Having just arrived yesterday, the H3 will be undergoing much listening, over the next week or so, but before that I thought some initial impressions would be good.
I want to thank Steve at Kinera Audio for arranging a review pair. His only request was that I provide an honest review in a timely (yikes!!) manner. I will do my best.
I chose the red color, when ordering. My thought was that this would be a color not chosen by many of the reviewers…I was wrong…Oh well.
I am not one for silicon tips, except on my excellent FLC8S, which does seem odd, but perfectly acceptable. That said, the only Comply’s, which I had handy were a pair of TS-600 Comfort-style. While they do fit, not having a lip on the nozzle along with a smaller than the Comply diameter means I have to pay particular attention to egress of the IEM. So far so good, only one tip momentarily lost…phew!
My initial listen was for only 45 minutes, with a further hour, today. Based upon that, though I do believe Kinera has a winner on their hands. And the little critter can be had for less than retail on Massdrop right now. Even for the full retail of near $100, it is a good deal…so far…
Fit and finish are very good. No mismatched seams with the back plate and chamber could be found. Plus, they do have an almost CIEM-look and fit to me, which is quite good, too. I like memory wire, and thus accept the slight learning curve with each pair I test. While not as easy to use as the Custom Art Harmony 8.2/Ei-xx, the ingress/egress of the H3 is quite good. I like the cable, too. It is soft and supple. That said, it is quite tactile, almost “sticking” to my clothing at various times. I have another review unit (an earbud from another manufacturer), and the cable on that is to me, much better. No stick, no tangle, etc. But, the H3 cable does not tangle, only the tactility problem.
How does it sound, you might ask, after listening to that drivel above? Well, coming from the Custom Art pair, I was actually very impressed. A solid foundation laid down by the bass, supported by a taller than normal sound stage and excellent clarity (forget price, even…) were what I noticed, first. Treble. which can SEEM a bit odd, helps bracket the decent mids. Male and Female vocals are quite detailed, and very listenable. By that, I mean you are not bothered, or “tolerate” the vocals of a song, just because the rest of the IEM works.
Listening to Jascha Heifitz interpretation of Pablo de Sarasate, Zigeunerweisen Op.20, one is drawn into his intoxicating violin. A stunning violin player, widely thought to be one of the best, or best of all time, the H3 does the song justice. Running the YouTube version through my MacBook Pro and iFi iDSD Micro Black Label, I am taking in…simply superb details, and a blackness that makes me anticipate each note. I dare not breathe, almost…
I am thoroughly impressed by the depth of bass, and there is even some rumble! Add very good clarity, a sufficiently wide sound stage, separation that would make more expensive IEM’s blush, and details of very good order, and I am impressed.
Thanks, and a more detailed review will be published here and on Head-Fi. Cheers!