Kanen KM-95 Review

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Kanen KM-95
Brief: Though not particularly well-known around head-fi, Kanen produces dozens of models of earphones and headphones. Some are blatant copies of popular models. Others simply share OEM housings with other products. And some, like the KM-95, are unique offerings


MSRP: est. $6
Current Price: $6 from dx.com

Build Quality (5.5/10): The all-plastic KM-95 features very decent build quality for a $5 product. The tiny size and “brushed aluminum” stripe on the housings actually make them look quite stylish (clip-ons normally look quite goofy in my opinion). The plastic clips are fairly pliable and can swivel away from the housings. The j-cord is thick, covered with a nylon sheath, and terminated with a properly-relieved I-plug. Though I’m not a big fan of cloth cables on IEMs due to the microphonics usually associated with them, on a headphone they actually look and feel great. I also found the slits on the clips perfect for clipping the Kanens together when they are hung around my neck and not in use.

Comfort (7/10): The plastic housings are unbelievably light and the clips don’t pinch anywhere near as hard as those on the Philips SBC HS430, though they aren’t quite as soft and adjustable as those on the KSC75. The j-cord is a little too short after the split of my liking, but it really doesn’t cause any major discomfort.

Isolation: (2/10): Nearly nonexistent – the cups are too small.

Sound (3.5/10): The packaging of the Kanens promises “crystal-clear sound” which is much more comforting than the “Extra Bass” tag on the Philips SBC HS430. Surprisingly, the sound actually is quite clear and very well-balanced for such a cheap product. Bass is expectedly lacking, but I prefer good clarity to heavy bass when it comes to entry-level headphones. The sound is expectedly two-dimensional but fairly detailed. The Kanens do a good job of separating out instruments and generally not sounding like a muddy mess. They are also very forgiving of poor sources and recordings. I was quite impressed by just how inoffensive they sounded compared to what one might find for $5 on the store shelves.

Value (6.5/10): With a price tag under $6, the Kanen KM-95 delivers good value for money with surprisingly clear sound and a handsome, portable, and comfortable design. They don’t actually feel like a $5 product and work very well with mediocre sources and material. So the next time you need a disposable portable that doesn’t sound like total garbage, the KM-95 might just be the ticket.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Impedance: 32 Ω
Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 3.94ft (1.2m) , j-cord; Straight Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: N/A


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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