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Review - Kinera BD005 Pro (sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 


The Kinera BD005 Pro have been sent to by HifiGo in exchange for this review. They have not requested anything specific, except for the inclusion of links to their store and the product, however, as always, it is good to be aware of the fact that I have received these IEMs for free.

You can find the Kinera BD005 Pro on HifiGo.com here: https://hifigo.com/products/kinera-bd005-pro-3d-printed-hybrid-in-ear-earphone

They are also available from HifiGo on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YYW5RT5/in+ear+monitors 

Intro…

Kinera are a brand that have become well known in the IEM market and have released some very good looking, and well performing, IEMs. The BD005 Pro was released earlier this year and is a budget offering from the brand, coming in at just over 40€ (from HifiGo at the time of writing this review), they are placed well within the sub 50€ category that I like to mention on Acho Reviews.

With a hybrid set up, stated as using a 9.2mm Beryllium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver along with a custom tuned Knowles 30095 series high-frequency BA driver, this is actually my first experience with Kinera and I was interested to see how they fair not only in general but also against some of my favourite sub 50€ sets.



Presentation…

The first break from the norm is the box in which the BD005 Pro arrives. Although it is simple cardboard packaging, the box is hexagonal and stands out from the usual square or rectangular boxes that I am used to receiving with IEMs in this price range. Obviously this doesn’t make them any better (or worse), but it does make them stand out.

Inside the box we receive the IEMs, a cable with an inline microphone (at least in the case of the ones I have received), three sets of silicone tips and a round carrying case (along with the usual documentation).

Again, there is nothing extraordinary about the presentation but they do include enough content to be adequate at their price range.

If I had to complain about the contents, which is not obligatory but I will anyway, it would be about the included tips. The tips are also a break from the norm, being very short and small. I was very curious to see how this shape of tip reacted but unfortunately all the sizes are too small for me to get a correct seal, therefore I have had to use other tips.



Build an aesthetics…

The BD005 Pro uses a 3D printed shell which, in my case, is dark red with gold speckles under the finish, along with Kinera in gold letters. The finish is very smooth and follows a shape that I find to be very comfortable, once they are in I do not feel any discomfort.

I see no apparent flaws in build quality and in general have no complaints about the build or aesthetics. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I like the looks and feel that they do not look cheap.

The included cable is also surprisingly good for a cable with inline microphone. To be honest, I don’t receive many IEMs with inline mics and most of the cables that do have them are from KZ. I much prefer the Kinera cable to those included with the KZ models and am happy to have a spare cable with a mic (I always like to keep a spare IEM cable with mic in my bag just in case).



Sound…

As I couldn’t use the included tips, I played around with various options to see which I preferred as far as comfort and sound. To be honest, while there are obvious sound differences, as with all tip changes on IEMs, I didn’t find them to be extreme changes. In the end, I opted for using the Xelastec tips which I find very comfortable and believe they also gave that little extra % to the Kinera’s.

My first impressions of the BD005 Pro was that it was a very safe V shaped tuning, however, after further listening and tests, I find that it is not quite as V shaped as I first thought. Yes, there is the typical recess in the mids in comparison to the lows and highs, but I feel that the lows are not quite as boosted as on many other sets.

I also found that these IEMs benefit from some extra amplification. While the volume they reach from a cell phone or the MW200 is sufficient, I did find that plugging them into the Atom made them seem more alive and background details became more apparent. It’s not like they completely changed but I found that amplification was certainly worth it.

In the subbass regions, I found that there was some roll off when stretching down to the lowest notes, although nothing too bad. Using the track “Chameleon” as a reference, yes there is subass down there but it is not quite as rumbling as it is on so many bass boosted sets. This is not a bad thing in my opinion as the BD005 Pro doesn’t let the subbass take over the whole low end, something that I do not like on many V shaped offerings.

In the mid and high bass regions, there is more presence but it is kept pretty well under control. Bass hits are good and well controlled, although I do feel that some tracks lack a little more power when short and precise bass hits happen. It is by no means bad, and I much prefer it to lack a little power rather than be sloppy and uncontrolled, but when listening to tracks like “No Sanctuary Here” by Marian Herzog feat Chris Jones, you don’t quite feel the hits like you do on some of the other sets I will mention later in the review. The same sensation comes across in “Bury a Friend” but when moving to tracks that use bass guitars instead of electronic bass, the tonality is pleasant and I prefer to have correct tonality over extra slam due to my preferences in music.

In the lower mid range, the transition from the bass is also something I found to be cleaner when using amplification, although this could just be in my brain (as could everything). The transition is clean enough to not feel bloated or as if the bass bleeds over. When listening to tracks such as “The Room” by Ostura, there is enough separation between the drums, bass and guitar in order to appreciate the distinct instruments. The lower mids are actually quite clean and well presented.

In fact, the whole of the midrange is slightly recessed but it is not absent at all. Even though there is a dip in the mids, voices are still present and have a nice touch to them. The midrange is actually very clean, throughout the whole of the mids, and although it does come across as slightly sterile at times, it really isn’t anything to complain about.

Moving up into the higher regions, this is where I usually find fault with IEMs in this price range and unfortunately the BD005 Pro is no exception. It is certainly not the worst, it is far superior to some other treble offerings in its price bracket, but I just find the treble to be a little too boosted, with some harshness and sibilance appearing at times that can be uncomfortable. It is as though this IEM was tuned to be a very V shaped set and then the bass region was reduced but the treble was left as is. This results in a lot of the music that I listen to, simple acoustic and vocals without much bass boost, comes across as a little harsh and anemic.

This is especially the case with songs like “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton or “Sugar (Acoustic)” by Francesco Yates, songs that are basically an acoustic guitar and a voice. In fact, a good demonstration of what I am referring to would be using the track “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish. The first half of the song is basically her voice with very little backing it, this part comes across as harsh, yet when the bass kicks in around 1:57, as the track has such exaggerated bass, it sort of balances the sound out and takes the focus away from that harsh high region. It is not that it disappears, just that you are not as focused on it.

Sibilance can be an issue with these, as I just mentioned. They are not very forgiving in these ranges and tracks like my usual test of “Code Cool” can certainly get a little hot. 

Speed and dynamics are actually quite impressive, for an IEM in this price range. The dynamic driver does a good job of keeping up with fast paced music. In fact, the dynamic driver does a very good job in general. The BA is also quite capable, but that is to be expected from a BA, it should be able to keep up with the busy stuff.

As far as soundstage and presentation, well, it’s another IEM in the budget range. It is around average in my opinion. I did get the impression that the sound stage improved with amplification but I believe that it was actually the fact that background details were more present, giving the sensation of a bigger presentation and space. The location and placement of images is decent enough, making songs like “Bubbles” be interesting but they are not presented in a way that wows me.



Comparisons…

I don’t usually include specific comparisons in my reviews as I follow the same procedures throughout all of my reviews so it is easy to check the review of another item to see what I feel about the same part of a different product.

However, it has been a while since I did the “Best Purchases Under 50€” and, although I am not going to do any kind of list, I think it is interesting to view the BD005 Pro against some of my preferred budget sets that have been around for a while now. This involved pulling out some IEMs that I haven’t actually listened to in quite some time.

For the sake of making this comparison quick and easy, I used the same cable on all of the IEMs (except the Tin T2+, which I used the same make and model of cable but with MMCX connectors). I also used the same Xelastec tips for all of them, which I find very comfortable and work well with all of the IEMs listed. I also used FLAC files, played from Foobar, via the Schiit Modi 3 into a JDS Labs Atom amplifier. Therefore, the only differences were the IEMs themselves.

As far as music, to keep it short and clean, I picked 8 tracks from my usual test list, trying to cover various genres. The tracks were:

Brian Bromberg - Elephants on Ice Skates

Sara K. - All Your Love (Turned to Passion)

Alison Krauss - Down to the River to Pray

2Pac - Ambitionz Az A Ridah

Rage Against The Machine - Bombtrack

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra - La Luna (Binaural)

Marian Herzog feat. Chris Jones - No Sanctuary Here

Trentemoller - Chameleon


KZ ZS10 Pro

The first comparison was with a set of IEMs that I haven’t listened to in a very long time, he KZ ZS10 Pro. While these have been around a long time, they are still mentioned a lot and were actually my main IEMs for live band monitoring for a year or so, with a lot of music listening in between. You can find my original review of them here.

My first listen brought back memories of why I liked and disliked the ZS10 Pro. The details are very good, better than the BD005 Pro in my opinion, but they need a little EQ to sound “correct” when listening to music, something that I did not do in this case. They also have that slight metallic touch to the high end, something that KZ has reduced a lot over the years and the Kinera does not seem to suffer from.

The subbass is more present and boosted on the ZS10 Pro than the BD005 Pro, resulting in much more rumble when listening to “Chameleon”, however, when listening to other tracks that are more acoustical in nature, or even "Bombtrack", I find the ZS10 Pro to be harsher, with the BD005 Pro being more relaxed and a more enjoyable listening experience in my opinion.

If you want detail, then I think that the ZS10 Pro is certainly above the Kinera option but for a more relaxed listen, I would choose the BD005 Pro. The Kinera also need more power to reach the same volume levels and come alive, whereas the ZS10 Pro give a similar response even at really low levels.


Moondrop SSP

While I didn’t go crazy about these IEMs in my review, which you can see here, I did say that they were good and were sort of a guilty pleasure IEM. Over time, this feeling has grown. I find the SSP to be a set of IEMs that has more bass than I would usually choose but that I always enjoy listening to when I am in that mood.

I actually listened to the SSP quite often for some time and they were something I usually kept in my bag as a backup set of IEMs until not too long ago. In comparison to the BD005 Pro, the first thing that stands out is that the SSP need even more power than the Kinera do. 

As far as sound, I was surprised to find that I really didn’t find them more bassy than the BD005 Pro. In fact, I found the Kinera to have more of a bass hit and more rumble than the SSP. As far as the rest of the sound, I really like the Moondrop tuning (as you have probably noticed in my other reviews) and the SSP is no exception. I do feel that the BD005 Pro has the edge in the treble, even though it is harsher and can present sibilance, it does have more extension and gives a better sensation of “air” than the SSP.


KZ DQ6

These are a set of IEMs that were a break from the norm for KZ and I found rather impressive, even if they still had flaws, my original review can be found here. The comparison here is between the 3xDD of the DQ6 vs a 1xDD+1xBA of the Kinera.

I forgot to drop the volume level when switching from the BD005 Pro to the DQ6 and it immediately reminded me of how much more efficient these are! I also immediately remembered what I like about these IEMs.

They have better extension in the subbass regions and the bass and mids are also very pleasing to me, especially their tonality. Where the DQ6 fails, or at least is not up to my preferences, is in the treble regions, just like the BD005 Pro. Both sets can be a little hot and sibilant, causing moments of displeasure. I remember that I had to play around with multiple tips on the DQ6 to reduce the sibilance and I guess that the Xelastec were not one of those sets. The extension is again better on the Kinera in the higher regions, with the DQ6 falling a little behind, although the harshness and sibilance is a toss up between the two.

One thing to point out is that when a track is overly bassy in its recording, the DQ6 can get quite overpowering, with a bit too much bass and harsh highs, meaning that for tracks with a V shaped recording, the Kinera do keep them a little more under control (even with the harsh highs).


Tin T2+

The Tin T2+ have been a recommendation of mine in the sub 50€ category since I first tried them, you can see the review here. I find them to be a set of IEMs that adapt very well to different genres, having tons of bass when needed but not seemingly over bassy when the song doesn’t call for it.

As far as the general tuning, I think that the T2+ is still more impressive than the BD005 Pro but I think that the overall tonality, especially in the mids and higher bass regions is much more agreeable on the Kineras. 

The T2+ can be much more “in your face” than the BD005 Pro but at the same time, I do find the highs to be smoother. They still have their moments of sibilance and are certainly not perfect but I find them more detailed and more impressive than the BD005 Pro. If you are just wanting a relaxing listen, then the latter are maybe a better bet.


KZ ZAX

Ok, the last set of IEMs are ones that were not inside the sub 50€ range when I reviewed them here but can now be found regularly inside the bracket. I said that the ZAX are the best KZ headphones that I have heard to date and, seeing that I haven’t heard the latest releases, I still maintain that opinion. 

The first thing that stands out with the ZAX after listening to the BD005 Pro is the space and openness in comparison. I remember feeling that these were above average in this regard and my opinion has not changed. Listening to “La Luna (Binaural)”, the difference in space is very noticeable between the two models.

Bass I find to be similar between the sets, with the ZAX taking a small step forwards in subbass, with the mids probably falling towards the BD005 Pro as the ZAX can give a sensation of recessed vocals at times, something that I haven’t really noticed with the Kinera. Up in the treble areas, the ZAX is certainly not as harsh as the BD005 Pro, even if it can present some sibilance at times, feeling more balanced.



Conclusion…

This has actually turned into a longer review than I planned but revisiting the sub 50€ IEMs mentioned above has been fun as I don’t always spend much time with them. When I am not spending time with whatever I am in the process of reviewing, I usually opt for using my favourite stuff and don’t spend enough time revisiting previously reviewed items. So really, regardless of what I think of the BD005 Pro, it has been a fun review.

Which leads me to... what do I actually think of the BD005 Pro?

Well, they are certainly not a bad set of IEMs but they are also nothing groundbreaking. I like the looks, the build, the cables, I am also a fan of the tonality and in general of everything from the mid bass through to the high mids, however, I feel that the harshness of the treble and the lack of detail are what really let these IEMs down.

Again, these are not terrible IEMs, they do a lot of things right, it is just that there is a lot of competition in these price ranges lately and it takes something very special to stand out. I think that maybe the BA driver is the weakest link in these IEMs and it is a shame because everything else seems to click together nicely.

SenyorC