KBEAR send me their KS1 IEM for review. Let’s see what this little belter is capable of…
KBEAR have not paid or sponsored me for this review.
This is an unbiased review and the views and opinions in this publication are my own.
I’d like to thank Vivian & KBEAR for kindly sending these IEM’s out to The Audiophile Cafe for review.
The KBEAR KS1 currently retail at £15.62!
You can find them and other products here:
KBEAR KS1 IEM.
Astell & Kern AK70.
Various FLAC files.
What’s in the box:
KBEAR KS1 IEM’s.
3.5mm stereo cable.
Spare ear tips. S,M & L.
Interface: 2PIN 0.78mm(TFZ)
Frequency response: 20-20kHz
Earphone material: 10mm High polymer PET diaphragm
Color: black, white
Cable material: 4 core 4N pure copper cable
Plug type: 3.5mm L-type gold-plated plug
Driver Unit: Dual Magnetic Circuit Single Dynamic driver, dual cavity
Build and finish:
“You get what you pay for” is a phrase we’ve all used before and one we hear a lot. So what really can we expect from an IEM that costs only £15.62???
I was not expecting an IEM that looks and feels more like something in the £50 to £80 price point.
The box they come in is just a plain “No frills” cardboard box with the branding printed on the exterior.
Inside you’ll find the IEM’s, Cable and spare ear tips. No pouch or case here, no cleaning tool.
Just the bear basics. But then you really can’t expect anything more at this price.
Once unboxed we’re greeted with a fairly standard but nice looking pair of IEM’s. And if we take another look we’ll notice a pair of aluminium ear stems. Interesting.
Then we come to the cable. Again, fairly standard and nothing that stands out like other aesthetically pleasing cables, however, it’s very well made, with a good quality plug one end, and a decent pair of two-pin connectors on the other.
The Y-Splitter is encased in a robust plastic.
The version I was sent has the in-line mic and this is something I’m not so sure about. The casing and button appear to be cheaply made and I worry this could be a weak link in an otherwise pretty strong chain. If I didn’t have other cables that would fit these, this would be a major concern!
However, all said and done, for £15.62 you’re getting a very decent IEM that appears to have been through some good quality control.
The KS1’s are designed to ergonomically fit your ear and they do this surprisingly well.
The ear stems fit comfortably and don’t extend too far into your ear canal.
KBEAR provide some silicone ear tips which are up to the job and fit without any trouble.
Passive noise cancelling is pretty good which is going to be handy if you intend to use these with a phone. ( If your phone even has a headphone/mic jack at all. )
The cable provides flexible coverings over your ears which help to shape them and hold them in place.
I was able to wear the KS1’s for a good hour and a half without any discomfort or fatigue.
Bass: The KS1 carry a lot of weight in the bass department with tight, low sweeping delivery.
Mids: Midrange frequencies are a little withdrawn, lending to a v-shaped curve in the over all sound.
Highs: High end is crisp and fast paced, but rolled off at the very high end of the frequency range. We still hear the v-shape here but you can tell the very high end could use a little lift.
If your device has EQ this shouldn’t be an issue.
Soundstage here is somewhere between medium too wide with some depth to it.
Instrument separation is good but gets muddled in busier pieces of music.
Final thoughts and recommendation:
They’re £15.62. But they perform more akin to a £50 up pair of IEM’s.
They’re relatively comfy, built well and are a great solution if you’re after some hard hitting IEM’s with some detail and clarity.
If these are qualities you’re looking for and you’re on a mega-tight budget, you could do far, far worse! So put those cheap “checkout” in ears down that you spotted whilst putting your shopping through the till and give these a look.
Thank you to our sponsor Meze Audio!