No matter what they put out, I’ll always get excited about a new Kinera earphone. Recently, they put out a new IEM, the Norn, as part of their main selection, starting off the year with a strong candidate for one of the best of the year. Kinera wants to make sure they’re coming into 2021 strong, and are continuing that with the new YH802 true wireless. These new buds are a slight jump in price compared to the YH623 They’re not as sought after as a true wireless manufacturer, and I personally wasn’t a huge fan of their last effort into this new craze. However, there’s always room to improve, so I am excited to see how Kinera has upgraded its true wireless abilities.
What You Get
- Charging case
- User manual
- Type-C charging cable
- 3 sets of ear tips
Look and Feel
With Kinera, you know you’re always going to get a high level of artistry and craftsmanship with their products. Their IEMs have featured some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve seen on IEMs, and their previous true wireless also brought that Kinera flair. The YH802 continues that reputation by bringing that signature style. It already differentiates itself from its predecessor by going with a different shape for the earphone altogether. Featured here is an Airpod inspired architecture, oval-shaped housing complete with a stem.
The earphones come in a variety of colors, my unit was this slick champagne for the shell, with a resin-coated swirl pattern on the face of the stems, and a gold Kinera insignia. This makes for a classic Kinera aesthetic that’s almost always eye-catching. It’s probably one of the nicest true wireless earphones around in this style. However, with that style comes the fit, and I’ve heard a lot of people have issues with the level of security in earphones of this orientation. I share some of those concerns as well, but I’m happy to say that it is no issue for the YH802. The fit here is stable and provides a sufficient level of comfort that makes the earphones almost invisible.
Design and Functionality
Kinera brings some big guns to their true wireless system, sporting a 10mm driver within the YH802, a sizable configuration for a Bluetooth earphone. Their previous model had a 6mm driver, but it was still able to deliver a significant amount of signal. With the YH802, you’ll definitely get a similar loudness, which is welcomed on a true wireless in this price range. There are a lot of great inexpensive true wireless earphones out there, but a common issue I have with them is that they don’t give you much room to adjust the volume. It’s either too quiet, or I’m blasting them in my ears at full volume in order to get the full intended output. The YH802 doesn’t have that issue.
Unlike their last effort, Kinera has properly included an ANC function in the YH802. The YH623 was initially advertised as having noise-canceling, but it turned out to be just natural noise-isolation rather than ANC. Now Kinera aims to make up for that with a legitimate noise-canceling option. You can access ANC by pressing the top of the left stem three times in a row. A voice will indicate when it is activated, and then you can enjoy your ANC. There’s also a transparency mode you can cycle through by pressing three more times. The YH802 has most of the features you’d find on your standard true wireless system, and then some. Phone calls are easy to manage due to the responsive touch interface. Originally, the YH623 also had a very responsive surface, but it was a bit too sensitive, where I feel like the sensitivity of the actions was adjusted to the perfect place on the 802.
Bluetooth 5.0 is supported here, with access to SBC and AAC CODECS. This confuses me, as the YH623 had aptX support also included, which would have made for a higher quality streaming resolution. With that being said, still expect some decent range and bandwidth from the YH802.
A single charge from the YH802 should give you around 6-8 hours of continuous playback time. While it is not specified how many charges you’ll get from the case, it only takes an hour and a half to get the YH802 at full battery. The total life of the YH802 is exactly the same as the YH623, which is more than enough for the price, and even though the 802 is a little bit pricer than the 623, 8 hours is a sufficient enough battery life for most true wireless systems in this range.
This brand mostly impresses me by how wide and expansive their IEMs are. This was a quality that I thought was lost in translation when it came to the 623, as it didn’t feature the level of clarity I expect in Kinera, no matter what type of product it was. Kinera successfully fixes those issues with the YH802, with some great separation and layering. The width is well reproduced but isn’t anything substantial, however, for a true wireless, it is definitely above average. It’s still missing some height, but the YH802 makes up for that with its depth. The layers a present and punctual, with easy to discern elements placed accordingly in the stereo field. Certain tracks have a respectable amount of spaciousness, with accurate imaging and pan movements.
The bass extension here is surprisingly excellent, with some well-balanced gain mixing with deep and impactful resonances. There isn’t as much of a sub-bass feel with the YH802, but the spacing of the frequencies is significantly clear and satisfying. The track “Fluxes” by Sophia Loizou has this droning bass synth that pools in your jaw on the YH802, vibrating with exceptional clarity and clean textures. It’s a deep rumbling that always accentuates a mix.
Midrange frequencies are mostly recessed and resonate with a mostly low-mid focus. Heavy guitars full of crunchy distortion fair well with this response, but vocal performances are a little too pushed back for my taste. This works for very specific genres of music like metal, hard-rock, or shoegaze. Specifically the album “To See the Next Part of the Dream” by Paranoul gave the guitars and drums the right amount of texture to properly represent the rich and saturated performances.
Treble isn’t as recessed as the midrange, but there’s definitely some smoothing out going on, but it’s more reserved for the brighter frequencies. What you get in effect is a clean and occasionally detailed timbre with some light sparkle. I think the tonality might just be a bit too warm in the upper-mids to feel truly full, but what’s present is nice.
This is a vast improvement over the YH623, with superior clarity, spatiality, and functionality. The inclusion of ANC is more course correction than a brand new feature, but it’s appreciated here, especially with the added transparency mode. While I loved the bass on the 802, the rest of the frequency response can be picky. If you like the genres that the 802 responds best to, then this is going to be the true wireless for you.
Pros and Cons
Pros: ANC, Spacious soundstage, Deep bass, Functionality
Cons: No aptX, Recessed mids
Discuss the Kinera YH802 on our forums here.