An all-new earphone from Kinera has landed and I thought you might want to take a look at what’s included in the retail release.
Initially intended to be a replacement for their previous entry-level hybrid, the BD005, this new product came to be as a result of a naming contest held by Kinera over Facebook. ‘SEED’ was the winning name and represents Kinera’s desire for growth in the market so that buyers can witness their passion towards the hobby and their customers first hand. Coming in at an affordable 49.00 USD, the SEED has a lot of competition. It’s eye-catching design, high-end cable, and quality presentation help it stand out among a sea of much less flamboyant products.
- Drivers: 1 dynamic driver + 1 balanced armature
- Sensitivity: 108 ± 2 db
- Impedance: 17 ohm
- Driver Diameter: 8 mm
- Frequency Range: 20 khz to 20,000 Hz
- Plug Type: 3.5 mm
- Connectors: 0.78 mm, 2-pin (detachable)
- Cable: 1.2 m Silver-Plated Copper
Over the last few days I’ve put about 10 hours of listening time through the SEED and am confident in saying this is not another H3. While I quite liked that particular model, it’s signature was divisive within the community due to elevated treble that you either loved or hated. Please keep in mind that the release model is a revised version of the SEED. Based on community feedback of early pre-release models, the SEED was re-tuned and re-released. Kinera clearly listened to their fans with the final version.
The retail SEED is much more balanced that I was expecting it to be, with a reserved upper range, more even mid-range, and mid-bass focused low end. It has a great sound stage for a budget earphone, possibly down to a spacious housing and individual sound channels in place for the DD and BA drivers. Micro-detail could be improved upon and I would like to see more sub-bass emphasis but as-is, the SEED is tuned with what I consider a very mellow and easy-going sound. It seems like it will be great for long listening sessions and those that listen at higher volumes.
Comfort is also excellent. While the housings are on the larger side, the SEED is light and shapely, snuggling up to your outer ear like it belongs there. Strolling around the city shows good isolation too, despite the outward facing vent. These should be a solid pick for transit use and listening in noisy areas.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased so far. Those that like the Kinera design philosophy but found the H3 too bright, sibilant, or fatiguing might want to give these a listen. Be on the lookout for my full review in the coming weeks. In the meantime, feel free to comment below and list some comparisons you want to see in the review. My Head-fi profile contains a mostly up-to-date list of gear that you can pull suggestions from.
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