Current testing methodology is v1.2
The KBEAR Robin is a wobbly but remarkably enjoyable IEM to list to on the daily.
Thanks for Iven at Keep Hifi for sending me this demo model of the KBEAR Robin to enjoy, and enjoy I have. In fact, the more I’ve used these the more I’ve decided I really like them.
KB EAR Robin IEM
The KBEAR Robin is a comfortable and fun set of in-ear monitors for casual listeners who are happy to put them in and let the music play. I’d be happy to recommend that, while these do not suit audiophiles looking for a bargain IEM set, they are an easy listen and a great choice to suit a wide range of music styles. The longer you listen the more there is to like. Very happy to recommend these and the price is perfect.
The KBEAR Robin are another new IEM in the budget range from KBEAR. I had three sets of IEMs to review this week including the CCZ Emerald and the CCZ Melody and of the three these are the ones that stand out as the preferred unit of the three. I’ll share more on the other two as those reviews come to life.
As always, I like to get the tech specs out of the way so you know what you should expect from these budget IEMs from the scientific side.
Tech Specs for the Robin:
- Drivers (Hybrid): 1 x 10mm Dynamic Driver (DD) with 4 x Balanced Armature (BA) Drivers
- Cable: 2 Pin .78mm OFC (OFC should be a minimum expectation these days)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20Khz
- Sensitivity: 1110_+2DB
- Impedance: 18 Ohms
- Plug: 3.5mm
- Nice carry case – excellent touch and a good fit. Thumbs up here.
- Extra Tips
- Comfort for hours
Comfort and Cables
The KBEAR Robin are comfortable, really comfy. They seat really well in the ear and are very light to wear. Because they easily achieve a nice seal in the ear they don’t feel forced or pushed in a long way to overcome any sound leaking. The over-ear twisted cable ear sleeves are comfy and the cable length is excellent for personal listening. Very happy with the comfort level even when going for long walks etc.
Cable is good, but you’ll want an upgrade if using it for live monitoring.
For personal listening the cable length is great. Doesn’t get stuck or caught on things and can run down the back of your jacket or jumper without any discomfort. Perfect when commuting or walking around the city, sitting at home or similar.
I wouldn’t recommend the cable length for live performances if you’re planning on using these for live vocal/singing, guitar, keys, drum, bass work but you can definitely change the 2 PIN cable for that to get a longer one as it’s a standard .78mm 2 pin cable.
What they do have which I think nearly all the budget IEM manufacturers should have as standard, although some don’t, is a cable tensioner that allows you to tighten the cable at the back and base of the neck. This pulls the cables tight behind your head and ensures a comfortable and secure fit.
Any company making an in-ear monitor should have this as standard, in my opinion.
Give it to me straight – how do the KBEAR Robin sound?
Let me start with the positives as these outweigh any negatives of the KBEAR Robin.
The most delightful part of my enjoyment of the KBEAR is the sound stage. I’d put them up there with any budget IEM including the KZ ZAX, TIN Hifi T5 and others with higher price points.
The sound stage is most clear and wide. Vocals stand out nicely for the most part and mid-range instruments have their clear place in the soundscape.
High Mids and the treble is really enjoyable and quick. It’s not fatiguing like many others in this price point. That feels like there is almost a light compressor applied on the high end to ensure it doesn’t wear you down on long listening sessions.
Add the lovely sound stage with pleasant mid-highs and high treble and you’ll be enjoying your music.
Moving right down to the bottom end aka. Bass – there is just a nice amount to fill out the bottom end of any genre you throw at it. Some classic older stuff like Long Grammar just great stuff. Try Who Am I by London Grammar and you’ll get those nice highs and full bottom end. Some NF just to try some clean Rap with (ph)fat bottom end to give it a work out – nice.
Make It To My – Sam Smith, nice especially the Floor Tom sound when it comes out of the chorus in to the bass (its only a couple of hits here and there but so nice, as is the sound of the snare drum on that track).
The overall mids to sub-bass feeling on these is a little wobbly. Not like a jelly fish wobbly but maybe a small bowl of Jell-O. If the mid-bass was just a little tighter these would definitely be punching way above their weight.
That’s not to say it’s bad or not enjoyable to listen too. I’m really being critical when I focus on the lack of tightness in the mid bass. You’ll hear it as soon as you listen to them but all the other good elements of the KBEAR Robin more than make up for it’s shortfalls.
The acoustic representation of natural instruments, vocals and the excellent sound stage, combined with the comfort levels make these an excellent
Acoustic drums sets sound awesome. You can almost feel the wind as the pedal hits the kick drum. Try Summer Set Fire To The Rain by Thrice – the kits sounds awesome (although Trice do mix a nice kit). The Bass guitar is a bit loose and I contained but the rest is great.
If they could tighten up the mid-bass these would really be superb and definitely added to our best budget IEM list along with the KZ Zex.
The only other criticism I would have of the KBEAR Robin is volume. They can lose a little shape if you have to turn them up to higher levels. I mean quite high so I think it’s unlikely most-all listeners will get to those levels but worth a note.
Live musical use – what about using them as real in-ear monitors
I’d put the frequency response in these as suitable to bass and drums mostly. The mid-highs are fast but there is so much mid, sub-bass it would just sit well with the rhythm section.
I find that because the bass and drums are so full-on that vocals and guitarists might want an IEM that is leaning towards the top end, more forward and in your face.
But in truth, if I had $50 for IEMs and these were on the shelf, I would get them without hesitation even if they were next to my favourite go-to budget IEMs for live playing, the Shure SE215.
Overall – the KBEAR Robin are:
- Great value for money
- Great sounding IEMs
- Very comfortable IEMs
- Great mids/highs and full bottom end
- Great soundstage
You can feel the music. That’s ultimately my pinnacle criteria and IEM must meet.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below and I’ll get to them asap!
Happy listening – Mark
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2023-03-21 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.