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IN-EAR

KB04

KBEAR

Rating

Price

7.7

20 €

Review published:

05/2020

Driver

2

per Side

1

Dynamic

1

Balanced

Impedance

24 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

8

Bass

7.5

Mids

7.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

111 dB

7.7

Handling

8

Haptic

B

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

7 - 40000 Hz

Intro

KBEAR shot up out of nowhere in 2019 and quickly gained recognition through aggressive marketing. Meanwhile they are even sponsor of a renowned hifi platform and their product frequency is also quite sporty. I find it hard to recommend a model really fully, even if they always come at a really fair price. However, no product could really convince me yet and that's the same with the KBEAR KB04.

I would like to mention that KBEAR still has a subsidiary company called TRI, where they sell the more expensive and definitely better products. The i4 is, in my opinion, somewhat wrongly under the radar, although it even relies on a Knowles driver in a hybrid combo and really has a well tuned V-signature. Their line-up is joined by the i3 with a planar, dynamic and BA driver and recently a hybrid with electrostatic drivers has even been released.

Handling

The packaging is mostly simple, as is customary for KBEAR, and the contents will not attract any unboxing fans behind the sofa. A few silicone tips, and an admittedly really good budget cable.

The KB04 is completely made of metal and therefore very robust. Due to its polished surface you can see every fingerprint, so it won't look too valuable anymore. To avoid damage to the cable connection, the 2-pin connector is turned inside out.

The wearing comfort is basically good, even if it does not have the most ergonomic design. Due to its hard edges, there could be problems with smaller ears.

The insulation is averagely good and can be further improved with foamtips.

Sound

The KB04 used a dynamic and a BA driver. As usual the dynamic driver is responsible for the bass, which is tuned quite naturally and with an emphasis on the mid-bass. It lacks sub-bass and firmness, but it has a nice soft punch and gives the signature a good structure. However, I find it sometimes a bit imprecise and tends to booming, but still one of the most successful in terms of the KB04.

The mids are largely spared by the bass, even if the upper bass colours the lower mids a bit. Despite the bass influence they sound slightly thin and a bit too bright. Male voices are mostly more distanced than their counterparts. The emphasis on the upper mids makes them harsh and the mids can scream in your face sometimes more, sometimes less. It's a pity, because actually the tuning of the mids isn't that wrong at all, with their bright, energetic and detailed nature, but for me they are unfortunately a bit too exhausting. I like brass instruments quite well and female voices are very lively, but also demanding.

The highs are on a similar level as the mids. They don't burn off any detail fireworks, but provide an airy sound without becoming too artificial. Nevertheless, they are problematic in combination with the mids. We have a moderate to strong sibilant emphasis and here and there there are also unpleasant moments when it favours the music.
The KB04 is not a relaxed IEM, but it can score with a very good resolution and separation.

In general, the spatial representation is on a good level. There is something missing in the depth, but the panorama picture is well constructed.

Outro

I would rate the KB04 together with the KB06 as the best it can get from KBEAR at the moment, even if that doesn't mean you get an above average IEM here. (I haven't heard the DIAMOND yet, but it is supposed to be a lucky choice). The KB04 sounds more open and lively than the KB06, which is not as emphasized in the mids and is more relaxed, with a loss of clarity.
The KB04 is a little too brisk for me. If one would rework here again, a really good hybrid could be created. So I don't think the KB04 will stay in the field of vision for long, even though it's really not bad and has potential. Besides, the KB04 is not the best all-rounder. But I miss some sub-bass and because of the partly harsh mids and highs it makes only selected music enjoyable for a long time, respectively you should always keep an eye on the volume.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

DIAMOND

DIAMOND

KB06

KB06

F1

F1

KS2

KS2

Hi7

Hi7

LARK

LARK

KB04

KB04

OPAL

OPAL

Second Opinion

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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