I reviewed the last collaboration between QKZ and HBB and I was a fan of the resulting product. These are quality budget IEMs that seem to punch well above their price point. The QKZ HBB Khan is the latest IEM that comes from this partnership, and once again, the price point is very economical. For $39.99 you can get a set of IEMs to listen to good quality music with. Does the Khan make for a worthy IEM for a budget audiophile?
What You Get
- 1x stock 3.5mm cable
- 3 pairs of ear tips
- 1 pair of earphones
- 1x HBB commemorative coin
- 1x Small carry case
Look & Feel
I love the design that QKZ and HBB have been producing with their IEMs. QKZ gives the Khan a glossy finish and an overall aesthetic that you won’t see on a ton of earphones in this price range. They also have a slightly clear cavity that reminds me of IEMs I would see from more mid-fi and hi-fi models, but the Khan has a lighter feel. Its comfort quality overall is quite good as well. I never got any fatigue or felt any discomfort from hours of listening.
There are two dynamic drivers inside the Khan. 10mm and 7.8mm units are implemented to relegate the frequency data. The largest driver outputs a majority of the bass, while the 7.8mm unit controls the mids and highs. An LCP(liquid crystal polymer) diaphragm is also a part of its configuration. You’ll be able to drive the Khan with any device, whether its a simple dongle or a computer 3.5mm headphone jack.
I’ve come to expect to be surprised by how well these new budget IEMs communicate their soundstage. The Khan immediately impressed me with its width. It showcased a far-reaching, left-to-right wingspan in the stereo field. Both channels really open up, but the middle section definitely flattens out. Little height is perceived, but the Khan shows enough dimension and large sound elements that make the image feel whole. The headspace lingers on the edge of feeling outside of your head, giving you a good amount of depth for a generous price.
Like the last QKZ IEM I reviewed, the Khan features an exceptional bass. It’s a deep and engrossing response that will offer a ton of impact to your tracks. The sub-bass blooms from the bottom and extends into a full field of colorful frequency content. In terms of detail, the Khan is far from the most elegant, but the energy is there and it’s clear enough to make sense of. The midbass never becomes bloated, and mostly stays out of the midrange. There’s some confident control in the lows, and it feels like it knows exactly where to hit hard.
This is more of a v-shaped sound signature, but it has some character to it. The fundamental midrange is mostly recessed, but instrumental and vocals still come through with average clarity. Everything is presented in the mids with a surface level of detail. It’s not a dull timbre, but the frequencies don’t show much vigor. Some instruments sit in the background a little too much, but vocal recordings appear strong.
The energy of the sound signature starts to crawl back up in the highs. Not much glitters from the top, but the timbre of the frequencies themselves has some flavor to them. They don’t overextend into the realm of discomfort, but it doesn’t roll off too dramatically either. Sound elements contain a nice shine on their top end, and the Khan reacts with some solid articulation and transparency.
You really can’t complain about what you get here. For forty dollars you get a punchy, bass-centric IEM, with plenty of other qualities that make it stand out for the price. Aside from the lacking elegance of in the midrange, the Khan has a reasonable level of quality in its sound signature, and it will definitely satisfy the needs of audiophiles who are on a budget.
The QKZ X HBB Khan is available at Audio46.