Kinera at least, is not a new name when it comes to this blog. Were if someone ranking IEM brands just based on aesthetics, I would not surprise if they are on the upper end of the list. Though in the sound department, I have a mixed feeling about their work.
Even until this day when I have better IEM now, I still think I can enjoy the Kinera TYR - it's just a beater that I would take in if I want to blast those hyper-speed genres. Though, I cannot give the same level of praise for the Kinera Freya.
This time around, I come across the revision of one of their old work: The Kinera BD005 Pro. Admittedly I haven't listened to the original one but still, let's see how it fairs.
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- Driver: 1DD + 1BA
- Price: 50$
- Purchase link: https://hifigo.com/products/kinera-bd005-pro-3d-printed-hybrid-in-ear-earphone
The Kinera BD005 Pro was kindly provided by HifiGo in exchange for my honest review
Build and Accessories:
- Instruction paper
- 3 pairs of IEM tips (S/M/L)
- Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable (with mic included)
- IEM case
- The IEM itself
Nothing much to say here since most of the packaging is somewhat generic. The case is one of the more generic types that you can find online with the branding "Kinera" and motto etched on the cover. The cable is a 4 cored copper cable with an L-shaped plug. Both the Y-splitter and the 2 pin connectors are enclosed with metal. At least in the model that I am having here, the cable also supplies with a small controller and microphone for telephoning. It was nicely braided and doesn't get tangled or microphonic much during my usage.
Kinera BD005 Pro shell design has a 3D resin shell with a pesudo-custom fit, there are three variations of the shells which you can choose (Red/Blue/Grey). Decorations like the golden particle with the brand name "Kinera" printed on the backplate remained the same with all variations. The BD005 Pro has fairly short nozzle which explains the eartips shape.
Regardless, this is a small IEM comparing to others similar shaped IEM on the market. The BD005 Pro provides a comfortable fit for someone having small ear like me and has good isolation.
The Kinera BD005 Pro follows a mild V-Shaped signature leaning towards the warmer side. In my first listening impression with the IEM, I don't think it's outright bad, but the more I listen, the more problems I managed to pick out this IEM and some of them would be the reason why I would make the BD005 Pro a less preferable option on my recommendation list regarding its tonal performance.
"Muted" is the first word that comes into my mind when I listened to this IEM. The treble response on this IEM is underwhelming. The roll off occurs too soon, giving percussions like cymbals having a tone that is dark and unenergetic. Hits are soft and the instruments noticeably lack presence when it comes to busier tracks. Niches genres like Speedcore is a hard victim of this too, for example in tracks like ///Under Construxion/// from Camellia where the entire song sounds deadly suppressed in the upper range.
A smaller problem regarding the BD005 Pro tonality that I have is the midrange. The ~8dB raise to 2kHz isn't too bad: female vocals as a result are slightly forward which works in terms of my personal preference. But its presentation keeps remind me of how a telephone would sound, noticeably with vocalists like Mitsuki Nakae in tracks like ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY - 金平糖レトロチカ-ノクトメモリア-. Though, this likely to be a combination of the upper midrange, the lack of upper harmonic presences and, most importantly (imo): timbre.
Not mentioning the coherency, the BD005 Pro face the common plasticky BA timbre issue that a lot of hybrid/BA model around this price range have: the whole midrange is coated with a grainy, hazy sensation which somewhat reminds me of the ThieAudio Legacy 3. Another thing to note that 005 Pro has a smoothed-out feeling in terms of transient, hence while it would work for someone going for a relaxed listening, it's not something I would recommend for technical listeners.
What's great (or at least, decent) about the BD005 Pro is actually in its bass response. Of course, were if this is me I would hope for more focus towards the sub region to rule out some of the bloats that it has. But, the BD005 Pro actually have decent bass texture and tactility to back. So those problems aren't really serious by the end of the day.
And to my surprise, the soundstage/imaging performance of the BD005 Pro is competent for the price that it is being offered. There is some sense of spaciousness in the recordings: stage has decent depth and height. Instrument layering is adequate - there are some smearing comparing the grand scheme of things for sure, but for this level of pricing, it's on the upper echelon.
vs Shozy Form 1.1:
At first glance from the comparison graph, one would think that the BD005 Pro and the Shozy Form 1.1 have similar presentations in term of sound and I would partly agree with that observation. Minus some small oddities in the frequency range, both IEM are geared towards a relaxed listening but personally, the Form 1.1 can be regarded as a step up from the BD005 Pro for good reasons.
Of course, I am not saying that the BD005 Pro doesn't have any leverage here: it has better soundstage and imaging than the Form 1.1, the bass is more controlled with better transient and not to mention that the Form 1.1 have a peak somewhere over 7kHz which can be sensitive for some ears.
But, even from a perspective of a relaxed listener which seems to be the target of both of these IEM, I cannot help but think that the Form 1.1 would be a better pick here. In terms of the damage from the flaws, the Form 1.1 doesn't seem to be affected that severely comparing to the BD005 Pro. Over than that, the 25$ difference in my opinion isn't that big and in exchange, you would have an IEM that has a richer tone, better timbral, arguably better resolution and, a treble response that is not dead.
You get the gist of it: this is mostly a one sided win geared towards the Shozy Form 1.1. So unless you cannot afford the price difference, I would recommend getting the latter all the way if possible.
vs BLON BL-05:
Here is a fairer comparison, BD005 Pro vs BLON BL-05. Let's start with my quick summarization of the BL-05 since I haven't got the chance to talk about it yet: Spacious, yet shouty.
Ok, that was a bit of an exaggeration on the former part; the BL-05 isn't the most spacious thing I have ever tried, but definitely above average when it comes to music separation and staging.
But yeah, that is how I felt with the BL-05, the shoutiness of the IEM was the main reason why I am not confident in recommending it, were if it was the BL-05S from the beginning, I would put it on my green list.
Anyway, back to the main topic. Both the BD005 Pro and the BL-05 share similarities in terms of staging, with the BL-05 do have its coherency to leverage with the BD005 Pro's detailing ability (yes, it's a little bit better). You can also somewhat argue that the BD005 Pro has better tonality due to its "relaxed" sound and vice versa where the BL-05 provides a better treble extension. But, I see it as a toss up between the two since both do have the same level of "destruction" in terms of the flaws that they have, just with different reasons.
By recommendation, I won't outright say the two are bad, but to be honest, I am not fully confident in recommending both either.
Overall, what I can say about the Kinera BD005 Pro is that it is an "OK" IEM that do have some quirks to compete in the market. But there are just too many issues that I found within this IEM to confidently recommending it, so, it will goes along with the Niches recommendation for now.
Recommendation ratings: Niches