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Kinera H3

Rating:
4.125/5,
  1. HiFiChris
    Kinera H3: A very interesting & decent Newcomer
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Aug 3, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - good imaging, SQ matches the price, w-shape -> no bog-standard tonality, superb build quality on CIEM-/CUIEM-level (if consistent QC), removable cables (2-pin)
    Cons - (potential QC inconsistencies,) soft and slow bass response, lipless nozzle, 6 kHz treble emphasis might not please everybody
    Preamble:

    Originally posted on my German audio review site, the "Kopfhörer-Lounge", here comes my review of the Kinera H3, an affordable universal fit triple-driver hybrid in-ear that, despite its moderate price, is manufactured the same way CIEMs and customisable UIEMs are created. It features removable cables, too.


    Introduction:

    If you haven’t heard of the company “Kinera” before, then you are not alone, since before fellow Head-Fi member @Hisoundfi introduced me to them, I hadn’t heard of them either.

    Fast forward a few days, Steve from Kinera got in touch with me and asked me whether I would like to review their latest in-ear called H3, a triple-driver hybrid model with a quite typical layout of one dynamic driver for the lows and two Balanced Armatures for the rest of the frequency spectrum. He offered to send me a sample at no cost for me, and all I should do in exchange was to give him my honest opinion on the in-ear that would be used for feedback and further improvements, and to write a just as honest and unbiased English review of it (I also had to agree that they can use my posts, impressions, comments and reviews for their social media platforms).

    [​IMG]

    I agreed, and so here we are now, with a review of a very beautiful and professional looking hybrid in-ear with ergonomic acrylic shells and removable cables for just around $99.


    Some additional information about Kinera: they are a Chinese audio manufacturer and established in 2007. Before making their own earphones, they manufactured micro speakers for military detection. Besides the H3, they currently have the lower-end BD005 hybrid in-ear in their product portfolio that retails for less than $30.

    According to their information, they have different distributors around the world and are currently expanding their product line to the >$100 market, and are working on future products at a higher price point and technical level that might feature the ability to tune the sound by changing the crossover by using switches.

    They do not have a fully finished international website yet, but are quite active on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kinera2017/


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: around $99
    Colours available: translucent black/red/blue
    Technology: Hybrid
    Drivers: 2x Balanced Armature + 1x dynamic driver per side
    Impedance: 48 Ω
    Frequency Response: 20 – 20000 Hz
    Sensitivity: 101 dB
    L&R Channel Matching: < 2 dB
    Max Input Power: 10 mW
    Cable Length: 1.2 m
    Wire Material: 6n single crystal copper plating silver
    Plug Material: 3.5 mm gold-plated
    Earphone Connectors: 2-pin (0.78 mm)


    About hybrid In-Ears:

    As you can already see from the technical specifications and introduction, the Kinera H3 is a little different from most In-Ears produced in the past decade and doesn’t only rely on dynamic or Balanced Armature transducers for sound reproduction, but combines both in one shell.

    Most In-Ears use dynamic transducers for audio playback which have the advantage of covering the whole audible spectrum and achieving a strong bass emphasis without much effort. Valuable dynamic drivers are often said to have a more bodied and musical bass that has a more soft impact and decay and lacks of the analytical character that BA transducers are known for. On the downside, in contrast to headphones with other driver principles, dynamic transducers often have a lower resolution.

    Higher-priced and especially professional IEMs mostly use Balanced Armature transducers, which usually have got a higher resolution than dynamic drivers, are faster, more precise and have got the better high-level stability, which is important for stage musicians that often require higher than average listening levels. On the downside, it is quite hard to cover the whole audible spectrum with just a single BA transducer and strongly emphasised bass is only possible with multiple or big drivers. Some people also find In-Ears with BA transducers to sound too analytical, clinical or cold (in several active years in a German audio community where I wrote multiple reviews, gave dozens of purchase advice and help, from time to time I heard people that got into BA earphones for the first time using these attributes for describing BA earphones, especially their lower frequencies).

    Hybrid IEMs unite the positive aspects of both driver principles and use one dynamic transducer for the lows reproduction and at least one BA driver for covering the midrange and highs, wherefore the often as “musical” described bass character remains and the BA transducers add resolution, speed and precision to the mids and highs (, at least in theory) – and that’s what the Kinera H3 does with its technology. It is addressed to those people who perceive the clinically-fast character of BA transducers as unnatural and prefer body and weight, but want to keep the mids’ and highs’ resolution, nimbleness and precision.


    Delivery Content:

    Despite still falling rather into the lower budget category, the H3 comes with a delivery content that clearly surpasses what one would expect for around $100:

    [​IMG]

    The cardboard box has got a magnetic flap.

    [​IMG]

    Inside, one can find an airplane adapter, 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter, a spacious carrying case and last but not least a warranty card as well as manual.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the Kinera-branded carrying case, one can find the in-ears, already with the cable attached and a Kinera-branded cable tie, as well as three pairs of Sony-like silicone tips.


    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    That the H3 retails for only around $100 is definitely not obvious in any way – its shells are actually extremely similar to those of universal demo models of custom-moulded in-ears or customisable universal fit in-ears, featuring a black, real faceplate with a golden Kinera logo that is perfectly attached to the acrylic body, without any visible seam or edge.

    The bodies are made of transparent red acrylic and look really nice (other colours such as blue and black are available as well). Inside, one can see a real crossover, the dynamic driver and two balanced Armatures as well as the sound tubes with an acoustic damper being visible in the tube coming from the two BA drivers.

    The dynamic driver is rear-vented, however the placement of the vent is rather cleverly done on the shells’ upper side wherefore it shouldn’t be blocked as much by the ear as if it were in a different spot (blocking the vent by the way results in a decrease in bass quantity, as it could also be expected for a back vent, along with a slight increase in lower midrange quantity).

    [​IMG]

    The Kinera H3 really is a perfectly built acrylic in-ear with a highly ergonomic, semi-custom-IEM-like shell design, and is on par with excellently built, much higher-priced customisable universal fit and custom-moulded in-ears. This is definitely applause-worthy, and given what it takes to manufacture these shells (they are hand-made and hand-finished after all), it even makes me somewhat speechless that this is possible for such a low price (oh boy, those poor underpaid Chinese workers…).

    [​IMG]

    The only thing that could be improved is the nozzle that does not have a lip/barb/collar wherefore the ear tips, while they seal just as good as they should, can come off rather easily.

    -

    Something also rather special although not as unique anymore as some years ago, is that the H3 also features detachable cables with 2-pin connectors.

    The cable has got four single silver conductors that are coated with a clear insulation and twisted. Strain relief is good and the y-splitter is low in profile and features a nice chin-slider.

    This cable is also very soft and flexible.

    It might carry some moderate plastic smell in the first few days but it mostly fades away after around one week.

    [​IMG]

    My UERMs’ cable is still a bit more premium in terms of appearance and haptics, however the cable Kinera uses comes very close.

    - - -

    Update:

    On the replacement H3 with blue shells I received (you will learn why somewhat further down this review), build quality was still good, however not as perfect (unlike the red H3 I initially got that was absolutely flawless and perfect in terms of build quality and finish): the logos weren’t 100% mirrored, the left side wasn’t buffed and polished well enough (the surface was ever so slightly hazy above the logo instead of being clear), and the transition from the faceplates to the bodies, while still good, was slightly visible and tactile in some areas.

    [​IMG]



    So my suggestion to Kinera is to definitely work on the quality control (which might however also mean that there will be a slight price increase). Even though the in-ears are handmade and hand-finished, it is not fair that some people might receive products that feature top-notch build quality only known from perfectly crafted CIEMs, whereas others might get a set of in-ears that is still well-built but not perfect.


    Comfort, Isolation:

    Due to the ergonomic shell design that is CIEM-oriented, the fit is nothing but excellent, at least for me. People with really small ears might experience some fit issues because the shells are more on the medium size on the scale, however this should not be any problem for everyone with medium and especially large ears.

    The ear guides have got a memory shape but do not feature any steel wire inside. While they might look like they are quite tight when not in the ears due to their quite small appearing radius, they are unnoticeable when the H3 is inserted into one’s ears and they automatically adjust their shape to the ears’.

    Noise isolation is better than average for in-ears with vented shells. Noise from the outside is blocked out sufficiently well and almost reaches the level of in-ears with closed shells.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the Cowon Plenue 2, iBasso DX200 (AMP2 module) and Stoner Acoustics UD125.

    The largest included silicone tips were used for listening.

    - - -

    Frequency response measurements can be found here.

    Keep in mind though that I am not using a professional measurement coupler but a Vibro Labs Veritas coupler that was pseudo-calibrated to more or less match an IEC711 coupler’s response with applied diffuse-field compensation that is definitely not perfect at the current state and shows too little level around 3 and 6 kHz. But if you mentally visualise somewhat more level in those areas, the result will be fairly close.


    Tonality:

    The first H3 I received unfortunately suffered from channel imbalance in the lows due to a faulty dynamic driver (one side was warmer sounding than the other despite almost identical sub-bass levels and perfect channel matching in the mids and highs). The replacement (with blue shells) that arrived a few days later fortunately did not suffer from any imbalance issues at all.

    -

    The Kinera H3 sports a w-shaped frequency response – its sub-bass and midbass, midrange and middle as well as upper treble are emphasised.

    Compared to an in-ear that stays diffuse-field flat in the bass, such as the Etymotic ER-4S/SR, and compared to 1 kHz, its bass is emphasised by around 8-9 dB.

    Doing sine sweeps, I can hear the lows starting to climb around 300 Hz, with the climax being reached at 60 Hz although there is not much less presence between 80 and 120 Hz. The sub-bass does not roll off but keeps the presence.

    Since the emphasis mainly concentrates on the sub-bass and midbass (that is a bit warmed up), it does not bleed into the midrange and the H3 doesn’t have a dominant upper bass although it is punchy and undeniably forward.

    The midrange is emphasised, quite forward and therefore doesn’t sound recessed at all but has got more of an “in your face” character, not unlike the hybrid DUNU Alpha 1 earbuds or Shure SE425 but with a stronger emphasis compared to the latter, however the Shure is tuned very differently (quite neutral).

    Vocal balance and midrange timbre, unlike some other hybrid in-ears in the sub-$100-range, is pretty good and realistic, with an overall fairly uncoloured midrange with just a hint of brightness and air that just very slightly lacks some lower vocal warmth as counterweight.

    At 6 kHz, in the middle treble, I can hear an emphasis, along with another, however more broad-banded and weaker one in the upper highs around 8 kHz. The level is quite neutral above that and the extension in the super highs above 10 kHz is good until around 14 kHz.

    This guarantees for enough countervailing brightness to keep the balance upright due to the bass and midrange emphasis, however since the first emphasis is set rather low with around 6 kHz, cymbals gain some raw and metallic touch, that, while not too unnatural or distracting, can get a bit too energetic with more complex and faster-paced tracks with a lot of treble action while everything is fine with slower recordings and genres as well as those tracks that are not super energetic when it comes to cymbal play. Except for the 6 kHz elevation that can definitely be a bit too metallic and strong with songs that feature an energetic and fast cymbal play, the highs appear realistic and natural.

    Having the emphasis happen between 8 and 10 kHz instead of 6 and 8 kHz would have made the cymbals lose their metallic touch with more energetic recordings, but then again the H3 is a sub-$100 hybrid in-ear and there are other examples that are less even and less realistic in the highs.

    Resolution:

    Overall, the resolution is neither outstandingly good nor in any way really underwhelming and bad – it is average and about what you would expect to get for the price.

    Speech intelligibility is really good, with the upper mids being less well defined and separated with busier recordings compared to the upper treble that is very convincing and definitely better than what the price might suggest when it comes to separation, definition and detail retrieval (I assume that the crossover frequency is around or above 3 kHz).

    [​IMG]

    The dynamic driver’s bass has got a quite nice texture that, while it doesn’t reach the level of the much more expensive HiFiMan RE2000 at all and doesn’t even come any close, is still nice and appears rather nicely layered.

    However, the Kinera’s bass is generally more on the slower, softer, somewhat muddier and less detailed side, especially when comparing it to higher-end hybrid in-ears. While this might even be desired by some people (I’m referring to the softness and the “body” that it might add to the sound perception) and is not a very big deal for a hybrid in-ear in this price range, the bass could definitely be better defined and tighter with medium-paced and especially fast recordings.

    Soundstage:

    The Kinera H3 has got a rather wide soundstage with a really decent amount of depth (with about 70% of its width), creating a nice illusion of space and three-dimensionality.

    Imaging is fairly convincing as well and only suffers from slightly blurred edges due to the soft bass response. Directions are easy to spot nonetheless.

    Playing more complex and faster recordings with many musicians and tonal elements playing at the same time, the soundstage does not collapse but remains fairly intact with just somewhat more blurriness between the instruments due to the bass response.

    ---------

    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    iBasso IT03 (>>$):

    The Kinera’s shells appear more premium because they are hand-made like it is done for CIEMs, and the cable is more flexible as well (both in-ears have got removable cables), however the iBasso might have the benefit of better build quality consistency and quality control.

    Both in-ears are ergonomically shaped and very comfortable.

    Both have got about the same amount of sub-bass and an overall quite comparable bass emphasis that stays nicely out of the midrange, while the H3 has got the slightly warmer midbass.

    The H3 has got the more forward vocal range while the iBasso’s is slightly brighter.

    The Kinera is somewhat brighter in the upper treble.

    The iBasso’s bass that is much tighter, better controlled and detailed – it is one of the tightest and fastest hybrid in-ears that exists anyway, despite the emphasis in the sub-bass. This is no competition at all.

    There is no large difference in perceived midrange details but the iBasso appears more resolving here as well, while it has also got the somewhat better separated and more detailed upper treble in comparison.

    When it comes to soundstage, the Kinera’s is somewhat wider and especially deeper, however the iBasso’s features the sharper and more precise separation and no haze between and around instruments (mainly due to the much tighter and faster bass).

    Fidue A73 (>$):

    The Kinera has got removable cables, the Fidue hasn’t. Both in-ears are supposed to be worn with the cables around the ears. The Fidue has got the smaller shells but both in-ears are very comfortable.

    The Kinera’s shells appear more premium because they are hand-made the same way as it is done for CIEMs and customisable UIEMs, however the A73 might have the advantage of a better build quality consistency.

    The Fidue’s bass is less emphasised but thicker in the fundamental range/lower midrange, giving deep voices and instruments in this range more body.

    The Kinera has got the somewhat more forward midrange.

    The Fidue is brighter in the upper treble around 8 kHz that some people might perceive as somewhat sharp but features a dip in the middle treble (and therefore also lacks the Kinera’s 6 kHz elevation) that generates headroom for it.

    Fidue’s A73 stays better focussed with fast and complex recordings and also features the somewhat better midrange resolution. In the upper highs however, it is the H3 that resolves better and has got the slightly better separation.

    The Fidue is also rather soft in the bass – however, it is better controlled and especially more detailed, better textured and noticeably better defined compared to the Kinera’s, especially when playing more complex and faster recordings.

    The Kinera’s soundstage is larger and airier with more room around and between instruments, while separation is comparable.

    1More E1001 (<$):

    The Kinera has got removable cables whereas the 1More does not. The H3 has got the superior cable as well.

    In terms of housing design, both are utterly different with the handmade Kinera representing the classical CIEM demo shape while the E1001 has got more traditional shells.

    The 1More is more v-shaped sounding, with a noticeably stronger sub-bass emphasis and the audibly more recessed seeming vocal range.

    The Kinera features the higher resolution in the midrange, especially lower midrange, along with better speech intelligibility while treble separation and detail retrieval are quite comparable.

    When it comes to the bass, both in-ears aren’t fully convincing and lack tightness, control, speed and definition while the 1More is ultimately slightly tighter and faster in the lows but appears more one-noted and doesn’t fully reach the Kinera’s separation, definition, layering, texture and details in the lower frequencies.

    In terms of soundstage, both feature a fairly wide presentation while the H3 has even got a bit more spatial width. The Kinera however offers more spatial depth and therefore sounds more three-dimensional, along with the cleaner separation and somewhat more precise imaging.


    Conclusion:

    What makes the Kinera H3 stand out from the crowd in the $100 price range is that it has got removable cables, and especially that it is handmade and hand-finished in the same way as custom-moulded in-ears are. A lip on the nozzle would not hurt though.

    Craftsmanship and build quality are outstanding for the price and can be on the same level as well-crafted, much more expensive custom-moulded and customised universal fit in-ears (however this is potentially not true for all delivered units as the finish on the blue replacement set I received shows – Kinera should definitely improve in the quality control department to make sure that every in-ear that was built is identically superbly finished).

    [​IMG]

    Tonally, it has got a w-shaped sound signature that is rather well-made but could use a bit less 6 kHz elevation, however this is not a too big deal for the price.

    Detail retrieval is just as you would expect it to be for the price category. The H3 has got a nicely resolving midrange and well-separated upper treble along with a pretty open sounding soundstage, however its bass should and could benefit from more speed, tightness, control and definition.


    Overall, the presentation is fairly nice for the price with a generally matching sonic performance and a unique level of build quality and features one would not expect to get for around $100.
      voxie and jeffhawke like this.
  2. SOULSIK
    Kinera H3 - perfection at $100
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Oct 5, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - great treble. great bass. engaging. energetic. great fit
    Cons - might be bright for some






    [​IMG]

    INTRODUCTION

    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.

    DISCLAIMER

    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.



    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

    Description

    • 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 )
    Package

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



    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.


    PRACTIALLY

    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.

    SOUND QUALITY

    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 ****ty 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

    SOUNDSTAGE/IMAGING/SEPARATION:

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

    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.
  3. Cinder
    A Triple-Threat Underdog
    Written by Cinder
    Published Aug 8, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Ergonomic design, good bass signature, incredible lyric-intelligibility, good cable, 2-pin, good case
    Cons - Minor cosmetic issues, very minor build deficiencies in the cable
    [​IMG]
    Kinera H3 Review: A Triple-Threat Underdog

    If you had told me two months ago that I would be seriously considering a Kinera IEM for my daily-driver I would have laughed in your face. After all, don’t they only make super-cheap budget IEMs?

    Well, not anymore.

    With their brand-new triple-driver hybrid IEM, the H3, featuring two balanced-armature drivers and a single dynamic driver in a three-way cross-over, Kinera has broken into the higher-tier market of portable audio. But is is special enough to be worth your attention?

    You can find the H3 for sale on Penon Audio, here, for $99. The H3 comes in three color variations, Blue/Black, Red/Black, and Black.

    Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Kinera or Penon Audio beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product. I would like to offer a sincere thank you to Steve from Kinera.

    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.

    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.

    Source: The H3 was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones

    Nexus 6P -> earphones

    HTC One M8 -> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    The H3 did audibly, though subtly, benefit from amping in the lower register.

    Sound Signature
    Initial Impressions:

    The H3 immediately caught my attention with how “fluid” it sounded. Excellent dynamics and depth immediately gave me a respect for the audio engineers at Kinera. I didn’t think I was listening to a $99 IEM. Part of my early enthusiasm was due to the fact that my ears had not previously been exposed to W-shaped frequency responses.

    Upper-treble is boosted past the lower-treble. There’s a spike in the mids, especially around the 2KHz–5KHz range, and the bass is matched with the mids, being only slightly more pronounced.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy

    Treble is clear, precise, and detailed, providing a nice layer of air in most recordings. It’s not quite as breath-taking on IEMs like the Accutone Pisces BA or Heir 4A.I S, but it is definitely there.

    High-hats and cymbals are well-bodied and have a quick attack and decay. However in spite of the H3’s treble’s technical prowess, it just misses some of that sweetness found in other IEM’s treble. It’s not a deal-breaker, but something worth noting if that is a major quality you look for in your IEMs.

    I’m glad to report that the H3 passes my sibilance testing with flying colors! At least in most cases. The crossover must be reasonably sensitive, because amping the H3 in certain (albiet very strange and uncommon) source configurations can lead to a moderate amount of sibilance. However none of the sources listed above were causing any problems.

    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams

    The H3 has really robust mids, especially where vocals are concerned. Lyric intelligibility is way above average at this price point, and punches squarely with some IEMs three or four times its price, easily. I can recall several instances where I was left thinking to myself “Oh, so that’s what he’s been saying” on songs I’ve listened to for five years!

    But instrumentally the H3 is no slouch either. Guitars, acoustic and electric, both have a nice timbre. Electric crunch and distortion is particularly enjoyable on the H3 meaning all you edgy death-metal listeners out there should feel right at home.

    Pianos are also nice, but a little lacking in body for my tastes. This is my only real complaint with the H3’s sound signature: where the lower-mids at? This is a matter of personal preference, obviously, but it would be nice to see Kinera create an IEM that had a bit of a warmer lower-midrange.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    Bass isn’t particularly aggressive, but it is definitely there, and is undeniably punchy when amped correctly. In terms of bass signature, I’d have to say the H3 is pretty linear, with a slightly higher emphasis on mid-bass than sub-bass. Still though, the H3 has pretty good extension down to the 30Hz-50Hz band giving it a good rumble.

    Electronic music fans rejoice; bass drops and chaotic rumbly choruses sound wonderful through the H3, just don’t expect it to shatter and skulls.

    Packaging / Unboxing
    The H3 comes in high quality packaging not often seen at this price point. The textured box has a premium feel to it, with the earphones and accessories well-protected within.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Build
    Construction Quality

    The H3 is very well constructed and is reminiscent of CIEMs in composition. The driver housings are made from a plastic composite which is a single seamless shell.


    [​IMG]
    The face-plate is well-polished, and the Kinera logo is printed very accurately onto it with no noticeable flaws.


    [​IMG]
    The nozzle is average in length, and is tipped with a finely-perforated metal grill. There’s no real lip to speak of, so some after-market eartips may slip off, though I’ve not had any issues so far.


    [​IMG]
    Kinera chose to go (thankfully) with a 2-pin connector for removable cables. The female half of the mechanism is slightly recessed into a cleanly-cut depression. The metal sits flush with the shell, inspiring confidence in me regarding the H3’s longevity.


    [​IMG]
    The H3’s cable is one of the best around at this price range that I’ve tested, if not the best. It’s a four-strand braided silver cable using a double-chain braid below the plastic Y-splitter, and a simple twist-braid above it. It’s similar in geometry to the copper cable used by the new Simgot IEMs, though it is much more thick.


    [​IMG]
    The cable terminates in a metal-enclosed 3.5mm jack. The H3’s cable implements a stress relief system I’ve been vouching for for a long time: a double plastic sleeve. It’s essentially two completely separate malleable acrylic cylinders set inside one another. It works really great, though the outer cylinder appears to be in need of better adhesive. It won’t be an issue with the majority of cases, but a strong (and fast) sideways pull on the cable perpendicular to the housing of the jack could dislodge the outer cylinder.

    I’m just nitpicking.


    [​IMG]
    The cable uses memory-wire guides. They are well-made, well shaped, and mold to the ear. I’ve got no reason to worry about their longevity.

    Comfort

    I don’t know what wizardry Kinera employed, but on their first real high-end IEM they succeeded in making one of the most ergonomic universal IEMs I have ever had the pleasure of using. I spent multiple days using the H3 for a full 8-hour work day. I had zero comfort issues.

    Accessories

    [​IMG]
    The H3’s accessories are okay, but definitely not the best I’ve seen for $99. Inside the box you’ll find:

    • 1x 6.2mm to 3.5mm jack
    • 3x extra eartips
    • 1x semi-hard case
    • 1x airline adapter
    The silicone tips are ok, but nothing to write home about. It appears that the case, while quite good, is a branded OEM case. It’s got more than enough for all the accessories, the IEM, and even a USB-C adapter.

    Summary
    The H3 is an absolutely wonderful IEM from one of the companies who I’d least expect. If you are looking for detail, well-tuned sound, exceptional ergonomics, and durable-detachable cables, the H3 is definitely worth looking at. Good job Kinera, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.
  4. ryanjsoo
    Kinera H3 Review – Sensation(al)
    Written by ryanjsoo
    Published Jul 30, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - End to end extension, Bass definition, Natural yet clear midrange, Great ergonomics and isolation, Fantastic cable
    Cons - Larger size may not suit everyone, Some cosmetic QC issues, Separation could do with some work, Thinner treble
    Introduction –

    Kinera is yet another up and coming Chi-Fi manufacturer who, until now, have yet to really produce a runaway hit. To my knowledge, they have only one in-ear under their belt, the BD005, which was well received amongst a small group of enthusiasts but failed to really capture the iem market like other in-ears from TFZ, Magaosi/Audbos and even Simgot. So it came as a surprise when their newest earphone, the H3, blew up on social media. With an immensely prospective triple hybrid driver setup combined with a very reasonable $100 USD asking price, the H3 almost instantly became one of the most talked about, sought after earphones on the net.

    Though I’m not one to be swayed by common perceptions, after all, budget hybrid earphones are nothing we haven’t seen before from manufacturers like 1More, Xiaomi and Magaosi. And in many ways, the H3’s reception very much reflected that of the K3 Pro with early impressions comparing them favourably to more expensive models and the same amount of ecstatic excitement orbiting every teaser post on social media. With that said, let’s see how good the H3 really is.



    Disclaimer –

    I would like to thank Steve from Kinera Audio very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the H3 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.



    About Me, Background, Gear of choice, Preferences and Biases –

    I generally prefer a u-shaped sound that is close to neutral. I like a lot of detail and clarity but can appreciate a smooth, laid back sound. I’m not particularly treble sensitive so I may be more forgiving of brightness over darkness. I will note if I use a different eartip/pad/cover during the review and describe the sound changes.

    Read More



    Accessories –

    [​IMG]

    While they aren’t quite as lavishly packaged as the K3 HD and Simgotearphones, the H3 nonetheless has a much nicer unboxing than most Chi-fi earphones. They come packaged within a textured hard box with gold print denoting the brand and model. The box magnetically latches open to reveal the hard case, flight adapter and ¼” adapter within foam.

    [​IMG]

    The case is on the larger side and is similar to units included with Shozy products, it is protective and adequately stores the earphones and accessories in addition to a small DAP though portability is not ideal.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the case is the H3 and 3 pairs of Sony hybrid style ear tips. The tips are very comfortable and mimic the superb fit and seal offered by the authentic Sony’s. While a few of them had offset stems, I didn’t find this to noticeably affect fit and they are otherwise well moulded. I’m a huge fan of the Sony Hybrid tips and unsurprisingly, Kinera’s imitation tips provided much the same experience with comfort and seal.



    Design –

    The H3 is an intriguing earphone with a custom style housing that reminds me of Ibasso’s IT03 albeit appreciably more compact. They assume an over-ear fit and achieve impressive comfort and solidity despite their unorthodox housing design and entirely acrylic construction. At present, Kinera provide the H3 in red, black and blue, all with the same black faceplate.

    [​IMG]

    Despite being entirely constructed from plastic, the H3’s feel very solid, rigid and well-weighted in the hand whilst remaining forgiving on the ear. Their semi translucent housings add a lot of visual intrigue to their funky design and their gloss black faceplates adorned with golden Kinera logos are both classy and eye catching. Kinera is using a two-layer process to achieve a uniquely smooth look on the faceplates. Unfortunately, my set was riddled with small bubbles and even a notably large one on the tip of the left earpiece out of the box. Perhaps there was some issue with the lamination since my unit is a pre-production review sample and the earphones are otherwise flawless with no seams of joining issues, I am also able to press the clear coat back onto the underlying paint though it only holds temporarily.

    [​IMG]

    And in terms of fit, don’t let their larger dimensions and strange protrusions deter you, the H3 provides a very solid, stable fit that is easily one of the best I’ve experienced around this price. The earphones slot into the ear with authority and lock firmly into place, staying put when running. Furthermore, they do so without any sense of discomfort like the iBasso IT03, providing great if not perfect comfort over long listening sessions. Buyers also shouldn’t worry too much about public appearance, due to their medium depth fit, the earphones don’t protrude too much and look quite subtle when worn with only the black faceplate visible to onlookers.

    [​IMG]

    The nozzle itself is perfectly angled though it has no fluting or ridging so eartips can be prone to falling off. It is of a common size, fitting T200 Comply foam tips in addition to CP100 Spinfits and Sony Hybrids which is great for those that can’t find a solid seal with the included tips (though they are almost identical to Hybrids). The tips is finished off with a nice metal filter that prevents earwax and debris from entering the housings.

    [​IMG]

    The H3’s are vented though very minimally so and they produce as strong a seal as the fully sealed TFZ King. Some driver flex is present though I didn’t notice any audio degradation over time. Isolation isn’t as flawless as the fully sealed King but remains immediately superior to more open hybrid designs like the K3 Pro and I had no issue using the H3’s on public transport. That being said, one thing Kinera could consider in a predecessor, is relocating the vent on the tops of the earphones to another location. I found that the left vent was covered by my ear while the right vent was left open, simply due to the shape of my ear. However, this produced a different amount of isolation in either ear, creating an uncomfortable sensation and finding the right was a bit more finicky than necessary.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, the H3’s come with a fabulous 0.78mm removable cable system that is perhaps not as widely adopted as MMCX but is more reliable and less temperamental. The cable itself is of terrific quality, it’s a 6N silver plated copper design with a nice braid and super soft texture. The cable is supple, easily coiling for storage and quickly untangles when removed from a pocket/case. In addition, the pre-formed ear guides were perfectly shaped for my ears unlike the TFZ Exclusive series, Magaosi K3 earphones and Simgot EN700 Bass, producing superior stability, comfort and practicality. The cable also resists microphonic noise when walking and its smoother texture avoids catching on clothing. This is topped off with a low-profile y-split that avoids severing the cable to enhance durability and a case friendly Oyaide style plug with ample strain relief.

    [​IMG]

    The H3, despite some small quality control issues with my unit, nonetheless delivers some of the best ergonomics I’ve experienced around this price. They have a solid but lightweight build that is stable in the ear, great passive noise isolation, a strong, reliable seal and pleasing comfort. Moreover, their excellent cable really enhances usability and their classy look provides a splash of colour without coming off as even remotely gaudy.



    Sound –

    The H3 combines a single dynamic driver with two balanced armatures of unspecified size and model creating a very convincing hybrid setup that easily rivals the Magaosi K3 Pro and 1More Triple Driver. While I was immensely excited to crack the H3 open and give them a thorough listen upon receival, I was at the time committed to my review of the Magaosi K3 HD, a similarly priced earphone that utilizes a similar hybrid driver setup. But even coming from the more expensive K3 HD, the Kinera H3 immediately impressed me with their excellent detailing, natural midrange and bass performance that far outstripped the competition. The H3 is not the flagship killer than many have put it out to be, but it is a fantastically well-tuned earphone nonetheless and one that many buyers in the market for a sub $100 earphone can strongly consider.



    Tonality –

    The H3 is a v-shaped earphone with an emphasis on sub and deep-bass and lower treble. And though they carry a slightly brighter sound with less present lower midrange elements, they lack the immediate sense of brightness created by the TFZ King. They are a slightly more aggressive earphone that lies closest to the TFZ King in tuning from the earphones around this price that I’ve tested, though their more even midrange grants them with an appreciably more balanced sound on a whole and they never came off as mid-forward or mid-recessed to my ear.



    Drivability –

    The H3 is a relatively easy earphone to drive with a higher 101dB sensitivity that makes them just a little less efficient than the TFZ King. Unfortunately, this also means they pick up the same amount of hiss from most sources though noise is hardly as noticeable as something like the Campfire Jupiter. Moreover, with a 48ohm impedance, the earphones aren’t as sensitive to output impedance as the majority of hybrid earphones nor are they excessively power hungry, making them a nice daily in-ear that works perfectly with portable sources. From my HTC 10, the H3 sounded very nice with no hiss and a very similar tonality to my sub-1ohm Oppo HA-2. My 10 and iPod Touch also provided more than enough volume, I typically stuck to 1-3/16 volume levels, leaving plenty of overhead for louder volume listeners. And despite that higher impedance, the H3’s didn’t find a huge benefit from amplification though they did scale nicely when plugged into my HA-2, Mojo or X7 with notably improved bass resolution in particular. The H3 is well designed to maximise their sound quality from portable sources with enough technical ability to take advantage of dedicated DAC/AMPs.



    Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

    The H3’s soundstage is one of the weaker aspects of their sound though it is good enough to avoid holding the rest of the sound back. The H3 doesn’t have the most spacious presentation, the K3 HD, King and EN700 Bass all sound immediately wider than the H3 though the Kinera hardly suffers from congestion. They have a wider presentation, width sits on the periphery of that out of the head sensation but rarely extends much beyond. Depth is similarly intimate to the K3 HD, which is enough to convincingly portray live recordings but still lacks the immersion of higher priced in-ears like the 1More Quad Driver. Imaging is good, not great and instruments have accurate placement even if they can’t always be pinpointed; the King does quite a bit better in this regard. The H3 also has some issues with separation, again, they never sound congested, but mids aren’t quite as layered as the King and highs sound more integrated but intimate than the K3 HD.



    Bass –

    The first thing I noticed was the H3’s exceptional bass reproduction that seemed all too developed for an earphone costing just $99 USD. I do feel like that statement requires some context, the H3’s still don’t possess the slam and definition of the Flares Pros or New Primacy’s for instance but, when compared to the rather uninspiring competition, the H3 is easily one of the best. This begins with their fantastic sub-bass extension that matches the class-leading Basic, slightly edges out the TFZ King and provides a substantial leap over the EN700 Bass and Magaosi earphones. Tuning is also very well considered, bass has slight emphasis throughout and while bass is linear, sub and deep bass are their driving force. Quantity wise, they are closer to the King than the warmer K3 HD though low notes have great depth augmented by a nice sense of power and weight. They also lack the bloat of the Simgot’s and Magaosi’s in addition to the muddiness of the Basics by nature of their tuning. The H3 is also appreciably more textured and defined than the King, bass on the H3 is taught and easily the most balanced and linear of all the aforementioned earphones.

    When listening to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “In the Stone”, the H3 easily provided my favourite rendition among these earphones with a tight, snappy sub-bass rhythm accompanied by full yet textured mid-bass and a slightly warmer upper-bass response that avoided midrange spillage. By contrast, the slower K3 earphones and Simgots struggled to extract texture from the rapid bass line while the King’s slightly muddier response and mid-bass dip (relative to the H3), sapped them off some bass detail. The H3 still isn’t the fastest earphone I’ve heard, far from it, even the King has slightly better transience partly due to their leaner response and generally well-tuned driver. That being said, they very skillfully combine the fuller tuning offered by many earphones around this price with the technical strengths of TFZ’s budget masterpiece. Of course, buyers need to consider that the K3 still doesn’t compete with hybrid earphones like the $300 New Primacy or the $1000 AKG K3003 nor do they come close to the single dynamic driver ie800 and Flares Pro; those earphones are tighter, more detailed and more textured. But considering that those earphones also cost magnitudes more, the H3 is truly a mastery of both tuning and quality, they are a rarity at this price.



    Midrange –

    The H3’s continue their tirade of superiority into their midrange which is similarly very well considered for their asking price. Some added clarity imbues subtle immediacy to midrange elements without sounding thin, raspy or unnatural as some clarity orientated earphones around this price tend to. The H3 is also quite balanced through their midrange with just a slightly brighter tuning that is immediately clearer than the Simgot EN700 Bass, more balanced than the V-shaped K3 earphones and more even than the mid-forward King. Male vocals are very well done, full-bodied and clear if not quite as clean sounding as the TFZ King. Simply Red’s “Stars” sounded raw and vibrant, yet not artificially so while Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” was flattered with full yet defined vocals. Upper mids are similarly flattered which is rare given that most budget earphones struggle a bit with female vocals. The H3 once again impresses with its well-refined tones, vocals never come off as fatiguing, strident or over-forward and guitars are sublime with excellent detail retrieval that matches and occasionally outdoes the K3 HD. And while the H3 is slightly more aggressive in its presentation, female vocals are smooth and well-bodied as are strings, trumpets and wind instruments.

    In terms of outright resolution, layering and clarity, no earphone around this price I’ve heard notably bests the TFZ King though the H3 comes remarkably close. In addition, the H3 takes a step back on clarity in favour of a little more midrange body, lacking the sligthly off voicing of the King. They also sounded more “correct” to my ear when switching from the Magaosi K3 HD and when switching from more expensive in-ears such as the $599 64Audio U3 and $800 Campfire Jupiter. Usually, direct comparison to these in-ears really reveals the flaws in a budget earphone’s tuning but the H3 had no outstanding tonal deviations even if quality and refinement weren’t competitive. The H3 was also surprisingly consistent and forgiving of different mastering styles; whether I was listening to the brighter tones of the pop charts or the mellower mastering of classical and jazz, the H3 provided a revolving, natural and perfectly bodied response. As for the downsides, the H3 doesn’t have the greatest midrange layering and separation and they do lack the transparency of higher priced or more neutral offerings like Hifiman’s RE400/600, but they do provide an exceptionally pleasing tonality with gobs of detail and nuance; something that is surprisingly hard to come by and that many manufacturers would like to charge a lot more for.



    Highs –

    While the H3 greatly impressed me with their detail retrieval and clarity, treble isn’t quite as flawless as the bass and midrange responses with some tonal oddities that compromise refinement and, at times, detail. The H3 is roughly in-between the K3 HD and King in tuning with a slightly more aggressive lower treble response and some extra middle treble granting them with great clarity to treble notes. Listening to David Bowie’s “Everyone Says Hi” and the H3 provided a clarity that was on par with the TFZ King yet one that was similarly a little thin if not quite as splashy. The H3 did sound more tonally pleasing to my ear than the King and due to their more even treble, especially with regards to lower/middle treble, they were also appreciably more detailed. In fact, the H3 has similar detail retrieval to the exemplary K3 HD making them one of the most detailed earphones around this price. In addition, the H3 manages great high-frequency resolution and very good extension that was on par with the K3 HD and King if not immediately superior; high-hats have pleasing texture and cymbals are granted plenty of air, strings sound expansive and the H3 produces some nice shimmer when called for. Moreover, they do so without sounding metallic or harsh, the H3 never came off as fatiguing to me even when listening to brighter tracks.

    But where detailing and clarity are all immensely impressive, the H3 does suffer from some treble issues. For instance, cymbals do tend to sound tizzy and very high-frequency details get thinned out and a little truncated despite their extension being quite good. While the H3 isn’t as peaky as the K3 Pro, the K3 HD is a slightly more even treble performer, with similarly impressive detail retrieval on top. The H3 isn’t inherently flawed with regards to high-frequency reproduction but I do have to be critical. And to my ears, the treble tuning on the H3 slots in nicely with the rest of the sound even if they are lacking some body, smoothness and that last element of refinement.



    Verdict –

    It can be hard reviewing an earphone like this, one that is so thoroughly hyped but so thoroughly dismantles the competition. Because while there is no doubt in my mind that the Kinera H3 is a fabulous earphone, it is still far from a perfect iem and even $200 earphones like the Pinnacle P1 will easily best them in terms of sheer sound quality. But that’s not to say that the H3 is a bad buy because, at just $99, they provide exceptional refinement within their tuning while retaining a truly surprising amount of nuance. The H3 has replaced the TFZ King as my $100 benchmark with that similar technical ability wrapped within a more pleasing, linear tonality and a more stable, compact shell.

    [​IMG]

    The H3 gets a resounding recommendation for any buyer looking for a u-shaped earphone with great detailing, a clear but natural midrange and a class leading bass response. Of course, bass lovers should still look into the Oriveti Basic and those who prefer a more dynamic tonality can definitely consider the K3 HD, but the H3 provided the nicest balance of elements to my ear. To top it off, they also have a super stable, comfortable fit and an excellent cable that is better than those included on earphones costing several hundred dollars. Their excellent noise isolation and removable cable also make them a practical, durable daily driver and their added stability over the TFZ King makes it the clear choice for any kind of active use.

    Verdict – 9.5/10, There is no shortage of readers asking for the best ~$100 earphone on the market and Kinera have done a great thing, they’ve made my job a lot easier, the H3 makes an easy recommendation not only due to their accessible yet highly enjoyable sound but also their featured design and excellent build. And while I do have some qualms with quality control, any issues I experienced didn’t affect listening.

    Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please have a look at my blog for more just like it:
    https://everydaylisteningblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/kinera-h3-review-sensational/
  5. yacobx
    Kinera H3
    Written by yacobx
    Published Jul 28, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fit, Sound Quality, cable, Case
    Cons - Power hungry
    The Kinera H3 is the newest addition to their IEM family. Most of you may know this brand from their entry level IEM the BD005. It was a dual driver, single BA single dynamic. It was popular for its price and the sound quality it achieved at its price point. I have not ever had the chance to listen to it but from reviews I have read – I have an understanding that it comes across bass heavy. Initially, I thought that this would be the same for the H3. I was wrong. It was all by chance that I met their rep named, Steve Tong. Over lengthy conversations on Facebook messenger I began to understand the new direction that Kinera is headed in. The H3 is just the start of their new direction.


    Kinera's Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/kinera2017/

    Jake 3 (1 of 1).jpg Jake  (1 of 1).jpg Jake 4 (1 of 1).jpg Jake 1 (1 of 1).jpg Jake 2 (1 of 1).jpg


    Let’s talk about the earphone and accessories for a moment. The Kinera H3 comes in a very professional looking box (my opinion is based on the fact that I get lots of ear buds and they come in just a bag most of the time lol). Once you open it up there is their contact info and warranty card. Underneath that is the IEM carrying case and an adaptor for professional use. The H3 is packed safely away in the carrying case. As soon as you open it up you will most likely be amazed by the quality of the cable and earphone. Speaking of the cable – I love the Velcro strap included to keep tidy. Also included is the tip selection that look very similar to the Sony tips but at not the same. The nozzle is smaller on the tips included with the H3. The Sony tips slip right off. The earphone is made of ABS acrylic. Feels very high end and sturdy. Wearing them is the best experience I have had with an IEM to date. For reference, I am comparing this to the Jomo 6r universal when I am talking about fit. The case does a nice job keeping all the tips and earphone protected during travel. That case style has become popular but for good reason.

    KINERA H3 2Balanced Armature+1Dynamic Driver Triple Drivers Hybrid Detachable In-ear Earphone ( copied from Penon Audio)

    Description

    • 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 )
    Package

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


    On to the sound, this is where things get interesting. Earlier, I talked about how the IEM was not bass heavy. This is true, I find this IEM to be what some people refer to as flat or balanced. Those words are overused in this hobby… Whatever... it is true. The IEM is power hunger. It is listed as 48 ohms and if you use it on an underpowered source is sounds bright. The H3 also needs burn in time. If you play the H3 on a weak source the dynamic drive takes a back seat and the upper frequencies sound thin. For example, I used my IPhone 7 plus for a couple hours and it was obvious the dynamic driver was struggling. I do not suggest any weak sources. As I write this review I am using the Hifimediy Sabre 9018. It is my favorite go to USB dac for on the go or at work. With a set up like this or better (like a good DAP or DAP AMP combo) the H3 can shine. All the frequencies are present and cooperate with each other well. The Bass is deep and has a natural quality only dynamic drivers can produce. The Mids are coherent and have wonderful separation far beyond what their price tag dictates. The Highs are perfect for me. What I mean by that is that they are right on the edge of being sharp but don’t cross the line. When Kinera included their frequency response graph with the earphone I thought that this earphone was going to be rolled off highs and strong bass. It was not. Don’t be fooled by the graph – all the other reviewers are also talking about the present highs. I looked further into the topic and the graph is actually very similar to a popular Camp Fire audio IEM. It was just the way that they squashed the graph together on the high end that made it look that way. The Soundstage is a good mix of intimate and has enough width to fill the head space. Personally I prefer intimate earphones over super wide. With that being said I am a happy camper. IMG_5818.JPG

    ( I have tried many tips and settled on Spinfit CP 100 mediums for my favorite )


    Overall, this is an exciting step for this company as they head in a new direction. I have been privy to what things are to come and let me be first to say – keep an eye on these guys as they are on a mission to give the people what they want. Good quality for a good price.



    Disclaimer – I received these IEM’s for free for my opinions. Please ask me any questions you have.
      jeffhawke likes this.
  6. audio123
    Kinera H3 - Triple Hybrid Delight!
    Written by audio123
    Published Jul 20, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Treble Extension, Soundstage Width & Transparent Mids
    Cons - More Sub-Bass Extension
    Introduction
    Kinera produced their first iem in BD005 which is a 1 Balanced Armature + 1 Dynamic design. I get to know the existence of BD005 through E-earphone and I started to follow the brand as they look good. When Kinera started asking for reviewers to help them review their Kinera H3 which is their new product in a standard triple hybrid configuration – 2 Balanced Armature & 1 Dynamic, I decided to take up the opportunity. I would like to thank Kinera for this review unit and I will give my judgement on the H3. So far as of now, you can purchase the Kinera H3 through https://penonaudio.com/KINERA-H3 . The H3 will be available in 3 different colours – Blue, Black & Red. For more information on Kinera, you can check https://www.facebook.com/kinera2017/

    upload_2017-7-20_22-23-31.png


    Specifications
    • 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 silver plated copper
    • Plug material: 3.5mm golden plated
    • Earphone interface: 2-pin (0.78mm)

    Unboxing & Accessories
    The Kinera H3 comes in a black rectangular box sporting a golden Kinera logo on the surface. Inside the box, you get a 6.3mm to 3.5mm golden plated adapter, airplane adapter, user manual, appreciation card and a black storage case which contains a pack of eartips (S, M, L) & the Kinera H3.

    The adapters are quite useful for different purposes – travelling and home usage. User manual gives a detailed explanation on how to use the Kinera H3. I like the concept of providing an appreciation card in the package which is a nice gesture as it gives a premium feel to the user. The eartips provided are silicone and they reminded me of the Sony Hybrid Silicone eartips.

    The black storage case has a black Kinera logo on it and it is rectangular. The exterior of the case is smooth and semi-hard. The case has a black colour zipper. Unzipping the case is quite smooth as the zipper does not get stuck in the process of unzipping. I have to point this out as I had bad experiences with some cases in which there is too much resistance in unzipping it. Inside the case, the interior is made of a fleece-like material. One side of the case has a cloth mesh which is used to function as a separate compartment to put accessories such as the adapters and eartips. In my case, I put either another iem or an upgrade cable. This type of case has been one of my favourites due to the size and the soft texture.

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    IEM Build & Design
    The Kinera H3 that I am reviewing is in red colour. I expect the build quality to be the same for other colours too. The H3 has a glossy black faceplate with a gold Kinera logo on it. The combination of black and gold synergises with one another well and I am a big fan of the aesthetics. The shell is a dark translucent red and you can still see through to observe the drivers. The dynamic driver is pretty noticeable since it is the biggest in size. It utilises 2-pin 0.78mm flushed socket for the detachable cables. Moving on to the design, it is akin to a custom iem shell but in a universal form, just like the iBasso IT03. In my opinion, the shell is quite perfect for my ears but this can be subjective as we have different ears, thus we will have different fittings of it. The nozzle is straight and I am able to use SpinFit tips with it. I tried with other tips from Acoustune, JVC or Sony and it yields a good result as it can fit. The nozzle has a metal mesh too which is used to block earwax from going into the interior of the iem.
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    Cable Build & Design
    The cable is not your usual stock cable. It seems to be an upgrade over the normal stock cable for detachable iems. As stated in the specifications, the material of the cable is made of 6N single crystal silver plated copper. Let start off from top to down. At the 2-pin connector, you will see a marking of different colours on each respectively. Red colour will indicate the right side while blue colour will indicate the left side. It is a nice touch so users can differentiate between left & right. There is a memory wire area whereby the cable is being enclosed in a transparent heat-shrink tube. It is very flexible and different from the usual stiff memory cable. The cable is braided with 4 wire conductors. There is a translucent y-splitter. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated and has a silver housing with grip.

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    Sound Analysis
    Lows

    The H3 has a sub-bass extension that goes rather deeply with a nice rumble. The mid-bass is not very authoritative. It is controlled and smooth. The bass has an above average decay and the bass note packs a punch to it. I find it very controlled for a dynamic driver. The bass does not hit hard at all and instead it helps to add some body to ease the transition into the midrange so the lower mids will not be lean. I was on low gain initially but after changing to high gain on my DAP, the bass becomes more tight and clean. It gives a kick to the bass as it is being expressed with more authority. Either low or high gain, I still find the bass rather pleasing and there is no shortage in the quality and quantity.
    Mids
    The midrange is slightly recessed. The lower mids have a nice body to it that suits male vocals particularly well. The mids are slightly bright due to the detailed upper mids. Midrange is very transparent and crystal clear without sacrificing on any aspects of the midrange. It packs details and does not sound analytical at all. Instead, it is very lively and natural. There is a good balance between technicality and musicality.
    Highs
    The treble has great clarity to it and most important is that there is no sibilance even with SpinFit tips. It is extended well without any graininess. The crisp gives the treble a nice bite that adds a dynamic punch to your music. In my opinion, the treble can do well with more body so it will be a fuller performance. Other than that, I feel it has an appropriate amount of air, extension and clarity.
    Soundstage
    The H3 has a wide soundstage which is above average. It gives a 3D feel and encapsulates the listener in the process. The depth of it is decent enough to give some intimacy. With its width, it enhances the overall imaging and provides a fuller sound.


    Comparisons
    I use the Ibasso DX200 to compare the iems.

    Kinera H3 vs iBasso IT03 with Stock Cable
    The H3 has less sub-bass quantity and extension than the IT03. The mid-bass on both iems are approximately the same with H3 slightly ahead due to its more dynamic punch. Overall, IT03 bass is much tighter with a faster decay. I would say H3 has a thicker bass note than IT03 so it makes IT03 seem very clinical and precise when comparing both of them. The lower mids on both are very similar. I would choose the H3 for the midrange as the upper mids is not as shouty as IT03. H3’s upper mids are much more smooth and crisp. IT03 has better extended treble and provides more sparkle than the H3. Soundstage on both has similar width but H3 has more depth, thus it is able to provide more intimacy for vocals.

    Kinera H3 vs Fidue A83
    The H3’s sub-bass does not extend as deep as A83 and has less quantity too. The mid-bass of A83 is more controlled and reserved than the H3. H3’s bass is more detailed and clinical than the A83. The decay of H3 is quicker due to the bass note on the A83 having more weight. This does not mean the A83 bass is sluggish, it just cannot keeps up with the H3. The lower mids on both are approximately the same. The upper mids on H3 is more forward than A83. There is a slight grain to A83 in comparison to the H3. H3 has slightly more airiness than A83. The sparkle on both are quite close. A83 has a deeper soundstage while H3 has a wider soundstage. Instruments positioning is better on the H3.

    Kinera H3 vs FLC8S (Red-Grey-Gold)
    The H3 sub-bass extension is not as deep as FLC8S but it has more quantity. The H3’s mid-bass has more slam to it and enhances the dynamics. Lower mids on the FLC8S are thinner than H3 and male vocals sound grainy. The upper mids of FLC8S is more articulate and smoother than the H3. There is more crisp to it as such. FLC8S treble is more extended and with the air and sparkle it boasts, the H3 is unable to keep up with it. FLC8S has a slightly wider soundstage and both shares similar depth.

    Kinera H3 vs Oriolus Forsteni
    The sub-bass extension on both are around the same but Forsteni has more crisp to it. The Forsteni has a much clearer bass definition. Mid-bass of Forsteni provides more thump to the music. The lower mids on both are on the thin side. The upper mids of H3 has more definition to it and there is less grain. It is more pleasing to hear the H3. The treble of Forsteni is extended better with more air but it is shouty in comparison to the H3 which gives one a more intimate feel. Both has similar width on soundstage and H3 has a more depth.

    Kinera H3 vs Campfire Audio Dorado
    The sub-bass of H3 is less extended than the Dorado. Dorado has better bass definition and there is more quantity. The mid-bass of H3 has a sweeter punch to it. Lower mids of Dorado is thicker than the H3. Upper mids of H3 is presented more clinically than the laidback Dorado. Dorado has more air and sparkle in its treble department which makes the mids more recessed than H3. Dorado has the advantage in soundstage for both width and depth.

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    Conclusion
    I am pretty impressed by the H3 after being exposed to many top performing triple hybrids in the market already. The H3 has a very controlled bass and sweet upper mids. The bass quantity may not be for bassheads but I feel at its price point, the bass definition is excellent. Whether you want to listen to male or female vocals, the H3 does them justice. I am delighted to be able to listen to the Kinera H3.

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