KBEAR KS2: First Impressions
Today we’re taking a first look at the new KS2 from KBEAR.
As seems to be the case with most products nowadays, opinions are falling in the “damn this is good” or “what a waste of money” category. Let me pitch an idea about the KS2 that really sucks when it comes to generating clicks and hype/anti-hype; it’s just fine
To start, I popped it in in my ears and decided to test it with some EDM since I listen for enjoyment first and analytics later. Starting with Sub Focus and Wilkinson’s “Just Hold On (Sub Focus & Wilkinson vs. Pola & Bryson Remix)” the swelling bassline and synths felt smooth and powerful, with the sprinklings of distortion dotted in sounded appropriately crisp and crunchy. The sweet female vocals that kicked in next sounded less forward then they should but still sweet and detailed. After the build and eventual drop, massive bass kicked in giving me a sweeping sense of deja vu. The deep rumble and wicked extension along with the slightly dry but fairly accurate timbre quality sounded very familiar. With this in mind, I decided to switch over to something a little more “reviewer” appropriate in the form of ‘Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BVW 1006: I. Preludio’ as found on Spotify. Notes sounded sharp and well defined and generally pleasant, even in the last 30 seconds where other earphones can get a little piercing. Switching gears yet again to some hip hop, I tossed in Aesop Rock’s newest project, the soundtrack to Freedom Finger. “Drums On The Wheel” revealed some notable sibilance on t’s. Present on s’s too, but not as aggressive and more manageable. Going back to something enjoyable like Nuyorican Soul’s “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” I found the KS2 to display some nice punch to the drums, though again vocals were set just a hint too far back. And then it hit me…
I recently reviewed the Hidizs MS1 – Rainbow, a 70 USD single dynamic earphone. Check that review out here if you want. My conclusion was that it sounded perfectly competent, but with such a signature and a fairly average plastic build, they were going to have a tough time moving it at that price. Under 50 USD would be a better price point, and even less would make it a worthy buy. Since my Hidizs bat-senses were pinging, I pulled the MS1 out of storage, busted out my splitter and iMM-6 to volume match, and gave the two a listen. Very close indeed, except the KS2 is a bit less detailed and more subject to sibilance, has more going on in the brilliance region, less in the presence region, and sounds smoother through the mids and bass (which I attribute to the KS2’s less sensitive specs). Taking some haphazard measurements… yup, definitely some similarities.
Be on the lookout for a review in the coming weeks, though right now I consider the KS2 an appropriately priced, slightly better sounding MS1 – Rainbow
Thanks for stopping by.
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Sensitivity: 106dB +/- 3dB
- Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
- Driver: 10mm dynamic + custom balanced armature per side
- Cable: 0.78mm 2-pin 6N OFC
Disclaimer I purchased the KS1 from KBEAR for 10 cents Canadian, so basically it was sent over free for the purposes of review. The thoughts here are my own subjective opinions based on a few hours of listening. Taketh them with a grain of salt. You want to buy your own? Here you go: www.aliexpress.com/item/4001134070208.html