I have been a big fan of what Kinera has put out over the years. The Freya and Baldr are among some of my personal favorite IEMs to date, and they’re in completely different price ranges. In fact, Kinera’s library spans many different price ranges, from affordable, quick pick-ups like the Tyr and Sif, to the more prestigious models like the Baldr and Odin. You really can’t beat than naming convention either.
One of Kinera’s latest entries comes in the form of one of their more affordable models and is an upgrade over one of their previous IEMs, the BD005. Unfortunately, the cool Nordic-inspired branding is ditched here, but that doesn’t mean this earphone can’t be promising. Even Kinera’s more affordable models hold up on their own but as an upgrade from a former model, we have to see what kind of improvements it makes to ensure that slight price increase.
What You Get
Being one of Kinera’s more affordable models, the packaging won’t include anything extravagant. Eartips are limited to just 2 pairs, and the only other major item is the circular, zip-up carrying case holding the IEMs attached to its 3.5mm OFC cable.
Look and Feel
The most immediate upgrade from the original BD005 to the Pro is in its shell design. Kinera has become widely known for having some of the prettiest artwork featured on their IEMs, and the BD005 Pro properly keeps with that tradition. The old design featured a design unlike the standard of Kinera nowadays. The main architecture was adequate for sports earbuds, but the logo placement was unsophisticated in comparison to the new elegant gold cursive. The body takes on a new teardrop shape just small enough for easy insertion into the ear, and the spout comes out far enough to ensure security and comfortability.
The glossy, rock mineral styled faceplate creates a fitting aesthetic for Kinera’s standards, coming in blue, red, and grey colors. Each pair uses a 3D printed body that’s been digitally simulated to ensure ideal tube positioning, phase and, response. This means that the acoustic cavity is mass-produced instead of handcrafted like some of Kinera’s other models, but it’s a fine trade-off if the price is going to be this affordable. Kinera finds a perfect balance in keeping to the standard presentation of their IEMs while still maintaining an affordable construction process. With that, it’s easy to have a response like “wow they look like that and only cost how much?”
Inside the BD005 Pro is a more sophisticated driver system that’s been optimized for their classic tuning. This IEM features an impressive 9.2mm dynamic driver, complete with a beryllium diaphragm. It’s rare to see such an interior design in such an affordable model, and it rivals most other earphones at this price range. This system aims to greatly enhance the density and ductility of the BD005 Pro, as well as deliver low distortion for a sound signature based on clarity and drive. The stock headphone cable also brings over the multi-function single button control surface carried over from the previous model. Picking up phone calls is just another welcomed feature that elevates this model further.
With only 16 Ohm of impedance, I believe the BD005 Pro will drive fine with any system. Any 3.5mm headphone jack on a PC or smartphone will supply enough power for the IEMs to properly output a sustainable gain with plenty of headroom. Usually, I would recommend using a DAC with high-end IEM brands like Kinera, however, the BD005 Pro only appears high-end. You might find more subtle nuances with even the most affordable of DACs, but having one isn’t required for a safe satisfying listening experience.
Having a larger driver unit definitely helps lift the imaging and expand the width of these IEMs, making the sound field well above average for its price point. Kinera always finds a way to succeed here, as the BD005 Pro delivers a thick image with a mostly linear width and height. I wasn’t expecting too much depth, but the BD005 Pro keeps things flat and solid when it comes to space. Separation is well established and does enough for the kind of IEM it is without making things condensed and muddy. The stereo image is maintained well but doesn’t jump out at me. It does its job and presents the sonic elements clearly, but lacks that enveloping sense of an immersive stereo field, making this IEM limited to certain genres. I wouldn’t go about analyzing the intricacies of jazz of symphonic music with fifty dollar IEMs though, but electronic, rock, and pop tracks are elevated here somewhat.
The BD005 Pro is heavy on mid-bass warmth, with a meaty response and smooth textures. The lower frequencies in this range feature less coloration but still exhibit a nice sense of fullness. Some of the bass resolution may not feature the cleanest textures, it’s more focused on impactful delivery than detailed clarity. At its best, the BD005 Pro can dig into your throat just by exercising its resonance, which will satisfy any listener looking for just a smidge of bass accentuation in their fifty-dollar IEMs.
Some fundamental midrange bands are recessed to a v-shaped signature, but still, showcase a colorful tonal quality. As mentioned, the lower mids do a lot of the heavy lifting here, as they characterize the BD005 Pro as a warm IEM. Folk and acoustic tracks provided a soothing listen, but some details are missed. I found electronic synth ballads more gratifying to listen to here, as they offered some more bite. I comparison, the high-mids are more of what I expect out of Kinera. They offer up a lot more details and a cleaner timbre, making vocals ideal to listen to.
The treble here is smooth and solid with a clear accentuated tonality and resonant frequencies that add some natural highs to the overall sound signature. Brightness and sibilance are missing, but I don’t think they’ll be missed here, as smoother textures roll off nicely for a more consumer-friendly sound. You won’t find any sparkle or other treble colorations here, but they still heighten the sound signature a considerable amount.
Kinera offers a really nice IEM for the price. You won’t find anything game-changing or supper detailed compared to their other models, but it’ll give you a little more than what the money normally gets you. For $49, Kinera gives you some pretty buds with a warm sound signature that’ll stand out from other IEMs in this price range. If you’re looking for a set of earphones for less than a hundred bucks that can do a little bit of everything, I definitely recommend it.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Pretty design, fit, warm timbre, price
Cons: Average bass
The Kinera BD005 Pro is available from Linsoul and Audio 46.
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