Kinera SEED

ø8mm Dynamic Driver + Balanced Armature

$45~$50
3.5/5.0

The brand new, not-so-cheap earphones by the known Kinera brand got my expectations very high. Aside from the nice packaging, excellent build quality and a very sturdy cable, these earphones hardly fit in with their competition in the given price category.

The SEED are a huge leap forward from their previous budget model - the BD005. However, when picking something to compare them to - the Yinyoo IN8 are an excellent choice for comparison. The SEED are like IN8's bass-light sibling, but at twice the IN8's price.

The sound can be generally described as mid-bass-focused (with barely any sub-bass), with the main emphasis being on the upper-mids. Those are strident and with metallic tonality, similarly to Yinyoo IN8. The upper-highs are not lacking in volume, but are definitely not what I would call "delicate". More like shrill and sibilant.

Pros

  • Decent-sounding earphones for ordinary listeners.
  • Comfort for prolonged usage was well-thought-out.
  • Great build quality. The included cable is amazingly sturdy, feels and looks premium.

Cons

  • Vocals are quite aggressive, strident and have a somewhat harsh tonality. No pierce, but sibilance is quite apparent.
  • Abrupt mid-bass. Sometimes muddy, and sometimes dull as the sub-bass is very lacking.
  • There have been reports of the cable being oxidized rather quickly.
  • Heavily overpriced for what you get in return for your money.

Package & Accessories

Package:

Hard paperboard

Ear Tips - Single-Flange:

S+M+L, grey (translucent), ø4mm bores

Pouch:

Leatherette, black, branded

Extra:

Hook and loop fastener, branded

Build & Materials

Housings:

Metal, ø5mm nozzles (ø2mm+ø1mm openings), cable connectors

Connectors:

2-pin (standard 0.78mm)

Cinch:

Plastic (glossy)

Y-Split:

Metal, no strain reliefs

Cable:

Silicone (braided), 120cm, extra-soft, super-straight

Plug:

Metal, straight, short, soft strain relief

Comfort & Fit

One of the most comfortable over-the-ear earphones I've had the chance to wear. The smooth edge-free shape makes them very easy on the ears, and the light weight helps in making sure you're comfortable at all times. Very straightforward to put in, and not hard to keep them firmly inside, without the need for any special ear tips.

Lows / Bass

The low-end rolls-off drastically, making these earphones pretty much lacking in sub-bass. The mid-bass can hit hard and quick sometimes, but all-in-all is dull and can barely keep up with the pverwhelming upper-mids.

Mids / Vocals

Loud, strident and unforgiving, but not quite precise when it comes to tonal accuracy. They are aggressive and upfront, very intimate but not quite mesmerizing. More like shouty and metallic than being actually detailed and surrounding. Not what I had in mind, considering the price tag and configuration, and then again - aside from the bass, they don't differ much from Yinyoo IN8's metallic-sounding upper-mids. With IN8 being mentioned, I'd have to add that IN8's warmth is also nonpresent in SEED.

Highs / Treble

Adequate in loudness but not satisfying in detail and delicacy. There's not much brilliance to speak of, as the level of detail you get with these earphones is very basic and is quite commonplace within much lower price categories. I can mostly hear the upper-mids/lower-highs, which, for example, impacted studio-produced snare drums and made them sound more aggressive and metallic than they should be. When it comes to upper-highs, there's nothing worth noting there.

Frequency Response

BD005
SEED