KBear Rosefinch Review (C. Love’s take)
KBear has been on quite a tear of late. A lot of praise has been given to many of their new releases. One of the newer KBear budget iems is the KBear Rosefinch which I will be reviewing today. This will be a quick look review to showcase a fun sounding set with voluptuous bass and a warm and rich tone to it.
Also, I want to thank KBear for sending me the Rosefinch with the understanding that I would provide a fair and honest review. I put my integrity over any company and would never write a word that isn’t my authentic feelings. Just let the reviews fly and where the dust settles…it is what it is. I congratulate any audio brand willing to put their product on the line. That means they trust their product and stand by it. It means that they believe in their product and are excited to get it out into people’s hands.
Last in the Bird Line?
The Rosefinch seems to be in the “Lark” line of iems for KBear. Each of the iems in this line are named after different song birds. They all take on the same shape, for the most part and each have a slightly decorated faceplate to make the distinction between them all. The Lark was a set that I did not totally agree with but had many people who liked the balanced and more neutral tuning. Similar to the Lark, there was the Robin and finally the Rosefinch. Let’s take a quick look at this more thick & bassy iteration of this iem series.
Check out Mahir’s review of the Rosefinch here: Mahir’s Rosefinch Review
-Tuned for a younger audience
-Bass-Heads REJOICE!… Rosefinch got Big Boi Bass! In fact this is primarily for Bass-heads.
-Non-fatiguing, smooth sound
-Good build for $20
-Nice looking iem
-Not many cons for such an inexpensive iem
-Some may want more shimmer up top
-Those who detest bass… I’d stay away
-Leading edge can sound a hair soft
-Warm veil across the frequency
-Fingerprints adore the Rosefinch
-Samasung Galaxy Z-Fold 4
Not much to report here. You get the regular small rectangular white box with a graphic designed picture of what appears to be Rosefinch feathers. The look is actually very catchy and classy, not a bad design. Opening the box, you are met with the earphones themselves sitting in foam/cardboard cut-outs. Underneath the Iems is the ear tips (#4 in total) wrapped in a white little plastic baggy. Also, you’ll find the cable wrapped up as well. No case is present, but I really wasn’t expecting one.
The eartips which come packaged are gray in color with a more narrow bore. You do get four pairs in total. They are decent quality though I would likely tip roll to some wider bore tips for this set. However this review is done using the included tips.
The cable is the same ole KBear tightly wound brown cable. It is a four core silver plated OFC cable of decent quality. It’s usable and that is a good thing though I may also cable roll this set. The included cable is a 2-pin cable which terminates with a 3.5 SE right angle jack.
The build quality is nice. The resin or plastic body is of durable material while the Zinc Alloy Faceplate adds a class touch to the look of this set. The Faceplate is partially adorned with Rosefinch colored crisscrossed lines and I like the design. There is something nice about a minimalist look. The nozzle is a brass type of nozzle with a nice lip on the end Very much in the style of the Lark as well as the Robin. The build is nice for the price. The semi-transparent shell easily shows off the driver inside, as you can see in the pictures below and I always think that is a nice touch.
Internally we are looking at a single 10mm Silicone Composite Biological Diaphragm Driver. As I said, the driver is easily visible through the shell of the Rosefinch. Not much else to say about that.
Above Images: KBear Promotional images
I hate to even add “Fit” as it is one of more subjective attributes to an earphone. However, I do get a great seal and nice fitment personally. Just like the Lark, these sit perfectly in my ear. The nice fit gives pretty good isolation from outside noise. I have zero idea how it would fit anyone other than myself and my dog. By the way, these don’t fit my dog. They do however sit nicely in my ear while resting just past flush with the outside of my ear. This is one of those categories that doesnt really make any sense to report on. Oddly enough it is one of the questions I always get asked.
The Rosefinch is meant to be driven from most any source and I can concur. I could easily drive this set from lower powered dongle dacs such as the Zooaux Dac. I used the IFi Go Blu the most using LDAC through my Galaxy Z Fold 4 and I like this pairing a lot. Doing chores through the house was nice.
I used the Ibasso Dx240 quite a bit as well and did not have to use anything higher than low or medium gain. I did prefer a bit more power at medium gain as it beefed up the dynamics a bit. Using the Fiio KA3 was nice as it caters more towards the neutral side of the scale. I do think you would be better off with a closer to neutral source to counter the warmer tonality of the Rosefinch.
All in all, the Rosefinch is easy to drive. Either from a phone, dongle dac or dap is perfectly fine and easily suits this set. Perhaps a more neutral source would be a bit better of an offset with the Rosefinch’s warmer tonality.
The Rosefinch represents a more V-shaped tonal character with a hugely elevated low end, a recession in the Midrange and a small rise in the upper half of the frequency. The Rosefinch keeps a warm tonality throughout and doesn’t really deviate at all. The sound is smooth and bassy yet clean enough for a low-cost V-shaped iem. Granted these won’t garner any praise for their technicalities. Still, they aren’t the worst in this regard.
Also, if anyone reading this is thinking of purchasing this set for its technical abilities? Maybe you’re thinking that the Rosefinch sounds anything remotely close to the Lark? I’d probably stop you right there. The Rosefinch is the polar opposite of the Lark. This is an easy sound, smooth, fun and warm all the way through. I like that the Rosefinch is exactly what it was created to be and no confusion about what that is. The Rosefinch is without a doubt a banger of a bass-head budget iem.
This is a big boys bass! We aren’t talking any chump bass here. This is a man’s bass! Or… a lady who enjoys bass… eh let’s just forget that last sentence. The point is, the bass is big, elevated, juddering to the core and very atmospheric. The bass is king here, as it has a big presence. The low-end most assuredly bleeds over into the midrange adding heft & gusto to male vocals. Also, resolution is not horrible considering how elevated the low-end actually is. Granted, clarity and resolution take an immediate hit with such a boost. However, relative to the size of the bass the Rosefinch has decent resolution for a budget bass banger. I should also ass that relative to the size of the bass the speed of the low-end is not all together slow which is nice to hear.
Some will call this muddy, and they aren’t wrong. That just goes with the territory and is a testament to the subjective nature of the hobby. I think of this set in Bass-head terms. I am not judging the Rosefinch in a balanced audiophile standard. That would be a clear mistake. Also, why would anyone judge this set as such when clearly this is made for the masses. This is meant for fans of Hip-hop, EDM, R&B etc. etc. and for those who love a big thump of low end.
The sub-bass is thick, it’s deep, it rumbles, and it vibrates. It has that tangible feedback that bass heads much like my former self, and even current self seems to yearn for in my music at times. Pop on any heavy sub-bass track and you’ll get it. Nuff-said. This is most definitely a sub-bass focused low-end and it comes with all the low hitting feels. Texture is evident and clarity is not completely lost. For a budget Bass-head iem this set is pretty darn well done.
The Mid-bass is no slouch either. There is plenty of slam in this area. It is a softer bass in terms of note edge, but it’s heavy. I’d call it blunted a bit, but it has so much raw force. The mid bass is slower to decay and sustain does linger a bit as well, but it has that atmospheric resonance to carry certain genres. Not everyone wants some speedy and snappy bass all the time. Truthfully the Rosefinch brings me back to my youth. When I listen to this set, I almost see my young punk self, seat leaned way back, window cracked and the volume up while I’m bumping down the road. There is simply a fullness and depth to a bass drop. Even now I can hear the screws rattling on my Chevy Truck.
All in all, it’s not the most technical low-ends. Separation isn’t completely lacking between the two bass regions, but it also won’t get any trophies for its separation & layering abilities. There is decent resolution here and that is a good thing. For a budget iem to be so focused on one area of the mix having a driver capable enough to not become a mudd-stuck mess is great for the target audience as the Rosefinch plays to a very specific demographic but can also venture out into other genres…sparingly. Edges of notes are a bit softened as it isn’t the most crisp or cleanly rounded. I say “softened” loosley because thier is a rotund and deep nature which makes up for the soft outline. The low-end is deep and it booms and definitely hits the basshead mark for me.
The midrange is certainly pushed back a bit. Recessed in most of the midrange. There is a definite spill-over from the low-end here as well. The carry-over from the low-end brings weight to instruments and male vocals which is normally a plus. Weight is one thing, but clarity and resolution take a major hit in this area. Now if this set is catered and targeted at Bass-heads and Bass-heads alone who couldn’t care less about what lies past the mid-bass then… it’s a gem of a set. However, listening to the Rosefinch there is an undeniably restrained lower midrange.
Females actually have decent energy considering the veil but without any real shimmer. They are emphasized over the rest of the Mids but aren’t sparkly at all. They sound just fine and truthfully are the saving grace to the rest of the spectrum. Females are full in voice and emotional with softer note ends and a smooth sound. The inherent texture to a woman’s voice seems to be lacking a hair with a smoothed over and softer delivery.
The veil thins out a bit here and some clarity can start to peak through in the upper midrange. This area is completely non-fatiguing and not at all sibilant. It is an acquired taste for many however, or a particular taste for some. I will repeat what I said earlier though, if you are a bass junky who only cares about the boom and slam then this may be a good iem for you.
Not for the audiophiles
The mids are what I thought they’d be, and I’m not dissatisfied. I know what this set is and If I thought they were tuned to be some ultra-clean and clear and very resolving midrange I certainly would be disappointed. This is a fun iem which looks at the audiophile with a confident smirk, shakes its head and rolls its eyes. This set is not for them.
The treble region is not very heightened in terms of the total replay of the Rosefinch, but it is well enough extended into the air regions. The overcast theme continues into the treble, however. Cymbals do have decent body to them without sounding shishy and tisky. Instead, they have a nice ‘chisk’ to the sound while rendered a bit further back. Resolution and clarity are sub-par overall.
This treble will not brighten the mix too much or add that much coolness to an overall warm sounding set. It does make a showing though and information can just be heard in the air region. It sounds as though there is a steep roll off somewhere past the Mid-treble. Details are a bit more muted in the whole of the treble region yet still aren’t completely lost to the veil and warmth. I can still very easily make out surface level details and that is all a set like this needs.
What you can expect from the treble
Like I said, this is not the most detailed or separated or even polished treble, but I also think we all expected as much. What you can expect is a very smooth and easy going sound which is devoid of any harshness or peaks. You won’t find a hint of sibilance either which is always welcome.
If it were me and for my ears, I would ask for a bump up top but not everything in life is catered to good ole’ me. The target demo of the Rosefinch seems to be younger people who want to bob their heads and who prefer their eyeballs to rattle. They aren’t sitting in a quiet room critically listening. Nah, those kids laugh at the thought of that. Give em’ some Bass!!
The stage of the Rosefinch is not as bad as I would’ve suspected. I would’ve thought a bass region this big would draw in the stage but in truth the stage isn’t half bad. Obviously, this is not some cavernous stadium but there is some average height and even average depth. The width is narrower to my ears.
The separation of instruments and elements of the stage aren’t a complete mess but also won’t thrill the technical junkies. What can I say, separation is not the best. There is a bit of blending of sounds at times.
The psycho acoustic imagery presented leaves instruments and voices positioned okay. Still, congested tracks will sound congested and blur the stage. Imaging is not the strong suit of the Rosefinch yet I still wouldn’t call its imaging bad. I’d say the Rosefinch is about as good as it can be per the tuning and per the price tag.
This is not a detail-oriented budget iem. I think we’ve established this so far in this review. Yet details aren’t completely absent. Like I said earlier, surface level clarity and resolution are fine to bring out some details. There is a roll-off up top and a prevailing warmth which certainly doesn’t aid in a detailed playback. Again, if you are purchasing this set thinking it’ll align with the Lark where details are concerned, I would probably point you elsewhere. Most people who are searching for reviews and wondering about the Rosefinch probably know what they are getting. Still, details aren’t completely lacking.
*Note: I realize these two comparisons couldn’t be further from the tuning of the Rosefinch. Still, they are within the price point and I am using them more as tools to show distinctions. This isn’t a competition to find which is better.
CCA Lyra ($21)
The Lyra is one of those special budget sets which sort of re-define standards to an extent. To be quite frank, the Lyra are outstanding in my opinion. I don’t compare iems to pursue which one is better. I am not intending to crown one set against another as it is more helpful for me to point out the alterity and distinctions between sets to help understand what they sound like. A theme which plays out in all my review comparisons.
The Lyra is a single dynamic driver iem within the ultra-budget segment of KZ/CCA’s lineup. They have created some fantastic single dynamic earphones of late and this is obviously no exception.
The Rosefinch has a much heftier and more extended low-end with a response that shudders compared to the Lyra. The Lyra have a more finesse bass region which has a bit more speed. I would never claim the Lyra is absent of bass, as it is actually the contrary. The CCA Lyra has a quality bass over quantity. The Rosefinch are exactly what I have spelled out in the entirety of this review…a Bass-head set, bass cannon, big boi bass.
The Rosefinch has a warmer presentation and a more dialed back midrange. The Lyra on the other hand have a more upfront and resolute sound here. The Lyra sound cleaner and have tactile texture and a cleaner leading edge. Lyra is more controlled and confident sounding to me. Vocals sound more natural as well. That said, the Rosefinch have a heft in note weight and a smoothness that the Lyra cannot duplicate. The Rosefinch has a more smooth but veiled sound while the Lyra has a more snappy and clean sound.
The treble region of the Lyra extends seemingly further. The sound is brighter and more resilient sounding on the Lyra. Lyra is more detailed and technically better all together. Still the Lyra also has a chance to fatigue much easier as the Rosefinch is much smoother and easier on the ears.
Stage size is bigger with more depth on the Lyra. Again, details come through much better and the sound is more natural as well on the Lyra. The Rosefinch has that deep and pulsating slam in the bass region which can be infectious if that is what you are after. Also, the Rosefinch is so easy to take for long periods of time. Truthfully if a balanced sound which has good representation from all areas of the spectrum is what you are after then the Lyra is the one to go for. Again, if basshead is what you are after… look no further than the Rosefinch.
7Hz Salnotes Zero ($21)
The Zero is an ultra-budget offering with a single Dynamic Driver. 7hz went with a 10mm Metal Composite Diaphragm within the simplistic but sleek shells of the Zero. We have seen huge love for this set and by all metrics the praise is justified.
I will keep this quick. There is no comparison here. These two couldn’t be further apart in sound signature. The Zero is an ultra-clear and has a clean & balanced replay which borders on neutral and is simply beautiful for the price. The Rosefinch, on the other hand is very warm and rich and inviting and perfect for long listening sessions.
Bass on the finch is slower but much more elevated and hits harder by a country mile. The Zero sounds tight, concise, speedy and doesn’t even try to affect the midrange. Slam is there on the Zero but muted quite a lot in comparison.
The mids on the Zero are thinner than they are thick and come across more natural to my ears. Female vocals sound spirited with more shimmer, and males are thinner than on the Rosefinch but they are edgy and clear and resolute. The Rosefinch has a more veiled sound in the midrange but still has decent vocals with the thick timbre in males and females. Again, I hear the Zero being truer to life to my ears.
The Zero’s treble region has a much cooler atmosphere with a bigger emphasis in the upper areas of the mix. Though the extension sounds about the same with info into the air region on both sets. I should add that the treble on the Zero is much more concise and controlled and easily picks up smaller details. Again, the Rosefinch has its common repeating theme of smooth, thick and easy.
All in all, I would pick the Zero 10 out of 10 times for a more diverse library and if I want a more balanced and detail-oriented sound. But if I want that big bass that I want to feel as well as hear….10 out of 10 times I’d go with the Rosefinch. This is how contrasting these two iems are to one another. I like both the Rosefinch and the Zero for different reasons and different purposes. Both of these iems excel in their own ways.
Great job KBear! You set out to create a fun iem that doesn’t break the bank, that looks cool, is an absolute beast of a bass cannon and one which anyone could listen to for hours. Unless of course you are allergic to bass, if that’s you, well… I cannot relate even a little bit. Give me that bass! Thump the eyelashes off my face and tickle my ears, vibrate my eyes while I bob my head. Did I go too far? Anyways, it’s an every once in a while indulgence for me when I need a departure from the constant barrage of Harman tuned or balanced sounding audiophile directed Yada, Yada, Yada. Sometimes I just like to THUMP! For that purpose, I have a budget set perfect for it… The KBear Rosefinch.
I want to thank anyone who chose to read this far into the review of the Rosefinch. I thank you for putting at least a small amount of trust in my opinion. Also, I again want to thank KBear for their generosity and willingness to give myself as well as mobileaudiophile.com the chance to review their product.
Well, that is it folks. Please take good care, God Bless and try to stay safe in this crazy world. So long.