxed sound and without extremes.
The bass in quantitative terms. In my opinion, the level was moderate, and in some circumstances the bass stood out a little more. The bass has enough presence for the earphone not to sound boring, however, I like bass – and I imagine bassheads too – so Pandamon’s bass quantity might not be the best indication for these people (including myself). In terms of sub-bass and mid-bass, Pandamon will stand out more in the mid-bass region. The sub-bass for me has a slight roll-off, but it’s really little, although deeper sounds don’t arrive with as much vigor and physicality in the presentation. The bass of this IEM will fits very well for more acoustic genres, or in which the bass is not a star of the show (although this is always subjective).
In qualitative terms, Pandamon’s bass is “neutral”, defined, “linear”, clean, coherent. You feel that they value more musicality than the simple desire to push air mass. I would say that the earphones have an average impact, not too strong, not too weak, and the characteristics are also a half term between being more dry / outlined bass, and being more textured or expansive. In practice, this will only be easy to visualize if you’ve heard earphones with these two types of bass. It’s not boomy, bloated, or muddy bass, and it doesn’t invade into the mids either. Certainly Pandamon’s bass gives a warmer characteristics to the presentation. I thought there was an “improvement” in the quality of the Pandamon’s bass compared to the Gumiho. I think it was more the question that the Gumiho didn’t surprise me, because as an IEM that uses a different driver and dedicated exclusively to the bass, I expected more. Here at Pandamon I found the purposes more coherent.
Panda’s midrange. The central mids has a more withdrawn characteristic and the upper midrange has a more moderate presence, with little emphasis, it almost became a recessed midrange IEM. This is also one of the things that make the IEM have a “warmer” timbre tone. Snare drums, voices, saxophone, everything gets much more gentle and silky here in Pandamon. Ideal for those looking for more relaxed upper mids, without aggressiveness, the music is smoother. Rhythm guitars in a Hard Rock, for example, don’t have that hard, dry, and forward sound, like the NF Audio NA3, or the TangZu ShiminLi.
Voices. The voices here on this IEM, I thought the male/low voices performed better than the female/high voices. It was already kind of to be expected, since the IEM have this warmer side, and that benefits the voices with timbres that are closer to bass. But opening a parenthesis to say that I thought it sounded better with the lower voices, but I’ve heard IEMs that performed even better with this type of voice.
The Pandamon’s highs in quantitative terms. Honestly, it was a frequency range that I thought has a few presence, in fact it’s the one that stands out the least on this IEM. Not that lacks treble, isn’t this, it’s actually because it was something very discreet, without showing excesses or peaks at any time. I felt a bit of a roll-off here at the higher frequencies, so the extension was a bit compromised. I would say that this is a good earphone for those who want to avoid very high treble and avoid hearing fatigue. It should be noted that Pandamon doesn’t turn into a dark sound because of that, as I said, it has treble, but with a lower amount. I would give it a 5.8 from 0 to 10 (speaking in terms of quantity).
In qualitative terms, the highs are restrained, smooth, refined, pleasant, free of coloration. The resolution I thought was good/ok, the airy was lacking at times, and the details I thought was good/ok (it doesn’t come close to micro details). The sparkle is presented in a “coherent” way, seeking to be closer to the “real”. I believe that some people might feel that the earphone could have a little more sparkle in some circumstances, but on the other hand, people who don’t like energy in the highs may be pleased. They’re not fatiguing highs, they’re not strident, they’re not sharp, and they don’t show any sibilance either (not even with songs that already have a little sibilance in the recordings). Hi-hats play smoothly and without harshness, chime doesn’t show coloration, ride cymbals don’t drill.
Soundstage. The soundstage feel I found good/average. It has a half term in the 3 dimensions: height, width and depth. That makes him good on stage, but at the same time it doesn’t make him exceptional. The sound is not presented in a compressed form, nor in a three-dimensional form (in a sense of a lot of spatiality).
Imaging. The instrumental separation I found average. I thought the IEM did a better job of separating out some more distinct or distant instruments within the recordings, something like percussive instruments, like a rattle in the background, etc., but bass guitar, guitar, drums, and vocals, I thought that there was more difficulty in spacing between them. A great example to hear these percussive sounds in the background is the work of Ramiro Musotto on the album “Lenine – In Cité (Deluxe)(2020)” (remembering that this can also vary according to the recording and other processes during the music production).
Driver Flex test. Pandamon is an IEM with an SPD (Square Planar Driver) speaker, I already made a note about this type of driver in the introduction to the Gumiho review. In any case, it’s necessary to check if there is a flex driver. So I can say that Pandamon showed no signs of flex driver noise.
Amplification/source. I used the Questyle M15 DAC/AMP dongle connected to my notebook to do this evaluation. The output used was the 3.5mm SE and the device with the selector in “Low” mode, that is, without gain. In my opinion, Celest Pandamon doesn’t need extra amplification to play nice. Just like the Gumiho, the Pandamon may scale a little if used with a more powerful source, so now I did a test by quickly putting the M15 on High Gain and for me the sound presented was not something I preferred listening to the IEM on High Gain… I returned to Low Gain which was more satisfactory for me. The evaluation was done with the volumes at 30% and 35% of the 100% available by the Windows10 volume scale.
Music is subjective, so below is the list of some musical genres that I personally think that was better with this IEM. Remember that were only few genres and few artists tested. If I describe that one genre was better and the other don’t, it doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to your favorite music genre with this IEM and love it. So, here goes:
*Brazilian musical genres.
Not so much:
Graphs by IanFann:
Thank you so much for being here!
Consider follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get all the news!