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Kanen KM 92 Impressions

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

About a month ago, I bought the Kanen KM 92 IEMs for about $6 with free shipping out of sheer curiosity. When I placed my order, I was quite wary of them, half expecting to want to throw them out the instant I placed them in my ears and started listening to music. Surprisingly, when I did just that, I found that was actually enjoying myself. After allowing these to burn in for 20+ hours by plugging them into my iPod and putting it on shuffle mode when I went to sleep the day I received them and listening to them on and off throughout the days after, I have to say, I’m impressed.


The KM 92s are very bass-heavy IEMs and are capable of producing some of the deepest bass notes I’ve ever heard. The bass is big and bloated but surprisingly well defined. It doesn’t quite have the refinement or tightness of my M9Ps or the extension of my RE0s but bass is handled surprisingly well. These can produce some teeth-rattling, earth-shaking bass the lower into the low end you go, peaking at around 40 Hz before rolling off quite heavily as you go lower.


Listening to bass-heavy tracks does highlight some weaknesses, such as the tendency of the bass to dominate the presentation and its “bigness”, which can be quite a turn off to some folks. With my tendencies towards hip-hop, R&B and other genres that benefit from big bass, this isn’t really an issue to me but it can be rather fatiguing at times.

The midrange is slightly recessed but well detailed and decently clear. The big bass and its prominent mid-bass hump does creep up on the mids and can make them sound somewhat washed out with some music but even then, it’s still rather decent. It’s very thick and “creamy” sounding to my ears with decent clarity and tonality throughout. Male vocals are especially very rich and full sounding. Treble is smooth, with decent sparkle and resolution, but not quite as clear as I’d like. These are quite forgiving of low bitrate music files because of their lack of resolution in terms of micro level detail, which is to be expected from IEMs in this price range. It’s also worth noting that particularly fast and busy tracks can overwhelm these to an extent and lead to a bit of distortion.

As what is likely an effect of their wooden housings, the sound signature of the KM 92s is quite smooth and lush with an unmistakable feeling of richness throughout. These are very warm and dark with their full-bodied (sometimes too much so) bass, thick mids and tame treble. Soundstage is rather small and intimate, creating an “in your head” sort of experience with decent instrument separation.


I never would’ve expected a $6 (and I’ve seen them go for even less) pair of IEMs to impress me in any respect other than price but the KM 92s have shown me the error of my ways. I’m impressed, not because they’re world beaters or anything, because they aren’t. Instead, I’m impressed that the sound quality is actually good considering their price. I will say that the big bass (and believe me, it’s big) will likely be a turn off to many listeners and I would definitely not recommend these to people who prefer neutral or bass-light sound.

Honestly, I can’t find much fault with them. I enjoy their warm presentation, and deep, powerful bass and I’m quite surprised that I’m writing that, given my preconceived notions. I’d classify these as the type of IEMs that would best appeal to mainstream listeners who love boomy bass and aren’t quite satisfied with the earbuds that came with their MP3 player of choice. I wouldn’t recommend them above the M9Ps, since they’re almost as bass-centric without the bass thoroughly dominating the presentation but the KM 92s aren’t bad at all for the price, as long as you’re prepared to wait about a month to receive them, that is.

Re-posted from my site, Musical Musings
post #2 of 35
Interesting review, thanks! I believe you are aware of their similarity to the Playaz N1. I was suspecting them to be OEM versions of the same IEMs, and some of your impressions seem to confirm this. Others however, like small soundstage, are widely different.

Having said this, I remember a recent post from the Playaz thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsy View Post
Not sure if its been mentioned but my KM92's came today and sound no where near as good as my N1's.
I wish the KM92 that I ordered more than two months ago would appear one day, but TBO I've given up hope...
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Interesting review, thanks! I believe you are aware of their similarity to the Playaz N1. I was suspecting them to be OEM versions of the same IEMs, and some of your impressions seem to confirm this. Others however, like small soundstage, are widely different.

Having said this, I remember a recent post from the Playaz thread:


I wish the KM92 that I ordered more than two months ago would appear one day, but TBO I've given up hope...
Yeah, actually, I ordered them because of the Playaz N1 thread. I figured if they were crap then I'd only wasted $6 or so but I'm surprised to say that they're actually quite good. I'm probably going to buy a couple more pair to give away as gifts and keep as backup pairs in case these break.

There are a number of differences between these and the N1s like the plastic nozzle and paper filter as opposed to metal nozzle and filters on the N1s. Perhaps that contributes to the differences between the two.

Another thought. These EQ very well. Using Foobar, I was able to boost the mids, increasing their clarity and bringing them forward while maintaining that deep, powerful bass that I enjoy so much.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Update: 50+ Hours of usage

Perhaps I didn't notice this before or maybe the drivers needed some additional time to burn in but the soundstage has really opened up to my ears and has become very wide, deep and airy. It's up there with the widest soundstages I've ever heard in an IEM. The presentation has been smoothed out somewhat as well.

With proper EQing (mids and highs brought up) these are some of the most entertaining IEMs I've used and have a very dynamic and fun (albeit bassy, warm and somewhat dark) sound signature.

All this for about $5 or so (depending on where you buy). Geez. I'm really impressed.
post #5 of 35
Hmm. Well, I've never used IEMs before and I'll want to buy some this summer or fall because as good as they sound the open KSC75 don't always do great for portable use.

And for $4.50 with free shipping, I'm very tempted. That's like value meal at McDonalds. And healthier for me, too. The engrish description doesn't instill much confidence, but whatever.

Couple questions:
1. Is that real wood?
2. Is the comfort comparable to other IEMs, since this would be more a practice run than anything else?
3. Is it even worth getting it if I have the KSC75?
4. Is this site trustworthy?
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
1. Yes, it is real wood.
2. Yes, it's comparable to other IEMs in terms of comfort. They are very light in my ears and are hardly noticeable when worn cord up or down.
3. Compared to the KSC75s, the KM 92s are a tad tighter in terms of bass and much more restrained when it comes to treble. The KSC75s can be quite aggressive sometimes in term of treble and the KM 92's are mostly smooth.
4. I ordered my KM 92s from another site called popbuying but I think focalprice is just as trustworthy.
post #7 of 35
These headphones never cease to amaze me.

I'm thinking about buying 20 or so pairs just in case production ends.

While the bass is bloated on some songs removing the foam and inserting less deeply allows for a mostly balanced sound that reminds me of a lusher (i.e.- slower) version of my beloved M6.
post #8 of 35

These things are uncanny. Too close to the quality of my M6, considering they were $3.99 shipped. There's a notable disparity in the quality of mids, favoring the M6, though, with the M6 also having a wider soundstage (though I haven't burned the Kanen in long). But for $4, I'm gonna buy a couple more to give away. Has anyone tried the KM-928? I can't tell what the difference is supposed to be. A reviewer on Focalprice said they had "boomier bass", but from a random reviewer that tells me nothing.

 

Edit: I paid the extra $1.70 for registered air mail. They were shipped within 12 hours, and I got them in less than 2 weeks. Recommended.


Edited by HappyFi - 6/30/10 at 10:43am
post #9 of 35

After reading this, couldn't resist for $3.57 shipped..so ordered one and see...now hope focalprice will ship it.

post #10 of 35

FYI, here you can find the KM-92 for $3.57 shipped. For the price it's a very nice set of (backup) earphones.

http://www.focalprice.com/detail_EP268X.html


Edited by Soyuz - 10/20/10 at 8:45am
post #11 of 35

i bought a set a week ago, waiting for them

post #12 of 35

Just ordered 6 pairs right now...will see what happend smily_headphones1.gif

post #13 of 35

You might like to equip the KM-92 with a pair of hybrid tips for added comfort and better seal. The default tips couldn't really satisfy me in in these. On eBay you can find 3 sets of hybrids in any size for just $2.70:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170548761915&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1750wt_1139


Edited by Soyuz - 10/22/10 at 10:45am
post #14 of 35

Just received my pair of KM-92 from Focalprice today. Ordered them on 22th of October. Did @djmattm  and @casioa5302ca  receive your units already?

After a small hearting test today, I really recommend to use hybrid or double flange tips with these. Since they provide better seal the sound really opens up.

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyuz View Post

Just received my pair of KM-92 from Focalprice today. Ordered them on 22th of October. Did @djmattm  and @casioa5302ca  receive your units already?

After a small hearting test today, I really recommend to use hybrid or double flange tips with these. Since they provide better seal the sound really opens up.

yeah yeah, about 6 days ago I received my (first) package with 6 pairs smily_headphones1.gif and even after brief listening (4 hours) I could say that they are worth much more money....30 USD e.g., IMO.


 

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