Every once in a while someone turns me onto an earphone that, though incredibly cheap, sounds downright awesome (for the price). Today I’m chilling with one such earphone, the Kinera Sif. At $37, this earphone is cheap as chips and sounds fantastic. But just how much hi-fi can you expect at such a low price?
Kinera Sif Review
The Kinera Sif comes in a cool hexagonal box that holds the earphones, a zippered carrying case, and three pairs of eartips. A removable 4 ft (1.2 m) braided cable also comes with the earphones. Featuring an MMCX connection, it feels relatively strong, but still lightweight.
Once in my ears, the small housings of the Sif feel a bit cheap and on the smaller size. However, the fit remains comfortable – even during longer listening sessions. While obvious corners have been cut to deliver an IEM at $37, it’s still a fairly impressive result.
Inside the earpieces, a single dynamic driver handles the entire frequency range. And it doesn’t sound too shabby, either.
The Sif features a tight and realistic low end. While still very emotive, the sound never becomes too bombastic or sloppy. Listening to rock, hip-hop, electronica, and pop, this low end sounds amazing. Bass impact lands with gusto, too, giving each track a measure of punch that won’t be missed. While perhaps just a tiny bit distorted, these lows are still an impressive achievement for a $37 earphone.
Here the Sif delivers a fairly solid performance. There’s a good amount of detail here that goes toe-to-toe with some of the best earphones in the sub-$100 bracket. With no real distortion and only a small amount of compression, the Sif manages to sound relatively clean. Not too forward, the mids keep pace with the emotive lows and highs while never stealing the spotlight.
Smooth but detailed, the highs feel just a little rolled off. While never to harsh, there’s just an iota of sibilance lurking here and it does appear on certain tracks. Far from a dealbreaker, though, this sibilance can still be tolerated. Because, despite its presence, the highs still sound amazing at this price. Instrumentation and vocals both sound more detailed than they should, and if you pair this earphone with pop or classical tracks, you will not be sorry.
A little narrow and convoluted, soundstage wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped…but seems more than fair for an earphone at this price. While instrumentation seems fairly well-separated on simpler tracks, the sound becomes less spacious and distinct with more intricate recordings, where instruments seem more likely to bleed into one another.
Few earphones can compete with the Kinera Sif at its $37 price point. If you’re looking for something slightly better and you use an iPhone, my recommendation would be the Strauss and Wagner SI201. With a sound isolating design, built-in DAC, and vibrant sound profile, it trumps the Sif and only costs $49.99.
Fans of an even more v-shaped sound could also consider the Final E3000, at $54.90. This earphone offers a bit more emphasis on the lows and highs, while also scooping out the mids.
Should you buy the Sif? If you’re looking for the best earphone under $40, look no further because you’ve found it. Better than we had ever dreamed possible, the Sif sounds phenomenal when compared to any other earphone at this price.
The words “bang for your buck” are thrown around a lot these days, but the Kinera Sif definitely delivers a ton of it. At $37, you can’t go wrong with this earphone, unless you can afford to splash out more money. For budget-minded audiophiles and casual listeners, economical earphones don’t get any better than this.
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