The Kinera BD005 has joined our top ranks in the under 30USD price bracket budget offerings. Read all about this budget hybrid gem in our review.
The Chinese earphone market grows ever more competitive. New boutique companies are entering every segment of the market, trying to carve out a niche for themselves with their incredibly high value products. Many corporations have tackled the 1 dynamic 1 armature hybrid setup, from the up and coming 1More all the way to established giants such as Sony. However, one particular budget offering caught our eyes with it’s rave reviews from day one, and that is the Kinera BD005.
Chinese audio companies have proven themselves fierce contenders in the earphone industry, with the likes of Vsonic, Ostry, KZ, LZ, Simgot, just to name a few. Kinera’s initial lineup included single dynamics and single armatures, but their hybrid design is what really put them on the map. A quick demo at an audio shop and we knew we had to get our hands on a pair.
- Driver: Balanced armature + Dynamic driver
- Impedance: 12±15Ω
- Sensitivity: 103±3Db
- Rated power: 3mW
- Respond range: 20Hz-20kHz
- Dynamic distortion: <5%(1kHz, 100Db SPL)
- Plug: 3.5mm (Oblique insertion)
- Length: 1.4m (detachable)
- Attenuation: Up to 25Db
- That value
- Sweet high quality bass for such value, perfect for lovers of warm meaty bassy sound signature
- Balanced armature driver brings out some nice sparkly high details without being harsh at all
- Overall highly resolved sound
- Ergonomic design
- Really not much soundstage to speak of – it’s much better than your average $5 earphones from the street stall, but if you’re an experienced listener looking for that wide, spacious sound, it’s not here.
- Nozzle has no ear tip lip, so the eartips may get dragged out by your ears or fall out.
- Bad build quality – I’ve had the MMCX connector rust and get stuck and the nozzle mesh/filter fall out.
The draw of the Kinera isn’t about luxurious packaging. Placed in a simple cardboard box with a transparent acrylic window to showcase the earphones, it comes provided with a few extra eartips of different sizes, and that’s really about it. It’s the bare minimum, but for the quality of sound it provides at this price point, nobody’s really complaining about packaging design here.
The Kinera BD005 comes in three translucent colors: blue, red and dark grey with the option to have red/blue mixed. If you order it from a site like Penon Audio or Aliexpress, you’ll probably only be able to get it in the standard combination of earphones with a very nice soft and supple black coloured cable. If you order it from certain Taobao shops, there are four different cables to choose from: copper or silver, each with the option to come with or without inline mic. The MMCX connector pins make for easy cable customizability. The build quality is good, with the two drivers easily seen, the acrylic finish is smooth and without sharp edges nor roughness. One apparent downside is a lack of nozzle lip, which lets the eartips to move along the nozzle tube. As a person who is very particular about identical eartip location, this is rather annoying for me, constantly making me question whether the left and right is different. You can’t just push the eartips straight down to the bottom either since that would cause the housing to stop the insertion length to an undesirable shallowness. This issue is also extended to their latest release, the Kinera H3, a single dynamic + dual armature IEM. Perhaps the production cost is so heavily controlled that every corner has been cut to minimize market price, but this feature is really important for me.
The sound signature seems like a V-shaped tuning at first, with bass being its most standout frequency, but you’ll realise quickly that vocals and instruments aren’t totally gone either. Bass has a very nice texture, but does present itself with a slight amount of bloat, as bass quantity is quite high. Sub-bass digs deep with great dynamism, performing well above its competition in the same price bracket. The balance between sub-bass and mid bass is very nice, and there is some, but minimal bass bleed going into the mids.
The mids have a slight warmth but mostly neutral presentation. Male vocals sound a bit thin at times, somewhat lacking some low mid frequency body, but female vocals hit the spot and are much brighter and enjoyable. Highs are slightly sparkly with great resolution. The presentation of the highs is on the smooth side and does roll off gently as it goes higher, so sibilance is non-existent which is a very comfortable and welcomed tuning, since a lot of hybrid iems will tune their highs a bit harsher just to reiterate that yes, this is a hybrid earphone. Soundstage is wider than most cheap earphones, but is nothing spectacular when compared to higher end offerings.
We can see a slope down from the bass frequencies downwards, with a very gentle bump in the 1-2k region which gives a gentle boost to the midrange vocal and instrumental fundamental frequencies followed by further roll off up to the highs, with a another small peak in the 10k region. Overall, the FR graph does reflect the bass focused sound of the Kinera BD005 but also shows the boosts in mids and highs that separates it from many other budget V-shaped options.
All in all, this is a very competitive earphone and I have since bought two more for my friends who were obviously blown away. Its bass performance is no doubt it’s strength, exercising such control while churning out beefy tunes, is a rarity at this price bracket. If you’re looking to get an upgrade from the baseline stock earphones, has the popular MMCX pins and a very fun, bassy sound, look no further. I doubt you will be disappointed.
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