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Letshuoer Cadenza 4 Review

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

Letshuoer has been on a roll the last couple of years, releasing multiple popular IEMs for different types of listeners. Most recently, we took a look at its S15 planar magnetic IEMs and found it to be one of the hands-down best planars you can buy under $500. Before that, it was the S12 and the Tape Pro. Today, we have its latest release, the Cadenza 4.

The Cadenza 4 is the little brother to the Letshuoer Cadenza 12, a $2,100 set of hybrid IEMs that, while highly regarded, are simply out of reach for most listeners. This new release comes to market with a much more accessible $229 price point. It’s designed to deliver a reference sound, complete with a deep sub-bass rumble and plenty of detail higher in the spectrum. With some smart scale backs, it delivers an impressive sound that puts it right alongside the AFUL Performer 5 as one of the best picks in this price range. 


Letshuoer Cadenza 4  - First Impressions and Key Features 

The Cadenza 4 makes a strong first impression with its unboxing experience. It arrives in a relatively small, yet tall, box with a bit of graphic design on the front sleeve cover. Removing this, you’ll find a multi-level box that opens like a book with a magnetic clasp. The earphones are on the top level, on display when you open the cover, behind an envelope with all of the documentation. 

The case, cable, and accessories are all found in a pull-out drawer on the second level. The unboxing experience is very similar to the more expensive S15 and that’s to its benefit. It’s classy. The drawer has exact cutouts for the three modular cable ends (2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm single-ended, and 4.4mm balanced), and the plastic travel case.

Inside the case, you’ll find a plastic ring with small, medium, and large eartips in balanced and vocal variations. Beneath this is the cable itself, which is very nice. It’s made of high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper and connects to the earphones with a standard 2-pin connection. It’s soft and noti microphonic, which I’ve come to expect from Letshuoer. It sells its cables separately and it’s easy to see why. The case itself is on the bulky side, again like the S15, but its hard plastic will keep the earphones safe in transit. 

The earphones themselves are made of 3D printed resin in a universal IEM format. This means that the design is made to fit the average human ear with contours meant to grab and hold it in place. The faceplate is made of CNC-milled aluminum and finished with a matte texture that avoids fingerprinting. 

The nozzles are on the wider side but I didn’t have any trouble finding a comfortable fit with them and they sealed quite well. After a couple of hours, I did need to take a break because of the added pressure but it’s something that did get better over time. 

Inside those shells, the Cadenza 4 uses a four driver array for its frequency response. This consists of a single beryllium-coated dynamic driver that is 10mm in size, one Sonion balanced armature, and two Knowles balanced armatures. These are paired with a four-way electronic crossover to split the frequencies between each driver, allowing each to focus on a narrower band and deliver it with more clarity and detail. These output in three distinct acoustic tubes to ensure the frequencies remain divided until they enter your ear, preventing wave turbulence and preserving clarity.

The Cadenza 4’s biggest competitor is certainly the AFUL Performer 5, which is currently available for $10 less. While the two are very similar in design (the P5 has an additional balanced armature), there are some big differences between the two, both visually and sonically, which should make the decision a bit easier between the two depending on your tastes. I’ll expand upon this in the next section, but if you want a more reference sound that has a bit more treble energy, low-end rumble, and is better for gaming, go for the Cadenza 4. If you want more bass and a more relaxed high end, go with the P5. 

Letshuoer Cadenza 4  - Listening Impressions 

Graph courtesy of Super* Review via Squig.link 

The Cadenza 4 has a U-shaped sound signature with a sub-bass shelf and elevation in the upper-mids and highs to bring out detail. For monitoring, they’re very good. There’s a sense of tactility to the listening experience that’s not altogether common on earphones around this price. The lowest lows can feel downright kinesthetic. Mid-bass, where bass guitars and synths live, is dialed back so the mids remain clarion and resolving. The highs are smooth but accentuated to still sound sufficiently detailed. 

It’s not difficult to drive either. You’ll be able to achieve a comfortable listening volume on most sources, including the integrated audio on your PC or laptop and most dongle DAC/headphone adapters. 

Bass: The bass region is absolutely sub-bass focused. So much so that it could be too much for some listeners. The bass hits on Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone have real rumble to them, so much so that it sounded a little strange to me at first. Mid-bass, as a result, can sound a little hollowed out on tracks like this — but it’s really not. It’s simply that songs that emphasize sub-bass in the mix come forward with a power that’s just not typical to in-ear monitors. Swapping over to a track like Die For Me reigns that in quite a bit and allows the rest of the low end to shine. 

This design is great for gaming, however. With anything action-based, and especially games with explosions and gunshots, there’s a tactility here that is very engaging and fun. 

I can see what Letshuoer was after here. As a set designed for monitoring, they’re trying to capture the bass presence you might experience on a set of professional monitors. It works, though because it may seem too prominent at times, I suggest swapping to the vocal eartips. These temper the sub-bass a bit while also adding more definition in the upper registers. 

Mids: The mids are particularly natural. Vocals come to the forefront with a very natural timbre, especially with female singers. The mid-bass roll-off allows the layering of mid-range instruments to be more clear, so you can really hear the different planes of your music and games. This can be especially useful for gaming, in fact, because elements like footsteps aren’t easily lost amid other noise (like a frantic gunfight). There’s plentiful detail in this range and a crispness that’s attributable to the balanced armatures. It’s quite nice, especially for instruments like acoustic and electric guitars, and pianos. I really enjoyed these for my mix of rock, prog, folk, and electronica. They’re wide-ranging.

Treble: The treble has a noticeable roll-off, but what’s interesting is that the upper-mids and highs still manage to stand out with crispness. The roll-off does cut some of the air frequencies, so the soundstage isn’t getting a boost there, but there’s still a lot of treble detail in hi-hats and other percussion. Second order harmonics also come through cleanly to make mid-range instruments sound natural and not veiled. Because of the roll-off, there’s nothing fatiguing or sharp about the listening experience, so the only tiring you’ll need to worry about will be related to their physical fit.

Technical Performance, Soundstage, and Imaging: The technical performance on these headphones is impressive for the price and outperforms the AFUL Performer 5. Layering is particularly clear and they also offer a surprisingly wide soundstage. There’s a good sense of positioning with instruments and audio cues, which also enhances their capability for competitive gaming. The beryllium driver and mix of BAs do a good job of pulling detail and texture from audio, too. The overall impression is that these are technically very capable and will likely impress IEM newcomers and veterans alike.

Gaming: These earphones are quite good for gaming. The sub-bass drives action-oriented experiences in particular but I also found that they were very good for games like World of Warcraft. That rumble and tactility from the sub-bass is definitely more immersive and engaging than IEMs with tamer sensibilities. The non-fatiguing treble also means that snappy sounds like gunshots won’t force you to take breaks even over longer gaming sessions. The soundstage and imaging are also very good, so positional cues come through cleanly and accurately. 

Compared to the AFUL Performer 5: I was and am a big fan of the AFUL Performer 5. Its tonal balance is very nice and I’m in love with their magma-inspired shell design. The Cadenza 4 compares favorably to it, however, as it’s more resolving and offers a better soundstage for a more immersive listening and gaming experience. 

The biggest differentiator is with the bass. The Cadenza 4 offers much more power in the sub-bass while the P5 puts that emphasis on the mid-bass. Put another way, the Cadenza is about rumble and the Performer about body. AFUL provides a fuller sound with less reach. Letshuoer reaches low but is less filled out and makes way for better resolution higher in the range.

Overall Impressions and Final Thoughts

Having never heard the original Cadenza 12, I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but the Cadenza 4 impressed me. It won’t be for everyone. There are times when the sub-bass just becomes too much, which wasn't clear from just looking at the frequency response graph. At other times, I found it to be very appealing. Ultimately, it came down to eartip choice, which usually isn’t a deciding factor for me. The rest of the range is much more consistently balanced with my library of music and games. 

With the proper tips and tracks that don’t overemphasize sub-bass in their own right, the Cadenza 4 is very enjoyable. I found them to be comfortable despite the wider nozzles and they’re resolving without being fatiguing. They were also very good for their intended purpose: as monitors, playing my guitar on stage. 

At $229, these are a very solid pick, especially if you listen to a range of genres or also want a pair of IEMs you can use for gaming. They won’t be for everyone, but I suspect many people will find a lot of enjoyment in this set. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.  

7.5 Good
  • Powerful sub-bass
  • Wide soundstage
  • Non-fatiguing treble
  • Good layering and detail
  • Great for gaming
  • Sub-bass can become too much at times
  • Treble roll-off masks the air frequencies
  • Wide nozzles could create fit issues for some


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