Kinera H3

Kinera H3 Review

This is a quick re-post of my review from Head-Fi, just to get the ball rolling

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Introduction: I first encountered the H3 on HeadFi and was curious what all the hype was about, I purchased it a few months back and thought I would share my experience of these excellent value IEM’s.

Specs (sponged off Penon):

· Driver: 2BA+1D

· Impedance: 48Ω

· Frequency Response: 20-20000HZ

· Sensitivity: 101DB

· L&R Channel Balance Sensitivity: <2DB

· Max Input Power: 10mW

· Cable Length: 1.2meter

· Wire Material: 6n single crystal copper silver-plated

· Plug material: 3.5mm golden plated

· Earphone interface: 2-pin (0.78mm )

About me: I have always enjoyed listening to music and for many years played in a wind orchestra. I have only recently, 6-9 months or so, entered into the “audiophile” world, though I’m already well and truly converted.

My music tastes are reasonably varied (in my opinion anyway) but in general I listen predominantly to some metal (mostly symphonic), rock, and classical. Although there’s also a bit of electronic and pop I regularly listen to. The list of music used predominantly for this review is in the about section.

Onto the Kinera H3

Disclaimer: I purchased these myself and present this review as unbiased.

Packaging/Build Quality: The packaging looks nice and gets the job done, nothing overly flashy but the magnetic clasped box is functional and the foam insert keeps the product and accessories safe during shipping.
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The build quality overall seems good, though I do worry about the longevity of some of the parts used. That said Kinera seems more than willing to fix any issues that do arise.
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Accessories & Cable: The provided cable is quite decent, it’s nice and sturdy as well as relatively tangle free. I have not experienced any microphonics from the cable moving and rubbing against stuff during use. I’m a big fan of the over ear guides used, finding them much better than the memory wire often used. In general I prefer right-angled headphone jacks on IEMs and I worry about the bulk of this jack hanging off a DAP in a pocket or bag, but to date I have had no issues with anything becoming loose. I have found that some discoloration has occurred on the cable, it may clean off, it hasn’t bothered me enough to try.
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On accessories you get a 6.35mm adaptor, an airline adaptor, a carry case and two sets (S,M,L) of silicone tips, one set similar to Sony hybrids and another normal set. The included case is a semi-hard zipped shell, it’s a little on the large size in my opinion, but it does have an elasticized pocket to keep things in place.

Fit and Comfort: One of the H3’s strongest elements is its excellent fit. I found using the included tips provided an excellent fit and a very good seal. Personally I didn’t experience any discomfort due to driver flex , but I understand that others have.

Comfort wise I find it quite easy to wear these for hours on end, they sit very nicely in your ear and with the provided cable stay in place even while moving. They do protrude slightly from my ears and so they’re not something I could wear lying down.

Sound: Most of my listening of the Kinera H3 has been with my Opus #1 though for the sake of comparison I did try them with my iPhone SE.

I found the iPhone to give the H3’s a much more V-shaped sound with recessed mids while the Opus produced a flatter more W-shaped sound. The sound from the Opus was much more pleasing though I would say both sources adequately drove the H3s.

The H3’s clarity is quite good and it has a decently deep and wide soundstage for an IEM. Separation is ok, I found the lower end let it down is this regard.

Bass: The bass is very good, punchy with decent rumble and sub-bass, probably the H3’s strongest aspect.

Mids: The upper mids are fairly decent, they’re forward and smooth, but I did notice that vocals in this region (especially females) can sound a little thin. The lower-mids aren’t as impressive and have a tendency to get lost amongst the upper-mids and bass.

Treble: I have a love-hate relationship with the H3’s treble, sometimes is beautifully airy with decent sparkle, other times its overly bright and harsh. Which you get seems to be largely song dependent but the vocals is this range are unfortunately fairly consistently sibilant.

Overall: I may have come over a bit harsh (hah) in that last part but I do feel these IEM’s are truly excellent value and I look forward to how Kinera will improve upon them in the future.

I give them a solid 3.75/5

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