KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2 – Which KB Ear IEM Is The Better Option?

KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2

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KB Ear is a well-respected Chi-Fi brand in the market. With their plethora of IEMs, they’ve built a pretty good following over the years. 

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at two of their well-known IEMs: the KB Ear KS1 and its successor, the KS2, to see how they perform when compared to each other.

KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2: Sound Signature

At first listen, one might think that the KB Ear KS1 has a bright sound signature due to its pronounced highs. The highs can sound very thin, which can be uncomfortable to those who are sensitive to treble.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
YINYOO KBEAR KS1 Bass Earbuds, Wired Earbuds in Ear Monitor, Clear Sound Headphones, Vocals Forwards High Resolution Noise Canceling Earphones, Dual Magnectic Circuit Dynamic Tangle-Free Cable
KB Ear KS1
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KBEAR KS2 iem, in Ear Monitor Headphones Hybrid 1BA 1DD Wired Earbuds Stereo Bass HiFi IEM Earphone Noise Cancelling High Resolution with Detachable Cable for Running Gaming Sport(Without Mic, Green)
KB Ear KS2

Though initially bright, the KS1 actually has the ever-so-popular and safe V-shaped sound signature. This sound signature slowly reveals itself the more you use the IEM, creating an element of surprise and a fun listening experience.

The KB Ear KS1 is for you if:

  • You like a fun yet airy sound.
  • You like a V-shaped sound with the vocals still very much present.
  • You like a hollow sound signature.
KB Ear KS1 - Design
The KB Ear S1 has a stunning white ceramic-like shell | Make Life CLick

The KB Ear KS2 may appear to have a U-shaped sound signature when you first try it out but just like its predecessor, it actually has a V-shaped sound signature.

Its bass has an additional lift, adding good depth and prominent rumbles. Though both IEMs have the same sound signature, the KS2 has visible improvement in the tuning and control of the frequencies.

The KB Ear KS2 is for you if:

  • You like a sound that highlights the bass and treble without bleeding out to the other frequencies.
  • You like an energetic sound.
  • You like a sound that’s sparkly and aggressive.

KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2: Sound Signature

The first thing I noticed while listening to the KB Ear KS1 is the level of clarity that it has. For around $15, it has decent sound isolation, ensuring that outside noises don’t hamper the listening experience.

The bass is a bit disappointing. Though very much present in thickness and volume, it lacks detail retrieval. This can cause muddiness to the mix and create a somewhat messy, smeared sound.

KB Ear KS2 - Design
KB Ear S2 has a translucent black glossy shell | Make Life Click

On the bright side, the mids make up for the bass, as the vocals are presented well. The low and high frequencies don’t overpower them and instead, they sit perfectly balanced in the middle. The mids also aren’t harsh or shouty.

Lastly, the treble of the KB Ear KS1 is sharp and sparkly. It has adequate shimmer and airiness, though it seems like it was at the back of the mix. The slight recession on the treble also helped prevent the sound from being too dark, smeared, and harsh to listen to.

The KB Ear KS1 is for you if:

  • You like excellent sound imaging and separation, ensuring that each instrument doesn’t lose its individuality.
  • You like a well-balanced and natural bass, with a little less oomph but still present.
  • You like a smooth and clear treble, even when pushed to the limits.

The creators and designers of the KB Ear KS2 took some notes because the sound quality of this IEM is definitely an improvement over the KS1. This makes it a good competitor in the saturated IEM market. 

For around $20, the sound isolation of this IEM is better than its predecessor. 

The bass is punchy and present, with the right amount of rumble and depth. It’s generally well-controlled and doesn’t overpower the rest of the frequencies.

The mids aren’t overly recessed and boxy. It has an adequate amount of texture, matched with a smooth vocal presentation. Lastly, the sparkliness and thinness of the high frequencies perfectly complement the aggressiveness of the low frequencies. 

However, depending on the tracks you listen to, the treble can sound a bit shouty and harsh. Nonetheless, I didn’t experience any form of sibilance, proving that the treble is still well-controlled even though it’s thin.

KB Ear KS1
Both IEMs feature a 2-pin connector interface | Make Life Click
KB Ear KS2

The KBEAR KS2 is for you if:

  • You like a punchy bass with the perfect amount of depth and presence.
  • You like a textured mid-frequency with a smooth presentation that doesn’t sound boxy.
  • You like a sound with decent sub-bass extension and well-controlled frequencies.

KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2: Caveats

Of course, no matter how great an IEM is, there’ll always be room for improvement. 

For example, the KB Ear KS1 can use some improvement on the detail retrieval of the bass. Considering the V-shaped sound signature, the treble lacked presence and seemed more of a supporting character in the background than a main character. 

Lastly, the build quality needs some rework as the KS1 feels cheap and fragile due to the material used in its construction. It looks like it would easily break when dropped hard.

One thing to commend KB Ear on is the improvements they’ve made with the KS2. It’s a few notches better than the KS1. 

However, there are still some flaws that I’d like to point it. 

The first thing would be that the KS2 is prone to treble peaks depending on the track you’re listening to. When it’s not too harsh and pitchy, the presentation can be too relaxed and lacking in presence. 

Another fault I found while using the KS2 is that it tends to suffer from mid-bass bleed as a result of the elevated bass. It’s a well-tuned IEM for an affordable price but it lacks some features that would make it stand out in the IEM market.

KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2 - Retail Box
KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2 Packaging | Make Life Click
KB Ear KS1 vs. KB Ear KS2 inside the cut out

Conclusion

Both the KS1 and KS2 presented an outstanding performance for their price, but comparing them with each other, the latter is a much more refined and improved version.

Although the tuning has some flaws, the KB Ear KS2 comes out on top.

This doesn’t mean that I’m entirely dismissing the KS1 as it’s still an excellent option and is relatively cheaper than the KS2, with minor differences in performance. 

Ultimately, both IEMs are great budget performers that are worth checking out especially if you’re relatively new to the V-shaped sound signature and want a good quality option for not a lot of money. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
YINYOO KBEAR KS1 Bass Earbuds, Wired Earbuds in Ear Monitor, Clear Sound Headphones, Vocals Forwards High Resolution Noise Canceling Earphones, Dual Magnectic Circuit Dynamic Tangle-Free Cable
KB Ear KS1
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
KBEAR KS2 iem, in Ear Monitor Headphones Hybrid 1BA 1DD Wired Earbuds Stereo Bass HiFi IEM Earphone Noise Cancelling High Resolution with Detachable Cable for Running Gaming Sport(Without Mic, Green)
KB Ear KS2

A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.

This post was last updated on 2024-05-20 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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