KB Ears KS2: What does a bear sound like? Anything it wants

What does a bear sound like? Anything it wants

Pros: Inexpensive
Nice cable
Affordable
Pleasant sound sig

Cons: Nothing really separates it from the rest
Tough segment

KB Ear KS2 ($25): What does a bear sound like? Anything it wants

KB Ear Store

The KBear KS2 was sent to me for review purposes. It is also understood that the unit may be asked to be returned at any time or forwarded to another for review purposes. Selling for a profit is not only discouraged, but is highly frowned upon, unethical, and uncool. Don’t do it.

The KS2 has had many reviews already posted, to mostly positive acclaim. Mimicking the KS/ZST/CCA look and feel, KBear is pretty straightforward in whom they are shooting for with the KS2. The lower priced entry models for those who want to move away from the stock Smartphone buds. I don’t blame them as that is a quite profitable area, with many changes happening quite quickly. Having a good product with which to start certainly lays the groundwork for future iterations.

I thank KBear for the review sample, and as agreed upon will provide an honest assessment of the KS2. To not do so benefits no-one, and is also not cool.

Specs:

Model:KBEAR KS2
Headphone type:In-ear headphones
Headphone output source:HiFi
Sensitivity:106dB ±3dB
Cell Impedance:16Ω
Frequency response range:20-20kHz

From the site:

About this item:

  • 【Translucent Resin Cavity Stylish Design】The cabinet cavity of KBEAR KS2 is made of imported high-density PC material which can well suppress the diffuse reflection of sound waves inside the cavity. Through the optimization of the internal cavity acoustic structure, the overall sound is more warm and charming, and the soft and mellow audio performance is reproduced as the real picture. Translucent resin material, bright streamer, full of beauty and technology!
  • 【1BA + 1DD 10mm Composite Diaphragm (PU+biological diaphragm) Unit】 ts powerful low frequency response and transparent and mellow midrange performance, wide sound field, shocking sound quality. The mid-to-high frequency uses customized moving iron units, which can effectively improve the vocal resolution, the mid-frequency density is balanced, the sound is more mellow, the high-frequency is transparent and smooth, showing richer instrument details and delicate music which performed.
  • 【COMFORTABLE & EXCELLENT SOUND】 The mid-low frequency has rich infectant power and relaxed and natural characteristics. The mid-high frequency has nice resolution, transient and ductility. KBEAR KS2 is equipped with a combination of BA DD through electronic frequency division processing, so that each unit can give full play to its performance and achieve accurate and delicate performance. Reproduce the sound effects loyal to the original sound, bring charm and dynamic.
  • 【Removable Cable & Ealuminum Alloy Nozzle】4 strands of 6N OFC high-quality wires not only effectively improve the transparency, separation, sound field, making the sound bottom crystal clear, vocals and musical instruments are more beautiful and beautiful, but also reduce signal transmission lost. Exchangeable 2PIN wire design improves the playability. and a limit slot is added to extend the life of the headset. KBEAR KS2 adopts aluminum alloy nozzle, which making the mid-bass clean and smooth.


1. 10mm Composite Diaphragm (PU+Biological Diaphragm) Dynamic Driver

Tailor-made mellow sound quality, built-in 10mm composite diaphragm dynamic driver , its powerful low frequency response and transparent and mellow midrange performance, wide sound field, shocking sound quality, comprehensively improve the sound quality.

2. Advanced Customized Balanced Armature Driver

The mid-to-high frequency uses advanced customized balanced armature driver, which can effectively improve the vocal resolution, the mid-frequency density is balanced, the sound is more mellow, the high-frequency is transparent and smooth, the lines are full, showing richer instrument details and more delicate music which performed.



In The Box:

IEM
Cable (2-pin 0.78mm)
3 sets silicon tips (s, m, l)
That’s it-minimalistic


Gear Used/Compared:

NiceHCK X49 ($17)
CVJ CSA ($27)
Shuoer Tape ($129)

Shanling M0
Shanling M6 Pro (it’s what I had on hand at the time…)
iPhone XS Max (w/DDHiFi TC35i dongle)
MacBook Pro (Tidal Premium)

Songs used:

Dave Mathews albums, Come Tomorrow, Away From The World
Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
Los Lobos album, Disconnected In New York City
twenty one pilots-Trees
twenty one pilots-Car Radio
twenty one pilots-Heathens
twenty one pilots-Forest
Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
twenty one pilots album, Trench
Mark Knopfler album, Down The Road Wherever



Unboxing:

Pretty straight and simple. The KBear comes in a KZ-sized white carboard box, laden with the IEM on the front, specs on the back. Sometimes simplicity is good, other times not. This would be a case of the former. Good.

Eschewing the overpopulated black, I opted for the semi-transparent green, sans mic. Clean and clear, I like it. Along with the IEM, the 0.78mm 2-pin copper cable lies under the well-presented IEM. Exactly like you would find on a KZ/ZST/CCA, this cable does not have the super-tactility of the others. IE: stickiness. Another good in my book.



Build/Fit/Functionality:

The shell is made of a polycarbonate material, with no obvious flaws like some in this range (and above unfortunately), and I would call this appropriate for the price. Another nice touch is the aluminum alloy nozzle attached to the shell (making 3 parts total). An unexpected treat, the nozzle is on the longer and wider side, which KBear says makes the IEM last longer. I’m not sure how that would work, but.

Having on dynamic driver (10mm) and one balanced armature along with 16Ohm impedance and 106dB sensitivity makes the KS2 easier to drive than some of its rivals. I can confer with those findings as the KS2 does seem easy to drive. Since this is designed to be used as a Smartphone replacement headphone, that only makes sense. And it works out that way.

The shape of the IEM itself fits neatly inside my average-sized ear canals without fuss. Sitting deeper than many of late, that wide & long nozzle does not hinder my comfort or the sound. Settling on the large included silicon’s, I was able to attain a solid seal, commensurate with this price, and in fact better than most. So far, the KS2 comes across as unassuming, and unoffensive. Two positives.

Sound:

Patterned (according to their literature) as slightly warm and inviting, I again concur with their advertising. It is also v-shaped. Even I can sense that. While neither bass nor treble is over-emphasized, they definitely take the front. Vocals are not subdued or withdrawn that much though, and overall it is a pleasantly warm signature, which fits my bill. For the price, even better.

The bass is solid without being bossy or boomy. Nicely detailed and present at the right level, there is a contented amount and presence in the lower regions. It does not offend me, and only covers the lower mids a bit from my “expert” listening.

Moving to the opposite end, the treble sparks a bit of sparkle, but not in gratuitous amounts. No, there is not bitey sound here, just a bit of that gleaming up top, which leaves the listener with a satisfied, pleasantness to the music. Too often the low-end of ChiFi sparks immensity in the upper regions. So much so, that the sound has been deemed the “far east” sound signature. I will admit that is not for me, and I am grateful for this lack of in the KS2. This signature also enhances the feel of voluminous sound stage nicely. A good complimentary accompaniment as well.

So far there is not too much wrong with the KS2, and that continues with soundstage, as it is just about right. Decently tall and deep, width is there to give a good 3-dimensional sound. As a result, and paired with good transparency and resolution, the KS2 presents an honest separation of those sounds and placement comes across as intended. Because of that transparency, layering shows well as a result and instrumentation is quite good for this price. For a $25 IEM, the KS2 is showing off its mettle well. To me this shows just how far the low end of ChiFi have come. Maybe it is the “western” tuning, or that the quality of the products has jumped so much you do begin to truly appreciate that higher quality offered.


Comparisons:

KBEar KS2 ($25) v NiceHCK X49 ($17):

As a slender bullet-built bud, the X49 performs well. For the price you are hard bent to beat it. I would take it over most “stock IEM’s included in Smartphones, simply because it is easy to use, cheap of price, and provides a quality sound. You could call this an “engaging” sound, because the mids are more forward as well as being prominent.

Where the X49 projects, the KS2 invites. Where the X49 exudes prominent confidence, the KS2 emits quiet assurance. Where the X49 provides robust, but untamed bass, the KS2 gives quality and present bass. You get the point. If you want a more in your face/EDM type of bud, the X49 would be a good choice. If you want a more mellow (KBEar’s own words) sound, which provides good quality, then the KS2 is the choice.


KBEar KS2 ($25) v CVJ CSA ($27):

The entry level CVJ is not a bad product in itself, either. Providing a “more energetic” sound akin to ChiFi of old, the top end does get tiresome at higher volume to me, but there is a certain good quality about the mids and vocals, which can keep you engaged. For me though, that mellow full, warmer tonality of the KS2 wins out. That flavor is more in my taste anyway.


KBEar KS2 ($25) v Shuoer Tape ($129):

I add something that cost 5x more here to show what can be done at the $25 price point. Those who like “highly” energetic buzzy sounds will enjoy the Tape. Using that electrostat to send energetic vibes to your ears, it does work. But I cannot get past the overall lack of pretty much everything else. For my personal tastes, it is one of the lowest scoring I have had. And here is where the KS2 shines. For 1/5 the price, you get a bit of warmth (personal I know), a bit of richness, and a low end that is present without intruding. You also get a bit of sparkle up top, which stays that way as the volume rises. Not so with the other three compared here. They all to a “T” become bitey up top, to the point that I either turn the volume down, or switch IEM’s.


Conclusion:

Finishing the last paragraph, what the KS2 provides over the other three is a quality sound, that invites you to either listen while having that dram of single malt or raise the volume with some local lager. Either way, the KS2 provides a very good end listening platform with which to finish your day. Or start, sans the alcohol (please…). Either way, the KS2 does not bother me with fallacies that are enough to cause me to switch units. I happily listen for that short time frame or longer as needed, and after all; isn’t that the point? To listen?

I thank KBEar for the review sample, I am also grateful for their patience during this world time. The wait is worth it, as the KS2 is one of my top choices at the sub-$50 IEM price, and certainly at its current price of $22-25. Cheers now go enjoy.

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