KBear Lark is a very affordable hybrid (1 Dynamic Driver + 1 Balanced Armature) metal IEM.
It’ll cost you $29.99.
In terms of packaging KBear Lark actually gives us a set that we would find attached to plenty of $100 range IEMs. Inside typical black packaging with golden accents we’re getting small fabric case, 4 pairs of black silicone tips, 3 pairs of white silicone tips, IEMs themselves and a cable. In some cases I don’t think you would be able to buy all these accessories alone for 30 bucks, which means that even without IEMs you’re getting pretty great bang for the buck!
Build Quality & Cable
KBear Lark shells are made out of zinc alloy and plastic. Starting from the sleeve, it’s painted gold. In the middle the sleeve is slightly recessed which is going to prevent tips from falling off accidentally which can result in losing them or leaving in our ear canals. I personally do like what KBear have done with plastic material. It’s fully clear and transparent, which means you can easily look at all the drivers, wires and soldering inside. In my opinion it actually looks very cool! At the top we can find a metal part, metal faceplates to be exact. They have a very nice looking brushed finish as well as some honeycomb-like styling. In terms of the fit, Larks are medium sized in diameter. Not the tiniest IEMs but also not the largest so if you don’t have an ear canal of a 5-year-old child you should be fine. Isolation is pretty good as well especially when you’ll swap tips for something nicer such as Final E-type.
That faceplate certainly has a unique pattern which I’ve never seen before and in this regard Lark gets a huge plus from me for overall design, because we cannot forget about it… it’s just $30 and I will probably remind you about that few times more because Lark can easily be a great gift for people who don’t really care about their audio devices but are kinda annoyed with replacing cheap-o earphones from thrift store every month or two.
I also have to remind you about that because every time when I was checking IEMs within this price range (looking at you Blon BL-03) or even slightly more expensive, cables were simply rubbish and most of the time they were just painful to use or in some cases purely unusable. Fortunately not in this case. We’re getting 4 core silver plated cable with encased 2 pin 0.78mm connectors and on the other end angled 3.5mm jack. It’s not the greatest cable I’ve ever used but surely it’s not annoying in any case. It’s not microphonic, hard, never tangles or have a tendency to develop knots while being carried in pockets. Just very well put cable, but in case if you’d like to swap it and you’re afraid about this encased design, don’t worry. Standard exposed pins design fit without any issues.
Inside those shells we’re getting a popular these days hybrid combination of Dynamic Driver as well as Balanced Armature. Impedance is only 16 ohms but I find them not very picky in terms of the noise. They are also very easy to power. Phones will drive them just fine which is also a very big plus especially for a pair in this price range. You can basically use whatever to listen to them.
It’s time for sound so let’s start from the bottom with my favorite part of frequency range. ‘The Bass’ of course. This is a strong point of those IEMs. You can definitely hear it and sometimes even feel it. Larks in general are pretty warm earphones with sub-bass focus. With that said they aren’t muddy bass monsters although it’s true that some of its bass bleeds a little into lower mids but fortunately you’re not losing any precious detail nor separation. You know… it’s just that moderate spice that you’re adding to your dish so you’ll make it much more interesting in result.
Now let’s talk about midrange. Since KBear Larks can be described as V-shape earphones then it’s no surprise that we will find some dips in this part of frequency range. The most significant one can be noticed somewhere around 1 Khz. It doesn’t sound dull but some vocals just sound like they aren’t the most important part of the track, because sometimes you hear them more behind you instead in front of you. However, you’re still preserving all the detail and soundstage so if you’re not into mid-focused pairs, you should be fine.
I have to say that treble is probably the weakest part of these. Detail, separation, clarity, you can check all these boxes. Treble is simply crispy… sometimes little too crispy. There were some rare occassions were violins and japanese female vocals were simply too aggressive. Sometimes it even exposed sibilants but nothing extreme in this regard. You’ll hear all the instruments and small nuances but some of them will sound very thin and unpleasant. Although not all of them so don’t cross out them only because of that. In fact, I think you should buy them nonetheless because there’s a good reason for it.
Yes, you already know it. Only 30 bucks~
KBear Lark is one of the greatest options in its price range. You’re getting a very nice packaging, plenty of tips in different sizes, very useful roomy case as well as cable that does not bother you and all of that for just $30! You just have to sacrifice your single dinner at the restaurant and many of casual listeners will find their endgame in those.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – DT 1990, BLON BL-03, Oriolus Finschi, Tripowin TC-01,
Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk
- Sources– Sony ZX300, Pocophone X3, Earmen TR-Amp