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Celest Plutus Beast Review: Bone Conduction on a Budget

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

At only $89, the Celest Plutus Beast offers a lot for the money. It uses a unique tribrid design consisting of an unlikely trio: one balanced armature, one bone conduction driver, and full-range square planar driver.  We would expect these drivers at a higher price point, but the Plutus Beast seems designed to act as a gateway drug to the IEM hobby and Celeste/Kinera’s wider line-up. It’s a good value and a better listen for music and gaming alike. 


  • Current Price: $89 (HiFiGo, Amazon)
  • Key Features
    • Three-Driver Tribrid Configuration
    • 1BC+1BA+1SPD(Patented Planar Driver) Acoustic Structure
    • Custom-developed 10mm Bone Conduction Driver
    • Second-Gen Self-Developed Square Planar Driver
    • Balanced Three-Frequency Tuning
    • Exclusive Design With Hand-Painted Face Covers
    • 3D Printed Integrated Molded Ear Shells
    • High-Purity 5N Copper Silver-Plated Cable
    • Rich Accessories
  • Drivers: 1 Bone Conduction Driver + 1BA + 1 SPD™ (Square Planar Driver)
  • Impedance: 8 ohm
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Cable: 5N Copper Silver Plated
  • Plug: 3.5mm / 4.4mm Balanced
  • Eartips: Celest 221 Vocal Eartips, Celest 608 Balanced Eartips

Celest Plutus Beast - First Impressions and Key Features 

The Celest Plutus Beast is designed to court you.  As the affordable sub brand of Kinera, Celest's mission is to be a high value product and impress you with its sound quality. From there, one can only assume you'll be hooked and come back for more, maybe even more expensive sets. It does a good job of this. At $90, it feels like a Kinera-mini in build quality and it's hard to argue that the sound is anything less than great for the price.

With the market getting more crowded every day, new IEMs need a special feature or trick to make them stand out. The Plutus Beast's trick is its unique combination of drivers. It uses three in each earpiece consisting of a balanced armature, a bone conduction driver, and a square planar magnetic driver (SPD). Bone conduction is hard to find at this price, at least true bone conduction, as we've seen at least one set make the claim and then have to walk it back (and it was about double the price). Planar magnetics are more common, though that wasn't always the case, and not generally with this combination in a single set. In short, one of the Plutus Beast's biggest appeals is that it is so unique.

Those three drivers split frequency duties across the entire audible spectrum. The bone conduction driver is used to enhance the bass and give it body and tactility. The balanced armature covers the highs, which is where you might expect to see that driver type stationed.  The SPD driver is full range and bolsters the entire spectrum. It's a unique enough combination that it caught my eye before the opportunity for a review came about and was enough to make me wonder whether or not these three would actually work well together.  I didn't need to worry.

One of the biggest reasons why Celest reminds me of Kinera is that it features hand-painted shells. Available in orange or blue, the Plutus Beast definitely has a handcrafted look that I find quite appealing. The orange and blue are reflected and traced with little lines of glitter. The rest of the shell is 3D printed by HeyGears, which is a premier 3D printing company that also works with some of the biggest names in the business. It is technically translucent but is smoked so deeply that it's hard to see the internals. In the proper lighting you can make out a bit of what's happening inside which gives the shells a bit of extra depth and interest.

Kinera is also known for providing an ample amount of accessories and extras in the box, which is also usually oversized and highly decorated.  The size of the box has been scaled down from those products, but has a similar artistic design on the outer sleeve. Inside you receive the earphones themselves, a leatherette carrying case, small medium and large silicone ear tips, as well as a nice braided cable. Finally, Celest provides a neat metal trinket showing the Plutus Beast from Chinese folklore.

The cable is made from 49 strands of silver plated copper. It connects to the earbuds with a standard two pin connection and terminates in a 3.5mm single-ended or 4.4mm balanced jack. Each of the connections is protected with metal shielding and the chin cinch and Y-split are as well, which makes it feel fairly nice. Importantly, it’s not microphonic or prone to tangling.

The earphones offer a surprisingly good fit. Even though there are multiple drivers in each earpiece the SPD driver is designed to be small, allowing the earphones to  also be small. The nozzles aren't exceptionally wide and fit in my ears well, even though I have a fairly small left ear canal. With the proper tips they fit securely and we're very isolating.  Small size and secure fit make these an exceptionally comfortable pair of earphones for extended listening sessions and for gaming.

Celeste Plutus Beast - Listening Impressions 

Image Credit: Elise Audio via Squig.Link

The Plutus Beast is designed to be a balanced pair of earphones with enough technical capability to please audiophiles on a budget. or so they say. In practice, I find that it is actually more u-shaped than flat with emphasized bass and upper mids to bring out detail and body. While it does offer sufficient resolution to please many audiophiles, I also think that there is wide mainstream appeal for this set because of its boosted low end and enjoyable clarity at this price point.

Starting with a bass, I was surprised by how high quality it is and how far it reaches down. The bone conduction drivers do a very good job of giving the  Plutus Beast basic extension. There is quite a bit of rumble and punch to these earphones, which means they can really deliver when games and songs call for it. I have been getting into melodic hip-hop over the last few months and these  have been a great choice for that genre of music, as well as my usual regimen of hard rock, prog, acoustic folk, and chillstep.

At the same time, it has been great for gaming. Explosions have power and impact. Gunshots, too. I have especially enjoyed them with Baldur’s Gate 3 in its most cinematic moments, As they have helped bring the sound track and overall sound design to life.

The lower mids and core mid-range sound slightly warmed to my ear. That works with the enhanced bass and isn't overdone. Male vocals take on a slight lusciousness. Neither male or female vocals sound overly forward but they aren't recessed either. It doesn’t sound bad at all but also doesn’t really “wow” me. This is a range that feels like it plays second fiddle to the bass in the upper mids. 

The treble has a noticeable roll off at 8kHz. This smooths over the highest frequencies and reduces the sense of air and space the earphones are able to provide. The frequencies below this, on the other hand, are accentuated. The harmonics of instruments are still brought forward to provide a sense of clarity to the listening experience. It’s clear, however, that Celest was shooting for a middle-ground with the treble tuning. It’s not full-on “audiophile” but provides enough that the Plutus Beast still manages to sound clearer than anything you’ll find in a department store and can be easily enjoyed for many hours without fatigue.

The technical performance of this set is average. Which is to say, better than those department store pick-ups but doesn’t really stand out against the competition in this price range while also not falling short. The soundstage isn’t very remarkable: it’s not congested but also isn’t very wide. The detail retrieval is decent but the tuning seems to gloss over a lot of tiny details that would otherwise be apparent with planar magnetic drivers. There isn’t a perception that you’re missing out, per se, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more or go for a more resolving planar magnetic pair of earphones, you’ll find that they can deliver more in this regard.

With that in mind, they can still be a decent fit for gaming. They’re comfortable, bassy, and the tuning delivers enough to pick up on position detail well. They’re not the best you can find but in this price range, they get the job done. The biggest drawback here is that I found Dolby Atmos really didn’t work very well with this combination of drivers. The effect was strange and almost seemed to compress the sound, accentuating some frequencies and suppressing others. So, you won’t find an easy answer for increased spatial performance.

Overall Impressions and Final Thoughts

The end result is a pair of earphones that have a lot of appeal for listeners that enjoy a bit of extra bass without losing clarity. The tuning does roll off the treble some but it’s still an enjoyable listen that doesn’t sound clouded. They’re not the most resolving and I don’t believe they’re trying to be. But they are resolving enough, and that’s what matters at this price. They’re a good all-arounder, a pair of earphones you can take to and from work or school without worrying too much, and still enjoy a better listening experience that you’ll find with your average pair of wireless headphones. For $90, they’re a good value.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Articles may include affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission to help support the site. Authors do not earn affiliate revenue or commissions.           

7.5 Good
  • Bone conduction bass and well-tuned highs
  • Easy listening - early fatigue shouldn't be an issue
  • Hand-painted shells
  • Good comfort
  • Well priced
  • Treble roll-off
  • Moderate soundstage
  • Detail retrieval is only average


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight