Kinera Bd005 Pro - How much? WWWHHHAAATTT!?
Sometimes prices don't match up with build or sound quality. Most of the time this leaves you feeling disappointed or frustrated but what if there was an IEM that made you feel like you owe the manufacturer more money?
The Kinera Bd005 Pro is a budget friendly IEM at $50usd but should they charge more? Sometimes a budget IEM will "scale" with higher priced source gear, which can increase their value, does the Bd005 Pro do that?
HifiGo provided the Kinera Bd005 Pro for review and only asked for an honest review. I wasn't influenced or directed or paid to sway this review one way or another. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Configuration: (1 Beryllium Coated Dynamic + 1 Knowles 30095 Balanced Armature)
Sensitivity: 108 dB
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20000 Khz
The Kinera Bd005 Pro comes in a small, hexagon box that is both pleasing and simple. I do wish that the writing was a little bit easier on the eyes but it is legible even for these old man eyes.
Lifting off the outer box, on the inside lid you will find a special thanks to some of those involved in designing the Bd004 Pro, this is a nice touch. In the bottom box, there is a good amount of padding with a hexagon cutout that holds a carrying case. You also get some paperwork that gives details on where and how to contact Kinera on the web and a user guide that is easier to read then the box back. The carry case is of standard build for the price point, nothing special here. There is a bit of Kinera branding on the front but nothing special to behold.
Inside the carry case, the amount of contents provided are underwhelming to say the least; 3 pairs of silicone tips (small, medium, large), a cable and the IEM.
This is one of the most basic accessory provisions ever but I will let it slide for the price, as I don't buy an IEM for the accessories.
The Kinera Bd005 Pro may be limited in accessories but are not limited in build quality, for the price. You can purchase them in 3 different colors, jewel red, murky blue and granite grey. Hifigo asked me which color I preferred for review and I asked for the granite grey. I am impressed with the quality build and light weight of the 3d printed shell.
The faceplate of each shell has the Kinera logo and some gold speckles. The Bd005 Pro doesn't feel cheap at all, this feels better in the hand and ear then most $50 IEM. The curves, dips and lips fit my ear very well. A side note, my wife, who has very small ears and struggles with most IEM fit, except for the Moondrop SSR, found the Bd005 Pro very easy to insert and more comfortable then the SSR.
I have to give credit to Kinera for not cheaping out on the cable. The stock cable is lovely and is way nicer then most in this price bracket. The Bd005 Pro cable is well behaved in every way desired, no tangle, no twisting, controlled ear hooks, soft and smooth and an inline microphone.
Overall, the build quality from the cable to shells is exceptional and well exceeds my expectations for a $50 IEM.
Even though Kinera only provided one set of silicone tips in 3 different sizes, they picked the right one for the Bd005 Pro. The stock tips are donut shaped, fat, short and wide bored. I really like these tips, which is not what I thought when I first saw them. Comfort that the stock tips provide is exceptional. The isolation is adequate enough for office duty or a walk in the park, these aren't good for public transit or noisy environments. But the tips are on the small side so they may not fit all ear shapes. I had to use the large tips and they were still a bit small for me. The shell of the Bd005 Pro fits me like a glove when paired with the stock tips; I can wear the Bd005 Pro for hours on end. But, I found that using the JVC spiral dots sounded slightly better and offered better seal and comfort.
The motto of Kinera is "Make it Clear - Make it Real", does the Kinera Bd005 Pro do that?
I didn't test out the inline microphone.
The stock tips are good enough and offer a solid seal and a sound that is pleasing but had a tad too much sizzle in the upper mids and lower treble for my liking. The JVC spiral dot tips that I used helped to tame that sizzle a tad and added in a smidge more seal. All sound impressions are based off usage with the JVC spiral dot tips.
The Kinera Bd005 Pro bass is pronounced but not overpowering, detailed and pleasing. There is a fun aspect to the bass but it never dominates so I wouldn't categorize as a basshead IEM. There is good reach into the sub bass and the mid bass has ample impact for my preferences. The Bd005 Pro is more about the details then the impact even though it has good power and punch. For me, this hits the spot of a fun IEM, as I am not a basshead and I prefer details over impact.
The mids for the Kinera Bd005 Pro have an airy, clean, slightly warm approach but can sound slightly thin, especially in the lower section. The lower mids have less body then the upper mids but it isn't enough to be a distraction for me. There is an emphasis on details in the mids, just like with the bass. If you like to hear small details from the vocalist or an instrument then the Bd005 Pro will be pleasing to your ears. If you put more emphasis on body and note weight then then you may be somewhat disappointed. Putting the stock tips on brought out more unevenness and they were less cohesive. I find the mids are very pleasing sounding and rank among the best in a v-shape signature for vocals that I have heard, taking the $50 usd price into consideration. Sadly, when boosting the volume to max listening level tolerances the Bd005 Pro will sound somewhat harsh and aggressive in the upper mids. The Bd005 Pro is more pleasing at average to lower listening levels.
The Kinera Bd005 Pro treble is interesting. The lower treble section is more dominate then the mid and upper treble, even though there is an okay amount of extension. There is an adequate amount of air with the Bd005 Pro. There is good clarity in the presentation and unless you boost the listening levels the harshness and aggression stay away. The somewhat earlier roll off in the upper treble keeps the Bd005 Pro from shredding the ears all the while still providing adequate room and space without sounding stuffy. For the most part, this is a very well controlled treble even though it is somewhat domineering in presentation, especially in the lower sectors. With the stock tips, the lower treble domination is more evident.
The Kinera Bd005 Pro really impressed me with its the soundstage and imaging capabilities. There is a nice width without sounding artificial. The depth and layering complement the width to provide a pleasing realistic stage. The details, vocals and instruments are easy to place and seat. There is a good sense of accuracy and distance. The Kinera Bd005 Pro is a solid option for gaming and Netflix bingeing.
The Kinera Bd005 Pro also surprises with the amount of details it provides. Sadly, the resolution of those details is just about average. But, the Bd005 Pro does seem to "scale" with better source gear, more on that in the pairing section. I never was disappointed in the amount of details and the resolution of the portrayed details. It was only at higher volumes that the resolution limitations appeared more prominent. For the price, I am very content with the Bd005 Pro.
Now the tone and timbre of the Kinera Bd005 Pro is not the most natural and realistic. But it isn't badly off the mark. Most acoustic and string instruments, along with woodwinds will sound very satisfactory. Brass instruments will tend to have a slight metallic twinge and cymbals also will be a bit too splashy at times. I actually don't mind the tone and timbre of the Bd005 Pro and find it very pleasing for the price and for being a v-shape IEM.
A very pleasing experience, solid bass detail and impact, mids were energetic and the treble was sparkling.
NextDrive Spectra X:
Took the Bd005 Pro up a notch with a slight advantage in details, resolution and stage range; all the while keeping the bass detailed and impactful, mids energetic and organic and treble sparkling. This is a sign that the Bd005 Pro "scales" when paired with higher quality source gear.
This was not a favorite pairing of mine, very surprising. There was a glare and sheen in the mids and treble that was very annoying on each and every song.
Ok this pairing is a bit over the top for sure but wow does it sound good.
This is good proof that the Kinera Bd005 Pro does scale with better source gear and that the Sony NW-WM1a is not selective in gear pairings. Bass has a quality heft to it, mids have nice warm hint and the treble has good clarity and authority. Overall, this is a very pleasing sound that I thoroughly enjoy, even with the exaggerated price tag difference.
The Bd005 Pro has the advantage with bass impact and isn't as bright or forward as the SSR. But the SSR has slightly better detail retrieval and resolution, tone and timbre is more natural and realistic. The SSR and Bd005 Pro are similar in soundstage width, depth and layering but the SSR has a small advantage in precision and separation.
Tin Hifi T2:
The Bd005 Pro is more fun sounding and the T2 is more analytical. Tone and timbre is immediately recognized on the T2 as superior in this comparison, the T2 is more natural and realistic. The T2 has the edge in detail retrieval and resolution. The Bd005 Pro has the advantage in bass impact and treble emphasis. The T2 has more accurate note weight and density.
Jade Audio EA1:
The Jade Audio EA1 has a warmer, cohesive and balanced sound, mids are more full and defined, treble has a bit more extension and a little more lift in the top end. The EA1 soundstage is very similar and hard to hear anything that stands out from the Bd005 Pro. Tone and timbre is more natural and realistic on the EA1. Detail retrieval is similar but the slight edge in resolution goes to the EA1.
I really like the Kinera Bd005 Pro and think that it is a solid budget option. Is it the best that there is in its price range, not really. Is it the worst that there is in its price, definitely not. There is a lot to like about the BD005 Pro and not too much to dislike. From the solid build and comfort, to the detailed sound, fun and pleasant v-shape signature, deep and wide stage and the "scale" capabilities on higher quality source gear, the Kinera Bd005 Pro offers a good experience on a budget. At times, I feel like the Kinera Bd005 Pro is worthy of a higher price but then I compare it to other gear in the price range and I am brought down to reality, the Kinera Bd005 Pro is priced right where it should be.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
DBS Tech Talk research and review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms and Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer :2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: Believe - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - Passenger 57 main title - percussion, bass, seperation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - The Pine of the Appian Way - soundstage, imaging and seperation
Houston Person - You are my Sunshine - tone and timbre
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