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KB-ear Believe Review – The Holy Grail

KB-Ear is a major game player in the chi-fi industry earphones market producing a lot of audio gears ranging from budget range to the high end stuff including earphones and cables. Their recent flagship variant is the BELIEVE model which looks similar to the Diamond model which launched a few months back. I reviewed the diamond a few days back and I really loved its sound for the price, it had a nice timbre with good bass response. The internals are completely changed now, adopting the new BERYLLIUM diaphragm imported from Japan for delivering outstanding sound quality. In this review let’s see whether Believe really lives up to the Beryllium sound signature. 

NOTE: Now BELIEVE has been discontinued by the KB-Ear due to the resource constraints and currently not available for sale in the market.

DISCLAIMER:

This unit has been provided by the HIFIGO team as I’m being part of the HIFIGO review circle. This review is completely based on my opinion and I’m not influenced by any person to manipulate the review. Thanks to Pulkit Chugh for taking me in this review circle and the HIFIGO team for arranging this review circle. This review is completely subjective and it’s based on my sources and experience with IEM’S with similar configuration.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Unit: 9mm Pure Beryllium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver (Imported from Japan)

Cable: 4 strands of 6n single crystal copper Litz

Interface: 2 Pin 0.78mm

Plug: 3.5mm

Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20 KHz

Sensitivity: 98Db

Impedance: 17 ohms

Color: Black with blue

DESIGN:

The design is similar to that of the Diamond but now it is slim. Now the earpieces got slimmer with reduced weight and the total profile got lean. It still got the gradient carbon fiber panel with the brand logo on it. The theme is based on the Sea where the faceplate has blue stripes resembling the waves and nature.  The shell is made of aluminum cavity with five axis CNC aviation technology. This technology effectively suppresses the resonance and enhances the sound cohesion

The front and rear chamber balance pressure relief technology has been implemented to ensure a distorted sound output yet maintaining the natural sound output since the beryllium diaphragm is extremely light.

The nozzle is of medium length and gold plated with wide enough apertures covered with mesh. The whole shell is matt finished hence no more fingerprints.  The cable is really nice and thankfully they don’t get tangled! The color is nice with a supple texture. The 4 core looks good; I would have appreciated it if they had provided 6 or 8 cores since the lower priced diamond comes with even nicer textured cable. The ear guides are soft and nice. Thankfully they went with the 2 Pin and not the troublesome MMCX.

FIT:

The fit is nice overall, the kb-ear team claims that their design isolates up to -26db which is quite nice. They fit well with decent isolation and with perfect ear tips you can get a nice fit in your ears. I found a perfect fit with the L size ear tips since my ears are big.

SOUND:

Sources: iPhone, FiiO Q3, Apple Lightning to 3.5mm dongle

The overall sound output is slightly U shaped with excellent bass extension and smooth yet detailed treble. The mids are placed forward with nice engaging vocals. They are quite energetic in sound output. There is a slight hint of sibilance which is like genre specific especially female vocals but not troublesome or fatiguing. In fact this is one of the best non fatiguing earphones I have tested. 

This is quite power hungry hence a nice portable DAC amp is required to unleash the full potential of it. I have used the FiiO Q3 in this review hence the sound may vary with the sources. 

BASS:

Nothing short of extraordinary! I just love the bass in it. Most of the bass head earphones lack in the resolution department even though they have a larger quantity of bass. This Believe has an adequate amount of Bass with nice resolution, separation, texture, quality etc. The separation and resolution are the biggest aspects of this earphone. They sound expansive with nice layering in the background.

  1.  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT SAVING THE WORLD – HANS ZIMMER

What an experience listening to this! This track just sounds amazing in the Believe. Those sub bass kicks are pretty awesome. Most of the earphones I have tested struggle to get a separation between those sub bass kicks and the mid bass kicks but this one just easily clears it. The resolution is excellent. At 1:45 see the separation this will just blow away your mind. 2:22 will just create goose bumps all over your body because of that separation and resolution you are going to experience. At 4:37 the separation will just make you stunned.

  1. INSTANT CRUSH – DAFT PUNK

Those starting drum beats kick nicely with a nice impact. When the vocals start they are clearly separated out with forward placement. There is no mid bass bleed and hence the resolving factor is 10/10. At 1:27 those sub bass kicks are nothing short of wonderful. 

  1. FLIGHT – HANS ZIMMER

I mostly use the Hans Zimmer tracks to test the sub bass because they have nice impact and attack. BELIEVE just stole my heart. At 1:31 the sub bass and the mid bass are separated nicely with superb resolution. At 1:52 I always look for that skull rattling subtle rumble when testing out all the earphones and this BELIEVE gave me that subtle rumble at ease.

  1. EVEN HEAVEN – AIMER

This is amazing! At the start of the track the low end kicks are very nice and addictive. The sub bass extension is fantastic, the rumble just rattles your skull and I literally rewind that section to feel the rattle in my head! The mid bass and sub bass separation is in a different league.

In precise words the bass is attacking, resolving, detailed, controlled with excellent separation and textured response. 10/10 for bass

MIDS:

The mids are placed slightly laidback since it adopts a U shaped sound signature. The vocals are nice and crisp with good enough details in the mid section. The drums, strings and background instruments are well layered and have nice space between the instruments. Both the male and female vocals sound nice with a little bit of warmth. Since there is no mid bass bleed the vocals sound very clear and separated from the background instruments. 

  1. SULTANS OF SWING – DIRE STRAITS

This is kind of a complex track where a lot of instruments are in the background. Even in this track the BELIEVE does a good job by bringing out the vocals as natural as possible by maintaining the natural tonality and separated from the cluster of instruments. All the three frequencies are represented clearly without mingling anything.

The coherency of the sound is amazing in the Believe and that’s the thing I always like in the single DD iem’s because they never fail to do that. Believe does a good job in bringing all the frequencies in a single motion and it’s a pleasant treat to the ears.

  1. WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL – SUSAN WONG

The guitars are portrayed very well in the background. Susan’s vocals just shine! It Sounds very smooth and nice. The guitar strings are separated out well from the vocals. At 2:00 when both the male and female vocals strike they sound coherent and under control. The layering and the soundstage is impressive in this track when listening via the Believe.

In precise words the mid section of Believe is slightly laidback giving a nice sense of wider soundstage and is very spacious in between the instruments. They sound very coherent and natural. The timbre and tonality are brought out excellent. 

  1. CAPSIZE – FRENSHIP

The female vocals sounded precisely well with no hint of harshness. The high end also sounded very open and spacious. The details are good with nice extensions. 

TREBLE:

The treble is neatly extended with nice detail retrieval and resolution. There is nearly null sibilance observed and in rare cases they feel sharp in certain female vocals. The brilliance is tuned to perfection and that’s the magic of single DD’s. They give that coherent sound better than the hybrids. The high notes sound natural and no harshness is observed for the most part.

  1. OUT FOR BLOOD – SUM 41

This track is kind of a rock/metal based genre and good for testing out the harshness and sibilance since a lot of electric guitars are played here. Believe has nice texture and resolution in the treble region and this track shows it. The complex guitar strings are nicely separated out without losing the detail. When the vocals start to cry out loud they are still under control and never disturbed the listening experience. Overall they have a nice extended treble region with excellent resolution and separation.

  1. SHOOTING STAR – ANNA YVETTE

In this track the vocals normally appear sharp and it’s a good one to test out the sibilance. Believe easily passed this test and sounded nice and smooth. There is a bit of sibilance when the vocals really cry out loud but for the remaining part they sound nice. 

  1. MR.BRIGHTSIDE – THE KILLERS

This is a very complex track where a lot of instruments are placed in the background. Most of the earphones struggle to portray them clearly and even cause harshness but Believe is able to deliver them precisely and smoothly.

In precise words the treble is well extended, detailed, slight sibilant with specific genres which also adds a lot of brilliance in the top end which gives nice sparkle. 

SOUNDSTAGE AND IMAGING:

The soundstage is pretty wide and large here and that’s the key aspect of the Believe. As this being laid back vocals they have a massive soundstage which is very attractive for the price. They have nice depth and width with enough height too. There is a lot of space present between the instruments.

  1. HIDEAWAY – JACOB COLLIER

This track is composed of a lot of instruments in the background and has a lot of air and space between the instruments delivering a massive soundstage presence. The whole setting of those instruments appeared as if I’m sitting in a big massive hall. Overall I’m very pleased with the soundstage of Believe.

  1. GLOBAL GEAR – PUNYA SRINIVAS

This indie classic is always good to hear at any point of time. The whole experience in Believe is very amazing with a good amount of air in between the instruments. This is well represented with a big sense of soundstage. 

  1. HOTEL CALIFORNIA – EAGLES

This good old track is always a favorite for everyone. In the beginning the guitar strings are represented well with distinct directions and when the drum kicks in the whole experience is wide and represented well.

The imaging is good and sweeps from the extreme right to the left. Each instrument can be pointed out easily even in busier tracks and sweeps smoothly from right to left. 

  1. CROSSING – YOSI HORIKAWA

This is the go to track for testing out the imaging technicalities of an earphone. In the beginning the auto crosses from the right to left and it’s well represented in the Believe.

  1. SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN – CAMILE THURMAN

The guitar strings in the left side and the drums in the right side are represented well clearly. The whole composition sounds very nice with nice coherency.

VERDICT:

BELIEVE, the flagship earphone from the KB-Ear brand is really one of its kinds. The amazing bass response which is well controlled, resolved, detailed combined with a laidback mid section and sweet vocals, again combined with a well extended non sibilant treble section, which is again resolving and detailed enough is worth the reason why Believe is one of its kinds. The instrument separation is done well and that huge soundstage makes believe the NO: 01 earphone in this price range according to me. 

From the build to the sound output everything is fantastically done. It’s sad to see that KB-Ear has stopped the production and the sales of Believe. I hope the team is going to plan something in the future to give life again to the Believe to continue its legacy in some other way! But only time will tell and as for now don’t stop believing in the Believe cause it’s the HOLY GRAIL.

PROS AND CONS:

PROS:

  • U shaped sound signature with laidback vocals
  • Tighter bass with nice resolution and separation
  • Expansive Soundstage
  • Solid Build with nice accessories

CONS:

  • Slightly sibilant in some genres
  • Power Hungry

This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C

KATHIRAVAN

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I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.

Shubham

Shubham

Shubham Garg (Editor Shubz.in) is an engineer with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering from AKTU, Uttar Pradesh. Being a mechanical engineer he has always loved to learn the inner working of various machines and consumer electronics. He regularly tests various audio, home appliances, and daily use products, to provide the best advice to readers. He is a wizard that can make your shopping easy, saving you time and stress of figuring out what to buy.

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