BUDGET
IN-EAR

OPAL

KBEAR

Rating

Price

6.4

25 €

Review published:

06/2019

Driver

1

per Side

1

Dynamic

0

Balanced

Impedance

16 Ohm

Piezo

0

Sound

7

Bass

5.5

Mids

6

Trebles

Sensitivity

102 dB

6.2

Handling

8.5

Haptic

C

Value

-

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 20000 Hz

Intro

KB EAR is new on the market and probably related to the company KINBOOFI. Their first two models are a single dynamic driver "OPAL" and a single BA driver "F1".
However, with the KB10 they now have another pure 5-BA-In-Ear in their portfolio, which optically resembles the CCA A10 and KZ AS16 and also shares the drivers with the CCA A10, KZ AS10, KZ BA10 and the TRIPOWIN TP10. Back to the OPAL: it resembles optically in-ears like the GEEKWORLD GK3, or YINYOO A8, but has more to offer in terms of sound, but is not a new budget revelation. According to the manufacturer, a revised version will be released in the near future, which will be tonal improved once again, but it remains to be seen whether they really do this effort.

Handling

The case is quite common and does not aim at the currently so popular custom shape, but is kept simpler. Nevertheless, the Opal is extremely comfortable to wear, which is due to its weight, but also to its basically ergonomic fit.
Optically, the outer carbon pattern, which can be changed like a nodding image, and the gold-plated sound openings are a highlight.

The included accessories are as spartan as Knowledge Zenith, or CCA, but basically nothing more is needed. We get 3 silicone attachments in different sizes and an acceptable 4-core copper MMCX cable.

The isolation is averagely good, shields you from the outside world even at moderate volume and doesn't bother your neighbours if you don't exaggerate the volume, which is also not recommended for the sound characteristics.

Sound

The OPAL is tuned quite bright and looks quite unnatural when it comes to tuning, especially in the mids.

The bass is fast and precise and has a little more output in the sub-bass than in the mid-bass. It appears balanced, but doesn't have the pressure to make bass heads happy. It also collapses quite quickly, especially in mid-bass, which is more reminiscent of a BA driver. This sometimes makes the OPAL sound a bit thin and weak on the chest. If you prefer a somewhat milder and faster bass, you'll like the bass presentation of the OPAL.

The mids have a clear peak in the upper range, which makes voices sound quite hard and screaming. But this also depends on the volume. In addition, they lack warmth and volume due to the lower midrange and the restrained presentation of the bass. This puts the voices more into the background, which makes them lack intimacy and the mids can't really shine with a natural music/voice reproduction. This is also reflected in the stage. This is strikingly wide and offers a positive element of surprise at the beginning, but somehow everything sounds quite distant and strange after a while. Thus a somewhat strange stereo image is created, but one can get used to it.

Like the mids, the highs often go into the hot range. Surprisingly, the sibilants aren't affected, but it's often quite sharp and unpleasant when you turn up the volume of your favorite songs a bit too much, or want to hear them as loud as you're used to. The detail rendition is not worth mentioning and at best average. The highs are a bit too bright without giving the OPAL any brilliance in the high frequency range. It also doesn't make a positive contribution to the lack of warmth in the midrange. But in my opinion, they play a little more accurately and naturally than the mid-range.

Outro

When you hear the OPAL for the first time, you don't necessarily expect a dynamic driver in it. It sounds more like a BA driver, but cannot cover the whole frequency range. This makes the OPAL sound thinner, less emotional and brighter than you would expect from a dynamic driver. If you prefer a brighter sound, with a tight bass that acts well in the sub range, and accentuated upper mids (there's a buyer for everything), you can take a look. But there are much better alternatives in the price segment!

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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