Kinera H3 IEM Review

Kinera established in 2010, fairly new company. Kinera is known for its dual drivers earphone: Kinera BD005, I heard that it’s famous especially in Japan. I’m pretty excited when I saw that Kinera is launching their next flagship triple driver Kinera H3.

With asking price of $99, you’ll get Kinera H3 triple drivers (one dynamic + two balanced armature drivers), a custom looking IEM and replaceable copper cable with silver plating.

The Kinera H3 in earphone comes in a black box with a magnetic clasp, the gold logo against the black color background is a good choice, it looks like an expensive box of chocolate!

Once you open the box, you’ll see 1/4 inch gold plated and airplane adapter. The black protective soft case is a nice addition, especially to protect your Kinera H3 and it’s far better than pouch.

 

Build & Design.

Kinera H3 provides a detachable cable. Kinera H3 is using 2 pin connector cable, it has a blue and red dot to identify the right and the leftl. The cable is soft and light, the 3.5mm connector is a little bit heavy. The cable is flexible and that does help to reduce microphonics significantly which is good. Microphonics refers to the rustling and thumping noises you hear when you tap the cord or when the cord brushes up against something. The ear hook made from transparent plastic and it’s not flexible but it fit nicely into my ear.

While MMCX cable seems more popular (Westone and Shure are using this type of connection) but I think two pin is a better option. I always had this problem where the MMCX cable connection spins whenever I want to wear it, it’s kind of frustrating at time.

The cable itself is made from 6n Silver plated copper. Cable is a pretty important component, it affects the sound quality. 6n is guaranteed to be at least (99.9999%) pure silver. It offers both the advantage of cheaper price from the copper and brightness of the Silver (Silver is known to have the best electrical conductivity and sound transparency). Update: after for a while the cable turn a little bit yellowish 🙁

When I look at Kinera H3 casing, my first impression: what a big shell and how it’s going to fit into my ear. My ear is pretty small often I’ve difficulty to find a sweet spot. Surprisingly enough once I wear it, my initial impression was totally wrong. It’s very comfortable and fit right into my ear, it’s fit even better than Westone UM Pro 10, Shure 235 or 1More, seriously it’s very comfortable.

The casing reminds me of a custom IEM, it does look like one. The black plate with gold Kinera logo on it and transparent blue color for the rest of the casing is pretty nice. It’s seamless design and the whole body is smooth without any edge. You can see the DD (Dynamic Driver) and the BA (Balanced Amateur) through the transparent body.

My only concern is that on the right side of the earphone, I can see some kind of oil layer (maybe it’s leaked lube) and pieces of dried glue. Perhaps it was caused by shipping, I can’t conclude whether this is a QC issue or because of the shipping. After using the earphone for a while I do encounter issue on the right side of unit. There’s no sound at times (so far three or four times), unplug and plug back the cable and after a while the sound will be back.

Other issue that I encounter, not only once but couple of times when I took off the H3 earphone, there was a pop sound and the tip was left out in my ear. this is because the H3 nozzle doesn’t have any additional edge / ring to hold the ear tips.

Sound quality.

Sound stage.
I would say the soundstage and separation is good. In a song that utilized both right and left channel like take five – the Dave Brubeck quartet it’s quite enjoyable. you can hear the placement of instrument from left to right, pretty good width. The depth is also good, the drum at the left back and slightly forward saxophone is pretty clear.

Mids.
the Kinera H3 sound signature is bright, focusing on the mids and highs. the result of this is a clear and detailed mid. I feel that it has forward mids (closer sound of the vocal towards the listener). Listening to Angel – Sarah Mclachlan, the piano and her voice rendered nicely with H3. Sometimes in quiet songs, I could hear hiss…

Highs
As mentioned before that Kinera H3 tonal is towards bright, it’s producing a good and sharp highs. I would say that Kinera H3 is aggressive: at the beginning it caused fatigue on my ears but after some time, apparently it’s getting better.

Sibilance is present, especially in a high pitch female voice. On My Own – Samantha Barks, you can hear the Sibilance quite a lot like when she sang e.g Beside (0:14) arms around me (0:31), and he has found me (0:39), shine (0:49), etc

I can hear the detailed and clear highs in Midnight City – M83. it lack smoothness in some degree because of the sharpness.

Lows
Kinera H3 doesn’t really perform well in the lows, it’s lacking the impact and density needed. it doesn’t mean that it’s not exist at all, I’ve got a bass response from Love lockdown – Kenya West and Beverly Hills Cop – Axel F but I feel that the bass sounded too thin. In some song it lack of details and quantity, overshadowed by the mids and aggressive highs.

Overall

Kinera did a great job with the custom IEM looks and excellent fit and ergonomic. This might be an IEM that suit you, if you prefer a bright sound signature, a clear vocal with minimum bass. If you like bass, especially basshead you may find Kinera H3 is very lacking in the bass region. If you have sensitive ear, you’ll find that the high is too sharp and sibilance could be quite annoying

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