KB EAR Dumpling-Little Q-Rosefinch-BLON Z200

Budget IEM Shoot-Out

I would like to thank Keephifi for providing me with the review samples of these IEMs.

KB EAR Dumpling

KB Ear Dumpling is one of the latest offers from the brand in the form of bullet style, non-detachable cable, and a 6mm micro dynamic driver. The Dumpling also does not have a separate nozzle part, comes with special ear tips in the box which you put on the shell body. So be aware you can’t use your 3rd part ear tips with this one.

  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • FR Range: 20-20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB
  • Driver unit: 6mm Composite Diaphragm
  • Color: Silver
  • Shell Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Microphone: With mic/No mic
  • Plug type: 3.5mm Straight
  • Cable: 1.2m PVC material
  • Price: $15.29

Sound

Lows

There is definitely some boost in the bass that lends itself to a gratifying tone. It booms and punches, alluding to a deeper resonance. The sound signature is lifted up significantly by the bass’s power, and while it’s exciting to listen to, the bass isn’t exactly the cleanest response. Its timbre isn’t completely muddy, but it does seem inarticulate. While adding some weight and fullness to the sound signature, the lows are still more surface-level in their fidelity.

Mids

You’re not going to get the greatest presence from the mids, but the Dumpling provides enough to chew on for a $15 IEM. A lot of the fundamental frequencies in the mids are considerably recessed, resulting in a lot of cloudiness with the midrange. There’s still some good presence in terms of texture, but nothing pops musically.

Highs

Even with its noticeable flaws, I thought the treble gave the Dumpling its best qualities. There’s some nice resolution in the highs that displays great extensions for the price. It is detailed in its crispness and light sparkle, highlighting vocals and cymbals with exquisite flavor. The highs here only lack more complexity in their details, but it is hard to complain while the tone of the frequencies appears this sweet.

KB EAR Little Q

The Little Q also has a non-detachable cable and comes with a 6mm dynamic driver inside.

  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • FR Range: 20-20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB
  • Driver unit: 6mm Composite Diaphragm
  • Color: Black/Gun/Blue
  • Shell Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Microphone: With mic/No mic
  • Plug type: 3.5mm Straight
  • Cable: 1.2m PVC material
  • Price: $15.29

Sound

Lows

Nothing about this bass is going to pop right out at you, but it does a good job of establishing a body to the frequency response. There’s some clear presence to the lows here, but the energy of the frequencies can vary. It is not a very sizable response but is still able to showcase some grip from underneath, with a smooth textural appearance that shakes up the tone well for some satisfying impact.

Mids

I was pleasantly surprised by how full and natural the midrange came across on the Little Q. A good amount of gain is given to most elements in the fundamental and upper-midrange area. This helps bring out the instruments and vocals significantly, granting more drive to the performance for higher engagement with their timbre. The sound elements come through clearly and with strong definition, resulting in a performance with a distinguished identity.

Highs

Although some may not be fond of the bite the treble shows, I believe the Little Q to have a gratifying high-end spark. It’s admirable for an IEM to show some extended detail in the highs without being overtly bright, but some should be aware of the peaks that do cut through the timbre at times. I’ve always been okay with a bit of peakiness in my treble, so I never found it to be a problem here. I enjoyed its height and flavor, appearing crisp and refined for a $15 IEM.

KB EAR Rosefinch

The only IEM with a detachable cable in this round-up and is rather a classic design that we used to see from KB Ear.

  • Color: Brown; Black
  • Driver: 10mm Biological Diaphragm
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Sensitivity: 103±3DB
  • FR Range: 20HZ-20KHZ
  • Cavity Material: Plastic
  • Cable: 4-core OFC (18*0.05)
  • Interface: TFZ
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated jack
  • Whether with mic: No Mic/ With Mic (optional)
  • Price: $19.99

Sound

Lows

The Rosefinch comes with a major wow factor in the form of its bass response. Bassheads will get a big kick out of it, with its meaty contents and its thumping accents. It’s a tone that gives each track a strong foundation, as it pulsates its frequencies through the mix making everything feel a little more cinematic. Listening to the soundtrack to “Mad MAX: Fury Road” delivered a ferocious low-end timbre that I wasn’t expecting. The sub-bass vibrates with expressive undertones that make for some pretty awesome sweeteners.  You’re getting the main highlight of the Rosefinch, and it feels like it at every turn.

Mids

Even with the power, the Rosefinch shows in the bass, the midrange doesn’t really make any sacrifices. Although there is a commanding emphasis in the low-mids, it never distracts from the clarity instruments and vocals can show. I found it actually surprising how far the Rosefinch was willing to go in order to avoid a v-shaped timbre. For a $20 IEM I wouldn’t even have minded it, but it goes to show how far Rosefinch is willing to go. All the elements that are shown here come off clean and well-organized to fit its full sound signature.

Highs

For the most part, the treble is relatively smooth, but it has a few patches of coloration that accentuate a couple of characteristics some may not enjoy. It has a touch of sibilance that doesn’t stick out too aggressively, but you can definitely feel its presence. At its best, I think it can help make some elements appear a bit crisper and there’s an audible shimmer to some of its tone as well. Some might be deterred by how the frequencies shape out, but I think it does a good job of showcasing a few moments of detail.

BLON Z200

BLON’s latest IEM has probably the most comfortable fit in the brand’s history and in this shoot-out. Sadly no detachable cable in this one too. But the cable is good enough both in braiding and look and handling. Better than Rosefinch’s detachable cable.

  • Color: Purple, Black, Silver
  • Driver: 10mm Carbon Diaphragm
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity: 102±3DB
  • FR Range: 20HZ-20KHZ
  • Cavity Material: Metal
  • Cable: 4-core OFC
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated jack
  • Microphone: With mic/No mic
  • Price: $19.99

Sound

Lows

The low range on the Z200 is interesting. There are next to no subs in the lows, which somewhat shows the Z200’s price. That being said, the low mids are accentuated to the point that bass parts still come through with relative clarity. However, the subs that do come through add to the sound, but they’re rare. I could hear all of the bass parts, but it lacked a certain power and support that you get from higher-priced IEMs.

Mids

The mids on the Z200 add a lot to the sound. Sometimes the mid-range on IEMs can make the sound harsh and overbearing. While the Z200 isn’t perfect in this area, it still manages to stay pretty clear and defined most of the time. That being said, I had some instances of songs distorting in the mids, but it was rarer than I would have thought.

Highs

The highs are subtle on the Z200. While they aren’t the most defined and airy highs I’ve ever heard, they still manage to add nice textures to the sound. Most importantly, they don’t get in the way and overly brighten the sound, which I appreciated. For the most part, the highs add to the sound while not getting in the way.

Conclusion

Let’s compare all 4 IEMs with a graph.

As you can see the KB Ear Rosefinch has the most elevated bass response and also has a smaller elevation than others in the upper mids and treble region. This IEM is bass-head heaven for the budget.  The latest model the Darling has also high bass, but is more in balance with mids and highs so all together it’s more like a bassy Little Q. Talking about the KB ear Little Q, this one is the most balanced sounding IEM in all four and is also my favorite in this round-up. For those who like bullet-style mini IEMs, the Little Q should be on the list. Moving on the BLON’s latest creation to the Z200. It’s also on the balanced sounding side with different values on the mids and treble section compared to the rest, meaning the pinna gain starts earlier than the rest and therefore has a different sound signature which I found boring. Some might like it. I expected a better tuning from BLON on this one but it is what it is.