KBEAR Believe IEM Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KBEAR Believe In-Ear Monitor Review

  

Introduction:

KBEAR is an earphone brand of the Chinese company Shenzhen Lingyin Technology Co., Ltd that was founded in 2014 by a young team of audiophiles.

The motto of the company is “Keep believing your ears!”

The KBEAR Believe is the flagship Universal In-Ear Monitor of the company that features a Dynamic Driver with a 9mm diameter Pure Beryllium Diaphragm that has a thickness of 6000nm.

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank KBEAR for providing me the Believe IEM sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with KBEAR beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price and Purchase Link:

The actual retrial price for the KBEAR Believe is about 180,00 USD and can be purchased under the link below;

 

 

 Package and Accessories:

The KBEAR Believe came in a rectangular black box with the KBEAR brand logo in gold color on the top which was wrapped with a cardboard in black that sports some product related brandings.

 

Inside the box are the following contents/accessories; 

  • 1 pair x KBEAR Believe In-Ear Monitors
  • 1 piece x detachable cable with 2-Pin 0,78mm male connectors
  • 3 pairs x Red-Grey Silicone Ear Tips (big diameter opening)
  • 3 pairs x Blue Silicone Ear Tips (small diameter opening)
  • 5 pairs x White Silicone Ear Tips (looks similar to Spin-Fits)
  • 2 pairs x Foam Ear Tips (2x Gray & 2x Black)
  • 1 piece x Case
  • 1 piece x User Manual

 

 

Design, Fit and Build Quality:

The KBEAR Believe is a nice looking IEM with a robust build quality and average size that fits perfectly to my ears. The monitor shows a combination of 3 main parts, which are the main body, sound nozzle and the face plate.

The main body has a black finish and is made of 5-Axis CNC engraved aviation grade aluminum material.

The faceplate has a nice carbon fiber effect with a shimmering blue pattern. The faceplate is inspired by the blue sea, the galaxy and by volcanic ashes. The surface of the faceplate is covered by transparent resin material.

On the top of the main body is 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connector, L & R markings and a pressure vent for the Dynamic Driver.

The last part is the sound nozzle that is made of metal material in gold color.

The sound nozzle has a metal mesh on the top that is covered by a fine woven white filter and features a second vent for the dynamic driver.

 

The Cable:

The detachable cable of the KBEAR Believe has a nice braided design that features a soft PVC isolation with low microphonic effect. The cable is made of 4 strands and 40 cores of with Furukawas’s 6N purity Single Crystal Cooper Litz wire material.

The 2-Pin male connectors are gold plated and do have a metal housing in silver color.

Each connector sports a color indicator which is red for the right connector and transparent for the left earpiece. Near the connectors are also flexible heat-shrink ear guides for a more comfortable wearing experience.

The braided cable of the KBEAR Believe has a transparent plastic chin slider and a metal y splitter with a part in the center that has a nice carbon fiber pattern.

The 3.5mm Single Ended (TRS) headphone jack has a straight profiled metal housing with carbon fiber pattern and sports a small KBEAR logo.


 

 

Fit, Comfort & Isolation:

The shape of the KBEAR Believe is quite ergonomic and fits perfectly in to my average size ears. The comfortable inner shape of the monitor didn’t hurt my ear concha even after longer listening periods. The isolation on the other hand is on an average level which is sufficient for moderate noisy environments like the bus, metro or train.

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Driver Unit                  : Dynamic Driver with 9mm Diameter Pure Beryllium Diaphragm
  • Frequency response  : 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity                   : 98dB
  • Impedance                  : 17ohm
  • Cable Material            : 4 strands of 6N Single Crystal Copper Litz
  • Interface                     : 0.78mm
  • Plug                            : 3.5mm (TRS) Single Ended

 

 

Drivability:

The KBEAR Believe is a quite power hungry In-Ear Monitor with an impedance of 17 Ohms and a sensitivity of 98dB. The impedance is pretty low, while the sensitivity makes it not to an ideal source for the use with your Smartphone or Tablet. The Believe needs a powerful source like a DAP or Portable Amplifier to show the true potential of the Dynamic Driver with Pure Beryllium Diaphragm inside the Believe.

 

Features:

The Pure Beryllium Diaphragm of the Dynamic Driver has a thickness of only 6000nm which is lighter and more rigid compared to common Diaphragms like polymer or titanium.

The Dynamic Driver (DD) of the KBEAR Believe adopts a so-called long-stroke design, which offers according to the company a greater linear displacement and lower distortion compared to traditional DD drivers.

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • IEM’s                          : KBEAR Believe, TFZ MyLove III, Campfire Audio Comet
  • DAP/DAC/AMP’s       : FiiO M11 Pro, iBasso DX160, FiiO Q5s

 

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review: 
  • Casey Abrams – Robot Lovers (Spotify)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Spotify)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Twerl – Lishu (Spotify)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The KBEAR Believe is an In-Ear Monitor with a mildly warm tonality and show a noticeable emphasis in the midbass and upper midrange/lower treble regions. Please note that the Believe is a quite power hungry IEM that benefits from source like a powerful DAP or portable Amplifier.

 

This review is written after a burn-in of about 120 hours. I have used the stock blue silicone ear tips and have paired the KBEAR Believe mainly with sources like the iBasso DX160 and FiiO Q5s.

 

Bass:

The Dynamic Driver of the KBEAR Believe is able to produce a good performance in the lower frequency region, especially in the midbass area. The midbass region is more highlighted compared to the subbass region. The subbass shows a moderate depth and extension. The rumble and intensity is on a sufficient level and should satisfy with multiple genres, from electronic music up to faster genres like metal music, while only bass head could possibly ask for more rumble and depth.

The midbass region of the KBEAR Believe is the focal point of the lower frequency area that adds the overall presentation warmth and fullness without to show any remarkable midbass hump or muddiness when paired with a powerful source like the iBasso DX220 MAX or DX160. The midbass region is energetic and has a pretty controlled and fast response thanks to the well implemented beryllium diaphragm.

Instruments like cross drums do sound pronounced; snare drums are bassy and fast, while bass guitars have a slightly warmish and full bodied tonality. The lower frequency presentation will satisfy from trace music like Armin Van Buuren’s Vini Vici up faster genres like metal music.

 

Midrange:

The midrange of the KBEAR Believe is slightly recessed and shows a warmish tonality, while the level of clarity, airiness and detail retrieval is above average for an IEM at this price range.

 

Vocals & Instruments:

The lower midrange of the Believe shows a good amount of intensity and fullness without to sound muddy or dry, which makes the male presentation pretty emotional and musical at the same time. The voice reproduction of male vocals has good depth and fullness, while the resolution and clarity are also on a pretty good level.

The upper midrange of the KBEAR Believe is highly pronounced with a noticeable peak that should be around the 3 kHz region according the official frequency chart. Female vocals are accented and quite detailed, while I would wish slightly more body. The female vocal performance of the KBEAR Believe benefits from a good source and well recorded tracks.

When it comes to the Instrument presentation of the KBEAR Believe, I can say that is shows slightly warm and pretty musical tonality. Everything sounds quite natural, from guitars to the violins. Acoustic guitars are warmish, bassy and but still pretty clean in its presentation, while violins are slightly shiny and the bow tractions are fast and have a good level of extension.

Side flutes on the other hand are emotional and controlled. From clarinets up to the pianos, the intensities and extensions are quite successful.

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The upper midrange of the KBEAR Believe is quite energetic and shows a pretty strong intensity that tends to a bright tonality. This region offers a good level of transparency and airiness, while the transitions are in general controlled. This Believe offers a good level of extension and detail retrieval from female vocals to instruments in this area.

The treble range of the KBEAR Believe has a fairly neutral and slightly bright tonality with good extension and level of airiness. The lower treble region is more highlighted and detailed compared to the upper treble region, which is a bit short in terms of extension.

Lower treble region of the KBEAR Believe is very well tuned in terms of quantity, intensity and sharpness. This area adds the overall presentation a nice sense of clarity and definition. The speed and extension in the lower treble area is on a good level.

The upper treble region of the Believe shows a noticeable roll-off, while the level of airiness and sparkle is on a pretty good level thanks to a peak that should be around the 9-10 kHz region. For example the cymbals in genres like trash metal are pretty fast and accented, while instruments like hi-hats are slightly recessed, while crash and ride cymbals don’t show any negative conditions live mixings or over sharpness.

The treble range of the KBEAR Believe offers in general an above average performance for its price in terms of clarity, detail retrieval and extension.

 

Soundstage:

The KBEAR Believe has a good soundstage expansion with a quite precise placement and separation of instrument & vocal placement. The soundstage performance of the Believe is pretty good in terms of wideness, while the depth is on a moderate level. The Believe shows a good amount of neutral air between the instruments, which is a remarkable plus point.

 

 

 

Some Short Comparisons:

KBEAR Believe versus TFZ MyLove III:

The TFZ MyLove III is an IEM with a slightly warmer than neutral tonality that shows a strong subbass presence, with pronounced upper midrange and a quite forgiving treble area.

The subbass region of the TFZ MyLove III is noticeably more pronounced compared to those of the KBEAR Believe and shows a higher intensity and depth in this area. The midbass region both IEM’s is pronounced while the MyLove III has the upper hand in terms of quantity and extension. The Believe on the other hand is superior in terms of control, speed and detail retrieval in this area.

The midrange of both IEM’s shows a warm and musical tonality. The KBEAR Believe offers a better level of clarity, transparency and detail, in direct comparison with the TFZ MyLove III that sound a bit muddy/dull in this region. Both are quite successful with male vocals, while the Believe is the clear winner when it come to the female vocal performance thanks to its more pronounce upper midrange and treble tuning.

The upper midrange and treble region of the TFZ MyLove III has a moderate intesity, while the emphasis of the KBEAR Believe in this area is quite stronger. This tuning makes the overall presentation of the Believe more airy and detailed.

The soundstage of the KBEAR Believe is more successful in terms of wideness, while both are pretty equal when it comes to the depth.

 

 

KBEAR Believe versus Campfire Audio Comet:

The Campfire Audio Comet has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the KBEAR Believe that sounds a tad more neutral. The Comet has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth and while the Believe shows slightly more midbass intensity. The bass of the KBEAR Believe is in general faster offers a quicker decay and shows also a higher level of clarity.

The midrange of both the Campfire Audio Comet and the KBEAR Believe has a pretty lush and musical tonality, while the Believe offers better sense of clarity, airiness and detail retrieval. The Comet is slightly more suitable for male vocals, while the Believe is superior when it comes to female voices.

The upper midrange of the KBEAR Believe is more highlighted and detailed compared to the Campfire Audio Comet, which is slightly more smooth and controlled in this area. Treble range of the Comet shows a warmer and softer tonality while the extension is a bit short. The Believe on the other hand is superior when it comes to the treble extension and offers also a better sense of sparkle, airiness and detail retrieval.

The soundstage of the KBEAR Believe shows a better performance in terms of stage width and airiness, while the Campfire Audio Comet is slightly more successful when it comes to the depth of the stage.

  

 

Conclusion:

The KBEAR Believe solid IEM with a quite surprising sound performance for its price tag, thanks to the well implemented Dynamic Driver that features a Pure Beryllium Diaphragm. It offers a fast and controlled bass response, a midrange with an above average clarity and detail retrieval, while the treble range is the real highlight of the Believe with its extension, sparkle and overall level of definition. All this aspects makes the Believe to one of the best Single Dynamic Driver choices at this price range.

 

 

Pros & Cons:
  • + Overall Sound Performance
  • + Treble Response (Extension, Definition, Sparkle)
  • + Bass Speed & Control
  • + Midrange Clarity & Detail Retrieval
  • + Good Build Quality & Rich Set of Ear Tips

 

  • – Very Power Hungry
  • – Subbass Depth
  • – Soundstage Depth

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

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