Pros: Great Value
Nice Solid bass, and decent high extension
Cons: Cables are cheap and oxidise
No eartip lip so they fall off easily
We review another great budget friendly giant killer earphone from Kinera, the H3.
The personal audio market has grown significantly. Even my dad had just recently asked me about my thoughts on Bang and Olufsen, saying that he heard his colleagues talking about the brand. I firmly believe it has not been without the help of popularly bashed brands such as Beats and Skullcandy. Hate them all you want, but they have attracted mass attention to a niche product that many consumers did not even care for before. We are now seeing a trend where these people have gotten a taste of what can be offered outside of these fashion brands and want to go deeper into the audiophile trap.
Kinera is a Chinese brand which caught our attention with its breakout budget model, sporting a single DD and single BA, the hybrid Kinera BD005. Packing quite a controlled, bassy punch, we were excited to hear that Kinera was coming out with a new model – the Kinera H3.
-Ergonomic form factor
-Nice hybrid sound with solid bass and good highs
-Cheap cables oxidize
-No lip on nozzle causes ear tips to fall off easily
-Slightly lacking in mids
The H3 features one dynamic driver and two balanced armature drivers, making its entrance into the already stacked hybrid 1DD+2BA (1 Dynamic Driver + 2 Balanced Armature Driver) arena. In the past year, we’ve seen the likes of Simgot, iBasso and even Fiio putting forth their contenders in this specific category, and with good reason. With a price tag just short of 100 dollars, the hybrid setup allows for a considerable bump in performance from the single dynamic driver. By allowing the mids and highs to be delegated to the balanced armature drivers, the manufacturers can then choose a dynamic driver that focuses on doing what dynamic drivers do best – pump bass. This creates a considerable leap in sound signature, easily recognizable for most entry level enthusiasts.
The H3 comes in three different colour schemes – red, blue and black. After seeing all the gorgeous photos online, I had a tinge of hesitation, but finally decided to go with the blue. Kinera proudly claims that every IEM housing is created through the identical steps with which custom housings are made – cast with poured resin, and then hand polished. The ergonomic shape is the sum total of over a hundred human samples taken, and it really does feel that way. Each shell features a black faceplate with the word “Kinera” engraved into it in gold letters. The cable connection is a classic two pin, with a white, four braid copper cable ending in a straight aluminium 3.5mm plug. The standout feature for me is that there is no memory wire, but some sort of springy plastic for the earhooks. This is a most welcome design, as I personally have always had a bit of an issue when trying to shape the memory wires for other IEMs. The cable is a brilliant white, almost silvery, with very little microphonics. All in all, the look and feel of the H3 is definitely above its price bracket, especially the smooth, translucent housings with absolutely no seams between the shell and faceplate. Fit and comfort is great for me and has been for the handful of friends that have tried them.
The sound signature of the H3 is prominently V-shaped, with a slightly wider than average soundstage. Although there may not be too many surprises in terms of width and height, the instrument separation is clear and comfortable, never did I feel any congestion.
Compared to the BD005, every aspect of the sound signature is an improvement. Bass reaches deeper, with even better control and dynamism. Mids sound more lush and the highs have much more soundstage and clarity. Although the two share similarities, there is no doubt that the H3 is the big brother and outclasses the BD005 easily.
The bass of the H3 is incredibly enjoyable. Thick yet tight. Voluminous yet not bloated. Bass response extends deep, to the point where I’ll be listening to an old song and finally realize that there was a bassline there when I previously thought there was nothing. Air movement is satisfyingly dynamic but never head throbbing. I would have to say that there is an emphasis on the subbass, with just a slight drop in volume at midbass and a light warm bleed into the mids.
The mids are lush and vibrant, almost candy like. Detail retrieval is very good, with a high resolution and clarity. Vocals can take a back seat during some songs where other IEMs will give them more focus. However, the overall sound is still very pleasant and very obvious the first balanced armature is to be credited.
The highs of the H3 really remind me of the house sound of Audio Technica, where everything is extra shimmery and sparkly, as if a herd of miniature unicorns are flying into my ears. Soundstage opens up a bit, with excellent detail retrieval and speed. Decay is a little extended, giving the highs more body and significance. Cymbals splash nicely and the high hats are crisp. I would like to mention that there is a lot of feedback online about the H3 being a bit too harsh. This has never been an issue for me, but my ears could very well be biased after more than a year of heavy Andromeda and Dorado usage so take what you will.
The H3 is very easy to drive, reaching good sound volumes with smart phones at around 70% max volume.
Not without fault
Despite all this, I must point out my single biggest gripe with the H3. There is no eartip nozzle lip. I am very OCD about the location of the eartips on my IEMs. This means that every time before I put in my H3s, I will spend a few seconds tweaking the exact location of the eartips so that they are absolutely identical to my naked eye. This calms my brain into believing that there is no differentiation of the time it takes for the sound from either sides to reach my eardrums, causing a distortion in the audio cone of soundstage. This may not be a big problem for others, but for me caused much hesitation when deciding if I would purchase the H3.
The other issue is of course eartips slipping off and losing them. Which I did. On my first day. Luckily, the customer service department gratuitously sent me a free pack of six M sized eartips so that I could “replace them whenever they’re lost”. Sure, this was a great gesture but I’d much rather they just add the nozzle lip instead. Up till now I’ve lost a total of two eartips. A couple other times I’ve been able to crawl around on the floor and find the little bugger, often having to get some tissue, twist it into a little pointy end, and furiously wipe both the interior of the eartip and the nozzle itself so as to get rid of the wax and oil that is making it slip off. Fortunately, Kinera has promised that they will improve the design and add a nozzle lip in their next generation of updated H3.
Another point I’d like to make is that the zipper on my carrying case broke within a few weeks of usage. I do not directly blame the build quality of the case, but I’d just like to point out that I have no less than six or seven different carrying cases from varying price brackets and they have all outlived the Kinera case.
Cheap cables or…?
Not entirely as a direct result of the above, I have just not been putting my H3’s in any bag or case. This may or may not have resulted in a significant discoloration of my cable. From the plug to the cable splitter is a copper, oxidized color and from the splitter to both earphones is a blue tinge. Now I do admit I have not taken care of these even half as well as I should have, but they sounded so great at this price that they immediately turned into my every day carry that I’ve been abusing them quite a lot. Is the discoloration a result of my not taking care of them or cheap cables? I guess we will find out when I get my new cables.
To conclude, the Kinera H3 is a worthy entrant into the realm of iems, finding its own spot in the already star studded 1DD+2BA hybrid market sector. The gorgeous aesthetics, detailed ergonomics and housing build quality is a testament on its own. The energetic, V-shaped sound signature is definitely a crowd pleaser and a clear upgrade from entry level units. It is not without faults, with issues like no nozzle lip and heavy oxidation in the cables to remind you that Kinera is still a budding earphone company with cost control to consider. However, that only detracts slightly from my personal love of these earphones. Their fit and comfort is top tier, with the ear guides being soft and springy plastic instead of the usual memory wires. The sound is incredibly fun and I know we repeatedly say this, but the H3 definitely punches above its weight class both in the quality of its bass and the clarity of its highs. Bearing in mind its humble beginnings and the path Kinera has cut itself, it is truly a contender that cannot be ignored and makes us salivate in anticipation for what is to come.
Pros: Clear Sound, Good Quality Construction, Price, Aesthetics, Detail Retrieval, Bright, Energetic, Vivid, Dynamic, Lively, Sweet, Zvelt, Revealing, Fun Sound
Cons: It is quite revealing and bright, best go for it you prefer this type of sound.
Kinera H3 - Trebley Good
Kinera H3 is well known for their rather unique sonic signature, bright and energetic, for which it has also been criticized in the past. We take a closer look at Kinera's approach to music in their H3 In-Eear Monitor.
Kinera is a new company to the IEM scene, but they took everyone by surprise with their first entry-level IEM which was loved by all markets. Now they made H3, their first midrange level IEM, which promises to do a lot, and which shouldn't be taken lightly. Kinera's PR has been doing an amazing job, and they are known for fixing any issues that arise with their products, and for being extremely communicative with their fans and with the people who bought their products.
It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Kinera, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Kinera or anyone else. I'd like to thank Steve from Kinera for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with Kinera's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with Kinera H3. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Kinera H3 find their next music companion.
First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:
Kinera H3 comes in a basic package, enough to keep it safe from any kind of damage during transport. The whole package is made out of black cardboard, in which the IEMs come hidden in an excellent transport case. Next to it, you can find a 3.5mm adapter, and a flight adapter.
Upon opening the carrying case that hides the IEMs, you can find a large selection of tips, and Kinera H3.
Kinera H3 is an acrylic IEM which reminds of custom-type of IEMs. They come with an amazingly good cable, which is quite thick and which feels quite nice.
The selection of tips is also pretty good, providing two flavors of tips, each in three sizes.
Starting with their build quality, Kinera H3 looks very well-made, being an acrylic IEM which looks like a universal version of custom IEM (CIEM). They have a beautiful black plate on the outer side, with "Kinera" etched there in a silvery writing. The IEM body is slightly transparent, so you get to see the beauty of engineering Kinera built inside H3.
The cable has a guided rubbey part where it connects to the IEM, and it is detachable, relying on a 2-pin connector to attach to H3. The cable is not overly thick, being supple and easy to move, while the 3.5mm plug is gold-plated. The plug also features one of the most solid plug types I've seen with a IEM, being on the same level with the high-end ones that one can find with much more expensive IEMs.
The IEMs feel very solid while in hand, and they don't look like they would scratch easily, or break. Kinera H3 is a 2xBA + 1xDynamic driver hybrid setup which should put together the advantages of both technologies, the clarity and precision of a BA, along to the naturalness of a dynamic driver.
The fit and comfort is excellent, save for some driver flex, which doesn't bother every single user out there, but can be problematic for some. The IEM's shape is made to be ergonomic and comfortable, while the tip selection is very good. For the test I used Spinfit tips since my ears are most accustomed to those tips and their sound, but the tips included with H3 are quite nice and provide good seal along with pretty nice comfort.
It should be noted that H3 doesn't feature a lip at the end of its bore, instead that part being slightly enlarged, thing which might seem scary at first, but I discovered that in all my time with them, the tip didn't slide off the bore once. Since I never had the rubber tip remain in my ear after I pulled them out, it can be said that the design works flawlessly for them.
Kinera H3 has a strongly defined character, with a tighter and very deep bass, a clear, vivid, yet recessed midrange, and a bright and energetic treble that gives a very vivid and lively sparkle to all music.
The signature is extremely detailed and revealing, Kinera H3 being one of the most revealing IEMs I heard at the 100$ price range, provided one likes the sonic signature with an enhanced treble. The sonic signature is quite V-shaped with a strong emphasis on bass, and especially on the treble, Kinera H3 being quite excellent with records that are either too smooth, or which you'd like presented with an extra bit of brightness. J-Pop and K-Pop always sounds interesting, bright, vivid and lively, Kinera H3 providing one of the best presentations for this type of music. Electronic music also has excellent sparkle and a dance-inducing sub-bass that makes Kinera H3 quite the lively IEM.
The sub-bass provides excellent rumble and impact, having exceedingly good extension for this price range, and being audible even at quieter listening levels. It never bleeds into the midrange, and it is resolving enough for H3 to be quite deep sounding yet extremely clear. The upper bass can be found less in amount when compared to the sub-bass and it is a bit higher in amount when compared to the lower midrange. Instruments have a fair weight to them, and the sub-bass of Electronic music is quite satisfying, while symphonic metal tends to be a tad lighter than I prefer, given the less relative upper bass and lower midrange.
The lower midrange is a bit recessed compared to the bass and sub-bass, giving the whole sound an ever so slightly thinner presentation than most IEMs at this price point, but it quickly recovers after 1kHz, providing very good force, vibrance, and power for the vocals, especially female vocals in J-Pop. There is a bit of a peak around 2-3 kHz which provides voices with excellent vividness, a tuning excellent for J-Pop and J-Rock, the female voices in J-Pop or K-Pop sounding especially sweet with Kinera H3. There is a dip at the 3kHz area which makes musiv a bit more forward, which again works well with J-Pop, but might not work with Jazz for example, depending on one's listening expectations and preferences.
The treble of Kinera H3 is quite enhanced, graphs showing it 20dB above the midrange, and 10dB above the bass. This basically means that H3 will have a very strong and bright top end that gives cymbals a magical shimmer and vibrance which leads to an excellent presentation of music if you want it to sound bright and open / airy. The enhanced area is situated in the 6-8kHz area, being high enough for cymbals to not be entirely hot, but for them to be attractive. There is a trace of sibilance with some tracks, Kinera H3 being quite good at revealing sibilance if it was present in the track. All in all, the bright nature of Kinera H3 is one of its strong points, giving them a magical revealing ability, especially for its price point. Acoustic music, Electronic, and J-Pop / K-Pop sounds quite excellent with H3, while Metal and Classical can be a bit bright, especially with certain records.
Kinera H3 has a fair soundstage, their signature being better at giving good instrument separation rather than giving them a large soundstage width and height or depth. Even so, they don't sound constrained, having a natural width and height. One thing H3 is quite good at, is their ability to position instruments properly directionally, especially in binaural records being easy to hear where a sound is coming from. All in all, they do a fair job for their price, their soundstage being overally fair and enjoyable.
Due to their rather unique tuning, Kinera H3 has an interesting ability to give certain songs, especially those extremely dynamically compressed, a feeling that they are more dynamic and that they have a better ADSR than they have. With songs that already have a large dynamic range, H3 can over enhance it a bit, leading to a sound that has a bit too long decay in the treble, but since over 90% of my music collection tends to be dynamically compressed from quite dynamically compressed, to very dynamically compressed, to songs that almost no dynamic range, H3 tends to make a large part of it more enjoyable, making everything sounds a tad more "live" and less compressed, especially at quiet listening levels. Regardless whether it sounds like a nifty trick or an interesting approach, it works well with certain tracks.
Kinera H3 is a very easy to drive IEM that was thought to be used portably, and they provide excellent service in this sense, being light, having a good cable, and being very easy to drive, sounding great even from a smartphone. They tend to isolate the listener quite well from the outside noise, and H3 sits well in ears, the cable guides helping quite a bit with this. Over-the-ear wearing style also isolates the listener from cable noise, which is also called "microphonics". All in all, H3 is quite portable and a great IEM to take outside, or even to the gym being ergonomic enough to stay in ears while walking or even running.
Please note that for any pairing, the IEM has more impact on the final result than the DAP, the best DAP being one that is as transparent as possible. Kinera H3 sounds better with smooth and warm DAPs, since their signature is quite bright and enthusiastic already.
Kinera H3 + HIFIMAN MEGAMINI - An excellent pairing, Megamini is able to provide a very lively and vivid sound to H3. There is some hiss in the background, but it isn't noticeable at all while listening to music. The bass is deep, the midrange feels lively, and the treble is bright and energetic with this combination.
Kinera H3 + Shanling M2s - A very good approach, as M2s tends to be a bit warmer, and it tones H3 down a bit, giving them a thicker sound, and smoothing out their treble a bit, providing a sound that is quite clear and dynamic, yet not overly bright.
Kinera H3 + Xiaomi Mi Max 2 - The match is quite good, Mi Max 2 being able to drive H3 very well, and giving them a slightly smoother sound.
Kinera H3 + HIDIZS AP200 - Another very good pairing, AP200 tends to give H3 less enhancement in the treble area, while giving them a thicker sound in the bass, AP200 being a bit warmer and smoother in its nature. The midrange is still quite vivid, clear and detailed, the pairing working out very well.
Kinera H3 + FiiO X5-3 - One of my favorite pairings, X5-3 being on the smoother side, it takes away some of the edge of H3, making them a more universal IEM with a presentation more suited for a wider range of music. There is a very slight trace of hiss with the combination, but it is not audible while listening to music.
Most comparisons have been taken with FiiO X7mkii+AM03A, Opus #2, Opus #1s, iBasso DX200+AMP5.
Kinera H3 vs Dunu DK-3001 - Dunu DK-3001 tends to sound more natural and refined, but it is in another price category entirely. Starting with the bottom end, DK-3001 tends to have more bass, DK-3001 has more mid-bass, while H3 tends to have slightly more forward voices. The top end is very different, H3 being quite bright and enthusiastic, while DK-3001 tends to be quite natural. The revealing abilities of both are quite good, and while H3 brings the details more forward to the listener, DK-3001 tends to present a larger number of details, in a smoother way.
Kinera H3 vs FiiO F9 - F9 tends to have a bit more sub-bass, a stronger upper bass, and lower midrange, while H3 tends to have a more forward voice presentation. The top end is less enhanced on F9, and although they tend to be quite enhanced in the 6-8kHz area, H3 tends to be more enhanced and to bring the treble even closer to the listener. The detailing and revealing abilities of both are quite good, and besides the driver flex on h3, the comfort is quite good on both as well. In the long run, F9 tends to sound a bit more natural and to have more weight to each musical note, while H3 tends to be brighter.
Kinera H3 vs FiiO F9 Pro - F9Pro is the bigger brother of F9, having a similar sound, with the exception that they are more vivid and more open with an airier treble and with a better extension in the upper treble.
Kinera H3 vs iBasso IT01 - iBasso IT01 tends to have similar amounts of sub-bass, with a considerably more enhanced mid-bass, giving more weight to each musical note. The midrange is quite vivid and presented in similar fashion in both IT01 and H3, except that it is more recessed on H3, while the top end is brighter on H3, IT01 being more natural.
Kinera H3 vs Astrotec AM850 - AM850 tends to have a somewhat similar sound with H3, but with less treble enhancement, a more even midrange, and a larger soundstage presentation. The sound is thicker on AM850. Kinera H3 tends to bring the details more forward to the listener, being more revealing due to their enhanced treble.
Kinera H3 vs Oriveti New Primacy - Oriveti New Primacy tends to be considerably smoother than H3, with a smoother top end, less sub-bass amounts, more mid-bass amounts, and with a shallower fit than H3. H3 tends to be more revealing due to their enhanced treble.
Value and Conclusion
When it comes to their value, priced at 100$, Kinera H3 bears a very fair price tag, maybe even a tag that is too low for the level of detail and clarity they have. It is true that they have a very bright sound, one of the brightest sounds I heard, so it is best to go for Kinera H3 if you know you enjoy the cymbal crashes with a bit of added glimmer and sparkle, otherwise they might prove to be a bit too much. They tend to reveal sibilance easily, so music that had sibilance will also be sibilant with them, but they make excellent work with J-Pop and J-Rock, giving dynamically compressed music a new breath of life.
The construction quality of H3 is quite good, being made of high quality acrylic, with a very vivid color. The cable looks and feels very high quality, having a very thick and sturdy yet quite good looking 3.5mm jack, with excellent 2-pin connectors. The carry case looks and feels quite high quality, while the included accessories include all that is needed to enjoy H3 to the fullest.
If you want to experience one of the brightest, sparkliest and liveliest IEMs in this price range, Kinera H3 is a unique experience, with a lot of dynamic range, clarity, and which is able to reveal details easily, bringing them forward to the listener. At 100$, Kinera H3 is a delice for those who enjoy bright sounds, and if you know yourself to be a treble-head, H3 is a IEM you can't miss. They are treble'y good!
I hope my review is helpful to you!
Stay safe and remember to always have fun while listening to music!
Pros: Great Bass, excellent fit and comfort, great value.
Cons: Sibilant and a bit too bright at times
Kinera H3 Review
Introduction: I first encountered the H3 on this site and was curious what all the hype was about, I purchased it a few months back and thought I would share my experience of these excellent value IEM’s.
Specs (sponged off Penon):
· Driver： 2BA+1D
· Impedance： 48Ω
· Frequency Response： 20-20000HZ
· Sensitivity： 101DB
· L&R Channel Balance Sensitivity： <2DB
· Max Input Power： 10mW
· Cable Length: 1.2meter
· Wire Material： 6n single crystal copper silver-plated
· Plug material： 3.5mm golden plated
· Earphone interface: 2-pin (0.78mm )
About me: I have always enjoyed listening to music and for many years played in a wind orchestra. I have only recently, 6-9 months or so, entered into the “audiophile” world, though I’m already well and truly converted.
My music tastes are reasonably varied (in my opinion anyway) but in general I listen predominantly to some metal (mostly symphonic), rock, and classical. Although there’s also a bit of electronic and pop I regularly listen to. The list of music used predominantly for this review is below.
Rolling In The Deep Adele
I AM Arai Ken
BLISS Arai Ken
CREAM SODA Arai Ken
NEXT TO YOU Arai Ken
KILL THE PUPPETS Arai Ken
THE TRUTH Arai Ken
The View from the Afternoon Arctic Monkeys
While My Guitar Gently Weeps The Beatles
Eleanor Rigby The Beatles
A Day in the Life The Beatles
Adieu Cœur de pirate
Pilgrims On a Long Journey Cœur de pirate
Off to Sleep Cœur de pirate
A Favor House Atlantic Coheed and Cambria
Welcome Home Coheed and Cambria
No World For Tomorrow Coheed and Cambria
Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute Coheed and Cambria
The Running Free Coheed and Cambria
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 Coheed and Cambria
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Daft Punk
Face to Face Daft Punk
Space Oddity David Bowie
Life On Mars? David Bowie
The Sound Of Silence Disturbed
Sex Changes Dresden Dolls
Coin-Operated Boy Dresden Dolls
Blank Infinity Epica
Mother of Light (A New Age Dawns, Part 2) Epica
Burn to a Cinder Epica
Chasing the Dragon Epica
Sancta terra Epica
Tear Down Your Walls Epica
Ascension: Dream State Armageddon Epica
Cry for the Moon "The Embrace That Smothers, Part IV" Epica
The Essence of Silence Epica
Unchain Utopia Epica
Canvas of Life Epica
Storm the Sorrow Epica
Internal Warfare Epica
Immortal Melancholy Epica
COMPLEX Arai Ken
BLACK NAIL Arai Ken
Johnny Delusional F·F·S
Save Me From Myself F·F·S
Only If for a Night Florence + the Machine
Stand By Me Florence + The Machine
Wish That You Were Here Florence + The Machine
Sweet Nothing Florence + the Machine
Make Up Your Mind Florence + the Machine
Queen of Peace Florence + the Machine
Shake It Out Florence + the Machine
Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand
Love Illumination Franz Ferdinand
Darts of Pleasure Franz Ferdinand
Back to Black The Great Gatsby
Young and Beautiful The Great Gatsby
Cold Heart of the Klondike Tuomas Holopainen
A Lifetime of Adventure Tuomas Holopainen
Dance of Death Iron Maiden
Somebody Told Me The Killers
Andy, You’re a Star The Killers
When You Were Young The Killers
Summertime Sadness Lana Del Rey
Born To Die Lana Del Rey
Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin
Apocalypse Please Muse
Stockholm Syndrome Muse
Time Is Running Out Muse
Take a Bow Muse
Map of the Problematique Muse
Knights of Cydonia Muse
Plug In Baby Muse
BRYNHILDR IN THE DARKNESS -Ver. EJECTED- Nao Tokisawa
Beauty and the Beast Nightwish
The Phantom of the Opera Nightwish
Beauty of the Beast Nightwish
Bye Bye Beautiful Nightwish
Shudder Before the Beautiful Nightwish
My Walden Nightwish
Over the Hills and Far Away Nightwish
I Want My Tears Back Nightwish
Passion and the Opera Nightwish
Wish I Had an Angel Nightwish
Planet Hell Nightwish
Ghost Love Score Nightwish
While Your Lips Are Still Red Nightwish
The Kinslayer Nightwish
Don't Stop Believin' Northern Kings
Take On Me Northern Kings
Hello Northern Kings
My Way Northern Kings
No One Knows Queens of the Stone Age
Go With The Flow Queens of the Stone Age
A Beautiful Song Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi, Kuniyuki Takahashi
Weight of the World Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi, Kuniyuki Takahashi
Bipolar Nightmare Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi, Kuniyuki Takahashi
Chop Suey! System of a Down
Toxicity System of a Down
Aerials / Arto System of a Down
That's Not My Name The Ting Tings
Let's Dance to Joy Division The Wombats
Heads Will Roll Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Semi no Waltz 9mm Parabellum Bullet
ハートに火をつけて (ALBUM Ver.) 9mm Parabellum Bullet
Finder 9mm Parabellum Bullet
Hangyaku no March 9mm Parabellum Bullet
Onto the Kinera H3
Disclaimer: I purchased these myself and present this review as unbiased.
Packaging/Build Quality: The packaging looks nice and gets the job done, nothing overly flashy but the magnetic clasped box is functional and the foam insert keeps the product and accessories safe during shipping.
The build quality overall seems good, though I do worry about the longevity of some of the parts used. That said Kinera seems more than willing to fix any issues that do arise. Accessories & Cable: The provided cable is quite decent, it’s nice and sturdy as well as relatively tangle free. I have not experienced any microphonics from the cable moving and rubbing against stuff during use. I’m a big fan of the over ear guides used, finding them much better than the memory wire often used. In general I prefer right-angled headphone jacks on IEMs and I worry about the bulk of this jack hanging off a DAP in a pocket or bag, but to date I have had no issues with anything becoming loose. I have found that some discoloration has occurred on the cable, it may clean off, it hasn’t bothered me enough to try.
On accessories you get a 6.35mm adaptor, an airline adaptor, a carry case and two sets (S,M,L) of silicone tips, one set similar to Sony hybrids and another normal set. The included case is a semi-hard zipped shell, it’s a little on the large size in my opinion, but it does have an elasticized pocket to keep things in place.
Fit and Comfort: One of the H3’s strongest elements is its excellent fit. I found using the included tips provided an excellent fit and a very good seal. Personally I didn’t experience any discomfort due to driver flex , but I understand that others have.
Comfort wise I find it quite easy to wear these for hours on end, they sit very nicely in your ear and with the provided cable stay in place even while moving. They do protrude slightly from my ears and so they’re not something I could wear lying down.
Sound: Most of my listening of the Kinera H3 has been with my Opus #1 though for the sake of comparison I did try them with my iPhone SE.
I found the iPhone to give the H3’s a much more V-shaped sound with recessed mids while the Opus produced a flatter more W-shaped sound. The sound from the Opus was much more pleasing though I would say both sources adequately drove the H3s.
The H3’s clarity is quite good and it has a decently deep and wide soundstage for an IEM. Separation is ok, I found the lower end let it down is this regard.
Bass: The bass is very good, punchy with decent rumble and sub-bass, probably the H3’s strongest aspect.
Mids: The upper mids are fairly decent, they’re forward and smooth, but I did notice that vocals in this region (especially females) can sound a little thin. The lower-mids aren’t as impressive and have a tendency to get lost amongst the upper-mids and bass.
Treble: I have a love-hate relationship with the H3’s treble, sometimes is beautifully airy with decent sparkle, other times its overly bright and harsh. Which you get seems to be largely song dependent but the vocals is this range are unfortunately fairly consistently sibilant.
Overall: I may have come over a bit harsh (hah) is that last part but I do feel these IEM’s are truly excellent value and I look forward to how Kinera will improve upon them in the future.