Every year, the Chi-Fi market becomes more competitive. We are always seeing new brands pumping different kinds of models. But because of the saturation of IEMs in the market, each new entry becomes less exciting as they are usually just a rehash of the model that came before them.
But one of the new Chinese companies, KBear, is shaking things up with the release of their midrange offering, the KBear Diamond. It offers many surprises, such as its premium all-metal construction and a sound that punches above its price point. However, will these be enough for us to recommend it over the more trusted options available? Keep on scrolling to find out.
The review unit was provided by KBear. We would like to thank them for their support and for making this review possible. However, this does not influence our review in any way. Everything written here is my honest opinion.
Packaging and Accessories
The unboxing experience is nothing to write home about when it comes to budget IEMs. Companies tend to spend most of their resources tuning the IEM, so the boxes often become throwaway pieces of cardboard.
Surprisingly, that isn’t the case here. KBear truly stepped up in the packaging. You get a box that is larger than most IEMs, even those twice or thrice its price. The design is very clean, with just a golden KBear logo.
Once you open the box, you are greeted by the gorgeous-looking shells as well as the rest of the accessories. KBear makes proper use of the large space giving the whole package a clean presentation. Each accessory has its own compartment and plastic protection.
And speaking of the accessories included, I am quite impressed by the number of freebies that you get. The Diamond comes with plenty of ear tips, which include two sets of foam ear tips (black and white) and six sets of silicone ear tips (small, medium, wide).
The magnetic leather carrying case is also something worth mentioning. It looks great and easily stands out in the sea of generic-looking cases that come with most Chi-Fi IEMs. It’s large enough to fit the IEMs but small enough to fit inside your bag or pocket.
The KBear Diamond is already off to a great start. But of course, the real test is the build and sound quality, which we will be tackling next.
Design and Build Quality
The KBear Diamond truly lives up to its namesake when it comes to build quality. It is one of the best-built IEMs that we have come across in the sub 100 USD price range. The shells are made of metal and have a good amount of heft in them. They are considerably heavier than the other aluminum and metal IEMs that we have reviewed, such as the BQEYZ Spring 2 and Moondrop SSR.
Thanks to its metal build, the KBear Diamond feels significantly better than its plastic IEM counterparts. Everything from the 2-pin socket to the nozzles is well built. There doesn’t seem to be any weak points in the Diamond, so I don’t see this one easily failing in the near future.
It isn’t quite as good as more expensive IEMs such as the BQEYZ Spring 2, which feature precision-crafted aluminum shells. But they are more than good enough to be used as your daily drivers.
The nozzles are also made of metal. This makes them very reliable and won’t just snap off when changing ear tips.
The aesthetics are also on point with the Diamond. It comes in a green color scheme with gold accents on the nozzles (officially called sage green). The faceplate has a carbon fiber design to complete the high-end look.
There aren’t any excessive brandings in the Diamond. There is only the KBear logo on both faceplates, which give the Diamond a clean look. Anyone who is shopping for IEMs in this price range will be very happy with the KBear Diamond’s looks and build quality.
The KBear Diamond’s stock cable is just as well built as the shells. It is a silver-plated copper cable that is very soft and easy to manage.
There are plenty of things to like with the stock cable, such as aesthetics. The color scheme that KBear chose for the stock cable perfectly matches the shells. Other brands tend to include a cable with a random color that ends up being replaced by the user.
There are also some design elements that help the cable stand out. There is a logo on the Y-splitter and on the plug. It is these little things that indicate that a company isn’t just throwing random parts together with the IEM.
The build of the cable is also on point. The 3.5 mm and 2 pin connectors are reinforced by metal. The whole cable feels solid and should not easily break during daily use.
One minor complaint that I have with the stock cable is in the ear guides. The plastic on the ear guides makes a squeaking noise that is most noticeable when placing the IEMs inside my ear. This can be an isolated issue with my unit, but it is still something worth mentioning.
The Diamond only comes in a 2-pin variant, which is a good choice due to its stability. I’ve had mine for a few weeks now, and the sockets don’t seem to be loose despite having the cable detached a number of times now. Overall, the Diamond’s stock cable is great, and you shouldn’t need to purchase any upgrade cables unless you want to use a balanced cable.
Fit and Comfort
The KBear Diamond has a safe shop that should fit most ears. There aren’t any grooves like most of the newer semi-custom IEMs. But that doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue as I could still comfortably wear the Kbear Diamond for several hours without any pain on my ears.
And despite its weight, the IEMs didn’t feel too heavy. I was always aware that I was wearing them, but they did not cause any comfort issues.
Once you get a good seal, the Diamond’s isolation is pretty good. It blocks a lot of ambient noise, which should help with the listening experience when you are outside.
KBear has nailed everything up to this point. But the most important aspect of any IEM is, of course, the sound quality. And this is where the KBear Diamond needs to prove itself.
The KBear Diamond is powered by a single dynamic driver, which is very refreshing considering all the multi-driver budget IEMs that companies are trying to make. It has a V-shape sound signature and is leaning towards the warmer side of the spectrum.
The bass is prominent in the Diamond while the mids and highs are slightly recessed. This fun-sounding signature is relatively safe and works with a lot of different genres. The KBear Diamond’s signature is perfect for a relaxing listening session.
The bass response of the KBear Diamond is arguably its strongest aspect. The Diamond makes good use of the dynamic drivers’ excellent technicalities in the low end, which makes bass notes very punchy.
Lows are quite forward and can hit hard. Its extension is also good as the bass can go deep. Tracks such as pop and electronic music are handled pretty well by the Diamond.
But the bass isn’t just all over the place all the time. The Diamond maintains excellent control and rarely overpowers the mids. This makes sure that the clarity of the track is maintained at all times. This is most evident in songs where the vocals are supposed to be the focus.
The KBear Diamond is at its best when listening to KPOP, EDM, or any bass-heavy tracks.
Given its V-shaped signature, the mids are quite recessed. But it is done in a pleasant way where vocal-based music still sounds correct.
One thing that I immediately noticed was that the vocals were warm sounding. This came out as a bit unnatural, especially when compared to IEMs with bright or neutral tunings. It doesn’t sound unpleasant, but rather just a bit different from what I am used to.
On one side, the mids are never shouty or offensive, which can help over long listening sessions. But on the other hand, the mids can be a bit lacking.
This was most noticeable in vocal-based tracks. The positioning of the vocals is correct. However, you will immediately notice that details such as reverb trails are missing. The clarity is also not quite at the level where I expect it to be.
Overall, the mids play their part in the mix, but I don’t think they have that “wow factor” in them.
The highs are well done on the KBear Diamond. They are in line with the levels of the bass and is always audible. But they are very well controlled, which helps prevent any sort of peaks or harshness.
Of course, the downside of this kind of tuning is that the details in the highs will be a bit lacking. Instruments such as cymbals don’t have the air and realism that I am looking for. But again, in the context of the overall mix, the more recessed highs work well.
Imaging and Soundstage
The soundstage of the KBear Diamond isn’t the Diamond’s strongest suit. It has an average size, which is neither too wide nor too narrow. Each of the frequencies has proper spacing, which helps in defining each instrument.
But the area where the KBear Diamond truly struggles with is in the imaging. In busy tracks with lots of elements, the overall sound can get congested. Pinpointing the directions and identifying instruments can be a lot harder.
The KBear KS2 is Kbear’s budget offering. It shares a lot of similarities with the KBear Diamond. But of course, the Diamond is the better option due to a lot of factors. But even in sound quality alone, the Diamond overtakes the KS2.
The KS2 has a similar V-shaped tuning to the Diamond. The bass is also prominent while the mids are quite recessed. The KS2 has more bass quantity compared to the Diamond. However, the Diamond easily outdoes the KS2 in terms of quality.
This applies to the other frequencies as well. Mids are thicker, more refined, and more detailed in the Diamond. Highs are also more prominent, and again have more detail and airiness in them. Nearly everything else, such as the build and cable, is also better on the Diamond.
IEMs in this price range are generally designed for mobile use. The Diamond is no different and works well with most smartphone/smartphone dongles. It can be easily driven at a comfortable level even with dongles that aren’t too powerful such as the ddHiFi TC35B.
I used this combo a lot while listening to streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube Music. The pairing was great, especially since the Diamond’s focus is primarily on the bass region. The lows were punchy while the mids and highs were smooth but detailed. This is the combo that I would recommend to a lot of newcomers who do not own a DAP or a DAC/Amp.
To know more about the ddHiFi TC35B, head on to our full review.
iFi Nano iDSD Black Label
If you do decide to use the Diamond with a higher-end source such as the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label, you will be getting better results. The sound is more refined across the whole spectrum. Noticeable differences include tighter bass, clearer midrange, and smoother highs.
But overall, the Diamond is an efficient IEM and doesn’t need too much amplification. You’ll surely be happy with using a DAP or a smartphone with the Diamond.
Overall, I am very happy with what the KBear Diamond has to offer. It has excellent build quality and lots of included accessories.
There are several aspects of the sound signature that I wish would be improved to fit my taste, such as the midrange. But for the sound signature as a whole, it is something that I would gladly listen to if I just want to have a relaxing listening experience.
If you are shopping for your first pair of IEMs, then the KBear Diamond is a compelling option due to the number of things it offers. And if you are upgrading from budget IEMs in the 20-50 USD price range, then the Diamond will be a nice upgrade both in terms of the build and sound quality.
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Earphone sensitivity: 102dB
- Frequency response range: 20Hz-20KHz
- Plug Type: 3.5mm Straight jack
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Color: Sage green with carbon fiber faceplate
- Earphone connector:2 pin connector
- Driver unit: Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated PET
Albums Used For Testing
- Milet – Eyes
- Babymetal – Metal Galaxy World Tour in Japan
- Babymetal – Metal Galaxy
- Mamamoo – Reality in Black
- Nobuo Uematsu – Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy
- Pentatonix – Pentatonix Volume 2
- Lindsey Stirling – Artemis
- Moe Shop – Moe Moe
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s