The all-new H3, a triple driver hybrid from Kinera, arrived yesterday to great anticipation. After spending a few hours yesterday, and many more today listening to them I would like to share with you some extended impressions.
Huge thanks to Steve at Kinera for reaching out to see if I would be interested in reviewing these.
The H3 uses two balanced armature (BA) drivers and one dynamic driver (DD) to deliver what I am finding to be a very well-rounded and flushed out signature. Treble is extended and prominent with an airy, detailed presentation. At times the H3 can be a bit bright, but it’s not a constant and seems to be dependent on the track. One quality I appreciate is that while the H3 is very detailed in the treble regions, its not unforgiving. This could be seen as both a positive and a negative, but to me it’s a plus. I can use the H3 with poorly recorded or low quality files and I’m not overwhelmed with flaws in the track. They’re there, but not brought to the forefront.
Mids on the H3 seem to be pulled back a bit, particularly with male vocals which sometimes come across a tad quiet in the mix. Female vocals fare better, sitting with greater more prominence within the context of the track. While I do find them slightly recessed, the H3’s mids are quite natural sounding and nicely weighted.
Bass is where the H3 really shines for me. From the perspective of quantity, the H3 carries with it a healthy, robust bassline. It has got some serious mid-bass punch backed by an addictive sub-bass rumble that had me seeking out tracks with deep, deep bass. The balance between mid- and sub-bass is masterfully tuned with neither taking a more aggressive stance. It’s very clear the H3 is using the dynamic driver for the low end, and I wouldn’t have it any other way with a tune like this.
The H3’s sound stage is also shaping up nicely. It’s not as open and expansive as the similarly priced TFZ King, but it’s not far off. They seem to excel more in width than depth, with channel transitions being very obvious and stepped accurately. I have a feeling these will be quite effective for accurate sound positioning in gaming.
In terms of comfort the H3 is probably the most ergonomically form fitting earphone I’ve used. It feels like it was made for my ears the way it slots in so unobtrusively. If you’re having difficulty getting them to sit snug for you, just insert and twist the housing forward. At that point they almost lock and place and the excellent isolation takes over. Yeah, these isolate Really well. Probably the best isolating earphone I own.
So far the H3 is shaping up to be a very competent offering in the ~100 USD market. In terms of sound quality, it is very comparable to some of my favorites in the class like the single dynamic TFZ Exclusive 5, triple-hybrid Audbos K3, and dual-diaphragm Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced.
Be sure to follow my blog and keep your eyes peeled for my full review which will be up in the coming weeks!
Thanks for reading.