The KM-948 uses the JVC FXC housing that is seeing more use among the manufacturers. It is not a "fake" JVC but a Kanen branded look-alike that uses a larger driver(7mm vs. 5.5mm).
The real reason for me posting impressions on a $6 shipped earphone is less about how good the earphone is and more about Kanen themselves. I remember posting about the Meelec M2 which few cared about but they made MEE worth keeping an eye on and the M6/M9 followed and were worth trying out. Same with Soundmagic having some decent cheapies leading me to take a chance on the PL30. Kanen has the MD-52 under their belt. Can they grow and improve into another Soundmagic?
The KM-948 leads me to think they might just deserve to keep an eye on in the future. Whether they become something we will see.
The KM-948 is a very nice little phone for $6. I have an older Kanen cheapie and this one is an improvement in all areas. The packaging is way improved. The plastic tray that the form fits into is strong enough to stand on. I will use it to store all my tips from now on. Better than the MEE box/plastic form. The tips are improved. No cheap pink and blue tips but thicker tips made more like(though not as good as) Sony Hybrids. A decent cable which has the older MEE style shrink tube plug and the Sennheiser CX/MX Y joint inspires some confidence.
The specs of these newer Kanen's are more realistic, 18-20,000 frequency response instead of the inflated 10-28,000 of some previous efforts. The specs of this phone are extremely close to the MEE M11. I also look down the sound tube and see a smaller opening and white paper filter just like the M11. I doubt there are multiple 7mm drivers with very low sensitivity and the same opening/white paper filter so it might just be the same driver.
I had my hands on the M11 for a few days and IIRC they sound and behave very similar. They are both quite sensitive to insertion depth and source. both are smooth, dark and well separated. Soundstage is similar and not that big. They both make you think the phone sounds better than it does. Both are a relaxing easy listen with no major flaws to pick on. They just are pretty average and not anything special. They both benefit from a touch of treble. Different tips and different housings(metal vs. plastic) so I'm sure they don't sound exactly the same but extremely close. Difference is the price and value where the M11 is a an under-achiever for it's price and the Kanen is an over-achiever at $6.33. As they the KM-948 are burning-in they are getting fairly close to the PL21 level of SQ which is not shabby in general and good for $6.
No giant killer here. A nice knock-around phone. Good for exercise and to tame hissing sources and it has nice isolation and comfort and SQ above it's price. More important a step in the right direction for Kanen and hopefully a sign of better things to come. If they come out with a $25-$30 phone I would certainly think about trying it out more now than before.