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Kbear Little Q Iem Review – The Quartermaster

KBear, the brand based out of China is a well established brand and got a good reputation among the Audiophiles out there. The brand has placed its presence both on the budget and the mid tier category and is known for their impressive audio. The Believe was one of my favourite IEM from the brand and sad to know that it got discontinued due to the scarcity in sourcing the beryllium. The Little Q is their new offering in the ultra budget category and in this review let’s check out how good this is against the competitors.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Impedance: 32Ω

FR Range: 20-20KHz

Sensitivity: 118dB

Driver unit: 6mm Composite Diaphragm

Color: Black/Gun/Blue

Shell Material: Aluminum Alloy

Microphone: With mic/No mic

Plug type: 3.5mm Straight

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DISCLAIMER:

This unit has been provided to me by the KeepHiFi in exchange for my honest opinion on the product. I have not been influenced by the brand nor an individual person to manipulate the review hence the whole review is based on my observations. The views might differ from person to person and it’s based on the sources and pairings with the given product.

If you are interested in purchasing this product please go ahead via this unaffiliated link: https://keephifi.com/products/kbear-little-q

DESIGN AND FIT:

The whole construction is made out of Metal thus provides a nice sturdy and premium feel on the hands. The cable is however on the fixed side thus one can easily swap them unless you mod them to be. The cable does provide microphonics sound hence it might disturb one when they scratch your shirts.

The provided stock tips do provide great isolation and seal to the ears. Though a vent is provided on the faceplate, the isolation is still great and thanks to the design and the provided tips.

SOUND:

The sound profile of the Q is more on the V shaped side. The bass here is elevated quite a bit with equal sub and mid bass presence while the mid section is recessed a bit providing a laid back experience. The treble is tuned to sound smoother with limited extension providing a fatigue free listening. The tonality is warm and lush generating a pleasing experience. The technical aspects are above average for the price with enough width in staging and pretty good layering effects. Let’s check out in detail about the sound in the following sections.

BASS:

The bass in the Little Q is warm and thicker with equal emphasis over the sub bass and mid bass sections. The bass accompanied with that warmer tonality gave an overall thicker and lush presentation.

The sub bass in the Q is nice and deeper providing that satisfying rumble hence Zimmer’s tracks sounds absolutely beautiful. The mid bass is also great in terms of quantity thus providing that fullness to the overall presentation. The mid bass however feels slightly excessive in some tracks making the sub and mid bass indistinguishable sometimes. They tend to overlap each other thus the bass sounds more thicker and slightly uncontrolled. 

The speed of the bass in the Q is moderate where it’s neither too fast nor too slow. The bass here is more on the slam side rather than attacking. The lush bass presence gives a nice enjoyable experience to bass lovers out there where the kick drums sound nice and tighter. The separation in the bass segment is good and the overall bass presence is great but it could have been excellent if the mid bass is less in terms of quantity and more emphasis was given to sub bass thus making the attack and the separation a notch upper.

MID RANGE:

The mid range in the Q is more in the recessed side but thankfully that does provide relaxing and laidback signature. The vocals however placed at an appropriate position hence the engaging factor is present here. The instruments in the background however are slightly pushed back thus some of the small percussion and stringed instruments would get lost in some complex tracks.

The tonality is warm and lush making the mid range more pleasing to listen to. The lower mid section has that nice fullness carried along from the mid bass presence. This made the male vocals sound nice and thicker. The upper mid section is tuned in a tamed out fashion rather than elevated which made the female vocals sound fatigue free and smoother. The female vocals even though they don’t sound that sparkle enough they do provide that nice engaging smoother tone which is the strong aspect of the Q.

The separation in the mid section is pretty good with nice wide stage presence while sometimes they do seem to be congested especially with complex tracks. The detail retrieval is decent and don’t expect it to be a better performer since their presence is laidback.

TREBLE:

The treble in the Q is tamed out in a good way that it correlates with a nice longer fatigue free listen. They have adequate brightness to deliver some high hats in a nice fashion. The shimmer and the brilliance in the top end is pretty neat and is tuned to deliver smoother notes rather than aggressive and more sparkly. The extension in the top end is limited but since it focuses on smoother listen they do really match up the limited extension.

The cymbal crashes do sound natural with nice attack and decay. The trumpets and the guitar strings have subtle brightness which is pretty good but if you expect it to be more upfront and splashy it’s not the case here. The detail retrieval in the top end is pretty good even though they are not in the top tier level. The presence of air is nice thus it helps in bringing out enough details out of the track. The sibilance is kept under control making the longer listening sessions a fatigue free experience. 

Though this has a v shaped signature the extension is kept limited to certain points to deliver a smoother sound thus for casual yet engaging listening sessions this would really go well.

TECHNICALITIES:

STAGING: The staging is wide enough representing a grand enough presentation. The height however is on the average side with a bigger depth sensation and thanks to that bass response. 

IMAGING AND LAYERING: These aspects are tuned to be good with nice positioning of instruments. The different depths of notes are neatly laid out without any congestion and does have that clustered out feel in the complex tracks. The channel sweep felt smoother and doesn’t feel like a 2D imaging. 

Overall the Macro dynamics are portrayed out well while having some compromises over the micro dynamics which is expected in this price range. As for the price, the technical aspects are pretty good.

VERDICT:

Little Q, the latest budget offering from the house of KBEar is an excellent package for the price. The “Q” reminds me of James Bond’s Tech Guy called the Quartermaster who packs and makes all the tech stuff for the infamous agent. The Little Q here does the same thing for a cheaper bucks.

Little Q has a very sturdy construction where it is fully constructed out of metal and adopts a bullet shaped design language thus it will fit most of the ears. The cables are fixed though and that’s the only bummer considering the design aspects.

The Q adopts a 6mm Composite Diaphragm Dynamic Driver which does really deliver an impressive sound for the price. The tonality is warm and natural as one would normally expect from a Dynamic driver and the Q doesnt mess up in this aspect. The overall sound is relying on the V shaped aspect but not in a bad way where the treble usually tends to be sharper in most of the V shaped but in the Q its tuned to be smoother and non fatiguing yet deliver some nice brightness and details.

The bass here is the main show here with nice sub bass reach and rumble while the mid range has that engaging vocals with lush instrument presence. Though they are slightly recessed, the overall presentation does match up that. A lush and warm presentation indeed!

The technical aspects are pretty good for the price though they are not in the top tier league and one shouldn’t expect that from an ultra budget product ☺. The staging is wide enough with clean imaging and layering aspects. On a positive note this does come with mic hence frequent mobile diallers would love this added bonus.

Overall, the Little Q is the “QUARTERMASTER” in the ultra budget category as it possesses a nice and unique warm, pleasing and lush sound to go well with most of the ears and their unique tastes.

PROS AND CONS:

Pros:

  1. Warm and Lush Sound
  2. Bass Presence
  3. Pleasing Tonality
  4. Smoother Treble
  5. Stage Width
  6. Build and Price

Cons:

  1. Mid Bass Excess

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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