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Kinera H3

  1. alffla
    Kinera H3 Review - Great Value with iffy cables
    Written by alffla
    Published Apr 23, 2018
    Pros - Great Value
    Nice Solid bass, and decent high extension
    Comfortable Fit
    Cons - Cables are cheap and oxidise
    No eartip lip so they fall off easily
    [​IMG]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.



    -Great value
    -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 Design
    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
    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.
  2. Dobrescu George
    Kinera H3 - Treble'y Good
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Jan 25, 2018
    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.

    About me



    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.

    What to look in when purchasing a high-end IEM


    Technical Specifications



    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit

    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.

    Sound Quality


    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.

    Portable Usage


    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.

    Select Pairings




    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!

    Link to the review on Audiophile-Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/2018/01/kinera-h3-trebley-good.html

    Link to the official Thread on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-new-kinera-h3-triple-hybrid-iem.853161/

    Link to the official product page: https://penonaudio.com/kinera-h3.html

    Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/

    Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/

    Audiophile Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiophileHeaven/
    1. Brooko
      At 3K it dips George - the peak is early (between 1-2K) which is why it sounds dissonant. How many tip variants did you try to be able to call the lipless nozzle a success. I definitely lost tips in my ear. Funny how the one con you listed, you wrote as a “Pro”
      Brooko, Jan 25, 2018
      Dobrescu George likes this.
  3. Drewminus
    Impressive Value
    Written by Drewminus
    Published Dec 17, 2017
    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
    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
    Unleashed Epica
    Burn to a Cinder Epica
    Chasing the Dragon Epica
    Sancta terra Epica
    Tear Down Your Walls Epica
    Ascension: Dream State Armageddon Epica
    Sensorium Epica
    Cry for the Moon "The Embrace That Smothers, Part IV" Epica
    The Essence of Silence Epica
    Unchain Utopia Epica
    Canvas of Life Epica
    Avalanche 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
    Assassin Muse
    Uprising Muse
    Plug In Baby Muse
    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
    Storytime Nightwish
    Stargazers Nightwish
    Passion and the Opera Nightwish
    Wish I Had an Angel Nightwish
    Nemo Nightwish
    Planet Hell Nightwish
    Ghost Love Score Nightwish
    While Your Lips Are Still Red Nightwish
    The Kinslayer Nightwish
    Wishmaster 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.
    IMG_3766.JPG IMG_3770.JPG
    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.

    I give them a solid 3.75/5
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  4. Brooko
    Kinera H3 => Unrealised Potential
    Written by Brooko
    Published Oct 27, 2017
    Pros - Build, fit, comfort, cable quality, sonic ability if prepared to EQ, value if prepared to EQ
    Cons - Lipless nozzle, default sound signature (splashy treble, recessed lower mid-range, dissonance and stridency issues)
    Picture are default 1200 x 800 resolution - click to view larger images.


    Reviewing is often a double edged sword. It can be exciting trying something new, and the advantage of being sent a sample is that if you don't like it – it really doesn't matter. I guess my single mission statement (which is quite often hard to stick to) is “be completely honest”. That can be hard when you're first starting out reviewing, trying to break through with manufacturers, and worried that if you're negative, they may cut you off further samples. The problem of course is that if you're overly positive, real buyers will soon find out the truth, and your reputation as a reviewer is over anyway. So for those newer reviewers my advice is – don't hold anything back. You can be critical without being nasty. And manufacturers need to know the bad as well as the good. Its the only way they can become great.

    So why am I going through this big spiel? Its simple really – Penon Audio approached me recently to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing some of the brands they are selling. I said sure – why not – it would give me access to a couple of products I'd read about, but hadn't had the opportunity of reviewing. And I like dealing with Penon – they are a really good store with really good service. I've purchased a few items off them, and they're always a pleasure to deal with.

    They asked me which IEM(s) I'd like to start with, and so I suggested the Kinera H3. It has a pretty good following on head-Fi, with a lot of very positive reviews. I was simply keen to try it out.

    Well it arrived a couple of weeks ago, and let me just say the experience I've had with the H3 doesn't quite match the hype that surrounded this ear-phone. So lets get an alternative view, and hopefully this is accepted in the manner its intended – to simply give a manufacturer some feedback on what is good and what isn't (in my humble opinion of course).


    From what I can find on the net, Kinera is the primary brand of DongguanYu Tai Electronics. The company was formed in 2010 and their research center has just over a dozen employees. In 2012 they started research into personal audio, and the Kinera brand slowly started to form a product range.

    In their own words:
    Yu Tai has a pragmatic, innovative professional R & D team. They are the production strength and are committed to bring to the world the most beautiful sound quality, the most enjoyable listening experience, by virtue of "quality, integrity, innovation and win-win" business philosophy and high-tech R & D team.

    They can be found at Facebook here


    Penon Audio's on-line store was established in 2013, and their main goal is to sell the best selection of audio products at the most affordable prices for both audiophiles and business users. They combine an extensive range of products with very good service – and can be found on-line HERE


    The Kinera H3 that I’m reviewing today was provided to me gratis as a review sample by Pennon Audio. I have made it clear to Penon that I still regard any product they send me as their sole property and available for return any time at their request. But I thank them for the ability to continue use of the Kinera H3 for follow up comparisons. I do not make any financial gain from this review – it is has been written simply as my way of providing feedback both to the Head-Fi community and also Penon and Kinera.

    I have now had the Kinera H3 almost 2 weeks. The retail price at time of review is USD 99.

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)

    I'm a 50 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last few years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (mostly now from the FiiO X5iii, X7ii and iPhone SE) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Sennheiser HD800S, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, MS Pro and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2, and LZ Big Dipper. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present – although needs updating) is listed in my Head-Fi profile.

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.

    I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables (unless impedance related etc), and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 50, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays). My usual listening level is around 65-75 dB.

    For the purposes of this review - I used the Kinera H3 straight from the headphone-out socket of most of my portables. I did not generally further amp them (I did test them with my E17K, Q1ii and IMS HVA), as IMO they do not benefit greatly from additional amplification (YMMV and it may depend on your source). In the time I have spent with the Kinera H3, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in). Time spent now with the Kinera H3 is around 20-30 hours.

    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.


    The Kinera H3 arrived in a rectangular retail box with a fold out front opening lid. The box measures approx 180 x 120 x 50mm, is matt black , and has a simple “Kinera H3” embossed on the lid.

    Opening the lid reveals a carry case, and a couple of adaptors. Inside the carry case is the Kinera H3, replaceable cable, and the tip selection. Underneath the top tray is a further cut-out, and this houses a business card and the manual. One thing to note about the manual – it includes a frequency response graph, and it is quite different to mine (and a few other people I know who have good reliable rigs). Kinera did release an updated graph which is somewhat closer to my measurements.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Outer boxInner boxFull package contents

    The accessories include:
    • 3 pairs of silicone tips (S/M/L)
    • 3 pairs of silicone tips (S/M/L) – similar Sony hybrids
    • 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor
    • Airline adaptor
    • Soft shell storage case (large)
    • Cable tie
    • Warranty and manual.
    • 1 x 3.5 mm single ended two pin earphone cable
    • Kinera H3 IEMs
    The storage case is 120 x 75 x 40mm (so reasonably big). It is semi-rigid and consists of a soft shell outer over a fabric lined inner. It is a rounded rectangular shape and zipped on 3 sides. It gives reasonable protection for everyday use. The entire package is more than reasonable for this price point, although personally I'd also like to see at least some foam tips included.

    (From the Kinera documentation)
    ModelKinera H3
    Approx price$99 USD (Penon Audio)
    TypeTriple hybrid IEM
    Driver set-upSingle dynamic with dual BA
    Freq Range20Hz – 20 kHz
    Sensitivity101 dB (at 1 kHz)
    Cable1.25, replaceable 2 pin (0.78)
    Jack3.5mm gold plated straight
    Weight23g with default cable and tips
    Casing materialAcrylic

    The graph below is generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. Ken Ball (ALO/Campfire) graciously provided me with measurement data which I have used to recalibrate my Veritas so that it mimics an IEC 711 measurement standard (Ken uses two separate BK ear simulators, we measured the same set of IEMs, and I built my calibration curve from shared data). I do not claim that this data is 100% accurate, but it is very consistent, and is as close as I can get to the IEC 711 standard on my budget.

    I do not claim that the measurements are in any way more accurate than anyone else's, but they have been proven to be consistent and I think they should be enough to give a reasonable idea of response - especially if you've followed any of my other reviews. When measuring I always use crystal foam tips (so medium bore opening) - and the reason I use them is for very consistent seal and placement depth in the coupler. I use the same amp (E11K) for all my measurements - and output is under 1 ohm.

    Any graphs are provided merely as a point of discussion, and later in the review I've included comparisons to other IEMs for similar reference.

    My sonic impressions of the Kinera H3 – written well before I measured:
    • Bass is nicely presented with a little more sub than mid-bass emphasis. It seems well extended and is elevated compared to the mid-range. Rumble is clearly audible.
    • Lower mid-range is kind of weird. It sounds both a little recessed and can be somewhat distant with male vocals (and can be a little thin and nasal as well with some recordings). Female vocals are quite forward though and can be strident depending on the singer and the recording.
    • Upper mid-range seems to be emphasised. Female vocals have a sense of euphony, but again with some artists (London Grammar, Agnes Obel) there is almost a sense of brittleness – almost like the usual peak in the vocal fundamental is too early and there is a gap in the presence area.
    • Lower treble extension is good – but it is hot (very hot). Cymbals are quite splashy and there is a lot of sibilance.
    • Overall I can see what they've tried to do with the tuning, and it is very, very clear. Its just been overdone though, and the attempt to bring added clarity in the mid-range has caused some coherency issues.
    • Channel matching is excellent


    The first time I saw photos of the Kinera H3, I thought they were gorgeous, and having a very ergonomic acrylic build at this price point was a real surprise. The Kinera H3 has a traditional custom monitor shape (classic peanut shape) and is entirely made of acrylic. I'm sure there must be a join somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find one. The body measures approx 22mm across and 16mm in height, with a depth of approx 12-14mm. The internal face is extremely smooth and well polished, and contoured to the shape of your ears. The acrylic in the main body is also translucent, and I can clearly see the DD and dual BA drivers.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    External face plateInternal faceWell contoured smooth surfaces

    The external face is flat with a black high gloss surface and the word Kinera on each ear-piece. There is a single vent at the rear of each IEM body. There are no L or R markings, but there doesn't need to be as the H3 is clearly designed for over ear use, and it is clear which ear-piece is left or right. The nozzle is located at the front of the IEM and is angled up. It extends from the main body by around 7mm and has a nozzle width of just under 5mm. It has a mesh cover to protect the nozzle from wax, but has no lip (at all) and unfortunately this means a limit on tip rolling (more on that later).

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    From the frontFrom the rear (note vents)0.78mm 2 pin connectors

    At the top of each IEM is a 2 pin 0.78mm socket which is slightly recessed into the body. The cable fits snugly and the connection is very sturdy. The cable is made up of 6N single-crystal copper with silver plating, and then coated with a very flexible polymer coating. From the IEM to the Y-split, there are two twisted pairs, and below the Y split is a twisted quad. From the two pin male connector, there is a preformed wire loop which is flexible and quite comfortable, and also sits really nicely. The preformed ear loops basically form their own passive strain relief, and the y-split is simply a clear rubber pass through (so no relief required). It has nicely designed designed cinch. The Jack is 3.5mm, gold plated, straight, and features enough length to allow fitting to my iPhone SE with case intact. This would be one of the nicer cables I've come across aesthetically in this price range. Its very lightweight and flexible, and only mildly microphonic (this disappears when using the cinch and some basic cable management). The cable is 1.25m in length although some of this is taken up by the preformed ear loops.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Preformed earloopsY-split and cinch3.5mm jack

    Internally the Kinera H3 utilises a 9mm custom dynamic driver with a composite diaphragm. This is coupled with dual balanced armatures for the mids and highs and a pair of crossovers.

    Overall the build quality is quite impressive for this price point with the only real issue being the lipless nozzle, and some minor driver flax when first inserting them in your ear (the flex is really minimal).


    I'll start with the easy one (isolation), and we can then look at fit and comfort. Isolation is dependent on tip selection, and if you get a good seal, it is actually pretty good (above average for a vented dynamic IMO), but will not ultimately reach the high isolation of sealed BA IEMs. It would still be reasonably good for a busy street, or some forms of public transport – although wouldn't be my personal choice for long haul flights.

    As I said mentioned earlier, the Kinera H3 has a very ergonomic body shape, with a good length of slightly angled nozzle, and for me personally they are extremely easy to fit. They are designed for over-ear use. Anyone used to ergonomic over-ear designs should have no issues. They are extremely comfortable for everyday use.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Lipless nozzle = tip limitationsMy stretched OlivesFit and comfort is sublime

    Unfortunately with no lip on the nozzle, choices for tip rolling are limited. I had no problem at all fitting practically any tip, but they would simply dislodge when removing the H3 from my ear, and its not nice having to continually fish tips out of your ears. My usual go-tos, including Spiral-dots, Sony Isolation, and Ostry tuning tips proved problematic. Spinfits worked but I've never been able to get a decent seal with them. So I was left with Comply and/or Stretched Shure Olives, which both fit and provided a good seal.

    The Kinera H3 sits nicely flush with my outer ear, and are comfortable to lie down with. I've slept with them a couple of times, and have no discomfort on waking. So how do they sound?


    The following is what I hear from the Kinera H3. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X7ii (single ended), no EQ, and stretched Shure Olives. I used the X7ii simply because it gives me a very transparent window to the music with low impedance, and more than enough power. There was no DSP engaged.

    For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X7ii (AM3A amplifier module) was around 45/120 (on low gain) which was giving me an average SPL around 65-75 dB. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

    • Sub-bass – has really good extension and even at my lower listening levels is clearly audible. I would call it slightly boosted above what I would term normal or in balance. There is some really good rumble to give presence but it stops just short of overshadowing vocals. I'm detecting no bleed into lower mid-range (masking of frequencies).
    • Mid-bass – sloping downward compared to sub-bass and elevated compared to lower mid-range. Has reasonable impact.
    • Lower mid-range – quite recessed compared to bass and mid-range, and can sound thin and unnatural, especially with male vocals. Has a funny little dip immediately before a sharp rise just before 1 kHz and EQing this out really helps with coherency.
    • Upper mid-range – elevated compared to lower mid-range, and there is a sharp rise and hump from 1-2 kHz followed by a recession at 3 kHz. The result is a very forward vocal range which unfortunately can sound quite strident and brittle. Its simply peaked far too early, and coupled with the drop just before 1 kHz can be very unnatural depending on the music you're listening to. Unfortunately this is not an upper mid-range tuning which resonates with me.
    • Lower treble is fine at around 5 kHz then builds rapidly to a wide peak in the 6-8 kHz area 20 dB above the low point of the vocals, and just under 10 dB above the already high sub-bass. In short, there is simply too much of it. It's sharp, etched, and gives unnatural glare to cymbals, and also ruins any natural decay in this area.

    Resolution / Detail / Clarity
    • Clarity is good, as is resolution, but its just too much in your face. With warmer tracks its not too bad, but as soon as you get something with a lot of upper frequency energy it really triggers my “wince-meter”.
    • Cymbal hits are overemphasised turning a “tish” into a “tizzz”, and decay is a blob rather than a trailing shimmer.
    Sound-stage, Imaging
    • Directional queues are very good – quite precise, and presentation of stage with the binaural track “Tundra” is definitely just beyond the of my head space (is this the recess in the lower mid-range?) – so pretty good sense of width and depth.
    • Loreena McKennitt's “Dante's Prayer” was next and unfortunately both the cello and piano were tonally incorrect (didn't have the depth or timbre I know is in the track). McKennitt also had slight signs of sibilance, and I've never noticed this with any other IEM. Imaging was pretty good overall though. The main reason I use this track is for the applause at the end – it can be quite 3 dimensional and flow around you with the right earphone. The Kinera H3 struggled because of the tonality. No sense of realism.
    • Amanda Marshall's “Let it Rain” was my next track and I couldn't finish it. There was massive amounts of sibilance with Amanda's vocal – its the way it is recorded – so not unexpected. What was unfortunate was that the sibilance was definitely enhanced.
    • Overall bass presentation
    • Reasonable sense of stage and imaging
    • Detailed at low listening levels
    • Mid-range is recessed and thin with some vocals (male), strident and brittle with others (mainly female) and does not sound natural
    • Lower treble is far too etched and unpleasant to listen to with anything involving cymbals
    • Sibilance can be a real issue
    Special Note

    I had to continually rest and reset my ears when I was doing this review. The problem was that it was easy for my brain to put its normal filter over the sound and try to compensate for the brightness (brain burn-in). By going back to a reference regularly (HD600) I could keep my impressions on track.


    Despite the 48 ohm impedance and 101 dB SPL sensitivity, the H3 is actually really easy to drive and most portable sources will have no issues. I tried it with the X7ii, X3iii, and my iPhone and there were no issues. With my iPhone SE around 30-35% volume is more than enough with most tracks. I also tried the H3 with the FiiO A5, Q1ii and IMS HVA. They didn't seem to add anything – although the HVA's natural warmth did soften the H3's peakiness just a little.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Easy to drive from most sourcesAdditional amping not really necessaryIMO parametric EQ is essential


    Thank goodness for this section! The basic EQ on the X7ii wasn't going to be enough and I'm not as proficient with EQ on Neutron as I am with the parametric equaliser on the Equaliser app on my iPhone. I still don't have this right, but basically I applied the following parametric settings, and its amazing how much the H3 improved:

    400 Hz > Q=0.5 > +1.0 dB
    800 Hz > Q=2.0 > +3.0 dB
    1.5 kHz > Q=0.5 > -2.0 dB
    3.0 kHz > Q=1.0 > +3.0 dB
    7.0 kHz > Q=1.0 > -6.0 dB

    Even going back to Amanda Marshall's “Let it Rain” was a vast improvement (still minor sibilance, but no more than usual). It would be fair to say that if this was the default signature, the H3 would be getting genuine high marks – especially at its price point.


    I was left with an impossible task in this section, and no easy solution. Do you compare the H3 un-EQ'd with other IEM's in a similar price range, and because of its default tonality and sonic flaws, give unfavourable comparisons? Or do you apply the EQ and show people it's potential?

    To be fair to the readers of this review and also Kinera and Penon, I had to do both. So I've taken the cream of some $50-$150 IEMs I have available now, and compared both EQ'd and un-EQ'd. The graph shows the un-EQ'd H3 though.

    For this test I used my iPhone SE and the Equaliser app – which I could turn on and off to make easy and quick comparisons. So I could volume match a lot easier, I used the FiiO E17K rather than the iPhones stepped volume control. For volume matching, I used test tones and an SPL meter.

    For the comparison I used the $59 FiiO F5, $79 Meze 12 Classic, $99 Oriveti Basic, $100 FiiO F9, and $150 Simgot EN700 Pro

    Kinera H3 (~USD 100) vs FiiO F5 (~USD 59)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 vs FiiO F5Frequency comparisons

    Both are built from quality materials, but there is no doubt that the Kinera H3 has better fit, finish and overall comfort (both are comfortable to wear though). The H3 also isolates better. Both have replaceable cables, but the Kinera cable is easier to manage and the F5 has had problems with loose MMCX connections.

    Without EQ, the Kinera H3 has deeper bass and a lot more treble energy. There is also something funky about the mid-range causing some tracks to be quite strident and brittle. The F5 is a lot more balanced, a lot smoother, and more natural, but does have an overly strong upper mid-range peak around 2.5 kHz which if corrected makes it overall a far better IEM. On pure default OOTB performance – the choice is easy – the FiiO F5 is much better overall value sonically.

    If I use my WIP EQ though the Kinera H3 surpasses the F5 and if this adjusted tonality would be default, my recommendation would change.

    Kinera H3 (~USD 100) vs Meze 12 Classic (~USD 79)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 vs Meze 12 ClassicFrequency comparisons

    Both are again built from quality materials, but again the Kinera H3 has better overall fit, finish and comfort (again both are comfortable to wear though). The H3 isolates better and has a far better cable (the 12 Classic is fixed).

    Without EQ, the Kinera H3 has much stronger bass and a lot more treble energy. Mid-range strength is similar, but tonally the Meze 12 Classic is a lot more balanced and realistic sounding. If anything the Meze probably needs a little more bass, but apart form that, it really is a fantastically voiced IEM. OOTB there is no question, the default tonality of the Meze 12 Classic is much better.

    Again if I use my WIP EQ though the Kinera H3 at least equals the Meze 12 Classic and with the superior fit and overall build, would surpass it.

    Kinera H3 (~USD 100) vs Oriveti Basic (~USD 99)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 vs Oriveti BasicFrequency comparisons

    This is a better comparison – both same price, both have impeccable build quality and fit/comfort, both have quality replaceable cables – and both need EQ to correct tonal/balance issues (IMHO of course).

    Without EQ, both have similar bass strength but the Basic appears much warmer because of a lower mid-range emphasis, and much lower treble energy. One is warm smooth and overly bassy (the Oriveti Basic). The other is V shaped, but also overly bright, and uneven in the mid-range with a tendency toward brittleness and stridency. TBH without EQ I wouldn't buy either (personal preference).

    If I EQ both (my WIP EQ for the Kinera H3 and a simple bass cut on the Oriveti Basic) both are transformed into something I'd pay money for. As far as my preference goes EQ'd, I'd probably take the Basic though – the EQ is far simpler and the end result is a far more balanced IEM.

    Kinera H3 (~USD 100) vs FiiO F9 (~USD 99)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 vs FiiO F9Frequency comparisons

    This is probably the most apt comparison of the lot. Both are same price, triple hybrids, extremely good builds, with good quality replaceable cables, and excellent fit and comfort.

    Without EQ, the F9 is a lot leaner in the sub-bass but the first thing that strikes me is how much more natural the FiiO sounds. Its not subtle either. Despite the H3's extra sub-bass, the F9 actually sounds warmer a lot of the time, and that’s simply because of the etched upper end of the N3. The FiiO can have a few issues at times as well with a quite narrow peak between 7-8 kHz, but it only really gets annoying with some tracks, where the H3's default signature annoys me the majority of the time with its hazy upper end energy.

    If I EQ both (my WIP EQ for the Kinera H3 and a simple 8 kHz cut on the F9) the H3 is transformed and the FiiO is simply improved (it was already very, very good). Again for my preference (after EQing both), I'd stay with the F9 – again the EQ is far simpler and the end result is a far more balanced IEM.

    Kinera H3 (~USD 100) vs Simgot EN700 Pro (~USD 150)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 vs Simgot EN700 ProFrequency comparisons

    So what happens if you're prepared to invest a little more? Well in the $150 range you have the Simgot EN700 Pro. It is an excellent single dynamic. Both IEMs have excellent build, fit and comfort. Both have wonderful quality detachable cables. Overall aesthetically, the two are on a par (which actually says a lot in favour of the H3).

    Without EQ, both have similar bass quantity – the EN700 Pros is less on the graph, but sounds the same because it has a better balanced mid-range and lower treble. The EN700 Pro's mid-range sounds a lot more natural and coherent (slow rise to 3 kHz), and does sound very good OOTB but it is a vibrant and coloured sound (albeit one I quite like). The H3 in comparison is definitely also vivid, but its like it has a haze across everything.

    If I EQ with my WIP EQ for the Kinera H3, the haze disappears, and it becomes a really enjoyable and dynamic IEM. Again though when put up against an IEM which is excellent OOTB already there is really no choice (for me anyway). The EN700 Pro is going to sound great with any source, and if you're like me and have 2-3 sources you use, then the EQing of a $100 IEM (Kinera H3) is just going to be a hassle.


    Boy this is tough. If you look at the potential, and you don't mind tinkering with EQ, for $100 you can get an extremely good sounding, looking and fitting IEM in the Kinera H3. But its a labour of love, and without EQ for me the overall SQ becomes grating and quite quickly objectionable. Given that I know how many people avoid EQ, and especially if its even mildly complex, then OOTB the potential value of the Kinera H3 unfortunately diminishes quite quickly.


    I actually dislike these sort of reviews, but sometimes you have to grit your teeth and get through it. The temptation is always there to gloss over the faults (something I try to avoid), and with the Kinera H3 if they aren't highlighted now, they (Kinera) won't fulfil their potential.

    I do want to take the time to say sorry to Amy from Penon. They gave me a choice of monitors to review, and I specifically asked for the Kinera H3 because of the glowing praise they had received from a number of reviewers. If I'd known the reality, I would have chosen something else.

    On the plus side, the Kinera H3 has fantastic build quality, an extremely well designed ergonomic shell, and a really nice cable, You simply don't find this sort of quality on a $100 IEM most of the time. They also look fantastic. One issue they do have though is the lipless nozzle (which limits tip choices) – please Kinera fix this on your next model.

    But if I'm talking default package, that's pretty much where the good stuff ends. The tuning on these is really a work in progress. For starters the lower mid-range dip is quite recessed, but what makes it worse is the early rise to accentuate the vocals, and then a dip in the presence area at 3 kHz. In my experience if you make the rise to sharp and too early you get coherency issues, and unfortunately the H3 has a few. Combine this with the sudden dip at 3 kHz and you can get some dissonance. But the really big problem is the wide-band peak in the upper treble. It is over-accentuated, splashy, and casts a real haze over any music with natural treble energy. Without EQ – I really don't enjoy using these.

    The good news is that with the parametric EQ I've provided in the review (and it is by no means a perfect EQ – I'd love it if someone tweaks it further), the Kinera H3 responds brilliantly, and becomes a much better IEM. If this was the default tuning I'd likely be lauding it – especially at this price.

    So how do you rate an IEM with so much potential, but so many faults sonically? It becomes really hard because you don't want to destroy it, but you do want to be honest. You have practically perfect fit and build with minor points off for the nozzle issue. But sonically they just don't sound great without some reasonably complex EQ (in my humble opinion anyway). Add a small amount for the response you get with EQ, and you end up with a 50% score. Overall a 2.5/5 from me, and probably testament to the potential more than anything. I couldn't honestly recommend these to anyone unless they were prepared to use EQ.

    To Kinera I would say you are actually on the right track. Get yourself a really natural headphone to use as comparative reference (e.g. HD600) and use that to reset your expectations when you are tuning. If you get the tuning right on your next release, you have the potential to be a leader in this price range.

    To Amy and the team from Penon Audio – thanks so much for the review sample, and I think I'll let your team choose next time.

    Kinera H3 - perfection at $100
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Oct 5, 2017
    Pros - great treble. great bass. engaging. energetic. great fit
    Cons - might be bright for some



    Lots of affordable options have come up in the past and more so in the present. Sometimes, I get request to review a budget product and when I review them, they do not live up the hype. This time, it is a little different. I would call these a gem in the midst of all chifi hypes that are sometimes not so justifiable and are often hyped up by individuals who have not had many experiences with hifi gears in the first place.


    This unit was sent to me by kinera for my honest review. I get no financial gain from this review, in fact I will be giving away my pair to share the love. hopefully I can organize something with kinera to do more giveaway for you wonderful people sharing the same hobby as me.

    ABOUT Kinera

    To be honest, they do not have a website (at least from what I can search on google). And I do not know much about them. They have a facebook page and telegram for fan chats. They make great affordable products, they are relatively new and are from china.



    • Model : KINERA H3 In-ears monitor
    • Color available :translucent black /red/ blue
    • 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 )

    • Kinera H3
    • 6 pairs of silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    • 2 adapters
    • Carry box

    Best build quality I have seen for $99.

    cable provided is a 6n silver plated copper terminating in a gold plated 3.5mm sturdy metal jack. Best stock cable I have seen at this price range

    The housing is high quality acrylic that fits and feels good on the ears. No cheap feeling here at all. They look beautiful and nobody will believe you if you tell them how much it cost you.

    wonderful fit design, much like custom in ear monitor but it is more generalized for the rest of the population. if these fit you like it did for me, you are in for some sweet isolation and sound quality.

    They comes with 6 pair of silicone tips that mimic the sony hybrid design, which means they are comfortable as they can get in terms of tips.

    They also comes with a practical semi hard carrying case.


    THE FIT: Wonderful fit. best fit for $99. subjectively, these fit me perfectly but may not be fore everyone.

    SOUND ISOLATION: absolute isolation is achieved with the perfect fit. of course there is no such a thing a absolute isolation, it just feels that way. You get the point.

    PAIRING: These are not hard to drive, they are driven well with a phone or a digital audio player, with latter being preferred due to better sound quality.

    SUGGESTED USE: You can use these anywhere as you please, just not anywhere near your mom when she’s talking to you as you will get smacked for not answering.


    LOWS – the rumble, the punch, the awesomeness. Tad bit less clearer than the 1more triples, but that is okay, you can barely notice it. It is absolutely wonderful region. If you have a pair of beats or some shitty bass producing product, these will blow you away, at the very least with the bass

    MIDS – a little bit too harsh at times, especially the vocals but you can get pass it. It is a great engaging experience. Again, not for everyone. In fact if you want that relaxing sound, these may not do it for you.

    HIGHS – these shine in the trebles. Again, very engaging but not for everyone


    • Sound stage is inmate. Imaging can improve but great for this price.

    For what you pay for, you are getting a well rounded iem that can really pump you up and engage you
      Dobrescu George and 10fold like this.
  6. ostewart
    Energetic and fun
    Written by ostewart
    Published Sep 22, 2017
    Pros - Excellent resolution, fun and engaging
    Cons - Can be a little bright at times
    Firstly I would like to thank Kinera and Penon audio for this sample, these received over 50hrs of burn-in before reviewing and no differences were noted.

    *disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.

    Gear Used:
    Audio Opus #2 > H3 (Final tips)
    HP Laptop > JDS Labs EL-DAC > HeadnHifi O2 amp > H3 (Final tips)


    Tech specs:
    • 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 )
    • MSRP: $99
    Packaging, Accessories and Build quality:
    The Kinera H3 come in a lovely textured high quality black card box, with the name Kinera and model H3 embossed in gold on the top. Open the magnetic flap are you will find the carry case and jack adaptors held in a foam inlay. The box is simple yet feels excellent for the price and I really like the simplicity of it.

    Accessory wise you get a clamshell carry case, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor, airplane adaptor and 3 sizes of tips in 2 different types. You get S, M and L single flange tips, one type is similar to Sony hybrid tips, and the other has a stiffer blue core and also stiffer silicone. You also get a little velcro cable tidy and a thank you card from Kinera, along with a small manual. Overall everything you need is included.


    Build quality is very good, the finish of the shells looks great with no major imperfections, the cable is soft and supple (really good cable) and is detachable. The cable has good strain relief, there is no stiff memory wire on these, instead it is a soft section of pre moulded rubber. I really like the look and finish, the nozzle however does not have a lip, so make sure to use the stock tips or others that are quite tight on the nozzle (Final Audio tips work very well). Overall I have no issues with the build quality, pictures show them off better anyway.

    Comfort, Isolation and Driver flex:
    The H3 is designed similar to a custom IEM and due to its lightweight construction fit very comfortably in my small ears, and do not protrude very far out of your ear. They are quite slim and once you get a good fit you can wear them for hours without pain. They are some of the most comfortable IEM’s I have used and are really easy to get a good fit with due to the angle of the nozzle.

    Isolation is fairly average, this is due to a fairly shallow fit type and also the housing is vented due to the dynamic driver inside. They are still easily suitable for most everyday use, but if you are planning on using them in very loud environments there are other IEM’s that will isolate better.


    Driver flex is present up initial insertion, but the drivers quickly return to normal and the driver flex isn’t as bad as some other headphones out there.

    Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end:

    Lows: The H3 is a triple hybrid design and lets the dynamic driver handle the lows, the dynamic driver in these definitely has good punch and extends nicely into the sub-bass with minimal roll-off. The bass has good impact and is definitely a little on the fun side of neutral, bass guitar lines have good separation and articulation, kick drums have air to back them up and it’s a nice full bass presentation. The lows can handle EDM to heavy metal with ease; I’m quite impressed by their control. To be honest at this price range I think it’ll be quite hard to find headphones that handle metalcore as well as these.

    Mids: The mids are a little laid back compared to the rest of the frequency response, giving these a mild V shaped signature, but they are quite crisp and have good detail retrieval. Nothing really stands out in the midrange, both male and female vocals are handled quite well, there isn’t really any added warmth from the lows but the upper mids are perhaps a slight bit thin and on the drier side. They seem to avoid most sibilance and there is quite a bit of air around the notes in the midrange, separation is quite impressive. They could do with being a tiny bit more forward in the mix when things get busy.

    Highs: Now I am a fan of good treble and these certainly offer the quantity I enjoy, these do lean towards a slightly bright top end occasionally sounding a little overemphasised. A lot of this does depend on the recording though, feed them well recorded tracks and the highs will sound well defined, they are not laid back or dark sounding. The good thing is that if you find the highs to be a little on the hot side, tip rolling can help tame them (especially foam tips). There is plenty of sparkle and energy up top, but sometimes they are a little splashy. There is a little too much energy sometimes and cymbal crashes do sound a little odd due to excess energy at 7kHz.

    Instrument separation is good overall; there is good air around each instrument.
    Soundstage is not huge; it is slightly wider than usual with out of head experiences to be had. The imaging however is very good, especially with complex drum tracks.


    Simgot EN700 Bass:

    The Simgot EN700 Bass is a good comparison as they are around the same price, the Simgot also feel very well built but the standard version has a fixed cable. So Kinera wins here with a longer lasting design. Both are very comfortable IEM’s, the H3 is lighter so is more comfortable for long periods of time.

    Sound wise the EN700 Bass has a more organic and natural tone to it, with a smoother sound signature. It is full bodied and very enjoyable; the H3 is far more exciting and has better top end resolution. I find the EN700 Bass to be quite polite and have excellent separation and resolution, the H3 can come across a little more fatiguing but there is more going on with better detail retrieval.

    Both are fantastic for the price, the H3 is quicker and more nimble, offering a more direct and engaging sound. The EN700 Bass is slightly laid back and more natural sounding, so which you prefer will be based on your preferences.


    Conclusion: For $99 these are a very promising IEM from Kinera, with a fun borderline bright sound. They have a very slight V shaped sound signature, but the mids are not badly recessed. The lows are full but also very well controlled; the midrange is crisp and clear and the highs shimmer and sparkle with plenty of presence. These are an exciting and fun IEM and not for those that are very treble sensitive. I have found them to work very well with complex rock music, and the lows can really keep up. Tonally wise they are a little bit lean, but tips influence the sound a lot. Overall I really like these, Kinera have done a really good job, and considering the price these are fantastic value.

    Sound Perfection Rating: 7.5/10 (Highs can be a little hot, but the overall sound is highly enjoyable)
      Dobrescu George likes this.
  7. ExpatinJapan
    Kinera H3
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 16, 2017
    Pros - Good overall sound, quality cable, a jewel in the $100 range
    Cons - Needs a nozzle groove for tips, some sibilance and loose bass at high volumes
    Kinera H3 Review
    - Expatinjapan


    Kinera H3 review



    A surprising affordable IEM that burst onto the audio scene in recent times and won the hearts of many a new convert to its build, design and dynamic sound.

    Coming in a variety of colorful styles, visually beautiful and affordable.



    The Kinera H3 comes in a simple and stylish black card box.

    An adapter for airplane travel, and 1/4 adaptor plug and a hard card shell case for keeping the earphones safe and clean when on the move.

    The case itself is quite spacious and one could be able to fit two or three earphones within.


    The Kinera H3 comes with a two cable and a study 3.5mm plug.
    I got the simple black version but there are some very cool looking two tone versions available.

    The Kinera H3 has screens to protect its internals from wax and other grime.


    The Kinera H3 comes with a selection of tips to get you started.


    Always nice to get a thank you. :)



    Model : KINERA H3 In-ears monitor
    Color available :translucent black /red/ blue
    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 plating silver
    Plug material: 3.5mm golden plated
    Earphone interface: 2-pin (0.78mm )
    Kinera H3
    6 pairs of silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    2 adapters
    Carry box



    Kinera H3 and Opus#3 dap.

    The Kinera H3 was tested and reviewed with a variety of daps using FLAC tracks at home, commuting and resting at cafes drinking coffee.

    The Kinera H3 is built for on the go, its a simple no fuss 1 dynamic driver and two BAs. Generally I would expect a V shaped sound for this particular combination of drivers and the H3 stayed true to traditional form and expectations in this regard.


    Do you want some bass? You got it! Do you want treble? You have it. Want some mids?...well heres a sprinkle for you, enough to keep things coherent but not invade that V shaped engine built for dynamism and energy.

    The bass is surprising generally controlled, although on some more heavy tracks it found the going a bit difficult and it could get a bit unruly and boomy, but this was the exception to the rule, and there is enough quality bass to satisfy even the most jaded budget fi shopper.

    I thought the sub bass was present enough and separate from the lower bass reaches to again give that sense of general control.
    Its definitely not a bass head bass.

    The mids are recessed as to be expected with this particular design, which is a favorite for many listeners who prefer their earphones with a little less mids. Adjusting the gain didn't effect any serious significant changes in this regard, but it did add that lil something, something that brought the H3 to a fuller performance.

    The highs are the show stealer, it definitely leans that way at times, giving a sense of clearness, detail and clarity. At various times it can venture in sibilance, but not excessively so its generally quite forgiving. But for my precious spoiled ears due to my small stable of high end IEMs I found that extended listening of several hours could be a little fatiguing for me, also I am not a adherent to the V signature cult.

    The Kinera H3 was fine from low to just above mid volume listening levels, push it too far in the volume stakes and it could loose some of its control on the lower and also at the high end.

    I found the width of the sound stage to be greater than the depth. Height is good.
    Instrument separation is quite acceptable.

    Kinera H3 and Shozy Alien+ dap

    I swapped a few cables to see If I could edged any sonic improvements out of the Kinera H3, and there were some but they were mainly incremental and were most noticed the higher up the Dap chain I traveled. Those dynamic drivers do enjoy a bit of extra power to drive them.

    Probably most users will be using a mobile phone or a sub $400 dap to listen to music with the Kinera H3 and won`t be connecting a $500 or so cable and a $1000 dap to it.

    I did enough plunking on the Double Helix Cables silver SPC, it seemed to open up the energy more and gave a bit more control to the bass.
    The Kinera H3 cable is a 6N silver coated copper cable.

    Kinera H3, Double Helix cable and Symbio Mandarines tips.




    The nozzles have a slight ring on them,
    but I would prefer something more substantial to hold the tips firmly in place,


    Stock photos via Kinera to show the different models available.


    Kinera H3 and Opus#2 dap. Overkill.

    The Kinera H3 clocks in at a cool and affordable US$99. The usual 'good performance for the price' etc etc terms have been bandied about as usual, but I can attest this is one of those (not so sleeper) hits. A sub $100 earphone I can recommend to friends quite safely.

    The Kinera H3 comes with a quality cable that is fairly void of micro phonics when on the move, it looks to be in two styles and has a clear version and another which has a brown material covering of the cable which accompanies the black version which I have. I really like the look of the red and blue shell versions and their accompanying cables.
    Great for photography.

    The shell of the H3 resembles the iBasso IT03 a little with its inner ear guide flange.
    And as such this earphone is very comfortable, I was able to wear it for extended periods with no apparent discomfort due to the fit.

    Isolation is good, great when I did some tip rolling and put on the Symbio Mandarines. It does need a design change in an addition of a groove/rim on the end of the nozzles to lock tips more in place, especially the silicone ones.
    The cable is stylish and comes in a variety of styles depending on which model of H3 is purchased. Its great to see more companies offering quality cables in two pin (or in other cases MMCX) with their IEMs.

    I did get some improvements , though not overly dramatic when I switched around cables. Usually the copper vs silver experience was most significant. The Kinera H3 being a silver plated copper cable.

    Its a difficult item to review because it does so many things well for a fraction of the price, and also is a hyped item amongst consumers and also fellow reviewers.

    Admittedly when I first listened i was quite stunned at the quality, later listening sobered me up more as its various limitations and faults were revealed, and of course the H3 could not hope to compete with some of my other higher end IEMs - which is to be expected. Later listening revealed the Kinera H3 to be a quality product that performs quite well, consistently and competently even in comparison to its more pricey cousins.

    The various minuscule shortcomings of the Kinera H3 doesn't detract from what is in fact a decent earphone that has made waves in the online audiophile community, and is a continuation of the recent trend of more and more lower price earphones displaying decent build, design and sound quality.

    Consumers are going to have more and more options to satisfy their wallets in the coming years.

    To close, the Kinera H3 does live up to the hype surrounding it, a great shell design, a more than decent cable and an overall sonic performance that ticks all the right boxes If judged within its intended consumer market, It has its minor short comings, but those are to be expected for US$99, but as I have written these are minor in what is an excellent all round product.

    Pretty as a picture.

    Thank you to Kinera for sending the Head pie the Kinera H3 for review and impressions.
      acap13 and jeffhawke like this.
    1. acap13
      Do you think its possible to rectify the imbalance sound of this pair such as the overly treble emphasis ? Does you DHC cable manage to tone down the treble quantity or is it enough by just roll the tips?
      acap13, Jun 28, 2018
    2. ExpatinJapan
      Maybe go for the newer iDun then.

      I havent played with the K3 for a while now.

      You could try a warmer source or some foam
      tips I guess.
      ExpatinJapan, Jun 29, 2018
  8. Mosauwer
    Ear candy for only $99
    Written by Mosauwer
    Published Sep 13, 2017
    Pros - great bass, treble clarity, comfortable fit, low micro-phonic gorgeous cable, well built, cost
    Cons - sometimes sibilant, lack of eartip rings on the nozzles.

    First of all thanks goes to Steve, as well as kinera to send me a pair of their new iem h3 to test it out. I am not told or directed to throw a review here. The following statement is all my honest opinion. Mark that your mileage may vary. Let's step aside of the thanking part and get started.

    Just a few head-up about myself

    Music, from the very childhood is my first love. The day I started my guitar playing, and the day I opted to play Ukulele its been with me in home or outside. I every now and then enjoyed music through my daily setup, smartphone and its cheap earphone. When I introduced to the head fi community, things have changed. Changed the face of my savings too. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: When I first heard through a quality headphone my jaw dropped, what the hell I was listening previously. From then its been two years. My journey along the path of music didn’t stop. I am fortunate enough to have to listen many legendary headphones.
    After searching when I broke my bank and bought the first quality headphone, it seemed a new path was opened for me. The feeling of rediscovering old fav music is fascinating. It thrills me and gives me goosebumps.
    As music preference goes, I hear a lot of metal and rock songs. But as I have born in Bangladesh, my countries music library offers a lot more enriched genres. So I love to hear other genres too, until it sounds awkward to me. So, Folk, classical, pop, melody, instrumental are also in my liking list.
    A person like me who isn’t technical that much. So in classical sense you shouldn’t call me as an and audiophiles.

    My music library is my Custom Computer, Youtube etc. I have a huge collection of my fav bands’ music both in lossless and lossy format, Roon, Tidal and spotify premium.
    Finally, I will start my review. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

    Let's not wait


    Kinera is a new china bassed iem company that stepped their feet in audio industry with only two iem Bd005 and Now the Kinera h3. You can find their products like H3 here. They are friendly and trying hard to get their everything right. For starting fresh h3 was a great step up. I am pretty sure they are bringing something out of the box next time.

    How's the H3

    The packaging:


    The package has a textured finish and got a professional feeling to it. there is a magnetic flap to open it. Inside there is a perfectly cut foam for the housing of the carrying case, airplane and 1/4 inch adapter. To be frank this was enough to convince someone that "h3 is special"

    What's in the box


    A big enough hard sell carrying case is presented there to store iem and cable. 3 pares of eartips (s,m,l), airplane adapter and a gold plated 1/4inch adapter were there. But i am impressed with the Thank you card by the kinera. Kinera you are welcome


    Build and so on

    The shell is CIEM type. I will say i have the most comfortable fit with h3 after this i will mark the pinnacle p1 and flc8s. They blue semi transparent shell reminds me of candy. On the faceplate there is a gold kinera logo printed.


    I am sorry for a thing that should be there, A ring at the nozzles for the eartip grip. The lack of it cost me the loss of two eartips. I hope they will notice this and change it in there following iems.


    The cable is great, Braided, Silver color. It is soft, the stain relief is good and works just fine. If you think about the micro-phonics, i will say there is none. I hope a mic edition of there cable will help a lot of people in future. Btw kinera adopts the 2pin configuration which is i think better. Because i had issues with the mmcx connection. And H3's 2pin connectors offers a snag compact fit. Its not loose at all like something i found in kz zs5.


    Fit and comfort

    I can say this is one of the most comfortable iem i have used. its smooth ciem type shell provides the most pleasing fit under 100 usd. I think it fits better than the Shure se215. If you want something more comfortable, i think ciem is the route to go. I can easily sleep wearing this. though I wont recommend this. "Please save your ear"


    The Sound


    The bass is a bit of emphasized but It is emphasized in an enjoyable way. There is tightness. Its fast and the impact is damn impressive for its price range. On the most important note, the bass impact don't mix with mid range or bloat anywhere. There is certainly a noticeable sub bass extension. Not so strong but strong enough to notice it and enjoy your music. Despite of all these things this is not targeted for the bass heads. I noticed with some recording it gets a bit more boomy. I should blame the recordings not the iem for this.



    The energetic and clear mid of h3 is enjoyable. It may seem a bit of the recessed to some people because of its little bit thinness. To me the less colored mid high the upper mid energy the vocal sounded good. At least at the point of its price range it out forms a lot of iems that i have listened previously. I would like if the mid could be a bit more thick and packed some meat on the bone.


    Treble at a first glance seemed well extended, airy, detailed, damn good sound separation and well presentation. I have to admit stock H3 sound bright, metal and heavy treble tracks can often be quite fatiguing, If you turn your volume up it gets annoying. But i have to appreciate the clarity of the treble. I wish it had some unforgiving nature. The people who love bright iems will find this a lot enjoyable. I prefered a bit more dark and warm sound with the clarity.


    The Isolation

    I gave it to my friend. I want to quote one thing that he told me, "I heard music all day long. It seemed if there is any war around me, i wont hear anything".

    I know he a bit of overwhelmed. But its true that h3 blocks a lot of outside noice. its comfortable and the noise cancellation is noticeably best in the sub 100 even more priced iems.

    In the conclusion of sound i want to mention some following bullet points
    I really liked the soundstage and separation of h3. The staging was not that big, but the separation and good imaging will be enough to engage you to your listening and think like the sound is coming around you. It might not be on par of something damn expensive. But its hard to find in sub 100 range.


    The verdict

    I told all before this review is my self realized opinion. H3 is crisp. Its cleanliness in sound and good amount of refinement to it's signature can make enjoying your music more. I prefer a more thick mid-range and warmth to the sound. Yet the detail and clarity this hybrid turned out that treble loving people gonna enjoy h3's offering. I hope kinera will do the best for their upcoming products. new2322.jpg

    Packaging & Accessories:
    3.7 / 5 (I expected to get more tips)

    Build Quality & Design: 4.5 / 5 - (I would give 5 if there is a eartip ring)
    Sound Impressions: 3.7 / 5 - (i preferred a bit more warmth and less bright)
    Value: 4.1 / 5 - $99 its a candy for ears.

    Overall: ~ 4 / 5



    1. DSC_5058.JPG
    2. DSC_5089.JPG
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  9. ustinj
    Kinera H3: Impressive clarity and impact
    Written by ustinj
    Published Sep 2, 2017
    Pros - great bass impact and rumble, top-tier clarity to similarly-priced IEMs, luxurious cable, fit and comfort, value
    Cons - thin and slightly nasal midrange, recessed lower midrange, occasional sibilance, inconsistent shell quality
    Kinera H3: Impressive Clarity and Impact

    Overall: 3.9/5

    First and foremost, I'd like to thank Penon Audio for reaching out to me and sending me a review unit of the Kinera H3. I am not associated with Penon Audio in any other way, and these thoughts are my own only -- keep in mind that my review will mostly be subjective, as we all hear things differently. I will do my best to give the H3 a fair and honest review, as well as give some comparisons to IEMs I have/have owned.

    The Kinera H3 is available for $99 from the awesome people down at Penon Audio, at this link here.


    Please remember at all times that these are my subjective judgements of the IEM's sound, and I may hear things differently or prefer things that you may not. I will post measurements for the H3 as well.

    The recent but growing onset of multi-driver audiophile IEMs at a lower price bracket has certainly been the source of many discussions fueled by hype and excitement, though a number of them prove to be somewhat exaggerated and an overall letdown. On the bright side, there have been quite a few gems that manage to prove themselves to the masses.

    I used to hop on hype trains often, avoiding spending extra in hopes that I'd fine a "giant killer". Unfortunately, many times I have ended up disappointed and sometimes even empty-handed. I hope my review on the H3 can help some of you decide whether the $99 price tag will land you a reliable and worthwhile set of IEMs.


    The packaging is a textured carton, opening with a magnetic flap. It looks fairly simple and elegant, the typography and design of the cover print looks well done and professional.



    The box includes two adapters -- both rather ordinary, being a flight/airplane adapter and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter (1/8" to 1/4").

    More importantly, you'll find a fairly decent to large sized carrying case in black with the Kinera logo. The zipper is smooth and easy to use; the interior is roomy and has a somewhat soft felt lining. One side of the case has a small mesh pocket, fair for carrying spare tips or cable (or whatever else you may have).

    The case includes the earphones themselves, as well as 3 tips in S/M/L sizing. They look similar to the Sony hybrid tips and stay on the nozzle of the IEM fairly well. They are easy to get a seal with and feel above average in quality.


    Build & Design

    The Kinera H3 has a "custom-made universal" shell, which is shaped to fit many ears snugly and securely, all while maintaining a high level of comfort. I've had custom in-ears before, as well as one or two IEMs with similar design -- for example, the KZ ZS3 and iBasso IT03 both have cymba protrusions and a deep fitting nozzle.

    Shell Quality

    The H3's shell quality looks fairly good, though not quite as crystalline / transparent when compared to an acrylic-poured IEM. My left monitor is quite transparent, while my right monitor is slightly fogged and smudged internally, blocking vision of the drivers quite a bit. Penon Audio sent me the H3 in blue variation -- the color is nice and uniform, while being nice to look at.

    The faceplate is an opaque black embedded horizontally with a gold, reflective Kinera logo. I noticed a large white strip between the black faceplate and the blue shell, as well as small white bits on the other end of the faceplate. The other monitor's faceplate doesn't have any detectable issues.


    The nozzle is simple and does not have a notch to securely keep the tips in place, which may be an issue depending on the tips you plan to use. I can say that the included stock tips feel pretty secure and it should be unlikely that they will be sliding off accidentally. Regardless of the fogging and white uncolored bits of the faceplate, the shell feels sturdy and should not fail from ordinary use. There are no rough sections or unexpected bumps, it seems smooth all around.

    Fit and Comfort

    This smoothness of the shell lends to its impressive levels of comfort, even in slightly smaller ears such as mine. Prior, I've found "custom-like" universals to be a bit large for me such as the iBasso IT03 and Aurisonics line -- those were too large and uncomfortable for me to wear after a short period of time. I don't have any of those issues with the Kinera H3.

    It feels secure and there's not much chance of it falling out. I can wear it for hours without discomfort.



    The cable is hands-down the nicest cable I've used in an entry-level audiophile IEM. It's very soft and supple -- this lends to it's great comfort as well as surprisingly quiet microphonics. The ear guides are not memory wire, but simply formed to wrap around the back of the ear. Very lightweight and comfortable. It's a simple 4-core twist braid, sleeved in dark bronze. The two-pin connectors are clear and look of good quality. Y-splitter is of top quality, being some sort of clear-frosted rubberized TPU. It feels durable and won't get in the way. The 3.5mm jack is wrapped in an aluminum sleeve that is surprisingly light, with proper strain relief -- however, I find right-angle jacks to be more durable and practical than the straight-jack present on the cable.



    The sound of the Kinera H3 is typically v-shaped with a medium depth -- the bass is emphasized, lower midrange dips and rises into the upper midrange, and various treble emphasis gives path to good clarity.

    Here is a measurement of the Kinera H3. This is measured using a silicone coupler + Dayton IMM06, there is a slight 2.2k notch that shouldn't be there but I'm not bothered enough to fix it. It measures similarly to Crinacle's measurements.



    The bass presentation of the H3 is very enjoyable, regardless of its clear emphasis. It's slightly above average in terms of tightness and speed, while still being able to sound natural. The impact and rumble of the notes is impressive, it can definitely pack a whallop without being too overwhelming or interfering with the midrange too much. Subbass extends deeply as far as music generally goes, so I don't feel like I'm missing anything in the lower registers. Quantity wise, the H3's bass sits well above neutral, but not quite pushing into basshead territory. It can sometimes sound boomy and overly rumbly, maybe contributing to fatigue in long term listening.


    The midrange of the Kinera H3 is its weakest point in my opinion -- this would be the factor that would determine whether or not this IEM works well for the listener. The lower-to-middle midrange is recessed in comparison to its surroundings. The upper midrange is quite forward (typical of many tunings to give clarity to vocals). However, vocal timbre is just noticeably strange, in my opinion -- vocals sound thin and restrained, as if they were being choked out. This vocal recession is much more noticeable here on the H3 than other IEMs I've tried in similar price range, such as the TFZ King and Series 4. Additionally, any sibilance or similar upper midrange baddies present themselves sometimes but not consistently, depending on the singer's vocal range. It overall is a bit fatiguing, though demonstrating impressive if not exaggerated upper midrange detail.


    The treble is possibly the star of the show here. The treble is very detailed and comes with striking clarity. In fact, this was the first thing I noted about the H3's sound -- it has a good sense of air and decent sparkle for its price bracket. I find that it pairs well to create a decent sense of space horizontally, giving good depth in variation of distance from your head.


    The Kinera H3 is rather impressive in its own ways for the price, being exceptional clarity, fun bass presentation, and sporting a very premium cable. However, it is not without its flaws in its midrange, which one may see as drastic or might not even care enough to note -- it's undoubtedly some variation of a v-shaped IEM, and whether this aligns to your tastes or not is up to you. Build quality should last a long time paired with its removable cable, and accessories are ample but just the necessities.

    10% - Packaging & Accessories: 3.75 / 5 - nicely packaged, but just the necessities in accessories

    20% - Build Quality & Design: 4.5 / 5 - shell quality is decent to good with minor inconsistencies, but cable is so darn good. comfort is also great

    50% - Sound Impressions: 3.3 / 5 - v-shaped sound with clear treble and strong bass, marred with tonally-funky midrange

    20% Value: 4.1 / 5 - impressive overall package for the price, but IMO not an "all-aboard the hype train" IEM

    Overall: 3.9 / 5


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  10. crabdog
    A new contender
    Written by crabdog
    Published Aug 10, 2017
    Pros - Gorgeous design. Great quality cable. Useful accessories. Clear and detailed sound.
    Cons - No lip on the nozzle - some ear-tips not held securely

    I guess it's time to accept that most of us can't keep up with all the new earphone manufacturers coming out of China. But there will always be those who create something unique, special or remarkable that brings them onto our collective radar while others fade back into obscurity. The former is where we are today with Kinera and all the hubbub that has arisen surrounding their latest (and only second) product release.

    Formed in 2007 the company was moderately successful with their first earphone the BD005, a low budget, dual driver hybrid and now they're expanding their product lineup with a new triple driver hybrid the Kinera H3. Early impressions and reviews have been almost unanimously positive and for good reason but are they really that good? Read on to find out how I feel about them and hopefully it will help the reader to decide whether they want to grace their ears with the Kinera H3.

    Disclaimer: This sample was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review. I have no affiliation with the company and all observations and opinions are my own, based on my experience with the product. I'd like to thank Kinera for the opportunity to test the H3.

    At the time of writing the Kinera H3 retails for $99.


    Like most people on this type of site I'm a lover of music. In my younger days I spent several years as a hip-hop DJ (using real vinyl and turntables) as well as producing a variety of music on computer using a combination of MIDI and live instruments. I did a Home Studio Sound Certificate at the Milton School of Audio Engineering in Brisbane, Queensland which covered the setup of audio for playback and recording in a studio environment along with other basic engineering principles. Nowadays I prefer to simply listen to and enjoy music.

    My taste in music has changed a great deal over the years. For a long time my only interest was in rap and hip-hop music. Now though I listen to all kinds of music including jazz, classical, rock, psytrance, folk and ambient. I listen to music everyday using portable gear consisting of a DAP and mostly IEMs or simple desktop setup consisting of a laptop and DAC at work and my desktop setup at home which is based around my PC or Shinrico D3S with a DAC, often but not always including a tube amp and full-sized headphones or speakers.

    My preferred sound signature is fairly balanced with slightly elevated mid-bass and deep well-extended sub-bass, clear and resolving midrange with a touch of warmth and clean, airy treble. I'm not offended by brighter sounding gear but dislike any sibilance. The majority of my music is 16/44.1 flac files as I stopped using physical media (CD/vinyl) many years ago and prefer the convenience of digital formats.

    Packaging and accessories

    The H3 comes in a nice, textured black box with the brand name and model number embossed in gold print on the top. After opening the magnetic flap/lid you're presented with an airline adapter, a 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm adapter and semi-hard carrying case. Under the case is a user manual and thank you card. The case is very handy and large enough to easily accommodate the earphones with ample space left to throw in a small DAP. It's a bit too big to fit in your pocket but is the perfect size to carry in a bag.

    Inside the case you'll fine the earphones, cable and 3 pairs of silicone ear-tips (S, M, L). The silicone tips are really nice quality, being supple yet grippy so you can imagine my dismay when I had confirmed that they are all too small for my ears.

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    Let's take a minute to talk about the cable. This is an exceptionally nice cable for an IEM in this price range. It's supple yet feels durable and there's no stickiness to it. Starting at the top are the 2 pin connectors with a very subtle yet clever system of colored dots on the front side to denote Left and Right (blue for left, red for right). The connectors sit securely in the earphones but are still very easy to remove and insert. Further down is the flexible, transparent Y-split, accompanied by a matching cable cinch/chin slider. The cable terminates in a straight, metal plug that is quite long but of good quality with excellent strain relief.
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    Build, comfort and isolation

    The designer/s of the H3 must have been feeling inspired when they created this IEM as they've produced something that not only looks fantastic but is also extremely comfortable. I feel that the appearance alone of the H3 played a big part in the early hype of the product as it looks very premium and more like higher priced IEMs.

    The outside of the acrylic shells is an inverted teardrop shape in glossy black with the brand logo printed in gold lettering. On the inner part of the shells is the same material but here it's translucent allowing you to glimpse the internal drivers and wiring. This part is shaped similarly to a custom IEM and there's a small vent just next to the female 2 pin connector. All the edges are rounded and smooth plus the face-plate and main body are seamlessly joined adding to the overall aesthetics.

    Although the H3 looks a little awkwardly shaped on the inner side it actually provides a very nice and comfortable fit. It was quite a bold move by the company to adopt this build but it has paid off handsomely, resulting in one of the most comfortable CIEMs that I've ever used. The shells fit wonderfully inside the conch of the ear which also means they don't protrude out as much as you might expect.

    There are some shortcomings in the build though and the first lies in the design of the nozzles. The usual lip or ridge is absent here and that coupled with a slightly more narrow than average diameter means that ear-tips have a tendency to come off when removing the earphones. Secondly I was experiencing a lot of driver flex, mostly when first inserting or readjusting the shells but also when moving my jaw. Fortunately the driver flex has all but disappeared with the tips that I finally settled on (remember the provided ones were all too small for my ears).

    Due to the way the H3 sits in and fills the ear's conch sound isolation is above average but keep in mind they are vented so some sound will still come through. Regardless of that though, these still block out a good deal of sound and are very suitable for noisy environments, allowing you to enjoy your music without needing to pump up the volume to dangerous levels.

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    Sources used for testing:
    • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    • Benjie T6
    • Acoustic Research MR-20
    • PC/Foobar2000 > Topping DX7
    With an impedance of 48 ohms the H3 benefits from some extra driving power and may suffer a little from weaker sources like some smartphones. It's most evident in the authority of the bass notes and I'd recommend using a good DAP or headphone amplifier to get the most out of this IEM.

    The H3 has a clear, energetic sound that's packed with detail and has good instrument separation. It can be a little aggressive in the high frequencies and may cause some fatigue if listening to certain music genres (rock, metal etc) or at high volume.

    Bass is controlled and has nice body but is pushed back a little behind the mids, particularly the upper mids. Sub-bass reaches fairly low but again struggles to make itself felt due to the overreaching nature of the upper-mid peak. It does have that natural dynamic feel and in the right tracks sounds great and fairly linear, very nicely textured without being overbearing.

    The midrange has a lot of clarity and detail, is very energetic up in the higher mids and overall has good tonality. It can sometimes come across as a little thin which you might or might not like depending on personal preference. Vocals sound natural and uncolored and are quite forward while remaining the same clarity seen throughout the midrange.

    When we get to the treble there's a peak that brings certain sounds very forward in the mix which can throw off the balance and as a result there's some loss of cohesion. Listening to Ludovico Einaudi's "Indaco" things get off to a good start until he hits the high notes which sound unnaturally loud. A similar effect can be heard on certain high hats and snare snaps among other things. However the timbre remains accurate and adds some shimmer but there is a sense of the sound always teetering on sibilance.

    Soundstage is fairly wide and while not the widest to be found in this price range it's also far from being narrow. There's a fair sense of depth as well with fairly good imaging and instrument placement that isn't razor sharp but surely lets you know where sounds are coming from.



    TFZ Exclusive King ($95-$99 USD)
    Has more more mid-bass punch and is a little warmer in the lower midrange. Is more cohesive and evenly spread in the upper frequencies. Sub-bass digs deeper and gives a little more rumble. More warmth in the lower mids and slightly more in general. I feel it has just a little bit superior tonality. Has a slightly wider nozzle and a lip to keep tips secure. Is easier to drive. The cable is good but not the same stellar quality as the one provided with the H3.

    Thinksound ms02 ($99 USD)
    Is more natural and organic with a comparatively relaxed treble. A little more recessed midrange which is noticeably less clear than that on the H3. Switching between the two the ms02 sounds a little muddy in comparison but in reality it isn't - it's just that the H3 has such exceptional clarity in the mids. Has a non-detachable cable. Bass and lower mids have more weight and body than the H3 and it has a more easygoing signature.

    From left to right: TFZ Exclusive King, Thinksound ms02, Kinera H3


    Kinera's H3 is a great looking, great fitting IEM that has certainly got people's attention around the web's audio sites and related social media communities. It has a wonderfully appealing design aesthetic that looks premium and desirable but there's still a little room for improvement, mainly in regards to the nozzle. The sound signature of the H3 could be polarizing, appealing to those who like an emphasis on high frequencies and a bright sound but deterring for people who prefer a more relaxed and non-fatiguing listening experience. There's no doubt that it produces a clear and detailed sound but it does so at the risk of being a little too energetic on occasion. It's certainly an interesting product that deserves recognition is it's crowded price bracket and should not be overlooked if you're shopping for something around the $100 mark. With the release of the H3 it looks like Kinera are setting themselves up to be a serious player in the IEM market.



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