Kinera H3 Review – Sensation(al)

Verdict –

It can be hard reviewing an earphone like this, one that is so thoroughly hyped but so thoroughly dismantles the competition. Because while there is no doubt in my mind that the Kinera H3 is a fabulous earphone, it is still far from a perfect iem and even $200 earphones like the Pinnacle P1 will easily best them in terms of sheer sound quality. But that’s not to say that the H3 is a bad buy because, at just $99, they provide exceptional refinement within their tuning while retaining a truly surprising amount of nuance. The H3 has replaced the TFZ King as my $100 benchmark with that similar technical ability wrapped within a more pleasing, linear tonality and a more stable, compact shell.


The H3 gets a resounding recommendation for any buyer looking for a v-shaped earphone with great detailing, a clear but mostly natural midrange and a class leading bass response. Of course, bass lovers should still look into the Oriveti Basic and those who prefer a more dynamic tonality can definitely consider the K3 HD, but the H3 provided the nicest balance of elements to my ear. To top it off, they also have a super stable, comfortable fit and an excellent cable that is better than those included on earphones costing several hundred dollars. Their excellent noise isolation and removable cable also make them a practical, durable daily driver and their added stability over the TFZ King makes it the clear choice for any kind of active use.

Verdict – 9.5/10, There is no shortage of readers asking for the best ~$100 earphone on the market and Kinera have done a great thing, they’ve made my job a lot easier. the H3 makes an easy recommendation not only due to their accessible yet highly enjoyable sound but also their featured design and excellent build. And while I do have some qualms with quality control, any issues I experienced didn’t affect listening.



Ryan Soo

Ryan Soo

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.


14 Responses

  1. Hi William,

    The H3 is a lot bassier and has better extension than the Mini 2. The MIni 2 has a far more linear midrange where the H3 has more clarity but also sounds quite thin and laid-back. The H3 has a more pronounced lower treble, it’s well-detailed but not realistic. The Mini 2 extends a bit further and has greater detail retrieval though it also isn’t as crisp. The H3 has a larger soundstage.

    I only have a pre-production SEED at the moment, I’m told it’s brighter than the retail model. I think the H3 holds a notable advantage in end to end extension and technicality and I don’t find either especially balanced. Also keen for the NUT 😉


  2. How do these compare against the Rose Mini 2?

    And if you could, could you try out the new Kinera Seed? They ‘apparently’ offer similar performance to the h3 with a more balanced tuning at half the price!


    P.S. Still waiting for Kinera NUT 🙁

  3. Hi Shaan,

    Apologies for my late response! The issue with their brightness, the H3 in particular, is that it is a very narrow spike in their tuning that compromises texture and realism. The King is better, it’s not quite as aggressive as the H3 and will be familiar if you already own the EX1. That said, its midrange is notably more forward but it is also considerably more balanced overall. I haven’t had a chance to try the Ostry!


  4. Sorry, that was another reviewer! I have numerous sources though and none will do a lot to curb the H3’s brightness but of course, a brighter source is not recommended.

  5. Hello, friend. Didn’t you listen to cayin n3 N3 kinera? will not be with this player, too much high frequencies?

  6. Hi Ryan,
    Looking for a new iem around 100 usd. I’ve shortlisted to tfz king and kinera h3. I am worried about both of their aggressive tuning. Can you compare the brightness to something like fiio ex1?
    Btw, have you tried the new ostry kc09?

  7. Great to hear Jeff, tips definitely aren’t placebo, some can have huge effects, the SImgot EN700 Bass being a notable example that actually uses the included tips to provide different tonalities. Nice tip on the ear guides too, will definitely give that a go on a few of my earphones.

  8. Thanks for the review, I snagged some H3’s mostly based on it and am really enjoying them, they’ve replaced my Fidelio S2’s at this point.

    I did have a bit of an issue where the ear loop for the right ear was angled the same direction as the left ear, so while the loop was nice and snug against my head on the left side it was angling out away from my head on the right, which didn’t feel too secure and got a bit annoying. A little heat and some bending mostly fixed that though.

    I also found that the SpinFit tips did improve the sound for me, as the bass sounds a little beefier to my ears with them. (I don’t think it’s a placebo affect) They also seem to stay on the nozzle as well as the stock eartips did, but the H3’s are a bit easier to take out of my ears than they were with the stock tips, which is another bonus.

  9. Ah I apologize I completely skimmed over the Drivability section of your review! Can someone please delete these comments? Thanks!

  10. Awesome review Ryan. Based on your review it seems like the Kinera H3 will be a wonderful choice for my next IEM. Based on some small searching, it seems like IEMs in general have little difficulty being driven by smartphones, but the impedance of these Kineras (48) comapred to the Pinnacle P1 (50) seem really similar, and some reviewers have had difficulty driving the P1s with only a phone. So, can the iPhone 7 (not plus) power these IEMs with the adapter? Thanks again for your help and great reviews! Can’t wait to see more.

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