Delivering good value at a (very) low price is not an easy exercise, and this is a case where that has been well executed.
KB04 is an overall remarkable product in terms of price/performance and even price/quality ratios. There are a few parts I like more, others less, but no “defect” really. Those liking a bright-leaning presentation will find KB04 an outstanding performer, at a no-brainer pricing.
I got this pair of KBear KB04 as a review unit from my friends at KEEPHIFI (www.keephifi.com) entrusting me to an unbiased analysis and openhearted subjective evaluation, which is what I’m reporting here below. You can purchase KB04 at Friendly Audio Store (Keephifi official store).
Tonality is unblalanced towards the bright side, I’d call it an “unbalanced V-shape”. I can’t say where exactly this technically comes from but it just “sounds” (pun intended) like the crossover is not doing a calibrated enough job, and lets the BA driver kick in too loud, too authoritative
Rolled-off and therefore lacking on the extreme end (Contrabasso). The segment immediately above is quite good instead, fast and present, very enjoyable.
Probably the best part of the product to my personal taste, it’s fast, tight, punchy, present and well dosed. People liking boomy (sometimes called “fun”) bass will not like it though.
Recessed as expected on a V-shape signature, but also thin.
Those are most suffering from general mids thinness, they lack body and appeal.
Female voices come accross a bit fuller than males. A tendency to sibilance is there, especially on some tracks. Luckily for me stock grey tips are ok to minimise that.
Highs and trebles are both well executed, crispy, reasonably extended, with good detail and some air. Too bad for their relative invasiveness in the general signature perspective, which comes out “too bright” in my taste (I am particularly picky on treble calibration), but I believe not on my books only.
Stage is quite wide and not very deep at all. Eartips may offer some more room, but this is a feature to be crossed with the need of minimising sibilance. In other words good luck with tip rolling: it’s not going to be easy and as always this is one of most subjective sides of the story. In end I settled for stock grey ones as they better reduced the sibilance risk although not helping on deepening the soundstage.
Space distribution is per se well executed and it is reasonably easy to find the various instruments on separate positions. However, the lack of stage depth puts them in un-natural positions quite often.
Especially thanks to treble crispyness and air quite some detail gets retrieved from the high-mids, definitely above average in its class here.
In line with this price bracket: there is “some” space amongst instruments, and that’s about it. Layering is not great but then again more than acceptable considering the price.
Easy: even a phone will have enough power for KB04. Power apart, a better resolving DAC will of course be beneficial but that’s quite obvious isnt it.
Full-metal “tank”-class housings. Very positive as much as uncommon on this price reference typically dominated by cheap plastic alternatives.
Can only be worn with the cable up. In my case the fit is easy in a static position, but it turns out to be quite difficult to make it a firm one even vs common head or facial movements, let alone gym activity. After a long tip-rolling session, the tips that help best on this respect are reversed KZ Starlines, then again I chose stock grey ones instead as I preferred to “cure” sibilance risk than getting a firmer grip (I’m a couch potato anyway – I don’t gym…).
Not good for me: the housings don’t accomodate very comfortably in my outer ear and moreover they are definitely heavy, which of course doesn’t contribute positively to long session comfort nor to fit firmness (see above)
Once fitted with stock tips, housings offer a quite good passive isolation.
Cheap 4-core copper, with 2-pin terminals. Sound performance apart, the sheath is quite itchy and I find it uncomfy over my ear.
1 BA + 1 DD
1.2m 4-core copper single ended cablevvv
Package & accessories
1 set of 3 pairs (S/M/L) grey silicon tips, 1 set of 3 pairs (S/M/L) black silicon tips with a wider front bore, 1 shirt clip