Kinera SIF In-Ear Monitor Review
The True Budget Friendly IEM
Kinera Electronic Co. Ltd. is a Chinese company located in DongGuanCity – China and is specialized in the category “In-Ear Monitors and Earbuds”.
The motto of the Company is “Make Clear – Make Real”.
The Kinera SIF that I will review for you is an In-Ear Monitor with a 10mm diameter Single Dynamic Driver with the so called SPM Diaphragm.
I would like to thank Steve from Kinera for providing me this sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Kinera beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
The actual retrial price for the Kinera SIF IEM is 37,00 USD. For more information’s please visit the link below;
Kinera (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/kinera2017/
Package and Accessories:
The Kinera SIF is coming in a very stylish hexagonal box with the some brandings on the top and the product illustration and some technical specs on the bottom.
This box is including the following contents/accessories;
- 1 pair x Kinera SIF In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable Cable with MMCX Connector
- 3 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
- 1 pcs x Zipper Case
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The monitor shell of the Kinera SIF is made of three parts; the faceplate, the back part (main body) and the sound nozzle.
The faceplate and back body is made of glossy plastic material while the slightly angled sound nozzle is made of metal in sliver color.
On the front of each SIF In-Ear Monitor shell is the Kinera logo relief in sliver color and a small vent. Here are also the left “L” and right “R” markings near the MMCX connector.
On the back part of the main body is the metal sound nozzle with a mesh on the top that prevent the insertion of dust or ear-wax.
The connector is at the top of the monitor shell and looks pretty solid like the rest of the monitor.
The detachable “silver plated cooper” SPC cable of the Kinera SIF features a transparent isolation and has a nice braided design.
The MMCX connectors have metal housings with left and right indicators.
The cable sports on both sides flexible ear guides, which offers extra comfort.
There is also a metal y-splitter in silver color.
The 3.5mm TRS headphone plug has a straight profiled metal housing which is also in silver color.
Fit and Comfort:
The monitor shell of the shows a comfortable fit with my medium sized ears and offers a fatigue free experience even after long listening periods (at least 3 hours), while the performance in terms of isolation on an average level.
- Model: Kinera SIF
- Driver Type: 10mm Diameter – Single Dynamic Driver with SPM Diaphragm
- Frequency Response： 20Hz-20kHz
- Nominal Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB +/- 2dB
- Cable: 3.5mm single-ended stereo plug
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Connector Type: MMCX
The Kinera SIF has relative low impedance of 32Ω and a sensitivity of 110dB which makes it compatible with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablet’s and DAP’s with weak amplification.
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : Kinera SIF, SHOZY Hibiki MKI, VE Monk IE Smalls
DAP&DAC’s : QLS QA361, Cayin N5II, FiiO M3K
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Opeth – Damnation (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kHz)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
The Kinera SIF is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature, which has a meaty and musical midrange, deep and pretty fast bass, along with a treble range that is fairly controlled and soft in its presentation.
The subbass of the Kinera SIF has a warmish and slightly soft subbass character with moderate depth and extension. This area is in general quite balanced in terms of quantity and intensity.
The midbass region is showing a strong and impactful presentation, with a musical and soft tonality. The slam effect in the midbass region is quite good with additional emphasis from the subbass. Cross drums are pronounced, snare drums are fast, while bass guitars are slightly warm and bold in tonality.
The bass of the Kinera SIF can be described in general as fast, tight and fairly controlled, which doesn’t shows mixings or muddiness.
I found SIF quite successful in terms of speed, intensity and tightness while listening to the drums in Megadeth and Opeth songs. Indeed, the $ 37 Kinera SIF has achieved is impressive. I haven’t listen to such a consistent and balanced bass performance before at this price point.
Midrange of the Kinera SIF is in general warmish, soft, moderately transparent and airy. However, the level of clarity, detail and transparency of the SIF’s midrange can compete with IEM’s within a price range of $ 100.
The male vocals of the Kinera SIF are neither thin nor too thick in tonality thanks to the fairly bodied lower midrange. Female vocals are emotional, soft and transparent in tonality and are shown with good detail and extension due to the slight upper midrange emphasis. Female vocals do not have negative conditions like harshness or glare. However, the male vocals are represented more successful than female vocals.
The Kinera SIF has a good instrument separation and clarity, while instruments are musical, fairly natural and minimal coloration.
The Acoustic guitars are sounding a little bit warm, bassy and soft, while violas are slightly warmish, thick and very emotional.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
Kinera SIF has a slightly pronounced upper midrange, which is fairly soft and musical in its tonality. The transitions are quite soft, without to shows any unwanted sharpness or over brightness. Instruments like violins are slightly bright and have a good extension, while pianos are a bit soft and fairly controlled without to shows negative situations like harshness.
The treble range of the Kinera SIF is slightly less pronounced than the upper midrange and shows a smooth and musical presentation. The extension is a bit short and shows a moderate airiness in this area. The intensity is mainly focused in to the lower treble presence while there is a slightly roll-off in the upper treble (brilliance) area. Treble has an average speed, quantity and intensity.
The Kinera SIF has a suitable soundstage for a fairly precise instrument placement. The soundstage is not too narrow or too wide. The depth of the stage is better compared to the width, while the airiness is on an average level.
Some Short Comparisons:
Kinera SIF versus SHOZY Hibiki:
The Shozy Hibiki MKI has a more pronounced V shaped sound signature than those of the Kinera SIF, which is showing a milder character
The Kinera SIF sounds fuller and warmer than the SOZY Hibiki and is showing noticeably more subbass quantity and depth. The midbass of the Kinra SIF shows more intensity and quantity than those of the Shozy Hibiki (MKI), while the Hibiki has the upper hand in terms of bass speed and tightness.
The midrange of both IEM’s is recessed, while the tonality of the SHOZY Hibiki sounds a bit dry compared to Kinera SIF, which has a fuller and more emotional presentation. The Shozy Hibiki MK1 sounds slightly more successful with female vocals due to the extra upper midrange emphasis, while the LZ Z04A is more emotional and successful with male vocals.
The upper midrange of the Kinera SIF is softer and more controlled than the Shozy Hibiki MK1, while the Hibiki MK1 is a bit too bright and sharp in this manner.
The treble range of the Shozy Hibiki MK1 is brighter and more pronounced, while the Kinera SIF has the upper hand in terms of treble extension, quantity and intensity.
The sound stages of both IEM’s are sufficient for the placement of instruments and vocals. The Shozy Hibiki MK1 has the upper hand in terms of soundstage width, while the Kinera SIF is showing more depth.
Kinera SIF versus VE Monk IE Smalls:
The VE Monk IE Smalls has a mildly V shaped sound signature and shows moderate bass depth, a slightly over emphasized midbass, recessed midrange and a bit dark sounding treble region.
The subbass of the Kinera SIF has better depth and extension compared, which has an average depth performance. The IE Smalls has the upper hand in terms of midbass quantity, while the SIF is more controlled and balanced in this area.
The midrange of the VE Monk IE Smalls is slightly recessed, while the Kinera SIF has a more detailed and transparent presentation. The midrange of the IE Smalls is a bit veiled compared to the Kinera SIF. The Kinera SIF is superior to the IE Smalls in terms of mail and female vocals performance.
Both IEM’s have a soft and controlled upper midrange presentation, while the SIF sounds slightly more pronounced, detailed and airy in this area.
The treble range of the VE Monk IE Smalls is missing energy and sparkle, which is the reason why it has an unnatural and fairly dark treble presentation. The treble Kinera SIF on the other hand has maybe not the highest treble extension, but it shows better intensity, detail and energy.
The soundstage of the VE Monk IE Smalls is width but not very deep. The Kinera SIF has the upper hand in terms of soundstage depth, while the IE Smalls shows better width.
The Kinera SIF offers a meaty and musical midrange, deep and fast bass response, along with a treble range that is fairly controlled and soft in its presentation, which will satisfy many users who are looking a budget friendly In-Ear Monitor.
Pros & Cons:
- + Tight and fast bass performance
- + Full bodied and musical midrange
- + Upper midrange control
- + Lightweight and comfortable
- – Treble extension
- – Soundstage has average width