Today we’re checking out the BD005 Pro, Kinera’s update to one of their most popular models from years past.
Kinera is one of those brands that seems to be very hit or miss within the community. They always look great, but their tuning choices often clash in a way that leads to mixed opinions. A love it or hate it affair you could say. More recently, starting with products like the Idun and Tyr, I’ve noticed a positive shift as Kinera refines their tuning while continuing to build upon their already top tier design choices. The new BD005 Pro takes the brand another huge step in the right direction with a beautiful design, low price, outstanding build quality, and a smart tune that has wide appeal without compromising character.
Despite listening sessions being mingled in with much, much more expensive products like the Dunu ZEN and Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the set HiFiGo generously sent over for review months ago. In this sub-50 USD price range, the BD005 Pro does some heavy lifting and earns some well-deserved praise. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
What I Hear
Tips: The stock tips are high quality, but just so small. If they work for you, awesome, but if not you’ll need to pick up something else. Keep in mind the nozzle diameter is smaller than average so you’ll need to pick suitable tips. For my testing I used tips from EarNiNE which provided the same sound but were easier to get a reliable seal with. Since I’m not sure if you can buy those separate anywhere, Final Audio Type E tips fit well and sound almost the same as stock. Spintfit CP100 and CP145 fits, but thanks to the deeper insertion I find they occasionally get stuck in my ear. Sony Hybrids also sound similar to stock, but due to the super soft silicone used tend to pop off and get stuck in the ear. What I’m saying is tip rolling the BD005 Pro is a bit of a pain. As long as you have something with a medium to small bore that grips the small nozzle firmly, you should be fine.
Bass from the BD005 has good extension with a satisfying punch and visceral nature to it. Tossing on Kavinski’s “Solli” it does a fantastic job reproducing the deep rumble that permeates the opening scene. With low-end reliant tracks in genres like EDM and Hip Hop, Kinera’s little hybrid is a lot of fun. Texturing is plentiful, notes are well-controlled with a snappy attack and realistic decay, and bass bleed isn’t something I’d be worried about. The BD005 Pro makes a great showing in the low end and should satisfy fans of quality bass.
The mids are also handled well. With the sort of upper mid boost that is quite common nowadays, vocals remain clear and coherent, unobstructed by the surrounding frequencies. Notes find themselves in that quality middle ground where they’re neither thick nor thin which helps highlight the Kinera’s good detail retrieval. Where I have an issue with the BD005’s mids is sibilance. It tends to exacerbate existing aggression an on tracks that are already mastered hot, such as Aesop Rocks’ “Blood Sandwich”, it can be uncomfortable. Compared to other products in the price range, the BD005 also sounds a bit unrefined with a hint of grain that can distract from the otherwise excellent performance.
The BD005’s treble performance is overall quite positive. There is a brilliance region bias which gives the presentation sparkle and shimmer without going overboard. Notes for the most part are well controlled with just a hint of splash that usually doesn’t detract from the performance. Kinera’s 30095 series armature is nice and quick with snappy attack and decay qualities. Detail retrieval is also quite impressive as the BD005 Pro avoids sounding over-smoothed which tends to smear finer nuances. I have no issues using the Kinera for improve jazz passages whose chaos and complexity can weed out lesser products.
Sound stage is where the BD005 Pro falters. Sizing is quite average with an intimate default vocal positioning that pulls in the music. Imaging is fine with smooth channel-to-channel transitions, though I found it to get vague near the edges. This isn’t one I’d rely on for games where sound is very important to your performance, but toss movies its way all day. Instrument separation is fine as I never felt the BD005 Pro sounding congested, but when it comes to layering it falls flat, literally. Tracks can lack dynamism and sound too level. The BD005 Pro’s lacks the ability to pulls me in and immerses me within my music.
While you might not have gathered it from the above sections, I really do enjoy the BD005 Pro. Sure, it can’t physically immerse me in my music like some other gear, but the energy it outputs never fails to entertain. Only when I start directly comparing against other products do its flaws stand out. When used as my sole earphone, I am perfectly happy rolling with the BD005 Pro as my daily driver. The fact that it excels in other areas, like design, build, and comfort, doesn’t hurt.
Compared to a Peer (volumes matched with Dayton iMM-6)
TinHiFi T2 Plus (49.99 USD): While bass quantities are very similar between the two, the T2 Plus has an overall flatter, more “reference” style signature. Bass on the T2 is faster, more detailed with improved texturing and better control, though it doesn’t provide the same physical feedback and slam thanks to a lighter, more dainty presentation. Leading into the mids the BD005 Pro has a stronger upper mid presence. This keeps vocals from being drowned out by the bass and treble, but it also results in sibilance. Not an issue on the T2 Plus. Timbre, detail, and clarity all go to the T2 Plus. While I find the Kinera quite competitive in it’s price range, next to the TinHiFi it sounds a bit unrefined. I found this most apparent in the treble which, while slower, is tighter and smoother out of the T2 Plus. Detail and clarity are mostly on par though. When it comes to staging I find the T2 Plus a step up. It sounds about as deep but quite a bit wider. Vocals in particular are more intimate out of the Kinera giving it a more closed in feel. Imaging is slightly more nuanced and precise on the T2 Plus as well. Instrument separation qualities are similar with the TinhiFi offering a more dynamically layered sound.
Overall I much prefer the T2 Plus thanks to a more refined presentation and improved staging qualities. If you prefer a tune with a strong v-shape, the T2 Plus might come across a bit polite and boring. In that case you’d be much better off sticking with the Kinera. I also think the BD005’s design is more attractive and ergonomic.
KZ ZAX (55.00 USD): Bass from the ZAX is bolder, slower, and less well controlled. It makes up for this with more physical punch in mid-bass regions and wobble on sub-bass notes. Texturing is quite similar between the two. Mids from the ZAX provide a bit more warmth giving it an edge with female vocalists and timbre accuracy. The BD005 Pro’s mids come across a touch more forward and provide a hint more micro detail and instrument coherency thanks to a tighter, more controlled presentation. Treble on both skews towards the brilliance region with a 7k peak. I find the ZAX comes across a bit more refined thanks to cleaner, more defined notes and a smoother presentation. The Kinera displays a bit of splash. Both are quite quick in the treble with snappy attack and decay. The ZAX comes out ahead with slightly more detail. I would expect the ZAX’s open back design to give it a large advantage in terms of sound stage, and to a point this is true. While overall size isn’t hugely different with the ZAX sounding mildly wider and deeper, it steps way ahead of the Kinera when it comes to layering. The Kinera sounds flat and lacks the same dynamic ability to move sound within the staging space. Imaging is also sharper and more nuanced from the KZ, and it does a better job of separating individual track elements.
Overall I prefer the ZAX. When on sale, as it was at the time of writing, it would be the one I’d point users to almost every time. At it’s regular price of around 80-90 USD…the performance of the Kinera is good enough to make the savings well worth it. Plus, the Kinera looks more elegant and in my experience is more ergonomic and comfortable to wear for long periods.
In The Ear Ever since the H3 I’ve been very impressed with the effort Kinera puts into making a good looking, well constructed product. At only 49 USD, the BD005 Pro is no exception and a true standout among its peers. As with many modern earphones they are crafted via a 3D printed process, however, unlike many of those products from competing brands you’d never know. The low profile design is smooth and seamless. The metal nozzle fits flawlessly into the design, as do the Shozy-like metal vents installed in the rear of each earpiece. The 2-pin plugs neither protrude nor recess into the top of the shell, resulting in a flush fit when the cable is installed. The face plate draws your attention thanks to Kinera’s delicate cursive logo and light-reflecting silver flakes. The design and build quality here wouldn’t feel out of place on a product costing two or three times as much. Heck, I can think of one 2,000 USD earphone that could take some pointers from what Kinera is doing here.
The cable is another standout area in my opinion. While it’s twisted black sheath may not look like anything special, and quite similar to the cables TRN and TFZ pack in with a number of their products, this one is quite a bit nicer. It is very flexible and quite resistant to mild kinks and bends. Noise transmission from rubbing against you clothing or object is managed extremely well, in part due to the over-ear design and cozy pre-formed ear guides. The compact 90 degree angled jack is well-relieved, though this does not apply to the tiny y-split which has no relief whatsoever. The lack of a chin cinch is also a slightly disappointing omission. It’s one I’m willing to accept in this case since the cable is equipped with a microphone which would limit travel and make the effects of a cinch minimal at best. Speaking of the mic, it’s pretty good. Construction is nice with a metal shell and a clicky, easy to find button. I used it for a few days of Zoom training and never experienced any issues with my colleagues unable to hear or asking me to repeat statements.
Kinera put a lot of time and effort into the ergonomics of the BD005 Pro, and it shows. The low profile design is very compact, especially compared to similar designs from KZ, TFZ, FiiO, and others, and slots even more naturally into the outer ear. There are no odd protrusions to cause hot spots during long listening sessions. Stability is also fantastic meaning you likely won’t need to reseat the earphone regularly when out exercising should you choose to use them for that purpose.
Since the BD005 Pro does a great job of filling the natural curvature of the ear I found isolation slightly above average, even with the ample ventilation provided by those rear-mounted vents. Foam tips kicked things up a notch, which is to be expected. Even so, with silicone tips I could comfortably listen outdoors in noisy environments at my regular, low volumes without the need to raise them.
In The Box The BD005 Pro comes in Kinera’s now standard, hexagonal cardboard box. It really makes them stand out from the more traditional packages provided by other brands, and looks nice on display if you’re into that. On the front of the lid is the usual branding and model information along with some stylized shots of the earpieces. Flipping to the rear you find specifications, a teensy, tiny frequency response graph, and images of earpieces in the three available colours; Murky Blue, Granite Grey, and Jewel Red. I was sent the grey option which looks really nice, though I definitely have an affinity for the blue. Lifting off the lid you’re greeted by a hexagonal card welcoming you to the Kinera community with links on the rear. Beneath is a round, clam shell carrying case in which everything is stored. A neat little touch is recognition of staff members that contributed to the BD005 Pro printed on the inner roof of the lid. In all you get:
- BD005 Pro earphones
- 1.2 meter, 0.78mm 2-pin cable
- Single flange ear tips (s/m/l)
- Clam shell carrying case
Overall an attractive, but very basic unboxing experience. The included case is nice to have and I appreciate that the earpieces were placed in their own bags to avoid being scratched during shipping. The ear tips are a big negative unfortunately. If you’re familiar with the Shozy Form 1.1, Form 1.4, or Shozy & Neo CP, you’ll recognize these tips. They’re all very small and provide a very shallow fit. The largest size can barely create a seal in my ears which usually work just fine with stock medium tips. Be sure to factor in buying some replacement tips when you order these. A link to HiFiGo’s fairly priced ear tip selection is included in the disclaimer below.
Final Thoughts Kinera has been on a roll the last couple years with release after release seeing them improve their tuning. The BD005 Pro brings back a well-loved name and does it justice. It is well-tuned with a fun sound that doesn’t skimp on much of anything. The sound stage is a bit flat, but other than that the BD005 Pro doesn’t have any major knocks against it. Add to a quality tune some gorgeous, well-put together shells that put most products to shame ergonomically, along with a competitive price, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Based on how the community has received the BD005 Pro so far, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that.
Overall I think this is one of Kinera’s most well-rounded and successful releases yet. Anyone who wants one should feel confident in their decision to pick it up.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer A huge thanks to Nappoler with HiFiGO for sending over a sample of the BD005 Pro for the purposes of review, and for being so patient in its release. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective opinions and do not represent HiFiGO, Kinera, or any other entity. At the time of writing the BD005 Pro was retailing for 49 USD: https://hifigo.com/products/kinera-bd005-pro-3d-printed-hybrid-in-ear-earphone
Eartip Selection: https://hifigo.com/collections/eartips
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Sensitivity: 108+/- 2dB
- Driver: 9.2mm beryllium coated dynamic + 30095 series high-frequency balanced armature
- Cable: 4 core silver plated, 0.78mm 2-pin
Gear Used For Testing LG G6, FiiO M3 Pro, DDHiFi TC35B, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501
Some Test Tunes
Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Tobacco – F****d Up Friends