Current testing methodology is v1.2
April 21, 2023
3.54 x 3.15 x 1.38 in
It retails for around $25, which makes it one of their budget release. Most reviews online stated that it’s an excellent pair and even one of Kiwi Ears’ best releases under the budget spectrum.
So, does Dolce deserve all these good reviews? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Kiwi Ears Dolce
Impressive looks and excellent sound at an affordable price
The Kiwi Ears Dolce is an all-rounder IEM with a slight V-shaped sound signature. It differs from your usual budget earphones with a V-shaped tuning because of its upfront mids. Its technicalities are also impressive as they’re on the above-average side.
At around $25, you get a versatile pair of earphones with an energetic profile and decent-looking build.
- Driver: 10mm LDP Dynamic Diaphragm
- Cable: High Purity OCC Cable
- Cable Length: 1.25m Line Type
- Connector: 0.78mm 2-Pin Connector
- Plug: 3.5mm Stereo Plug
- Frequency: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 16Ω ± 10%
- Sensitivity: 102 ± 3dB
What’s in the Box?
- Kiwi Ears Dolce earphones
- 3 pairs of stock ear tips
- 0.78mm 2-pin detachable cable
- QC pass stamp card
Stuff I like
- High-resolution and energetic sound
- Pronounced midrange and forward vocals
- Bright and sparkly treble
- Superior sound quality for its cheap price
Stuff I like less
- Lack of inclusions
- Lack of weight with the male vocals
- Build quality could be better
- Doesn’t have a cable winder
Comparable products to consider
The Kiwi Ears Cadenza has warm-to-neutral tuning and decent technicalities for around $35.
While reading different forums online, I stumbled upon a thread discussing the Kiwi Ears Dolce. The reviews were promising – a lot of them said that it has great performance with minor issues that don’t significantly affect the listening experience.
Without any hesitation and just by trusting the reviews online, I immediately purchased one for myself and waited for about a week for it to arrive. Upon the arrival of the package, I unwrapped it and the appealing design of the box welcomed me.
The front side of the box features the “Kiwi Ears” logo along with an image of the Dolce themselves, while the rear portion shows the brand’s contact details rather than the product specifications. Opening the box reveals a smaller box and the earphones in some type of plastic mold with a felt texture on its surface. The smaller box contains the cable and the stock ear tips for the Dolce.
To be honest, I was expecting more inclusions, such as a carrying pouch or a cable winder for better storage of the earphones.
Let’s discuss the Kiwi Ears Dolce’s build.
The material used for the shell is a medical-grade semi-transparent resin, which is a material that’s commonly used with budget IEMs. I have good experience with this type of build and I can say that these earphones feel tough and would sustain years of usage.
With the Dolce’s faceplate, some people say that it’s metal while others stated it’s made of plastic. Though, in my personal opinion, I feel that it’s made of plastic due to its lightweight profile.
Another thing I also like about the Dolce’s appearance is that it has this neat gradient effect painted on the faceplate that complements the slightly tinted shell well.
The included cable is a High Purity OCC Cable that’s also quite common with budget IEMs. What I don’t like about the cable is that it has no cable winder, and the left and right cables terminating the pins were attached. I had to separate them manually, which is irreversible, just like the earphones included with old cellphones.
Also, the stock ear tips felt generic but the blue-colored core sits well with the color scheme of the Dolce.
Fit and Comfort
Putting the Dolce in my ears gave me flashbacks to my experience with the FZ Liberty Max.
It has the same weird bump that the Liberty Max has, which isn’t much of a problem for me as it gives a nice seal. It also fits my ears nicely but not perfectly, though. This weird bump may be a letdown for other users with different ear sizes and shapes.
The pre-made ear hooks sit on my ears nicely after using the Dolce. At first, the hooks were tight but they didn’t cause pain or discomfort.
For an IEM priced under $25, the Kiwi Ears Dolce changed my perception of how a budget IEM should sound. It has a V-shaped profile that’s slightly different from the usual tuning found in budget IEMs.
Its lows aren’t that elevated but when it comes to the mid-bass, it definitely packs a punch. The midrange is slightly recessed but the naturality and the presence are still there. The midrange also has vocals that are more prominent compared to the instruments.
The energy that the Dolce gives in its treble region, I think, is the main reason why this IEM is an absolute banger. It’s energetic, airy, and bright without being overbearing or harsh.
As I was saying a while ago, the bass region of the Kiwi Ears Dolce isn’t its most vital asset. Even though the lows aren’t that elevated, the contribution it adds to the overall mix is still remarkable.
The bass region has a great extension, maybe slightly above neutral. It also has a powerful rumble and it’s textured with a good quantity of depth into it.
The mid-bass of the Dolce is more dominant compared to the sub-bass. It has a well-tuned attack with body and decay that’s not overdone. Though it bleeds at times, I don’t see it as a big problem as this is pretty common with V-shaped IEMs.
This type of bass profile isn’t usually what bass heads are looking for. Still, the Dolce is worth trying.
Another thing to note is that the other regions compensate for what the bass lacks.
Despite having a V-shaped profile, this didn’t stop the midrange from showing what it could do.
The midrange of the Kiwi Ears Dolce isn’t that recessed. What makes it sound recessed is its elevated highs and lows that leave the midrange a bit behind.
Male and female vocals are both forward and aren’t left out. They have a body and richness in them even though there were times when female vocals tend to have some metallic timbre, which I don’t see as much of an issue. Male vocals also sometimes lack height and warmth but the good thing is that they aren’t laid-back.
There are slight occurrences of sibilance, especially with really sibilant voices. The Kiwi Ears Dolce struggles a bit to lessen or filter the piercing sound produced by poorly mixed vocals.
They do well enough with the instruments in the midrange but it’s noticeable that they’re behind the vocals but not sitting at the back. What I like about the presentation of the instruments in the midrange is that they sound so detailed.
The instruments blend well with the vocals, and there isn’t any discernible overpowering of the vocals or the instruments.
The Kiwi Ears Dolce’s treble is what I like most compared to other frequencies.
It has minimal sibilance and it suffers from the same issue that the midrange struggles with – and that’s filtering poorly mixed tracks due to its very bright and airy profile. However, the piercing sounds didn’t bother me as it was tolerable.
The bright and sparkly personality of the treble does well with cymbal crashes as every hit of the cymbals was a chef’s kiss, plus no micro-details were neglected.
Also, the treble of the Dolce is very present and has a lot of energy in the overall mix. They sometimes overperform and it’s becoming unnatural for the ears. However, the energy in the treble is what brings out the most details in this region.
A bit of EQ-ing or hooking it up to a decent source would fix most issues.
When it comes to Dolce’s technicalities, it sits between the average and above average scale. The technicalities that it offers are usually found in $50 IEMs.
The Kiwi Ears Dolce offers a pretty average soundstage with a good amount of width and height. There’s also sufficient depth but others may find it lacking, depending on their preferences.
The separation and layering aspect of this IEM is what makes it stands out. It handles busy and fast-paced tracks quite well while maintaining relevant musical details. Its resolution is also decent and satisfactory enough to give the best dynamics in the listening experience.
The Kiwi Ears Dolce is an IEM that has to be in every audiophile’s collection.
They’re cheap, good-looking, and have much to offer for their low price. For around $25, this is a significant breakthrough for starters who wants to discover something new to their usual IEM choices.
It has minor setbacks, which are understandable at this price point, but its overall performance outweighs the minor issues. Despite everything, what we’re after is the satisfaction of enjoying our music.
I’d recommend the Kiwi Ears Dolce if you like a wide range of genres because it’s quite versatile. It’s a jack of all trades but master of none IEM. Thumbs up to Kiwi Ears for releasing a budget IEM that’s a great head start for discovering more from them.
Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.
As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life
This post was last updated on 2023-12-05 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.