KBEAR Stellar

cappuchino

Previously known as sub30
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Pros: Bass is very, very nice for an earbud
Present yet smooth highs
V-shaped with a touch of warmth - Fun and engaging
Decent Packaging – fancy pouch included in box
Build – durable MX500 shell with a better cable than the Vido
Priced @ 2.58 USD
Can be bought with a mic option (volume controls and play/pause)
Cons: Only 1 pair of foam - this one’s nitpicking considering the price
V-shaped with a touch of warmth – may be a con for some
Technicalities – BUT you have to take into consideration how much these are sold for
Disclaimer:

I would like to thank @WendyLi of KB Ear for letting me buy the KB Ear Stellar with a very, very generous discount. Rest assured that my impressions written in this review are my own personal thoughts and opinions and in no way influenced by outside parties.

I am not an expert in this hobby nor claim to be an audiophile. I just love listening to music and am fond of writing.

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Introduction:


One of, if not, the fastest growing Chi-Fi company, KB Ear, has released their second budget earbud. This quick rise is mainly due to their drive to not be like the others that keep on releasing sub-par offerings. I see them as a company that has the dedication and passion to their craft, which results in their prominence on the vast Chi-Fi ocean. Their resolve to produce products that offers quality sound on a budget has definitely paid off. Of the recent releases, the Lark and their flagship, Believe were both praised as game changers in their given price point. There is also the soon-to-be-released KS1 – another one of their budget offering. Regarding their earbuds, their first release was the unique and more expensive Knight, which received polarizing views, as they were tuned not like the typical sub-20 buds (they were bright-sounding). They return with the KB Ear Stellar – a cost-friendly earbud that comes in the typical but legendary shell – the MX500. Sensitivity is at 115 dB with an impedance of 30 Ω. It comes in five different colors – red, white (matte), black (matte), blue, and transparent grey which can all be bought with a mic option. These can be found for as low as 2.58 USD and thus, price will play a big factor in this review. Other than the earbud itself, it also comes with a pair of foams and a pouch packed in a paper box. A very nice unboxing experience considering the price.

These were plugged to my phones (Oppo Reno 4 and mainly iPhone 5s) and my laptops (Asus X409 and Macbook Pro ‘15). I still do not have a dedicated DAC/Amp and thus cannot test scalability with more power but I am considering buying a cheap amplifier (Topping NX1s or Walnut V2).

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Build and Comfort: Typical MX500 shell. Earbuds in general are very dependent on the ear canal shape of the user on whether it will be comfortable and generate enough seal. Foams are typically used if these fit loose. I personally have not encountered any fit issues with MX500 shells and prefer to use them without foams. The cable that it comes with is definitely better built than the Vidos but isn’t something to write home about. It doesn’t feel flimsy or easily breakable and has a decent strain-relief at the jack. Definitely usable without the fear of damaging the earbud/cable. The mic acts as the splitter - plastic, with buttons for volume and play/pause (there’s also an unknown switch that somehow sucks out the vocals when halfway).


Now, onto sound:

These were used with full foams



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Bass –
Lots of bass without muddying the sound. Punchy and mid-bass dominant. There is, surprisingly, sub-bass. But don’t expect a rumble. It’s audible and that in itself is a huge compliment for earbuds. It stays fairly controlled, tight and is very engaging. It is also way more textured than my other buds. I’d take this over my other flathead buds (not semi in-ear) if we’re talking about bass.

Mids – If you got used to something with thick/rich and/or forward vocals, the Stellar will seem thinner and slightly recessed at first. However, give them some time on your ears and everything changes. Vocals and instruments are rendered in a much clearer presentation than the others I’ve heard in the same price range (sub-4 USD) which were overshadowed and/or affected too much by the bass, resulting in an overly thick presentation (i.e., Nameless). It’s a bit recessed than the bass and treble, but fortunately, it is placed just right – not too far back nor too forward (MS16 sometimes suffers from this). You also feel the weight of the piano keys. That V-shaped signature does bring its advantages (bass and treble), but in this case, it will be all about preference and what sound you’re looking for.

Treble – There’s a boost in lower treble which helps to give a bit of life and energy to the mix so that it doesn’t sound dull. I won’t advise to use these foam-free. Full foams do help a lot with smoothening the highs without becoming boring (no pierce as well). It isn’t splashy at all and is crisp. There is roll-off as typical of budget buds but that elevation in the lower region does help for those looking for the treble.

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Timbre –
Earbuds generally don’t suffer from bad timbre, although I have read of a few exceptions. The KB Ear Stellar reproduces instruments/notes in a realistic/natural way, nothing off-sounding with it.

Soundstage – Average. Not it’s best feature. It reproduces a 3D-like stage, not that wide nor tall nor extended but enough so that it doesn’t sound congested. Considering it’s an earbud, it is better than my budget IEMs/TWS, but is beaten by the MS16 (though an unfair comparison, IMO).

Imaging –
Panning sounds do pan from left-to-right but they’re not distinct (IOW, makes your head spin) when you listen to a track with such sounds. Imaging is also not blurry and you’ll easily hear where it’s coming from. Due to that 3D stage, instruments and vocals are placed nicely, not being unnaturally far from your head.

Separation – Gets the job done. I do have to note that it struggles when things get busy – instruments just go over a bit with each other, but nothing extreme. I, however, have not listened to an earbud that does this particularly well, and the Stellar is the best I have right now. For most songs, these will perform fine.

Detail-retrieval – as this is a 2.58 USD bud, I expected as such, which was true most times. It does show some detail, but this will be dependent on the genre/tracks you listen to as well (how bass/treble-heavy it is).


Comparisons:


K’s Nameless (~2 USD)


The Nameless comes in a typical MX500 shell with a very stiff cable. Fun-sounding, with elevated mid bass, borderline muddy or too warm when used with full foam (this one is preference-dependent). The Nameless has more bass quantity than the Stellar but definitely inferior on quality (tightness and texture). The former also has slightly less treble quantity and about the same quality. The bad thing about the Nameless is that if you don’t use EQ (I use @Sam L 's file but for this comparison, left in stock) it will result in an overly warm sound. Vocals/instruments, most of the time, sound thick and quite unnatural, but are more forward compared to the Stellar. Going foamless would definitely help but that is dependent on your ear canal shape (concerning fit and seal). Stellar have better technicalities overall than the Nameless (except for soundstage).

Headroom MS16 (~4 USD)

The MS16 might be the most unique bud for a bag of chips. It has a bell-shaped shell, is true open-back, and has a metal build. I run these foam-free and grill-less. These are definitely more comfortable/fit better than MX500 shells. Compared to the Stellar, the MS16 have inferior bass (destroyed in extension, less in quantity and close, but still inferior in quality) and more relaxed treble. The Stellar also has better extension in both ends of the spectrums. However, the MS16 offers a more relaxed sound, with fuller/richer midrange and the best soundstage and imaging of all my buds. Stellar has slightly better separation and detail-retrieval. This will be dependent on your preference, but I’d say that they are complementary to each other as the MS16 is very track-dependent for it to sound amazing (acoustic/vocals-focused) or just downright bad (mainstream pop/bass-heavy songs).

Ranking:

Stellar >= MS16 > Nameless >> Red Vido

*I had the Red Vido (had because I damaged the drivers while recabling) and hated them mainly because I bought the Nameless at the same time, which was better in every way for 0.30 USD more. It sounded too congested, vocals were much more recessed and I didn’t like the bass one bit (exaggerated; drowning). Maybe I just got a bad unit. Never went into buying another pair.

**Both the Nameless and MS16 appear louder than the Stellar at the same volume due to the more forward midrange/vocals (MS16 and Nameless) and more bass quantity (Nameless).





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***I LOVE where the mic is positioned (at splitter). Very easy to reach and ergonomic to use. All buttons work on Android and iOS, but not on my Windows laptop or Macbook Pro. I don’t know if this is caused by a setting on my laptops.



Conclusion:


For 2.58 USD, this is the only earbud I’ve listened to that works with mainstream pop, and for every genre for that matter. The others I have/had either suffer from little or too much bass quantity (specifically mid-bass). It’s the only bud I’ve listened to that doesn’t make me miss the bass from IEMs. With the very cheap price, you get the highly moddable MX500 shell and a V-shaped sound signature - textured bass and clean mids with decent technicalities for an earbud. It also doesn’t need recabling as the cable is serviceable as is. The mic is also very usable and is placed nicely - it has a play/pause button and volume control (there’s also another switch that somehow sucks the vocals which I don’t know the function of). You can nitpick a few things here and there like the slightly recessed vocals (personal preference), average soundstage and distortion at really higher volumes, but it is important to consider how cheap these are. And if there’s something better out there, at what cost? Twice the price? That’s a lot of money when you’re living on the other side of the world.




Important: There have been reported units that heavily distort at higher volumes. I only get them when I turn on Replay Gain on Poweramp at 16 dB, 70/100 volume (Reno 4). But I don’t listen at that loudness and even when I max out the volume on my iPhone 5s, I don’t get any distortion. Maybe a bit, but barely noticeable.



****If you have other questions/concerns with the buds mentioned, feel free to message me****
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cappuchino
cappuchino
Thank you very much! It's so wonderful to hear that I'm able to cover everything in my review 😁 Keep safe!
furyossa
furyossa
Nice review man. You've worked hard on this description, without overdoing it, which I like. Short and clear. Intro, sound description, comparation, and conclusion. 4 main "ingredients" for a good review. Keep up good work :beerchug:
cappuchino
cappuchino
Thanks a lot! I really thought hard on how I can make this review as informative yet still easy-to-understand as I can without being puzzling/confusing for the readers 😁 Keep safe!

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
KBEAR Stellar vs NiceHCK Traceless
Pros: Price of both earbuds.
- Durability of both models for a minimal price.
- Huge price/performance ratio.
- Stellar: Remarkable bass and treble.
- Stellar: Packaging and storage bag.
- Traceless: More balanced and natural tuning, providing great bass and midrange quality.
Cons: Both models come with only a couple of foams.
- Stellar: Mid-range distant.
- Traceless: they come in a plastic bag and there is no case for their protection.
- Traceless: Treble without much sparkle, more extension would have improved the set.
Introduction

The world of headphones does not stop and there are more and more products that generate great sound at the best price. And there's probably no better way to do that than with Earbuds. Ever since the VE Monk came on the market, with its ridiculous price, something broke, for the sake of audio enthusiasts. Now, it is very easy to find many earbuds that want to reach the open path, improving the sound. This is the case with two very similar earbuds, so much so, that at first I thought they were clones, looking at their specifications and drivers. Luckily, they are not. Even one is cheaper than the other. KBEAR has released some earbuds with the classic MX500 capsule, whose price during Black Friday is 3 euros. Previously, NiceHCK released a very similar model, whose price in this special week, is around 4 euros. In this little review I'm going to try to discover their differences.

KBear Stellar N 01_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 02_r.jpg

Disclaimer

KBEAR, (thanks to @WendyLi) and NiceHCK, have offered me both earbuds, in exchange for writing my humble opinion about them. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

KBear Stellar N 03_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 04_r.jpg

Specifications KBEAR Stellar

  • Driver type: 15.4mm Dynamic Driver with Japanese PPS diaphragm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 115±3dB
  • Impedance: 30Ω
  • Jack connector: Straight 3.5mm
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Material of the capsule: ABS imported from Japan
  • Capsule type MX500.
  • Available in red, black, blue, white and transparent black. Optional microphone.

KBear Stellar N 05_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 06_r.jpg

Specifications NiceHCK Traceless

  • Driver type: 15.4mm Dynamic Driver with Japanese PET diaphragm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 115±3dB
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Jack connector: Straight 3.5mm
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Capsule type MX500.
  • Available in red, black, blue, white and red-blue transparent. Optional microphone.

KBear Stellar N 07_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 08_r.jpg

Packaging

I received two KBEAR Stellar. The first pair came with the same presentation as the NiceHCH, a simple sealed plastic bag. One side is opaque, the other transparent. On the KBEAR, the opaque side is white, on the NiceHCK, silver. Each headset comes with a complete pair of foams. Nothing else.
But on the second pair of Stellar, they came in a very faint pink cardboard box. Its dimensions are 160x77x18mm. On the main side is the logo of the brand, the model and a small description. Underneath are 5 real photos of all the colours in which you can choose these Stellar. On the back side are written the specifications. Inside it comes a plastic blister in which the earbuds are encased, as well as the classic KBEAR cloth bag for storage and a pair of black foams. It's a bit strange that at first they came without a box and then with one. Another thing that has caught my attention is that from the AliExpress purchase website, you can see that there is even another, newer presentation, where the box is smaller and a little thicker.
On the other hand, looking at the web, the sensitivity of the Stellar is 115±3dB and in the box I received it says 106±2dB. I have spoken to WendyLi from KBEAR and she has assured me that the correct value is 115±3dB and that in the next batch, they will correct it on the box, as well as improving the information provided. So the cardboard packaging will remain.
Be that as it may, it seems that the Stellar, although cheaper, will definitely come in a cardboard box, instead of a simple plastic bag. They also come with a bag for storage, which for the price seems incredible.

KBear Stellar N 09_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 10_r.jpg

Construction and Design

The two models are virtually identical, and both feature the same classic MX500 capsule. Even the colours are very similar, with slight variations in tone: blue, white, red and black. The different models are the transparent black for the Stellar and the transparent blue-red for the Traceless. The cable is almost the same, the KBEAR is matt and the NiceHCK is slightly brighter. Both have the same length, but in the Traceless, their splitter piece is a few centimetres closer to the capsules. On the other hand, the jacks are identical.
KBEAR's specifications indicate that they are made of ABS material imported from Japan. Nothing is indicated by NiceHCK, but this is not something that can be detected by the naked eye: both headphones appear to be equally strong and of the same construction quality.

KBear Stellar N 11_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 12_r.jpg

Adjustment and Ergonomics

At this point I can comment little on the ergonomics and fit of the MX500 capsules. For my taste they are somewhat large, but they fit more tightly because they insert better. In the long run, I find them a little more annoying than the other models. I think this type of capsule encourages a greater presence in the lower area, perhaps due to the greater contact and the possibility of mounting larger drivers.

KBear Stellar N 13_r.jpgKBear Stellar N 14_r.jpg

Sound

KBear Stellar vs NiceHCK Traceless.png

Profile

The profile of the KBEAR Stellar looks like a slight warm V, with emphasis on the mid-bass and treble. The NiceHCK is more balanced, with a more linear low end, fuller and more present mids, but with more controlled treble.

KBear Stellar N 15_r.jpgKBear Stellar NiceHCK Stellar 07_resize.jpg

Bass

Mid-bass predominates on the Stellar, over the Traceless. Texture and speed are similar, but the punch is somewhat greater in the KBEAR. The Traceless have a more linear and deeper bass, but the incidence of low end in the Stellar is higher. This makes the lower range denser, a bit darker and a slightly cloudier. The bass incidence in the Traceless is more neutral in the sound, without implying its absence, far from it. There is more power and a somewhat more punchy punch in the Stellar, a more controlled and respectful, yet energetic and vivid expression in the Traceless. Those who like their bass a little more emphasised would choose the KBEARs. But the low end of the Traceless has more than enough to satisfy most bass lovers. In addition, the linearity of their low end provides a cleaner and clearer sound, where better details and planes can be distinguished, as opposed to the density and thickness in the mid-bass of the Stellar.

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Mids

I can't say that both earbuds are characterised by high mid-range clarity. And it is common in this area to find that the relationship between the ergonomics of the capsules, their shape, their fit and the use of the full foams in the earbuds, do not favour the light in the mid-range. On the Stellar, however, this area is more cloudy, offering less definition, a little more distance and a more diffuse resolution. There is more light in the Traceless, a characteristic that is easily felt, not an overwhelming difference in vocals, but somewhat more noticeable when the range presents a richer instrumentation. The incidence of bass in the Stellar drags a slight trace of darkness and the greater hollowness in the upper mids does not help them to take off, remaining more insipid and less developed, not very explicit, a little more distant comparatively speaking. In this way, the more V-shaped profile of the KBEARs is more prominent, which is a disadvantage compared to the NiceHCKs.
On the other hand, the level of resolution and detail in the mid-range has a clear tendency towards softness and musicality in the two earbuds, without either being characterised by a definition worthy of note, or an analytical capacity that gives them a clear qualitative increase. Although, it is true that the Traceless have more sparkle and more dynamics in this range, something that provides more life, proximity, realism and naturalness to their sound. In this way, I could say that the NiceHCKs have a more accurate tonality and timbre, less warm and more neutral, with a profile that allows us to enjoy more of the central range, within a slightly more natural approach.

KBear Stellar NiceHCK Stellar 10_resize.jpg

Treble

The treble starts out deceptively high on the Traceless, as its clarity in the mid-range is perceptible all the way to the treble. However, the first phase in both earbuds is very similar and not very prominent in the overall sound. Then, the later emphasis on the Stellar favours its high range. As a good V-earbud, its profile on this occasion benefits its presence and perception. It is thus easier to isolate the high notes in the Stellar, and even to follow them further, thanks to their greater extension and amount of air. On the other hand, in the Traceless, these notes remain more controlled or even more hidden, which qualifies their execution and limits their superior development. Their brightness is closer to neutrality, without their range, both in extension and sparkle, providing a more noticeable crunch and a fuller or more complete sensation. Something that, on the other hand, appears more incipiently in the Stellar, but without dazzling.
Neither of the two earbuds is characterised by a very detailed or defined high end, but rather offer a reduced version of the real thing in this range. It is clear that this area is the most complex to execute, for earbuds of this price and features. The KBEARs do a better job of resolving this range, though it is more susceptible to sibilance than the NiceHCKs.

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Soundstage, Separation

The soundstage depends very much on the sensations produced in both earbuds. The KBEARs, with their V-profile, bring the bass and treble closer together and move the centre area further away. In this way they provide a more triangular sound stage, which narrows the closer you get. The NiceHCKs are more balanced and their soundstage has a more realistic distribution with more height, but also flatter. There is a gain in width, but a loss of the superior depth found in the Stellar. Instrumentation performs better in the Traceless, lacking the slight haze of the KBEARs in their mid-range, and gaining its position in space by having a point of greater separation. In this way, the location of the elements is more focused and more easily glimpsed, recreating an acceptable, proportionate image, capable of keeping a minimum distance between the elements.
In the Stellar, the powerful low area and the higher amount of air offers a slightly more three-dimensional, but less wide scene. It is more spectacular at times, but its central area has more congestion. This is why at times, the width of the Traceless stands out over the Stellar, while in other situations, the greater three-dimensionality of the Stellar is the more prevalent feature.
Although neither are experts in instrumental positioning, nor in the precise placement of elements, the soundstage of both is not extremely tight; but one misses more clarity and cleanness in sound overall.

KBear Stellar NiceHCK Stellar 12_resize.jpg

Conclusion

Both KBEAR Stellar and NiceHCK Traceless do not pretend to be a revolution, but an attempt to prove that you can offer a great sound at a minimal price. KBEAR tries it with a V approach, NiceHCK with a more homogeneous and smoother sound in the high end. The Stellar is closer to the classic bass drum and cymbal, offering a good treble extension. The Traceless have a more all-round profile, where the bass and mids are very well represented and the treble is sufficient. They even have a very good sound stage for their ridiculous price, being earbuds suitable for any situation: watching TV, series, films, plugging them into the mobile phone and, above all, listening to music with good quality and clarity. The Stellar are also good for all this, even offering a more three-dimensional and surprising scene in this sense, but their sound feels a bit more polarised, but also more spectacular.
I must confess that, at first, I thought the Stellar and the Traceless would have a very similar sound, as many of their characteristics are very similar. Fortunately, this was not the case, but they are two inexpensive earbuds with a different profile, allowing the user to choose the one he/she likes the most. Or why not! Buy both, as they can easily complement each other and the price is still very low. What more could you ask for?

KBear Stellar NiceHCK Stellar 13_resize.jpg

Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Burson Audio Playmate
  • xDuoo XP-2Pro
  • E1DA #9038D
  • Earmen Sparrow

You can read the full review in Spanish here
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WendyLi
WendyLi
Nice review! :ksc75smile:
  • Like
Reactions: cqtek

Bacon_N_Cheese

100+ Head-Fier
Great Beater Earbuds for $5
Disclaimer:

KBEAR sent me a free pair of the Stellar for review. I am not affiliated in any way with KBear or any sellers.

Introduction

The appeal of earbuds over IEMs is that their standard design makes them 1) comfortable for most people, 2) open-back; letting the listener hear their surroundings and avoid microphonics, and 3) easy to take on and off. For these reasons, I enjoy earbuds for casual, quick listening where sound quality isn’t the priority; such as going for a quick walk or when I am in the room with someone who I may need to chat with occasionally.

The KBEAR Stellar are $5 on AliExpress, and comes with a pair of foam pads and a light gray storage pouch. The fit and comfort is standard compared to other earbuds.

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Sound

At $5, it makes more sense to ask if the Stellars are enjoyable to listen to rather than critically listen and nitpick. When I think of cheap earbuds that are sold at gas stations and convenience stores, the defects are often noticeable enough that they obscure the enjoyment of the music. Although the Stellars still sound muffled (though less so than most other earbuds at this price-point), its warm, V-shaped sound signature brings enough bass, mids, soundstage, and detail to deliver an enjoyable experience. I am impressed that the Stellars sound “good enough” for $5.

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Comparison to Yincrow X6

The Yincrow X6 is considered one of the best budget earbuds. The X6 has a more controlled, punchier bass. However, the mids on the X6 sound a little more muffled than the Stellar. The treble is about the same, with the treble of the Stellar being a little more boosted and slightly shrill at times. Frankly though, unless you are trying to nitpick differences, you will have largely the same listening experience on both earbuds. That is a compliment to the Stellar, since it manages to match the X6 at about half the price.


Conclusion

The KBEAR Stellar are solid sounding, cheap earbuds. Get them if you need a beater pair to throw in your car or bag.
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Hooga

100+ Head-Fier
KBEar Stellar
Pros: Sub-bass.
Female vocals.
Treble and details.
Easy to drive.
Inexpensive,
Cons: Un-natural male vocals.
Invasive mid-bass.
Imaging.
If IEMs are a sea of different models and tunings, earbuds are an ocean.

These new ones from KBear feature a very modest price which might contribute to stimulate the curiosity of trying them. I would not call them all-rounders as they do come with some quite sharp pros and cons, but what they do well they actually do really well – so should their up sides match your musical tastes they would be not a bad addition to your collection at all.

I got this pair of KBear Stellar earbuds as a review unit from my friends at KEEPHIFI (www.keephifi.com) entrusting me to an unbiased analysis and openhearted subjective evaluation, which is what I’m reporting here below. You can purchase Stellar at Friendly Audio Store (Keephifi’s official store).


Test setup

Hiby R5 and Apogee Groove as sources
Lossless 16/44.1 – 24/96 – 24/192 FLAC tracks.


Signature analysis

Tonality:
Bass-boosted neutral on a W signature, at least in the tuner intentions.

Sub-Bass: Very present, dry and quite detailed. On the of fortes of this model.

Mid Bass More elevated than sub-bass, not particularly fast not sloppy either. Definitely inlfuencing and often veiling both sub-bass and lowmids.

Mids Unrecessed, they sound much better on their higher side than on their lows. Classical guitars, for example, come accross just great.

Male Vocals Quite oddly pumped up posssibly to try and compensate vs the midbass, they often sound un-natural and – rarely – even boxy.

Female Vocals Infinitely better than males, mid-forward but unbloated, moderately bodied, not sibilant. Quite nice, actually, although still not at “female vocal specialist” level.

Highs Polite and brushed-clean, highmids and trebles are very pleasant to me. Their sole problem is the push-up imposed on midbass and male vocals which tends to annihilate them – on track where low voices are less present trebles really shine.


Technicalities

Soundstage
Quite average – read: not as extended as one normally expects from earbuds, but not narrow nonetheless

Imaging Average, and possibly even something less. Too often I hear instrument and voices tending to position towards the center of the stage instead of being more properly distributed around it.

Details Too often only average due to the inherently good trebles detail retrieval being covered by the lower half of the presentation.

Instrument separation Good, except of bass-dense tracks where it all goes quite mixed.

Driveability Very easy at 115dB @30 Ohm. Most phones will be ok


Physicals

Fit & comfort
Classical Japanese flat-cavity shape, ideally to be worn oblique and with stock full foams.


Specifications (declared)

Housing
Japanese flat-cavity, ABS
Driver(s) 15.4mm Dynamic Driver
Cable Fixed, single ended 3.5mm straight plug
Sensitivity 115±3dB
Impedance 30Ω
Frequency Range 20-20000Hz
Accessories & Package Just 1 pair of full foams
MSRP at this post time $ 7,38 (street price $ 3,69)
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JasonLucas

New Head-Fier
Kbear Stellar
Pros: Fun , sounds good and cheap!!
Cons: None
Kbear Stellar Review

Very smooth non fatiguing . Fun and easy to listen to for a long time
Imaging and separation are both good
Good timbre.

Neutral sub bass with a mid bass kick

Treble is smooth , not harsh and has detail

Great value for a five dollar earbud, sounds better than the Apple earbuds to me

Comfortable

Mids and vocals sound great!

Great fun cheap pair.

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
KBEAR Stellar Review - Lives Up To Its Namesake
Pros: Cheap as chips, excellent price to performance ratio.
Light and comfortable.
Non fatiguing, smooth. Good for long listening sessions.
Good imaging and instrument separation.
Good timbre.
Cons: Average soundstage.
Higher treble rolloff. Not the best option for trebleheads.
Slight midbass bleed.
DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank KBEAR for providing this review unit.

KBEAR Stellar.jpeg



SPECIFICATIONS

Driver unit: 15.4mm dynamic driver
Diaphragm material: Japanese PPS
Frequency response range: 20 - 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 115±3dB
Impedance: 30Ω
Non detachable cable


ACCESSORIES

In addition to the earbud, it only comes with one pair of foam covers. Kinda expected considering its price of $3ish USD, not gonna complain about that.


BUILD/COMFORT

The KBEAR Stellar is very light and comfortable, no issue with longer listening sessions with it.


DRIVABILITY/SOURCE

For the purposes of this review, I tried the KBEAR Stellar with a Khadas Tone Board -> Topping L30 amp, Shanling Q1 DAP, humble smartphone, Ziku HD X9 -> Fiio A3 amp and Tempotec Sonata HD Pro.

The KBEAR Stellar is easily drivable from low powered smartphones, but scales slightly better in soundstage, details and dynamics with amping. Though one might say it is an overkill to pair a $3ish USD earbud with a more expensive source!

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SOUND & TECHNICALITIES

The KBEAR Stellar sports a warm U shaped tuning. Timbre is very good for acoustic instruments. Note weight is moderate.

In terms of bass, the midbass is boosted over the subbass in quantity in the KBEAR stellar. Most buds have a typical subbass roll off, and this is present in the KBEAR Stellar, with just a slight tickle of rumble heard on subbass heavy tracks. Subass is neutral and midbass is just a tinge north of neutral. Bass is actually pretty fast and tight, with above average texturing for a budget bud. Not one for true bassheads, but neutral bass lovers will appreciate this. A very slight midbass bleed is present.

Vocals and mids are probably my favourite part about this earbud. Female vocals are more forward than male ones, without being overly harsh. By and large it is very smooth and non fatiguing for me at moderate volumes. Details in the mids are actually quite good when amped, was surprised in this aspect.

There's a slight lower treble boost, but this set is not sibilant and harsh in the upper treble. In fact it doesn't have that great treble extension and isn't an airy set. Trebleheads will probably not like this set.

Left/right imaging is quite good, instrument separation is pretty well done. Soundstage is average for a earbud, nothing to write home about, and music could get congested on complex tracks.


COMPARISONS

1) K's Nameless ($8ish USD)

The Nameless is a warmer set with fuller mids than the KBEAR Stellar. The lower mids are thicker and may add a veil to the music though, I find the Nameless too warm for my tastes. Bass is more pronounced on the Nameless than the KBEAR Stellar, but the bass is not as fast/tight in the Nameless. I find the Nameless has slightly worse clarity, details and imaging.


2) Vido ($1ish USD. Yes $1ish USD).

I think there's word on the forums that the different coloured Vidos may have different tunings. FWIW, I used the dark blue Vido here to compare.

The Vido is another set with excellent price to performance ratio. Lower mids on the Vido are more depressed and not as full as the KBEAR Stellar. Treble is more extended on the Vido. Subbass extension is less than the KBEAR Stellar and technicalities are slightly worse in the Vido, except for soundstage, where the Vido is better.


CONCLUSIONS

The KBEAR Stellar is a cheap and good budget earbud, sporting a warm U shaped tuning that is non fatiguing and smooth. Technicalities (other than soundstage) are quite well done, though this is a not a set for trebleheads in view of the rolled off treble.

For $3ish USD, it is a bud with great price to performance ratio. It lives up to its namesake of Stellar. I'll definitely be getting some to stock up as Christmas gifts this year!
Zachik
Zachik
What are you using, instead of the stock foam covers?
Your photo seem to show your earbuds are "wearing" something else...
baskingshark
baskingshark
I am using the stock foam covers actually. Just that i adjusted it such that majority of the foams covered the earbud front (i only left a small circumference of the foam on the periphery of the earbud housing behind the earbud) in the 2nd pic. It does warm and thicken the sound a bit, though at a slight expense in clarity.
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inevitableso

Previously known as bossunswitch3
KBEAR STELLAR
Pros: Great amount of bass
Warm and natural Mids
Warm tonality
Good imaging
Great all-rounder buds
Cons: Mid bass bleeds into mids
Treble performance isn't that great
Average soundstage
So I was in a search for some earbuds since I haven't been trying out on earbuds for a while, I love earbuds because they're the real price to performance monsters, it's mind blowing how cheap earbuds outperforms IEMs that's 10 times its price.

Disclaimer, I'm not a sound engineer nor an expert when it comes to technicalities in audio, I just love music and transducers. 😁

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Specifications:
Driver unit: 15.4mm dynamic driver
Diaphragm material: Japanese PPS
Frequency response range: 20-20000Hz
Sensitivity: 115±3dB Impedance: 30Ω
Plug type: 3.5mm

What's in the box?

KBEAR Earphone Bag
1 Pair of foam

Kbear Stellar... So how does it perform?

𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐬:
Bass has always been a weakness of earbuds, I find most of my earbuds lacks emphasis on the low end, they seem to lack some depth but not on this set, the stellar got some punch with some nice sub bass emphasis. Listening to some hip-hop tracks is a joy! I'd say bass heads wouldn't be disappointed on this one.

𝐌𝐢𝐝𝐬:
This where the stellar shines the positioning of vocals is excellent, I love how they're not forward and not pushed back as most earbuds tends to sound,they're placed well in it's position, just right to fill in with the other instruments, it excels most on male vocals but female vocals are no exception, listening to Lea Salonga's track is such a wonder to my ears it's warm and soothing to my ears, it isn't thick nor thin it's just a bit warm that you'll notice it more on live tracks.

𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐛𝐥𝐞:
Treble are smooth it does have some sparkle but the lower treble seems to be a bit dull to be fair this is probably the weak point of the stellar but at this price this is probably negligible for the sound signature it gives.

𝐼'𝑑 𝑠𝑎𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦'𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑦 𝑓𝑎𝑣 𝑏𝑢𝑑𝑠, 𝐼'𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑏𝑢𝑑𝑠 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑑𝑜𝑛'𝑡 𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑚𝑦 𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑎𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒, 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠𝑛'𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑏𝑢𝑑𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡𝑦𝑝𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑢𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑒𝑤 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑙𝑒𝑔𝑖𝑡 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑢𝑑𝑠
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mochill

Headphoneus Supremus
Kbear Stellar
Pros: Price , soundstage , midrange
Cons: None
I would love to thank wendy li and keephifi for sending me the stellar to review. I am a big fan of iems/earbuds , I have a big collection of both . Reasons I love ear is for the openess and soundstage as well as being aware of my surroundings.

Package was a plastic Ziploc bag with only one pair of foam , no complain from me on that .
Build quality is the mx500 style shell which is the usual housing used for many earbuds these day. Cable is a thin non sticky black cable with a straight 3.5mm jack.

Sound :
Bass: flat subbass with a slighty enhanced midbass giving the music some kick. It can use more subbass but I'm not complaining because I can enjoy what's there.there us some nice texture with the bass too.

Mids: the star of the show , being foward and note being balanced. They are not thing or thick. Vocals are inside your head and clear and not hazy. Instrument sounds ok with the bite or texture I crave.

Treble: is smooth like butter , it's not harsh or thin but nice and warm. It's not super detailed but not missing anything in the treble frequency.

Soundstage: equal depth , height and width. Not it's strong suit .

Conclusion: for being a budget ear from kbear it's an awesome first one sound very good for the price of a bag of chips. I'm excited to see what else awesome earbud they might bring to the earbud community in the future.

B9Scrambler

Headphoneus Supremus
KB EAR Stellar: It's in the name
Pros: Performance for price – Familiar, comfortable shell – Well-behaved (but thin) cable
Cons: Clarity and detail with full foams – Nothing else
Greetings!

Today we're checking out something that has become something of a rarity is recent years; a sub-5 USD product that doesn't suck. In this case, it's a new hyper budget earbud from the venerable KB EAR, the Stellar.

KB EAR, and to a lesser extent their subbrand Tri, have seen a pretty meteoric rise to recognition over the last couple years due to an aggressive publicity push by sponsoring Head-fi and pulling in community tuners to provide feedback and discuss their gear in various online groups. Not to mention getting their products into the hands of nearly every established, newcomer, and unknown reviewer they could. This tactic seems to have worked quite well for them. That said, their products are actually usually quite competent so all the excitement being generated isn't just to make a quick buck and move along. It gets people to buy something that's actually worth their time and money and benefits future products, something I can't say for the countless brands that have cropped up and disappeared after a short-lived hit or two.

KB EAR's newest is a bit of an oddity since it's an earbud. This isn't a format that is particularly mainstream nor popular, and hasn't been since the 80s and 90s. While there is a die hard community supporting and surrounding them, earbuds are still quite niche with a cloud of distrust that hangs over them thanks to decades of crappy, pack in earbuds included with cheap consumer electronics. I personally attribute Venture Electronics (VE) with their Monk to pretty much single-handedly reviving interest in earbuds. They were extremely affordable at 5 USD, utilized a shell familiar to anyone that has been into portable audio within the last 20 years, and most importantly, sounded pretty darn excellent. Their followup, the Monk+, is a solid earbud, but in my opinion doesn't hold a candle to the previous iteration.

With the Stellar, KB EAR is following VE's original formula pretty much to the T, but coming in at an even lower price. Impressive right? Sure is. Let's take a closer look.

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What I Hear Upon first listen, I was pleased to hear the Stellar was tuned with a more well-rounded tune than is usually the case with earbuds. Thanks to the lack of seal, they tend to air towards a mid-focus with rolled off treble and a reserved low end, to put it politely. I totally get why in-ears have become the norm, if not only because of the increase in low end. That said, I don't think the Stellar sacrifices much at all as a result of being an ear bud.

Foams: I often use earbuds with full foams because it increases the low end and improves comfort. The Stellar is one of the few that I prefer to use bare. Full foams thicken the sound too much for my preference, make the low end a little bloated, and significantly hinder detail and clarity, particularly in the mids. Donut foams are certainly an improvement and do little to affect clarity while aiding in providing a low end bump and improved comfort, but I still prefer the tuning balance when going foam free. Your mileage may vary.

The Stellar's treble extends fairly well with a solid balance in the presence and brilliance regions, though lower treble does see some skew towards that region. As a result, tracks are adequately detailed with cymbals and chimes displaying some shimmer and sparkle with a very slight, dull edge, as noticed on King Crimson's live rendition of “Cat Food”. Emphasis is restrained enough to keep the Stellar from crossing over into harsh territory, which is a plus considering the driver here is reasonably quick. Notes strike and fade fairly quickly, though at higher volumes I did notice some distortion and muddying of the sound. Still, for the price you can't complain too much. This thing thwomps the vast majority of similarly priced products from mainstream manufacturers.

The midrange is usually where ear buds excel, and the Stellar is no exception. Vocals sit, for the most part, in line with the rest of the track. Female vocalists get a slight push though, as noticed using the Stellar with Big Grams' “Born To Shine” and “Run For Your Life” or Missy Elliot's “Lose Control” and Skrillex's “Squad Out” where Fat Man Scoop's always hype vocals sit just a hint too far back in each mix. Notes are well weighted without coming across overly thick or slightly thin, and are reasonably clear and detailed. Using full foams hinders these qualities quite a bit, so I'd avoid using full foams unless absolutely necessary. Timbre is excellent as is expected from a dynamic driver. Everything sounds as it should without any dryness or metallic qualities creeping in.

Using earbuds with anything bassy is often a disappointing experience. Since they just sit in your outer ear with no seal, the low end typically lacks emphasis, rolls off early, and ends up being tertiary to the listening experience. The Stellar manages to avoid this for the most part. While there is noticeable roll off in sub-bass regions, as noticed with Massive Attack's “Teardrop” and Kavinski's “Solli”, you do still experience a tickle of rumble. Midbass picks up the slack with just the right emphasis to avoid adding bloat of excess warmth. It is especially satisfying with synth-wave tracks, like GUNSHIP's “Fly For Your Life” where the bassline retains plenty of impact and carries the track appropriately. Modern pop is handled just fine too with Tame Impala's “The Less I Know The Better” sounding full and luscious through the Stellar.

Like most earbuds, the Stellar provides a spacious sound more akin to a closed-back headphone than an in-ear. Stage width is satisfying with sounds transmitting off into the distance quite effectively. Depth is a little less noticeable giving the Stellar a sound that is more broad and wide than rounded off. Imaging is quite competent with smooth, nuanced channel-to-channel transitions. Not quite as tight and well-controlled as an iem, but still plenty workable. Tracks sound well-layering and individual effects properly separated. Congestion only creeps in at high volumes on busy tracks, such as in the final moments of King Crimson's “Starless and Bible Black”. If you're used to earbuds, the Stellar isn't doing anything new or unexpected, though iem users might be impressed.

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Compared To A Peer

VE Monk+ (~5 USD): I was hella disappointed in the Monk+ when I purchased mine back in the day. The original Monk was less harsh in the highs, had smoother mids, a fuller, better extended low end, and in general sounded like a more refined, expensive product, and that's after ignoring the reduction in build quality on the Monk+. The + was still a great bud for the price, but I've been holding out for a proper monk replacement ever since. The Stellar is just that and a comparison to the Monk+ feels much the same as comparing it to it's predecessor. The Monk+ is brighter than the Stellar with a thinner sounding midrange, less textured bass, and a grainier, less refined presentation overall. The Monk+ has a better sound stage though, offering some additional depth and width to the presentation, but that's about all I'd say it has going for it over the Stellar.

FiiO EM3 (discontinued): The EM3 has significantly more rolled off highs and lacks the same level of energy and upper end clarity. The midrange of the EM3 is thicker and more rich with a level of clarity that is similar to the Stellar when it has dense, full foams in place. With both bare and foam-free, the Stellar still has the clarity and coherence edge. Timbre is equally good on each. Bass on each is about equally rolled off with the EM3's midbass being notably thicker and more prominent giving it a warmer presentation. This thickness is exacerbated by a slower, less well-controlled driver. The EM3's sound stage isn't as wide but shows better depth and as a result sounds more well-rounded, but slightly smaller in general. The Stellar images better and improves upon the EM3 with better instrument separation and track layering. The Stellar is clearly the better performer to my ears thanks to it's more balanced tune and improved technical ability.

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In The Ear Since the Stellar uses Sennheiser's MX500 shell, there's nothing special to note here. The plastics used are of good quality, residing somewhere between the beautifully formed, dense plastic of the original VE Monk and the somewhat chinzy feeling Monk +. Fit and finish sits between the two as well with the original Monk having cleaner lines and more heft to it than the Stellar. Compared to the Monk+, the Stellar's opacity is cleaner and molding lines smoother and less rough. The Monk+ has a cooler logo though thanks to it's 8-bit style font.

The Stellar's cable is nothing we haven't seen before either. It is a very standard dual strand unit with a plain black sheath. The straight jack is extremely small and decently well relieved, while the y-split is a small hunk of rubber that limits how far down users can pull apart the two strands of the cable. Strain relief is absent leading into the ear pieces, as seems to be the standard for ear buds. While the cable is a hint on the thin side, I appreciate how light and flexible it is, and how well it resists tangling. Very little noise transmits up to the ear when in use too, though I did occasionally notice it rubbing against my shirt or jacket. It's kind of refreshing using a classic cable like this when most products feature some over-the-top braided option that looks awesome but can be annoying to actually use.

Isolation is non-existent. It's an earbud. A lack of isolation is quite possibly one of the reasons why you buy an earbud. Hearing the world around you can be a good thing, particularly when you're out and about in a busy city where it is important to be able to hear some nut bar blazing towards a red light they're planning to “ignore”.

In The Box KB EAR is keeping the unboxing experience appropriately barren for a sub-5 USD earphone. You get the earbuds with a single set of foams tucked in a ziplock bag, protected by a small, featureless, cardboard box. And that's it. Fans of such basic unboxing experiences have got some wet dream material for 'em in this one.

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Final Thoughts I give the Stellar the maximum score, not because it's perfect, but because it's a sub-5 USD earbud that provides listeners with a genuinely wonderful audio experience at an ungodly low price. The amount of value and enjoyment to be had from something like this is unquestionable, especially when you consider the average North American spends near the cost of this product, or more, on a coffee on their commute to work in the morning.

KB EAR's Stellar is well built, has a nice cable, offers a quality tune with decent technical ability, and costs next to nothing. Fans of a barren unboxing experience will be satisfied. Those hunting for a bargain will be satisfied. Someone looking for a cheap daily driver that sounds good and they don't have to worry about will be satisfied. The Stellar is everything good about portable audio, just like the VE Monk before it, and everyone should have one.

Fantastic job KB EAR. I hope you expand your earbud portfolio, because the Stellar is just that, and makes me excited for a follow up.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

Disclaimer A big thanks to Doona from Miss Audio for reaching out to see if I would be interested in checking out the Stellar and sending one over for review. The thoughts within this review are my subjective impressions and do not represent KB EAR, Miss Audio, or any other entity. You can scoop up a set for yourself here: www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001353955370.html

Specifications
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
  • Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 115dB +/- 3dB
  • Driver: 15.4mm dynamic
Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen Sparrow, Asus FX53V

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark's Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
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dragonx64

Head-Fier
Review: KB EAR Stellar - Stellar buds!
Pros: Impactful mids
Natural tonality
Warm sound
Cons: Sounds slightly veiled due to warmness
No isolation
Highs too laidback for my liking
Lacks bass
In the age of in ears, how do earbuds fare against the current competition? Let's find out more about the extremely wallet-friendly KB EAR Stellar!

Disclaimer: This product was kindly sent to me by KB EAR through KeepHifi. However, this does not affect my review of the product in any way whatsoever. I was told to give my honest opinion about the product.

INTRO
Having done many in-ears, KB EAR probably decided that they wanna have their own take on earbuds to reach out to a wider audience. If I am not mistaken, this should be their first take on earbuds that comes at ONLY 3.69 USD. How do these fare against other earbuds at a similar price point? Let's find out!
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QUICK SUMMARY
Sound: Mid to Mid-bass focused with laidback highs

This graph depicts how the earphone sounds to me
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Driver : 15.4mm Dynamic Driver
Socket: Non-detachable
Price: 3.69 USD
Where to buy it: KeepHifi or KB EAR Aliexpress Official Store

Suitable Genres: Mid-intensive like Metal, Rock or Vocals. Can also just be for general listening

If you like my content, follow me on instagram here!

WHAT'S IN THE BOX

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1 x KB EAR Stellar
1 pair of foam buds

Well I wouldn't exactly say that it came in a box, more like a ziploc bag. The included accessories are simply a pair of foam buds and the Stellars. It's a very minimal packaging and I was hoping that they could have included a simple carrying pouch to house all these items. Nothing much to talk about for the contents.

BUILD QUALITY
The Stellar's housing is of a matte plastic finishing and on the site, it comes in 5 different colors: Black, Red, White, Blue and Transparent Black. I do have to say that the plastic is rather thick so given its price, it does feel rather sturdy.
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The cables are thin and soft, never once feeling annoying nor weighing down on the earbuds. They are unfortunately, not detachable cannot be replaced if it spoils. The only way to replace it is by soldering.

COMFORT AND ISOLATION
The comfort feels alright for an earbud, and I do not get any irritations from the housing of the earbuds as I prefer to use the earbuds as is without the foam covers. The edges are all smooth and feels comfortable on my ears. I remember using the VE Monks and feeling rather annoyed with it as the edges of the plastic kept poking against my ears.

There is definitely no isolation with earbuds as is common with earbuds so there is not much to say about this.

SOUND
Before I give a general overview of the sound, the setup I use to test are as follows :
DAP - Cayin N6ii (T01)
Cable - Stock (3.5mm)

The Stellar strikes me as an earbud that is very mid-centric, with laidback highs. The mids maintain quite a few details in it that I was not expecting from an earbud at all such as the bite from electric guitars and impact of kick drums. Vocals also sound realistic though being slightly veiled. Bass is sadly mostly lost due to the lack of isolation and can mostly be heard in bass heavier songs. The Stellars are also very easy to drive but have to be cranked up quite a bit due to loss of sound due to isolation.

Highs
Though the highs are laidback, upon closer listening, they still retain certain good qualities to it. Highs are rather crisp and have a fast decay in general, fading off rather quickly. Highs does not have much extension but with the amount of crispness in it, it really isn't that bad for what it is.

I am a big fan of the Devil May Cry series games, and with the release of the theme song for the character Vergil in Devil May Cry 5, "Bury The Light", I have to listen to it on the Stellars. The highs are mostly drowned out by the mids, but when you hear it, it does have a decent amount of crispness to it that shines just enough to be noticed without sounding sibilant. This can be heard throughout most of the song when the cymbals and high-hats are being played on the drums.

Listening to deca joins' songs in general, the Stellars lack that extension that I would have preferred. When the cymbals crash it lacks excitement, but high-hats just barely make the passing mark for me.

Mids
I was pleasantly surprised when I popped these into my ears and heard that the mids have quite a good amount of bite and impact. The crunch in those electric guitars can be heard and somewhat felt, kick drums are usually impactful and can also be felt in your eardrums! Vocals sound natural though they are veiled and don't stand out as much as the instruments.

Going back to "Bury The Light" by Casey Edwards, the kick drums stood out almost immediately as I could feel that impact in my ears. When the beat came in at 0:40, I was really pleased with how it sounded and felt. Drums also stood out a lot on the Stellars, making rock and metal songs very enjoyable. I also felt the same way when listening to Periphery's "Reptile", when everything kicked in at 1:24. The guitars were simply on point, so much bite in it! Drums were also simply amazing, it had so much impact with each stroke of the drums be it the snare or the kick drums!

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Moving onto vocals, they sound rather natural but sound slightly veiled. They always felt slightly behind the instruments regardless of genre of songs. To me, it sounds like the vocals are too tamed, sounding like they could potentially have more impact but are somewhat stuck behind a cage.

Listening to Diana Krall's "Besame Mucho" shows this, though it sounds rather forward here, you can hear that there is a slight veil to it, adding a layer of warmness to her smooth voice which can be a bit too much warmness. However, to complement this, I tried this out with Etta James' "At Last" and I think her voice is not too "sharp". However, there is the issue of sounding too tamed here, since her voice is supposed to stand out a bit more but the earbuds toned it down a tad too much.

Lows
Bass on these units are a bit hard to tell since it's mostly lost due to lack of isolation. However, when it can be heard, the bass mostly linger around the mid-bass segment where it's mostly impactful but does not reach too deep.

Listening to UNISON SQUARE GARDEN's "Sugar Song to Bitter Step", the bass guitar can be heard clearly and have a good rumble to it, but it does not reach very deep. It still makes its presence known and adds a certain amount of depth to it but it sounds a tad too warm for my liking. The bass here is supposed to sound more energetic.

This is also the same for SPiCYSOL's "Mellow Yellow", mostly hearing it but it does not go low. It also tends to be drowned out by the rest of the instruments and vocals when it gets into the chorus.

I still think that it is alright to use these to listen to bass heavy songs, just don't expect it to reach too deeply and that it would be a bit harder to hear due to the lack of isolation.

OTHER NOTES
I will keep the soundstage and imaging brief here as I would like to compare it to other earbuds in the similar price range.

Soundstage here is rather wide, but it's still mostly feels within your headspace. It does not reach too far wide out.
There isn't much imaging here, mostly the difference is between Left and Right channels.

I think the interesting thing here is how it compares to other earbuds like the ever-so-popular VE Monks and the Moondrop Shiroyuki. Let's first start off with the VE Monks!

VE Monks (10 USD)
The VE Monks sound rather thing compared to the Stellars. It has a slightly sharper treble (highs) compared to the Stellars but sound rather thin. Mids are also less impactful and vocals also sound more hollow compared to the Stellars. Bass is also not as strong on the Monks.

As for the comfort of these, as mentioned before, the edges of the plastic still poke against my ear and I absolutely dislike that. 5 minutes into listening on the Monks and I can already feel it, whereas I did not get that while using the Stellars for more than an hour.

The overall sound I got from the Monks are that they are more hollow and less dense than the Stellars. I believe this is to give the impression of a "brighter" and more "expanded" sound but the tuning of it sounds a tad off to me.

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VE Monk (Left), KB EAR Stellar (Center), Moondrop Shiroyuki (Right)
Moondrop Shiroyuki (13 USD)
The Shiroyuki has a more expanded sound but not at the expanse of its tuning. Highs are crisper and have more presence than the Stellars. Mids have the same amount of bite to it on the electric guitars but kick drums lack that impact that is present on the Stellar. Vocals are also natural here and I think sound better here than on the Stellars due to the openness of the sound. Bass tends to fade quicker on the Shiroyuki and does not his hard as the Stellars.

As opposed to the Stellars, the Shiroyuki does not sound as thick and I think this is why it is not as suitable for Metal and Rock genres as much as the Stellars. The Stellars adds thickness to the electric guitars and kick drums, making it more enjoyable on the Stellars.

Testing out "At Last" by Etta James on these actually confirms that I was right, the vocals are more natural sounding and does not have that "tame" sound. It also lacks that veil that the Stellar has, which contributes to the openness of the sound.

I also noticed that the Shiroyuki tends to sound slightly distorted at higher volumes and the upper-mids such as the electric guitars will be too forward, sounding weird when that happens. Usually have to reduce the volume when that happens.

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CONCLUSION
I was really pleasantly surprised when I first tested out the KB EAR Stellar with my metal and rock tracks but I did not think much of it. However, after comparing it to 2 other popular models in a similar price range, I actually think that they have a tuning that caters to a slightly different group of audience. If you are someone that loves your mids thick and want to listen to metal/rock on these, give the KB EAR Stellars a go! At only 4 USD, I think they sound very decent compared to the other offerings in the market!

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Wretched Stare

Head-Fier
Worth the Money and more
Pros: Great sound, simple construction and low cost.
Cons: earbuds are not for every ear but these are better fitting than most I've used
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I am a earbud user from time to time, in the past used them very much berfore in ears were common place. These days inear and over are my choice but sometimes its more covenant to have some buds in the bag.
The Stellar seems comfortable, due to the small radius of the ear piece and its lightweight construction. The cable seems durable and a little thicker than some similar earbuds I have laying around here.
Sound:
Vshaped but more mature sounding, Bass was good and with a better fit im sure it would be excellent Mids are clean with some warmth to them it gives nice quality. The highs are controlled but have a fair amount of sparkle but are more toward the balanced side..

Overall:
The Stellar is a exceptional value offering a fun and balance signature with a comfortable fit in most ears and are built better than I was expecting.
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