Kinera Tyr - Reviews
Pros: Weighty bass
Good drive and fun factor
Tangle prone cable
Cons: Thin and sibilant vocals
Microphonic cable
I was offered a pair of Tyr for a review. They didn’t look like much at first glance, but the first impression can be deceiving so I accepted the offer. Few long weeks later, thanks to COVID-19, when I already forgot about them, they arrived at my doorstep. I put them through their paces to see what are they made of.

PACKAGE, BUILD, FIT
In the small hexagonal box you’ll find just bare essentials. There’s a flat leather-like carrying case that looks stylish, ear tips and earbuds themselves. For the low price of $29 I couldn’t ask for more. The cable is not detachable, it looks thin and doesn’t tangle at all. On the bad side, it is very microphonic and you can hear every rub against your clothes. Earphones themselves look to be made of aluminum. They’re very small and light. Once fitted properly into the ear they stayed there securely.

Both tangle-free but microphonic cable, as well as small and lightweight earbuds remind me of Sennheiser Momentum In-ear I reviewed recently.

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SOUND QUALITY
I hooked them to several of my DACs including Dragonfly Black. They proved quite easily driven and not picky about the source so I settled with Hidizs Sonata HD attached to my phone.

The sound signature is V-shaped with prominent bass notes, recessed lower mids, and some prominent upper midrange and higher frequencies. What this means is that bass is pleasantly punchy and weighty. It’s not that fast and well-controlled but it is also never that bloomy and blurry to become overbearing. At this price point that is always a plus. The midrange, on the other hand, is not the kind I’m really fond of. There’s a peak around 3-4 kHz giving that hard and thin feeling to vocals. Than there’s another peak around 6-7 kHz to add some sibilance to those vocals too. Both of these are elevating that upper part of voice registers, sharpening them artificially, and leaving me wanting for more body and fullness.

EQ-ing them a bit proved really helpful in my experience. I did this inside of my Hibby player:

250 Hz + 1 dB
500 Hz + 2 dB
1 kHz + 1 dB
7 kHz – 2 dB

And the sound became much juicier and more pleasurable to my ears.

Outside of the frequency response, things are working nicely. We have decent drive and energy that are making these a fun listen. Dynamics are fine too, as good as any in-ear I heard at this price range.

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COMPARISON
I’ll just quickly compare them to two models.

Senfer DT6 – are bigger and heavier IEMs with a detachable braided cable that is quite prone to microphonics. DT6 sound juicer and fuller with vocals, more smooth and much less sibilant. I can imagine some would choose Tyr for more bass and treble boost that brings excitement. Not me, between the two, I’d choose DT6 every time.

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear – made by Sennheiser but caries some striking similarities. Tangle prone but microphonic cable, lightweight approach, and good fit are all the same. Hefty bass, recessed mids, lean and sibilant vocals… again the same. Any difference? Well yes, in styling, brand, and pricing.

CONCLUSION
Kinera Tyr will not change the landscape of the affordable IEMs market. Their sound signature has its quirks and it’s not really my cup of tea, but they do have their qualities. For anyone liking a V-shaped approach and sharpened upper midrange, these can offer decent fun. They’re small, light, and carry a reasonable price tag.

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Read more of my reviews at https://iiwireviews.com/

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Pros: Compact, comfortable ear pieces – Smartly tuned for widespread appeal - Final Type-E tips
Cons: Fixed cable – Average staging qualities - Cable noise
Greetings!

Today we're checking out Kinera's entry into the competitive micro-driver segment, the Tyr.

Kinera has been around for quite a while now and is no stranger to the Chinese hifi scene. Unlike a number of other brands, they aren't prone to pumping out release after release, instead taking their time to craft something unique and interesting every time. Maybe not something that appeals to a wide variety of people, but that's where more budget oriented gear like the Sif and Tyr come in.

Like the Sif, the Tyr ditches the ever popular hybrid driver setup for a simpler, more honest single dynamic. In the case of the Tyr, Kinera opted for a tiny 6mm driver. (Read the rest of the paragraph in an obnoxious, stereotypical New Yorker accent) I'm not saying this earphone came about as a result of my feedback. BUT, over a year or so ago they did make a post on their Facebook page asking what the community wanted to see from them in the future. Being I'm a little bit of a micro-dynamic fiend, I planted a seed (pun intended) and suggested one. Whatdayaknow? Now we gots ourselves a Kinera 6mm micro-driver earphone. You're welcome community (End accent).

Was it worth the wait? Is it as awesome as other similarly equipped earphones? Let's find out.

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What I Hear The Tyr has a robust low end presence with more emphasis placed on midbass than subbass. Quality is for the most part pretty good, with notes sounding well textured and reasonably punchy. Some bloat is present though, and on particularly low end heavy tracks you might catch some bleed occurring in the lower mids. Subbass extension is good, but like most drivers of this style cannot provide the same level of visceral feedback as a larger driver that moves more air. Decay is realistic with the tiny 6mm driver handling rapid notes effectively. They don't smear into one another and remain distinct.

Mids are slightly recessed overall, with an uptick in emphasis in the upper regions. This leads to some very mild sibilance that I don't think is worth concern. For the most part male and female vocals are represented equally well given the presentation is on the warmer side, and notes are well weighted, if not leaning towards a thinner feel. Timbre is good with instruments sounding close to accurate, if not a touch dry. Vocals and instruments sound crisp and clear with great coherence, except on very bassy tracks where the low end starts to bleed in and soften up the presentation more than is ideal. Other than that, this midrange is quite nice for such an inexpensive earphone.

The Tyr's high end is handled well with more emphasis being placed in the brilliance region. Highs are crisp and sparkly, though a hint loose and lacking control. This becomes an issue on extremely quick passages where note start to blend. Lower treble is less prominent but still emphasized enough to help maintain strong clarity throughout. Notes are well-spaced and reasonably airy keeping the Tyr from sounding congested.

Like most earphones of this style that I've heard, the sound stage is wide but not particularly deep. Sounds transfer from channel to channel accurately and reliably, so I had no complaints using these when playing competitive games online. While track elements are well separated, the somewhat flat and wide stage means layering qualities are acceptable, but far from outstanding.

Overall I find the Kinera Tyr to be a good sounding earphone. I would call the signature either a strong u or mild v-shape, one that will likely appeal to a pretty wide audience. It actually quite reminds me of the KB EAR Diamond, but at a much lower cost, with less bass, and with less technical competency.

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Compared To A Peer

Pioneer CH3 (~25.00 USD): The Pioneer comes across a little more balanced and less v-shaped than the Tyr. Upper treble is lacking sparkle in comparison giving the CH3 a more tame presentation, though detail is better thanks to more lower treble emphasis. The CH3's midrange is slightly more forward with male vocals standing out. It is cooler and drier with a similar note weight, though I do find vocals through the Tyr slightly more clear. The Tyr is more prone to sibilance, though I wouldn't say it's an issue with either. Bass on the Tyr is notably more prominent, especially in the midbass which is slightly bloated compared to the CH3. Texture and clarity go to the CH3, while sub-bass extension and emphasis falls squarely in the Tyr's camp. Sound stage is presented similarly with more width than depth though the Kinera's extra upper treble emphasis permits it more space between notes and a greater general airiness. Imaging accuracy is basically the same, nor is there much of a difference in terms of layering and separation quality. Both are perfectly adequate and in line with what I expect from sub-50 USD earphones.

In terms of build, neither is a standout in the segment but I'll have to give the Kinera a clear win. It's cable is thicker, less prone to remember kinks and bends, and the inline mic is of a higher quality. It's design is also more interesting to look at, though the extra teeny CH3 (it only has a 5.5mm driver after all) is even lighter and more comfortable.

Overall I prefer the CH3's more balanced signature, but it falls short when it comes to build quality, the unboxing experience, and quality/quantity of accessories. I'd be happy to spend an extra couple dollars on the Tyr because it feels like it'll last longer, and it comes with higher quality tips as well as a protective case, something the more mainstream CH3 is missing entirely.

Final E2000 (~40.00 USD): The E2000's overall presentation is more linear and even. Upper and lower treble have a similar level of emphasis through the E2000 with notes sounding slightly better controlled and more natural. The midrange of the E2000 has a slightly warmer, thicker tonality with a more natural feel to instruments. The Tyr's upper midrange is more prominent. It isn't as smooth and almost sounds strained or strident at times in comparison. Bass on the E2000 is again smoother with less midbass emphasis. It doesn't provide the same level of impact, though texture and detail are slighter more prominent. Sub-bass on the Tyr stands out more, rolling off on the E2000 before it can give the same level of visceral feedback. The Tyr's soundstage is just a smidge smaller with default staging falling a hint closer to the head. Imaging on the E2000 is a step up with sounds moving more freely and with greater precision. Layering and separation are also lightly improved with the E2000 retaining more clarity on busier tracks and at higher volumes.

In terms of build, the Tyr once again takes it. The E2000 feels more delicate. With it's oddly complex plastic nozzle arrangement, I wouldn't be surprised if it was easier to damage. Their cables are once again quite similar with the E2000's being slightly more plasticy. It gets much stiffer in cold weather, but transmits less noise. It also has a chin cinch which the Tyr could benefit from.

The E2000 remains one of my favourites under 50 USD and the Tyr won't be replacing it. It provides a similar enough experience, however, and for those who just can't stretch their budget to get the E2000, it would be an excellent alternative.

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In The Ear The Tyr has a fairly traditional barrel-shaped housing which combined with such a compact driver means it has a very small footprint. The all-metal housings, probably aluminum or an alloy of some sort, are very well constructed. End caps are chrome while the main body is matte black with Kinera neatly printed on each ear piece. Seams between the component parts are present but instead of trying to hide them, Kinera incorporated them into the design by tapering the edges. It was a smart choice that adds additional elements to the overall design and makes them visually intriguing should you decide to take a closer look. Where the cable enters you find a lack of strain relief, however Kinera did add a red ring to ensure you rarely mix up the channels.

The cable is a very standard black rubber affair and is affixed to the ear pieces. No cable rolling with this little guy. I don't think that going to be a huge issue though because it's a decent cable overall. The rubber sheath is flexible, doesn't tangle easily, and isn't sticky allowing it to slide easily over cloth and other materials. Noise transmission is an issue, but that can be addressed by wearing the Tyr over ear instead of cable down, a big plus of going with a barrel-shaped ear piece.

Strain relief is absent at the ear pieces, but can be found at the inline mic, bottom of the y-split, and on the compact straight jack. I would prefer it to be a little longer, but that it's there at all is satisfactory. Hardware like the straight jack and y-split is quite plain looking and won't win any design awards, but everything is metal so it's all good on the durability front. The inline mic is all-metal too, save for a plastic button which responds to presses with a reasonably tactile “snick”. If using the mic for phone calls, I'm sure you'll find the quality acceptable. Voices sound reasonably dense and weighty with good clarity, though background noise isn't blocked out as much as I'd like.

When it comes to comfort, there is little to complain about. The Tyr is small, light, and has a fairly standard nozzle diameter of around 6mm. Most common aftermarket tips will fit it just right, so if the stock kit doesn't do the trick, something else you've used surely will. Since the earphone can be worn cable up or down equally easy, those who prefer one style of the other will have their needs met too. Isolation is pretty average, if not slightly above, for a vented dynamic based earphone. Using them purely as ear plugs exterior noise is dulled with voices remaining coherent, just more quiet than normal. Toss in some music and you'll only need to compensate for outside noise by raising the volume a little bit. Foam tips further help avoid the need to listen at higher than adequate volumes.

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In The Box The Tyr follows the Sif's lead when it comes to packaging, arriving in a unique hexagonal package. Things are a little less flamboyant compared to the Sif's take on this box, with the package being mostly black with only a grey flame-looking thing set behind a brand slogan “All You Need Is Tyr”. In addition to this slogan is notification that the Tyr features use of a 6mm micro driver, but micro is spelled incorrectly as “Mirco”. Oops. Flipping the package over you find a list of specifications and product contents, along with social media information.

Lifting off the lid you're greeted by a hexagonal card suggesting you join the Kinera online community, a very simple user guide card, and a circular leatherette carrying pouch. Lifting those items out you find some spare ear tips and the Tyr itself. In all you get:
  • Tyr earphones​
  • Carrying pouch​
  • Final Type E single flange tips (s/m/l)​
You may notice a lack of images of the complete accessory kit. That's because at some point Kinera teamed up with Final Audio to include their awesome Type E tips, something my Tyr sample did not come with. Just know that should you buy this earphone, it comes with a set of ear tips that if bought separately cost around 15 USD, so the value quotient is off the charts here. Another aspect that was unexpectedly handy is that leatherette pouch. It looks nice and feels expensive, but given it's just two strips of material sewn together, I wasn't expecting it to actually have enough space inside to hold much of anything, let alone the Tyr. Well, I was wrong. Three-finger wind the cable and it slips in just fine, and you can even still snap it shut.

Overall a pretty fantastic unboxing experience for such an inexpensive earphone. You get a cool box, some of the best ear tips in the business, and a pouch that is both unique and functional. Great job Kinera!

Final Thoughts Kinera is on their game, and the Tyr is proof of this. It's got a widely appealing tune in a form factor that is suited to a variety of ear sizes, and at a price that most can afford. The packaging and accessory kits are well thought out and have a premium air to them that isn't found in the competition. Value is through the roof too thanks to the inclusion of Final Type E tips.

Some will lament the use of a fixed cable, while others will appreciate that they won't have to worry about losing an ear piece. I found the midbass presence to be a little more than is ideal, and treble control could be somewhat tighter, but overall its audio performance is quite satisfying and well worth a listen.

If you're looking for an inexpensive earphone to take up the mantle of every day carry in your portable audio kit, the Tyr is worth checking out.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

*If you enjoyed this review, visit The Contraptionist for more just like it.*

Disclaimer Thanks to Nappoler with HiFiGo for arranging a sample of the Tyr for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective opinions based on time spent listening with the Tyr. They do not represent Kinera, HiFiGo, or any other entity. At the time of writing the Tyr retailed for 29.99 USD: https://hifigo.com/products/kinera-tyr-dynamic-driver-in-ear-earphones (Edit: Didn't realize the original link had tracking or affiliate info attached. My apologies. Ps. I don't participate in any affiliate programs.)

Specifications
  • Driver: 6mm micro dynamic driver​
  • Impedance: 16ohms​
  • Sensitivity: 105dB +/- 1dB​
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz​
Devices Used For Testing LG Q70, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501, Periodic Audio Nickle, ifi hip dac, Shanling M0

Some Test Tunes

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

Attachments

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Pros: Easy to listen to, comfortable, cheap and fun
Cons: Not the most refined, a little metallic sounding at times
Firstly I would like to thank HiFiGo for sending me this sample.

*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:
JDS Labs Element II / Audio Opus #2 > Tyr

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Tech Specs:
Impedance: 16Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 105 dB
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Earphone plug: 3.5mm
Cable Length: 1.2m±5cm
MSRP: $29

Buy Now

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The Tyr come in the normal Kinera box which is small yet looks great, there is info on the back about the product and the IEM’s are well protected inside by a foam insert. For a budget IEM the packaging is actually great and I like how robust it is to protect them during shipping.

Build quality is great, they have a fixed cable with mic that is of pretty average construction but with good strain relief. The housings however feel very sturdy and well made, and I have no issues with the build quality for the price.

Accessory wise you get a small case along with 3 pairs of standard tips and also 3 pairs of Final E-type tips, the inclusion of E-type tips is really good for the price.

Comfort and Isolation:
The size and shape of the Tyr is excellent, they allow you to easily get a good fit and remain comfortable for hours of use. The cable is supple enough to allow you to wear them with the cable over the ear should you wish, but cable noise isn’t too bad so wearing them straight down is fine. I really do love the fit of these.

Isolation is fairly average, they are perfect for casual everyday use but you might want something a little better for very noisy commutes or environments.

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Sound:
Lows: The lows on the Tyr are very well balanced with only the slightest attenuation in the sub-bass region, this little micro-driver can accurately present the lows with great detail and speed. They are quite snappy and can keep up with more complex mixes, yet they never sound thin. Don’t expect basshead levels from the Tyr but their well balanced low end will be appreciated by those who prefer a slightly tighter, more neutral sound. There is a good amount of punch to the low end, and they sound slightly more engaging at moderate volumes compared to low (as always, be careful with your hearing).

Midrange: The midrange is very clean and there is minimal impact from the low end, which allows vocals and guitars to shine and they cut through the mix with a good amount of bite and clarity. The upper midrange to lower treble region suffer a bit of a dip, which means they are fatigue free but also lacking some excitement and initial cymbal crashes are a little lackluster. The level of detail and control in the midrange is however very good, they do however not always sound the most realistic when it comes tonality. Layering is good, with great positioning of instruments within the stage.

Highs: The little dip in the lower treble does rob the sound of a little excitement and brilliance, however there is a peak a little higher up that adds some space and air to the sound. The treble still remains fairly well presented for the most part, with a hint of metallic tone to them, but nothing that is annoying or grating. The highs may be lacking a little in excitement but it does have it’s benefits when it comes to a faitgue free listen. They also do roll off a little early, meaning notes don’t quite linger in the most natural way.

Instrument separation is very good on these, the transient response great helps here as they sound very controlled, the soundstage is fairly average though.

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Conclusion:
Well for $29 these are a really fun listen, they don’t have the most linear response curve, however listening to them they are just quite fun and an easy listen. They are great as a backup pair, or just a low budget throw about daily IEM, the level of sound quality you can get at low prices really is getting better. They don’t really do anything badly, yet don’t quite excel at anything either, and that is a good thing for a $29 IEM.

Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10 (easy to recommend and listen to at a very wallet friendly price)
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Pros: balanced U-shaped tuning, good overall technical performance, great tip selection
Cons: non-detachable cable, poor sub-bass extension, upper treble roll-off, useless included carry case
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The Kinera Tyr is an in-ear monitor utilizing a single 6 mm micro dynamic driver. I was informed they were designed in collaboration with Final Audio. The Tyr is available at HiFiGo for $29. HiFiGo provided me with the Tyr in exchange for a fair and objective review.
This review can also be read at my blog:
Kinera Tyr Review

SOURCES:
I have used the Kinera Tyr with the following sources:
  • JDS Labs The Element
  • Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
  • Meizu HiFi Pro dongle
I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
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The Kinera Tyr comes in a hexagon-shaped black box. The Kinera Tyr’s technical specifications are listed on the bottom of the box, along with the manufacturer’s contact information and a list of included accessories. The list is inaccurate because in addition to the user manual, carry pouch, user manual and 3 pairs of short, wide-bore grey silicone eartips (S, M, L) detailed on the back of the box, the Tyr also includes three pairs of Final Type E eartips (S, M, L). I have read that early batches of the Tyr did not include the Final Type E tips. There is also a hexagonal card listing Kinera’s various social media handles.
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The included carry pouch is two flat circular slabs of synthetic leather stitched together with an opening at the top, secured with a snap button. The top of the carry case is embossed with the Kinera logo and the tag line “MAKE IT CLEAR * MAKE IT REAL.” I found the carry case cheap-looking and too small to use.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:
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The Kinera Tyr uses a cylindrical, bullet-type design. The housings are metal with black midsections and polished silver-colored nozzles and end caps. The Kinera logo is printed in white on the side of each housing along the midsection. The nozzles have horizontal metal bars across them rather than the mesh cover typically seen. There is a small circular vent just ahead of the cable entry on each housing, and an even smaller circular vent on the outermost rim of each nozzle. The nozzles have a substantial ring for securing eartips, and I never had an eartip come loose in my ear while using the Tyr. The cable exits the housing body towards the bottom rear of the midsection. The right side cable passes through a small metallic red circlet before entering the housing body, while the matching circlet on the left-hand side is black. The housings are lightly magnetized and will stick to each other at rest.
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The Kinera Tyr has a fixed smooth rubbery cable with a straight 3.5mm termination. The 3.5mm jack housing is black metal with rubber strain relief. The cable has a mic unit with a single playback control button which can trigger “Play/Pause/Voice Assistant” functionality. I did not have the opportunity to test the Tyr’s mic quality before publishing this review. There is strain relief on either side of the mic unit. The cable is not tangle-prone, but is moderately microphonic and attracts static electricity.

COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:
The Kinera Tyr is intended to be worn cable-down. Despite their deep insertion depth, I found them to be surprisingly comfortable to wear for extended periods. Secureness of fit was excellent. Isolation was good. There was no driver flex at my preferred insertion depth.

MEASUREMENTS:
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My measurements were conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The headphones are driven using my Element, which has an output impedance of no more than 1 ohm. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. The measurements are presented with 1/24th smoothing. The magnitude of the valley around 7k is a coupler artifact. There is a resonant peak around 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.

SOUND:
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Note: My impressions are based on use with the included Final Type E tips.
The Kinera Tyr has a U-shaped sound signature.
The Kinera Tyr has a slight mid-bass hump and a fair amount of sub-bass roll-off. There is enough mid-bass to give drum hits impact and weight but not so much as to distract or overwhelm the listener. The attack of bass notes is relaxed and leisurely but their decay is quick enough to avoid muddying the presentation of intense musical passages. The bass is textured and surprisingly resolving given the price point.
There is a fair amount of mid-bass bleed into the lower midrange, which creates warmth and weight but not congestion. Male vocal intelligibility is excellent and is better than female vocal intelligibility. Male and female vocals are fairly even with each other. There is a healthy amount of grit and presence. I did not find the Tyr’s upper midrange sibilant. The Tyr has a slightly dry timbre.
The Tyr has a balanced lower treble presentation that is moderately detailed without being harsh. Upper treble extension is poor and air is limited. Treble transients are slightly diffuse. The soundstage has great depth and good width. Imaging is exceptional given the price point. Layering and instrument separation are very good.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The Kinera Tyr can be driven to a comfortable listening volume with a smartphone or dongle. I did not notice hiss with the Meizu HiFi Pro dongle, but I did with the Apple dongle at its maximum hardware volume. Thankfully, the Tyr does not need anywhere close to that level of power.

COMPARISONS:
Kinera Tyr vs Blon BL-03
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The Blon BL-03 is an in-ear monitor with a single 10mm carbon nanotube dynamic driver. The Kinera Tyr and the BL-03 sound relatively similar, with the biggest difference being in the treble presentation. The BL-03 has more air in the upper treble than the Tyr but less energy in the lower treble, which makes it sound less immediately detailed. The BL-03 also has better sub-bass extension. The BL-03 has a slightly more natural timbre than the Tyr. The BL-03 has a slightly wider soundstage. The Tyr’s soundstage is deeper. Instrument separation is comparable between the two IEMs. I found the Tyr to have more precise imaging. The Tyr is much easier to get a good seal and a secure fit with. The BL-03 has removable cables. Neither IEM’s included carry pouch is good, but the BL-03’s is more usable.

CLOSING WORDS:
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The Kinera Tyr is a surprisingly competent budget IEM with no deal-breaking sonic flaws. The inclusion of Final Type E tips in the package is a great added value. The absence of a detachable cable is my biggest complaint but the price is low enough that this is tolerable. I imagine these would make a great commuting companion.
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Pros: Good bass response
- Moderately detailed mid-range
- Good treble performance for the price
- Great soundstage and imaging, some of the best in this range
- Premium eartips (Final E-type) in the packaging
Cons: Midrange can get shouty on certain tracks
- Does not play nicely with high output impedance devices
- Lacks end-to-end extension
- Flimsy cable
Kinera Tyr Review
Unassuming

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Looks can be deceiving.

Well, we all know that, yet we are often too quick to judge stuff based on their appearance alone. Kinera Tyr is one such case, where the unassuming design and specs can easily get one into thinking, “yet another cheap single dynamic driver IEM, nothing we haven’t seen before”.

Kinera has been manufacturing IEMs for quite a while. They usually have a unique design language, but both the Kinera IEMs I’ve demoed previously (Seed and Sif) did not particularly stand out to me.

Can the Tyr break that trend? Let’s find out.

(Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. Definitely the expectations from a $15 IEM won’t be the same as a $150 one, and that’s the approach taken while assigning scores. I would like to thank Nappoler Hu from HiFiGo Audio, as he was kind enough to send me a review sample. Disclaimer)

Sources used: Yulong Canary, LG G7

Price, while reviewed: $30. Can be purchased from HiFiGo Audio or their AliExperss store. Look out for sales and discounts.

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Build: The barrel-type IEM shell is a mix of aluminium with a chrome-plated finish, and black plastic. The plastic housing has the strain relief for the outgoing wire (color-coded for channel identification) along with the vent hole. The nozzle and the end-cap are both metal, with the nozzle having a substantial lip. Rest assured that your tips ain’t gonna come sliding out. The nozzle has a very interesting sports-car front-grille like filter pattern.
The cable, however, is a point of discontent. For one: it’s not detachable. I personally believe that non-detachable cables can last long too (my Meze 11 Neo has withstood 3+ years of constant abuse), but this cable in particular doesn’t inspire much confidence. For one: it’s springy and gets tangled easily. For two: there is no strain-relief above the Y-splitter. This is a very common point-of-failure for IEMs and I wish Kinera took this one into consideration. The strain relief around the 3.5mm plug is also stiffer than I’d like, thus making the cable withstand more strain. It also lacks a chin-slider.
As for the remote: it’s decent, and voice is picked up even in noisy environments. The button is a bit stiff, however.
In short: the housing itself is built really well, but the cable raises some questions over long-term durability.
3.5/5

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Accessories: The packaging itself is rather unique with the Tyr, but the inclusion of Final E-type tips was surprising to say the least. Usually these tips alone cost ~$15, so that’s 50% of the IEMs price-tag. I am a big fan of the E-type tips, and if you want to get some spare E-type tips, buying the Tyr can be a good option in a sense.
As for the rest of the accessories: nothing much to write home about. There are 3 pairs of additional wide-bore tips, but they made the Tyr sound bland and lacking dynamics. The leatherette carrying “pouch” looks cool, but has no protection to speak of and will also let in dust etc as it doesn’t shut tight like typical clamshell cases or drawstring pouches. That’s about it. Though with the E-type tips and that price-tag, I’m more than happy with what I got.
4.5/5

Comfort:
I personally find barrel-type IEMs rather comfortable, as long as I’m going for a cable-up/over-the-ear fit (this wearing style also eliminates cable noise as a bonus). The Kinera Tyr is very comfortable (especially with the E-type tips) no matter how you wear them, thanks to their good ergonomics and light weight. Do note that cable-noise is an issue if you go for the cable-down style. Also, you wouldn’t want to sleep-in while wearing them as they stick out quite a bit.
Passive noise-solation is above-average.
4.5/5

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Now, on to the sound. This is a good ol’ 6mm micro dynamic-driver design, so no multi-driver coherency issue to bother about. It’s well-vented apparently as I couldn’t feel much driver-flex. Do note that the following sound impressions are with the Final E-type tips.

My reference headphone is the HD650, which I run on my Yulong Canary. They don’t have good bass, however, so I mostly refer to their treble and mid-range tonality/rendition/timbre while assessing other gears. As for the reference bass: Final E5000 for sub-bass, and RHA T20i for mid-bass.
Bass: Micro dynamic drivers usually have good bass, and the Tyr doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The mid-bass has a couple dB of boost over the lower mids, but there’s not much mid-bass bleed to speak of. The sub-bass is boosted even more than the mid-bass, but it rolls off at ~40Hz. This results in a lack of visceral sub-bass response, so this might not be the bass-head’s dream.
Bass speed is on the slower side, with longer decay than usual. Bass texture is a bit hazy, but you can definitely tell the various notes apart. Angus and Julia Stones’ Other Things demonstrate that rather well.
In summary: overall good bass response, but sub-bass rumble and slower bass speed/hazy texturing are the sore points.
4/5

Mids:
The lower mids are a tad behind the mix compared to the upper-mids, especially the 500–700Hz region. This results in an under-emphasized and distant baritone vocals. The frequency then starts rising until ~2.5KHz. Now, the rise from the 1KHz region is appreciated and actually makes most male vocals and snare drums sound… nice!
The issue is the upper mids, unfortunately. It’s a bit too emphasized and is treading near shoutiness. I didn’t find it to be an issue in most male-vocal tracks (though certain instruments would sound odd due this emphasis, especially acoustic guitars), but in certain female-vocal tracks this can pose a problem, with possible listening fatigue (esp anime soundtracks, e.g. this one).
As for the rest, mid-range detail rendition is above-average. Mid-range timbre and tonality is quite accurate, apart from the upper-mids and the dipped 500–700Khz region that thins out baritone vocals. I really enjoyed drum heavy tracks with the Tyr, with You Saved Me by The Winery Dogs being a particular highlight. Mike Portnoy’s virtuoso drumming is at full display here, and the Tyr does an admirable job in reproducing that (for the price, of course).
So, be wary of the upper-mid emphasis and how much sensitive you are to that particular region.
4/5

Treble:
Kinera has gone for a relatively restrained treble tuning, with just a couple peaks around 7KHz and 10KHz (to my ears). The 7KHz peak might be problematic on certain tracks, with instances of sibilance, as can be heard in Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure. Such instances are rather rare, however, and most bright headphones/earphones struggle in that particular Queen track, but if you are sensitive to even the slightest hint of sibilance — take note.
Cymbals are a bit laid back in the mix, but the cymbals hits themselves are crisp and sound right. Treble rolls off sharply after 12KHz, so their is an apparent lack of “air” in the upper-treble region. This makes crash cymbals sound less dramatic.
Micro-detail retrieval is average for typical dynamic driver IEMs in this range, so the Tyr will fall behind the fellow BA/Hybrid driver setups in terms of absolute detail rendition. Then again, such cheap BA/Hybrid IEMs suffer from other tonality and coherency issues more often than not, so this is a worthy trade-off IMO. Another issue would be the slight smearing of instruments in fast-paced tracks. This is something that plagues many dynamic driver IEMs and the Tyr is no exception.
4/5

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Note: the following two sections may have varying perceptions for each individual due to a number of factors e.g. pyschoacoustics, insertion depth, ambient noise etc.

Soundstage: The Tyr does not have a particularly wide soundstage, but soundstage depth is exemplary in this price range, with instruments often being placed very close to your eardrums (as they were in the mix). This gives rise to avery convincing perception of depth and I personally prefer this kind of presentation over a very widely scattered stage (HD650 also has a similar approach to soundstage and imaging).
4.5/5

Imaging:
Imaging is great, and even the “cardinal” (top-right/bottom-left etc. instrument placement) is well done for the price-range. Left-right panning is rendered exceptionally well, and the soundstage depth aids in the layering of instruments, as can be heard in Yosi Horikawa’s Crossing. Spatial cues are especially well rendered (a lot like the BLON BL-03).
In short: really good imaging performance, even compared to some pricier IEMs. This is as good as the BLON BL-03 in terms of imaging performance for under $50, and that’s the best I’ve heard in this range.
5/5

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Bang-for-buck: The flimsy cable is a sore area of the otherwise excellent value that the Kinera Tyr provides. You get premium eartips that often cost half as much as the IEMs themselves, and the sound quality is quite competitive for the price range as well. Had the build been better (and by that I basically mean the cable) — this would get a higher rating in this section, no doubt.
4/5

Source and Amping:
The IEMs being rather sensitive (105dB/mW @ 1KHz, 16 ohms) helps to drive them from most portable sources. Be mindful of the output impedance of your source though, as when I connected it to a higher output impedance device (Yulong Canary, 10 ohms), the frequency response shifted noticeably with even more emphasis around the upper-mid/lower-treble region. Not something you’d want, presumably.

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Select Comparisons

vs
Final E1000: The E1000 ($30) is very similar to the Kinera Tyr: both comes with the E-type tips (Final’s ones are color-coded, however, a nicer touch) and both have a barrel type shape with micro dynamic-drivers inside. Both also have fixed cables, though I’d give the nod to E1000 in terms of build as the strain reliefs are more substantial and the cable is noticeably more robust.
In terms of sound quality, Final has more of a mid-range emphasis, with leaner sub-bass and mid-bass than the Tyr. The upper mids are not as emphasized as the Tyr, which results in a very smooth and fatigue-free listening no matter what track you throw at it. The treble response is also smoother, though the cymbals are not as pronounced as the Tyr, and the laid-back signature might not suit everyone. Kinera Tyr offers more excitement in the treble comparatively.
Soundstage is wider on the E1000 while it is deeper on the Tyr. Imaging is almost close, but the Tyr takes the cake with better layering of instruments.
I personally prefer the tonality and timbre of the E1000 over the Tyr, but I’d still use Tyr for using while commute due to more emphasized sub-bass, a bit more excitement in the highs, and better imaging.

vs BLON BL-03: One of the benchmark IEMs for the <$50 range, the BL-03 ($25–30) is pretty tough to beat across all regions. In terms of packaging and accessories, however, they are tough to not beat. Tyr has much better accessory package for sure.
In terms of build quality, I’d side with the BLONs, while comfort will be squarely in Tyr’s grasp.
As for the sound difference between them, they sound quite different in terms of overall signature and tonality/timbre. The BL-03 is warmer sounding in comparison with more emphasis on the mid-bass. Both have rolled-off sub-bass, though BL-03 rolls off earlier, and the Tyr’s sub-bass is boosted in comparison. Mid-bass on the other hand is where BL-03 focuses while the Tyr skimps on that a bit.
The vocals sound more intimate on the BLONs, and that’s what I love about them. The midrange timbre is also exceptionally well done on the BL-03, making them more suitable for acoustic and singer/songwriter tracks. The emphasis around 3KHz region is also less drastic on the BLONs, so there’s that.
Treble is about similar on both, but the extra crispness in cymbals hits on the Tyr makes them more enjoyable for metal tracks. Both have limited upper-treble reach.
To summarize — I’d still take the BL-03 over the Tyr, but that’s mostly because I’m a sucker for that midrange tonality of the BLONs. However, If you want more sub-bass and less mid-bass than the BLONs, better comfort and isolation, and a less messy initial setup (no tip/cable-change shenanigans with the Tyr) — the Kinera can be a good alternative.

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Conclusion

The immense competition under the $50 range has proven to be a great thing: there are a plethora of good options out there, with each serving a particular audience. Cheap earphones never sounded so good, and good earphones have never been so cheap.

Kinera Tyr is yet another addition in the budget segment, and it does put up a good show. The eartips are top-notch, it doesn’t do much wrong in the sound department(apart from that upper-mid peak), and the soundstage/imaging performance belies the price tag.

The biggest downside would be that fixed, flimsy cable. A better built cable could alleviate my reservations about the build of this IEM, but alas.

If you can deal with the fixed cable and don’t mind that upper-mid peak, the Kinera Tyr is a good, if not great option.

Test tracks (as Tidal playlist): https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/04350ebe-1582-4785-9984-ff050d80d2b7
Test tracks (as YouTube playlist, often updated):

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLetb5RqtcrlXdSG4tSCjCJpvoszUb4OjG
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Pros: Tiny.
Affordable.
Another positive from Kinera.
Sound is quite dynamic for the price.
Included tips.
Cons: Case is horrible.
Cable microphonics.
Needs more detail, but hey it cost $29usd.
Kinera Tyr ($29): A small one with power.

Kinera

HiFiGo product page

AliExpress


The Tyr was sent to me by HiFiGo for the purposes of an unbiased review.


Initial:

I have heard and own many Kinera from the original SEED to the limited-edition earbud (still one of my favorite buds) to the iDun with its gorgeous wood faceplate and the Sif with its all-white look and sound, which built upon the iDun. To me, Kinera has tried hard to present an interesting look for their products, while providing competent sound. After the fuss calmed down, the iDun proved to be pretty good at its price, as did the SEED and Sif. I enjoyed them all as what I would call niche-market items, which were meant to give the consumer an option at each price. With much fanfare, the Kinera options were pretty successful.


Here, the Kinera Tyr takes a different approach with the shape and affordability. Utilizing a cable which cannot come off has its merits and drawbacks as well. But for the listed $29 price, you really should not fret or worry about such trivialities. And in fact, I didn’t. After checking to ensure all was well, the Tyr was loaded onto my Shanling M2x for 100 hours. I will state that it really does not matter if you believe burn in or not. I want to know what the item of choice sounds like down the road after 6 months and it is out of the limelight. Thus, I do this for all IEM’s/items received.





Gear used/compared:

Kinera SEED ($35ish
Kinera Sif ($37)
Kinera iDun ($139)

Dethonray DTR1 (w/ HA-2 as well)
Shanling M2x
XDuoo x10t ii/iFi xDSD


Fit-n-finish:

Kinera does a nice job with the Tyr. The small bullet-shape is not only compact, but well put together. The increase in their QC clearly shows through. I welcome the shape, fit and finish. Done in gloss black surrounded by two chromed pieces the Tyr is of three pieces, which house the 6mm micro driver. A large lip on the nozzle is appreciated, except for the fact that if you take one of the tips off, it is darn near impossible to get back on. A smaller diameter lip would do the same thing without problem. It does seem that IEM’s/buds from budget to TOTL are starting to include the Final Audio Type-E, which is a welcome addition. These are among the only silicon tips I will use. They were standard on my Legend X and standard here. That said, I have been using a pair of Azla SednaEarfit, which are quickly becoming my favorite as well. Providing a bit deeper reach of bass than the Type-E, the air coming between notes is about equal. Both work well.

I do enjoy from time to time a simple plug in the ear type bud such as this, and for quick listens will often pull out my CA Atlas, which follows the same approach. There is much to be said for the ability to quickly ingress/egress your listening choice. Since the critter in hand is small, I had no problem with in-ear fit, using the large sized tips of both varieties mentioned. Isolation even with the large is above average as best, and the pluck of my loud MBP keyboard can be heard between songs readily. The cable is prone to tangling a bit, but due to the springy nature of the rubberized coating falls easily into place. Microphonics is another case as there is noticeable sound coming from even a minor tap or brush of the cable. Since this has controls on the right cable, this can become a bit bothersome. Not perfect, and a bit disappointing from Kinera, here. Even a minor fabric coating would have stopped this all together, heightening the listening enjoyment. In today’s market, this is a must.



Sound:

Initial listening aside, the bass came across strong and present from that mini-me driver. Tip selection plays a paramount roll and once found, can heighten the feel of the bass. It is enjoyable and felt on such songs as TWP’s Glowing Eyes. Not gut punching mind you, but when called upon, it adds to the overall signature in a good manner. I enjoy good bass quantity as much as quality, and this has good quantity, with minor bleed into the lower mids. But we are talking about a sub-$30 earbud. So not unacceptable. The quantity does belie the size of the micro driver, so it does put out a good amount, which is not unpleasant at all.

Vocals such as Tyler’s of TWP come across quite good, but a bit behind the scene. In talking with peers who currently have the Tyr, we agreed male vocals are a bit colored, but personally I would not say veiled. There is a bit of too much “S” sound coming on some songs such as Heavydirtysoul. This only becomes slightly grating at high volumes, and even then, not bad. I can turn the volume up without harm even with my treble sensitivity. Overall though, the mids provide a pleasant enough experience to not be fatiguing over time, coupled with enough definition to keep you interested. One can clearly hear the snap of drumstick and support instruments, but they do come across as a bit like a mass of kids running towards the lunchroom. They are hungry that’s all. It is not unpleasant, and acceptable.

Thankfully, the treble does not offend me, as there is a slight roll off. If Kinera had kept the scenario going to the top, this would have quickly become a grating sound. Thankfully, the treble is appreciated by my ears. Not the most succinct or clear, but with enough detail to yet again keep my interest. When moving to female vocals, which to me can move into the bothersome sounds to me if not drawn upon appropriately, I find Jamie Drake’s To My Love comes across in good manners. Not that sibilant song, she does present her voice to where a less than stellar presentation could be had. Thankfully it all works out. Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain has given me trouble over the years, with her enunciation. With the Tyr at higher volumes, she sounds as sweet as can be out of a $29 earbud. Not punishing at all and I could raise the volume to near-ear splitting levels. Such a fine voice she has…



Keeping with Adele, one can discern levels of not only transparency, but separation as well. Many of her songs are thoroughly congested as a mass of sound and meant to be as one harmonious menagerie. The Tyr represents that honestly if not entirely clear. But on songs such as Send My Love the guitar intro and her voice work in harmony together well. I had forgotten how much I like her music and voice. A nice surprise on this snowy day.

Thoroughly enjoying the Adele memories, layering is slightly above average, but quite adequate for this price. Again, Adele marvels as melding all music together into a mash of sound, which envelops you. And the Tyr does well here. Placement within the sound stage is average, with a slightly elevated center point in the box of near equal proportions. Slightly wider than ear, this is what I would call an average sound stage, but there can be levels of intimacy, which is appreciated. At this point I kick back and enjoy One And Only for what it is, a superb reveille of vocal proportions. Sometimes just listening is appreciated and the Tyr does that. With a bit too much push up top in this song, I do have to turn the volume down after a bit, though. Not unacceptable.



Comparisons:

Kinera Tyr ($29) vs Kinera SEED ($35ish):

I did enjoy the SEED upon its release, finding it a very affordable alternative to the masses released by others. QC problems kept it from becoming a long-term hit, and my cable has suffered the dreaded oxidation problem. I find the vocals too elevated on the SEED, with a pinching of the mids unpleasant upon revisiting. This was a model, which seemed to be rushed out to reviewers as beta testers, and the subsequent model then came out. I cannot turn the volume up like I can on the Tyr. For a first effort that came out when the trademark ChiFi sound was of brilliance, the SEED followed that route, but a bit less so. It is obvious (to me) that the Tyr betters the SEED in all categories save a replaceable cable.


Kinera Tyr ($29) vs Kinera Sif ($37):

The Sif followed the SEED, with better QC and I still see some current reviews coming out. As far as longevity goes, the Sif is better than the SEED, with more enhanced bass, which bleeds into the mids more than the Tyr, and a touch of sibilance in the treble. It was as if the engineers tried to overcompensate for the SEED’s fallacies. I do like the signature even with those shortfalls, and this as reports have it works for commuting. But I cannot turn the volume up like the Tyr without sensitivity, which is a major shortfall to me. The Tyr presents a much smoother signature, without stepping on any toes such as the Sif. Those who value treble with bass reach will like the Sif, but I prefer the sound signature of the Tyr.





Kinera Tyr ($29) vs Kinera iDun ($139):

The iDun was Kinera’s concerted effort to move upscale after the quasi-success of the previous models. As such, it presented a more premium feel in look and cable. I really like the tactility of the cable, and the look of the wood faceplate. Presenting a very forward mid structure to me, Adele’s vocals show no doubt where they are. Up front and in charge. Bass is definitely a support mechanism meant to give balance. I find the mids to be too far forward and would EQ them back a good bit to appreciate the character of the iDun. The move upscale worked in looks but again fell a bit short to me in sound. Many with more versed ears do appreciate the tuning of the iDun, and I respect that. But I prefer not to EQ my IEM’s or buds unless absolutely necessary.



The maturation of Kinera through the Tyr shows that they may have found a path in which to follow. They have taken a cautious approach to the tuning as opposed to the iDun and I appreciate that.


Sources:

Dethonray DTR1/HA-2: Running the DTR1 alone, I find the Tyr to be wonderful on my current favorite test track Crazy Mary. Deep rich bass can be heard if the IEM/bud presents itself that way, and vocals are laid bare with the soulful sound from Todd’s voice. Thoroughly thick in sound and with a voice, which can go right through you, the IEM/bud had better be ready for that. The DTR1 is also an outstanding device all on its own. The Tyr happily comes along even if a bit congested in song. This is not a slap at the sound, but the limitation of a sub-$30 listening product. A bit less dark than the Cayin, nonetheless the pairing works well, without running into trouble in the treble range. Throw on the HA-2, and you not only up the volume, but to me I sense a bit better definition. The pair of amp/DAP together is one, which others have described as very good to outstanding and I would concur. This pairing will appear in most of my future reviews as a result. A thoroughly captivating combo with good sound.



Shanling M2x: Running both SD and Tidal this would be an ideal pair for throwing in one’s commuter bag. Affordable is a definition of one’s own need or level. I hate to throw that term out, when many would simply use the Tyr on a Smartphone and be thoroughly satisfied; but on the Shanling I find the sound to be 70-75% of the DTR1. Providing me with the warm tone of my favor, the M2x drives the Tyr thoroughly well, but with less verve. The sound is outstanding but seems a bit thinner. Verifying this on my Shanling M5s, I concur as the M5s provides a thicker, meatier sound, just a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the M2x is outstanding and my go to portable for a reason. And paired with the Tyr is a very acceptable offering. Plus, the more I listen to the pair, the more I enjoy them together.


End:

I cannot fault Kinera for what they have tried to achieve. Trying a different path is filled with potholes, carnage and success. By and large their following has stayed true. In talking to some recently I find they still enjoy the older products and welcome this one. Even though I say the times have moved past the above offerings, the Tyr is the tie, which binds the past and present while providing a look into what the future may provide. Platitudes aside, I do thoroughly enjoy the Tyr (barring the cable microphonics) and do recommend a listen for something good at the sub-$30 price point. An excellent alternative to those freebies included with Smartphones even though that gap may be shrinking.

I thank Nappoler and HiFiGo for the review sample. The Kinera Tyr is worth a look. Cheers.

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B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
Great review :)
ngoshawk
ngoshawk
Thank you, Thomas!:beers:
Pros: Fun and organic sound
Very tiny
Good variety of tips
Cons: The lack of sub-bass
Highs are on the bright side and can be fatiguing for someone
Microphonic cable
Pouch is small
Introduction
At the beginning of this year I had the pleasure to speak with Nappoler from HiFiGo, who proposed me to review the new Kinera TYR.
I obviously accepted as I’ve always been interested in trying some Kinera products, and I’m pretty happy to have these little microdriver units in my hands (and in my ears).

Disclaimer: the Kinera TYR were sent free of charge by HiFiGo in exchange of a honest review.
Purchase links:
- Aliexpress
- HIFIGO


I remember you that you can find more reviews on our website: https://audio-monkeys.com


Before I start this review, I wanna thank Thomas from TheContraptionist for speaking well about us with sellers and producers as this really helps us getting our hands on new products to share with you.
You can find his excellent reviews here: TheContraptionist

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Technical Specs
Drivers: 1DD (6mm microdriver)
Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
Cable lenght: 1.2m, non detachable
Plug Type: L-type golden plated 3.5mm jack

Packaging
The package is made of carton and has a hexagonal shape and a simple design.
The box contains the IEMs, 2 packets of tips (6 tips totally, 3 with spiral tube inside and 3 simple wide bore tips), a carry bag (which is, unfortunately, a bit little for the earphones even if these are very tiny) and some instruction and informations papers.

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Cable
I personally do not like the cable: if you’re thinking about buying a pair of TYR be ready to fight with some cable microphonics as well.
Unfortunately it’s not even detachable, so you cannot change the cable without unsoldering, but I think it’s comprehensible to find this type of cable in this price range and on this kind of products.
The cable has a microphone and a multifunctional button which works on my android device.
The 3.5mm jack connector is golden plated and has a standard straight design (I usually prefer L-type ones but this is a personal preference).

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Build Quality
Build quality here is good. From shell to the nozzle everything seems assembled with a lot of care for the final results. The silver parts are not made of metal, or at least it doesn’t seem a metallic material, but this does not compromise the overall build quality. The kinera logo is printed on the sides of the earpieces and the red ring under one of them indicates the right channel.

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Comfort and Isolation

The TYR are a bullet-style pair of earphones which might be more desirable than an over-ear pair of IEMs, moreover if we think about how many people don’t like the latter fitting style. In this sense, the TYR seems oriented towards a generic consumer rather than an enthusiast (that does not mean Chi-Fi enthusiast cannot like it, I’m just saying that this design may satisfy the majority of consumers).
That said, the TYR are not the most comfortable IEMs in the history, but this really comes to personal preference. Due to the bullet style and the small shell, the insertion is deep if you use the included stock tips, so if you don’t like IEMs with deep insertion you should look for different (or bigger) tips or just for different IEMs. If the tips aren’t the right ones, the TYR may feel a bit slippery.
Isolation is average and improves with the correct tips (if you get the right size and shape for your ears, you’ll get a very good isolation), moreover if you still keep the deep insertion.

Sound
Let’s get into it.
Now the critical factor that decides if something has to be tried or not: how do they sound? I mainly listen to EDM subgenres, Dupstep, Future Bass, Euphoric Hardstyle, Bass House, Midtempo and downtempo, darkwave, drum’n bass, but i even listen to many vocal tracks, moreover female ones. I always search for IEMs that have a little bit of emphasis in the lower region, and can sacrifice mids with some recession if they still sound clear and natural. I love vivid and sparkling highs if they’re not at a headache level. V-shape signature is usually my favourite one but in the last period i’m appreciating a more balanced presentation with less recessed mids, more of a U shape.

Test were made on:
– Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphone
– Presonus AudioBOX iONE connected to my PC with no Enhancements activedI even connect my Fiio A3 when i need it if i hear some earphones need a little more power.

Lows: low-end has good presence, moreover if we speak about the bass. It has a natural and fairly balanced response, while the sub-bass in not accentuated.
The bass is not the fastest I’ve heard from a dynamic driver, but this can definitely handle fast DnB tracks without feeling loose.
What I don’t like about the low-end is that many times I feel the need of more “body”: the sub-bass lacks a a bit sometimes and in those moments i feel the bass does not have the proper background. Overall, I like them, but I prefer using other IEMs while I listen to EDM and other bass-heavy genres.
What’s sure is that the mid-bass is more accentuated than the lower part of the spectrum and this is not necessarily bad.
Summing up, I like the bass, pretty balanced and just in the right amount.

Mids: from the lower midrange to the upper mids we have a warm timbre that heats the scene and this contributes in making the TYR more intimate and organic sounding: both lower and upper midrange are boosted, influencing the sound signature with warmer male voices and energetic female vocals. Instruments are reproduced well but take the backseat: this a typical V-shaped signature midrange.

Highs: the very upper range has a moderate roll-off while lower treble gains a tad more presence: this is probably due to the boosted upper midrange. Detail retrieval doesn’t amaze and sometimes the upper range can feel a bit “too average” if we compare them to other IEMs at the same price. Those who search for revealing monster shouldn’t look here, but for those who just like sitting and listening to some music the TYR will do the job without issues.

Soundstage is average, while imaging and instrument separation are better than expected. I won’t use them for very complex tracks or live recordings but they can definitely provide a good listening experience with the majority of tracks around.
They’re coherent and have a mature timbre that many higher-priced IEMs really miss. They have character.

Some comparisons:
Kinera TYR vs Blon BL-03

If I had to speak about them objectively, I would say the Blons are, to me, technically better, with better bass and sub-bass, better resolution and a richer sound overall, at least for the genres I prefer listening to. The TYR sound better than the Blons when it comes to female vocals, maybe due to the edgy and boosted upper midrange.
They’re altough different when it comes to the tonality: I personally prefer guitars and piano on the TYR than on the Blons, as the first just feel more organic.
The fact that the Blons feature a detachable cable makes them an easy choice for people who want to upgrade the cable and improve comfort, as the TYR have a non detachable cable that annoyed me in certain cases with some microphonics. On the other hand, the Blons have a weird cable and you need a lot of tip rolling in order to find the right tips, as their fit can be tricky.

Final Thoughts
The TYR are the most affordable pair of earphones from Kinera and represent good value in their price bracket.
Altough you can find other products in the same range with better technical performance and with a multi-driver setup, the TYR deserve attention thanks to their single DD, which is well-tuned and offer a pleasant, organic and natural signature.
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